Infomotions, Inc.Volume 4, part 2: John Tyler / Lodge, Henry Cabot, 1850-1924



Author: Lodge, Henry Cabot, 1850-1924
Title: Volume 4, part 2: John Tyler
Publisher: Project Gutenberg
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Title: A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents: Tyler
       Section 2 (of 3) of Volume 4: John Tyler

Author: Compiled by James D. Richardson

Release Date: May 28, 2004 [EBook #12464]

Language: English

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*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK PAPERS OF THE PRESIDENTS: TYLER ***




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A COMPILATION OF THE MESSAGES AND PAPERS OF THE PRESIDENTS

BY JAMES D. RICHARDSON


John Tyler

April 4, 1841, to March 4, 1845




John Tyler

JOHN TYLER, second son of Judge John Tyler, governor of Virginia from
1808 to 1811, and Mary Armistead, was born at Greenway, Charles City
County, Va., March 29, 1790. He was graduated at William and Mary
College in 1807. At college he showed a strong interest in ancient
history; was also fond of poetry and music, and was a skillful performer
on the violin. In 1809 he was admitted to the bar, and had already begun
to obtain a good practice when he was elected to the legislature. Took
his seat in that body in December, 1811. Was here a firm supporter of
Mr. Madison's Administration; and the war with Great Britain, which
soon followed, afforded him an opportunity to become conspicuous as
a forcible and persuasive orator. March 29, 1813, he married Letitia,
daughter of Robert Christian, and a few weeks afterwards was called
into the field at the head of a company of militia to take part in the
defense of Richmond, threatened by the British. This military service
lasted but a month. He was reelected to the legislature annually until,
in November, 1816, he was chosen to fill a vacancy in the United States
House of Representatives. Was reelected to the Fifteenth and Sixteenth
Congresses. In 1821, his health being seriously impaired, he declined
a reelection and retired to private life. In 1823 he was again elected
to the Virginia legislature. Here he was a friend to the candidacy of
William H. Crawford for the Presidency. In 1824 he was a candidate to
fill a vacancy in the United States Senate, but was defeated. He opposed
in 1825 the attempt to remove William and Mary College to Richmond, and
was afterwards made successively rector and chancellor of the college,
which prospered signally under his management. In December, 1825, he was
chosen by the legislature to the governorship of Virginia, and in the
following year was reelected by a unanimous vote. In December, 1826, the
friends of Clay and Adams combined with the Democrats opposed to John
Randolph and elected Mr. Tyler to the United States Senate. In February,
1830, after taking part in the Virginia convention for revising the
State constitution, he returned to his seat in the Senate, and found
himself first drawn toward Jackson by the veto message (May 27) upon the
Maysville turnpike bill; supported Jackson in the Presidential election
of 1832, but broke with the Administration on the question of the
removal of the deposits from the United States Bank, and voted for Mr.
Clay's resolution to censure the President. He was nominated by the
State-rights Whigs for Vice-President in 1835, and at the election on
November 8, 1836, received 47 electoral votes; but no candidate having
a majority of electoral votes, the Senate elected Richard M. Johnson,
of Kentucky. The legislature of Virginia having instructed the Senators
from that State to vote for expunging the resolutions of censure upon
President Jackson, Mr. Tyler refused to obey the instructions, resigned
his seat, and returned home February 29, 1836. On January 10, 1838,
he was chosen president of the Virginia Colonization Society. In the
spring of 1838 he was returned to the Virginia legislature. In January,
1839, he was a candidate for reelection to the United States Senate;
the result was a deadlock, and the question was indefinitely postponed
before any choice had been made. December 4, 1839, the Whig national
convention, at Harrisburg, Pa., nominated him for Vice-President on the
ticket with William Henry Harrison, and at the election on November 10,
1840, he was elected, receiving 234 electoral votes to 48 for Richard M.
Johnson, of Kentucky. By the death of President Harrison April 4, 1841,
Mr. Tyler became President of the United States. He took the oath of
office on April 6. Among the more important events of his Administration
were the "Ashburton treaty" with Great Britain, the termination of
the Indian war in Florida, the passage of the resolutions by Congress
providing for the annexation of Texas, and the treaty with China. On May
27, 1844, he was nominated for President at a convention in Baltimore,
but although at first he accepted the nomination, he subsequently
withdrew his name. On June 26, 1844, Mr. Tyler married Miss Julia
Gardiner, of New York, his first wife having died September 9, 1842.
After leaving the White House he took up his residence on his estate,
Sherwood Forest, near Greenway, Va., on the bank of the James River. Was
president of the Peace Convention held at Washington February 4, 1861.
Afterwards, as a delegate to the Virginia State convention, he advocated
the passage of an ordinance of secession. In May, 1861, he was
unanimously elected a member of the provisional congress of the
Confederate States. In the following autumn he was elected to the
permanent congress, but died at Richmond January 18, 1862, before
taking his seat, and was buried in Hollywood Cemetery, in that city.

       *       *       *       *       *




INAUGURAL ADDRESS.


WASHINGTON, _April 9, 1841_.

_To the People of the United States_.

FELLOW-CITIZENS: Before my arrival at the seat of Government the painful
communication was made to you by the officers presiding over the several
Departments of the deeply regretted death of William Henry Harrison,
late President of the United States. Upon him you had conferred your
suffrages for the first office in your gift, and had selected him as
your chosen instrument to correct and reform all such errors and abuses
as had manifested themselves from time to time in the practical
operation of the Government. While standing at the threshold of this
great work he has by the dispensation of an all-wise Providence been
removed from amongst us, and by the provisions of the Constitution the
efforts to be directed to the accomplishing of this vitally important
task have devolved upon myself. This same occurrence has subjected the
wisdom and sufficiency of our institutions to a new test. For the first
time in our history the person elected to the Vice-Presidency of the
United States, by the happening of a contingency provided for in the
Constitution, has had devolved upon him the Presidential office.
The spirit of faction, which is directly opposed to the spirit of
a lofty patriotism, may find in this occasion for assaults upon my
Administration; and in succeeding, under circumstances so sudden
and unexpected and to responsibilities so greatly augmented, to the
administration of public affairs I shall place in the intelligence and
patriotism of the people my only sure reliance. My earnest prayer shall
be constantly addressed to the all-wise and all-powerful Being who
made me, and by whose dispensation I am called to the high office
of President of this Confederacy, understandingly to carry out the
principles of that Constitution which I have sworn "to protect,
preserve, and defend."

The usual opportunity which is afforded to a Chief Magistrate upon his
induction to office of presenting to his countrymen an exposition of the
policy which would guide his Administration, in the form of an inaugural
address, not having, under the peculiar circumstances which have brought
me to the discharge of the high duties of President of the United
States, been afforded to me, a brief exposition of the principles which
will govern me in the general course of my administration of public
affairs would seem to be due as well to myself as to you.

In regard to foreign nations, the groundwork of my policy will be
justice on our part to all, submitting to injustice from none. While
I shall sedulously cultivate the relations of peace and amity with one
and all, it will be my most imperative duty to see that the honor of the
country shall sustain no blemish. With a view to this, the condition of
our military defenses will become a matter of anxious solicitude. The
Army, which has in other days covered itself with renown, and the Navy,
not inappropriately termed the right arm of the public defense, which
has spread a light of glory over the American standard in all the waters
of the earth, should be rendered replete with efficiency.

In view of the fact, well avouched by history, that the tendency of all
human institutions is to concentrate power in the hands of a single man,
and that their ultimate downfall has proceeded from this cause, I deem
it of the most essential importance that a complete separation should
take place between the sword and the purse. No matter where or how the
public moneys shall be deposited, so long as the President can exert the
power of appointing and removing at his pleasure the agents selected for
their custody the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy is in fact the
treasurer. A permanent and radical change should therefore be decreed.
The patronage incident to the Presidential office, already great, is
constantly increasing. Such increase is destined to keep pace with the
growth of our population, until, without a figure of speech, an army
of officeholders may be spread over the land. The unrestrained power
exerted by a selfishly ambitious man in order either to perpetuate his
authority or to hand it over to some favorite as his successor may lead
to the employment of all the means within his control to accomplish his
object. The right to remove from office, while subjected to no just
restraint, is inevitably destined to produce a spirit of crouching
servility with the official corps, which, in order to uphold the hand
which feeds them, would lead to direct and active interference in the
elections, both State and Federal, thereby subjecting the course of
State legislation to the dictation of the chief executive officer and
making the will of that officer absolute and supreme. I will at a proper
time invoke the action of Congress upon this subject, and shall readily
acquiesce in the adoption of all proper measures which are calculated to
arrest these evils, so full of danger in their tendency. I will remove
no incumbent from office who has faithfully and honestly acquitted
himself of the duties of his office, except in such cases where
such officer has been guilty of an active partisanship or by secret
means--the less manly, and therefore the more objectionable--has given
his official influence to the purposes of party, thereby bringing the
patronage of the Government in conflict with the freedom of elections.
Numerous removals may become necessary under this rule. These will
be made by me through no acerbity of feeling--I have had no cause to
cherish or indulge unkind feelings toward any--but my conduct will be
regulated by a profound sense of what is due to the country and its
institutions; nor shall I neglect to apply the same unbending rule
to those of my own appointment. Freedom of opinion will be tolerated,
the full enjoyment of the right of suffrage will be maintained as the
birthright of every American citizen; but I say emphatically to the
official corps, "Thus far and no farther." I have dwelt the longer upon
this subject because removals from office are likely often to arise,
and I would have my countrymen to understand the principle of the
Executive action.

In all public expenditures the most rigid economy should be resorted to,
and, as one of its results, a public debt in time of peace be sedulously
avoided. A wise and patriotic constituency will never object to the
imposition of necessary burdens for useful ends, and true wisdom
dictates the resort to such means in order to supply deficiencies in the
revenue, rather than to those doubtful expedients which, ultimating in
a public debt, serve to embarrass the resources of the country and to
lessen its ability to meet any great emergency which may arise. All
sinecures should be abolished. The appropriations should be direct
and explicit, so as to leave as limited a share of discretion to the
disbursing agents as may be found compatible with the public service.
A strict responsibility on the part of all the agents of the Government
should be maintained and peculation or defalcation visited with
immediate expulsion from office and the most condign punishment.

The public interest also demands that if any war has existed between
the Government and the currency it shall cease. Measures of a financial
character now having the sanction of legal enactment shall be faithfully
enforced until repealed by the legislative authority. But I owe it to
myself to declare that I regard existing enactments as unwise and
impolitic and in a high degree oppressive. I shall promptly give my
sanction to any constitutional measure which, originating in Congress,
shall have for its object the restoration of a sound circulating medium,
so essentially necessary to give confidence in all the transactions
of life, to secure to industry its just and adequate rewards, and to
reestablish the public prosperity. In deciding upon the adaptation of
any such measure to the end proposed, as well as its conformity to the
Constitution, I shall resort to the fathers of the great republican
school for advice and instruction, to be drawn from their sage views of
our system of government and the light of their ever-glorious example.

The institutions under which we live, my countrymen, secure each person
in the perfect enjoyment of all his rights. The spectacle is exhibited
to the world of a government deriving its powers from the consent of the
governed and having imparted to it only so much power as is necessary
for its successful operation. Those who are charged with its
administration should carefully abstain from all attempts to enlarge
the range of powers thus granted to the several departments of the
Government other than by an appeal to the people for additional grants,
lest by so doing they disturb that balance which the patriots and
statesmen who framed the Constitution designed to establish between the
Federal Government and the States composing the Union. The observance
of these rules is enjoined upon us by that feeling of reverence and
affection which finds a place in the heart of every patriot for the
preservation of union and the blessings of union--for the good of our
children and our children's children through countless generations.
An opposite course could not fail to generate factions intent upon
the gratification of their selfish ends, to give birth to local and
sectional jealousies, and to ultimate either in breaking asunder the
bonds of union or in building up a central system which would inevitably
end in a bloody scepter and an iron crown.

In conclusion I beg you to be assured that I shall exert myself to carry
the foregoing principles into practice during my administration of the
Government, and, confiding in the protecting care of an everwatchful and
overruling Providence, it shall be my first and highest duty to preserve
unimpaired the free institutions under which we live and transmit them
to those who shall succeed me in their full force and vigor.

JOHN TYLER.


[For proclamation of President Tyler recommending, in consequence of the
death of President Harrison, a day of fasting and prayer, see p. 32.]




SPECIAL SESSION MESSAGE.


WASHINGTON, _June 1, 1841_.

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

FELLOW CITIZENS: You have been assembled in your respective halls of
legislation under a proclamation bearing the signature of the
illustrious citizen who was so lately called by the direct suffrages of
the people to the discharge of the important functions of their chief
executive office. Upon the expiration of a single month from the day of
his installation he has paid the great debt of nature, leaving behind
him a name associated with the recollection of numerous benefits
conferred upon the country during a long life of patriotic devotion.
With this public bereavement are connected other considerations which
will not escape the attention of Congress. The preparations necessary
for his removal to the seat of Government in view of a residence of four
years must have devolved upon the late President heavy expenditures,
which, if permitted to burthen the limited resources of his private
fortune, may tend seriously to the embarrassment of his surviving
family; and it is therefore respectfully submitted to Congress whether
the ordinary principles of justice would not dictate the propriety of
its legislative interposition. By the provisions of the fundamental law
the powers and duties of the high station to which he was elected have
devolved upon me, and in the dispositions of the representatives of the
States and of the people will be found, to a great extent, a solution of
the problem to which our institutions are for the first time subjected.

In entering upon the duties of this office I did not feel that it would
be becoming in me to disturb what had been ordered by my lamented
predecessor. Whatever, therefore, may have been my opinion originally as
to the propriety of convening Congress at so early a day from that of
its late adjournment, I found a new and controlling inducement not to
interfere with the patriotic desires of the late President in the
novelty of the situation in which I was so unexpectedly placed. My first
wish under such circumstances would necessarily have been to have called
to my aid in the administration of public affairs the combined wisdom of
the two Houses of Congress, in order to take their counsel and advice as
to the best mode of extricating the Government and the country from the
embarrassments weighing heavily on both. I am, then, most happy in
finding myself so soon after my accession to the Presidency surrounded
by the immediate representatives of the States and people.

No important changes having taken place in our foreign relations since
the last session of Congress, it is not deemed necessary on this
occasion to go into a detailed statement in regard to them. I am happy
to say that I see nothing to destroy the hope of being able to preserve
peace, The ratification of the treaty with Portugal has been duly
exchanged between the two Governments. This Government has not been
inattentive to the interests of those of our citizens who have claims on
the Government of Spain founded on express treaty stipulations, and a
hope is indulged that the representations which have been made to that
Government on this subject may lead ere long to beneficial results.

A correspondence has taken place between the Secretary of State and the
minister of Her Britannic Majesty accredited to this Government on the
subject of Alexander McLeod's indictment and imprisonment, copies of
which are herewith communicated to Congress.

In addition to what appears from these papers, it may be proper to state
that Alexander McLeod has been heard by the supreme court of the State
of New York on his motion to be discharged from imprisonment, and that
the decision of that court has not as yet been pronounced.

The Secretary of State has addressed to me a paper upon two subjects
interesting to the commerce of the country, which will receive my
consideration, and which I have the honor to communicate to Congress.

So far as it depends on the course of this Government, our relations of
good will and friendship will be sedulously cultivated with all nations.
The true American policy will be found to consist in the exercise of
a spirit of justice, to be manifested in the discharge of all our
international obligations to the weakest of the family of nations as
well as to the most powerful. Occasional conflicts of opinion may arise,
but when the discussions incident to them are conducted in the language
of truth and with a strict regard to justice the scourge of war will for
the most part be avoided. The time ought to be regarded as having gone
by when a resort to arms is to be esteemed as the only proper arbiter
of national differences.

The census recently taken shows a regularly progressive increase in
our population. Upon the breaking out of the War of the Revolution
our numbers scarcely equaled 3,000,000 souls; they already exceed
17,000,000, and will continue to progress in a ratio which duplicates in
a period of about twenty-three years. The old States contain a territory
sufficient in itself to maintain a population of additional millions,
and the most populous of the new States may even yet be regarded as but
partially settled, while of the new lands on this side of the Rocky
Mountains, to say nothing of the immense region which stretches from
the base of those mountains to the mouth of the Columbia River, about
770,000,000 acres, ceded and unceded, still remain to be brought into
market. We hold out to the people of other countries an invitation to
come and settle among us as members of our rapidly growing family, and
for the blessings which we offer them we require of them to look upon
our country as their country and to unite with us in the great task of
preserving our institutions and thereby perpetuating our liberties. No
motive exists for foreign conquest; we desire but to reclaim our almost
illimitable wildernesses and to introduce into their depths the lights
of civilization. While we shall at all times be prepared to vindicate
the national honor, our most earnest desire will be to maintain an
unbroken peace.

In presenting the foregoing views I can not withhold the expression of
the opinion that there exists nothing in the extension of our Empire
over our acknowledged possessions to excite the alarm of the patriot for
the safety of our institutions. The federative system, leaving to each
State the care of its domestic concerns and devolving on the Federal
Government those of general import, admits in safety of the greatest
expansion; but at the same time I deem it proper to add that there will
be found to exist at all times an imperious necessity for restraining
all the functionaries of this Government within the range of their
respective powers, thereby preserving a just balance between the powers
granted to this Government and those reserved to the States and to the
people.

From the report of the Secretary of the Treasury you will perceive that
the fiscal means, present and accruing, are insufficient to supply the
wants of the Government for the current year. The balance in the
Treasury on the 4th day of March last not covered by outstanding drafts,
and exclusive of trust funds, is estimated at $860,000. This includes
the sum of $215,000 deposited in the Mint and its branches to procure
metal for coining and in process of coinage, and which could not be
withdrawn without inconvenience, thus leaving subject to draft in the
various depositories the sum of $645,000. By virtue of two several acts
of Congress the Secretary of the Treasury was authorized to issue on and
after the 4th day of March last Treasury notes to the amount of
$5,413,000, making an aggregate available fund of $6,058,000 on hand.

But this fund was chargeable, with outstanding Treasury notes redeemable
in the current year and interest thereon, to the estimated amount of
$5,280,000. There is also thrown upon the Treasury the payment of a
large amount of demands accrued in whole or in part in former years,
which will exhaust the available means of the Treasury and leave the
accruing revenue, reduced as it is in amount, burthened with debt and
charged with the current expenses of the Government.

The aggregate amount of outstanding appropriations on the 4th day of
March last was $33,429,616.50, of which $24,210,000 will be required
during the current year; and there will also be required for the
use of the War Department additional appropriations to the amount of
$2,511,132.98, the special objects of which will be seen by reference
to the report of the Secretary of War. The anticipated means of the
Treasury are greatly inadequate to this demand. The receipts from
customs for the last three quarters of the last year and first quarter
of the present year amounted to $12,100,000; the receipts for lands
for the same time to $2,742,450, shewing an average revenue from both
sources of $1,236,870 per month.

A gradual expansion of trade, growing out of a restoration of
confidence, together with a reduction in the expenses of collecting and
punctuality on the part of collecting officers, may cause an addition
to the monthly receipts from the customs. They are estimated for the
residue of the year from the 4th of March at $12,000,000. The receipts
from the public lands for the same time are estimated at $2,500,000, and
from miscellaneous sources at $170,000, making an aggregate of available
fund within the year of $15,315,000, which will leave a probable deficit
of $11,406,132.98. To meet this some temporary provision is necessary
until the amount can be absorbed by the excess of revenues which are
anticipated to accrue at no distant day.

There will fall due within the next three months Treasury notes of
the issues of 1840, including interest, about $2,850,000. There is
chargeable in the same period for arrearages for taking the Sixth Census
$294,000, and the estimated expenditures for the current service are
about $8,100,000, making the aggregate demand upon the Treasury prior
to the 1st of September next about $11,340,000.

The ways and means in the Treasury and estimated to accrue within the
above-named period consist of about $694,000 of funds available on the
28th ultimo, an unissued balance of Treasury notes authorized by the act
of 1841 amounting to $1,955,000, and estimated receipts from all sources
of $3,800,000, making an aggregate of about $6,450,000, and leaving a
probable deficit on the 1st of September next of $4,845,000.

In order to supply the wants of the Government, an intelligent
constituency, in view of their best interests, will without hesitation
submit to all necessary burthens. But it is nevertheless important so to
impose them as to avoid defeating the just expectations of the country
growing out of preexisting laws. The act of the 2d of March, 1833,
commonly called the "compromise act," should not be altered except under
urgent necessities, which are not believed at this time to exist. One
year only remains to complete the series of reductions provided for by
that law, at which time provisions made by the same law, and which then
will be brought actively in aid of the manufacturing interests of the
Union, will not fail to produce the most beneficial results. Under a
system of discriminating duties imposed for purposes of revenue, in
unison with the provisions of existing laws, it is to be hoped that our
policy will in the future be fixed and permanent, so as to avoid those
constant fluctuations which defeat the very objects they have in view.
We shall thus best maintain a position which, while it will enable us
the more readily to meet the advances of other countries calculated to
promote our trade and commerce, will at the same time leave in our own
hands the means of retaliating with greater effect unjust regulations.

