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

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Copyright 1897


Prefatory Note

The second volume of this compilation, issued a few weeks since, was
received with the same degree of favor as the first volume. It was a
matter of surprise that only sixteen years of our history, or eight
Congresses, could be comprised within the second volume, while the first
covered twenty-eight years, or fourteen Congresses. There is greater
surprise that this volume includes only the period covered by the four
years of the second term of Andrew Jackson and the four years of Martin
Van Buren's term--eight years in all, or four Congresses. However, it
will be found almost, if not quite, as interesting as the preceding
ones. In it will be found the conclusion of the controversy over the
United States Bank, including President Jackson's reasons for the
removal of the deposits from that bank; his Farewell Address, and other
important papers, all of which are characteristic of the man. It was
during the second Administration of President Jackson that the act
changing the ratio between the gold and silver dollar was passed.

This volume contains President Van Buren's message recommending the
independent treasury or subtreasury, and the discussion of that subject,
which terminated in what has been termed "the divorce of the bank and
state in the fiscal affairs of the Federal Government," and which
President Van Buren considered a second Declaration of Independence. The
controversy with Great Britain in relation to the northeastern boundary
of the United States is also included in Van Buren's Administration, and
will prove highly interesting.

The omission of indexes to Volumes I and II has been commented on. The
answer to such comments is, it was deemed best to omit the index to each
volume and publish a general and comprehensive index to the entire work,
in a separate volume. This index will be ready for distribution soon
after the issuance of the last volume.


NOVEMBER 26,1896.

Andrew Jackson

March 4, 1833, to March 4, 1837

Andrew Jackson


FELLOW-CITIZENS: The will of the American people, expressed through
their unsolicited suffrages, calls me before you to pass through the
solemnities preparatory to taking upon myself the duties of President of
the United States for another term. For their approbation of my public
conduct through a period which has not been without its difficulties,
and for this renewed expression of their confidence in my good
intentions, I am at a loss for terms adequate to the expression of my
gratitude. It shall be displayed to the extent of my humble abilities in
continued efforts so to administer the Government as to preserve their
liberty and promote their happiness.

So many events have occurred within the last four years which have
necessarily called forth--sometimes under circumstances the most
delicate and painful--my views of the principles and policy which ought
to be pursued by the General Government that I need on this occasion but
allude to a few leading considerations connected with some of them.

The foreign policy adopted by our Government soon after the formation
of our present Constitution, and very generally pursued by successive
Administrations, has been crowned with almost complete success, and has
elevated our character among the nations of the earth. To do justice to
all and to submit to wrong from none has been during my Administration
its governing maxim, and so happy have been its results that we are not
only at peace with all the world, but have few causes of controversy,
and those of minor importance, remaining unadjusted.

In the domestic policy of this Government there are two objects
which especially deserve the attention of the people and their
representatives, and which have been and will continue to be the
subjects of my increasing solicitude. They are the preservation of
the rights of the several States and the integrity of the Union.

These great objects are necessarily connected, and can only be attained
by an enlightened exercise of the powers of each within its appropriate
sphere in conformity with the public will constitutionally expressed.
To this end it becomes the duty of all to yield a ready and patriotic
submission to the laws constitutionally enacted, and thereby promote and
strengthen a proper confidence in those institutions of the several
States and of the United States which the people themselves have
ordained for their own government.

My experience in public concerns and the observation of a life
somewhat advanced confirm the opinions long since imbibed by me, that
the destruction of our State governments or the annihilation of their
control over the local concerns of the people would lead directly
to revolution and anarchy, and finally to despotism and military
domination. In proportion, therefore, as the General Government
encroaches upon the rights of the States, in the same proportion does
it impair its own power and detract from its ability to fulfill the
purposes of its creation. Solemnly impressed with these considerations,
my countrymen will ever find me ready to exercise my constitutional
powers in arresting measures which may directly or indirectly encroach
upon the rights of the States or tend to consolidate all political power
in the General Government. But of equal, and, indeed, of incalculable,
importance is the union of these States, and the sacred duty of all
to contribute to its preservation by a liberal support of the General
Government in the exercise of its just powers. You have been wisely
admonished to "accustom yourselves to think and speak of the Union as of
the palladium of your political safety and prosperity, watching for its
preservation with jealous anxiety, discountenancing whatever may suggest
even a suspicion that it can in any event be abandoned, and indignantly
frowning upon the first dawning of any attempt to alienate any portion
of our country from the rest or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now
link together the various parts." Without union our independence and
liberty would never have been achieved; without union they never can
be maintained. Divided into twenty-four, or even a smaller number, of
separate communities, we shall see our internal trade burdened with
numberless restraints and exactions; communication between distant
points and sections obstructed or cut off; our sons made soldiers to
deluge with blood the fields they now till in peace; the mass of our
people borne down and impoverished by taxes to support armies and
navies, and military leaders at the head of their victorious legions
becoming our lawgivers and judges. The loss of liberty, of all good
government, of peace, plenty, and happiness, must inevitably follow a
dissolution of the Union. In supporting it, therefore, we support all
that is dear to the freeman and the philanthropist.

The time at which I stand before you is full of interest. The eyes of
all nations are fixed on our Republic. The event of the existing crisis
will be decisive in the opinion of mankind of the practicability of our
federal system of government. Great is the stake placed in our hands;
great is the responsibility which must rest upon the people of the
United States. Let us realize the importance of the attitude in which we
stand before the world. Let us exercise forbearance and firmness. Let us
extricate our country from the dangers which surround it and learn
wisdom from the lessons they inculcate.

Deeply impressed with the truth of these observations, and under the
obligation of that solemn oath which I am about to take, I shall
continue to exert all my faculties to maintain the just powers of the
Constitution and to transmit unimpaired to posterity the blessings of
our Federal Union. At the same time, it will be my aim to inculcate by
my official acts the necessity of exercising by the General Government
those powers only that are clearly delegated; to encourage simplicity
and economy in the expenditures of the Government; to raise no more
money from the people than may be requisite for these objects, and in
a manner that will best promote the interests of all classes of the
community and of all portions of the Union. Constantly bearing in mind
that in entering into society "individuals must give up a share of
liberty to preserve the rest," it will be my desire so to discharge my
duties as to foster with our brethren in all parts of the country a
spirit of liberal concession and compromise, and, by reconciling our
fellow-citizens to those partial sacrifices which they must unavoidably
make for the preservation of a greater good, to recommend our invaluable
Government and Union to the confidence and affections of the American

Finally, it is my most fervent prayer to that Almighty Being before whom
I now stand, and who has kept us in His hands from the infancy of our
Republic to the present day, that He will so overrule all my intentions
and actions and inspire the hearts of my fellow-citizens that we may be
preserved from dangers of all kinds and continue forever a united and
happy people.

MARCH 4, 1833.


[Read to the Cabinet September 18, 1833]

Having carefully and anxiously considered all the facts and arguments
which have been submitted to him relative to a removal of the public
deposits from the Bank of the United States, the President deems it his
duty to communicate in this manner to his Cabinet the final conclusions
of his own mind and the reasons on which they are founded, in order to
put them in durable form and to prevent misconceptions.

The President's convictions of the dangerous tendencies of the Bank of
the United States, since signally illustrated by its own acts, were so
overpowering when he entered on the duties of Chief Magistrate that he
felt it his duty, notwithstanding the objections of the friends by whom
he was surrounded, to avail himself of the first occasion to call the
attention of Congress and the people to the question of its recharter.
The opinions expressed in his annual message of December, 1829, were
reiterated in those of December, 1830 and 1831, and in that of 1830
he threw out for consideration some suggestions in relation to a
substitute. At the session of 1831-32 an act was passed by a majority
of both Houses of Congress rechartering the present bank, upon which
the President felt it his duty to put his constitutional veto. In his
message returning that act he repeated and enlarged upon the principles
and views briefly asserted in his annual message, declaring the bank
to be, in his opinion, both inexpedient and unconstitutional, and
announcing to his countrymen very unequivocally his firm determination
never to sanction by his approval the continuance of that institution
or the establishment of any other upon similar principles.

There are strong reasons for believing that the motive of the bank in
asking for a recharter at that session of Congress was to make it a
leading question in the election of a President of the United States the
ensuing November, and all steps deemed necessary were taken to procure
from the people a reversal of the President's decision.

Although the charter was approaching its termination, and the bank was
aware that it was the intention of the Government to use the public
deposit as fast as it has accrued in the payment of the public debt,
yet did it extend its loans from January, 1831, to May, 1832, from
$42,402,304.24 to $70,428,070.72, being an increase of $28,025,766.48
in sixteen months. It is confidently believed that the leading object of
this immense extension of its loans was to bring as large a portion of
the people as possible under its power and influence, and it has been
disclosed that some of the largest sums were granted on very unusual
terms to the conductors of the public press. In some of these cases the
motive was made manifest by the nominal or insufficient security taken
for the loans, by the large amounts discounted, by the extraordinary
time allowed for payment, and especially by the subsequent conduct of
those receiving the accommodations.

Having taken these preliminary steps to obtain control over public
opinion, the bank came into Congress and asked a new charter. The object
avowed by many of the advocates of the bank was _to put the President
to the test_, that the country might know his final determination
relative to the bank prior to the ensuing election. Many documents and
articles were printed and circulated at the expense of the bank to bring
the people to a favorable decision upon its pretensions. Those whom the
bank appears to have made its debtors for the special occasion were
warned of the ruin which awaited them should the President be sustained,
and attempts were made to alarm the whole people by painting the
depression in the price of property and produce and the general loss,
inconvenience, and distress which it was represented would immediately
follow the reelection of the President in opposition to the bank.

Can it now be said that the question of a recharter of the bank was not
decided at the election which ensued? Had the veto been equivocal, or
had it not covered the whole ground; if it had merely taken exceptions
to the details of the bill or to the time of its passage; if it had not
met the whole ground of constitutionality and expediency, then there
might have been some plausibility for the allegation that the question
was not decided by the people. It was to compel the President to take
his stand that the question was brought forward at that particular
time. He met the challenge, willingly took the position into which his
adversaries sought to force him, and frankly declared his unalterable
opposition to the bank as being both unconstitutional and inexpedient.
On that ground the case was argued to the people; and now that the
people have sustained the President, notwithstanding the array of
influence and power which was brought to bear upon him, it is too late,
he confidently thinks, to say that the question has not been decided.
Whatever may be the opinions of others, the President considers his
reelection as a decision of the people against the bank. In the
concluding paragraph of his veto message he said:

I have now done my duty to my country. If sustained by my
fellow-citizens, I shall be grateful and happy; if not, I shall find
in the motives which impel me ample grounds for contentment and peace.

