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

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right and public liberty against the abuses of injustice and the
encroachments of arbitrary power. But the framers of the Constitution
were also undoubtedly aware that this formidable instrument had been and
might be abused, and that from its very nature an impeachment for high
crimes and misdemeanors, whatever might be its result, would in most
cases be accompanied by so much of dishonor and reproach, solicitude and
suffering, as to make the power of preferring it one of the highest
solemnity and importance. It was due to both these considerations that
the impeaching power should be lodged in the hands of those who from
the mode of their election and the tenure of their offices would most
accurately express the popular will and at the same time be most
directly and speedily amenable to the people. The theory of these wise
and benignant intentions is in the present case effectually defeated by
the proceedings of the Senate. The members of that body represent not
the people, but the States; and though they are undoubtedly responsible
to the States, yet from their extended term of service the effect of
that responsibility during the whole period of that term must very much
depend upon their own impressions of its obligatory force. When a body
thus constituted expresses beforehand its opinion in a particular case,
and thus indirectly invites a prosecution, it not only assumes a power
intended for wise reasons to be confined to others, but it shields the
latter from that exclusive and personal responsibility under which it
was intended to be exercised, and reverses the whole scheme of this
part of the Constitution.

Such would be some of the objections to this procedure, even if it were
admitted that there is just ground for imputing to the President the
offenses charged in the resolution. But if, on the other hand, the House
of Representatives shall be of opinion that there is no reason for
charging them upon him, and shall therefore deem it improper to prefer
an impeachment, then will the violation of privilege as it respects that
House, of justice as it regards the President, and of the Constitution
as it relates to both be only the more conspicuous and impressive.

The constitutional mode of procedure on an impeachment has not only been
wholly disregarded, but some of the first principles of natural right
and enlightened jurisprudence have been violated in the very form of the
resolution. It carefully abstains from averring in _which_ of "the late
proceedings in relation to the public revenue the President has assumed
upon himself authority and power not conferred by the Constitution and
laws," It carefully abstains from specifying _what laws_ or _what parts_
of the Constitution have been violated. Why was not the certainty of the
offense--"the nature and cause of the accusation"--set out in the manner
required in the Constitution before even the humblest individual, for
the smallest crime, can be exposed to condemnation? Such a specification
was due to the accused that he might direct his defense to the real
points of attack, to the people that they might clearly understand in
what particulars their institutions had been violated, and to the truth
and certainty of our public annals. As the record now stands, whilst
the resolution plainly charges upon the President at least one act of
usurpation in "the late Executive proceedings in relation to the public
revenue," and is so framed that those Senators who believed that one
such act, and only one, had been committed could assent to it, its
language is yet broad enough to include several such acts, and so it
may have been regarded by some of those who voted for it. But though
the accusation is thus comprehensive in the censures it implies, there
is no such certainty of time, place, or circumstance as to exhibit the
particular conclusion of fact or law which induced any one Senator to
vote for it; and it may well have happened that whilst one Senator
believed that some particular act embraced in the resolution was an
arbitrary and unconstitutional assumption of power, others of the
majority may have deemed that very act both constitutional and
expedient, or, if not expedient, yet still within the pale of the
Constitution; and thus a majority of the Senators may have been enabled
to concur in a vague and undefined accusation that the President, in
the course of "the late Executive proceedings in relation to the public
revenue," had violated the Constitution and laws, whilst if a separate
vote had been taken in respect to each particular act included within
the general terms the accusers of the President might on any such vote
have been found in the minority.

Still further to exemplify this feature of the proceeding, it is
important to be remarked that the resolution as originally offered
to the Senate specified with adequate precision certain acts of the
President which it denounced as a violation of the Constitution and
laws, and that it was not until the very close of the debate, and
when perhaps it was apprehended that a majority might not sustain the
specific accusation contained in it, that the resolution was so modified
as to assume its present form. A more striking illustration of the
soundness and necessity of the rules which forbid vague and indefinite
generalities and require a reasonable certainty in all judicial
allegations, and a more glaring instance of the violation of those
rules, has seldom been exhibited.

In this view of the resolution it must certainly be regarded not as a
vindication of any particular provision of the law or the Constitution,
but simply as an official rebuke or condemnatory sentence, too general
and indefinite to be easily repelled, but yet sufficiently precise to
bring into discredit the conduct and motives of the Executive. But
whatever it may have been intended to accomplish, it is obvious that
the vague, general, and abstract form of the resolution is in perfect
keeping with those other departures from first principles and settled
improvements in jurisprudence so properly the boast of free countries
in modern times. And it is not too much to say of the whole of these
proceedings that if they shall be approved and sustained by an
intelligent people, then will that great contest with arbitrary power
which had established in statutes, in bills of rights, in sacred
charters, and in constitutions of government the right of every citizen
to a notice before trial, to a hearing before conviction, and to an
impartial tribunal for deciding on the charge have been waged in vain.

If the resolution had been left in its original form it is not to be
presumed that it could ever have received the assent of a majority
of the Senate, for the acts therein specified as violations of the
Constitution and laws were clearly within the limits of the Executive
authority. They are the "dismissing the late Secretary of the Treasury
because he would not, contrary to his sense of his own duty, remove the
money of the United States in deposit with the Bank of the United States
and its branches in conformity with the President's opinion, and
appointing his successor to effect such removal, which has been done."
But as no other specification has been substituted, and as these were
the "Executive proceedings in relation to the public revenue"
principally referred to in the course of the discussion, they will
doubtless be generally regarded as the acts intended to be denounced as
"an assumption of authority and power not conferred by the Constitution
or laws, but in derogation of both." It is therefore due to the occasion
that a condensed summary of the views of the Executive in respect to
them should be here exhibited.

By the Constitution "the executive power is vested in a President
of the United States." Among the duties imposed upon him, and which he
is sworn to perform, is that of "taking care that the laws be faithfully
executed." Being thus made responsible for the entire action of the
executive department, it was but reasonable that the power of
appointing, overseeing, and controlling those who execute the laws--a
power in its nature executive--should remain in his hands. It is
therefore not only his right, but the Constitution makes it his duty,
to "nominate and, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate,
appoint" all "officers of the United States whose appointments are not
in the Constitution otherwise provided for," with a proviso that the
appointment of inferior officers may be vested in the President alone,
in the courts of justice, or in the heads of Departments.

The executive power vested in the Senate is neither that of "nominating"
nor "appointing." It is merely a check upon the Executive power of
appointment. If individuals are proposed for appointment by the
President by them deemed incompetent or unworthy, they may withhold
their consent and the appointment can not be made. They check the
action of the Executive, but can not in relation to those very subjects
act themselves nor direct him. Selections are still made by the
President, and the negative given to the Senate, without diminishing his
responsibility, furnishes an additional guaranty to the country that the
subordinate executive as well as the judicial offices shall be filled
with worthy and competent men.

The whole executive power being vested in the President, who is
responsible for its exercise, it is a necessary consequence that he
should have a right to employ agents of his own choice to aid him in the
performance of his duties, and to discharge them when he is no longer
willing to be responsible for their acts. In strict accordance with this
principle, the power of removal, which, like that of appointment, is
an original executive power, is left unchecked by the Constitution in
relation to all executive officers, for whose conduct the President
is responsible, while it is taken from him in relation to judicial
officers, for whose acts he is not responsible. In the Government from
which many of the fundamental principles of our system are derived the
head of the executive department originally had power to appoint and
remove at will all officers, executive and judicial. It was to take
the judges out of this general power of removal, and thus make them
independent of the Executive, that the tenure of their offices was
changed to good behavior. Nor is it conceivable why they are placed in
our Constitution upon a tenure different from that of all other officers
appointed by the Executive unless it be for the same purpose.

But if there were any just ground for doubt on the face of the
Constitution whether all executive officers are removable at the will of
the President, it is obviated by the cotemporaneous construction of the
instrument and the uniform practice under it.

The power of removal was a topic of solemn debate in the Congress of
1789 while organizing the administrative departments of the Government,
and it was finally decided that the President derived from the
Constitution the power of removal so far as it regards that department
for whose acts he is responsible. Although the debate covered the whole
ground, embracing the Treasury as well as all the other Executive
Departments, it arose on a motion to strike out of the bill to establish
a Department of Foreign Affairs, since called the Department of State,
a clause declaring the Secretary "to be removable from office by the
President of the United States." After that motion had been decided in
the negative it was perceived that these words did not convey the sense
of the House of Representatives in relation to the true source of
the power of removal. With the avowed object of preventing any future
inference that this power was exercised by the President in virtue of
a grant from Congress, when in fact that body considered it as derived
from the Constitution, the words which had been the subject of debate
were struck out, and in lieu thereof a clause was inserted in a
provision concerning the chief clerk of the Department, which declared
that "whenever the said principal officer shall be removed from office
by the President of the United States, or in any other case of vacancy,"
the chief clerk should during such vacancy have charge of the papers
of the office. This change having been made for the express purpose of
declaring the sense of Congress that the President derived the power
of removal from the Constitution, the act as it passed has always been
considered as a full expression of the sense of the legislature on this
important part of the American Constitution.

Here, then, we have the concurrent authority of President Washington, of
the Senate, and the House of Representatives, numbers of whom had taken
an active part in the convention which framed the Constitution and in
the State conventions which adopted it, that the President derived an
unqualified power of removal from that instrument itself, which is
"beyond the reach of legislative authority." Upon this principle the
Government has now been steadily administered for about forty-five
years, during which there have been numerous removals made by the
President or by his direction, embracing every grade of executive
officers from the heads of Departments to the messengers of bureaus.

The Treasury Department in the discussions of 1789 was considered on
the same footing as the other Executive Departments, and in the act
establishing it were incorporated the precise words indicative of the
sense of Congress that the President derives his power to remove the
Secretary from the Constitution, which appear in the act establishing
the Department of Foreign Affairs. An Assistant Secretary of the
Treasury was created, and it was provided that he should take charge of
the books and papers of the Department "whenever the Secretary shall
be removed from office by the President of the United States." The
Secretary of the Treasury being appointed by the President, and being
considered as constitutionally removable by him, it appears never to
have occurred to anyone in the Congress of 1789, or since until very
recently, that he was other than an executive officer, the mere
instrument of the Chief Magistrate in the execution of the laws,
subject, like all other heads of Departments, to his supervision and
control. No such idea as an officer of the Congress can be found in the
Constitution or appears to have suggested itself to those who organized
the Government. There are officers of each House the appointment of
which is authorized by the Constitution, but all officers referred to in
that instrument as coming within the appointing power of the President,
whether established thereby or created by law, are "officers of the
United States." No joint power of appointment is given to the two Houses
of Congress, nor is there any accountability to them as one body; but
as soon as any office is created by law, of whatever name or character,
the appointment of the person or persons to fill it devolves by the
Constitution upon the President, with the advice and consent of the
Senate, unless it be an inferior office, and the appointment be vested
by the law itself "in the President alone, in the courts of law, or in
the heads of Departments."