In intimate connection with the question of revenue is that which makes
provision for a suitable fiscal agent, capable of adding increased
facilities in the collection and disbursement of the public revenues,
rendering more secure their custody, and consulting a true economy
in the great, multiplied, and delicate operations of the Treasury
Department. Upon such an agent depends in an eminent degree the
establishment of a currency of uniform value, which is of so great
importance to all the essential interests of society, and on the wisdom
to be manifested in its creation much depends. So intimately interwoven
are its operations, not only with the interests of individuals, but of
States, that it may be regarded to a great degree as controlling both.
If paper be used as the chief medium of circulation, and the power be
vested in the Government of issuing it at pleasure, either in the form
of Treasury drafts or any other, or if banks be used as the public
depositories, with liberty to regard all surpluses from day to day as
so much added to their active capital, prices are exposed to constant
fluctuations and industry to severe suffering. In the one case political
considerations directed to party purposes may control, while excessive
cupidity may prevail in the other. The public is thus constantly liable
to imposition. Expansions and contractions may follow each other in
rapid succession--the one engendering a reckless spirit of adventure and
speculation, which embraces States as well as individuals, the other
causing a fall in prices and accomplishing an entire change in the
aspect of affairs. Stocks of all sorts rapidly decline, individuals
are ruined, and States embarrassed even in their efforts to meet with
punctuality the interest on their debts. Such, unhappily, is the
condition of things now existing in the United States. These effects may
readily be traced to the causes above referred to. The public revenues,
being removed from the then Bank of the United States, under an order of
a late President, were placed in selected State banks, which, actuated
by the double motive of conciliating the Government and augmenting their
profits to the greatest possible extent, enlarged extravagantly their
discounts, thus enabling all other existing banks to do the same; large
dividends were declared, which, stimulating the cupidity of capitalists,
caused a rush to be made to the legislatures of the respective States
for similar acts of incorporation, which by many of the States, under a
temporary infatuation, were readily granted, and thus the augmentation
of the circulating medium, consisting almost exclusively of paper,
produced a most fatal delusion. An illustration derived from the land
sales of the period alluded to will serve best to show the effect of the
whole system. The average sales of the public lands for a period of ten
years prior to 1834 had not much exceeded $2,000,000 per annum. In 1834
they attained in round numbers to the amount of $6,000,000; in the
succeeding year of 1835 they reached $16,000,000, and the next year of
1836 they amounted to the enormous sum of $25,000,000, thus crowding
into the short space of three years upward of twenty-three years'
purchase of the public domain. So apparent had become the necessity of
arresting this course of things that the executive department assumed
the highly questionable power of discriminating in the funds to be used
in payment by different classes of public debtors--a discrimination
which was doubtless designed to correct this most ruinous state of
things by the exaction of specie in all payments for the public lands,
but which could not at once arrest the tide which had so strongly set
in. Hence the demands for specie became unceasing, and corresponding
prostration rapidly ensued under the necessities created with the banks
to curtail their discounts and thereby to reduce their circulation.
I recur to these things with no disposition to censure preexisting
Administrations of the Government, but simply in exemplification of the
truth of the position which I have assumed. If, then, any fiscal agent
which may be created shall be placed, without due restrictions, either
in the hands of the administrators of the Government or those of private
individuals, the temptation to abuse will prove to be resistless.
Objects of political aggrandizement may seduce the first, and the
promptings of a boundless cupidity will assail the last. Aided by the
experience of the past, it will be the pleasure of Congress so to guard
and fortify the public interests in the creation of any new agent as to
place them, so far as human wisdom can accomplish it, on a footing of
perfect security. Within a few years past three different schemes have
been before the country. The charter of the Bank of the United States
expired by its own limitations in 1836. An effort was made to renew
it, which received the sanction of the two Houses of Congress, but the
then President of the United States exercised his _veto_ power and the
measure was defeated. A regard to truth requires me to say that the
President was fully sustained in the course he had taken by the popular
voice. His successor to the chair of state unqualifiedly pronounced his
opposition to any new charter of a similar institution, and not only the
popular election which brought him into power, but the elections through
much of his term, seemed clearly to indicate a concurrence with him
in sentiment on the part of the people. After the public moneys were
withdrawn from the United States Bank they were placed in deposit with
the State banks, and the result of that policy has been before the
country. To say nothing as to the question whether that experiment
was made under propitious or adverse circumstances, it may safely be
asserted that it did receive the unqualified condemnation of most of its
early advocates, and, it is believed, was also condemned by the popular
sentiment. The existing subtreasury system does not seem to stand in
higher favor with the people, but has recently been condemned in a
manner too plainly indicated to admit of a doubt. Thus in the short
period of eight years the popular voice may be regarded as having
successively condemned each of the three schemes of finance to which
I have adverted. As to the first, it was introduced at a time (1816)
when the State banks, then comparatively few in number, had been forced
to suspend specie payments by reason of the war which had previously
prevailed with Great Britain. Whether if the United States Bank charter,
which expired in 1811, had been renewed in due season it would have been
enabled to continue specie payments during the war and the disastrous
period to the commerce of the country which immediately succeeded is, to
say the least, problematical, and whether the United States Bank of 1816
produced a restoration of specie payments or the same was accomplished
through the instrumentality of other means was a matter of some
difficulty at that time to determine. Certain it is that for the first
years of the operation of that bank its course was as disastrous as
for the greater part of its subsequent career it became eminently
successful. As to the second, the experiment was tried with a redundant
Treasury, which continued to increase until it seemed to be the part
of wisdom to distribute the surplus revenue among the States, which,
operating at the same time with the specie circular and the causes
before adverted to, caused them to suspend specie payments and involved
the country in the greatest embarrassment. And as to the third, if
carried through all the stages of its transmutation from paper and
specie to nothing but the precious metals, to say nothing of the
insecurity of the public moneys, its injurious effects have been
anticipated by the country in its unqualified condemnation. What is now
to be regarded as the judgment of the American people on this whole
subject I have no accurate means of determining but by appealing to
their more immediate representatives. The late contest, which terminated
in the election of General Harrison to the Presidency, was decided on
principles well known and openly declared, and while the subtreasury
received in the result the most decided condemnation, yet no other
scheme of finance seemed to have been concurred in. To you, then, who
have come more directly from the body of our common constituents, I
submit the entire question, as best qualified to give a full exposition
of their wishes and opinions. I shall be ready to concur with you in the
adoption of such system as you may propose, reserving to myself the
ultimate power of rejecting any measure which may, in my view of it,
conflict with the Constitution or otherwise jeopardize the prosperity of
the country--a power which I could not part with even if I would, but
which I will not believe any act of yours will call into requisition.

I can not avoid recurring, in connection with this subject, to the
necessity which exists for adopting some suitable measure whereby the
unlimited creation of banks by the States may be corrected in future.
Such result can be most readily achieved by the consent of the States,
to be expressed in the form of a compact among themselves, which
they can only enter into with the consent and approbation of this
Government--a consent which might in the present emergency of the
public demands justifiably be given by Congress in advance of any action
by the States, as an inducement to such action, upon terms well defined
by the act of tender. Such a measure, addressing itself to the calm
reflection of the States, would find in the experience of the past and
the condition of the present much to sustain it; and it is greatly to be
doubted whether any scheme of finance can prove for any length of time
successful while the States shall continue in the unrestrained exercise
of the power of creating banking corporations. This power can only be
limited by their consent.

With the adoption of a financial agency of a satisfactory character the
hope may be indulged that the country may once more return to a state of
prosperity. Measures auxiliary thereto, and in some measure inseparably
connected with its success, will doubtless claim the attention of
Congress. Among such, a distribution of the proceeds of the sales of the
public lands, provided such distribution does not force upon Congress
the necessity of imposing upon commerce heavier burthens than those
contemplated by the act of 1833, would act as an efficient remedial
measure by being brought directly in aid of the States. As one sincerely
devoted to the task of preserving a just balance in our system of
Government by the maintenance of the States in a condition the most free
and respectable and in the full possession of all their power, I can no
otherwise than feel desirous for their emancipation from the situation
to which the pressure on their finances now subjects them. And while I
must repudiate, as a measure founded in error and wanting constitutional
sanction, the slightest approach to an assumption by this Government of
the debts of the States, yet I can see in the distribution adverted to
much to recommend it. The compacts between the proprietor States and
this Government expressly guarantee to the States all the benefits which
may arise from the sales. The mode by which this is to be effected
addresses itself to the discretion of Congress as the trustee for the
States, and its exercise after the most beneficial manner is restrained
by nothing in the grants or in the Constitution so long as Congress
shall consult that equality in the distribution which the compacts
require. In the present condition of some of the States the question of
distribution may be regarded as substantially a question between direct
and indirect taxation. If the distribution be not made in some form
or other, the necessity will daily become more urgent with the debtor
States for a resort to an oppressive system of direct taxation, or their
credit, and necessarily their power and influence, will be greatly
diminished. The payment of taxes after the most inconvenient and
oppressive mode will be exacted in place of contributions for the most
part voluntarily made, and therefore comparatively unoppressive. The
States are emphatically the constituents of this Government, and we
should be entirely regardless of the objects held in view by them in
the creation of this Government if we could be indifferent to their
good. The happy effects of such a measure upon all the States would
immediately be manifested. With the debtor States it would effect the
relief to a great extent of the citizens from a heavy burthen of direct
taxation, which presses with severity on the laboring classes, and
eminently assist in restoring the general prosperity. An immediate
advance would take place in the price of the State securities, and the
attitude of the States would become once more, as it should ever be,
lofty and erect. With States laboring under no extreme pressure from
debt, the fund which they would derive from this source would enable
them to improve their condition in an eminent degree. So far as this
Government is concerned, appropriations to domestic objects approaching
in amount the revenue derived from the land sales might be abandoned,
and thus a system of unequal, and therefore unjust, legislation would
be substituted by one dispensing equality to all the members of this
Confederacy. Whether such distribution should be made directly to the
States in the proceeds of the sales or in the form of profits by virtue
of the operations of any fiscal agency having those proceeds as its
basis, should such measure be contemplated by Congress, would well
deserve its consideration. Nor would such disposition of the proceeds of
the sales in any manner prevent Congress from time to time from passing
all necessary preemption laws for the benefit of actual settlers, or
from making any new arrangement as to the price of the public lands
which might in future be esteemed desirable.

I beg leave particularly to call your attention to the accompanying
report from the Secretary of War. Besides the present state of the war
which has so long afflicted the Territory of Florida, and the various
other matters of interest therein referred to, you will learn from it
that the Secretary has instituted an inquiry into abuses, which promises
to develop gross enormities in connection with Indian treaties which
have been negotiated, as well as in the expenditures for the removal and
subsistence of the Indians. He represents also other irregularities
of a serious nature that have grown up in the practice of the Indian
Department, which will require the appropriation of upward of $200,000
to correct, and which claim the immediate attention of Congress.

In reflecting on the proper means of defending the country we can not
shut our eyes to the consequences which the introduction and use of the
power of steam upon the ocean are likely to produce in wars between
maritime states. We can not yet see the extent to which this power may
be applied in belligerent operations, connecting itself as it does with
recent improvements in the science of gunnery and projectiles; but we
need have no fear of being left, in regard to these things, behind the
most active and skillful of other nations if the genius and enterprise
of our fellow-citizens receive proper encouragement and direction from
Government.

True wisdom would nevertheless seem to dictate the necessity of placing
in perfect condition those fortifications which are designed for the
protection of our principal cities and roadsteads. For the defense of
our extended maritime coast our chief reliance should be placed on
our Navy, aided by those inventions which are destined to recommend
themselves to public adoption, but no time should be lost in placing our
principal cities on the seaboard and the Lakes in a state of entire
security from foreign assault. Separated as we are from the countries of
the Old World, and in much unaffected by their policy, we are happily
relieved from the necessity of maintaining large standing armies in
times of peace. The policy which was adopted by Mr. Monroe shortly after
the conclusion of the late war with Great Britain of preserving a
regularly organized staff sufficient for the command of a large military
force should a necessity for one arise is founded as well in economy as
in true wisdom. Provision is thus made, upon filling up the rank and
file, which can readily be done on any emergency, for the introduction
of a system of discipline both promptly and efficiently. All that is
required in time of peace is to maintain a sufficient number of men
to guard our fortifications, to meet any sudden contingency, and to
encounter the first shock of war. Our chief reliance must be placed on
the militia; they constitute the great body of national guards, and,
inspired by an ardent love of country, will be found ready at all times
and at all seasons to repair with alacrity to its defense. It will be
regarded by Congress, I doubt not, at a suitable time as one of its
highest duties to attend to their complete organization and discipline.

The state of the navy pension fund requires the immediate attention of
Congress. By the operation of the act of the 3d of March, 1837, entitled
"An act for the more equitable administration of the navy pension fund,"
that fund has been exhausted. It will be seen from the accompanying
report of the Commissioner of Pensions that there will be required for
the payment of navy pensions on the 1st of July next $88,706.06-1/3, and
on the 1st of January, 1842, the sum of $69,000. In addition to these
sums, about $6,000 will be required to pay arrears of pensions which
will probably be allowed between the 1st of July and the 1st of January,
1842, making in the whole $163,706.06-1/3. To meet these payments there
is within the control of the Department the sum of $28,040, leaving a
deficiency of $139,666.06-1/3. The public faith requires that immediate
provision should be made for the payment of these sums.

In order to introduce into the Navy a desirable efficiency, a new system
of accountability may be found to be indispensably necessary. To mature
a plan having for its object the accomplishment of an end so important
and to meet the just expectations of the country require more time than
has yet been allowed to the Secretary at the head of the Department. The
hope is indulged that by the time of your next regular session measures
of importance in connection with this branch of the public service may
be matured for your consideration.

Although the laws regulating the Post-Office Department only require
from the officer charged with its direction to report at the usual
annual session of Congress, the Postmaster-General has presented to me
some facts connected with the financial condition of the Department
which are deemed worthy the attention of Congress. By the accompanying
report of that officer it appears the existing liabilities of that
Department beyond the means of payment at its command can not be less
than $500,000. As the laws organizing that branch of the public service
confine the expenditure to its own revenues, deficiencies therein
can not be presented under the usual estimates for the expenses of
Government. It must therefore be left to Congress to determine whether
the moneys now due the contractors shall be paid from the public
Treasury or whether that Department shall continue under its present
embarrassments. It will be seen by the report of the Postmaster-General
that the recent lettings of contracts in several of the States have been
made at such reduced rates of compensation as to encourage the belief
that if the Department was relieved from existing difficulties its
future operations might be conducted without any further call upon the
general Treasury.

The power of appointing to office is one of a character the most
delicate and responsible. The appointing power is evermore exposed to be
led into error. With anxious solicitude to select the most trustworthy
for official station, I can not be supposed to possess a personal
knowledge of the qualifications of every applicant. I deem it,
therefore, proper in this most public manner to invite on the part of
the Senate a just scrutiny into the character and pretensions of every
person I may bring to their notice in the regular form of a nomination
for office. Unless persons every way trustworthy are employed in the
public service, corruption and irregularity will inevitably follow.
I shall with the greatest cheerfulness acquiesce in the decision of
that body, and, regarding it as wisely constituted to aid the executive
department in the performance of this delicate duty, I shall look to its
"consent and advice" as given only in furtherance of the best interests
of the country. I shall also at the earliest proper occasion invite the
attention of Congress to such measures as in my judgment will be best
calculated to regulate and control the Executive power in reference to
this vitally important subject.

I shall also at the proper season invite your attention to the
statutory enactments for the suppression of the slave trade, which may
require to be rendered more efficient in their provisions. There is
reason to believe that the traffic is on the increase. Whether such
increase is to be ascribed to the abolition of slave labor in the
British possessions in our vicinity and an attendant diminution in the
supply of those articles which enter into the general consumption of
the world, thereby augmenting the demand from other quarters, and thus
calling for additional labor, it were needless to inquire. The highest
considerations of public honor as well as the strongest promptings of
humanity require a resort to the most vigorous efforts to suppress the
trade.

In conclusion I beg to invite your particular attention to the interests
of this District; nor do I doubt but that in a liberal spirit of
legislation you will seek to advance its commercial as well as its local
interests. Should Congress deem it to be its duty to repeal the existing
subtreasury law, the necessity of providing a suitable place of deposit
of the public moneys which may be required within the District must be
apparent to all.

I have felt it due to the country to present the foregoing topics to
your consideration and reflection. Others with which it might not seem
proper to trouble you at an extraordinary session will be laid before
you at a future day. I am happy in committing the important affairs of
the country into your hands. The tendency of public sentiment, I am
pleased to believe, is toward the adoption, in a spirit of union and
harmony, of such measures as will fortify the public interests. To
cherish such a tendency of public opinion is the task of an elevated
patriotism. That differences of opinion as to the means of accomplishing
these desirable objects should exist is reasonably to be expected. Nor
can all be made satisfied with any system of measures; but I flatter
myself with the hope that the great body of the people will readily
unite in support of those whose efforts spring from a disinterested
desire to promote their happiness, to preserve the Federal and State
Governments within their respective orbits; to cultivate peace with
all the nations of the earth on just and honorable grounds; to exact
obedience to the laws; to intrench liberty and property in full
security; and, consulting the most rigid economy, to abolish all
useless expenses.

JOHN TYLER.




SPECIAL MESSAGES.


CITY OF WASHINGTON, _June 2, 1841_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

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

JOHN TYLER.


WASHINGTON, _June 17, 1841_.

_To the Senate of the United States_

I transmit to the Senate the inclosed communication[1] from the
Secretary of State, in answer to a resolution of the Senate of the 12th
instant.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 1: Relating to the commissioners appointed to investigate the
condition of the public works in Washington, D.C., and transmitting
copy of the letter of instructions issued to them.]



WASHINGTON, _June 17, 1841_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate the inclosed communication from the Secretary
of State, in answer to a resolution of the Senate of the 12th instant.

JOHN TYLER.



DEPARTMENT OF STATE, _June 15, 1841_.

The PRESIDENT.

SIR: In answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 12th instant,
calling for "any orders which may have been issued to the officers of
the Army and Navy in relation to political offenses in elections," etc.,
I inclose a copy of the circular letter addressed, under the direction
of the President, by this Department to the heads of the other
Departments, and know of no other order to which the resolution can be
supposed to have reference.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

DANIEL WEBSTER.



CIRCULAR.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, _March 20, 1841_.

SIR: The President is of opinion that it is a great abuse to bring the
patronage of the General Government into conflict with the freedom of
elections, and that this abuse ought to be corrected wherever it may
have been permitted to exist, and to be prevented for the future.

He therefore directs that information be given to all officers and
agents in your department of the public service that partisan
interference in popular elections, whether of State officers or officers
of this Government, and for whomsoever or against whomsoever it may be
exercised, or the payment of any contribution or assessment on salaries,
or official compensation for party or election purposes, will be
regarded by him as cause of removal.

It is not intended that any officer shall be restrained in the free and
proper expression and maintenance of his opinions respecting public men
or public measures, or in the exercise to the fullest degree of the
constitutional right of suffrage. But persons employed under the
Government and paid for their services out of the public Treasury are
not expected to take an active or officious part in attempts to
influence the minds or votes of others, such conduct being deemed
inconsistent with the spirit of the Constitution and the duties of
public agents acting under it; and the President is resolved, so far as
depends upon him, that while the exercise of the elective franchise by
the people shall be free from undue influences of official station and
authority, opinion shall also be free among the officers and agents of
the Government.

The President wishes it further to be announced and distinctly
understood that from all collecting and disbursing officers promptitude
in rendering accounts and entire punctuality in paying balances will be
rigorously exacted. In his opinion it is time to return in this respect
to the early practice of the Government, and to hold any degree of
delinquency on the part of those intrusted with the public money just
cause of immediate removal. He deems the severe observance of this rule
to be essential to the public service, as every dollar lost to the
Treasury by unfaithfulness in office creates a necessity for a new
charge upon the people.

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

DANIEL WEBSTER.



WASHINGTON, D.C., _June 18, 1841_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate a report from the Secretary of the Navy, with
accompanying documents,[2] in answer to their resolution of the 12th
instant.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 2: Correspondence of the minister in England with the officers
of the Mediterranean Squadron, in consequence of which the squadron left
that station, and the dispatches of Captain Bolton to the Secretary of
the Navy connected with that movement.]



WASHINGTON, _June, 1841_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I have the honor to transmit to the Senate the accompanying letter[3]
from the Secretary of the Treasury, in pursuance of its resolution of the
8th instant.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 3: Relating to allowances since March 4, 1841, of claims
arising under the invasion of East Florida in 1812.]



WASHINGTON, _June 22, 1841_.

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

I have the honor to submit the accompanying correspondence between
myself and the Hon. J. Burnet, J.C. Wright, and others, who arrived
some days ago in this city as a committee on behalf of the people of
Cincinnati for the purpose, with the assent of the family, of removing
the remains of the late President of the United States to North Bend for
interment. I have thought it to be my duty thus to apprise Congress of
the contemplated proceedings.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON CITY, _June 16, 1841_.

The PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

DEAR SIR: The undersigned were appointed by the citizens and the
city council of Cincinnati and by many of the surviving soldiers
of the late war to apply to the widow and family of our distinguished
fellow-citizen, the late President of the United States, for permission
to remove his remains from the city of Washington to the State of Ohio
for interment. They have made the application directed, and have
received permission to perform that sacred trust. They have now the
honor of reporting to you their arrival in this city, and of asking your
approbation of the measure contemplated and your cooperation in carrying
it into effect.