He was sustained by a just people, and he desires to evince his
gratitude by carrying into effect their decision so far as it depends
upon him.

Of all the substitutes for the present bank which have been suggested,
none seems to have united any considerable portion of the public in its
favor. Most of them are liable to the same constitutional objections for
which the present bank has been condemned, and perhaps to all there are
strong objections on the score of expediency. In ridding the country of
an irresponsible power which has attempted to control the Government,
care must be taken not to unite the same power with the executive
branch. To give a President the control over the currency and the power
over individuals now possessed by the Bank of the United States, even
with the material difference that he is responsible to the people, would
be as objectionable and as dangerous as to leave it as it is. Neither
one nor the other is necessary, and therefore ought not to be resorted

On the whole, the President considers it as conclusively settled that
the charter of the Bank of the United States will not be renewed, and
he has no reasonable ground to believe that any substitute will be
established. Being bound to regulate his course by the laws as they
exist, and not to anticipate the interference of the legislative power
for the purpose of framing new systems, it is proper for him seasonably
to consider the means by which the services rendered by the Bank of the
United States are to be performed after its charter shall expire.

The existing laws declare that--

The deposits of the money of the United States in places in which the
said bank and branches thereof may be established shall be made in said
bank or branches thereof unless the Secretary of the Treasury shall at
any time otherwise order and direct, in which case the Secretary of the
Treasury shall immediately lay before Congress, if in session, and, if
not, immediately after the commencement of the next session, the reasons
of such order or direction.

The power of the Secretary of the Treasury over the deposits is
_unqualified_. The provision that he shall report his reasons to
Congress is no limitation. Had it not been inserted he would have been
responsible to Congress had he made a removal for any other than good
reasons, and his responsibility now ceases upon the rendition of
sufficient ones to Congress. The only object of the provision is to make
his reasons accessible to Congress and enable that body the more readily
to judge of their soundness and purity, and thereupon to make such
further provision by law as the legislative power may think proper in
relation to the deposit of the public money. Those reasons may be very
diversified. It was asserted by the Secretary of the Treasury, without
contradiction, as early as 1817, that he had power "to control the
proceedings" of the Bank of the United States at any moment "by changing
the deposits to the State banks" should it pursue an illiberal course
toward those institutions; that "the Secretary of the Treasury will
always be disposed to support the credit of the State banks, and will
invariably direct transfers from the deposits of the public money in aid
of their legitimate exertions to maintain their credit;" and he asserted
a right to employ the State banks when the Bank of the United States
should refuse to receive on deposit the notes of such State banks as the
public interest required should be received in payment of the public
dues. In several instances he did transfer the public deposits to State
banks in the immediate vicinity of branches, for reasons connected only
with the safety of those banks, the public convenience, and the
interests of the Treasury.

If it was lawful for Mr. Crawford, the Secretary of the Treasury at that
time, to act on these principles, it will be difficult to discover any
sound reason against the application of similar principles in still
stronger cases. And it is a matter of surprise that a power which in
the infancy of the bank was freely asserted as one of the ordinary and
familiar duties of the Secretary of the Treasury should now be gravely
questioned, and attempts made to excite and alarm the public mind as if
some new and unheard-of power was about to be usurped by the executive
branch of the Government.

It is but a little more than two and a half years to the termination of
the charter of the present bank. It is considered as the decision of the
country that it shall then cease to exist, and no man, the President
believes, has reasonable ground for expectation that any other Bank of
the United States will be created by Congress.

To the Treasury Department is intrusted the safe-keeping and faithful
application of the public moneys. A plan of collection different from
the present must therefore be introduced and put in complete operation
before the dissolution of the present bank. When shall it be commenced?
Shall no step be taken in this essential concern until the charter
expires and the Treasury finds itself without an agent, its accounts in
confusion, with no depository for its funds, and the whole business of
the Government deranged, or shall it be delayed until six months, or a
year, or two years before the expiration of the charter? It is obvious
that any new system which may be substituted in the place of the Bank
of the United States could not be suddenly carried into effect on the
termination of its existence without serious inconvenience to the
Government and the people. Its vast amount of notes are then to be
redeemed and withdrawn-from circulation and its immense debt collected.
These operations must be gradual, otherwise much suffering and distress
will be brought upon the community.

It ought to be not a work of months only, but of years, and the
President thinks it can not, with due attention to the interests of the
people, be longer postponed. It is safer to begin it too soon than to
delay it too long.

It is for the wisdom of Congress to decide upon the best substitute
to be adopted in the place of the Bank of the United States, and the
President would have felt himself relieved from a heavy and painful
responsibility if in the charter to the bank Congress had reserved to
itself the power of directing at its pleasure the public money to be
elsewhere deposited, and had not devolved that power exclusively on one
of the Executive Departments. It is useless now to inquire why this high
and important power was surrendered by those who are peculiarly and
appropriately the guardians of the public money. Perhaps it was an
oversight. But as the President presumes that the charter to the bank is
to be considered as a contract on the part of the Government, it is not
now in the power of Congress to disregard its stipulations; and by the
terms of that contract the public money is to be deposited in the bank
during the continuance of its charter unless the Secretary of the
Treasury shall otherwise direct. Unless, therefore, the Secretary of the
Treasury first acts, Congress have no power over the subject, for they
can not add a new clause to the charter or strike one out of it without
the consent of the bank, and consequently the public money must remain
in that institution to the last hour of its existence unless the
Secretary of the Treasury shall remove it at an earlier day. The
responsibility is thus thrown upon the executive branch of the
Government of deciding how long before the expiration of the charter the
public interest will require the deposits to be placed elsewhere; and
although according to the frame and principle of our Government this
decision would seem more properly to belong to the legislative power,
yet as the law has imposed it upon the executive department the duty
ought to be faithfully and firmly met, and the decision made and
executed upon the best lights that can be obtained and the best judgment
that can be formed. It would ill become the executive branch of the
Government to shrink from any duty which the law imposes on it, to fix
upon others the responsibility which justly belongs to itself. And while
the President anxiously wishes to abstain from the exercise of doubtful
powers and to avoid all interference with the rights and duties
of others, he must yet with unshaken constancy discharge his own
obligations, and can not allow himself to turn aside in order to avoid
any responsibility which the high trust with which he has been honored
requires him to encounter; and it being the duty of one of the Executive
Departments to decide in the first instance, subject to the future
action of the legislative power, whether the public deposits shall
remain in the Bank of the United States until the end of its existence
or be withdrawn some time before, the President has felt himself bound
to examine the question carefully and deliberately in order to make up
his judgment on the subject, and in his opinion the near approach of
the termination of the charter and the public considerations heretofore
mentioned are of themselves amply sufficient to justify the removal of
the deposits, without reference to the conduct of the bank or their
safety in its keeping.

But in the conduct of the bank may be found other reasons, very
imperative in their character, and which require prompt action.
Developments have been made from time to time of its faithlessness as
a public agent, its misapplication of public funds, its interference in
elections, its efforts by the machinery of committees to deprive the
Government directors of a full knowledge of its concerns, and, above
all, its flagrant misconduct as recently and unexpectedly disclosed
in placing all the funds of the bank, including the money of the
Government, at the disposition of the president of the bank as means
of operating upon public opinion and procuring a new charter, without
requiring him to render a voucher for their disbursement. A brief
recapitulation of the facts which justify these charges, and which have
come to the knowledge of the public and the President, will, he thinks,
remove every reasonable doubt as to the course which it is now the duty
of the President to pursue.

We have seen that in sixteen months ending in May, 1832, the bank
had extended its loans more than $28,000,000, although it knew the
Government intended to appropriate most of its large deposit during that
year in payment of the public debt. It was in May, 1832, that its loans
arrived at the maximum, and in the preceding March so sensible was the
bank that it would not be able to pay over the public deposit when
it would be required by the Government that it commenced a secret
negotiation, without the approbation or knowledge of the Government,
with the agents for about $2,700,000 of the 3 per cent stocks held in
Holland, with a view of inducing them not to come forward for payment
for one or more years after notice should be given by the Treasury
Department. This arrangement would have enabled the bank to keep and use
during time the public money set apart for the payment of these stocks.
After this negotiation had commenced, the Secretary of the Treasury
informed the bank that it was his intention to pay off one-half of the
3 percents on the 1st of the succeeding July, which amounted to about
$6,500,000. The president of the bank, although the committee of
investigation was then looking into its affairs at Philadelphia, came
immediately to Washington, and upon representing that the bank was
desirous of accommodating the importing merchants at New York (which it
failed to do) and undertaking to pay the interest itself, procured the
consent of the Secretary, after consultation with the President, to
postpone the payment until the succeeding 1st of October.

Conscious that at the end of that quarter the bank would not be able
to pay over the deposits, and that further indulgence was not to be
expected of the Government, an agent was dispatched to England secretly
to negotiate with the holders of the public debt in Europe and induce
them by the offer of an equal or higher interest than that paid by the
Government to hold back their claims for one year, during which the bank
expected thus to retain the use of $5,000,000 of the public money, which
the Government should set apart for the payment of that debt. The agent
made an arrangement on terms, in part, which were in direct violation
of the charter of the bank, and when some incidents connected with this
secret negotiation accidentally came to the knowledge of the public and
the Government, then, and not before, so much of it as was palpably in
violation of the charter was disavowed. A modification of the rest was
attempted with the view of getting the certificates without payment of
the money, and thus absolving the Government from its liability to the
holders. In this scheme the bank was partially successful, but to this
day the certificates of a portion of these stocks have not been paid and
the bank retains the use of the money.