But at the time of the organization of the Treasury Department an
incident occurred which distinctly evinces the unanimous concurrence
of the First Congress in the principle that the Treasury Department is
wholly executive in its character and responsibilities. A motion was
made to strike out the provision of the bill making it the duty of the
Secretary "to digest and report plans for the improvement and management
of the revenue and for the support of public credit," on the ground
that it would give the executive department of the Government too much
influence and power in Congress. The motion was not opposed on the
ground that the Secretary was the officer of Congress and responsible
to that body, which would have been conclusive if admitted, but on other
ground, which conceded his executive character throughout. The whole
discussion evinces an unanimous concurrence in the principle that the
Secretary of the Treasury is wholly an executive officer, and the
struggle of the minority was to restrict his power as such. From that
time down to the present the Secretary of the Treasury, the Treasurer,
Register, Comptrollers, Auditors, and clerks who fill the offices of
that Department have in the practice of the Government been considered
and treated as on the same footing with corresponding grades of officers
in all the other Executive Departments.

The custody of the public property, under such regulations as may be
prescribed by legislative authority, has always been considered an
appropriate function of the executive department in this and all other
Governments. In accordance with this principle, every species of
property belonging to the United States (excepting that which is in the
use of the several coordinate departments of the Government as means
to aid them in performing their appropriate functions) is in charge of
officers appointed by the President, whether it be lands, or buildings,
or merchandise, or provisions, or clothing, or arms and munitions of
war. The superintendents and keepers of the whole are appointed by the
President, responsible to him, and removable at his will.

Public money is but a species of public property. It can not be raised
by taxation or customs, nor brought into the Treasury in any other way
except by law; but whenever or howsoever obtained, its custody always
has been and always must be, unless the Constitution be changed,
intrusted to the executive department. No officer can be created by
Congress for the purpose of taking charge of it whose appointment would
not by the Constitution at once devolve on the President and who would
not be responsible to him for the faithful performance of his duties.
The legislative power may undoubtedly bind him and the President by any
laws they may think proper to enact; they may prescribe in what place
particular portions of the public property shall be kept and for what
reason it shall be removed, as they may direct that supplies for the
Army or Navy shall be kept in particular stores, and it will be the duty
of the President to see that the law is faithfully executed; yet will
the custody remain in the executive department of the Government. Were
the Congress to assume, with or without a legislative act, the power of
appointing officers, independently of the President, to take the charge
and custody of the public property contained in the military and naval
arsenals, magazines, and storehouses, it is believed that such an act
would be regarded by all as a palpable usurpation of executive power,
subversive of the form as well as the fundamental principles of our
Government. But where is the difference in principle whether the public
property be in the form of arms, munitions of war, and supplies or in
gold and silver or bank notes? None can be perceived; none is believed
to exist. Congress can not, therefore, take out of the hands of the
executive department the custody of the public property or money without
an assumption of executive power and a subversion of the first
principles of the Constitution.

The Congress of the United States have never passed an act imperatively
directing that the public moneys shall be kept in any particular place
or places. From the origin of the Government to the year 1816 the
statute book was wholly silent on the subject. In 1789 a Treasurer was
created, subordinate to the Secretary of the Treasury, and through him
to the President. He was required to give bond safely to keep and
faithfully to disburse the public moneys, without any direction as to
the manner or places in which they should be kept. By reference to the
practice of the Government it is found that from its first organization
the Secretary of the Treasury, acting under the supervision of the
President, designated the places in which the public moneys should be
kept, and especially directed all transfers from place to place. This
practice was continued, with the silent acquiescence of Congress, from
1789 down to 1816, and although many banks were selected and discharged,
and although a portion of the moneys were first placed in the State
banks, and then in the former Bank of the United States, and upon the
dissolution of that were again transferred to the State banks, no
legislation was thought necessary by Congress, and all the operations
were originated and perfected by Executive authority. The Secretary of
the Treasury, responsible to the President, and with his approbation,
made contracts and arrangements in relation to the whole subject-matter,
which was thus entirely committed to the direction of the President
under his responsibilities to the American people and to those who were
authorized to impeach and punish him for any breach of this important

The act of 1816 establishing the Bank of the United States directed the
deposits of public money to be made in that bank and its branches in
places in which the said bank and branches thereof may be established,
"unless the Secretary of the Treasury should otherwise order and
direct," in which event he was required to give his reasons to Congress.
This was but a continuation of his preexisting power as the head of an
Executive Department to direct where the deposits should be made, with
the superadded obligation of giving his reasons to Congress for making
them elsewhere than in the Bank of the United States and its branches.
It is not to be considered that this provision in any degree altered the
relation between the Secretary of the Treasury and the President as the
responsible head of the executive department, or released the latter
from his constitutional obligation to "take care that the laws be
faithfully executed." On the contrary, it increased his responsibilities
by adding another to the long list of laws which it was his duty to
carry into effect.

It would be an extraordinary result if because the person charged by
law with a public duty is one of his Secretaries it were less the duty
of the President to see that law faithfully executed than other laws
enjoining duties upon subordinate officers or private citizens. If there
be any difference, it would seem that the obligation is the stronger in
relation to the former, because the neglect is in his presence and the
remedy at hand.

It can not be doubted that it was the legal duty of the Secretary of the
Treasury to order and direct the deposits of the public money to be made
elsewhere than in the Bank of the United States _whenever sufficient
reasons existed for making the change_. If in such a case he neglected
or refused to act, he would neglect or refuse to execute the law.
What would be the sworn duty of the President? Could he say that the
Constitution did not bind him to see the law faithfully executed because
it was one of his Secretaries and not himself upon whom the service was
specially imposed? Might he not be asked whether there was any such
limitation to his obligations prescribed in the Constitution? Whether he
is not equally bound to take care that the laws be faithfully executed,
whether they impose duties on the highest officer of State or the lowest
subordinate in any of the Departments? Might he not be told that it was
for the sole purpose of causing all executive officers, from the highest
to the lowest, faithfully to perform the services required of them by
law that the people of the United States have made him their Chief
Magistrate and the Constitution has clothed him with the entire
executive power of this Government? The principles implied in these
questions appear too plain to need elucidation.

But here also we have a cotemporaneous construction of the act which
shows that it was not understood as in any way changing the relations
between the President and Secretary of the Treasury, or as placing the
latter out of Executive control even in relation to the deposits of the
public money. Nor on that point are we left to any equivocal testimony.
The documents of the Treasury Department show that the Secretary of the
Treasury did apply to the President and obtained his approbation and
sanction to the original transfer of the public deposits to the present
Bank of the United States, and did carry the measure into effect in
obedience to his decision. They also show that transfers of the public
deposits from the branches of the Bank of the United States to State
banks at Chillicothe, Cincinnati, and Louisville, in 1819, were made
with the approbation of the President and by his authority. They show
that upon all important questions appertaining to his Department,
whether they related to the public deposits or other matters, it was
the constant practice of the Secretary of the Treasury to obtain for
his acts the approval and sanction of the President. These acts and the
principles on which they were founded were known to all the departments
of the Government, to Congress and the country, and until very recently
appear never to have been called in question.

Thus was it settled by the Constitution, the laws, and the whole
practice of the Government that the entire executive power is vested
in the President of the United States; that as incident to that power
the right of appointing and removing those officers who are to aid
him in the execution of the laws, with such restrictions only as the
Constitution prescribes, is vested in the President; that the Secretary
of the Treasury is one of those officers; that the custody of the public
property and money is an Executive function which, in relation to the
money, has always been exercised through the Secretary of the Treasury
and his subordinates; that in the performance of these duties he is
subject to the supervision and control of the President, and in all
important measures having relation to them consults the Chief Magistrate
and obtains his approval and sanction; that the law establishing the
bank did not, as it could not, change the relation between the President
and the Secretary--did not release the former from his obligation to
see the law faithfully executed nor the latter from the President's
supervision and control; that afterwards and before the Secretary did
in fact consult and obtain the sanction of the President to transfers
and removals of the public deposits, and that all departments of the
Government, and the nation itself, approved or acquiesced in these acts
and principles as in strict conformity with our Constitution and laws.

During the last year the approaching termination, according to the
provisions of its charter and the solemn decision of the American
people, of the Bank of the United States made it expedient, and its
exposed abuses and corruptions made it, in my opinion, the duty of the
Secretary of the Treasury, to place the moneys of the United States in
other depositories. The Secretary did not concur in that opinion, and
declined giving the necessary order and direction. So glaring were the
abuses and corruptions of the bank, so evident its fixed purpose to
persevere in them, and so palpable its design by its money and power to
control the Government and change its character, that I deemed it the
imperative duty of the Executive authority, by the exertion of every
power confided to it by the Constitution and laws, to check its career
and lessen its ability to do mischief, even in the painful alternative
of dismissing the head of one of the Departments. At the time the
removal was made other causes sufficient to justify it existed, but
if they had not the Secretary would have been dismissed for this
cause only.

His place I supplied by one whose opinions were well known to me,
and whose frank expression of them in another situation and generous
sacrifices of interest and feeling when unexpectedly called to the
station he now occupies ought forever to have shielded his motives from
Suspicion and his character from reproach. In accordance with the views
long before expressed by him he proceeded, with my sanction, to make
arrangements for depositing the moneys of the United States in other
safe institutions.

The resolution of the Senate as originally framed and as passed, if it
refers to these acts, presupposes a right in that body to interfere with
this exercise of Executive power. If the principle be once admitted, it
is not difficult to perceive where it may end. If by a mere denunciation
like this resolution the President should ever be induced to act in a
matter of official duty contrary to the honest convictions of his own
mind in compliance with the wishes of the Senate, the constitutional
independence of the executive department would be as effectually
destroyed and its power as effectually transferred to the Senate as if
that end had been accomplished by an amendment of the Constitution. But
if the Senate have a right to interfere with the Executive powers, they
have also the right to make that interference effective, and if the
assertion of the power implied in the resolution be silently acquiesced
in we may reasonably apprehend that it will be followed at some future
day by an attempt at actual enforcement. The Senate may refuse, except
on the condition that he will surrender his opinions to theirs and obey
their will, to perform their own constitutional functions, to pass the
necessary laws, to sanction appropriations proposed by the House of
Representatives, and to confirm proper nominations made by the
President. It has already been maintained (and it is not conceivable
that the resolution of the Senate can be based on any other principle)
that the Secretary of the Treasury is the officer of Congress and
independent of the President; that the President has no right to control
him, and consequently none to remove him. With the same propriety and on
similar grounds may the Secretary of State, the Secretaries of War and
the Navy, and the Postmaster-General each in succession be declared
independent of the President, the subordinates of Congress, and
removable only with the concurrence of the Senate. Followed to its
consequences, this principle will be found effectually to destroy one
coordinate department of the Government, to concentrate in the hands
of the Senate the whole executive power, and to leave the President
as powerless as he would be useless--the shadow of authority after
the substance had departed.