We are fully aware of the high estimate you placed on the talents and
virtues of our lamented friend and fellow-citizen, the late Chief
Magistrate of the Union, whose friendship and confidence you possessed
many years. We saw the tear fall from your eye and mingle with the tears
of the nation when the inscrutable will of Heaven removed him from us.

Knowing these things, we approach you with confidence, well assured that
you will justly appreciate our motive for undertaking the mournful duty
we have been deputed to perform, and that the same kind feeling which
has marked your course through life will prompt you on this occasion to
afford us your countenance, and, if necessary, your cooperation.

If it meet your approbation, the committee will do themselves the honor
of waiting upon you at the President's house at any hour you may please
to designate.

With high respect, we are, your friends and fellow-citizens,

J. BURNET.
  J.C. WRIGHT.
    [AND 10 OTHERS.]



WASHINGTON, _June 17, 1841_.

J. BURNET, J.C. WRIGHT, AND OTHERS OF THE COMMITTEE.

GENTLEMEN: Your letter of the 16th was duly handed me, and I lose
no time in responding to the feelings and sentiments which you have
expressed for yourselves and those you represent, and which you have
correctly ascribed to me in regard to the lamented death of the late
President. As a citizen I respected him; as a patriot I honored him;
as a friend he was near and dear to me. That the people of Cincinnati
should desire to keep watch over his remains by entombing them near
their city is both natural and becoming; that the entire West, where so
many evidences of his public usefulness are to be found, should unite in
the same wish was to have been expected; and that the surviving soldiers
of his many battles, led on by him to victory and to glory, should sigh
to perform the last melancholy duties to the remains of their old
commander is fully in consonance with the promptings of a noble and
generous sympathy. I could not, if I was authorized to do so, oppose
myself to their wishes. I might find something to urge on behalf of his
native State in my knowledge of his continued attachment to her through
the whole period of his useful life; in the claims of his relatives
there, whose desire it would be that the mortal remains of the
illustrious son should sleep under the same turf with those of his
distinguished father, one of the signers of the Declaration of
Independence; in the wish of the citizens of his native county to claim
all that is now left of him for whom they so lately cast their almost
unanimous suffrage; to say nothing of my own feelings, allied as I am
by blood to many of his near relatives, and with our names so closely
associated in much connected with the late exciting political contest.
These considerations might present some reasonable ground for opposing
your wishes; but the assent which has been given by his respected widow
and nearest relatives to the request of the people of Cincinnati admits
of no opposition on my part, neither in my individual nor official
character.

I shall feel it to be my duty, however, to submit our correspondence to
the two Houses of Congress, now in session, but anticipating no effort
from that quarter to thwart the wishes expressed by yourselves in
consonance with those of the widow and nearest relatives of the late
President. I readily promise you my cooperation toward enabling you to
fulfill the sacred trust which brought you to this city.

I tender to each of you, gentlemen, my cordial salutations.

JOHN TYLER.

[NOTE.--The remains of the late President of the United States were
removed from Washington to North Bend, Ohio, June 26, 1841.]



WASHINGTON, _June 29, 1841_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 14th instant, I
have the honor to submit the accompanying reports from the Secretary of
State and Secretary of the Treasury, which embrace all the information
possessed by the executive department upon that subject.[4]

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 4: Payment or assumption of State stocks by the General
Government.]



WASHINGTON, _June 30, 1841_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

The accompanying memorial in favor of the passage of a bankrupt law,
signed by nearly 3,000 of the inhabitants of the city of New York, has
been forwarded to me, attended by a request that I would submit it to
the consideration of Congress. I can not waive a compliance with a
request urged upon me by so large and respectable a number of my
fellow-citizens. That a bankrupt law, carefully guarded against
fraudulent practices and embracing as far as practicable all classes of
society--the failure to do which has heretofore constituted a prominent
objection to the measure--would afford extensive relief I do not doubt.
The distress incident to the derangements of some years past has visited
large numbers of our fellow-citizens with hopeless insolvency, whose
energies, both mental and physical, by reason of the load of debt
pressing upon them, are lost to the country. Whether Congress shall deem
it proper to enter upon the consideration of this subject at its present
extraordinary session it will doubtless wisely determine. I have
fulfilled my duty to the memorialists in submitting their petition to
your consideration.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _July 1, 1841_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I have the honor herewith to submit to the Senate the copy of a letter
addressed by myself to Mrs. Harrison in compliance with the resolutions
of Congress, and her reply thereto.

JOHN TYLER.

[The same message was sent to the House of Representatives.]



WASHINGTON, _June 13, 1841_.

Mrs. ANNA HARRISON.

MY DEAR MADAM: The accompanying resolutions, adopted by the Senate and
House of Representatives of the United States, will convey to you an
expression of the deep sympathy felt by the representatives of the
States and of the people in the sad bereavement which yourself and the
country have sustained in the death of your illustrious husband. It
may now be justly considered that the public archives constitute his
enduring monument, on which are inscribed in characters not to be
effaced the proudest evidences of public gratitude for services rendered
and of sorrow for his death. A great and united people shed their tears
over the bier of a devoted patriot and distinguished public benefactor.

In conveying to you, my dear madam, the profound respect of the two
Houses of Congress for your person and character, and their sincere
condolence on the late afflicting dispensation of Providence, permit me
to mingle my feelings with theirs and to tender you my fervent wishes
for your health, happiness, and long life.

JOHN TYLER.



A RESOLUTION manifesting the sensibility of Congress upon the event
of the death of William Henry Harrison, late President of the United
States.

The melancholy event of the death of William Henry Harrison, the late
President of the United States, having occurred during the recess of
Congress, and the two Houses sharing in the general grief and desiring
to manifest their sensibility upon the occasion of that public
bereavement: Therefore,

_Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States of America in Congress assembled_, That the chairs of the
President of the Senate and of the Speaker of the House of
Representatives be shrouded in black during the residue of the session,
and that the President _pro tempore_ of the Senate, the Speaker of the
House of Representatives, and the members and officers of both Houses
wear the usual badge of mourning for thirty days.

_Resolved_, That the President of the United States be requested to
transmit a copy of these resolutions to Mrs. Harrison, and to assure her
of the profound respect of the two Houses of Congress for her person and
character, and of their sincere condolence on the late afflicting
dispensation of Providence.



NORTH BEND, _June 24, 1841_.

His Excellency JOHN TYLER,

_President United States, Washington City, D.C._

DEAR SIR: I have received with sentiments of deep emotion the
resolutions of the Senate and House of Representatives which you have
done me the honor of forwarding, relative to the decease of my lamented
husband.

I can not sufficiently express the thanks I owe to the nation and its
assembled representatives for their condolence, so feelingly expressed,
of my individual calamity and the national bereavement; but, mingling my
tears with the sighs of the many patriots of the land, pray to Heaven
for the enduring happiness and prosperity of our beloved country.

ANNA HARRISON.



WASHINGTON, _July 3, 1841_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of the 9th instant
[ultimo], I communicate to that body a report from the Secretary of
State, conveying copies of the correspondence,[5] which contains all the
information called for by said resolution.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 5: Relating to the duties levied on American tobacco imported
into the States composing the German Commercial and Custom-House Union.]



WASHINGTON, _July 9, 1841_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit a report from the Secretary of State, in answer to the
resolution of the Senate of the 2d instant, calling for information as
to the progress and actual condition of the commission[6] under the
convention with the Mexican Republic.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 6: Appointed under the convention of April 11, 1839, for
adjusting the claims of citizens of the United States upon the Republic
of Mexico.]



WASHINGTON, _July, 14, 1841_.

_To the Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives_:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of the
21st ultimo, I have the honor to submit the accompanying communication[7]
from the Secretary of State.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 7: Transmitting correspondence with Great Britain relative to
the seizure of American vessels by British armed cruisers under the
pretense that they were engaged in the slave trade; also correspondence
with N.P. Trist, United States consul at Habana, upon the subject of
the slave trade, etc.]



WASHINGTON, _July 16, 1841_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I herewith transmit to the House of Representatives, in reply to their
resolution of the 21st ultimo, a report[8] from the Secretary of State,
with accompanying papers.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 8: Stating that there is no correspondence in his office
showing that any American citizens are British prisoners of state in Van
Diemens Land; transmitting correspondence with the British minister on
the subject of the detention or imprisonment of citizens of the United
States on account of occurrences in Canada, instructions issued to the
special agent appointed to inquire into such detention or imprisonment,
and report of said special agent.]



WASHINGTON, _July 19, 1841_.

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

The act of Congress of the 10th of March, 1838, entitled "An act
supplementary to an act entitled 'An act in addition to the act for the
punishment of certain crimes against the United States and to repeal the
acts therein mentioned,' approved 20th of April, 1818," expired by its
own limitation on the 10th of March, 1840. The object of this act was to
make further provision for preventing military expeditions or
enterprises against the territory or dominions of any prince or state or
of any colony, district, or people conterminous with the United States
and with whom they are at peace, contrary to the act of April 20, 1818,
entitled "An act in addition to the act for the punishment of certain
crimes against the United States and to repeal the acts therein
mentioned."

The act of Congress of March 10, 1838, appears to have had a very
salutary effect, and it is respectfully recommended to Congress that it
be now revived or its provisions be reenacted.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _July 27, 1841_.

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

I transmit herewith to Congress a communication from the Secretary of
State, on the subject of appropriations required for outfits and
salaries of diplomatic agents of the United States.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _August 2, 1841_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

On the 18th of February, 1832, the House of Representatives adopted a
resolution in the following words:

_Resolved_, That the President of the United States be authorized to
employ Horatio Greenough, of Massachusetts, to execute in marble a
full-length pedestrian statue of Washington, to be placed in the center
of the Rotunda of the Capitol; the head to be a copy of Houdon's
Washington, and the accessories to be left to the judgment of the
artist.

On the 23d of the same month the Secretary of State, by direction of
the President, addressed to Mr. Greenough a letter of instructions for
carrying into effect the resolution of the House.

On the 14th of July, 1832, an appropriation of the sum of $5,000 was
made "to enable the President of the United States to contract with
a skillful artist to execute in marble a pedestrian statue of George
Washington, to be placed in the center of the Rotunda of the Capitol,"
and several appropriations were made at the succeeding sessions in
furtherance of the same object.

Mr. Greenough, having been employed upon the work for several years at
Florence, completed it some months ago.

By a resolution of Congress of the 27th of May, 1840, it was directed
"that the Secretary of the Navy be authorized and instructed to take
measures for the importation and erection of the statue of Washington
by Greenough." In pursuance of this authority the Navy Department held
a correspondence with Commodore Hull, commanding on the Mediterranean
station, who entered into an agreement with the owners or master of the
ship _Sea_ for the transportation of the statue to the United States.
This ship, with the statue on board, arrived in this city on the 31st
ultimo, and now lies at the navy-yard.

As appropriations have become necessary for the payment of the freight
and other expenses, I communicate to Congress such papers as may enable
it to judge of the amount required.

JOHN TYLER.



AUGUST 3, 1841.

Hon. JOHN WHITE,

_Speaker of the House of Representatives_.

SIR: I herewith transmit a communication[9] received from the
Postmaster-General, to which I would invite the attention of Congress.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 9: Asking for a further appropriation for completing the new
General Post-Office building.]



AUGUST 3, 1841.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I herewith transmit a report from the Secretary of the Treasury, to whom
I referred the resolution of the House calling for a communication[10]
addressed to him by the French minister.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 10: Relating to the commerce and navigation between France and
the United States.]



WASHINGTON, _August 6, 1841_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of the
16th of July, 1841, I communicate reports[11] from the several Executive
Departments, containing the information requested by said resolution.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 11: Transmitting list of officers deriving their appointments
from the nomination of the President and the concurrence of the Senate
who were removed from office since March 4, 1841, and also those who
were removed from March 4, 1829, to March 4, 1841.]



WASHINGTON, _August 25, 1841_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I herewith transmit to the Senate, in pursuance of their resolution of
the 22d ultimo, copies of the several reports of the commissioners
appointed in March last to examine into certain matters connected with
the public buildings in this city and the conduct of those employed in
their erection.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _August 27, 1841_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I transmit herewith a letter from the Secretary of the Treasury, bearing
date this day, with the accompanying papers, in answer to the resolution
of the House of Representatives of the 16th ultimo, relative to removals
from office, etc.

These statements should have accompanied those from the other
Departments on the same subject transmitted in my message to the House
on the 7th ultimo,[12] but which have been delayed for reasons stated in
the letter of the Secretary of the Treasury above referred to.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 12: Not found. Evidently refers to message of August 6, 1841,
on preceding page.]



WASHINGTON, D.C., _September 1, 1841_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I submit to the Senate, for its consideration and constitutional action,
a treaty concluded at Oeyoowasha, on Minneesota (or St. Peters) River,
in the Territory of Iowa, on the 31st day of July last, between James
Duane Doty, commissioner on the part of the United States, and the
Seeseeahto, Wofpato, and Wofpakoota bands of the Dakota (or Sioux)
Nation of Indians.

The accompanying communication from the Secretary of War fully sets
forth the considerations which have called for the negotiation of this
treaty, and which have induced me to recommend its confirmation, with
such exceptions and modifications as the Senate may advise.

JOHN TYLER.



DEPARTMENT OF WAR, _August 31, 1841_.

The PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

SIR: I transmit herewith a treaty concluded with certain bands of
the Dahcota Nation of Indians, commonly called Sioux, which has been
received at this Department from His Excellency James D. Doty, governor
of Wisconsin, who was appointed a commissioner on the part of the United
States for the purpose of negotiating the treaty; and I desire to submit
the following facts and opinions inducing me to request its favorable
consideration:

It was known on my entering upon the duties of the Department of War
that some provision must speedily be made for the Winnebago Indians in
the Northwest. By the treaty with those Indians in 1837 it was provided
that they should move temporarily upon a narrow strip of country west of
the Mississippi River, called the neutral ground, from the object of its
purchase in 1830. That strip of country is only 40 miles in width, 20
miles of it having been purchased from the Sac and Fox Indians and 20
miles from the Sioux, the object of the purchase having been to place a
barrier between those tribes, which had been for many years at war and
parties of which were continually meeting and destroying each other upon
or adjacent to the country purchased.

When the delegation of Winnebago chiefs was in Washington negotiating
a sale of all their lands east of the Mississippi River, in 1837, a
permanent location for those Indians was not fixed upon, and a temporary
expedient was adopted, and acceded to by the Indians, by which they
agreed, within eight months from the ratification of the treaty, to move
upon and occupy a portion of the neutral ground until they should select
a permanent home.

Owing to the small extent of country thus temporarily assigned to the
Winnebagoes, utterly destitute of all preparation for the reception of
them, slenderly supplied with game, and, above all, the circumstance
that the Sac and Fox Indians were continually at war with the Sioux,
the object of the purchase having utterly failed, the neutral ground,
so called, proving literally the fighting ground of the hostile
tribes--owing to all these circumstances the Winnebagoes were extremely
reluctant to comply with the treaty. It was in part a dictate of
humanity to give them more time for removal than that allotted in the
treaty, in the hope of effecting their permanent removal beyond the
Missouri or elsewhere; but as no steps were taken to select their future
home, and as the white settlers in Wisconsin were fast crowding upon the
Indians, overrunning the country, as usual, in search of town sites,
water privileges, and farming districts, it became absolutely necessary
to make some efforts toward carrying the treaty into effect. Owing to
the excited state of the Indians and the apprehension of disturbance,
the Eighth Regiment of Infantry, in 1840, more than two years, instead
of eight months, after the ratification of the treaty, was ordered upon
the Winnebago frontier, the greater part of the Fifth Regiment being
already there, and in the presence of that force the Indians were
required to comply with the treaty. They reluctantly removed from the
banks of the Wisconsin River and crossed the Mississippi, but did not
go to that portion of the neutral ground agreed upon, which commenced
20 miles from the river, but instead of it they spread themselves along
the bank of the Mississippi, some of them recrossing that river and
ascending the Chippewa and Black rivers. Only a small portion of the
tribe has yet removed to the portion of the neutral ground assigned to
them, and it is perhaps fortunate that local attachments have not been
formed, since, from the position of the country, it was not and never
could have been intended as their permanent home.

After a careful examination of the country in the Northwest the
importance of providing for the Winnebago Indians, though immediate,
became secondary in a more national and wider prospect of benefits in
future years by arrangements which presented themselves to my mind as
not only practicable, but of easy accomplishment.

A glance at the map and at the efforts hitherto made in emigration will
show an extensive body of Indians accumulated upon the Southwestern
frontier, and, looking to the numbers yet to be emigrated from within
the circle of territory soon to become States of the American Union, it
will appear upon very many considerations to be of the utmost importance
to separate the Indians and to interpose a barrier between the masses
which are destined to be placed upon the western frontier, instead of
accumulating them within limits enabling them to unite and in concert
spread desolation over the States of Missouri and Arkansas to, perhaps,
the banks of the Mississippi.

Entertaining these views, it was determined to open negotiations with
the Sioux Indians north and northwest of the purchase of 1830, the
neutral ground, so called, with the purpose of purchasing sufficient
territory beyond the reasonable limits of Iowa to provide a resting
place for the Winnebagoes, intending to treat also with the Sac and Fox
Indians and with the Potawatamies north of the State of Missouri, and
thus enable our citizens to expand west of the Missouri River north of
the State.

It is difficult to state in a condensed report all the reasons now
imperatively urging the adoption of these measures. Besides the absolute
necessity of providing a home for the Winnebagoes, the citizens of Iowa
and of Missouri are crowding upon the territory of the Sac and Fox
Indians and already producing those irritations which in former times
have led to bloody wars. It is not to be for a moment concealed that our
enterprising and hardy population must and will occupy the territory
adjacent to that purchased in 1837 from the Sacs and Foxes, and the only
possible mode of its being done in peace is by another purchase from
those Indians. But the position of the Potawatamies will then become
relatively what that of the Sac and Fox Indians now is, with the
difference that access to their country by the Missouri River will
hasten its occupancy by our people. The only mode of guarding against
future collision, near at hand if not provided against, is by emigrating
not only the Sac and Fox Indians, but also the Potawatamies.

Great efforts have been made to induce those Indians, as also the
Winnebagoes, to move south of the Missouri, but without effect, their
opposition to it being apparently insurmountable, the Potawatamies
expressing the most decided aversion to it on being urged to join other
bands of Potawatamies on the Marais de Cygne, declaring that they would
rather at once go to California, being determined not to unite with
those bands, but to maintain an independence of them. By the purchase
from the Sioux no doubt is entertained that their prejudices may be
advantageously accommodated, for among the objects in contemplation
before adverted to it is to my mind of primary importance so to dispose
of those Indians as to enable this Government to interpose a State
between the Northern and Southern Indians along the Missouri River,
and thus, by dividing the Indians on the frontier and separating the
divisions, prevent a combination and concert of action which future
progress in civilization might otherwise enable them to effect in the
prosecution of revenge for real or imagined grievances.

Great importance is attached to this view of the subject, but scarcely
less to the means provided by the treaty for inducing the remnants of
other Northern tribes to remove to a climate congenial to their habits
and disposition.

From the earliest efforts at emigration certain Northern Indians have
strenuously objected to a removal south of the Missouri on account
of the climate; and where tribes have been induced to dispose of all
right to live east of the Mississippi within the United States, many
individuals, dreading their southern destination, have wandered to the
north and are now living in Canada, annually in the receipt of presents
from the British Government, and will be ready without doubt to side
with that power in any future conflict with this Government. In this
manner considerable numbers of the Delawares and Shawnees and other
Indians have disappeared from our settlements--a fact of great
importance, and which I apprehend has not been heretofore sufficiently
considered. There are many Potawatamies and Ottawas, as also Winnebagoes
and Menomonees, who may be easily induced to move into Canada by
seductive bribes, in the use of which the British Government has always
displayed a remarkable foresight.

Of the Chippewas and Ottawas now in the northern part of Michigan
it is believed there are over 5,000 under treaty obligations to remove
to the Southwest, the greater portion of whom openly declared their
determination to cross the line into Canada and put themselves under
the protection of the British Government in preference to a removal
to that country. These Indians may be accommodated by the arrangements
in contemplation, not only to their own satisfaction, but under
circumstances promising the greatest permanent advantages to the
United States, and separating them from all inducements and even the
possibility of entering the British service. I am not without hope,
also, that through this treaty some suitable and acceptable arrangement
may be made with the New York Indians by which they may be removed with
safety to themselves and benefit to the people of that State. The very
peculiar situation of these Indians is well known; that while they are
under treaty obligation to remove, the treaty being by the Constitution
the supreme law of the land and perfecting in this instance the title
of the land they occupy in a private land company, there is yet every
reason to sympathize with them and the highest moral inducements for
extending every possible relief to them within the legitimate powers of
the Government. I have been assured from sources entitled to my fullest
confidence that although these Indians have hitherto expressed the most
decided aversion to a removal south of the Missouri, there will probably
be no difficulty in persuading them to occupy a more northern region in
the West. I have every reason for believing that a benevolent interest
in their behalf among a portion of our own people, which, it is
supposed, has heretofore presented an obstacle to their emigration, will
be exerted to effect their removal if a portion of the Sioux country can
be appropriated to them.

It will be perceived, therefore, that a multitude of objects thus rest
upon the success of this one treaty, now submitted for examination and
approbation.