This effort to thwart the Government in the payment of the public debt
that it might retain the public money to be used for their private
interests, palliated by pretenses notoriously unfounded and insincere,
would have justified the instant withdrawal of the public deposits.
The negotiation itself rendered doubtful the ability of the bank to meet
the demands of the Treasury, and the misrepresentations by which it was
attempted to be justified proved that no reliance could be placed upon
its allegations.

If the question of a removal of the deposits presented itself to the
Executive in the same attitude that it appeared before the House of
Representatives at their last session, their resolution in relation to
the safety of the deposits would be entitled to more weight, although
the decision of the question of removal has been confided by law to
another department of the Government. But the question now occurs
attended by other circumstances and new disclosures of the most serious
import. It is true that in the message of the President which produced
this inquiry and resolution on the part of the House of Representatives
it was his object to obtain the aid of that body in making a thorough
examination into the conduct and condition of the bank and its branches
in order to enable the executive department to decide whether the public
money was longer safe in its hands. The limited power of the Secretary
of the Treasury over the subject disabled him from making the
investigation as fully and satisfactorily as it could be done by a
committee of the House of Representatives, and hence the President
desired the assistance of Congress to obtain for the Treasury Department
a full knowledge of all the facts which were necessary to guide his
judgment. But it was not his purpose, as the language of his message
will show, to ask the representatives of the people to assume a
responsibility which did not belong to them and relieve the executive
branch of the Government from the duty which the law had imposed upon
it. It is due to the President that his object in that proceeding should
be distinctly understood, and that he should acquit himself of all
suspicion of seeking to escape from the performance of his own duties or
of desiring to interpose another body between himself and the people in
order to avoid a measure which he is called upon to meet. But although
as an act of justice to himself he disclaims any design of soliciting
the opinion of the House of Representatives in relation to his own
duties in order to shelter himself from responsibility under the
sanction of their counsel, yet he is at all times ready to listen to
the suggestions of the representatives of the people, whether given
voluntarily or upon solicitation, and to consider them with the profound
respect to which all will admit that they are justly entitled. Whatever
may be the consequences, however, to himself, he must finally form his
own judgment where the Constitution and the law make it his duty to
decide, and must act accordingly; and he is bound to suppose that such
a course on his part will never be regarded by that elevated body as a
mark of disrespect to itself, but that they will, on the contrary,
esteem it the strongest evidence he can give of his fixed resolution
conscientiously to discharge his duty to them and the country.

A new state of things has, however, arisen since the close of the
last session of Congress, and evidence has since been laid before
the President which he is persuaded would have led the House of
Representatives to a different conclusion if it had come to their
knowledge. The fact that the bank controls, and in some cases
substantially _owns_, and by its money _supports_ some of the leading
presses of the country is now more clearly established. Editors to
whom it loaned extravagant sums in 1831 and 1832, on unusual time and
nominal security, have since turned out to be insolvent, and to others
apparently in no better condition accommodations still more extravagant,
on terms more unusual, and some without any security, have also been
heedlessly granted.

The allegation which has so often circulated through these channels that
the Treasury was bankrupt and the bank was sustaining it, when for many
years there has not been less, on an average, than six millions of
public money in that institution, might be passed over as a harmless
misrepresentation; but when it is attempted by substantial acts to
impair the credit of the Government and tarnish the honor of the
country, such charges require more serious attention. With six millions
of public money in its vaults, after having had the use of from five to
twelve millions for nine years without interest, it became the purchaser
of a bill drawn by our Government on that of France for about $900,000,
being the first installment of the French indemnity. The purchase money
was left in the use of the bank, being simply added to the Treasury
deposit. The bank sold the bill in England, and the holder sent it to
France for collection, and arrangements not having been made by the
French Government for its payment, it was taken up by the agents of the
bank in Paris with the funds of the bank in their hands. Under these
circumstances it has through its organs openly assailed the credit of
the Government, and has actually made and persists in a demand of 15 per
cent, or $158,842.77, as damages, when no damage, or none beyond some
trifling expense, has in fact been sustained, and when the bank had
in its own possession on deposit several millions of the public money
which it was then using for its own profit. Is a fiscal agent of the
Government which thus seeks to enrich itself at the expense of the
public worthy of further trust?

There are other important facts not in the contemplation of the House
of Representatives or not known to the members at the time they voted
for the resolution.

Although the charter and the rules of the bank both declare that "not
less than seven directors" shall be necessary to the transaction of
business, yet the most important business, even that of granting
discounts to any extent, is intrusted to a committee of five members,
who do not report to the board.

To cut off all means of communication with the Government in relation
to its most important acts at the commencement of the present year, not
one of the Government directors was placed on any one committee; and
although since, by an unusual remodeling of those bodies, some of those
directors have been placed on some of the committees, they are yet
entirely excluded from the committee of exchange, through which the
greatest and most objectionable loans have been made.

When the Government directors made an effort to bring back the business
of the bank to the board in obedience to the charter and the existing
regulations, the board not only overruled their attempt, but altered the
rule so as to make it conform to the practice, in direct violation of
one of the most important provisions of the charter which gave them

It has long been known that the president of the bank, by his single
will, originates and executes many of the most important measures
connected with the management and credit of the bank, and that the
committee as well as the board of directors are left in entire ignorance
of many acts done and correspondence carried on in their names, and
apparently under their authority. The fact has been recently disclosed
that an unlimited discretion has been and is now vested in the president
of the bank to expend its funds in payment for preparing and circulating
articles and purchasing pamphlets and newspapers, calculated by their
contents to operate on elections and secure a renewal of its charter.
It appears from the official report of the public directors that on the
30th November, 1830, the president submitted to the board an article
published in the American Quarterly Review containing favorable notices
of the bank, and suggested the expediency of giving it a wider
circulation at the expense of the bank; whereupon the board passed the
following resolution, viz:

_Resolved_, That the president be authorized to take such measures in
regard to the circulation of the contents of the said article, either
in whole or in part, as he may deem most for the interest of the bank.

By an entry in the minutes of the bank dated March 11, 1831, it appears
that the president had not only caused a large edition of that article
to be issued, but had also, before the resolution of 30th November was
adopted, procured to be printed and widely circulated numerous copies of
the reports of General Smith and Mr. McDuffie in favor of the bank; and
on that day he suggested the expediency of extending his power to the
printing of other articles which might subserve the purposes of the
institution, whereupon the following resolution was adopted, viz--

_Resolved_, That the president is hereby authorized to cause to be
prepared and circulated such documents and papers as may communicate
to the people information in regard to the nature and operations of
the bank.

The expenditures purporting to have been made under authority of these
resolutions during the years 1831 and 1832 were about $80,000. For a
portion of these expenditures vouchers were rendered, from which it
appears that they were incurred in the purchase of some hundred thousand
copies of newspapers, reports and speeches made in Congress, reviews
of the veto message and reviews of speeches against the bank, etc.
For another large portion no vouchers whatever were rendered, but the
various sums were paid on orders of the president of the bank, making
reference to the resolution of the 11th of March, 1831.

On ascertaining these facts and perceiving that expenditures of a
similar character were still continued, the Government directors a few
weeks ago offered a resolution in the board calling for a specific
account of these expenditures, showing the objects to which they had
been applied and the persons to whom the money had been paid. This
reasonable proposition was voted down.

They also offered a resolution rescinding the resolutions of November,
1830, and March, 1831. This also was rejected.

Not content with thus refusing to recall the obnoxious power or even to
require such an account of the expenditure as would show whether the
money of the bank had in fact been applied to the objects contemplated
by these resolutions, as obnoxious as they were, the board renewed the
power already conferred, and even enjoined renewed attention to its
exercise by adopting the following in lieu of the propositions submitted
by the Government directors, viz:

_Resolved_, That the board have confidence in the wisdom and integrity
of the president and in the propriety of the resolutions of 30th
November, 1830, and 11th March, 1831, and entertain a full conviction
of the necessity of a renewed attention to the object of those
resolutions, and that the president be authorized and requested to
continue his exertions for the promotion of said object.

Taken in connection with the nature of the expenditures heretofore made,
as recently disclosed, which the board not only tolerate, but approve,
this resolution puts the funds of the bank at the disposition of the
president for the purpose of employing the whole press of the country in
the service of the bank, to hire writers and newspapers, and to pay out
such sums as he pleases to what person and for what services he pleases
without the responsibility of rendering any specific account. The bank
is thus converted into a vast electioneering engine, with means to
embroil the country in deadly feuds, and, under cover of expenditures in
themselves improper, extend its corruption through all the ramifications
of society.

Some of the items for which accounts have been rendered show the
construction which has been given to the resolutions and the way in
which the power it confers has been exerted. The money has not been
expended merely in the publication and distribution of speeches, reports
of committees, or articles written for the purpose of showing the
constitutionality or usefulness of the bank, but publications have been
prepared and extensively circulated containing the grossest invectives
against the officers of the Government, and the money which belongs to
the stockholders and to the public has been freely applied in efforts to
degrade in public estimation those who were supposed to be instrumental
in resisting the wishes of this grasping and dangerous institution. As
the president of the bank has not been required to settle his accounts,
no one but himself knows how much more than the sum already mentioned
may have been squandered, and for which a credit may hereafter be
claimed in his account under this most extraordinary resolution. With
these facts before us can we be surprised at the torrent of abuse
incessantly poured out against all who are supposed to stand in the way
of the cupidity or ambition of the Bank of the United States? Can we be
surprised at sudden and unexpected changes of opinion in favor of an
institution which has millions to lavish and avows its determination not
to spare its means when they are necessary to accomplish its purposes?
The refusal to render an account of the manner in which a part of the
money expended has been applied gives just cause for the suspicion that
it has been used for purposes which it is not deemed prudent to expose
to the eyes of an intelligent and virtuous people. Those who act justly
do not shun the light, nor do they refuse explanations when the
propriety of their conduct is brought into question.

With these facts before him in an official report from the Government
directors, the President would feel that he was not only responsible for
all the abuses and corruptions the bank has committed or may commit, but
almost an accomplice in a conspiracy against that Government which he
has sworn honestly to administer, if he did not take every step within
his constitutional and legal power likely to be efficient in putting an
end to these enormities. If it be possible within the scope of human
affairs to find a reason for removing the Government deposits and
leaving the bank to its own resource for the means of effecting its
criminal designs, we have it here. Was it expected when the moneys of
the United States were directed to be placed in that bank that they
would be put under the control of one man empowered to spend millions
without rendering a voucher or specifying the object? Can they be
considered safe with the evidence before us that tens of thousands have
been spent for highly improper, if not corrupt, purposes, and that the
same motive may lead to the expenditure of hundreds of thousands, and
even millions, more? And can we justify ourselves to the people by
longer lending to it the money and power of the Government to be
employed for such purposes?