The time and the occasion which have called forth the resolution of the
Senate seem to impose upon me an additional obligation not to pass it
over in silence. Nearly forty-five years had the President exercised,
without a question as to his rightful authority, those powers for the
recent assumption of which he is now denounced. The vicissitudes of
peace and war had attended our Government; violent parties, watchful to
take advantage of any seeming usurpation on the part of the Executive,
had distracted our councils; frequent removals, or forced resignations
in every sense tantamount to removals, had been made of the Secretary
and other officers of the Treasury, and yet in no one instance is it
known that any man, whether patriot or partisan, had raised his voice
against it as a violation of the Constitution. The expediency and
justice of such changes in reference to public officers of all grades
have frequently been the topic of discussion, but the constitutional
right of the President to appoint, control, and remove the head of the
Treasury as well as all other Departments seems to have been universally
conceded. And what is the occasion upon which other principles have been
first officially asserted? The Bank of the United States, a great
moneyed monopoly, had attempted to obtain a renewal of its charter
by controlling the elections of the people and the action of the
Government. The use of its corporate funds and power in that attempt
was fully disclosed, and it was made known to the President that the
corporation was putting in train the same course of measures, with the
view of making another vigorous effort, through an interference in
the elections of the people, to control public opinion and force the
Government to yield to its demands. This, with its corruption of the
press, its violation of its charter, its exclusion of the Government
directors from its proceedings, its neglect of duty and arrogant
pretensions, made it, in the opinion of the President, incompatible with
the public interest and the safety of our institutions that it should
be longer employed as the fiscal agent of the Treasury. A Secretary of
the Treasury appointed in the recess of the Senate, who had not been
confirmed by that body, and whom the President might or might not at
his pleasure nominate to them, refused to do what his superior in the
executive department considered the most imperative of his duties, and
became in fact, however innocent his motives, the protector of the bank.
And on this occasion it is discovered for the first time that those who
framed the Constitution misunderstood it; that the First Congress and
all its successors have been under a delusion; that the practice of near
forty-five years is but a continued usurpation; that the Secretary of
the Treasury is not responsible to the President, and that to remove him
is a violation of the Constitution and laws for which the President
deserves to stand forever dishonored on the journals of the Senate.

There are also some other circumstances connected with the discussion
and passage of the resolution to which I feel it to be not only my
right, but my duty, to refer. It appears by the Journal of the Senate
that among the twenty-six Senators who voted for the resolution on its
final passage, and who had supported it in debate in its original form,
were one of the Senators from the State of Maine, the two Senators from
New Jersey, and one of the Senators from Ohio. It also appears by the
same Journal and by the files of the Senate that the legislatures of
these States had severally expressed their opinions in respect to the
Executive proceedings drawn in question before the Senate.

The two branches of the legislature of the State of Maine on the 25th
of January, 1834, passed a preamble and series of resolutions in the
following words:

Whereas at an early period after the election of Andrew Jackson to the
Presidency, in accordance with the sentiments which he had uniformly
expressed, the attention of Congress was called to the constitutionality
and expediency of the renewal of the charter of the United States Bank;

Whereas the bank has transcended its chartered limits in the management
of its business transactions, and has abandoned the object of its
creation by engaging in political controversies, by wielding its power
and influence to embarrass the Administration of the General Government,
and by bringing insolvency and distress upon the commercial community;

Whereas the public security from such an institution consists less in
its present pecuniary capacity to discharge its liabilities than in the
fidelity with which the trusts reposed in it have been executed; and

Whereas the abuse and misapplication of the powers conferred have
destroyed the confidence of the public in the officers of the bank and
demonstrated that such powers endanger the stability of republican
institutions: Therefore,

_Resolved_, That in the removal of the public deposits from the Bank
of the United States, as well as in the manner of their removal, we
recognize in the Administration an adherence to constitutional rights
and the performance of a public duty.

_Resolved_, That this legislature entertain the same opinion as
heretofore expressed by preceding legislatures of this State, that the
Bank of the United States ought not to be rechartered.

_Resolved_, That the Senators of this State in the Congress of the
United States be instructed and the Representatives be requested to
oppose the restoration of the deposits and the renewal of the charter
of the United States Bank.

On the 11th of January, 1834, the house of assembly and council
composing the legislature of the State of New Jersey passed a preamble
and a series of resolutions in the following words:

Whereas the present crisis in our public affairs calls for a decided
expression of the voice of the people of this State; and

Whereas we consider it the undoubted right of the legislatures of the
several States to instruct those who represent their interests in the
councils of the nation in all matters which intimately concern the
public weal and may affect the happiness or well-being of the people:

1. _Be it resolved by the council and general assembly of this State_,
That while we acknowledge with feelings of devout gratitude our
obligations to the Great Ruler of Nations for His mercies to us as a
people that we have been preserved alike from foreign war, from the
evils of internal commotions, and the machinations of designing and
ambitious men who would prostrate the fair fabric of our Union, that
we ought nevertheless to humble ourselves in His presence and implore
His aid for the perpetuation of our republican institutions and for a
continuance of that unexampled prosperity which our country has hitherto

2. _Resolved_, That we have undiminished confidence in the integrity and
firmness of the venerable patriot who now holds the distinguished post
of Chief Magistrate of this nation, and whose purity of purpose and
elevated motives have so often received the unqualified approbation of
a large majority of his fellow-citizens.

3. _Resolved_, That we view with agitation and alarm the existence of a
great moneyed incorporation which threatens to embarrass the operations
of the Government and by means of its unbounded influence upon the
currency of the country to scatter distress and ruin throughout the
community, and that we therefore solemnly believe the present Bank of
the United States ought not to be rechartered.

4. _Resolved_, That our Senators in Congress be instructed and our
members of the House of Representatives be requested to sustain, by
their votes and influence, the course adopted by the Secretary of the
Treasury, Mr. Taney, in relation to the Bank of the United States and
the deposits of the Government moneys, believing as we do the course
of the Secretary to have been constitutional, and that the public good
required its adoption.

5. _Resolved_, That the governor be requested to forward a copy of the
above resolutions to each of our Senators and Representatives from this
State to the Congress of the United States.

On the 21st day of February last the legislature of the same State
reiterated the opinions and instructions before given by joint
resolutions in the following words:

_Resolved by the council and general assembly of the State of New
Jersey_, That they do adhere to the resolutions passed by them on the
11th day of January last, relative to the President of the United
States, the Bank of the United States, and the course of Mr. Taney
in removing the Government deposits.

_Resolved_, That the legislature of New Jersey have not seen any
reason to depart from such resolutions since the passage thereof,
and it is their wish that they should receive from our Senators and
Representatives of this State in the Congress of the United States that
attention and obedience which are due to the opinion of a sovereign
State openly expressed in its legislative capacity.

On the 2d of January, 1834, the senate and house of representatives
composing the legislature of Ohio passed a preamble and resolutions in
the following words:

Whereas there is reason to believe that the Bank of the United States
will attempt to obtain a renewal of its charter at the present session
of Congress; and

Whereas it is abundantly evident that said bank has exercised powers
derogatory to the spirit of our free institutions and dangerous to the
liberties of these United States; and

Whereas there is just reason to doubt the constitutional power of
Congress to grant acts of incorporation for banking purposes out of
the District of Columbia; and

Whereas we believe the proper disposal of the public lands to be of the
utmost importance to the people of these United States, and that honor
and good faith require their equitable distribution: Therefore,

_Resolved by the general assembly of the State of Ohio_, That we
consider the removal of the public deposits from the Bank of the United
States as required by the best interests of our country, and that a
proper sense of public duty imperiously demanded that that institution
should be no longer used as a depository of the public funds.

_Resolved also_, That we view with decided disapprobation the renewed
attempts in Congress to secure the passage of the bill providing for the
disposal of the public domain upon the principles proposed by Mr. Clay,
inasmuch as we believe that such a law would be unequal in its
operations and unjust in its results.

_Resolved also_, That we heartily approve of the principles set forth
in the late veto message upon that subject; and

_Resolved_, That our Senators in Congress be instructed and our
Representatives requested to use their influence to prevent the
rechartering of the Bank of the United States, to sustain the
Administration in its removal of the public deposits, and to oppose the
passage of a land bill containing the principles adopted in the act upon
that subject passed at the last session of Congress.

_Resolved_, That the governor be requested to transmit copies of the
foregoing preamble and resolutions to each of our Senators and

It is thus seen that four Senators have declared by their votes that the
President, in the late Executive proceedings in relation to the revenue,
had been guilty of the impeachable offense of "assuming upon himself
authority and power not conferred by the Constitution and laws, but in
derogation of both," whilst the legislatures of their respective States
had deliberately approved those very proceedings as consistent with the
Constitution and demanded by the public good. If these four votes had
been given in accordance with the sentiments of the legislatures, as
above expressed, there would have been but twenty-two votes out of
forty-six for censuring the President, and the unprecedented record
of his conviction could not have been placed upon the Journal of the

In thus referring to the resolutions and instructions of the State
legislatures I disclaim and repudiate all authority or design to
interfere with the responsibility due from members of the Senate to
their own consciences, their constituents, and their country. The facts
now stated belong to the history of these proceedings, and are important
to the just development of the principles and interests involved in them
as well as to the proper vindication of the executive department, and
with that view, and that view only, are they here made the topic of

The dangerous tendency of the doctrine which denies to the President
the power of supervising, directing, and controlling the Secretary of
the Treasury in like manner with the other executive officers would
soon be manifest in practice were the doctrine to be established. The
President is the direct representative of the American people, but the
Secretaries are not. If the Secretary of the Treasury be independent
of the President in the execution of the laws, then is there no direct
responsibility to the people in that important branch of this Government
to which is committed the care of the national finances. And it is in
the power of the Bank of the United States, or any other corporation,
body of men, or individuals, if a Secretary shall be found to accord
with them in opinion or can be induced in practice to promote their
views, to control through him the whole action of the Government
(so far as it is exercised by his Department) in defiance of the Chief
Magistrate elected by the people and responsible to them.

But the evil tendency of the particular doctrine adverted to, though
sufficiently serious, would be as nothing in comparison with the
pernicious consequences which would inevitably flow from the approbation
and allowance by the people and the practice by the Senate of the
unconstitutional power of arraigning and censuring the official conduct
of the Executive in the manner recently pursued. Such proceedings are
eminently calculated to unsettle the foundations of the Government, to
disturb the harmonious action of its different departments, and to break
down the checks and balances by which the wisdom of its framers sought
to insure its stability and usefulness.