Of the Sioux Indians I will but remark that they occupy an immense
country spreading from the Mississippi north of the neutral ground west
and northwest, crossing the Missouri River more than 1,200 miles above
the city of St. Louis. They are divided into bands, which have various
names, the generic name for the whole being the Dahcota Nation. These
bands, though speaking a common language, are independent in their
occupancy of portions of country, and separate treaties may be made with
them. Treaties are already subsisting with some of the bands both on the
Mississippi and Missouri. The treaty now submitted is believed to be
advantageous, and from its provisions contemplates the reduction of
those wandering Indians from their nomadic habits to those of an
agricultural people.

If some of the provisions seem not such as might be desired, it will be
recollected that many interests have to be accommodated in framing an
Indian treaty which can only be fully known to the commissioner, who
derives his information directly from the Indians in the country which
is the object of the purchase.

It is proper to add that I had instructed the commissioner expressly not
to take into consideration what are called traders' claims, in the hope
of correcting a practice which, it is believed, has been attended with
mischievous consequences; but the commissioner has by a letter of
explanations fully satisfied me that in this instance it was absolutely
necessary to accommodate those claims as an indispensable means of
obtaining the assent of the Indians to the treaty. This results,
doubtless, from their dependence upon the traders for articles, in a
measure necessaries, which are for the most part furnished without
competition, and of the proper value of which the Indians are ignorant.

To compensate in some degree for the article in this treaty providing
for the payment of traders' claims, very judicious guards are introduced
into the treaty, calculated effectually to exclude that source of
interest adverse to the Government in all future time within the
purchase under this treaty.

There are other articles in the treaty which I have not been able fully
to realize as judicious or necessary, but for reasons already stated
they deserve respectful consideration.

Notwithstanding the article stipulating that a rejection of any of the
provisions of the treaty should render the whole null and void, I would
respectfully recommend such modified acceptance of the treaty as in the
wisdom of the Senate may seem just and proper, conditioned upon the
assent of the Indians subsequently to be obtained, the Senate making
provision for its reference back to the Indians if necessary.

It will be seen that the treaty provides for a power of regulation in
the Indian Territory by the United States Government under circumstances
not hitherto attempted, presenting an opportunity for an experiment well
worthy of mature consideration.

I ought not to dismiss this subject without adverting to one other
important consideration connected with the integrity of our Northwest
Indians and Territory. The Sioux treaty will effectually withdraw from
British influence all those who are a party to it by making them
stipendiaries of the United States and by operating a change in their
wandering habits and establishing them at known and fixed points under
the observation of Government agents, and as the British can only have
access to that region by the way of Fond du Lac, one or two small
military posts in a direction west and south from that point, it is
believed, will completely control all intercourse with the Indians in
that section of country.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JNO. BELL.



WASHINGTON, _September 6, 1841_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I have the honor, in compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the
8th June, to communicate a letter[13] from the Secretary of the Treasury
and the correspondence accompanying it.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 13: Relating to the deposits of public moneys in banks by
disbursing officers and agents.]



WASHINGTON, _September 13, 1841_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of the 14th July last,
I communicate to the Senate a report from the Secretary of State,
accompanied by copies of the correspondence[14] called for by said
resolution.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 14: Relating to the origin, progress, and conclusion of the
treaty of November 26, 1838, between Sardinia and the United States.]




VETO MESSAGES.


WASHINGTON, _August 16, 1841_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

The bill entitled "An act to incorporate the subscribers to the Fiscal
Bank of the United States," which originated in the Senate, has been
considered by me with a sincere desire to conform my action in regard
to it to that of the two Houses of Congress. By the Constitution it
is made my duty either to approve the bill by signing it or to return
it with my objections to the House in which it originated. I can not
conscientiously give it my approval, and I proceed to discharge the duty
required of me by the Constitution--to give my reasons for disapproving.

The power of Congress to create a national bank to operate _per se_
over the Union has been a question of dispute from the origin of the
Government. Men most justly and deservedly esteemed for their high
intellectual endowments, their virtue, and their patriotism have in
regard to it entertained different and conflicting opinions; Congresses
have differed; the approval of one President has been followed by the
disapproval of another; the people at different times have acquiesced in
decisions both for and against. The country has been and still is deeply
agitated by this unsettled question. It will suffice for me to say that
my own opinion has been uniformly proclaimed to be against the exercise
of any such power by this Government. On all suitable occasions during
a period of twenty-five years the opinion thus entertained has been
unreservedly expressed. I declared it in the legislature of my native
State; in the House of Representatives of the United States it has been
openly vindicated by me; in the Senate Chamber, in the presence and
hearing of many who are at this time members of that body, it has been
affirmed and reaffirmed in speeches and reports there made and by votes
there recorded; in popular assemblies I have unhesitatingly announced
it, and the last public declaration which I made--and that but a short
time before the late Presidential election--I referred to my previously
expressed opinions as being those then entertained by me. With a full
knowledge of the opinions thus entertained and never concealed, I was
elected by the people Vice-President of the United States. By the
occurrence of a contingency provided for in the Constitution and arising
under an impressive dispensation of Providence I succeeded to the
Presidential office. Before entering upon the duties of that office
I took an oath that I would "preserve, protect, and defend the
Constitution of the United States." Entertaining the opinions alluded
to and having taken this oath, the Senate and the country will see that
I could not give my sanction to a measure of the character described
without surrendering all claim to the respect of honorable men, all
confidence on the part of the people, all self-respect, all regard for
moral and religious obligations, without an observance of which no
government can be prosperous and no people can be happy. It would be to
commit a crime which I would not willfully commit to gain any earthly
reward, and which would justly subject me to the ridicule and scorn of
all virtuous men.

I deem it entirely unnecessary at this time to enter upon the reasons
which have brought my mind to the convictions I feel and entertain on
this subject. They have been over and over again repeated. If some of
those who have preceded me in this high office have entertained and
avowed different opinions, I yield all confidence that their convictions
were sincere. I claim only to have the same measure meted out to myself.
Without going further into the argument, I will say that in looking to
the powers of this Government to collect, safely keep, and disburse the
public revenue, and incidentally to regulate the commerce and exchanges,
I have not been able to satisfy myself that the establishment by this
Government of a bank of discount in the ordinary acceptation of that
term was a necessary means or one demanded by propriety to execute those
powers. What can the local discounts of the bank have to do with the
collecting, safe-keeping, and disbursing of the revenue? So far as the
mere discounting of paper is concerned, it is quite immaterial to this
question whether the discount is obtained at a State bank or a United
States bank. They are both equally local, both beginning and both ending
in a local accommodation. What influence have local discounts granted by
any form of bank in the regulating of the currency and the exchanges?
Let the history of the late United States Bank aid us in answering this
inquiry.

For several years after the establishment of that institution it dealt
almost exclusively in local discounts, and during that period the
country was for the most part disappointed in the consequences
anticipated from its incorporation. A uniform currency was not provided,
exchanges were not regulated, and little or nothing was added to the
general circulation, and in 1820 its embarrassments had become so great
that the directors petitioned Congress to repeal that article of the
charter which made its notes receivable everywhere in payment of the
public dues. It had up to that period dealt to but a very small extent
in exchanges, either foreign or domestic, and as late as 1823 its
operations in that line amounted to a little more than $7,000,000 per
annum. A very rapid augmentation soon after occurred, and in 1833 its
dealings in the exchanges amounted to upward of $100,000,000, including
the sales of its own drafts; and all these immense transactions were
effected without the employment of extraordinary means. The currency of
the country became sound, and the negotiations in the exchanges were
carried on at the lowest possible rates. The circulation was increased
to more than $22,000,000 and the notes of the bank were regarded as
equal to specie all over the country, thus showing almost conclusively
that it was the capacity to deal in exchanges, and not in local
discounts, which furnished these facilities and advantages. It may be
remarked, too, that notwithstanding the immense transactions of the bank
in the purchase of exchange, the losses sustained were merely nominal,
while in the line of discounts the suspended debt was enormous and
proved most disastrous to the bank and the country. Its power of local
discount has in fact proved to be a fruitful source of favoritism and
corruption, alike destructive to the public morals and to the general
weal.

The capital invested in banks of discount in the United States, created
by the States, at this time exceeds $350,000,000, and if the discounting
of local paper could have produced any beneficial effects the United
States ought to possess the soundest currency in the world; but the
reverse is lamentably the fact.

Is the measure now under consideration of the objectionable character
to which I have alluded? It is clearly so unless by the sixteenth
fundamental article of the eleventh section it is made otherwise. That
article is in the following words:

  The directors of the said corporation shall establish one competent
  office of discount and deposit in any State in which two thousand shares
  shall have been subscribed or may be held, whenever, upon application of
  the legislature of such State, Congress may by law require the same. And
  the said directors may also establish one or more competent offices of
  discount and deposit in any Territory or District of the United States,
  and in any State with the assent of such State, and when established the
  said office or offices shall be only withdrawn or removed by the said
  directors prior to the expiration of this charter with the previous
  assent of Congress: _Provided_, In respect to any State which shall not,
  at the first session of the legislature thereof held after the passage
  of this act, by resolution or other usual legislative proceeding,
  unconditionally assent or dissent to the establishment of such office
  or offices within it, such assent of the said State shall be thereafter
  presumed: _And provided, nevertheless_, That whenever it shall become
  necessary and proper for carrying into execution any of the powers
  granted by the Constitution to establish an office or offices in any of
  the States whatever, and the establishment thereof shall be directed by
  law, it shall be the duty of the said directors to establish such office
  or offices accordingly.

It will be seen that by this clause the directors are invested with the
fullest power to establish a branch in any State which has yielded its
assent; and having once established such branch, it shall not afterwards
be withdrawn except by order of Congress. Such assent is to be _implied_
and to have the force and sanction of an actually expressed assent,
"provided, in respect to any State which shall not, at _the first
session_ of the legislature thereof held after the passage of this act,
by _resolution_ or _other usual legislative proceeding, unconditionally_
assent or dissent to the establishment of such office or offices within
it, such assent of said State shall be thereafter presumed." The assent
or dissent is to be expressed _unconditionally at the first session of
the legislature, by some formal legislative act;_ and if not so
expressed its assent is to be _implied_, and the directors are thereupon
invested with power, at such time thereafter as they may please, to
establish branches, which can not afterwards be withdrawn except by
resolve of Congress. No matter what may be the cause which may operate
with the legislature, which either prevents it from speaking or
addresses itself to its wisdom, to induce delay, its assent is to be
implied. This iron rule is to give way to no circumstances; it is
unbending and inflexible. It is the language of the master to the
vassal; an unconditional answer is claimed forthwith, and delay,
postponement, or incapacity to answer produces an implied assent which
is ever after irrevocable. Many of the State elections have already
taken place without any knowledge on the part of the people that such a
question was to come up. The representatives may desire a submission of
the question to their constituents preparatory to final action upon it,
but this high privilege is denied; whatever may be the motives and views
entertained by the representatives of the people to induce delay, their
assent is to be presumed, and is ever afterwards binding unless their
dissent shall be unconditionally expressed at their first session after
the passage of this bill into a law. They may by formal resolution
declare the question of assent or dissent to be undecided and postponed,
and yet, in opposition to their express declaration to the contrary,
their assent is to be implied. Cases innumerable might be cited to
manifest the irrationality of such an inference. Let one or two in
addition suffice. The popular branch of the legislature may express its
dissent by an unanimous vote, and its resolution may be defeated by
a tie vote of the senate, and yet the assent is to be implied. Both
branches of the legislature may concur in a resolution of decided
dissent, and yet the governor may exert the _veto_ power conferred on
him by the State constitution, and their legislative action be defeated,
and yet the assent of the legislative authority is implied, and the
directors of this contemplated institution are authorized to establish a
branch or branches in such State whenever they may find it conducive to
the interest of the stockholders to do so; and having once established
it they can under no circumstances withdraw it except by act of
Congress. The State may afterwards protest against such unjust
inference, but its authority is gone. Its assent is implied by its
failure or inability to act at its first session, and its voice can
never afterwards be heard. To inferences so violent and, as they seem to
me, irrational I can not yield my consent. No court of justice would
or could sanction them without reversing all that is established in
judicial proceeding by introducing presumptions at variance with fact
and inferences at the expense of reason. A State in a condition of
duress would be _presumed_ to speak as an individual manacled and in
prison might be presumed to be in the enjoyment of freedom. Far better
to say to the States boldly and frankly, Congress wills and submission
is demanded.

It may be said that the directors may not establish branches under such
circumstances; but this is a question of power, and this bill invests
them with full authority to do so. If the legislature of New York or
Pennsylvania or any other State should be found to be in such condition
as I have supposed, could there be any security furnished against such a
step on the part of the directors? Nay, is it not fairly to be presumed
that this proviso was introduced for the sole purpose of meeting the
contingency referred to? Why else should it have been introduced? And
I submit to the Senate whether it can be believed that any State would
be likely to sit quietly down under such a state of things. In a great
measure of public interest their patriotism may be successfully appealed
to, but to infer their assent from circumstances at war with such
inference I can not but regard as calculated to excite a feeling at
fatal enmity with the peace and harmony of the country. I must therefore
regard this clause as asserting the power to be in Congress to establish
offices of discount in a State not only without its assent, but against
its dissent, and so regarding it I can not sanction it. On general
principles the right in Congress to prescribe terms to any State implies
a superiority of power and control, deprives the transaction of all
pretense to compact between them, and terminates, as we have seen, in
the total abrogation of freedom of action on the part of the States.
But, further, the State may express, after the most solemn form of
legislation, its dissent, which may from time to time thereafter be
repeated in full view of its own interest, which can never be separated
from the wise and beneficent operation of this Government, and yet
Congress may by virtue of the last proviso overrule its law, and upon
grounds which to such State will appear to rest on a constructive
necessity and propriety and nothing more. I regard the bill as asserting
for Congress the right to incorporate a United States bank with power
and right to establish offices of discount and deposit in the several
States of this Union with or without their consent--a principle to which
I have always heretofore been opposed and which can never obtain my
sanction; and waiving all other considerations growing out of its other
provisions, I return it to the House in which it originated with these
my objections to its approval.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _September 9, 1841_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

It is with extreme regret that I feel myself constrained by the duty
faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States
and to the best of my ability to "preserve, protect, and defend the
Constitution of the United States" to return to the House in which it
originated the bill "to provide for the better collection, safe-keeping,
and disbursement of the public revenue by means of a corporation to be
styled the Fiscal Corporation of the United States," with my written
objections.

In my message sent to the Senate on the 16th day of August last,
returning the bill "to incorporate the subscribers to the Fiscal Bank
of the United States," I distinctly declared that my own opinion had
been uniformly proclaimed to be against the exercise "of the power of
Congress to create a national bank to operate _per se_ over the Union,"
and, entertaining that opinion, my main objection to that bill was based
upon the highest moral and religious obligations of conscience and the
Constitution. I readily admit that whilst the qualified _veto_ with
which the Chief Magistrate is invested should be regarded and was
intended by the wise men who made it a part of the Constitution as a
great conservative principle of our system, without the exercise of
which on important occasions a mere representative majority might urge
the Government in its legislation beyond the limits fixed by its framers
or might exert its just powers too hastily or oppressively, yet it is
a power which ought to be most cautiously exerted, and perhaps never
except in a case eminently involving the public interest or one in which
the oath of the President, acting under his convictions, both mental
and moral, imperiously requires its exercise. In such a case he has no
alternative. He must either exert the negative power intrusted to him
by the Constitution chiefly for its own preservation, protection, and
defense or commit an act of gross moral turpitude. Mere regard to the
will of a majority must not in a constitutional republic like ours
control this sacred and solemn duty of a sworn officer. The Constitution
itself I regard and cherish as the embodied and written will of the
whole people of the United States. It is their fixed and fundamental
law, which they unanimously prescribe to the public functionaries, their
mere trustees and servants. This _their_ will and the law which _they_
have given us as the rule of our action have no guard, no guaranty of
preservation, protection, and defense, but the oaths which it prescribes
to the public officers, the sanctity with which they shall religiously
observe those oaths, and the patriotism with which the people shall
shield it by their own sovereign will, which has made the Constitution
supreme. It must be exerted against the will of a mere representative
majority or not at all. It is alone in pursuance of that will that any
measure can reach the President, and to say that because a majority
in Congress have passed a bill he should therefore sanction it is
to abrogate the power altogether and to render its insertion in the
Constitution a work of absolute supererogation. The duty is to guard the
fundamental will of the people themselves from (in this case; I admit,
unintentional) change or infraction by a majority in Congress; and in
that light alone do I regard the constitutional duty which I now most
reluctantly discharge. Is this bill now presented for my approval or
disapproval such a bill as I have already declared could not receive my
sanction? Is it such a bill as calls for the exercise of the negative
power under the Constitution? Does it violate the Constitution by
creating a national bank to operate _per se_ over the Union? Its title,
in the first place, describes its general character. It is "an act to
provide for the better collection, safe-keeping, and disbursement of the
_public_ revenue by means of a _corporation_ to be styled the _Fiscal
Corporation_ of the _United States_." In style, then, it is plainly
national in its character. Its powers, functions, and duties are those
which pertain to the _collecting, keeping_, and _disbursing_ the
_public_ revenue. The means by which these are to be exerted is a
_corporation_ to be styled the _Fiscal_ Corporation of the United
States. It is a corporation created by the Congress of the United
States, in its character of a national legislature for the whole
Union, to perform the _fiscal_ purposes, meet the _fiscal_ wants and
exigencies, supply the _fiscal_ uses, and exert the _fiscal_ agencies
of the Treasury of the United States. Such is its own description of
itself. Do its provisions contradict its title? They do not. It is true
that by its first section it provides that it shall be established in
the District of Columbia; but the amount of its capital, the manner
in which its stock is to be subscribed for and held, the persons and
bodies, corporate and politic, by whom its stock may be held, the
appointment of its directors and their powers and duties, its
fundamental articles, especially that to establish agencies in any part
of the Union, the corporate powers and business of such agencies, the
prohibition of Congress to establish any other corporation with similar
powers for twenty years, with express reservation in the same clause
to modify or create any bank for the District of Columbia, so that the
aggregate capital shall not exceed five millions, without enumerating
other features which are equally distinctive and characteristic, clearly
show that it can not be regarded as other than a bank of the United
States, with powers seemingly more limited than have heretofore been
granted to such an institution. It operates _per se_ over the Union by
virtue of the unaided and, in my view, assumed authority of Congress
as a national legislature, as distinguishable from a bank created by
Congress for the District of Columbia as the local legislature of the
District. Every United States bank heretofore created has had power to
deal in bills of exchange as well as local discounts. Both were trading
privileges conferred, and both were exercised by virtue of the aforesaid
power of Congress over the whole Union. The question of power remains
unchanged without reference to the extent of privilege granted. If this
proposed corporation is to be regarded as a local bank of the District
of Columbia, invested by Congress with general powers to operate over
the Union, it is obnoxious to still stronger objections. It assumes that
Congress may invest a local institution with general or national powers.
With the same propriety that it may do this in regard to a bank of the
District of Columbia it may as to a State bank. Yet who can indulge the
idea that this Government can rightfully, by making a State bank its
fiscal agent, invest it with the absolute and unqualified powers
conferred by this bill? When I come to look at the details of the bill,
they do not recommend it strongly to my adoption. A brief notice of some
of its provisions will suffice.

First. It may justify substantially a system of discounts of the most
objectionable character. It is to deal in bills of exchange drawn in one
State and payable in another without any restraint. The bill of exchange
may have an unlimited time to run, and its renewability is nowhere
guarded against. It may, in fact, assume the most objectionable form of
accommodation paper. It is not required to rest on any actual, real, or
substantial exchange basis. A drawer in one place becomes the accepter
in another, and so in turn the accepter may become the drawer upon a
mutual understanding. It may at the same time indulge in mere local
discounts under the name of bills of exchange. A bill drawn at
Philadelphia on Camden, N.J., at New York on a border town in New
Jersey, at Cincinnati on Newport, in Kentucky, not to multiply other
examples, might, for anything in this bill to restrain it, become a mere
matter of local accommodation. Cities thus relatively situated would
possess advantages over cities otherwise situated of so decided a
character as most justly to excite dissatisfaction.

Second. There is no limit prescribed to the premium in the purchase
of bills of exchange, thereby correcting none of the evils under which
the community now labors, and operating most injuriously upon the
agricultural States, in which the irregularities in the rates of
exchange are most severely felt. Nor are these the only consequences.
A resumption of specie payments by the banks of those States would be
liable to indefinite postponement; for as the operation of the agencies
of the interior would chiefly consist in selling bills of exchange, and
the purchases could only be made in specie or the notes of banks paying
specie, the State banks would either have to continue with their doors
closed or exist at the mercy of this national monopoly of brokerage.
Nor can it be passed over without remark that whilst the District of
Columbia is made the seat of the principal bank, its citizens are
excluded from all participation in any benefit it might afford by
a positive prohibition on the bank from all discounting within the
District.

These are some of the objections which prominently exist against the
details of the bill. Others might be urged of much force, but it would
be unprofitable to dwell upon them. Suffice it to add that this charter
is designed to continue for twenty years without a competitor; that the
defects to which I have alluded, being founded on the fundamental law of
the corporation, are irrevocable, and that if the objections be well
founded it would be overhazardous to pass the bill into a law.