It has been alleged by some as an objection to the removal of the
deposits that the bank has the power, and in that event will have the
disposition, to destroy the State banks employed by the Government,
and bring distress upon the country. It has been the fortune of the
President to encounter dangers which were represented as equally
alarming, and he has seen them vanish before resolution and energy.
Pictures equally appalling were paraded before him when this bank came
to demand a new charter. But what was the result? Has the country been
ruined, or even distressed? Was it ever more prosperous than since that
act? The President verily believes the bank has not the power to produce
the calamities its friends threaten. The funds of the Government will
not be annihilated by being transferred. They will immediately be issued
for the benefit of trade, and if the Bank of the United States curtails
its loans the State banks, strengthened by the public deposits, will
extend theirs. What comes in through one bank will go out through
others, and the equilibrium will be preserved. Should the bank, for the
mere purpose of producing distress, press its debtors more heavily than
some of them can bear, the consequences will recoil upon itself, and in
the attempts to embarrass the country it will only bring loss and ruin
upon the holders of its own stock. But if the President believed the
bank possessed all the power which has been attributed to it, his
determination would only be rendered the more inflexible. If, indeed,
this corporation now holds in its hands the happiness and prosperity of
the American people, it is high time to take the alarm. If the despotism
be already upon us and our only safety is in the mercy of the despot,
recent developments in relation to his designs and the means he employs
show how necessary it is to shake it off. The struggle can never come
with less distress to the people or under more favorable auspices than
at the present moment.

All doubt as to the willingness of the State banks to undertake the
service of the Government to the same extent and on the same terms as it
is now performed by the Bank of the United States is put to rest by the
report of the agent recently employed to collect information, and from
that willingness their own safety in the operation may be confidently
inferred. Knowing their own resources better than they can be known by
others, it is not to be supposed that they would be willing to place
themselves in a situation which they can not occupy without danger of
annihilation or embarrassment. The only consideration applies to the
safety of the public funds if deposited in those institutions, and when
it is seen that the directors of many of them are not only willing
to pledge the character and capital of the corporations in giving
success to this measure, but also their own property and reputation, we
can not doubt that they at least believe the public deposits would be
safe in their management. The President thinks that these facts and
circumstances afford as strong a guaranty as can be had in human
affairs for the safety of the public funds and the practicability of
a new system of collection and disbursement through the agency of the
State banks.

From all these considerations the President thinks that the State banks
ought immediately to be employed in the collection and disbursement of
the public revenue, and the funds now in the Bank of the United States
drawn out with all convenient dispatch. The safety of the public moneys
if deposited in the State banks must be secured beyond all reasonable
doubts; but the extent and nature of the security, in addition to their
capital, if any be deemed necessary, is a subject of detail to which the
Treasury Department will undoubtedly give its anxious attention. The
banks to be employed must remit the moneys of the Government without
charge, as the Bank of the United States now does; must render all the
services which that bank now performs; must keep the Government advised
of their situation by periodical returns; in fine, in any arrangement
with the State banks the Government must not in any respect be placed on
a worse footing than it now is. The President is happy to perceive by
the report of the agent that the banks which he has consulted have, in
general, consented to perform the service on these terms, and that those
in New York have further agreed to make payments in London without other
charge than the mere cost of the bills of exchange.

It should also be enjoined upon any banks which may be employed that
it will be expected of them to facilitate domestic exchanges for the
benefit of internal commerce; to grant all reasonable facilities to the
payers of the revenue; to exercise the utmost liberality toward the
other State banks, and do nothing uselessly to embarrass the Bank of
the United States.

As one of the most serious objections to the Bank of the United States
is the power which it concentrates, care must be taken in finding other
agents for the service of the Treasury not to raise up another power
equally formidable. Although it would probably be impossible to produce
such a result by any organization of the State banks which could be
devised, yet it is desirable to avoid even the appearance. To this end
it would be expedient to assume no more power over them and interfere no
more in their affairs than might be absolutely necessary to the security
of the public deposit and the faithful performance of their duties
as agents of the Treasury. Any interference by them in the political
contests of the country with a view to influence elections ought, in the
opinion of the President, to be followed by an immediate discharge from
the public service.

It is the desire of the President that the control of the banks and
the currency shall, as far as possible, be entirely separated from the
political power of the country as well as wrested from an institution
which has already attempted to subject the Government to its will.
In his opinion the action of the General Government on this subject
ought not to extend beyond the grant in the Constitution, which only
authorizes Congress "to coin money and regulate the value thereof;"
all else belongs to the States and the people, and must be regulated
by public opinion and the interests of trade.

In conclusion, the President must be permitted to remark that he looks
upon the pending question as of higher consideration than the mere
transfer of a sum of money from one bank to another. Its decision may
affect the character of our Government for ages to come. Should the bank
be suffered longer to use the public moneys in the accomplishment of its
purposes, with the proofs of its faithlessness and corruption before
our eyes, the patriotic among our citizens will despair of success in
struggling against its power, and we shall be responsible for entailing
it upon our country forever. Viewing it as a question of transcendent
importance, both in the principles and consequences it involves, the
President could not, in justice to the responsibility which he owes to
the country, refrain from pressing upon the Secretary of the Treasury
his view of the considerations which impel to immediate action. Upon him
has been devolved by the Constitution and the suffrages of the American
people the duty of superintending the operation of the Executive
Departments of the Government and seeing that the laws are faithfully
executed. In the performance of this high trust it is his undoubted
right to express to those whom the laws and his own choice have made his
associates in the administration of the Government his opinion of their
duties under circumstances as they arise. It is this right which he now
exercises. Far be it from him to expect or require that any member of
the Cabinet should at his request, order, or dictation do any act which
he believes unlawful or in his conscience condemns. From them and from
his fellow-citizens in general he desires only that aid and support
which their reason approves and their conscience sanctions.

In the remarks he has made on this all-important question he trusts
the Secretary of the Treasury will see only the frank and respectful
declarations of the opinions which the President has formed on a measure
of great national interest deeply affecting the character and usefulness
of his Administration, and not a spirit of dictation, which the
President would be as careful to avoid as ready to resist. Happy will he
be if the facts now disclosed produce uniformity of opinion and unity of
action among the members of the Administration.

The President again repeats that he begs his Cabinet to consider the
proposed measure as his own, in the support of which he shall require
no one of them to make a sacrifice of opinion or principle. Its
responsibility has been assumed after the most mature deliberation
and reflection as necessary to preserve the morals of the people, the
freedom of the press, and the purity of the elective franchise, without
which all will unite in saying that the blood and treasure expended by
our forefathers in the establishment of our happy system of government
will have been vain and fruitless. Under these convictions he feels that
a measure so important to the American people can not be commenced too
soon, and he therefore names the 1st day of October next as a period
proper for the change of the deposits, or sooner, provided the necessary
arrangements with the State banks can be made.



December 3, 1833.

_Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and House of Representatives_:

On your assembling to perform the high trusts which the people of the
United States have confided to you, of legislating for their common
welfare, it gives me pleasure to congratulate you upon the happy
condition of our beloved country. By the favor of Divine Providence
health is again restored to us, peace reigns within our borders,
abundance crowns the labors of our fields, commerce and domestic
industry flourish and increase, and individual happiness rewards the
private virtue and enterprise of our citizens.

Our condition abroad is no less honorable than it is prosperous at home.
Seeking nothing that is not right and determined to submit to nothing
that is wrong, but desiring honest friendships and liberal intercourse
with all nations, the United States have gained throughout the world
the confidence and respect which are due to a policy so just and so
congenial to the character of the American people and to the spirit of
their institutions.

In bringing to your notice the particular state of our foreign affairs,
it affords me high gratification to inform you that they are in a
condition which promises the continuance of friendship with all nations.

With Great Britain the interesting question of our northeastern boundary
remains still undecided. A negotiation, however, upon that subject has
been renewed since the close of the last Congress, and a proposition has
been submitted to the British Government with the view of establishing,
in conformity with the resolution of the Senate, the line designated by
the treaty of 1783. Though no definitive answer has been received, it
may be daily looked for, and I entertain a hope that the overture may
ultimately lead to a satisfactory adjustment of this important matter.

I have the satisfaction to inform you that a negotiation which, by
desire of the House of Representatives, was opened some years ago with
the British Government, for the erection of light-houses on the Bahamas,
has been successful. Those works, when completed, together with those
which the United States have constructed on the western side of the Gulf
of Florida, will contribute essentially to the safety of navigation
in that sea. This joint participation in establishments interesting
to humanity and beneficial to commerce is worthy of two enlightened
nations, and indicates feelings which can not fail to have a happy
influence upon their political relations. It is gratifying to the
friends of both to perceive that the intercourse between the two people
is becoming daily more extensive, and that sentiments of mutual good
will have grown up befitting their common origin and justifying the hope
that by wise counsels on each side not only unsettled questions may be
satisfactorily terminated, but new causes of misunderstanding prevented.

Notwithstanding that I continue to receive the most amicable assurances
from the Government of France, and that in all other respects the most
friendly relations exist between the United States and that Government,
it is to be regretted that the stipulations of the convention concluded
on the 4th July, 1831, remain in some important parts unfulfilled.