The honest differences of opinion which occasionally exist between the
Senate and the President in regard to matters in which both are obliged
to participate are sufficiently embarrassing; but if the course recently
adopted by the Senate shall hereafter be frequently pursued, it is not
only obvious that the harmony of the relations between the President and
the Senate will be destroyed, but that other and graver effects will
ultimately ensue. If the censures of the Senate be submitted to by the
President, the confidence of the people in his ability and virtue and
the character and usefulness of his Administration will soon be at an
end, and the real power of the Government will fall into the hands of a
body holding their offices for long terms, not elected by the people and
not to them directly responsible. If, on the other hand, the illegal
censures of the Senate should be resisted by the President, collisions
and angry controversies might ensue, discreditable in their progress and
in the end compelling the people to adopt the conclusion either that
their Chief Magistrate was unworthy of their respect or that the Senate
was chargeable with calumny and injustice. Either of these results would
impair public confidence in the perfection of the system and lead to
serious alterations of its framework or to the practical abandonment of
some of its provisions.

The influence of such proceedings on the other departments of the
Government, and more especially on the States, could not fail to be
extensively pernicious. When the judges in the last resort of official
misconduct themselves overleap the bounds of their authority as
prescribed by the Constitution, what general disregard of its provisions
might not their example be expected to produce? And who does not
perceive that such contempt of the Federal Constitution by one of its
most important departments would hold out the strongest temptations to
resistance on the part of the State sovereignties whenever they shall
suppose their just rights to have been invaded? Thus all the independent
departments of the Government, and the States which compose our
confederated Union, instead of attending to their appropriate duties and
leaving those who may offend to be reclaimed or punished in the manner
pointed out in the Constitution, would fall to mutual crimination and
recrimination and give to the people confusion and anarchy instead of
order and law, until at length some form of aristocratic power would be
established on the ruins of the Constitution or the States be broken
into separate communities.

Far be it from me to charge or to insinuate that the present Senate of
the United States intend in the most distant way to encourage such a
result. It is not of their motives or designs, but only of the tendency
of their acts, that it is my duty to speak. It is, if possible, to
make Senators themselves sensible of the danger which lurks under the
precedent set in their resolution, and at any rate to perform my duty
as the responsible head of one of the coequal departments of the
Government, that I have been compelled to point out the consequences
to which the discussion and passage of the resolution may lead if the
tendency of the measure be not checked in its inception. It is due to
the high trust with which I have been charged, to those who may be
called to succeed me in it, to the representatives of the people whose
constitutional prerogative has been unlawfully assumed, to the people
and to the States, and to the Constitution they have established that
I should not permit its provisions to be broken down by such an attack
on the executive department without at least some effort "to preserve,
protect, and defend" them. With this view, and for the reasons which
have been stated, I do hereby _solemnly protest_ against the
aforementioned proceedings of the Senate as unauthorized by the
Constitution, contrary to its spirit and to several of its express
provisions, subversive of that distribution of the powers of government
which it has ordained and established, destructive of the checks and
safeguards by which those powers were intended on the one hand to be
controlled and on the other to be protected, and calculated by their
immediate and collateral effects, by their character and tendency, to
concentrate in the hands of a body not directly amenable to the people
a degree of influence and power dangerous to their liberties and fatal
to the Constitution of their choice.

The resolution of the Senate contains an imputation upon my private as
well as upon my public character, and as it must stand forever on their
journals, I can not close this substitute for that defense which I have
not been allowed to present in the ordinary form without remarking
that I have lived in vain if it be necessary to enter into a formal
vindication of my character and purposes from such an imputation. In
vain do I bear upon my person enduring memorials of that contest in
which American liberty was purchased; in vain have I since periled
property, fame, and life in defense of the rights and privileges so
dearly bought; in vain am I now, without a personal aspiration or the
hope of individual advantage, encountering responsibilities and dangers
from which by mere inactivity in relation to a single point I might have
been exempt, if any serious doubts can be entertained as to the purity
of my purposes and motives. If I had been ambitious, I should have
sought an alliance with that powerful institution which even now aspires
to no divided empire. If I had been venal, I should have sold myself to
its designs. Had I preferred personal comfort and official ease to the
performance of my arduous duty, I should have ceased to molest it. In
the history of conquerors and usurpers, never in the fire of youth nor
in the vigor of manhood could I find an attraction to lure me from the
path of duty, and now I shall scarcely find an inducement to commence
their career of ambition when gray hairs and a decaying frame, instead
of inviting to toil and battle, call me to the contemplation of other
worlds, where conquerors cease to be honored and usurpers expiate their
crimes. The only ambition I can feel is to acquit myself to Him to whom
I must soon render an account of my stewardship, to serve my fellow-men,
and live respected and honored in the history of my country. No;
the ambition which leads me on is an anxious desire and a fixed
determination to return to the people unimpaired the sacred trust they
have confided to my charge; to heal the wounds of the Constitution and
preserve it from further violation; to persuade my countrymen, so far
as I may, that it is not in a splendid government supported by powerful
monopolies and aristocratical establishments that they will find
happiness or their liberties protection, but in a plain system, void
of pomp, protecting all and granting favors to none, dispensing its
blessings, like the dews of Heaven, unseen and unfelt save in the
freshness and beauty they contribute to produce. It is such a government
that the genius of our people requires; such an one only under which our
States may remain for ages to come united, prosperous, and free. If
the Almighty Being who has hitherto sustained and protected me will
but vouchsafe to make my feeble powers instrumental to such a result,
I shall anticipate with pleasure the place to be assigned me in the
history of my country, and die contented with the belief that I have
contributed in some small degree to increase the value and prolong the
duration of American liberty.

To the end that the resolution of the Senate may not be hereafter
drawn into precedent with the authority of silent acquiescence on the
part of the executive department, and to the end also that my motives
and views in the Executive proceedings denounced in that resolution may
be known to my fellow-citizens, to the world, and to all posterity, I
respectfully request that this message and protest may be entered at
length on the journals of the Senate.


APRIL 21, 1834.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

Having reason to believe that certain passages contained in my message
and protest transmitted to the Senate on the 17th [15th] instant may be
misunderstood, I think it proper to state that it was not my intention
to deny in the said message the power and right of the legislative
department to provide by law for the custody, safe-keeping, and
disposition of the public money and property of the United States.

Although I am well satisfied that such a construction is not warranted
by anything contained in that message, yet aware from experience that
detached passages of an argumentative document, when disconnected from
their context and considered without reference to previous limitations
and the particular positions they were intended to refute or to
establish, may be made to bear a construction varying altogether from
the sentiments really entertained and intended to be expressed, and
deeply solicitous that my views on this point should not, either now or
hereafter, be misapprehended, I have deemed it due to the gravity of
the subject, to the great interests it involves, and to the Senate
as well as to myself to embrace the earliest opportunity to make this

I admit without reserve, as I have before done, the constitutional power
of the Legislature to prescribe by law the place or places in which the
public money or other property is to be deposited, and to make such
regulations concerning its custody, removal, or disposition as they may
think proper to enact. Nor do I claim for the Executive any right to
the possession or disposition of the public property or treasure or
any authority to interfere with the same, except when such possession,
disposition, or authority is given to him by law. Nor do I claim the
right in any manner to supervise or interfere with the person intrusted
with such property or treasure, unless he be an officer whose
appointment, under the Constitution and laws, is devolved upon the
President alone or in conjunction with the Senate, and for whose conduct
he is constitutionally responsible.

As the message and protest referred to may appear on the Journal of
the Senate and remain among the recorded documents of the nation,
I am unwilling that opinions should be imputed to me, even through
misconstruction, which are not entertained, and more particularly
am I solicitous that I may not be supposed to claim for myself or
my successors any power or authority not clearly granted by the
Constitution and laws to the President. I have therefore respectfully to
request that this communication may be considered a part of that message
and that it may be entered therewith on the journals of the Senate.





_Washington, June 21, 1834_.


The Major-General Commanding the Army has received through the War
Department the following General Order from the President of the United


WASHINGTON, _June 21, 1834_.

Information having been received of the death of General Lafayette,
the President considers it due to his own feelings as well as to the
character and services of that lamented man to announce the event to
the Army and Navy.

Lafayette was a citizen of France, but he was the distinguished friend
of the United States. In early life he embarked in that contest which
secured freedom and independence to our country. His services and
sacrifices constitute a part of our Revolutionary history, and his
memory will be second only to that of Washington in the hearts of the
American people. In his own country and in ours he was the zealous and
uniform friend and advocate of rational liberty. Consistent in his
principles and conduct, he never during a long life committed an act
which exposed him to just accusation or which will expose his memory
to reproach. Living at a period of great excitement and of moral and
political revolutions, engaged in many of the important events which
fixed the attention of the world, and invited to guide the destinies of
France at two of the most momentous eras of her history, his political
integrity and personal disinterestedness have not been called in
question. Happy in such a life, he has been happy in his death. He
has been taken from the theater of action with faculties unimpaired,
with a reputation unquestioned, and an object of veneration wherever
civilization and the rights of man have extended; and mourning, as we
may and must, his departure, let us rejoice that this associate of
Washington has gone, as we humbly hope, to rejoin his illustrious
commander in the fullness of days and of honor.

He came in his youth to defend our country. He came in the maturity of
his age to witness her growth in all the elements of prosperity, and
while witnessing these he received those testimonials of national
gratitude which proved how strong was his hold upon the affections of
the American people.

One melancholy duty remains to be performed. The last major-general of
the Revolutionary army has died. Himself a young and humble participator
in the struggles of that period, the President feels called on as well
by personal as public considerations to direct that appropriate honors
be paid to the memory of this distinguished patriot and soldier. He
therefore orders that the same honors be rendered upon this occasion at
the different military and naval stations as were observed upon the
decease of Washington, the Father of his Country, and his contemporary
in arms.

In ordering this homage to be paid to the memory of one so eminent in
the field, so wise in council, so endeared in private life, and so well
and favorably known to both hemispheres the President feels assured that
he is anticipating the sentiments not of the Army and Navy only, but of
the whole American people.


In obedience to the commands of the President, the following funeral
honors will be paid at the several stations of the Army:

At daybreak twenty-four guns will be fired in quick succession, and one
gun at the interval of every half hour thereafter till sunset.

The flags of the several stations will during the day be at half-mast.
The officers of the Army will wear crape on the left arm for the period
of six months.

This order will be carried into effect under the direction of the
commanding officer of each post and station the day after its reception.

By command of Major-General Macomb, commanding in chief:



GREEN HILL, _October 12, 1834_.


_Secretary of the Treasury_.

MY DEAR SIR: I inclose you two letters from two of our most respectable
citizens. They are good men and true. The letters relate to matters
under your immediate charge, and when I come on to Washington will see
about them.

Marshall was our candidate for the legislature, and has no doubt lost
his election through the influence of the United States officers at that
post, who are all of them opposed to us, and if we lose _Brown_ this
winter from the Senate it will be owing mainly and chiefly to this.
The county of Carterett sends three members to the legislature, and is
Jackson to the _hub_; but Major Kirby, who commands at Fort Macon, has
used his influence in conjunction with D. Borden, who finds the troops
with provisions, in favor of the opposition, and have beaten our men by
small majorities. The troops, it seems, were paid off in Virginia money,
which is below _par_ in our State, and this just on the eve of the
election, and hence you may see the turn that was given to the matter.
Dr. Hunt, who wishes to be appointed surgeon at Occracock, is a fine
man, and I should like for him to have it; but of these matters more
when I see you.