In conclusion I take leave most respectfully to say that I have felt the
most anxious solicitude to meet the wishes of Congress in the adoption
of a fiscal agent which, avoiding all constitutional objections, should
harmonize conflicting opinions. Actuated by this feeling, I have been
ready to yield much in a spirit of conciliation to the opinions of
others; and it is with great pain that I now feel compelled to differ
from Congress a second time in the same session. At the commencement of
this session, inclined from choice to defer to the legislative will, I
submitted to Congress the propriety of adopting a fiscal agent which,
without violating the Constitution, would separate the public money from
the Executive control and perform the operations of the Treasury without
being burdensome to the people or inconvenient or expensive to the
Government. It is deeply to be regretted that this department of the
Government can not upon constitutional and other grounds concur with the
legislative department in this last measure proposed to attain these
desirable objects. Owing to the brief space between the period of the
death of my lamented predecessor and my own installation into office,
I was, in fact, not left time to prepare and submit a definitive
recommendation of my own in my regular message, and since my mind has
been wholly occupied in a most anxious attempt to conform my action
to the legislative will. In this communication I am confined by the
Constitution to my objections simply to this bill, but the period of the
regular session will soon arrive, when it will be my duty, under another
clause of the Constitution, "to give to Congress information of the
state of the Union and recommend to their consideration such measures
as" I "shall judge necessary and expedient." And I most respectfully
submit, in a spirit of harmony, whether the present differences of
opinion should be pressed further at this time, and whether the
peculiarity of my situation does not entitle me to a postponement of
this subject to a more auspicious period for deliberation. The two
Houses of Congress have distinguished themselves at this extraordinary
session by the performance of an immense mass of labor at a season very
unfavorable both to health and action, and have passed many laws which
I trust will prove highly beneficial to the interests of the country
and fully answer its just expectations. It has been my good fortune
and pleasure to concur with them in all measures except this. And why
should our difference on this alone be pushed to extremes? It is my
anxious desire that it should not be. I too have been burdened with
extraordinary labors of late, and I sincerely desire time for deep
and deliberate reflection on this the greatest difficulty of my
Administration. May we not now pause until a more favorable time, when,
with the most anxious hope that the Executive and Congress may cordially
unite, some measure of finance may be deliberately adopted promotive of
the good of our common country?

I will take this occasion to declare that the conclusions to which
I have brought myself are those of a settled conviction, founded, in
my opinion, on a just view of the Constitution; that in arriving at it
I have been actuated by no other motive or desire than to uphold the
institutions of the country as they have come down to us from the hands
of our godlike ancestors, and that I shall esteem my efforts to sustain
them, even though I perish, more honorable than to win the applause of
men by a sacrifice of my duty and my conscience.

JOHN TYLER.




PROCLAMATION.


[From Statutes at Large (Little, Brown & Co.), Vol. XI, p. 786.]


BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas it has come to the knowledge of the Government of the United
States that sundry secret lodges, clubs, or associations exist on the
northern frontier; that the members of these lodges are bound together
by secret oaths; that they have collected firearms and other military
materials and secreted them in sundry places; and that it is their
purpose to violate the laws of their country by making military and
lawless incursions, when opportunity shall offer, into the territories
of a power with which the United States are at peace; and

Whereas it is known that traveling agitators, from both sides of the
line, visit these lodges and harangue the members in secret meeting,
stimulating them to illegal acts; and

Whereas the same persons are known to levy contributions on the ignorant
and credulous for their own benefit, thus supporting and enriching
themselves by the basest means; and

Whereas the unlawful intentions of the members of these lodges have
already been manifested in an attempt to destroy the lives and property
of the inhabitants of Chippewa, in Canada, and the public property of
the British Government there being:

Now, therefore, I, John Tyler, President of the United States, do issue
this my proclamation, admonishing all such evil-minded persons of the
condign punishment which is certain to overtake them; assuring them that
the laws of the United States will be rigorously executed against their
illegal acts, and that if in any lawless incursion into Canada they fall
into the hands of the British authorities they will not be reclaimed as
American citizens nor any interference made by this Government in their
behalf. And I exhort all well-meaning but deluded persons who may have
joined these lodges immediately to abandon them and to have nothing more
to do with their secret meetings or unlawful oaths, as they would avoid
serious consequences to themselves. And I expect the intelligent and
well-disposed members of the community to frown on all these unlawful
combinations and illegal proceedings, and to assist the Government in
maintaining the peace of the country against the mischievous
consequences of the acts of these violators of the law.

Given under my hand, at the city of Washington, the 25th day of
September, A.D. 1841, and of the Independence of the United States the
sixty-sixth.

[SEAL.]

JOHN TYLER.

By the President:
  DANIEL WEBSTER,
    _Secretary of State_.




EXECUTIVE ORDER.


GENERAL ORDERS.


WAR DEPARTMENT,

ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE,

_Washington, July 5, 1841_.

Brevet Major-General Winfield Scott having been appointed by the
President, by and with the consent and advice of the Senate, the
Major-general of the Army of the United States, he is directed to assume
the command and enter upon his duties accordingly.

By command of the President of the United States:

R. JONES,
  _Adjutant-General_.




FIRST ANNUAL MESSAGE.


WASHINGTON, _December 7, 1841_.

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

In coming together, fellow-citizens, to enter again upon the discharge
of the duties with which the people have charged us severally, we find
great occasion to rejoice in the general prosperity of the country.
We are in the enjoyment of all the blessings of civil and religious
liberty, with unexampled means of education, knowledge, and improvement.
Through the year which is now drawing to a close peace has been in our
borders and plenty in our habitations, and although disease has visited
some few portions of the land with distress and mortality, yet in
general the health of the people has been preserved, and we are all
called upon by the highest obligations of duty to renew our thanks and
our devotion to our Heavenly Parent, who has continued to vouchsafe to
us the eminent blessings which surround us and who has so signally
crowned the year with His goodness. If we find ourselves increasing
beyond example in numbers, in strength, in wealth, in knowledge, in
everything which promotes human and social happiness, let us ever
remember our dependence for all these on the protection and merciful
dispensations of Divine Providence.

Since your last adjournment Alexander McLeod, a British subject who was
indicted for the murder of an American citizen, and whose case has been
the subject of a correspondence heretofore communicated to you, has been
acquitted by the verdict of an impartial and intelligent jury, and has
under the judgment of the court been regularly discharged.

Great Britain having made known to this Government that the expedition
which was fitted out from Canada for the destruction of the steamboat
_Caroline_ in the winter of 1837, and which resulted in the destruction
of said boat and in the death of an American citizen, was undertaken
by orders emanating from the authorities of the British Government in
Canada, and demanding the discharge of McLeod upon the ground that
if engaged in that expedition he did but fulfill the orders of his
Government, has thus been answered in the only way in which she could be
answered by a government the powers of which are distributed among its
several departments by the fundamental law. Happily for the people of
Great Britain, as well as those of the United States, the only mode by
which an individual arraigned for a criminal offense before the courts
of either can obtain his discharge is by the independent action of the
judiciary and by proceedings equally familiar to the courts of both
countries.

If in Great Britain a power exists in the Crown to cause to be entered a
_nolle prosequi_, which is not the case with the Executive power of the
United States upon a prosecution pending in a State court, yet _there_
no more than _here_ can the chief executive power rescue a prisoner from
custody without an order of the proper tribunal directing his discharge.
The precise stage of the proceedings at which such order may be made is
a matter of municipal regulation exclusively, and not to be complained
of by any other government. In cases of this kind a government becomes
politically responsible only when its tribunals of last resort are shown
to have rendered unjust and injurious judgments in matters not doubtful.
To the establishment and elucidation of this principle no nation has
lent its authority more efficiently than Great Britain. Alexander
McLeod, having his option either to prosecute a writ of error from the
decision of the supreme court of New York, which had been rendered upon
his application for a discharge, to the Supreme Court of the United
States, or to submit his case to the decision of a jury, preferred the
latter, deeming it the readiest mode of obtaining his liberation; and
the result has fully sustained the wisdom of his choice. The manner in
which the issue submitted was tried will satisfy the English Government
that the principles of justice will never fail to govern the enlightened
decision of an American tribunal. I can not fail, however, to suggest to
Congress the propriety, and in some degree the necessity, of making such
provisions by law, so far as they may constitutionally do so, for the
removal at their commencement and at the option of the party of all
such cases as may hereafter arise, and which may involve the faithful
observance and execution of our international obligations, from the
State to the Federal judiciary. This Government, by our institutions, is
charged with the maintenance of peace and the preservation of amicable
relations with the nations of the earth, and ought to possess without
question all the reasonable and proper means of maintaining the one and
preserving the other. While just confidence is felt in the judiciary of
the States, yet this Government ought to be competent in itself for the
fulfillment of the high duties which have been devolved upon it under
the organic law by the States themselves.

In the month of September a party of armed men from Upper Canada invaded
the territory of the United States and forcibly seized upon the person
of one Grogan, and under circumstances of great harshness hurriedly
carried him beyond the limits of the United States and delivered him up
to the authorities of Upper Canada. His immediate discharge was ordered
by those authorities upon the facts of the case being brought to their
knowledge--a course of procedure which was to have been expected from
a nation with whom we are at peace, and which was not more due to the
rights of the United States than to its own regard for justice. The
correspondence which passed between the Department of State and the
British envoy, Mr. Fox, and with the governor of Vermont, as soon as the
facts had been made known to this department, are herewith communicated.

I regret that it is not in my power to make known to you an equally
satisfactory conclusion in the case of the _Caroline_ steamer, with the
circumstances connected with the destruction of which, in December,
1837, by an armed force fitted out in the Province of Upper Canada, you
are already made acquainted. No such atonement as was due for the public
wrong done to the United States by this invasion of her territory, so
wholly irreconcilable with her rights as an independent power, has yet
been made. In the view taken by this Government the inquiry whether
the vessel was in the employment of those who were prosecuting an
unauthorized war against that Province or was engaged by the owner in
the business of transporting passengers to and from Navy Island in hopes
of private gain, which was most probably the case, in no degree alters
the real question at issue between the two Governments. This Government
can never concede to any foreign government the power, except in a case
of the most urgent and extreme necessity, of invading its territory,
either to arrest the persons or destroy the property of those who may
have violated the municipal laws of such foreign government or have
disregarded their obligations arising under the law of nations. The
territory of the United States must be regarded as sacredly secure
against all such invasions until they shall voluntarily acknowledge
their inability to acquit themselves of their duties to others. And in
announcing this sentiment I do but affirm a principle which no nation on
earth would be more ready to vindicate at all hazards than the people
and Government of Great Britain. If upon a full investigation of all the
facts it shall appear that the owner of the _Caroline_ was governed by
a hostile intent or had made common cause with those who were in the
occupancy of Navy Island, then so far as he is concerned there can be no
claim to indemnity for the destruction of his boat which this Government
would feel itself bound to prosecute, since he would have acted not only
in derogation of the rights of Great Britain, but in clear violation of
the laws of the United States; but that is a question which, however
settled, in no manner involves the higher consideration of the violation
of territorial sovereignty and jurisdiction. To recognize it as an
admissible practice that each Government in its turn, upon any sudden
and unauthorized outbreak which, on a frontier the extent of which
renders it impossible for either to have an efficient force on every
mile of it, and which outbreak, therefore, neither may be able to
suppress in a day, may take vengeance into its own hands, and without
even a remonstrance, and in the absence of any pressing or overruling
necessity may invade the territory of the other, would inevitably lead
to results equally to be deplored by both. When border collisions come
to receive the sanction or to be made on the authority of either
Government general war must be the inevitable result. While it is the
ardent desire of the United States to cultivate the relations of peace
with all nations and to fulfill all the duties of good neighborhood
toward those who possess territories adjoining their own, that very
desire would lead them to deny the right of any foreign power to invade
their boundary with an armed force. The correspondence between the two
Governments on this subject will at a future day of your session be
submitted to your consideration; and in the meantime I can not but
indulge the hope that the British Government will see the propriety of
renouncing as a rule of future action the precedent which has been set
in the affair at Schlosser.

I herewith submit the correspondence which has recently taken place
between the American minister at the Court of St. James, Mr. Stevenson,
and the minister of foreign affairs of that Government on the right
claimed by that Government to visit and detain vessels sailing under
the American flag and engaged in prosecuting lawful commerce in the
African seas. Our commercial interests in that region have experienced
considerable increase and have become an object of much importance, and
it is the duty of this Government to protect them against all improper
and vexatious interruption. However desirous the United States may
be for the suppression of the slave trade, they can not consent to
interpolations into the maritime code at the mere will and pleasure of
other governments. We deny the right of any such interpolation to any
one or all the nations of the earth without our consent. We claim to
have a voice in all amendments or alterations of that code, and when we
are given to understand, as in this instance, by a foreign government
that its treaties with other nations can not be executed without the
establishment and enforcement of new principles of maritime police, to
be applied without our consent, we must employ a language neither of
equivocal import or susceptible of misconstruction. American citizens
prosecuting a lawful commerce in the African seas under the flag of
their country are not responsible for the abuse or unlawful use of that
flag by others; nor can they rightfully on account of any such alleged
abuses be interrupted, molested, or detained while on the ocean, and if
thus molested and detained while pursuing honest voyages in the usual
way and violating no law themselves they are unquestionably entitled to
indemnity. This Government has manifested its repugnance to the slave
trade in a manner which can not be misunderstood. By its fundamental law
it prescribed limits in point of time to its continuance, and against
its own citizens who might so far forget the rights of humanity as to
engage in that wicked traffic it has long since by its municipal laws
denounced the most condign punishment. Many of the States composing this
Union had made appeals to the civilized world for its suppression long
before the moral sense of other nations had become shocked by the
iniquities of the traffic. Whether this Government should now enter into
treaties containing mutual stipulations upon this subject is a question
for its mature deliberation. Certain it is that if the right to detain
American ships on the high seas can be justified on the plea of a
necessity for such detention arising out of the existence of treaties
between other nations, the same plea may be extended and enlarged by the
new stipulations of new treaties to which the United States may not be a
party. This Government will not cease to urge upon that of Great Britain
full and ample remuneration for all losses, whether arising from
detention or otherwise, to which American citizens have heretofore been
or may hereafter be subjected by the exercise of rights which this
Government can not recognize as legitimate and proper. Nor will I
indulge a doubt but that the sense of justice of Great Britain will
constrain her to make retribution for any wrong or loss which any
American citizen engaged in the prosecution of lawful commerce may have
experienced at the hands of her cruisers or other public authorities.
This Government, at the same time, will relax no effort to prevent its
citizens, if there be any so disposed, from prosecuting a traffic so
revolting to the feelings of humanity. It seeks to do no more than to
protect the fair and honest trader from molestation and injury; but
while the enterprising mariner engaged in the pursuit of an honorable
trade is entitled to its protection, it will visit with condign
punishment others of an opposite character.

I invite your attention to existing laws for the suppression of the
African slave trade, and recommend all such alterations as may give
to them greater force and efficacy. That the American flag is grossly
abused by the abandoned and profligate of other nations is but too
probable. Congress has not long since had this subject under its
consideration, and its importance well justifies renewed and anxious
attention.

I also communicate herewith the copy of a correspondence between Mr.
Stevenson and Lord Palmerston upon the subject, so interesting to
several of the Southern States, of the rice duties, which resulted
honorably to the justice of Great Britain and advantageously to the
United States.

At the opening of the last annual session the President informed
Congress of the progress which had then been made in negotiating a
convention between this Government and that of England with a view
to the final settlement of the question of the boundary between the
territorial limits of the two countries. I regret to say that little
further advancement of the object has been accomplished since last year,
but this is owing to circumstances no way indicative of any abatement of
the desire of both parties to hasten the negotiation to its conclusion
and to settle the question in dispute as early as possible. In the
course of the session it is my hope to be able to announce some further
degree of progress toward the accomplishment of this highly desirable
end.

The commission appointed by this Government for the exploration and
survey of the line of boundary separating the States of Maine and New
Hampshire from the conterminous British Provinces is, it is believed,
about to close its field labors and is expected soon to report the
results of its examinations to the Department of State. The report,
when received, will be laid before Congress.

The failure on the part of Spain to pay with punctuality the interest
due under the convention of 1834 for the settlement of claims between
the two countries has made it the duty of the Executive to call the
particular attention of that Government to the subject. A disposition
has been manifested by it, which is believed to be entirely sincere,
to fulfill its obligations in this respect so soon as its internal
condition and the state of its finances will permit. An arrangement is
in progress from the result of which it is trusted that those of our
citizens who have claims under the convention will at no distant day
receive the stipulated payments.

A treaty of commerce and navigation with Belgium was concluded and
signed at Washington on the 29th of March, 1840, and was duly sanctioned
by the Senate of the United States. The treaty was ratified by His
Belgian Majesty, but did not receive the approbation of the Belgian
Chambers within the time limited by its terms, and has therefore become
void.

This occurrence assumes the graver aspect from the consideration that in
1833 a treaty negotiated between the two Governments and ratified on the
part of the United States failed to be ratified on the part of Belgium.
The representative of that Government at Washington informs the
Department of State that he has been instructed to give explanations of
the causes which occasioned delay in the approval of the late treaty by
the legislature, and to express the regret of the King at the
occurrence.

The joint commission under the convention with Texas to ascertain the
true boundary between the two countries has concluded its labors, but
the final report of the commissioner of the United States has not been
received. It is understood, however, that the meridian line as traced
by the commission lies somewhat farther east than the position hitherto
generally assigned to it, and consequently includes in Texas some part
of the territory which had been considered as belonging to the States
of Louisiana and Arkansas.

The United States can not but take a deep interest in whatever relates
to this young but growing Republic. Settled principally by emigrants
from the United States, we have the happiness to know that the great
principles of civil liberty are there destined to flourish under wise
institutions and wholesome laws, and that through its example another
evidence is to be afforded of the capacity of popular institutions to
advance the prosperity, happiness, and permanent glory of the human
race. The great truth that government was made for the people and not
the people for government has already been established in the practice
and by the example of these United States, and we can do no other than
contemplate its further exemplification by a sister republic with the
deepest interest.

Our relations with the independent States of this hemisphere, formerly
under the dominion of Spain, have not undergone any material change
within the past year. The incessant sanguinary conflicts in or between
those countries are to be greatly deplored as necessarily tending to
disable them from performing their duty as members of the community
of nations and rising to the destiny which the position and natural
resources of many of them might lead them justly to anticipate, as
constantly giving occasion also, directly or indirectly, for complaints
on the part of our citizens who resort thither for purposes of
commercial intercourse, and as retarding reparation for wrongs already
committed, some of which are by no means of recent date.

The failure of the Congress of Ecuador to hold a session at the time
appointed for that purpose, in January last, will probably render
abortive a treaty of commerce with that Republic, which was signed at
Quito on the 13th of June, 1839, and had been duly ratified on our
part, but which required the approbation of that body prior to its
ratification by the Ecuadorian Executive.

A convention which has been concluded with the Republic of Peru,
providing for the settlement of certain claims of citizens of the United
States upon the Government of that Republic, will be duly submitted to
the Senate.

The claims of our citizens against the Brazilian Government originating
from captures and other causes are still unsatisfied. The United States
have, however, so uniformly shown a disposition to cultivate relations
of amity with that Empire that it is hoped the unequivocal tokens of the
same spirit toward us which an adjustment of the affairs referred to
would afford will be given without further avoidable delay.

The war with the Indian tribes on the peninsula of Florida has during
the last summer and fall been prosecuted with untiring activity and
zeal. A summer campaign was resolved upon as the best mode of bringing
it to a close. Our brave officers and men who have been engaged in that
service have suffered toils and privations and exhibited an energy which
in any other war would have won for them unfading laurels. In despite
of the sickness incident to the climate, they have penetrated the
fastnesses of the Indians, broken up their encampments, and harassed
them unceasingly. Numbers have been captured, and still greater numbers
have surrendered and have been transported to join their brethren on the
lands elsewhere allotted to them by the Government, and a strong hope is
entertained that under the conduct of the gallant officer at the head of
the troops in Florida that troublesome and expensive war is destined to
a speedy termination. With all the other Indian tribes we are enjoying
the blessings of peace. Our duty as well as our best interests prompts
us to observe in all our intercourse with them fidelity in fulfilling
our engagements, the practice of strict justice, as well as the constant
exercise of acts of benevolence and kindness. These are the great
instruments of civilization, and through the use of them alone can the
untutored child of the forest be induced to listen to its teachings.

The Secretary of State, on whom the acts of Congress have devolved the
duty of directing the proceedings for the taking of the sixth census or
enumeration of the inhabitants of the United States, will report to the
two Houses the progress of that work. The enumeration of persons has
been completed, and exhibits a grand total of 17,069,453, making an
increase over the census of 1830 of 4,202,646 inhabitants, and showing
a gain in a ratio exceeding 32-1/2 per cent for the last ten years.

From the report of the Secretary of the Treasury you will be informed of
the condition of the finances. The balance in the Treasury on the 1st of
January last, as stated in the report of the Secretary of the Treasury
submitted to Congress at the extra session, was $987,345.03. The
receipts into the Treasury during the first three quarters of this year
from all sources amount to $23,467,072.52; the estimated receipts for
the fourth quarter amount to $6,943,095.25, amounting to $30,410,167.77,
and making with the balance in the Treasury on the 1st of January last
$31,397,512.80. The expenditures for the first three quarters of this
year amount to $24,734,346.97. The expenditures for the fourth quarter
as estimated will amount to $7,290,723.73, thus making a total of
$32,025,070.70, and leaving a deficit to be provided for on the 1st of
January next of about $627,557.90.