By the second article of that convention it was stipulated that the sum
payable to the United States should be paid at Paris, in six annual
installments, into the hands of such person or persons as should be
authorized by the Government of the United States to receive it, and
by the same article the first installment was payable on the 2d day of
February, 1833. By the act of Congress of the 13th July, 1832, it was
made the duty of the Secretary of the Treasury to cause the several
installments, with the interest thereon, to be received from the French
Government and transferred to the United States in such manner as he may
deem best; and by the same act of Congress the stipulations on the part
of the United States in the convention were in all respects fulfilled.
Not doubting that a treaty thus made and ratified by the two
Governments, and faithfully executed by the United States, would be
promptly complied with by the other party, and desiring to avoid the
risk and expense of intermediate agencies, the Secretary of the Treasury
deemed it advisable to receive and transfer the first installment by
means of a draft upon the French minister of finance. A draft for this
purpose was accordingly drawn in favor of the cashier of the Bank of the
United States for the amount accruing to the United States out of the
first installment, and the interest payable with it. This bill was not
drawn at Washington until five days after the installment was payable
at Paris, and was accompanied by a special authority from the President
authorizing the cashier or his assigns to receive the amount. The mode
thus adopted of receiving the installment was officially made known
to the French Government by the American charge d'affaires at Paris,
pursuant to instructions from the Department of State. The bill,
however, though not presented for payment until the 23d day of March,
was not paid, and for the reason assigned by the French minister of
finance that no appropriation had been made by the French Chambers.
It is not known to me that up to that period any appropriation had been
required of the Chambers, and although a communication was subsequently
made to the Chambers by direction of the King, recommending that the
necessary provision should be made for carrying the convention into
effect, it was at an advanced period of the session, and the subject
was finally postponed until the next meeting of the Chambers.

Notwithstanding it has been supposed by the French ministry that the
financial stipulations of the treaty can not be carried into effect
without an appropriation by the Chambers, it appears to me to be not
only consistent with the character of France, but due to the character
of both Governments, as well as to the rights of our citizens, to treat
the convention, made and ratified in proper form, as pledging the good
faith of the French Government for its execution, and as imposing upon
each department an obligation to fulfill it; and I have received
assurances through our charge d'affaires at Paris and the French
minister plenipotentiary at Washington, and more recently through the
minister of the United States at Paris, that the delay has not proceeded
from any indisposition on the part of the King and his ministers to
fulfill the treaty, and that measures will be presented at the next
meeting of the Chambers, and with a reasonable hope of success, to
obtain the necessary appropriation.

It is necessary to state, however, that the documents, except certain
lists of vessels captured, condemned, or burnt at sea, proper to
facilitate the examination and liquidation of the reclamations comprised
in the stipulations of the convention, and which by the sixth article
France engaged to communicate to the United States by the intermediary
of the legation, though repeatedly applied for by the American charge
d'affaires under instructions from this Government, have not yet been
communicated; and this delay, it is apprehended, will necessarily
prevent the completion of the duties assigned to the commissioners
within the time at present prescribed by law.

The reasons for delaying to communicate these documents have not been
explicitly stated, and this is the more to be regretted as it is not
understood that the interposition of the Chambers is in any manner
required for the delivery of those papers.

Under these circumstances, in a case so important to the interests
of our citizens and to the character of our country, and under
disappointments so unexpected, I deemed it my duty, however I might
respect the general assurances to which I have adverted, no longer to
delay the appointment of a minister plenipotentiary to Paris, but to
dispatch him in season to communicate the result of his application to
the French Government at an early period of your session. I accordingly
appointed a distinguished citizen for this purpose, who proceeded on his
mission in August last and was presented to the King early in the month
of October. He is particularly instructed as to all matters connected
with the present posture of affairs, and I indulge the hope that with
the representations he is instructed to make, and from the disposition
manifested by the King and his ministers in their recent assurances to
our minister at Paris, the subject will be early considered, and
satisfactorily disposed of at the next meeting of the Chambers.

As this subject involves important interests and has attracted a
considerable share of the public attention, I have deemed it proper
to make this explicit statement of its actual condition, and should
I be disappointed in the hope now entertained the subject will be
again brought to the notice of Congress in such manner as the occasion
may require.

The friendly relations which have always been maintained between the
United States and Russia have been further extended and strengthened by
the treaty of navigation and commerce concluded on the 6th of December
last, and sanctioned by the Senate before the close of its last session.
The ratifications having been since exchanged, the liberal provisions
of the treaty are now in full force, and under the encouragement which
they have secured a flourishing and increasing commerce, yielding its
benefits to the enterprise of both nations, affords to each the just
recompense of wise measures, and adds new motives for that mutual
friendship which the two countries have hitherto cherished toward
each other.

It affords me peculiar satisfaction to state that the Government of
Spain has at length yielded to the justice of the claims which have been
so long urged in behalf of our citizens, and has expressed a willingness
to provide an indemnification as soon as the proper amount can be agreed
upon. Upon this latter point it is probable an understanding had taken
place between the minister of the United States and the Spanish
Government before the decease of the late King of Spain; and, unless
that event may have delayed its completion, there is reason to hope that
it may be in my power to announce to you early in your present session
the conclusion of a convention upon terms not less favorable than those
entered into for similar objects with other nations. That act of justice
would well accord with the character of Spain, and is due to the United
States from their ancient friend. It could not fail to strengthen the
sentiments of amity and good will between the two nations which it is so
much the wish of the United States to cherish and so truly the interest
of both to maintain.

By the first section of an act of Congress passed on the 13th of July,
1832, the tonnage duty on Spanish ships arriving from the ports of Spain
was limited to the duty payable on American vessels in the ports of
Spain previous to the 20th of October, 1817, being 5 cents per ton. That
act was intended to give effect on our side to an arrangement made with
the Spanish Government by which discriminating duties of tonnage were to
be abolished in the ports of the United States and Spain on the vessels
of the two nations. Pursuant to that arrangement, which was carried into
effect on the part of Spain on the 20th of May, 1832, by a royal order
dated the 20th of April, 1832, American vessels in the ports of Spain
have paid 5 cents per ton, which rate of duty is also paid in those
ports by Spanish ships; but as American vessels pay no tonnage duty
in the ports of the United States, the duty of 5 cents payable in our
ports by Spanish vessels under the act above mentioned is really a
discriminating duty, operating to the disadvantage of Spain. Though no
complaint has yet been made on the part of Spain, we are not the less
bound by the obligations of good faith to remove the discrimination,
and I recommend that the act be amended accordingly. As the royal order
above alluded to includes the ports of the Balearic and Canary islands
as well as those of Spain, it would seem that the provisions of the act
of Congress should be equally extensive, and that for the repayment of
such duties as may have been improperly received an addition should be
made to the sum appropriated at the last session of Congress for
refunding discriminating duties.

As the arrangement referred to, however, did not embrace the islands of
Cuba and Puerto Rico, discriminating duties to the prejudice of American
shipping continue to be levied there. From the extent of the commerce
carried on between the United States and those islands, particularly the
former, this discrimination causes serious injury to one of those great
national interests which it has been considered an essential part of our
policy to cherish, and has given rise to complaints on the part of our
merchants. Under instructions given to our minister at Madrid, earnest
representations have been made by him to the Spanish Government upon
this subject, and there is reason to expect, from the friendly
disposition which is entertained toward this country, that a beneficial
change will be produced. The disadvantage, however, to which our
shipping is subjected by the operation of these discriminating duties
requires that they be met by suitable countervailing duties during your
present session, power being at the same time vested in the President
to modify or discontinue them as the discriminating duties on American
vessels or their cargoes may be modified or discontinued at those
islands. Intimations have been given to the Spanish Government that
the United States may be obliged to resort to such measures as are of
necessary self-defense, and there is no reason to apprehend that it
would be unfavorably received. The proposed proceeding if adopted
would not be permitted, however, in any degree to induce a relaxation
in the efforts of our minister to effect a repeal of this irregularity
by friendly negotiation, and it might serve to give force to his
representations by showing the dangers to which that valuable trade is
exposed by the obstructions and burdens which a system of discriminating
and countervailing duties necessarily produces.

The selection and preparation of the Florida archives for the purpose of
being delivered over to the United States, in conformity with the royal
order as mentioned in my last annual message, though in progress, has
not yet been completed. This delay has been produced partly by causes
which were unavoidable, particularly the prevalence of the cholera at
Havana; but measures have been taken which it is believed will expedite
the delivery of those important records.

Congress were informed at the opening of the last session that
"owing, as was alleged, to embarrassments in the finances of Portugal,
consequent upon the civil war in which that nation was engaged," payment
had been made of only one installment of the amount which the Portuguese
Government had stipulated to pay for indemnifying our citizens for
property illegally captured in the blockade of Terceira. Since that
time a postponement for two years, with interest, of the two remaining
installments was requested by the Portuguese Government, and as a
consideration it offered to stipulate that rice of the United States
should be admitted into Portugal at the same duties as Brazilian rice.
Being satisfied that no better arrangement could be made, my consent was
given, and a royal order of the King of Portugal was accordingly issued
on the 4th of February last for the reduction of the duty on rice of the
United States. It would give me great pleasure if in speaking of that
country, in whose prosperity the United States are so much interested,
and with whom a long-subsisting, extensive, and mutually advantageous
commercial intercourse has strengthened the relations of friendship,
I could announce to you the restoration of its internal tranquillity.

Subsequently to the commencement of the last session of Congress the
final installment payable by Denmark under the convention of the 28th
day of March, 1830, was received. The commissioners for examining the
claims have since terminated their labors, and their awards have been
paid at the Treasury as they have been called for. The justice rendered
to our citizens by that Government is thus completed, and a pledge
is thereby afforded for the maintenance of that friendly intercourse
becoming the relations that the two nations mutually bear to each other.

It is satisfactory to inform you that the Danish Government have
recently issued an ordinance by which the commerce with the island of
St. Croix is placed on a more liberal footing than heretofore. This
change can not fail to prove beneficial to the trade between the United
States and that colony, and the advantages likely to flow from it may
lead to greater relaxations in the colonial systems of other nations.

The ratifications of the convention with the King of the Two Sicilies
have been duly exchanged, and the commissioners appointed for examining
the claims under it have entered upon the duties assigned to them by
law. The friendship that the interests of the two nations require of
them being now established, it may be hoped that each will enjoy the
benefits which a liberal commerce should yield to both.

A treaty of amity and commerce between the United States and Belgium
was concluded during the last winter and received the sanction of the
Senate, but the exchange of the ratifications has been hitherto delayed,
in consequence, in the first instance, of some delay in the reception of
the treaty at Brussels, and, subsequently, of the absence of the Belgian
minister of foreign affairs at the important conferences in which his
Government is engaged at London. That treaty does but embody those
enlarged principles of friendly policy which it is sincerely hoped will
always regulate the conduct of the two nations having such strong
motives to maintain amicable relations toward each other and so
sincerely desirous to cherish them.