You see our new bank has gone into operation. Suppose you open a
correspondence [with] them about the matter we have been talking about.
It is _all important_ that this matter should be attended to. With
sentiments of great respect, I am, dear sir, yours, etc.,



Let a strict inquiry be had into the conduct of the officers
complained of, and particularly why the paymaster has paid the troops in
depreciated paper when he could as easily paid them in specie. It is his
duty in all cases so to do, as all the revenue is specie and all public
dues are payable in specie.



DECEMBER 1, 1834.

_Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and House of Representatives_:

In performing my duty at the opening of your present session it gives me
pleasure to congratulate you again upon the prosperous condition of our
beloved country. Divine Providence has favored us with general health,
with rich rewards in the fields of agriculture and in every branch of
labor, and with peace to cultivate and extend the various resources
which employ the virtue and enterprise of our citizens. Let us trust
that in surveying a scene so flattering to our free institutions our
joint deliberations to preserve them may be crowned with success.

Our foreign relations continue, with but few exceptions, to maintain the
favorable aspect which they bore in my last annual message, and promise
to extend those advantages which the principles that regulate our
intercourse with other nations are so well calculated to secure.

The question of the northeastern boundary is still pending with Great
Britain, and the proposition made in accordance with the resolution of
the Senate for the establishment of a line according to the treaty of
1783 has not been accepted by that Government. Believing that every
disposition is felt on both sides to adjust this perplexing question to
the satisfaction of all the parties interested in it, the hope is yet
indulged that it may be effected on the basis of that proposition.

With the Governments of Austria, Russia, Prussia, Holland, Sweden, and
Denmark the best understanding exists. Commerce with all is fostered and
protected by reciprocal good will under the sanction of liberal
conventional or legal provisions.

In the midst of her internal difficulties the Queen of Spain has
ratified the convention for the payment of the claims of our citizens
arising since 1819. It is in the course of execution on her part, and a
copy of it is now laid before you for such legislation as may be found
necessary to enable those interested to derive the benefits of it.

Yielding to the force of circumstances and to the wise counsels of time
and experience, that power has finally resolved no longer to occupy the
unnatural position in which she stood to the new Governments established
in this hemisphere. I have the great satisfaction of stating to you that
in preparing the way for the restoration of harmony between those who
have sprung from the same ancestors, who are allied by common interests,
profess the same religion, and speak the same language the United States
have been actively instrumental. Our efforts to effect this good work
will be persevered in while they are deemed useful to the parties and
our entire disinterestedness continues to be felt and understood. The
act of Congress to countervail the discriminating duties to the
prejudice of our navigation levied in Cuba and Puerto Rico has been
transmitted to the minister of the United States at Madrid, to be
communicated to the Government of the Queen. No intelligence of its
receipt has yet reached the Department of State. If the present
condition of the country permits the Government to make a careful and
enlarged examination of the true interests of these important portions
of its dominions, no doubt is entertained that their future intercourse
with the United States will be placed upon a more just and liberal

The Florida archives have not yet been selected and delivered. Recent
orders have been sent to the agent of the United States at Havana to
return with all that he can obtain, so that they may be in Washington
before the session of the Supreme Court, to be used in the legal
questions there pending to which the Government is a party.

Internal tranquillity is happily restored to Portugal. The distracted
state of the country rendered unavoidable the postponement of a final
payment of the just claims of our citizens. Our diplomatic relations
will be soon resumed, and the long-subsisting friendship with that power
affords the strongest guaranty that the balance due will receive prompt

The first installment due under the convention of indemnity with the
King of the Two Sicilies has been duly received, and an offer has been
made to extinguish the whole by a prompt payment--an offer I did not
consider myself authorized to accept, as the indemnification provided
is the exclusive property of individual citizens of the United States.
The original adjustment of our claims and the anxiety displayed to
fulfill at once the stipulations made for the payment of them are highly
honorable to the Government of the Two Sicilies. When it is recollected
that they were the result of the injustice of an intrusive power
temporarily dominant in its territory, a repugnance to acknowledge and
to pay which would have been neither unnatural nor unexpected, the
circumstances can not fail to exalt its character for justice and good
faith in the eyes of all nations.

The treaty of amity and commerce between the United States and Belgium,
brought to your notice in my last annual message as sanctioned by the
Senate, but the ratifications of which had not been exchanged owing
to a delay in its reception at Brussels and a subsequent absence
of the Belgian minister of foreign affairs, has been, after mature
deliberation, finally disavowed by that Government as inconsistent
with the powers and instructions given to their minister who negotiated
it. This disavowal was entirely unexpected, as the liberal principles
embodied in the convention, and which form the groundwork of the
objections to it, were perfectly satisfactory to the Belgian
representative, and were supposed to be not only within the powers
granted, but expressly conformable to the instructions given to him.
An offer, not yet accepted, has been made by Belgium to renew
negotiations for a treaty less liberal in its provisions on questions
of general maritime law.

Our newly established relations with the Sublime Porte promise to
be useful to our commerce and satisfactory in every respect to this
Government. Our intercourse with the Barbary Powers continues without
important change, except that the present political state of Algiers has
induced me to terminate the residence there of a salaried consul and
to substitute an ordinary consulate, to remain so long as the place
continues in the possession of France. Our first treaty with one of
these powers, the Emperor of Morocco, was formed in 1786, and was
limited to fifty years. That period has almost expired. I shall take
measures to renew it with the greater satisfaction as its stipulations
are just and liberal and have been, with mutual fidelity and reciprocal
advantage, scrupulously fulfilled.

Intestine dissensions have too frequently occurred to mar the
prosperity, interrupt the commerce, and distract the governments of most
of the nations of this hemisphere which have separated themselves from
Spain. When a firm and permanent understanding with the parent country
shall have produced a formal acknowledgment of their independence, and
the idea of danger from that quarter can be no longer entertained, the
friends of freedom expect that those countries, so favored by nature,
will be distinguished for their love of justice and their devotion
to those peaceful arts the assiduous cultivation of which confers
honor upon nations and gives value to human life. In the meantime
I confidently hope that the apprehensions entertained that some of
the people of these luxuriant regions may be tempted, in a moment of
unworthy distrust of their own capacity for the enjoyment of liberty, to
commit the too common error of purchasing present repose by bestowing
on some favorite leaders the fatal gift of irresponsible power will
not be realized. With all these Governments and with that of Brazil no
unexpected changes in our relations have occurred during the present
year. Frequent causes of just complaint have arisen upon the part of the
citizens of the United States, sometimes from the irregular action of
the constituted subordinate authorities of the maritime regions and
sometimes from the leaders or partisans of those in arms against the
established Governments. In all cases representations have been or
will be made, and as soon as their political affairs are in a settled
position it is expected that our friendly remonstrances will be
followed by adequate redress.

The Government of Mexico made known in December last the appointment
of commissioners and a surveyor on its part to run, in conjunction with
ours, the boundary line between its territories and the United States,
and excused the delay for the reasons anticipated--the prevalence of
civil war. The commissioners and surveyors not having met within the
time stipulated by the treaty, a new arrangement became necessary,
and our charge d'affaires was instructed in January last to negotiate
in Mexico an article additional to the preexisting treaty. This
instruction was acknowledged, and no difficulty was apprehended in
the accomplishment of that object. By information just received that
additional article to the treaty will be obtained and transmitted to
this country as soon as it can receive the ratification of the Mexican

The reunion of the three States of New Grenada, Venezuela, and Equador,
forming the Republic of Colombia, seems every day to become more
improbable. The commissioners of the two first are understood to be now
negotiating a just division of the obligations contracted by them when
united under one government. The civil war in Equador, it is believed,
has prevented even the appointment of a commissioner on its part.

I propose at an early day to submit, in the proper form, the appointment
of a diplomatic agent to Venezuela, the importance of the commerce of
that country to the United States and the large claims of our citizens
upon the Government arising before and since the division of Colombia
rendering it, in my judgment, improper longer to delay this step.

Our representatives to Central America, Peru, and Brazil are either at
or on their way to their respective posts.

From the Argentine Republic, from which a minister was expected to this
Government, nothing further has been heard. Occasion has been taken on
the departure of a new consul to Buenos Ayres to remind that Government
that its long-delayed minister, whose appointment had been made known to
us, had not arrived.

It becomes my unpleasant duty to inform you that this pacific and highly
gratifying picture of our foreign relations does not include those with
France at this time. It is not possible that any Government and people
could be more sincerely desirous of conciliating a just and friendly
intercourse with another nation than are those of the United States
with their ancient ally and friend. This disposition is founded as well
on the most grateful and honorable recollections associated with our
struggle for independence as upon a well-grounded conviction that it is
consonant with the true policy of both. The people of the United States
could not, therefore, see without the deepest regret even a temporary
interruption of the friendly relations between the two countries--a
regret which would, I am sure, be greatly aggravated if there should
turn out to be any reasonable ground for attributing such a result to
any act of omission or commission on our part. I derive, therefore, the
highest satisfaction from being able to assure you that the whole course
of this Government has been characterized by a spirit so conciliatory
and forbearing as to make it impossible that our justice and moderation
should be questioned, whatever may be the consequences of a longer
perseverance on the part of the French Government in her omission to
satisfy the conceded claims of our citizens.

The history of the accumulated and unprovoked aggressions upon our
commerce committed by authority of the existing Governments of France
between the years 1800 and 1817 has been rendered too painfully familiar
to Americans to make its repetition either necessary or desirable. It
will be sufficient here to remark that there has for many years been
scarcely a single administration of the French Government by whom the
justice and legality of the claims of our citizens to indemnity were
not to a very considerable extent admitted, and yet near a quarter of
a century has been wasted in ineffectual negotiations to secure it.

Deeply sensible of the injurious effects resulting from this state of
things upon the interests and character of both nations, I regarded it
as among my first duties to cause one more effort to be made to satisfy
France that a just and liberal settlement of our claims was as well due
to her own honor as to their incontestable validity. The negotiation for
this purpose was commenced with the late Government of France, and was
prosecuted with such success as to leave no reasonable ground to doubt
that a settlement of a character quite as liberal as that which was
subsequently made would have been effected had not the revolution by
which the negotiation was cut off taken place. The discussions were
resumed with the present Government, and the result showed that we
were not wrong in supposing that an event by which the two Governments
were made to approach each other so much nearer in their political
principles, and by which the motives for the most liberal and friendly
intercourse were so greatly multiplied, could exercise no other than a
salutary influence upon the negotiation. After the most deliberate and
thorough examination of the whole subject a treaty between the two
Governments was concluded and signed at Paris on the 4th of July, 1831,
by which it was stipulated that "the French Government, in order to
liberate itself from all the reclamations preferred against it by
citizens of the United States for unlawful seizures, captures,
sequestrations, confiscations, or destruction of their vessels, cargoes,
or other property, engages to pay a sum of 25,000,000 francs to the
United States, who shall distribute it among those entitled in the
manner and according to the rules it shall determine;" and it was also
stipulated on the part of the French Government that this 25,000,000
francs should "be paid at Paris, in six annual installments of 4,166,666
francs and 66 centimes each, into the hands of such person or persons as
shall be authorized by the Government of the United States to receive
it," the first installment to be paid "at the expiration of one year
next following the exchange of the ratifications of this convention and
the others at successive intervals of a year, one after another, till
the whole shall be paid. To the amount of each of the said installments
shall be added interest at 4 per cent thereupon, as upon the other
installments then remaining unpaid, the said interest to be computed
from the day of the exchange of the present convention."