Of the loan of $12,000,000 which was authorized by Congress at its late
session only $5,432,726.88 have been negotiated. The shortness of time
which it had to run has presented no inconsiderable impediment in the
way of its being taken by capitalists at home, while the same cause
would have operated with much greater force in the foreign market. For
that reason the foreign market has not been resorted to; and it is now
submitted whether it would not be advisable to amend the law by making
what remains undisposed of payable at a more distant day.

Should it be necessary, in any view that Congress may take of the
subject, to revise the existing tariff of duties, I beg leave to say
that in the performance of that most delicate operation moderate
counsels would seem to be the wisest. The Government under which it is
our happiness to live owes its existence to the spirit of compromise
which prevailed among its framers; jarring and discordant opinions could
only have been reconciled by that noble spirit of patriotism which
prompted conciliation and resulted in harmony. In the same spirit the
compromise bill, as it is commonly called, was adopted at the session of
1833. While the people of no portion of the Union will ever hesitate to
pay all necessary taxes for the support of Government, yet an innate
repugnance exists to the imposition of burthens not really necessary for
that object. In imposing duties, however, for the purposes of revenue
a right to discriminate as to the articles on which the duty shall be
laid, as well as the amount, necessarily and most properly exists;
otherwise the Government would be placed in the condition of having to
levy the same duties upon all articles, the productive as well as the
unproductive. The slightest duty upon some might have the effect of
causing their importation to cease, whereas others, entering extensively
into the consumption of the country, might bear the heaviest without any
sensible diminution in the amount imported. So also the Government may
be justified in so discriminating by reference to other considerations
of domestic policy connected with our manufactures. So long as the
duties shall be laid with distinct reference to the wants of the
Treasury no well-founded objection can exist against them. It might
be esteemed desirable that no such augmentation of the taxes should
take place as would have the effect of annulling the land-proceeds
distribution act of the last session, which act is declared to be
inoperative the moment the duties are increased beyond 20 per cent, the
maximum rate established by the compromise act. Some of the provisions
of the compromise act, which will go into effect on the 30th day of June
next, may, however, be found exceedingly inconvenient in practice under
any regulations that Congress may adopt. I refer more particularly to
that relating to the home valuation. A difference in value of the same
articles to some extent will necessarily exist at different ports, but
that is altogether insignificant when compared with the conflicts in
valuation which are likely to arise from the differences of opinion
among the numerous appraisers of merchandise. In many instances the
estimates of value must be conjectural, and thus as many different rates
of value may be established as there are appraisers. These differences
in valuation may also be increased by the inclination which, without
the slightest imputation on their honesty, may arise on the part of the
appraisers in favor of their respective ports of entry. I recommend this
whole subject to the consideration of Congress with a single additional
remark. Certainty and permanency in any system of governmental policy
are in all respects eminently desirable, but more particularly is this
true in all that affects trade and commerce, the operations of which
depend much more on the certainty of their returns and calculations
which embrace distant periods of time than on high bounties or duties,
which are liable to constant fluctuations.

At your late session I invited your attention to the condition of
the currency and exchanges and urged the necessity of adopting such
measures as were consistent with the constitutional competency of the
Government in order to correct the unsoundness of the one and, as far as
practicable, the inequalities of the other. No country can be in the
enjoyment of its full measure of prosperity without the presence of
a medium of exchange approximating to uniformity of value. What is
necessary as between the different nations of the earth is also
important as between the inhabitants of different parts of the same
country. With the first the precious metals constitute the chief medium
of circulation, and such also would be the case as to the last but for
inventions comparatively modern, which have furnished in place of gold
and silver a paper circulation. I do not propose to enter into a
comparative analysis of the merits of the two systems. Such belonged
more properly to the period of the introduction of the paper system. The
speculative philosopher might find inducements to prosecute the inquiry,
but his researches could only lead him to conclude that the paper system
had probably better never have been introduced and that society might
have been much happier without it. The practical statesman has a very
different task to perform. He has to look at things as they are, to take
them as he finds them, to supply deficiencies and to prune excesses as
far as in him lies. The task of furnishing a corrective for derangements
of the paper medium with us is almost inexpressibly great. The power
exerted by the States to charter banking corporations, and which, having
been carried to a great excess, has filled the country with, in most of
the States, an irredeemable paper medium, is an evil which in some way
or other requires a corrective. The rates at which bills of exchange
are negotiated between different parts of the country furnish an index
of the value of the local substitute for gold and silver, which is in
many parts so far depreciated as not to be received except at a large
discount in payment of debts or in the purchase of produce. It could
earnestly be desired that every bank not possessing the means of
resumption should follow the example of the late United States Bank of
Pennsylvania and go into liquidation rather than by refusing to do so
to continue embarrassments in the way of solvent institutions, thereby
augmenting the difficulties incident to the present condition of things.
Whether this Government, with due regard to the rights of the States,
has any power to constrain the banks either to resume specie payments
or to force them into liquidation, is an inquiry which will not fail
to claim your consideration. In view of the great advantages which are
allowed the corporators, not among the least of which is the authority
contained in most of their charters to make loans to three times the
amount of their capital, thereby often deriving three times as much
interest on the same amount of money as any individual is permitted by
law to receive, no sufficient apology can be urged for a long-continued
suspension of specie payments. Such suspension is productive of the
greatest detriment to the public by expelling from circulation the
precious metals and seriously hazarding the success of any effort that
this Government can make to increase commercial facilities and to
advance the public interests.

This is the more to be regretted and the indispensable necessity for
a sound currency becomes the more manifest when we reflect on the vast
amount of the internal commerce of the country. Of this we have no
statistics nor just data for forming adequate opinions. But there can
be no doubt but that the amount of transportation coastwise by sea, and
the transportation inland by railroads and canals, and by steamboats
and other modes of conveyance over the surface of our vast rivers and
immense lakes, and the value of property carried and interchanged by
these means form a general aggregate to which the foreign commerce of
the country, large as it is, makes but a distant approach.

In the absence of any controlling power over this subject, which, by
forcing a general resumption of specie payments, would at once have the
effect of restoring a sound medium of exchange and would leave to the
country but little to desire, what measure of relief falling within the
limits of our constitutional competency does it become this Government
to adopt? It was my painful duty at your last session, under the weight
of most solemn obligations, to differ with Congress on the measures
which it proposed for my approval, and which it doubtless regarded as
corrective of existing evils. Subsequent reflection and events since
occurring have only served to confirm me in the opinions then
entertained and frankly expressed. I must be permitted to add that no
scheme of governmental policy unaided by individual exertions can be
available for ameliorating the present condition of things. Commercial
modes of exchange and a good currency are but the necessary means of
commerce and intercourse, not the direct productive sources of wealth.
Wealth can only be accumulated by the earnings of industry and the
savings of frugality, and nothing can be more ill judged than to look
to facilities in borrowing or to a redundant circulation for the power
of discharging pecuniary obligations. The country is full of resources
and the people full of energy, and the great and permanent remedy
for present embarrassments must be sought in industry, economy, the
observance of good faith, and the favorable influence of time. In
pursuance of a pledge given to you in my last message to Congress, which
pledge I urge as an apology for adventuring to present you the details
of any plan, the Secretary of the Treasury will be ready to submit to
you, should you require it, a plan of finance which, while it throws
around the public treasure reasonable guards for its protection and
rests on powers acknowledged in practice to exist from the origin of
the Government, will at the same time furnish to the country a sound
paper medium and afford all reasonable facilities for regulating the
exchanges. When submitted, you will perceive in it a plan amendatory of
the existing laws in relation to the Treasury Department, subordinate in
all respects to the will of Congress directly and the will of the people
indirectly, self-sustaining should it be found in practice to realize
its promises in theory, and repealable at the pleasure of Congress. It
proposes by effectual restraints and by invoking the true spirit of our
institutions to separate the purse from the sword, or, more properly to
speak, denies any other control to the President over the agents who may
be selected to carry it into execution but what may be indispensably
necessary to secure the fidelity of such agents, and by wise regulations
keeps plainly apart from each other private and public funds. It
contemplates the establishment of a board of control at the seat of
government, with agencies at prominent commercial points or wherever
else Congress shall direct, for the safe-keeping and disbursement of the
public moneys, and a substitution at the option of the public creditor
of Treasury notes in lieu of gold and silver. It proposes to limit the
issues to an amount not to exceed $15,000,000 without the express
sanction of the legislative power. It also authorizes the receipt of
individual deposits of gold and silver to a limited amount, and the
granting certificates of deposit divided into such sums as may be called
for by the depositors. It proceeds a step further and authorizes the
purchase and sale of domestic bills and drafts resting on a real and
substantial basis, payable at sight or having but a short time to run,
and drawn on places not less than 100 miles apart, which authority,
except in so far as may be necessary for Government purposes
exclusively, is only to be exerted upon the express condition that its
exercise shall not be prohibited by the State in which the agency is
situated. In order to cover the expenses incident to the plan, it will
be authorized to receive moderate premiums for certificates issued on
deposits and on bills bought and sold, and thus, as far as its dealings
extend, to furnish facilities to commercial intercourse at the lowest
possible rates and to subduct from the earnings of industry the least
possible sum. It uses the State banks at a distance from the agencies
as auxiliaries without imparting any power to trade in its name.
It is subjected to such guards and restraints as have appeared to be
necessary. It is the creature of law and exists only at the pleasure of
the Legislature. It is made to rest on an actual specie basis in order
to redeem the notes at the places of issue, produces no dangerous
redundancy of circulation, affords no temptation to speculation, is
attended by no inflation of prices, is equable in its operation, makes
the Treasury notes (which it may use along with the certificates of
deposit and the notes of specie-paying banks) convertible at the place
where collected, receivable in payment of Government dues, and without
violating any principle of the Constitution affords the Government and
the people such facilities as are called for by the wants of both. Such,
it has appeared to me, are its recommendations, and in view of them it
will be submitted, whenever you may require it, to your consideration.

I am not able to perceive that any fair and candid objection can be
urged against the plan, the principal outlines of which I have thus
presented. I can not doubt but that the notes which it proposes to
furnish at the voluntary option of the public creditor, issued in lieu
of the revenue and its certificates of deposit, will be maintained
at an equality with gold and silver everywhere. They are redeemable in
gold and silver on demand at the places of issue. They are receivable
everywhere in payment of Government dues. The Treasury notes are limited
to an amount of one-fourth less than the estimated annual receipts of
the Treasury, and in addition they rest upon the faith of the Government
for their redemption. If all these assurances are not sufficient to make
them available, then the idea, as it seems to me, of furnishing a sound
paper medium of exchange may be entirely abandoned.

If a fear be indulged that the Government may be tempted to run into
excess in its issues at any future day, it seems to me that no such
apprehension can reasonably be entertained until all confidence in the
representatives of the States and of the people, as well as of the
people themselves, shall be lost. The weightiest considerations of
policy require that the restraints now proposed to be thrown around the
measure should not for light causes be removed. To argue against any
proposed plan its liability to possible abuse is to reject every
expedient, since everything dependent on human action is liable
to abuse. Fifteen millions of Treasury notes may be issued as the
_maximum_, but a discretionary power is to be given to the board of
control under that sum, and every consideration will unite in leading
them to feel their way with caution. For the first eight years of the
existence of the late Bank of the United States its circulation barely
exceeded $4,000,000, and for five of its most prosperous years it was
about equal to $16,000,000; furthermore, the authority given to receive
private deposits to a limited amount and to issue certificates in such
sums as may be called for by the depositors may so far fill up the
channels of circulation as greatly to diminish the necessity of any
considerable issue of Treasury notes. A restraint upon the amount of
private deposits has seemed to be indispensably necessary from an
apprehension, thought to be well founded, that in any emergency of trade
confidence might be so far shaken in the banks as to induce a withdrawal
from them of private deposits with a view to insure their unquestionable
safety when deposited with the Government, which might prove eminently
disastrous to the State banks. Is it objected that it is proposed to
authorize the agencies to deal in bills of exchange? It is answered that
such dealings are to be carried on at the lowest possible premium, are
made to rest on an unquestionably sound basis, are designed to reimburse
merely the expenses which would otherwise devolve upon the Treasury, and
are in strict subordination to the decision of the Supreme Court in the
case of the Bank of Augusta against Earle, and other reported cases, and
thereby avoids all conflict with State jurisdiction, which I hold to be
indispensably requisite. It leaves the banking privileges of the States
without interference, looks to the Treasury and the Union, and while
furnishing every facility to the first is careful of the interests of
the last. But above all, it is created by law, is amendable by law, and
is repealable by law, and, wedded as I am to no theory, but looking
solely to the advancement of the public good, I shall be among the very
first to urge its repeal if it be found not to subserve the purposes and
objects for which it may be created. Nor will the plan be submitted in
any overweening confidence in the sufficiency of my own judgment, but
with much greater reliance on the wisdom and patriotism of Congress.
I can not abandon this subject without urging upon you in the most
emphatic manner, whatever may be your action on the suggestions which
I have felt it to be my duty to submit, to relieve the Chief Executive
Magistrate, by any and all constitutional means, from a controlling
power over the public Treasury. If in the plan proposed, should you deem
it worthy of your consideration, that separation is not as complete as
you may desire, you will doubtless amend it in that particular. For
myself, I disclaim all desire to have any control over the public moneys
other than what is indispensably necessary to execute the laws which you
may pass.

Nor can I fail to advert in this connection to the debts which many of
the States of the Union have contracted abroad and under which they
continue to labor. That indebtedness amounts to a sum not less than
$200,000,000, and which has been retributed to them for the most part
in works of internal improvement which are destined to prove of vast
importance in ultimately advancing their prosperity and wealth. For the
debts thus contracted the States are alone responsible. I can do no more
than express the belief that each State will feel itself bound by every
consideration of honor as well as of interest to meet its engagements
with punctuality. The failure, however, of any one State to do so should
in no degree affect the credit of the rest, and the foreign capitalist
will have no just cause to experience alarm as to all other State stocks
because any one or more of the States may neglect to provide with
punctuality the means of redeeming their engagements. Even such States,
should there be any, considering the great rapidity with which their
resources are developing themselves, will not fail to have the means
at no very distant day to redeem their obligations to the uttermost
farthing; nor will I doubt but that, in view of that honorable conduct
which has evermore governed the States and the people of the Union, they
will each and all resort to every legitimate expedient before they will
forego a faithful compliance with their obligations.

From the report of the Secretary of War and other reports accompanying
it you will be informed of the progress which has been made in the
fortifications designed for the protection of our principal cities,
roadsteads, and inland frontier during the present year, together with
their true state and condition. They will be prosecuted to completion
with all the expedition which the means placed by Congress at the
disposal of the Executive will allow.

I recommend particularly to your consideration that portion of the
Secretary's report which proposes the establishment of a chain of
military posts from Council Bluffs to some point on the Pacific Ocean
within our limits. The benefit thereby destined to accrue to our
citizens engaged in the fur trade over that wilderness region, added
to the importance of cultivating friendly relations with savage tribes
inhabiting it, and at the same time of giving protection to our frontier
settlements and of establishing the means of safe intercourse between
the American settlements at the mouth of the Columbia River and those on
this side of the Rocky Mountains, would seem to suggest the importance
of carrying into effect the recommendations upon this head with as
little delay as may be practicable.

The report of the Secretary of the Navy will place you in possession
of the present condition of that important arm of the national defense.
Every effort will be made to add to its efficiency, and I can not too
strongly urge upon you liberal appropriations to that branch of the
public service. Inducements of the weightiest character exist for the
adoption of this course of policy. Our extended and otherwise exposed
maritime frontier calls for protection, to the furnishing of which an
efficient naval force is indispensable. We look to no foreign conquests,
nor do we propose to enter into competition with any other nation for
supremacy on the ocean; but it is due not only to the honor but to the
security of the people of the United States that no nation should be
permitted to invade our waters at pleasure and subject our towns and
villages to conflagration or pillage. Economy in all branches of the
public service is due from all the public agents to the people, but
parsimony alone would suggest the withholding of the necessary means for
the protection of our domestic firesides from invasion and our national
honor from disgrace. I would most earnestly recommend to Congress to
abstain from all appropriations for objects not absolutely necessary;
but I take upon myself, without a moment of hesitancy, all the
responsibility of recommending the increase and prompt equipment of
that gallant Navy which has lighted up every sea with its victories
and spread an imperishable glory over the country.

The report of the Postmaster-General will claim your particular
attention, not only because of the valuable suggestions which it
contains, but because of the great importance which at all times
attaches to that interesting branch of the public service. The increased
expense of transporting the mail along the principal routes necessarily
claims the public attention, and has awakened a corresponding solicitude
on the part of the Government. The transmission of the mail must keep
pace with those facilities of intercommunication which are every day
becoming greater through the building of railroads and the application
of steam power, but it can not be disguised that in order to do so the
Post-Office Department is subjected to heavy exactions. The lines of
communication between distant parts of the Union are to a great extent
occupied by railroads, which, in the nature of things, possess a
complete monopoly, and the Department is therefore liable to heavy and
unreasonable charges. This evil is destined to great increase in future,
and some timely measure may become necessary to guard against it.

I feel it my duty to bring under your consideration a practice which has
grown up in the administration of the Government, and which, I am deeply
convinced, ought to be corrected. I allude to the exercise of the power
which usage rather than reason has vested in the Presidents of removing
incumbents from office in order to substitute others more in favor with
the dominant party. My own conduct in this respect has been governed by
a conscientious purpose to exercise the removing power only in cases of
unfaithfulness or inability, or in those in which its exercise appeared
necessary in order to discountenance and suppress that spirit of active
partisanship on the part of holders of office which not only withdraws
them from the steady and impartial discharge of their official duties,
but exerts an undue and injurious influence over elections and degrades
the character of the Government itself, inasmuch as it exhibits the
Chief Magistrate as being a party through his agents in the secret plots
or open workings of political parties.

In respect to the exercise of this power nothing should be left to
discretion which may safely be regulated by law, and it is of high
importance to restrain as far as possible the stimulus of personal
interests in public elections. Considering the great increase which has
been made in public offices in the last quarter of a century and the
probability of further increase, we incur the hazard of witnessing
violent political contests, directed too often to the single object of
retaining office by those who are in or obtaining it by those who are
out. Under the influence of these convictions I shall cordially concur
in any constitutional measure for regulating and, by regulating,
restraining the power of removal.

I suggest for your consideration the propriety of making without further
delay some specific application of the funds derived under the will of
Mr. Smithson, of England, for the diffusion of knowledge, and which have
heretofore been vested in public stocks until such time as Congress
should think proper to give them a specific direction. Nor will you, I
feel confident, permit any abatement of the principal of the legacy to
be made should it turn out that the stocks in which the investments have
been made have undergone a depreciation.

In conclusion I commend to your care the interests of this District, for
which you are the exclusive legislators. Considering that this city is
the residence of the Government and for a large part of the year of
Congress, and considering also the great cost of the public buildings
and the propriety of affording them at all times careful protection, it
seems not unreasonable that Congress should contribute toward the
expense of an efficient police.

JOHN TYLER.




SPECIAL MESSAGES.


WASHINGTON, _December 7, 1841_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of War, in compliance
with a resolution of the Senate of the 3d of March last, calling for a
comparative statement of the condition of the public defenses, of all
the preparations and means of defense, and of the actual and authorized
strength of the Army on the 1st of January, 1829, and the 1st of
January, 1841.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _December 7, 1841_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith a report from the War Department, in compliance with
so much of the resolution of the Senate of March 3, 1841, respecting the
military and naval defenses of the country, as relates to the defenses
under the superintendence of that Department.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _December 8, 1841_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 4th
of September last, requesting information touching the relations between
the United States and the Republic of Texas, I transmit a report from
the Secretary of State, to whom the resolution was referred.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _December 8, 1841_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

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

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _December 29, 1841_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I herewith transmit to the Senate a report[15] from the Secretary of
State, in answer to their resolution of the 27th instant.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 15: Stating that no proposition has been made by either the
United States or Great Britain relative to the mutual right of search.]



WASHINGTON, _January 4, 1842_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I herewith communicate a report and statement from the Secretary of
State, in answer to a resolution of the House of the 19th of June, 1841,
requesting the aggregate amount of each description of persons within
the several districts of the United States by counties and principal
towns.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _January 10, 1842_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for its consideration with a view to
ratification, a convention between the United States and the Republic
of Peru, signed at Lima on the 17th of March last, providing for the
adjustment and satisfaction of certain claims of citizens of the United
States against the Government of that Republic.

For the purpose of acquainting the Senate with the nature and amount of
those demands and with the course of the negotiation, I also communicate
a copy of such parts of the correspondence of the agents of the two
Governments as relate thereto.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _January 17, 1842_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate a report from the Secretary of State, relative
to the proceedings and final decision of the commissioners under the
convention with the Republic of Texas upon the subject of the boundary
between the United States and that Republic.

JOHN TYLER.

[The same message was sent to the House of Representatives.]



WASHINGTON, _January 18, 1842_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit to the House of Representatives, in answer to the resolution
of the 14th instant, a report[16] from the Secretary of State and the
papers by which it was accompanied.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 16: Relating to American citizens captured near Santa Fe,
Mexico, by the Mexican army.]