With all the other European powers with whom the United States have
formed diplomatic relations and with the Sublime Porte the best
understanding prevails. From all I continue to receive assurances of
good will toward the United States--assurances which it gives me no less
pleasure to reciprocate than to receive. With all, the engagements which
have been entered into are fulfilled with good faith on both sides.
Measures have also been taken to enlarge our friendly relations and
extend our commercial intercourse with other States. The system we have
pursued of aiming at no exclusive advantages, of dealing with all on
terms of fair and equal reciprocity, and of adhering scrupulously to all
our engagements is well calculated to give success to efforts intended
to be mutually beneficial.

The wars of which the southern part of this continent was so long the
theater, and which were carried on either by the mother country against
the States which had formerly been her colonies or by the States against
each other, having terminated, and their civil dissensions having so
far subsided as with; few exceptions no longer to disturb the public
tranquillity, it is earnestly hoped those States will be able to employ
themselves without interruption in perfecting their institutions,
cultivating the arts of peace, and promoting by wise councils and able
exertions the public and private prosperity which their patriotic
struggles so well entitle them to enjoy.

With those States our relations have undergone but little change during
the present year. No reunion having yet taken place between the States
which composed the Republic of Colombia, our charge d'affaires at Bogota
has been accredited to the Government of New Grenada, and we have,
therefore, no diplomatic relations with Venezuela and Equator, except
as they may be included in those heretofore formed with the Colombian

It is understood that representatives from the three States were
about to assemble at Bogota to confer on the subject of their mutual
interests, particularly that of their union, and if the result should
render it necessary, measures will be taken on our part to preserve with
each that friendship and those liberal commercial connections which it
has been the constant desire of the United States to cultivate with
their sister Republics of this hemisphere. Until the important question
of reunion shall be settled, however, the different matters which have
been under discussion between the United States and the Republic of
Colombia, or either of the States which composed it, are not likely
to be brought to a satisfactory issue.

In consequence of the illness of the charge d'affaires appointed to
Central America at the last session of Congress, he was prevented from
proceeding on his mission until the month of October. It is hoped,
however, that he is by this time at his post, and that the official
intercourse, unfortunately so long interrupted, has been thus renewed on
the part of the two nations so amicably and advantageously connected by
engagements founded on the most enlarged principles of commercial

It is gratifying to state that since my last annual message some of the
most important claims of our fellow-citizens upon the Government of
Brazil have been satisfactorily adjusted, and a reliance is placed on
the friendly dispositions manifested by it that justice will also be
done in others. No new causes of complaint have arisen, and the trade
between the two countries flourishes under the encouragement secured
to it by the liberal provisions of the treaty.

It is cause of regret that, owing, probably, to the civil dissensions
which have occupied the attention of the Mexican Government, the time
fixed by the treaty of limits with the United States for the meeting of
the commissioners to define the boundaries between the two nations has
been suffered to expire without the appointment of any commissioners on
the part of that Government. While the true boundary remains in doubt by
either party it is difficult to give effect to those measures which are
necessary to the protection and quiet of our numerous citizens residing
near that frontier. The subject is one of great solicitude to the United
States, and will not fail to receive my earnest attention.

The treaty concluded with Chili and approved by the Senate at its last
session was also ratified by the Chilian Government, but with certain
additional and explanatory articles of a nature to have required it to
be again submitted to the Senate. The time limited for the exchange of
the ratifications, however, having since expired, the action of both
Governments on the treaty will again become necessary.

The negotiations commenced with the Argentine Republic relative to
the outrages committed on our vessels engaged in the fisheries at the
Falkland Islands by persons acting under the color of its authority, as
well as the other matters in controversy between the two Governments,
have been suspended by the departure of the charge d'affaires of the
United States from Buenos Ayres. It is understood, however, that a
minister was subsequently appointed by that Government to renew the
negotiation in the United States, but though daily expected he has
not yet arrived in this country.

With Peru no treaty has yet been formed, and with Bolivia no diplomatic
intercourse has yet been established. It will be my endeavor to
encourage those sentiments of amity and that liberal commerce which
belong to the relations in which all the independent States of this
continent stand toward each other.

I deem it proper to recommend to your notice the revision of our
consular system. This has become an important branch of the public
service, inasmuch as it is intimately connected with the preservation
of our national character abroad, with the interest of our citizens in
foreign countries, with the regulation and care of our commerce, and
with the protection of our seamen. At the close of the last session of
Congress I communicated a report from the Secretary of State upon the
subject, to which I now refer, as containing information which may be
useful in any inquiries that Congress may see fit to institute with a
view to a salutary reform of the system.

It gives me great pleasure to congratulate you upon the prosperous
condition of the finances of the country, as will appear from the report
which the Secretary of the Treasury will in due time lay before you.
The receipts into the Treasury during the present year will amount to
more than $32,000,000. The revenue derived from customs will, it is
believed, be more than $28,000,000, and the public lands will yield about
$3,000,000. The expenditures within the year for all objects, including
$2,572,240.99 on account of the public debt, will not amount to
$25,000,000, and a large balance will remain in the Treasury after
satisfying all the appropriations chargeable on the revenue for the
present year.

The measures taken by the Secretary of the Treasury will probably enable
him to pay off in the course of the present year the residue of the
exchanged 4-1/2 per cent stock, redeemable on the 1st of January next.
It has therefore been included in the estimated expenditures of this
year, and forms a part of the sum above stated to have been paid on
account of the public debt. The payment of this stock will reduce the
whole debt of the United States, funded and unfunded, to the sum of
$4,760,082.08, and as provision has already been made for the 4-1/2
percents above mentioned, and charged in the expenses of the present
year, the sum last stated is all that now remains of the national debt;
and the revenue of the coming year, together with the balance now in the
Treasury, will be sufficient to discharge it, after meeting the current
expenses of the Government. Under the power given to the commissioners
of the sinking fund, it will, I have no doubt, be purchased on favorable
terms within the year.

From this view of the state of the finances and the public engagements
yet to be fulfilled you will perceive that if Providence permits me
to meet you at another session I shall have the high gratification of
announcing to you that the national debt is extinguished. I can not
refrain from expressing the pleasure I feel at the near approach of that
desirable event. The short period of time within which the public debt
will have been discharged is strong evidence of the abundant resources
of the country and of the prudence and economy with which the Government
has heretofore been administered. We have waged two wars since we became
a nation, with one of the most powerful kingdoms in the world, both of
them undertaken in defense of our dearest rights, both successfully
prosecuted and honorably terminated; and many of those who partook in
the first struggle as well as in the second will have lived to see
the last item of the debt incurred in these necessary but expensive
conflicts faithfully and honestly discharged. And we shall have the
proud satisfaction of bequeathing to the public servants who follow us
in the administration of the Government the rare blessing of a revenue
sufficiently abundant, raised without injustice or oppression to our
citizens, and unencumbered with any burdens but what they themselves
shall think proper to impose upon it.

The flourishing state of the finances ought not, however, to encourage
us to indulge in a lavish expenditure of the public treasure. The
receipts of the present year do not furnish the test by which we are to
estimate the income of the next. The changes made in our revenue system
by the acts of Congress of 1832 and 1833, and more especially by the
former, have swelled the receipts of the present year far beyond the
amount to be expected in future years upon the reduced tariff of duties.
The shortened credits on revenue bonds and the cash duties on woolens
which were introduced by the act of 1832, and took effect on the 4th of
March last, have brought large sums into the Treasury in 1833, which,
according to the credits formerly given, would not have been payable
until 1834, and would have formed a part of the income of that year.
These causes would of themselves produce a great diminution of the
receipts in the year 1834 as compared with the present one, and they
will be still more diminished by the reduced rates of duties which take
place on the 1st of January next on some of the most important and
productive articles. Upon the best estimates that can be made the
receipts of the next year, with the aid of the unappropriated amount
now in the Treasury, will not be much more than sufficient to meet the
expenses of the year and pay the small remnant of the national debt
which yet remains unsatisfied. I can not, therefore, recommend to you
any alteration in the present tariff of duties. The rate as now fixed by
law on the various articles was adopted at the last session of Congress,
as a matter of compromise, with unusual unanimity, and unless it is
found to produce more than the necessities of the Government call for
there would seem to be no reason at this time to justify a change.

But while I forbear to recommend any further reduction of the duties
beyond that already provided for by the existing laws, I must earnestly
and respectfully press upon Congress the importance of abstaining from
all appropriations which are not absolutely required for the public
interest and authorized by the powers clearly delegated to the United
States. We are beginning a new era in our Government. The national debt,
which has so long been a burden on the Treasury, will be finally
discharged in the course of the ensuing year. No more money will
afterwards be needed than what may be necessary to meet the ordinary
expenses of the Government. Now, then, is the proper moment to fix our
system of expenditure on firm and durable principles, and I can not
too strongly urge the necessity of a rigid economy and an inflexible
determination not to enlarge the income beyond the real necessities
of the Government and not to increase the wants of the Government by
unnecessary and profuse expenditures. If a contrary course should be
pursued, it may happen that the revenue of 1834 will fall short of the
demands upon it, and after reducing the tariff in order to lighten the
burdens of the people, and providing for a still further reduction to
take effect hereafter, it would be much to be deplored if at the end of
another year we should find ourselves obliged to retrace our steps and
impose additional taxes to meet unnecessary expenditures.

It is my duty on this occasion to call your attention to the
destruction of the public building occupied by the Treasury Department,
which happened since the last adjournment of Congress. A thorough
inquiry into the causes of this loss was directed and made at the time,
the result of which will be duly communicated to you. I take pleasure,
however, in stating here that by the laudable exertions of the officers
of the Department and many of the citizens of the District but few
papers were lost, and none that will materially affect the public

The public convenience requires that another building should be erected
as soon as practicable, and in providing for it it will be advisable to
enlarge in some manner the accommodations for the public officers of
the several Departments, and to authorize the erection of suitable
depositories for the safe-keeping of the public documents and records.