It was also stipulated on the part of the United States, for the
purpose of being completely liberated from all the reclamations
presented by France on behalf of its citizens, that the sum of 1,500,000
francs should be paid to the Government of France in six annual
installments, to be deducted out of the annual sums which France had
agreed to pay, interest thereupon being in like manner computed from
the day of the exchange of the ratifications. In addition to this
stipulation, important advantages were secured to France by the
following article, viz:

The wines of France, from and after the exchange of the ratifications of
the present convention, shall be admitted to consumption in the States
of the Union at duties which shall not exceed the following rates by the
gallon (such as it is used at present for wines in the United States),
to wit: 6 cents for red wines in casks; 10 cents for white wines in
casks, and 22 cents for wines of all sorts in bottles. The proportions
existing between the duties on French wines thus reduced and the general
rates of the tariff which went into operation the 1st January, 1829,
shall be maintained in case the Government of the United States should
think proper to diminish those general rates in a new tariff.

In consideration of this stipulation, which shall be binding on
the United States for ten years, the French Government abandons the
reclamations which it had formed in relation to the eighth article of
the treaty of cession of Louisiana. It engages, moreover, to establish
on the _long-staple_ cottons of the United States which after the
exchange of the ratifications of the present convention shall be brought
directly thence to France by the vessels of the United States or by
French vessels the same duties as on _short-staple_ cottons.

This treaty was duly ratified in the manner prescribed by the
constitutions of both countries, and the ratification was exchanged
at the city of Washington on the 2d of February, 1832. On account of
its commercial stipulations it was in five days thereafter laid before
the Congress of the United States, which proceeded to enact such laws
favorable to the commerce of France as were necessary to carry it into
full execution, and France has from that period to the present been in
the unrestricted enjoyment of the valuable privileges that were thus
secured to her. The faith of the French nation having been thus solemnly
pledged through its constitutional organ for the liquidation and
ultimate payment of the long-deferred claims of our citizens, as also
for the adjustment of other points of great and reciprocal benefits
to both countries, and the United States having, with a fidelity
and promptitude by which their conduct will, I trust, be always
characterized, done everything that was necessary to carry the treaty
into full and fair effect on their part, counted with the most perfect
confidence on equal fidelity and promptitude on the part of the French
Government. In this reasonable expectation we have been, I regret to
inform you, wholly disappointed. No legislative provision has been made
by France for the execution of the treaty, either as it respects the
indemnity to be paid or the commercial benefits to be secured to the
United States, and the relations between the United States and that
power in consequence thereof are placed in a situation threatening to
interrupt the good understanding which has so long and so happily
existed between the two nations.

Not only has the French Government been thus wanting in the performance
of the stipulations it has so solemnly entered into with the United
States, but its omissions have been marked by circumstances which would
seem to leave us without satisfactory evidences that such performance
will certainly take place at a future period. Advice of the exchange of
ratifications reached Paris prior to the 8th April, 1832. The French
Chambers were then sitting, and continued in session until the 21st of
that month, and although one installment of the indemnity was payable on
the 2d of February, 1833, one year after the exchange of ratifications,
no application was made to the Chambers for the required appropriation,
and in consequence of no appropriation having then been made the draft
of the United States Government for that installment was dishonored by
the minister of finance, and the United States thereby involved in
much controversy. The next session of the Chambers commenced on
the 19th November, 1832, and continued until the 25th April, 1833.
Notwithstanding the omission to pay the first installment had been made
the subject of earnest remonstrance on our part, the treaty with the
United States and a bill making the necessary appropriations to execute
it were not laid before the Chamber of Deputies until the 6th of April,
nearly five months after its meeting, and only nineteen days before the
close of the session. The bill was read and referred to a committee, but
there was no further action upon it. The next session of the Chambers
commenced on the 26th of April, 1833, and continued until the 26th of
June following. A new bill was introduced on the 11th of June, but
nothing important was done in relation to it during the session. In the
month of April, 1834, nearly three years after the signature of the
treaty, the final action of the French Chambers upon the bill to carry
the treaty into effect was obtained, and resulted in a refusal of the
necessary appropriations. The avowed grounds upon which the bill was
rejected are to be found in the published debates of that body, and
no observations of mine can be necessary to satisfy Congress of their
utter insufficiency. Although the gross amount of the claims of our
citizens is probably greater than will be ultimately allowed by the
commissioners, sufficient is, nevertheless, shown to render it
absolutely certain that the indemnity falls far short of the actual
amount of our just claims, independently of the question of damages and
interest for the detention. That the settlement involved a sacrifice
in this respect was well known at the time--a sacrifice which was
cheerfully acquiesced in by the different branches of the Federal
Government, whose action upon the treaty was required from a sincere
desire to avoid further collision upon this old and disturbing subject
and in the confident expectation that the general relations between the
two countries would be improved thereby.

The refusal to vote the appropriation, the news of which was received
from our minister in Paris about the 15th day of May last, might have
been considered the final determination of the French Government not
to execute the stipulations of the treaty, and would have justified an
immediate communication of the facts to Congress, with a recommendation
of such ultimate measures as the interest and honor of the United States
might seem to require. But with the news of the refusal of the Chambers
to make the appropriation were conveyed the regrets of the King and a
declaration that a national vessel should be forthwith sent out with
instructions to the French minister to give the most ample explanations
of the past and the strongest assurances for the future. After a long
passage the promised dispatch vessel arrived. The pledges given by the
French minister upon receipt of his instructions were that as soon
after the election of the new members as the charter would permit
the legislative Chambers of France should be called together and
the proposition for an appropriation laid before them; that all the
constitutional powers of the King and his cabinet should be exerted to
accomplish the object, and that the result should be made known early
enough to be communicated to Congress at the commencement of the
present session. Relying upon these pledges, and not doubting that the
acknowledged justice of our claims, the promised exertions of the King
and his cabinet, and, above all, that sacred regard for the national
faith and honor for which the French character has been so distinguished
would secure an early execution of the treaty in all its parts, I did
not deem it necessary to call the attention of Congress to the subject
at the last session.

I regret to say that the pledges made through the minister of France
have not been redeemed. The new Chambers met on the 3its July last, and
although the subject of fulfilling treaties was alluded to in the speech
from the throne, no attempt was made by the King or his cabinet to
procure an appropriation to carry it into execution. The reasons given
for this omission, although they might be considered sufficient in an
ordinary case, are not consistent with the expectations founded upon the
assurances given here, for there is no constitutional obstacle to
entering into legislative business at the first meeting of the Chambers.
This point, however, might have been overlooked had not the Chambers,
instead of being called to meet at so early a day that the result of
their deliberations might be communicated to me before the meeting of
Congress, been prorogued to the 29th of the present month--a period so
late that their decision can scarcely be made known to the present
Congress prior to its dissolution. To avoid this delay our minister in
Paris, in virtue of the assurance given by the French minister in the
United States, strongly urged the convocation of the Chambers at an
earlier day, but without success. It is proper to remark, however, that
this refusal has been accompanied with the most positive assurances on
the part of the executive government of France of their intention to
press the appropriation at the ensuing session of the Chambers.

The executive branch of this Government has, as matters stand, exhausted
all the authority upon the subject with which it is invested and which
it had any reason to believe could be beneficially employed.

The idea of acquiescing in the refusal to execute the treaty will not,
I am confident, be for a moment entertained by any branch of this
Government, and further negotiation upon the subject is equally out of
the question.

If it shall be the pleasure of Congress to await the further action
of the French Chambers, no further consideration of the subject will
at this session probably be required at your hands. But if from the
original delay in asking for an appropriation, from the refusal of the
Chambers to grant it when asked, from the omission to bring the subject
before the Chambers at their last session, from the fact that, including
that session, there have been five different occasions when the
appropriation might have been made, and from the delay in convoking the
Chambers until some weeks after the meeting of Congress, when it was
well known that a communication of the whole subject to Congress at the
last session was prevented by assurances that it should be disposed of
before its present meeting, you should feel yourselves constrained to
doubt whether it be the intention of the French Government, in all its
branches, to carry the treaty into effect, and think that such measures
as the occasion may be deemed to call for should be now adopted, the
important question arises what those measures shall be.

Our institutions are essentially pacific. Peace and friendly intercourse
with all nations are as much the desire of our Government as they are
the interest of our people. But these objects are not to be permanently
secured by surrendering the rights of our citizens or permitting solemn
treaties for their indemnity, in cases of flagrant wrong, to be
abrogated or set aside.

It is undoubtedly in the power of Congress seriously to affect the
agricultural and manufacturing interests of France by the passage
of laws relating to her trade with the United States. Her products,
manufactures, and tonnage may be subjected to heavy duties in our ports,
or all commercial intercourse with her may be suspended. But there
are powerful and to my mind conclusive objections to this mode of
proceeding. We can not embarrass or cut off the trade of France without
at the same time in some degree embarrassing or cutting off our own
trade. The injury of such a warfare must fall, though unequally, upon
our own citizens, and could not but impair the means of the Government
and weaken that united sentiment in support of the rights and honor of
the nation which must now pervade every bosom. Nor is it impossible that
such a course of legislation would introduce once more into our national
councils those disturbing questions in relation to the tariff of duties
which have been so recently put to rest. Besides, by every measure
adopted by the Government of the United States with the view of injuring
France the clear perception of right which will induce our own people
and the rulers and people of all other nations, even of France herself,
to pronounce our quarrel just will be obscured and the support rendered
to us in a final resort to more decisive measures will be more limited
and equivocal. There is but one point in the controversy, and upon that
the whole civilized world must pronounce France to be in the wrong. We
insist that she shall pay us a sum of money which she has acknowledged
to be due, and of the justice of this demand there can be but one
opinion among mankind. True policy would seem to dictate that the
question at issue should be kept thus disencumbered and that not the
slightest pretense should be given to France to persist in her refusal
to make payment by any act on our part affecting the interests of her
people. The question should be left, as it is now, in such an attitude
that when France fulfills her treaty stipulations all controversy will
be at an end.