WASHINGTON, _January 19, 1842_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate herewith a report[17] from the Secretary of
State, with accompanying papers, in answer to their resolution of the
11th instant.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 17: Transmitting correspondence relative to the action of the
authorities of Nassau, New Providence, in the imprisonment of slaves
charged with mutiny and murder, the refusal to surrender them to the
United States consul for trial in the United States, and the liberation
of slaves, all of said slaves being a part of the cargo of the United
States brig _Creole_.]



JANUARY 27, 1842.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith a report[18] of the Secretary of War, in answer to
the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 9th August, 1841.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 18: Relating to the origin of the Seminole war, slaves
captured during said war by United States troops, etc.]



WASHINGTON, _February 5, 1842_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith to the Senate copies of a report and letter from the
commissioners appointed by the President for the exploration and survey
of the boundary line between the States of Maine and New Hampshire and
the conterminous British Provinces, showing the progress made in that
work during the past season, and submitting an estimate, to which I
invite the attention of Congress, of the funds that will be requisite
for completing the surveys yet to be made on the boundary, and the
office work consequent thereon, and for completing the maps of surveys
already made.

JOHN TYLER.

[The same message was sent to the House of Representatives.]



NEW YORK, _January 4, 1842_.

Hon. DANIEL WEBSTER,

_Secretary of State_:

The undersigned, commissioners appointed by the President of the United
States for the purpose of exploring and surveying the boundary line
between the States of Maine and New Hampshire and the British Provinces
in North America, respectfully report--

That in pursuance of the duties of their appointment they have in the
course of the late season performed the following surveys and
explorations:

1. The meridian line of the monument at the source of the St. Croix has,
under the direction of J.D. Graham, been carefully and accurately traced
from the station in the vicinity of Houlton where the labors of the year
1840 terminated to a point 4 miles north of the St. John River in the
vicinity of the Grand Falls, being a distance of 81 miles from the
monument. The timber has been removed along this line to a width
necessary for its accurate prolongation and for the requisite
astronomical observations at various points upon it, and a correct
profile, or vertical section, has also been obtained by means of the
spirit level the whole of the distance above mentioned.

Besides the astronomical observations necessary to obtain and continue
the due north direction upon this line, numerous magnetic observations
have also been made at a number of points upon it, in order to show the
physical causes which must operate to produce serious discrepancies
between a meridian line properly traced and such a one as has actually
separated the jurisdiction of the two Governments since the attempt in
the years 1817 and 1818 to define and mark this portion of the boundary
under the provisions of the treaty of Ghent, although no portion of that
line was ever ratified or made binding upon the parties to the treaty.

Upon this portion of the survey there have been chained, including
measured offsets to the old line and to other important points, 85
miles.

Four hundred and fifty-two transit observations of heavenly bodies have
been made, aided by three excellent chronometers, for the determination
of the true meridian direction, most of which also served for the
computation of the correct time.

For the determination of the longitude of this meridian west of the
Royal Observatory of Greenwich and the latitudes of four important
points upon it there were made eighty-five complete sets of astronomical
observations, including altitudes of the sun and stars and the meridian
transits of the moon and moon-culminating stars.

The number of barometric observations made upon the line and in its
vicinity is 5,767; besides which there were made at Calais, for
comparison with the level of mean tide on the St. Croix, 1,336 similar
observations.

There have been determined in altitude above or below the level of the
monument, by means of the spirit level, 1,716 points, and the altitudes
of 1,816 other points have been similarly observed in order to verify
the altitude of the monument above the level of mean tide at Calais.

For the determination of the magnetic variation at a number of points on
the meridian line, more than 200 observations have been made upon four
different needles, and for the determination of the magnetic dip at four
principal stations on the same meridian 300 observations have been made
upon two different needles.

Under the directions of the same commissioner the line claimed by Great
Britain from Mars Hill and that recently chosen by Messrs. Mudge and
Featherstonhaugh have been surveyed westward from the meridian line to
the highlands near the head waters of the Aroostook, and the necessary
data obtained for the construction of a correct map of that portion of
country.

Upon this survey, without reckoning the distances traveled for
approaching many important points of observation, there have been
actually measured with the chain and coursed with proper instruments 267
miles, including the Aroostook River from its mouth to the point where
it receives the Lapawmpeag Stream, a profile of the country from the
head waters of the Moluncus to the St. John at Fish River, and such
other important lines as were necessary for obtaining the correct
topography of the country, and the altitudes of many points upon the
line claimed by Great Britain as the boundary, in the vicinity of the
Aroostook, have been obtained.

Ten principal points have been determined in latitude and longitude by
means of 115 sets of astronomical observations, aided by three good
chronometers, and seventeen other points have been determined by
triangulation with a portable theodolite. Two hundred and five points
have been determined in altitude by means of 1,319 barometric
observations, and seventeen by means of the theodolite and spirit level.
One hundred and ninety-two observations have been made for determining
the variation of the magnetic needle at three important points.

The field duties above mentioned are considered to furnish sufficient
data for a correct map of the line reported upon by the late British
commissioners, Colonel Mudge and Mr. Featherstonhaugh, between the
St. John River and the head of the Aroostook, besides some lateral
explorations of considerable extent that will have an important bearing
upon this branch of the subject. The work accomplished is full as much
as could have been properly done in a single season, marked, as the
last was, by an unusual drought of long continuance, which rendered
it impossible to ascend, even with light canoes, some of the smaller
streams, especially those forming the northwesternmost sources of the
Aroostook. These might be profitably explored another season.

2. The division under the direction of A. Talcott has, besides verifying
a part of the line of 1840 and tracing the course of Indian Stream (a
branch of the Connecticut) to its source, explored and surveyed the line
of highlands which extends from the Kennebec road to the Temiscouata
portage, and so much of the line claimed by Great Britain as extends
from the Kennebec road to the eastward as far as the head of the
Aroostook River.

In the course of this survey, without counting the lines of approach
or ground traveled over more than once, 703 miles have been passed over
and such notes taken as will form the basis of a map. Of these 703
miles, 335 are upon the lines respectively claimed as boundaries by
the Governments of the United States and Great Britain. In the course
of these surveys, in order to the geographical determination of the
position of the line, the latitudes of 54 points have been determined
by means of 114 sets of altitudes of heavenly bodies, and the sets of
subsidiary observations for time and for the determination of longitude
by chronometers amount to 245. The number of points at which
observations have been made by barometers for the purpose of determining
their altitudes is 930, of which 669 are upon the boundaries
respectively claimed by the two countries. The number of separate sets
of barometric readings made at these points amounts to 1,981, while
those made at the fixed stations, with which the former are to be
compared, amount to 1,671.

3. The division under the direction of J. Renwick has explored or
surveyed the line of highlands from the southeastern extremity of Lake
Matapediac to the vicinity of the river Du Loup, where the line of
survey has been connected with that of A. Talcott. In this survey a gap
is yet left of a few miles on the western side of the valley of the
Rimouski near its source.

In the course of the operations of this division 586 miles have been
passed over and such notes taken as will form the basis of a map. Of
these 586 miles, 275 have been actually measured, 209 are upon the
boundary claimed by the United States, and about 30 upon the line
pointed out by the proclamation of the King of Great Britain of the 7th
of October, 1763, as the southern boundary of the Province of Quebec,
making in all 239 miles of the height of land.

In the course of these surveys, in order to the geographical
determination of the position of the line, the latitudes of 47 points
have been determined by means of 85 sets of altitudes of heavenly
bodies, and the sets of subsidiary observations for time and for the
determination of longitude by chronometers amount to 130. The number
of points at which observations have been made by barometers for the
purpose of determining their altitudes is 407, of which 267 are upon the
boundary claimed by the United States. The number of separate sets of
barometric readings made at these points amounts to 1,153, while those
made at the fixed stations amount to 837.

The division of Major Graham not having returned from the field
until within a few days, neither the reduction of the astronomical
observations nor any of the office work preparatory to a general map
has yet been commenced by his division.

The office work of the divisions of A. Talcott and J. Renwick has been
steadily carried on since the return of those commissioners from the
field in the month of October, and great progress has been made in the
calculations and plotting preparatory to the construction of maps, and
necessary as materials for a general report.

In this state of the work of the several divisions the undersigned find
themselves under the necessity of communicating to the State Department
that the further progress of their operations is about to be arrested by
the exhaustion of the appropriation, and of stating that unless speedy
provision be made for the supply of the necessary funds the report of
their operations can not be made up in time to be laid before Congress
at its present session.

The position of the finances of the commission may be seen by the
following statement:


  Of the appropriation of $75,000 there have been drawn--

  By J. Renwick   $21,000
  By A. Talcott    24,200
  By J.D. Graham   25,000
  Total drawn      70,200

  Leaving in the Treasury of the United States $4,800.

  By a careful estimate it is found that to finish the office work of the
  several divisions there will be required over and above any balances in
  the hands of the several commissioners--

  For the division of J. Renwick                        $3,000
  For the division of A. Talcott                         5,800
  For the division of J.D. Graham, including some
  arrearages due for instruments and to assistant
  engineers attached to this division                    6,500

  Making in all $15,300, and leaving to be provided
  for the completion of the work of the late season    $10,500.


The undersigned can not refrain from stating that the necessity of
applying for further funds was unexpected by each of them individually,
as it is painful to them collectively. There are, however, reasons that
in their opinion are incontrovertible which have led to an expenditure
thus exceeding their estimate submitted to the Secretary of State the
11th of January, 1841:

1. The estimate for the expenses of the division under the direction of
Major Graham amounted to $22,500. This referred only, however, to the
continuation of the survey of the meridian line; and as the country had
been represented by the most authentic maps as generally rising from the
monument to the north, it was inferred that the timber to be cut away
in opening this line through a dense forest would be of the description
generally found upon elevated and dry lands, and the labor supposed to
be requisite was estimated accordingly. So far, however, from this being
the case, 26 miles out of the 32 between the base of Parks Ridge, near
Houlton, and the river Des Chutes (6 miles north of the latitude of Mars
Hill) have actually been found to be below the level of the monument and
intersected by swamps covered with a thick growth of cedar and other
timber common to such land, extremely difficult to cut away. More than
double the labor estimated had therefore to be performed in
accomplishing this and all similar portions of the work, and a
corresponding increase of expense was unavoidable.

In addition to this increased labor upon the meridian line, the division
of Major Graham has executed the surveys between that line and the head
waters of the Aroostook, already given in detail, the expenses for which
were not estimated or included in the sum above mentioned.

The cost of this survey, including the instruments that were required
for it, has amounted to $5,500, and while this sum should be added to
the original estimate for this division, the expenses of the divisions
of the other two commissioners have not in any manner been thereby
diminished, for the actual quantity of work performed by them has
exceeded what was supposed from the best maps extant to be necessary
upon the whole of the lines claimed by the two Governments,
respectively, exclusive of the meridian line, as will hereafter be
shown.

There was another cause which tended in a great degree to augment the
expenses of this division in proportion to the progress of the work,
which it was not within the power of human agency to control, and which
we should not omit to mention here.

The severe drought which prevailed throughout this region of country
during the month of August and the greater part of September caused the
fires which are annually set to the fallen timber upon newly cleared
lands to spread far and wide into the growing forest, and so rapid was
its progress and so serious its ravages as to compel the inhabitants
in many cases to fly for the preservation of life. Some check was
experienced in the duties along the meridian line from the flames that
actually embraced it, but a far more serious one from the dense smoke
which filled the atmosphere almost incessantly for six weeks, and so
obstructed the view as to render it impossible to fix the stations in
advance with the requisite precision.

While the party charged with the astronomical operations was thus
deprived of the opportunity of making scarcely any progress for six
weeks, the expense of maintaining it could not in any way be diminished,
because there was a daily hope that such a change in the weather might
occur as would have removed this difficulty.

In order to make amends as far as practicable for so much time
unavoidably lost, this division continued to prosecute its field duties
north of the forty-seventh degree of latitude until several weeks after
the severities of winter had commenced, with no other protection than
their tents, the commissioner in charge of it believing that the
expectations of the Government and of the country generally would but be
fulfilled by the investigations in relation to this important line being
pushed to the utmost attainable point. But for this it would have been
impossible to have reached the St. John River the late season.

There remains to be surveyed along this meridian line, in order to reach
the northwest angle of Nova Scotia as claimed by the United States,
about 64 miles, to accomplish which will require another season of
active field duty.

2. In the estimate for the work of the divisions of A. Talcott and J.
Renwick it was assumed that the length of the boundary remaining on the
line claimed by the United States was 320 miles, and upon the lines
claimed by Great Britain 170 miles.

Of the latter, about one-half was undertaken by Major Graham's
division,[19] leaving for the estimated distance to be surveyed by the
divisions of A. Talcott and J. Renwick 450 miles.

[Footnote 19: It has already been stated that in the survey of the
portion of this line allotted to Major Graham there were actually
measured upon it, with the chain, 276 miles, and this did not constitute
more than one-half the labor and expense incident to all the duties
enumerated and performed by his division on his portion, so much did the
work required upon this portion of it exceed what was estimated for the
whole of it.]

It will appear by the statement hereinbefore given that the joint
surveys of these two divisions upon the lines of highlands have actually
amounted to 574 miles. Upon the principle of their estimate, the
probable cost of this would have amounted to $49,746.37, and with the
addition for instruments and for the additional cost of the more remote
parts of the line to $57,079.70.

The actual cost, including the foregoing estimate for the completion of
the work, is $54,000.

It will appear, therefore, that when the increased extent of the work
performed over that made the basis of the estimate is considered, the
cost of performing it, so far from having exceeded the estimate, has
fallen short of it by $3,000.

The reason of the discrepancy between the real extent of the line, as
actually measured, and that which formed the basis of the calculation is
that the latter was made by reference to the best existing maps, which
were considered to be entitled to a certain degree of credit. Upon the
close examination which the operations of the late season have afforded,
these maps have been ascertained to be exceedingly erroneous. Well-known
streams have been found to extend in either direction many miles beyond
the points at which their sources have been laid down on the maps, and
great rivers and lakes have, as it were, been discovered, of which no
delineation had ever been given by geographers. The extent of these
errors in remote and difficultly accessible points may be inferred from
what has been found to occur in the part of the region which is most
accessible, best known, and most frequently traversed.

On the Temiscouata portage, a road traveled weekly by the mail of Her
Britannic Majesty, continually passed by the officers of her various
services, which had been carefully surveyed by civil engineers
preparatory to its reconstruction, and which has been traveled by the
surveyors of both countries under the joint commission, it had hitherto
been believed, and it was so represented on all maps, both English and
American, that the line dividing the waters crossed the road three
times. The surveys of the late season show that the boundary claimed by
the United States crosses this road five times, and it became necessary
to explore the culminating points of the valleys of four streams,
instead of two, as had been anticipated. Instances of the same sort, but
which do not admit of verbal description, have occurred on every part of
the lines of highlands.

The two commissioners whose operations are under consideration no doubt
had it in their power to have suspended their operations and returned so
soon as the portion of the appropriation placed at their disposal was so
far exhausted as to leave no more than would be needed to complete their
office work; but they feel satisfied that they would not have been
justified in so doing so long as any portion of the line remained
unsurveyed or the weather would permit a party to keep the field. Thus,
although in the original plan for the partition of the work it was
estimated that their lines would probably be connected in the parallel
of the river Ouelle, about 30 miles south of Temiscouata portage, when
it was found that, from unforeseen delays in the transportation of the
party of J. Renwick by sea to their work, and on the river St. Lawrence
from one station to another, it became doubtful whether he could pass
the Temiscouata portage before the woods became impassable, his
colleague continued his parties in the field until the junction was
effected. In this way, while the expenses of the division of J. Renwick
have not been materially diminished, those of the division of A. Talcott
have been largely increased; but a portion of the general work has been
accomplished which might otherwise have been left incomplete.

The undersigned, in conclusion, beg leave respectfully to urge the
importance of a speedy appropriation to enable them to make up their
report. A delay of any continuance will be productive of evil, either by
enhancing the cost of office work or by rendering it difficult in
consequence of the dispersion of the engineers and surveyors by whom the
field notes have been taken. Upon the completion only of such a report
will it be possible to render apparent how much of the whole task has
been accomplished and how much remains to be performed; and the
Department will then have it in its power to decide whether the part
that has not been completed is of such importance to the question at
issue as to require further operations upon it.

All which is respectfully submitted.

JAS. RENWICK,
  A. TALCOTT,
    J.D. GRAHAM,
     _Commissioners_.



WASHINGTON, _January 25, 1842_.

Hon. DANIEL WEBSTER,

_Secretary of State_.

SIR: The undersigned, commissioners appointed by the President of the
United States for the purpose of surveying and exploring the boundary
line between the States of Maine and New Hampshire and the British
Provinces, beg leave, in compliance with your directions, to submit an
estimate for the operations of the commission for the ensuing year.

So much of your directions as regards the state of the survey and the
amount required to complete the office work preparatory to a report has
already been laid before you in their report of the 4th January, 1842,
prepared in anticipation of your orders. By reference thereto it will
appear that the delineation of the meridian of the source of St. Croix
has not, in spite of every effort on the part of the commissioner to
whom it was assigned, been pursued farther than 81 miles from the
monument. Sixty-four miles, therefore, of the said meridian line remain
to be surveyed before this part of their task is completed. The other
two commissioners, while they would not have hesitated to join in a
final report in case the state of the survey of the meridian line would
have permitted it, are aware that the hasty manner in which their work
was performed, in anticipation of completing the object of their
appointment during the past year, leaves room for a more accurate
examination of some parts of the lines they have surveyed. Some
portions, also, of the lines intrusted to them, respectively, were not
reached; and, in addition, a part of the survey which was contemplated
in their original instructions from your predecessor was not included in
their estimates for the past year, in consequence of its having only a
collateral relation to the main object.

Thus the surveys respectively undertaken by Messrs. Talcott and Graham
of the lines claimed on the part of Great Britain and by Messrs. Mudge
and Featherstonhaugh, although brought near to each other, have not been
united, and a part of the highlands claimed by the United States near
the source of the Rimouski was not reached by the parties of Professor
Renwick.

The height of a part of the line explored by Captain Talcott in 1840,
lying at the source of Arnolds River, was not determined for the want of
a barometer.

Two or three miles in length of the line of highlands near the source of
the river Du Loup require to be reexamined.

The longitudes of Lake Megantic, Lake Etchemin, the source of the
Metjarmette, upon the line of Captain Talcott, and of some one point
on the line of Professor Renwick ought to be ascertained with greater
precision than the time that could be allowed during the last season
would permit.

The instructions of Mr. Forsyth contemplated an exploration of the
highlands described in the proclamation of 1763 as beginning on the
north shore of the Bay of Chaleurs. The existence of a continuous
elevated region from the tide of that bay to the termination of the
exploring meridian line has been ascertained in a manner satisfactory to
the commission, but the heights have not been measured on that part of
it which lies nearest to the Bay of Chaleurs.

Under these circumstances the undersigned are of opinion that as no
delay in the presentation of a final report will arise from further
explorations of the parts of the territory thus pointed out and the more
accurate examination of the uncertain matters, it would add to the
confidence which may be placed in their results that a party be employed
under the direction of each of the above-named commissioners upon the
said work. For this object it is estimated--

1. That $25,000 in all, say $12,500 to be expended under the direction
of each of the two above-named commissioners, will suffice. A less sum
than this will not keep two parties in the field during the working
season; a larger sum could not advantageously be expended on this part
of the work.

2. In estimating the amount necessary for completing the delineation of
the meridian of the source of the river St. Croix, it will be borne in
mind that numerous astronomical observations must be made in aid of the
operations with the transit instrument, in order constantly to preserve
the true north direction, a condition of the utmost consequence, not
alone as affecting the extent of territory that will be embraced by
it, but more particularly because the character and position of the
highlands alluded to in the treaty of 1783 would be exhibited in a very
different light as encountered by a line running _due north_, as is
required by the treaty, and by one varying even in a slight degree from
that direction. This principle has already been exhibited in a striking
manner by the trace of the meridian line as far as it has now
progressed, for instead of encountering highlands in the latitude of
Mars Hill having a claim to be considered those described in the treaty
as the intended boundary between the two countries, the line as recently
traced actually passes that latitude at an elevation of less than
10 feet above the level of the monument, and the greatest elevation
encountered by this line in passing over any spur connected with Mars
Hill is 63 feet above the level of the monument. In advance of this spur
the line becomes again depressed below the level of the monument at
several points before it reaches the Aroostook.

These, however, are only a few of the many facts that might be adduced
from the surveys already made to show how important it is to the
question at issue that every necessary means to avail of the aids
of science should be adopted in order to preserve scrupulously the
direction specified in the treaty while tracing this line. It must also
be remembered that in the further prosecution of this duty a wilderness
has to be traversed, totally uninhabited and totally without roads. The
only means of progressing through it and of transporting the necessary
provisions and the instruments indispensable to accuracy will be by
means of canoes, for supplying two or three depots at points where Grand
River and the waters of the Restigouche intersect the line, leaving the
whole transportation along the meridian to be performed by packmen, or
men carrying burdens on their backs. That the usual avenue to give an
unimpeded view along the line must be opened through a dense forest,
which in the neighborhood of all streams crossing it will still be
found to consist of that swampy growth described in the report from the
undersigned of the 4th of January instant as requiring so much labor to
cut through it.

With all these circumstances in view, the following estimate for the
completion of the survey of the meridian line and for some further
surveys between that line and the source of the Aroostook is submitted;
and it is intended to embrace the expense of completing both the field
and the office wort that will require to be done in order to a final
accomplishment of the duties:


  _Estimate for the meridian line_.