Since the last adjournment of Congress the Secretary of the Treasury
has directed the money of the United States to be deposited in certain
State banks designated by him, and he will immediately lay before you
his reasons for this direction. I concur with him entirely in the view
he has taken of the subject, and some months before the removal I urged
upon the Department the propriety of taking that step. The near approach
of the day on which the charter will expire, as well as the conduct
of the bank, appeared to me to call for this measure upon the high
considerations of public interest and public duty. The extent of its
misconduct, however, although known to be great, was not at that time
fully developed by proof. It was not until late in the month of August
that I received from the Government directors an official report
establishing beyond question that this great and powerful institution
had been actively engaged in attempting to influence the elections of
the public officers by means of its money, and that, in violation of
the express provisions of its charter, it had by a formal resolution
placed its funds at the disposition of its president to be employed in
sustaining the political power of the bank. A copy of this resolution is
contained in the report of the Government directors before referred to,
and however the object may be disguised by cautious language, no one can
doubt that this money was in truth intended for electioneering purposes,
and the particular uses to which it was proved to have been applied
abundantly show that it was so understood. Not only was the evidence
complete as to the past application of the money and power of the bank
to electioneering purposes, but that the resolution of the board of
directors authorized the same course to be pursued in future.

It being thus established by unquestionable proof that the Bank of the
United States was converted into a permanent electioneering engine, it
appeared to me that the path of duty which the executive department of
the Government ought to pursue was not doubtful. As by the terms of the
bank charter no officer but the Secretary of the Treasury could remove
the deposits, it seemed to me that this authority ought to be at once
exerted to deprive that great corporation of the support and countenance
of the Government in such an use of its funds and such an exertion
of its power. In this point of the case the question is distinctly
presented whether the people of the United States are to govern through
representatives chosen by their unbiased suffrages or whether the money
and power of a great corporation are to be secretly exerted to influence
their judgment and control their decisions. It must now be determined
whether the bank is to have its candidates for all offices in the
country, from the highest to the lowest, or whether candidates on both
sides of political questions shall be brought forward as heretofore and
supported by the usual means.

At this time the efforts of the bank to control public opinion,
through the distresses of some and the fears of others, are equally
apparent, and, if possible, more objectionable. By a curtailment of its
accommodations more rapid than any emergency requires, and even while
it retains specie to an almost unprecedented amount in its vaults,
it is attempting to produce great embarrassment in one portion of the
community, while through presses known to have been sustained by its
money it attempts by unfounded alarms to create a panic in all.

These are the means by which it seems to expect that it can force a
restoration of the deposits, and as a necessary consequence extort from
Congress a renewal of its charter. I am happy to know that through the
good sense of our people the effort to get up a panic has hitherto
failed, and that through the increased accommodations which the State
banks have been enabled to afford, no public distress has followed the
exertions of the bank, and it can not be doubted that the exercise of
its power and the expenditure of its money, as well as its efforts to
spread groundless alarm, will be met and rebuked as they deserve. In my
own sphere of duty I should feel myself called on by the facts disclosed
to order a _scire facias_ against the bank, with a view to put an end to
the chartered rights it has so palpably violated, were it not that the
charter itself will expire as soon as a decision would probably be
obtained from the court of last resort.

I called the attention of Congress to this subject in my last annual
message, and informed them that such measures as were within the reach
of the Secretary of the Treasury had been taken to enable him to judge
whether the public deposits in the Bank of the United States were
entirely safe; but that as his single powers might be inadequate to the
object, I recommended the subject to Congress as worthy of their serious
investigation, declaring it as my opinion that an inquiry into the
transactions of that institution, embracing the branches as well as the
principal bank, was called for by the credit which was given throughout
the country to many serious charges impeaching their character, and
which, if true, might justly excite the apprehension that they were no
longer a safe depository for the public money. The extent to which the
examination thus recommended was gone into is spread upon your journals,
and is too well known to require to be stated. Such as was made resulted
in a report from a majority of the Committee of Ways and Means touching
certain specified points only, concluding with a resolution that the
Government deposits might safely be continued in the Bank of the United
States. This resolution was adopted at the close of the session by the
vote of a majority of the House of Representatives.

Although I may not always be able to concur in the views of the
public interest or the duties of its agents which may be taken by the
other departments of the Government or either of its branches, I am,
notwithstanding, wholly incapable of receiving otherwise than with the
most sincere respect all opinions or suggestions proceeding from such a
source, and in respect to none am I more inclined to do so than to the
House of Representatives. But it will be seen from the brief views at
this time taken of the subject by myself, as well as the more ample ones
presented by the Secretary of the Treasury, that the change in the
deposits which has been ordered has been deemed to be called for by
considerations which are not affected by the proceedings referred to,
and which, if correctly viewed by that Department, rendered its act
a matter of imperious duty.

Coming as you do, for the most part, immediately from the people and the
States by election, and possessing the fullest opportunity to know their
sentiments, the present Congress will be sincerely solicitous to carry
into full and fair effect the will of their constituents in regard to
this institution. It will be for those in whose behalf we all act to
decide whether the executive department of the Government, in the steps
which it has taken on this subject, has been found in the line of its

The accompanying report of the Secretary of War, with the documents
annexed to it, exhibits the operations of the War Department for the
past year and the condition of the various subjects intrusted to its

It will be seen from them that the Army maintains the character it has
heretofore acquired for efficiency and military knowledge. Nothing has
occurred since your last session to require its services beyond the
ordinary routine of duties which upon the seaboard and the inland
frontier devolve upon it in a time of peace. The system so wisely
adopted and so long pursued of constructing fortifications at exposed
points and of preparing and collecting the supplies necessary for the
military defense of the country, and thus providently furnishing in
peace the means of defense in war, has been continued with the usual
results. I recommend to your consideration the various subjects
suggested in the report of the Secretary of War. Their adoption would
promote the public service and meliorate the condition of the Army.

Our relations with the various Indian tribes have been undisturbed
since the termination of the difficulties growing out of the hostile
aggressions of the Sac and Fox Indians. Several treaties have been
formed for the relinquishment of territory to the United States and
for the migration of the occupants of the region assigned for their
residence west of the Mississippi. Should these treaties be ratified by
the Senate, provision will have been made for the removal of almost all
the tribes now remaining east of that river and for the termination of
many difficult and embarrassing questions arising out of their anomalous
political condition. It is to be hoped that those portions of two of the
Southern tribes, which in that event will present the only remaining
difficulties, will realize the necessity of emigration, and will
speedily resort to it. My original convictions upon this subject have
been confirmed by the course of events for several years, and experience
is every day adding to their strength.

That those tribes can not exist surrounded by our settlements and in
continual contact with our citizens is certain. They have neither
the intelligence, the industry, the moral habits, nor the desire of
improvement which are essential to any favorable change in their
condition. Established in the midst of another and a superior race,
and without appreciating the causes of their inferiority or seeking to
control them, they must necessarily yield to the force of circumstances
and ere long disappear. Such has been their fate heretofore, and if it
is to be averted--and it is--it can only be done by a general removal
beyond our boundary and by the reorganization of their political system
upon principles adapted to the new relations in which they will be
placed. The experiment which has been recently made has so far proved
successful. The emigrants generally are represented to be prosperous
and contented, the country suitable to their wants and habits, and the
essential articles of subsistence easily procured. When the report
of the commissioners now engaged in investigating the condition and
prospects of these Indians and in devising a plan for their intercourse
and government is received, I trust ample means of information will
be in possession of the Government for adjusting all the unsettled
questions connected with this interesting subject.

The operations of the Navy during the year and its present condition are
fully exhibited in the annual report from the Navy Department.

Suggestions are made by the Secretary of various improvements, which
deserve careful consideration, and most of which, if adopted, bid fair
to promote the efficiency of this important branch of the public
service. Among these are the new organization of the Navy Board, the
revision of the pay to officers, and a change in the period of time or
in the manner of making the annual appropriations, to which I beg leave
to call your particular attention.

The views which are presented on almost every portion of our naval
concerns, and especially on the amount of force and the number of
officers, and the general course of policy appropriate in the present
state of our country for securing the great and useful purposes of naval
protection in peace and due preparation for the contingencies of war,
meet with my entire approbation.

It will be perceived from the report referred to that the fiscal
concerns of the establishment are in an excellent condition, and it is
hoped that Congress may feel disposed to make promptly every suitable
provision desired either for preserving or improving the system.

The general Post-Office Department has continued, upon the strength of
its own resources, to facilitate the means of communication between
the various portions of the Union with increased activity. The method,
however, in which the accounts of the transportation of the mail have
always been kept appears to have presented an imperfect view of its
expenses. It has recently been discovered that from the earliest records
of the Department the annual statements have been calculated to exhibit
an amount considerably short of the actual expense incurred for that
service. These illusory statements, together with the expense of
carrying into effect the law of the last session of Congress
establishing new mail routes, and a disposition on the part of the head
of the Department to gratify the wishes of the public in the extension
of mail facilities, have induced him to incur responsibilities for their
improvement beyond what the current resources of the Department would
sustain. As soon as he had discovered the imperfection of the method he
caused an investigation to be made of its results and applied the proper
remedy to correct the evil. It became necessary for him to withdraw some
of the improvements which he had made to bring the expenses of the
Department within its own resources. These expenses were incurred for
the public good, and the public have enjoyed their benefit. They are now
but partially suspended, and that where they may be discontinued with
the least inconvenience to the country.

The progressive increase in the income from postages has equaled the
highest expectations, and it affords demonstrative evidence of the
growing importance and great utility of this Department. The details
are exhibited in the accompanying report of the Postmaster-General.

The many distressing accidents which have of late occurred in that
portion of our navigation carried on by the use of steam power deserve
the immediate and unremitting attention of the constituted authorities
of the country. The fact that the number of those fatal disasters is
constantly increasing, notwithstanding the great improvements which are
everywhere made in the machinery employed and in the rapid advances
which have been made in that branch of science, shows very clearly that
they are in a great degree the result of criminal negligence on the
part of those by whom the vessels are navigated and to whose care and
attention the lives and property of our citizens are so extensively

That these evils may be greatly lessened, if not substantially removed,
by means of precautionary and penal legislation seems to be highly
probable. So far, therefore, as the subject can be regarded as within
the constitutional purview of Congress I earnestly recommend it to your
prompt and serious consideration.