It is my conviction that the United States ought to insist on a prompt
execution of the treaty, and in case it be refused or longer delayed
take redress into their own hands. After the delay on the part of France
of a quarter of a century in acknowledging these claims by treaty, it is
not to be tolerated that another quarter of a century is to be wasted in
negotiating about the payment. The laws of nations provide a remedy for
such occasions. It is a well-settled principle of the international code
that where one nation owes another a liquidated debt which it refuses or
neglects to pay the aggrieved party may seize on the property belonging
to the other, its citizens or subjects, sufficient to pay the debt
without giving just cause of war. This remedy has been repeatedly
resorted to, and recently by France herself toward Portugal, under
circumstances less unquestionable.

The time at which resort should be had to this or any other mode of
redress is a point to be decided by Congress. If an appropriation shall
not be made by the French Chambers at their next session, it may justly
be concluded that the Government of France has finally determined to
disregard its own solemn undertaking and refuse to pay an acknowledged
debt. In that event every day's delay on our part will be a stain upon
our national honor, as well as a denial of justice to our injured
citizens. Prompt measures, when the refusal of France shall be complete,
will not only be most honorable and just, but will have the best effect
upon our national character.

Since France, in violation of the pledges given through her minister
here, has delayed her final action so long that her decision will
not probably be known in time to be communicated to this Congress,
I recommend that a law be passed authorizing reprisals upon French
property in case provision shall not be made for the payment of the debt
at the approaching session of the French Chambers. Such a measure ought
not to be considered by France as a menace. Her pride and power are too
well known to expect anything from her fears and preclude the necessity
of a declaration that nothing partaking of the character of intimidation
is intended by us. She ought to look upon it as the evidence only of an
inflexible determination on the part of the United States to insist
on their rights. That Government, by doing only what it has itself
acknowledged to be just, will be able to spare the United States the
necessity of taking redress into their own hands and save the property
of French citizens from that seizure and sequestration which American
citizens so long endured without retaliation or redress. If she should
continue to refuse that act of acknowledged justice and, in violation
of the law of nations, make reprisals on our part the occasion of
hostilities against the United States, she would but add violence to
injustice, and could not fail to expose herself to the just censure
of civilized nations and to the retributive judgments of Heaven.

Collision with France is the more to be regretted on account of the
position she occupies in Europe in relation to liberal institutions, but
in maintaining our national rights and honor all governments are alike
to us. If by a collision with France in a case where she is clearly
in the wrong the march of liberal principles shall be impeded, the
responsibility for that result as well as every other will rest on her
own head.

Having submitted these considerations, it belongs to Congress to decide
whether after what has taken place it will still await the further
action of the French Chambers or now adopt such provisional measures
as it may deem necessary and best adapted to protect the rights and
maintain the honor of the country. Whatever that decision may be, it
will be faithfully enforced by the Executive as far as he is authorized
so to do.

According to the estimate of the Treasury Department, the revenue
accruing from all sources during the present year will amount to
$20,624,717, which, with the balance remaining in the Treasury
on the 1st of January last of $11,702,905, produces an aggregate of
$32,327,623. The total expenditure during the year for all objects,
including the public debt, is estimated at $25,591,390, which will leave
a balance in the Treasury on the 1st of January, 1835, of $6,736,232.
In this balance, however, will be included about $1,150,000 of what was
heretofore reported by the Department as not effective.

Of former appropriations it is estimated that there will remain
unexpended at the close of the year $8,002,925, and that of this sum
there will not be required more than $5,141,964 to accomplish the
objects of all the current appropriations. Thus it appears that after
satisfying all those appropriations and after discharging the last item
of our public debt, which will be done on the 1st of January next, there
will remain unexpended in the Treasury an effective balance of about
$440,000. That such should be the aspect of our finances is highly
flattering to the industry and enterprise of our population and
auspicious of the wealth and prosperity which await the future
cultivation of their growing resources. It is not deemed prudent,
however, to recommend any change for the present in our impost rates,
the effect of the gradual reduction now in progress in many of them not
being sufficiently tested to guide us in determining the precise amount
of revenue which they will produce.

Free from public debt, at peace with all the world, and with no
complicated interests to consult in our intercourse with foreign powers,
the present may be hailed as the epoch in our history the most favorable
for the settlement of those principles in our domestic policy which
shall be best calculated to give stability to our Republic and secure
the blessings of freedom to our citizens.

Among these principles, from our past experience, it can not be doubted
that simplicity in the character of the Federal Government and a rigid
economy in its administration should be regarded as fundamental and
sacred. All must be sensible that the existence of the public debt, by
rendering taxation necessary for its extinguishment, has increased the
difficulties which are inseparable from every exercise of the taxing
power, and that it was in this respect a remote agent in producing those
disturbing questions which grew out of the discussions relating to
the tariff. If such has been the tendency of a debt incurred in the
acquisition and maintenance of our national rights and liberties, the
obligations of which all portions of the Union cheerfully acknowledged,
it must be obvious that whatever is calculated to increase the burdens
of Government without necessity must be fatal to all our hopes of
preserving its true character. While we are felicitating ourselves,
therefore, upon the extinguishment of the national debt and the
prosperous state of our finances, let us not be tempted to depart from
those sound maxims of public policy which enjoin a just adaptation of
the revenue to the expenditures that are consistent with a rigid economy
and an entire abstinence from all topics of legislation that are not
clearly within the constitutional powers of the Government and suggested
by the wants of the country. Properly regarded under such a policy,
every diminution of the public burdens arising from taxation gives to
individual enterprise increased power and furnishes to all the members
of our happy Confederacy new motives for patriotic affection and
support. But above all, its most important effect will be found in its
influence upon the character of the Government by confining its action
to those objects which will be sure to secure to it the attachment and
support of our fellow-citizens.

Circumstances make it my duty to call the attention of Congress to
the Bank of the United States. Created for the convenience of the
Government, that institution has become the scourge of the people. Its
interference to postpone the payment of a portion of the national debt
that it might retain the public money appropriated for that purpose to
strengthen it in a political contest, the extraordinary extension and
contraction of its accommodations to the community, its corrupt and
partisan loans, its exclusion of the public directors from a knowledge
of its most important proceedings, the unlimited authority conferred on
the president to expend its funds in hiring writers and procuring the
execution of printing, and the use made of that authority, the retention
of the pension money and books after the selection of new agents, the
groundless claim to heavy damages in consequence of the protest of the
bill drawn on the French Government, have through various channels been
laid before Congress. Immediately after the close of the last session
the bank, through its president, announced its ability and readiness to
abandon the system of unparalleled curtailment and the interruption of
domestic exchanges which it had practiced upon from the 1st of August,
1833, to the 30th of June, 1834, and to extend its accommodations to
the community. The grounds assumed in this annunciation amounted to an
acknowledgment that the curtailment, in the extent to which it had been
carried, was not necessary to the safety of the bank, and had been
persisted in merely to induce Congress to grant the prayer of the bank
in its memorial relative to the removal of the deposits and to give it
a new charter. They were substantially a confession that all the real
distresses which individuals and the country had endured for the
preceding six or eight months had been needlessly produced by it,
with the view of affecting through the sufferings of the people the
legislative action of Congress. It is a subject of congratulation
that Congress and the country had the virtue and firmness to bear the
infliction, that the energies of our people soon found relief from this
wanton tyranny in vast importations of the precious metals from almost
every part of the world, and that at the close of this tremendous effort
to control our Government the bank found itself powerless and no longer
able to loan out its surplus means. The community had learned to manage
its affairs without its assistance, and trade had already found new
auxiliaries, so that on the 1st of October last the extraordinary
spectacle was presented of a national bank more than one-half of whose
capital was either lying unproductive in its vaults or in the hands of
foreign bankers.

To the needless distresses brought on the country during the last
session of Congress has since been added the open seizure of the
dividends on the public stock to the amount of $170,041, under pretense
of paying damages, cost, and interest upon the protested French bill.
This sum constituted a portion of the estimated revenues for the year
1834, upon which the appropriations made by Congress were based. It
would as soon have been expected that our collectors would seize on the
customs or the receivers of our land offices on the moneys arising from
the sale of public lands under pretenses of claims against the United
States as that the bank would have retained the dividends. Indeed, if
the principle be established that anyone who chooses to set up a claim
against the United States may without authority of law seize on the
public property or money wherever he can find it to pay such claim,
there will remain no assurance that our revenue will reach the Treasury
or that it will be applied after the appropriation to the purposes
designated in the law. The paymasters of our Army and the pursers of our
Navy may under like pretenses apply to their own use moneys appropriated
to set in motion the public force, and in time of war leave the country
without defense. This measure resorted to by the bank is disorganizing
and revolutionary, and if generally resorted to by private citizens in
like cases would fill the land with anarchy and violence.

It is a constitutional provision "that no money shall be drawn from
the Treasury but in consequence of appropriations made by law." The
palpable object of this provision is to prevent the expenditure of the
public money for any purpose whatsoever which shall not have been first
approved by the representatives of the people and the States in Congress
assembled. It vests the power of declaring for what purposes the public
money shall be expended in the legislative department of the Government,
to the exclusion of the executive and judicial, and it is not within
the constitutional authority of either of those departments to pay it
away without law or to sanction its payment. According to this plain
constitutional provision, the claim of the bank can never be paid
without an appropriation by act of Congress. But the bank has never
asked for an appropriation. It attempts to defeat the provision of the
Constitution and obtain payment without an act of Congress. Instead of
awaiting an appropriation passed by both Houses and approved by the
President, it makes an appropriation for itself and invites an appeal
to the judiciary to sanction it. That the money had not technically
been paid into the Treasury does not affect the principle intended to
be established by the Constitution. The Executive and the judiciary
have as little right to appropriate and expend the public money without
authority of law before it is placed to the credit of the Treasury as to
take it from the Treasury. In the annual report of the Secretary of the
Treasury, and in his correspondence with the president of the bank, and
the opinions of the Attorney-General accompanying it, you will find a
further examination of the claims of the bank and the course it has

It seems due to the safety of the public funds remaining in that bank
and to the honor of the American people that measures be taken to
separate the Government entirely from an institution so mischievous to
the public prosperity and so regardless of the Constitution and laws. By
transferring the public deposits, by appointing other pension agents as
far as it had the power, by ordering the discontinuance of the receipt
of bank checks in the payment of the public dues after the 1st day of
January, the Executive has exerted all its lawful authority to sever the
connection between the Government and this faithless corporation.