I would also call your attention to the views I have heretofore
expressed of the propriety of amending the Constitution in relation to
the mode of electing the President and the Vice-President of the United
States. Regarding it as all important to the future quiet and harmony
of the people that every intermediate agency in the election of these
officers should be removed and that their eligibility should be limited
to one term of either four or six years, I can not too earnestly invite
your consideration of the subject.

Trusting that your deliberations on all the topics of general
interest to which I have adverted, and such others as your more
extensive knowledge of the wants of our beloved country may suggest,
may be crowned with success, I tender you in conclusion the cooperation
which it may be in my power to afford them.



WASHINGTON, _December 5, 1833_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate at its last session,
requesting the President "to cause to be prepared and laid before the
Senate at the commencement of its next session a plan for equalizing the
pay of the officers in the Army and Navy according to their relative
rank, and providing a stated salary or fixed compensation for their
services in lieu of present allowances," I submit herewith a report from
the Secretaries of the War and Navy Departments, to whom the subject was
referred. It is believed the plan they have presented meets
substantially the objects of the resolution.


WASHINGTON, _December 6, 1833_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith to the House of Representatives a communication from
the War Department, showing the circumstances under which the sum of
$5,000, appropriated for subsistence of the Army, was transferred to the
service of the medical and hospital department, and which, by the law
authorizing the transfer, are required to be laid before Congress during
the first week of their session.


WASHINGTON, _December 6, 1833_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith, for the information of the House, the report of the
survey made in pursuance of the fourth section of the act of Congress of
the 4th July, 1832, authorizing the survey of canal routes in the
Territory of Florida.


WASHINGTON, _December 11, 1833_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of the Treasury,
exhibiting certain transfers of appropriations that have been made in
that Department in pursuance of the power vested in the President by the
first section of the act of Congress of the 3d March, 1809, entitled
"An act further to amend the several acts for the establishment and
regulation of the Treasury, War, and Navy Departments."


WASHINGTON, _December 12, 1833_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I have attentively considered the resolution of the Senate of the 11th
instant, requesting the President of the United States to communicate
to the Senate "a copy of the paper which has been published, and which
purports to have been read by him to the heads of the Executive
Departments, dated the 18th day of September last, relating to the
removal of the deposits of the public money from the Bank of the United
States and its offices."

The executive is a coordinate and independent branch of the Government
equally with the Senate, and I have yet to learn under what
constitutional authority that branch of the Legislature has a right to
require of me an account of any communication, either verbally or in
writing, made to the heads of Departments acting as a Cabinet council.
As well might I be required to detail to the Senate the free and private
conversations I have held with those officers on any subject relating to
their duties and my own.

Feeling my responsibility to the American people, I am willing upon all
occasions to explain to them the grounds of my conduct, and I am willing
upon all proper occasions to give to either branch of the Legislature
any information in my possession that can be useful in the execution of
the appropriate duties confided to them.

Knowing the constitutional rights of the Senate, I shall be the last man
under any circumstances to interfere with them. Knowing those of the
Executive, I shall at all times endeavor to maintain them agreeably to
the provisions of the Constitution and the solemn oath I have taken to
support and defend it.

I am constrained, therefore, by a proper sense of my own self-respect
and of the rights secured by the Constitution to the executive branch of
the Government to decline a compliance with your request.


WASHINGTON, _December 23, 1833_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

The rules and regulations herewith submitted have been prepared by a
board of officers in conformity with an act passed May 19, 1832.[1]

They are approved by me, and in pursuance of the provisions of said act
are now communicated to the House of Representatives for the purpose of
obtaining to them the sanction of Congress.


[Footnote 1: An act authorizing the revision and extension of the rules
and regulations of the naval service.]

WASHINGTON, _December 24, 1833_.

_To the Senate_:

I transmit herewith, for the consideration of the Senate as to the
ratification thereof, the following Indian treaties that have been
received since the adjournment of the last session of Congress, viz:

No. 1. Treaty with the Seminole Indians, made May 9, 1832.

No. 2. Treaty with the Cherokees west of the Mississippi, made
14th February, 1833.

No. 3. Treaty with the Creeks west of the Mississippi, made 14th
February, 1833.

No. 4. Assignment to the Seminoles of a tract of land for their
residence west of the Mississippi, made 28th March, 1833.

No. 5. Agreement with the Apalachiccla band of Indians, made 18th
June, 1833.

No. 6. Treaty with the united bands of Ottoes and Missourians, made
21st September, 1833.

No. 7. Treaty with the four confederated bands of Pawnees residing
on the Platt and Loup Fork, made 9th October, 1833.


WASHINGTON, _January 6, 1834_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I communicate to Congress an extract of a letter recently received from
R.J. Leib, consul of the United States at Tangier, by which it appears
that that officer has been induced to receive from the Emperor of
Morocco a present of a lion and two horses, which he holds as belonging
to the United States. There being no funds at the disposal of the
Executive applicable to the objects stated by Mr. Leib, I submit the
whole subject to the consideration of Congress for such direction as
in their wisdom may seem proper.

I have directed instructions to be given to all our ministers and agents
abroad requiring that in future, unless previously authorized by
Congress, they will not under any circumstances accept presents of any
description from any foreign state.

I deem it proper on this occasion to invite the attention of Congress
to the presents which have heretofore been made to our public officers,
and which have been deposited under the orders of the Government in
the Department of State. These articles are altogether useless to the
Government, and the care and preservation of them in the Department
of State are attended with considerably inconvenience.

The provision of the Constitution which forbids any officer, without the
consent of Congress, to accept any present from any foreign power may be
considered as having been satisfied by the surrender of the articles to
the Government, and they might now be disposed of by Congress to those
for whom they were originally intended, or to their heirs, with obvious
propriety in both cases, and in the latter would be received as grateful
memorials of the surrender of the present.

As under the positive order now given similar presents can not hereafter
be received, even for the purpose of being placed at the disposal of the
Government, I recommend to Congress to authorize by law that the
articles already in the Department of State shall be delivered to the
persons to whom they were originally presented, if living, and to the
heirs of such as may have died.


WASHINGTON, _January 7, 1834_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In compliance with the resolution requesting the President of the United
States to lay before the House "a copy of any contract which may have
been made for the construction of a bridge across the Potomac opposite
to the city of Washington, together with the authority under which such
contract may have been made, the names of the contractors and their
securities, if any, and the plan and estimate of the cost of such a
bridge," I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of the
Treasury, to whom the resolution was referred, containing all the
information upon the subject which he is now able to communicate.


WASHINGTON, _January 9, 1834_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for their constitutional action, a treaty
concluded between the commissioners on the part of the United States and
the united nation of Chippewas, Ottawas, and Potawatamies, at Chicago,
on the 26th of September, 1833, to the cession of certain lands in the
State of Illinois and Territory of Michigan.

I transmit also sundry documents relating thereto that I think proper
should be laid before the Senate.

I understand the country ceded by this treaty is considered a valuable
one and its acquisition important to that section of the Union. Under
these circumstances, as the objection to a ratification applies to
those stipulations in the third article which provide that $100,000 and
$150,000 shall be granted in satisfaction of claims to reservations and
for debts due from the Indians to individuals, I recommend that the
treaty be ratified, with the condition that an agent be appointed to
proceed to Chicago investigate the justice of these claims. If they are
all well founded and have been assented to by the Indians with a full
knowledge of the circumstances, a proper investigation of them will do
the claimants no injury, but will place the matter beyond suspicion. If,
on the other hand, they are unjust and have not been fully understood by
the Indians, the fraud will in that event vitiate them, and they ought
not to be paid. To the United States, in a mere pecuniary point of view,
it is of no importance to whom the money provided by this treaty is
paid. They stipulate to pay a given amount, and that amount they must
pay, but the consideration is yielded by the Indians, and they are
entitled to its value. Whatever is granted in claims must be withheld
from them, and if not so granted it becomes theirs. Considering the
relations in which the Indians stand to the United States, it appears
to me just to exercise their supervisory authority. It has been done in
more than one instance, and as its object in this case is to ascertain
whether any fraud exists, and if there does to correct it, I consider
such a ratification within the proper scope of the treaty-making power.


WASHINGTON, _January 22, 1834_.

_To the Senate_:

I transmit to the Senate a report[2] from the Secretary of State,
containing the information requested by their resolution of the 9th
instant, with the documents which accompany that report.


[Footnote 2: Relating to presents from foreign governments to officers
of the United States.]

WASHINGTON, _January 25, 1834_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I transmit herewith to the House of Representatives a letter from the
Secretary of State, together with the accompanying papers, relating to
a claim preferred to that Department, through the British legation at
Washington, for indemnification for losses alleged to have been
sustained by the owners of the ship _Francis and Eliza_, libeled at New
Orleans in 1819, and condemned and sold by the sentence and decree of
the district court of the United States for the district of Louisiana,
but afterwards restored upon an appeal to the Supreme Court of the
United States, that such legislative provision may be made by Congress
in behalf of those interested as shall appear just and proper in the


FEBRUARY 4, 1834.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I deem it my duty to communicate to Congress the recent conduct of the
Bank of the United States in refusing to deliver the books, papers, and
funds in its possession relating to the execution of the act of Congress
of June 7, 1832, entitled "An act supplementary to the 'Act for the
relief of certain surviving officers and soldiers of the Revolution.'"
The correspondence reported by the Secretary of War, and herewith
transmitted, will show the grounds assumed by the bank to justify its
refusal to make the transfer directed by the War Department. It does not
profess to claim the privilege of this agency as a right secured to it
by contract, nor as a benefit conferred by the Government, but as a
burden, from which it is willing to be relieved. It places its refusal
upon the extraordinary ground that the corporation has a right to sit in
judgment upon the legality of the acts of the constituted authorities in
a matter in which the stockholders are admitted to have no interest, and
it impedes and defeats, as far as its power will permit, the execution
of a measure of the Administration, because the opinion of the
corporation upon the construction of an act of Congress differs from
that of the proper officers of the United States.

The claim of this corporation thus to usurp the functions of the
judicial power and to prescribe to the executive department the manner
in which it shall execute the trust confided to it by law is without

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