The high-handed career of this institution imposes upon the
constitutional functionaries of this Government duties of the gravest
and most imperative character--duties which they can not avoid and from
which I trust there will be no inclination on the part of any of them
to shrink. My own sense of them is most clear, as is also my readiness
to discharge those which may rightfully fall on me. To continue any
business relations with the Bank of the United States that may be
avoided without a violation of the national faith after that institution
has set at open defiance the conceded right of the Government to examine
its affairs, after it has done all in its power to deride the public
authority in other respects and to bring it into disrepute at home and
abroad, after it has attempted to defeat the clearly expressed will of
the people by turning against them the immense power intrusted to its
hands and by involving a country otherwise peaceful, flourishing, and
happy, in dissension, embarrassment, and distress, would make the nation
itself a party to the degradation so sedulously prepared for its public
agents and do much to destroy the confidence of mankind in popular
governments and to bring into contempt their authority and efficiency.
In guarding against an evil of such magnitude considerations of
temporary convenience should be thrown out of the question, and we
should be influenced by such motives only as look to the honor and
preservation of the republican system. Deeply and solemnly impressed
with the justice of these views, I feel it to be my duty to recommend to
you that a law be passed authorizing the sale of the public stock: that
the provision of the charter requiring the receipt of notes of the bank
in payment of public dues shall, in accordance with the power reserved
to Congress in the fourteenth section of the charter, be suspended until
the bank pays to the Treasury the dividends withheld, and that all laws
connecting the Government or its officers with the bank, directly or
indirectly, be repealed, and that the institution be left hereafter
to its own resources and means.

Events have satisfied my mind, and I think the minds of the American
people, that the mischiefs and dangers which flow from a national bank
far overbalance all its advantages. The bold effort the present bank has
made to control the Government, the distresses it has wantonly produced,
the violence of which it has been the occasion in one of our cities
famed for its observance of law and order, are but premonitions of the
fate which awaits the American people should they be deluded into a
perpetuation of this institution or the establishment of another like
it. It is fervently hoped that thus admonished those who have heretofore
favored the establishment of a substitute for the present bank will
be induced to abandon it, as it is evidently better to incur any
inconvenience that may be reasonably expected than to concentrate the
whole moneyed power of the Republic in any form whatsoever or under
any restrictions.

Happily it is already illustrated that the agency of such an institution
is not necessary to the fiscal operations of the Government. The State
banks are found fully adequate to the performance of all services which
were required of the Bank of the United States, quite as promptly and
with the same cheapness. They have maintained themselves and discharged
all these duties while the Bank of the United States was still powerful
and in the field as an open enemy, and it is not possible to conceive
that they will find greater difficulties in their operations when that
enemy shall cease to exist.

The attention of Congress is earnestly invited to the regulation of the
deposits in the State banks by law. Although the power now exercised by
the executive department in this behalf is only such as was uniformly
exerted through every Administration from the origin of the Government
up to the establishment of the present bank, yet it is one which
is susceptible of regulation by law, and therefore ought so to be
regulated. The power of Congress to direct in what places the Treasurer
shall keep the moneys in the Treasury and to impose restrictions upon
the Executive authority in relation to their custody and removal is
unlimited, and its exercise will rather be courted than discouraged by
those public officers and agents on whom rests the responsibility for
their safety. It is desirable that as little power as possible should
be left to the President or the Secretary of the Treasury over those
institutions, which, being thus freed from Executive influence, and
without a common head to direct their operations, would have neither the
temptation nor the ability to interfere in the political conflicts of
the country. Not deriving their charters from the national authorities,
they would never have those inducements to meddle in general elections
which have led the Bank of the United States to agitate and convulse the
country for upward of two years.

The progress of our gold coinage is creditable to the officers of
the Mint, and promises in a short period to furnish the country with a
sound and portable currency, which will much diminish the inconvenience
to travelers of the want of a general paper currency should the State
banks be incapable of furnishing it. Those institutions have already
shown themselves competent to purchase and furnish domestic exchange
for the convenience of trade at reasonable rates, and not a doubt is
entertained that in a short period all the wants of the country in bank
accommodations and exchange will be supplied as promptly and as cheaply
as they have heretofore been by the Bank of the United States. If the
several States shall be induced gradually to reform their banking
systems and prohibit the issue of all small notes, we shall in a few
years have a currency as sound and as little liable to fluctuations
as any other commercial country.

The report of the Secretary of War, together with the accompanying
documents from the several bureaus of that Department, will exhibit
the situation of the various objects committed to its administration.

No event has occurred since your last session rendering necessary any
movements of the Army, with the exception of the expedition of the
regiment of dragoons into the territory of the wandering and predatory
tribes inhabiting the western frontier and living adjacent to the
Mexican boundary. These tribes have been heretofore known to us
principally by their attacks upon our own citizens and upon other
Indians entitled to the protection of the United States. It became
necessary for the peace of the frontiers to check these habitual
inroads, and I am happy to inform you that the object has been effected
without the commission of any act of hostility. Colonel Dodge and the
troops under his command have acted with equal firmness and humanity,
and an arrangement has been made with those Indians which it is hoped
will assure their permanent pacific relations with the United States and
the other tribes of Indians upon that border. It is to be regretted that
the prevalence of sickness in that quarter has deprived the country of a
number of valuable lives, and particularly that General Leavenworth, an
officer well known, and esteemed for his gallant services in the late
war and for his subsequent good conduct, has fallen a victim to his zeal
and exertions in the discharge of his duty.

The Army is in a high state of discipline. Its moral condition, so far
as that is known here, is good, and the various branches of the public
service are carefully attended to. It is amply sufficient under its
present organization for providing the necessary garrisons for the
seaboard and for the defense of the internal frontier, and also for
preserving the elements of military knowledge and for keeping pace
with those improvements which modern experience is continually making.
And these objects appear to me to embrace all the legitimate purposes
for which a permanent military force should be maintained in our
country. The lessons of history teach us its danger and the tendency
which exists to an increase. This can be best met and averted by a just
caution on the part of the public itself, and of those who represent
them in Congress.

From the duties which devolve on the Engineer Department and upon
the topographical engineers, a different organization seems to be
demanded by the public interest, and I recommend the subject to
your consideration.

No important change has during this season taken place in the condition
of the Indians. Arrangements are in progress for the removal of the
Creeks, and will soon be for the removal of the Seminoles. I regret that
the Cherokees east of the Mississippi have not yet determined as a
community to remove. How long the personal causes which have heretofore
retarded that ultimately inevitable measure will continue to operate
I am unable to conjecture. It is certain, however, that delay will bring
with it accumulated evils which will render their condition more and
more unpleasant. The experience of every year adds to the conviction
that emigration, and that alone, can preserve from destruction the
remnant of the tribes yet living amongst us. The facility with which the
necessaries of life are procured and the treaty stipulations providing
aid for the emigrant Indians in their agricultural pursuits and in the
important concern of education, and their removal from those causes
which have heretofore depressed all and destroyed many of the tribes,
can not fail to stimulate their exertions and to reward their industry.

The two laws passed at the last session of Congress on the subject of
Indian affairs have been carried into effect, and detailed instructions
for their administration have been given. It will be seen by the
estimates for the present session that a great reduction will take place
in the expenditures of the Department in consequence of these laws, and
there is reason to believe that their operation will be salutary and
that the colonization of the Indians on the western frontier, together
with a judicious system of administration, will still further reduce
the expenses of this branch of the public service and at the same time
promote its usefulness and efficiency.

Circumstances have been recently developed showing the existence of
extensive frauds under the various laws granting pensions and gratuities
for Revolutionary services. It is impossible to estimate the amount
which may have been thus fraudulently obtained from the National
Treasury. I am satisfied, however, it has been such as to justify a
reexamination of the system and the adoption of the necessary checks in
its administration. All will agree that the services and sufferings of
the remnant of our Revolutionary band should be fully compensated; but
while this is done, every proper precaution should be taken to prevent
the admission of fabricated and fraudulent claims. In the present mode
of proceeding the attestations and certificates of the judicial officers
of the various States form a considerable portion of the checks which
are interposed against the commission of frauds. These, however, have
been and may be fabricated, and in such a way as to elude detection at
the examining offices. And independently of this practical difficulty,
it is ascertained that these documents are often loosely granted;
sometimes even blank certificates have been issued; sometimes prepared
papers have been signed without inquiry, and in one instance, at least,
the seal of the court has been within reach of a person most interested
in its improper application. It is obvious that under such circumstances
no severity of administration can check the abuse of the law. And
information has from time to time been communicated to the Pension
Office questioning or denying the right of persons placed upon the
pension list to the bounty of the country. Such cautions are always
attended to and examined, but a far more general investigation is called
for, and I therefore recommend, in conformity with the suggestion of the
Secretary of War, that an actual inspection should be made in each State
into the circumstances and claims of every person now drawing a pension.
The honest veteran has nothing to fear from such a scrutiny, while the
fraudulent claimant will be detected and the public Treasury relieved to
an amount, I have reason to believe, far greater than has heretofore
been suspected. The details of such a plan could be so regulated as to
interpose the necessary checks without any burdensome operation upon the
pensioners. The object should be twofold:

1. To look into the original justice of the claims, so far as this can
be done under a proper system of regulations, by an examination of the
claimants themselves and by inquiring in the vicinity of their residence
into their history and into the opinion entertained of their
Revolutionary services.

2. To ascertain in all cases whether the original claimant is living,
and this by actual personal inspection.

This measure will, if adopted, be productive, I think, of the desired
results, and I therefore recommend it to your consideration, with the
further suggestion that all payments should be suspended till the
necessary reports are received.

It will be seen by a tabular statement annexed to the documents
transmitted to Congress that the appropriations for objects connected
with the War Department, made at the last session, for the service of
the year 1834, excluding the permanent appropriation for the payment of
military gratuities under the act of June 7, 1832, the appropriation of
$200,000 for arming and equipping the militia, and the appropriation of
$10,000 for the civilization of the Indians, which are not annually
renewed, amounted to the sum of $9,003,261, and that the estimates of
appropriations necessary for the same branches of service for the year
1835 amount to the sum of $5,778,964, making a difference in the
appropriations of the current year over the estimates of the
appropriations for the next of $3,224,297.

The principal causes which have operated at this time to produce this
great difference are shown in the reports and documents and in the
detailed estimates. Some of these causes are accidental and temporary;
while others are permanent, and, aided by a just course of
administration, may continue to operate beneficially upon the public

A just economy, expending where the public service requires and
withholding where it does not, is among the indispensable duties of
the Government.

I refer you to the accompanying report of the Secretary of the Navy
and to the documents with it for a full view of the operations of that
important branch of our service during the present year. It will be
seen that the wisdom and liberality with which Congress has provided
for the gradual increase of our navy material have been seconded by a
corresponding zeal and fidelity on the part of those to whom has been
confided the execution of the laws on the subject, and that but a short
period would be now required to put in commission a force large enough
for any exigency into which the country may be thrown.

When we reflect upon our position in relation to other nations, it
must be apparent that in the event of conflicts with them we must look
chiefly to our Navy for the protection of our national rights. The wide
seas which separate us from other Governments must of necessity be the
theater on which an enemy will aim to assail us, and unless we are
prepared to meet him on this element we can not be said to possess the
power requisite to repel or prevent aggressions. We can not, therefore,
watch with too much attention this arm of our defense, or cherish with
too much care the means by which it can possess the necessary efficiency

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