  1. Pay of 4 assistant engineers from May 1, 1842,
     to March 31, 1843, being 304 days, at $4 per day each    $4,864.00

  2. Pay of 3 other assistant engineers from May 1, 1842,
     to December 31, 1842, being 275 days, at $3 per day each  2,475.00

  3. Hire of 30 men as axmen, and for preparing, constructing,
     and erecting stations and signals in advance, from June 1
     to November 30, 1842, being 183 days, at $1 each per day  5,490.00

  4. Hire of 30 other men as instrument carriers, chain
     bearers, canoe men, and packmen for 183 days, as
     above, at $1 per day each                                 5,490.00

  5. Hire of 1 carpenter and 2 cooks 183 days, as above,
     at $1.25 per day each                                       686.25

  6. Subsistence of 1 commissioner, 7 assistant engineers,
     1 carpenter, 2 cooks, and 60 men, as above, being in all
     71 persons, while in the field, 183 days at 50 cents per
     day each, including transportation of provisions to
     Grand Falls of St. John, or first depot                   5,496.50

  7. Purchase of barometers and repairs of instruments
     heretofore used                                             800.00

  8. Salary of commissioner                                    3,000.00

  9. Contingencies, including Stationery, office rent,
     and fuel, and transportation of engineers and
     commissioner to and from the field                        1,500.00

     Total required for the meridian line                     30,801.75


  That is to say, $30,801.75, making the whole amount for the work yet
  to be performed in the field on all parts of the boundary and for the
  office work that will be consequent from the said field work $55,801.75

All which is respectfully submitted.

JAS. RENWICK,
  A. TALCOTT,
    J.D. GRAHAM,
      _Commissioners_.


RECAPITULATION.

  1. Amount of estimate for completing the surveys yet
     required to be made on the boundary, as above stated    $55,801.75

  2. Amount of estimate rendered with report of January 4,
     1842, for completing maps of surveys already made, etc.  10,500.00

  Aggregate amount required                                   66,301.75



WASHINGTON, _February 9, 1842_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In answer to a resolution of the House of Representatives of the 7th of
February, 1842, in the following words--

_Resolved_, That the President of the United States inform this House
under what authority the commission, consisting of George Poindexter
and others, for the investigation of the concerns of the New York
custom-house was raised; what were the purposes and objects of said
commission; how many persons have in any way been connected with it, and
the compensation received or to be received by each; and the aggregate
amount of every description of said commission, and out of what fund the
said expenditures have been or are to be paid--

I have to state that the authority for instituting the commission
mentioned in said resolution is the authority vested in the President of
the United States to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed,
and to give to Congress from time to time information on the state of
the Union, and to recommend to their consideration such measures as he
shall judge necessary and expedient."

The expediency, if not the necessity, of inquiries into the transactions
of our custom-houses, especially in cases where abuses and malpractices
are alleged, must be obvious to Congress, and that investigations of
this kind were expected to be made appears from the provision in the
twenty-first section of the act of 1799, "which enjoins collectors
of the customs to submit their books, papers, and accounts to the
inspection of such persons as shall be appointed for that purpose."

The purposes and objects of the commission will be explained by the
commission itself, a copy of which, together with information on the
other subjects mentioned in the resolution, will at the proper time be
laid before Congress.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _February 11, 1842_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with the request of the governor of the Territory of Iowa,
I have the honor to submit the accompanying memorials[20] and joint
resolutions[20] of the council and house of representatives of that
Territory to your consideration.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 20: Asking an appropriation to defray the expenses growing out
of the dispute between the United States, within the Territory of Iowa,
and the State of Missouri relative to the southern boundary line, an
appropriation to defray the expenses of a convention for the formation
of a State constitution, etc.]



WASHINGTON, _February 14, 1842_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of the
3d instant, I transmit herewith a report[21] from the Secretary of State,
with copies of the papers requested by the resolution.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 21: Relating to letters written in March, 1841, by Andrew
Stevenson, United States minister at the Court of Great Britain,
to Isaac Hull, commander of the United States squadron in the
Mediterranean, which caused a part of that squadron to return to the
United States.]



WASHINGTON, _February 16, 1842_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith a communication addressed to me by the Secretary of
War, in relation to certain contracts entered into by a board of medical
officers appointed for that purpose for the purchase of sites on the
western waters for the erection of marine hospitals; and concurring
fully in his views of the subject, I recommend that either an
appropriation of $44,721 be made for the purpose of satisfying the
claims of the individuals with whom the contracts were made or that the
Department of War be authorized to reconvey to them their lands and
annul the contracts.

JOHN TYLER.


WASHINGTON, _February 18, 1842_.

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

I have the honor to invite the attention of Congress to the accompanying
letter, addressed to me by the Secretary of State. You will doubtless
perceive the importance of furnishing a uniform rule for the guidance
of the public officers in the matter referred to in the Secretary's
letter.[22]

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 22: Relating to the mode of paying salaries, etc., of
ministers and other diplomatic agents of the United States at the
several Courts of Europe.]



WASHINGTON, _February 19, 1842_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In compliance with the resolution of the House of Representatives
of the 8th instant, I have the honor to submit the accompanying
communication[23] from the Secretary of State and the correspondence
on the subject referred to by the resolution of the House.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 23: Relating to the colonial history of New York.]



WASHINGTON, _February 21, 1842_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate herewith a report from the Secretary of State,
with an accompanying paper,[24] in answer to their resolution of the
18th instant.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 24: Extract of a letter from the Department of State to the
United States minister at London relative to the case of the brig
_Creole_.]



WASHINGTON, _February 26, 1842_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

The resolution of the House of Representatives of the 21st instant,
requesting the President of the United States to communicate to that
body, "if not incompatible with the public interest, the state of the
negotiation between the United States and the Government of Great
Britain in relation to the northeastern boundary of the State of Maine,
and also all correspondence on that subject between the two Governments
not hitherto communicated," has been transmitted to me. Desirous always
to lay before Congress and the public everything affecting the state of
the country to the fullest extent consistent with propriety and
prudence, I have to inform the House of Representatives that in my
judgment no communication could be made by me at this time on the
subject of its resolution without detriment or danger to the public
interests.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _February 28, 1842_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I have the honor to submit copies of the correspondence[25] and other
documents called for by the resolution of the House of Representatives
of the 2d February.

I am not informed of the existence of any official opinion of the late
Judge Johnson on the unconstitutionality of the act or acts of the State
of South Carolina upon the subject referred to in the resolution.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 25: Relating to an act of the legislature of South Carolina
providing for the imprisonment of free negroes found on board vessels
entering any of the ports of that State, complaints of the British
Government relative to the operation of said act, etc.]



WASHINGTON, _March 8, 1842_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I feel it to be my duty to invite your attention to the accompanying
communication from the Secretary of the Treasury, in relation to the
probable demands which will be made upon the Treasury for the present
quarter. It will be seen that, without arresting the requisitions which
will be made by the War and Navy Departments for the months of March,
April, and May, there will be an unprovided-for deficit of upward of
three millions.

I can not bring myself, however, to believe that it will enter into the
view of any department of the Government to arrest works of defense now
in progress of completion or vessels under construction or preparation
for sea. Having due regard to the unsettled condition of our foreign
relations and the exposed situation of our inland and maritime frontier,
I should feel myself wanting in my duty to the country if I could
hesitate in urging upon Congress all necessary appropriations for
placing it in an attitude of strength and security. Such recommendation,
however, has heretofore been made in full reliance as well on Congress
as on the well-known patriotism of the people, their high sense of
national honor, and their determination to defend our soil from the
possibility, however remote, of a hostile invasion.

The diminution in the revenue arising from the great diminution of
duties under what is commonly called the compromise act necessarily
involves the Treasury in embarrassments, which have been for some years
palliated by the temporary expedient of issuing Treasury notes--an
expedient which, affording no permanent relief, has imposed upon
Congress from time to time the necessity of replacing the old by a new
issue. The amount outstanding on the 4th of March, 1840, varies in no
great degree from the amount which will be outstanding on the 1st
of January next, while in the interim the new issues are rendered
equivalent to the redemption of the old, and at the end of the fiscal
year leave an augmented pressure on the finances by the accumulation
of interest.

The contemplated revision of the tariff of duties may, and doubtless
will, lead in the end to a relief of the Treasury from these constantly
recurring embarrassments, but it must be obvious that time will be
necessary to realize the full anticipations of financial benefit from
any modification of the tariff laws. In the meantime I submit to
Congress the suggestions made by the Secretary, and invite its prompt
and speedy action.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _March 8, 1842_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

In my message of the 7th of December I suggested to Congress the
propriety, and in some degree the necessity, of making proper provisions
by law within the pale of the Constitution for the removal at their
commencement and at the option of the party of all such cases as might
arise in State courts involving national questions or questions touching
the faithful observance and discharge of the international obligations
of the United States from such State tribunal to the Federal judiciary.
I am urged to repeat at this time this recommendation by the receipt of
intelligence, upon which I can rely, that a subject of Great Britain
residing in Upper Canada has been arrested upon a charge of connection
with the expedition fitted out by the Canadian authorities by which the
_Caroline_ was destroyed, and will in all probability be subjected to
trial in the State courts of New York. It is doubtful whether in this
state of things, should his discharge be demanded by the British
Government, this Government is invested with any control over the
subject until the case shall have reached the court of final resort of
the State of New York and been decided in that court; and although such
delay ought not, in a national point of view to give cause of umbrage
to Great Britain, yet the prompt and instant rendering of justice to
foreign nations should be placed among our highest duties. I can not,
therefore, in consideration of what properly becomes the United States,
and in anticipation of any demand from a foreign government for the
discharge of one of its subjects, forego the duty of repeating my
recommendation to Congress for the immediate Adoption of some suitable
legislative provision on this subject.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _March 11, 1842_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of the
23d ultimo, I communicate to that body a report from the Secretary of
State, conveying copies of the correspondence[26] which contains the
information called for by said resolution.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 26: Relating to complaints of Spain and Portugal that the
operation of the revenue act of September 11, 1841, infringed treaty
stipulations.]



WASHINGTON, _March 12, 1842_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I have reason to think that the rejection of Silas Reed as
surveyor-general of Illinois and Missouri on the evening of the last day
of the session of the Senate at the last session of Congress was founded
in a misapprehension of facts, which, while it deprived the public of
the services of a useful officer, left him to suffer a considerable
degree of injustice in his reputation. After mature reflection upon all
the circumstances of his case, and particularly of facts which have
become known since his rejection, I have felt it my duty to submit his
nomination for the same office anew to the Senate for its advice and
consent.

I therefore nominate Silas Reed to be surveyor-general of Illinois and
Missouri, in place of Joseph C. Brown, removed.

JOHN TYLER.



MARCH 15, 1842.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I take the earliest moment to correct an error into which I
inadvertently fell in my message of the 12th instant, nominating Silas
Reed to be surveyor-general for Illinois and Missouri. In that message I
represent the nominee as being rejected by the Senate on the evening of
the last day of the last session of Congress, when upon a more accurate
inquiry I find that he was rejected on the 14th of August, 1841, and
his successor nominated on the 23d August and confirmed on the 13th
September, which was the last day of the last session of Congress, and
which fact had become identified in my memory, upon which I drew when
I wrote the message, with the fact of his rejection.

I hasten to make the correction, not deeming it, however, of much moment
in regard to the real merits of the nomination; for whether the
rejection occurred on the last or any other day of the session, if done
under a misapprehension or mistake of the facts, the Senate, I doubt
not, will take equal pleasure in correcting the error.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _March 17, 1842_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 2d ultimo, requesting
information in regard to the demarcation of the boundary line between
the United States and the Republic of Texas, I transmit a report from
the Secretary of State and the papers by which it was accompanied.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _March 17, 1842_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I have the honor to submit the accompanying report and documents[27] from
the Postmaster-General, in compliance with the resolution of the Senate
of the 16th February.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 27: Statements of the quantity and cost of labor and materials
for the new public buildings in Washington, D.C., etc.]



WASHINGTON, _March 23, 1842_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

A resolution adopted by the House of Representatives on the 16th
instant, in the following words, viz, "_Resolved_, That the President of
the United States and the heads of the several Departments be requested
to communicate to the House of Representatives the names of such of the
members (if any) of the Twenty-sixth and Twenty-seventh Congresses who
have been applicants for office, and for what offices, distinguishing
between those who have applied in person and those whose applications
were made by friends, whether in person or by writing," has been
transmitted to me for my consideration.

If it were consistent with the rights and duties of the executive
department, it would afford me great pleasure to furnish in this, as in
all cases in which proper information is demanded, a ready compliance
with the wishes of the House of Representatives. But since, in my view,
general considerations of policy and propriety, as well as a proper
defense of the rights and safeguards of the executive department,
require of me as the Chief Magistrate to refuse compliance with the
terms of this resolution, it is incumbent on me to urge, for the
consideration of the House of Representatives, my reasons for declining
to give the desired information.

All appointments to office made by a President become from the date of
their nomination to the Senate official acts, which are matter of record
and are at the proper time made known to the House of Representatives
and to the country. But applications for office, or letters respecting
appointments, or conversations held with individuals on such subjects
are not official proceedings, and can not by any means be made to
partake of the character of official proceedings unless after the
nomination of such person so writing or conversing the President shall
think proper to lay such correspondence or such conversations before the
Senate. Applications for office are in their very nature confidential,
and if the reasons assigned for such applications or the names of the
applicants were communicated, not only would such implied confidence be
wantonly violated, but, in addition, it is quite obvious that a mass of
vague, incoherent, and personal matter would be made public at a vast
consumption of time, money, and trouble without accomplishing or tending
in any manner to accomplish, as it appears to me, any useful object
connected with a sound and constitutional administration of the
Government in any of its branches.

But there is a consideration of a still more effective and lofty
character which is with me entirely decisive of the correctness of the
view that I have taken of this question. While I shall ever evince the
greatest readiness to communicate to the House of Representatives all
proper information which the House shall deem necessary to a due
discharge of its constitutional obligations and functions, yet it
becomes me, in defense of the Constitution and laws of the United
States, to protect the executive department from all encroachment on
its powers, rights, and duties. In my judgment a compliance with the
resolution which has been transmitted to me would be a surrender of
duties and powers which the Constitution has conferred exclusively on
the Executive, and therefore such compliance can not be made by me nor
by the heads of Departments by my direction. The appointing power, so
far as it is bestowed on the President by the Constitution, is conferred
without reserve or qualification. The reason for the appointment and
the responsibility of the appointment rest with him alone. I can not
perceive anywhere in the Constitution of the United States any right
conferred on the House of Representatives to hear the reasons which an
applicant may urge for an appointment to office under the executive
department, or any duty resting upon the House of Representatives by
which it may become responsible for any such appointment.

Any assumption or misapprehension on the part of the House of
Representatives of its duties and powers in respect to appointments by
which it encroaches on the rights and duties of the executive department
is to the extent to which it reaches dangerous, impolitic, and
unconstitutional.

For these reasons, so perfectly convincing to my mind, I beg leave
respectfully to repeat, in conclusion, that I can not comply with the
request contained in the above resolution.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _March 25, 1842_.

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

Notwithstanding the urgency with which I have on more than one occasion
felt it my duty to press upon Congress the necessity of providing the
Government with the means of discharging its debts and maintaining
inviolate the public faith, the increasing embarrassments of the
Treasury impose upon me the indispensable obligation of again inviting
your most serious attention to the condition of the finances.
Fortunately for myself in thus bringing this important subject to your
view for a deliberate and comprehensive examination in all its bearings,
and I trust I may add for a final adjustment of it to the common
advantage of the whole Union, I am permitted to approach it with perfect
freedom and candor. As few of the burdens for which provision is now
required to be made have been brought upon the country during my short
administration of its affairs, I have neither motive nor wish to make
them a matter of crimination against any of my predecessors. I am
disposed to regard, as I am bound to treat, them _as facts_ which can
not now be undone, and as deeply interesting to us all, and equally
imposing upon all the most solemn duties; and the only use I would make
of the errors of the past is by a careful examination of their causes
and character to avoid if possible the repetition of them in future.
The condition of the country, indeed, is such as may well arrest the
conflict of parties.

The conviction seems at length to have made its way to the minds of all
that the disproportion between the public responsibilities and the means
provided for meeting them is no casual nor transient evil. It is, on the
contrary, one which for some years to come, notwithstanding a resort to
all reasonable retrenchments and the constant progress of the country
in population and productive power, must continue to increase under
existing laws, unless we consent to give up or impair all our defenses
in war and peace. But this is a thought which I am persuaded no
patriotic mind would for a moment entertain. Without affecting an alarm,
which I do not feel, in regard to our foreign relations, it may safely
be affirmed that they are in a state too critical and involve too many
momentous issues to permit us to neglect in the least, much less to
abandon entirely, those means of asserting our rights without which
negotiation is without dignity and peace without security.

In the report of the Secretary of the Treasury submitted to Congress
at the commencement of the present session it is estimated that after
exhausting all the probable resources of the year there will remain a
deficit of about $14,000,000. With a view partly to a permanent system
of revenue and partly to immediate relief from actual embarrassment,
that officer recommended, together with a plan for establishing a
Government exchequer, some expedients of a more temporary character,
viz, the issuing of Treasury notes and the extension of the time for
which the loan authorized to be negotiated by the act of the last
session should be taken. Congress accordingly provided for an issue of
Treasury notes to the amount of $5,000,000, but subject to the condition
that they should not be paid away below par.

No measure connected with the last of the two objects above mentioned
was introduced until recently into the House of Representatives. Should
the loan bill now pending before that body pass into a law for its
present amount, there would still remain a deficit of $2,500,000. It
requires no argument to show that such a condition of the Treasury is
incompatible not only with a high state of public credit, but with
anything approaching to efficiency in the conduct of public affairs.
It must be obvious even to the most inexperienced minds that, to say
nothing of any particular exigency, actual or imminent, there should
be at all times in the Treasury of a great nation, with a view to
contingencies of ordinary occurrence, a surplus at least equal in amount
to the above deficiency. But that deficiency, serious as it would be in
itself, will, I am compelled to say, rather be increased than diminished
without the adoption of measures adequate to correct the evil at once.
The stagnation of trade and business, in some degree incident to the
derangement of the national finances and the state of the revenue laws,
holds out but little prospect of relief, in the ordinary course of
things, for some time to come.

Under such circumstances I am deeply impressed with the necessity of
meeting the crisis with a vigor and decision which it imperatively
demands at the hands of all intrusted with the conduct of public
affairs. The gravity of the evil calls for a remedy proportioned to it.
No slight palliatives or occasional expedients will give the country the
relief it needs. Such measures, on the contrary, will in the end, as is
now manifest to all, too surely multiply its embarrassments. Relying,
as I am bound to do, on the representatives of a people rendered
illustrious among nations by having paid off its whole public debt,
I shall not shrink from the responsibility imposed upon me by the
Constitution of pointing out such measures as will in my opinion insure
adequate relief. I am the more encouraged to recommend the course which
necessity exacts by the confidence which I have in its complete success.
The resources of the country in everything that constitutes the wealth
and strength of nations are so abundant, the spirit of a most
industrious, enterprising, and intelligent people is so energetic and
elastic, that the Government will be without the shadow of excuse for
its delinquency if the difficulties which now embarrass it be not
speedily and effectually removed.

From present indications it is hardly doubtful that Congress will find
it necessary to lay additional duties on imports in order to meet the
ordinary current expenses of the Government. In the exercise of a sound
discrimination having reference to revenue, but at the same time
necessarily affording incidental protection to manufacturing industry,
it seems equally probable that duties on some articles of importation
will have to be advanced above 20 per cent. In performing this important
work of revising the tariff of duties, which in the present emergency
would seem to be indispensable, I can not too strongly recommend the
cultivation of a spirit of mutual harmony and concession, to which the
Government itself owes its origin, and without the continued exercise of
which jarring and discord would universally prevail.

An additional reason for the increase of duties in some instances beyond
the rate of 20 per cent will exist in fulfilling the recommendations
already made, and now repeated, of making adequate appropriations for
the defenses of the country.

By the express provision of the act distributing the proceeds of the
sales of the public lands among the States its operation is _ipso facto_
to cease so soon as the rate of the duties shall exceed the limits
prescribed in the act.

In recommending the adoption of measures for distributing the proceeds
of the public lands among the States at the commencement of the last
session of Congress such distribution was urged by arguments and
considerations which appeared to me then and appear to me now of great
weight, and was placed on the condition that it should not render
necessary any departure from the act of 1833. It is with sincere regret
that I now perceive the necessity of departing from that act, because I
am well aware that expectations justly entertained by some of the States
will be disappointed by any occasion which shall withhold from them the
proceeds of the lands. But the condition was plainly expressed in the
message and was inserted in terms equally plain in the law itself, and
amidst the embarrassments which surround the country on all sides and
beset both the General and the State Governments it appears to me that
the object first and highest in importance is to establish the credit of
this Government and to place it on durable foundations, and thus afford
the most effectual support to the credit of the States, equal at least
to what it would receive from a direct distribution of the proceeds of
the sales of the public lands.

When the distribution law was passed there was reason to anticipate that
there soon would be a real surplus to distribute. On that assumption
it was in my opinion a wise, a just, and a beneficent measure. But to
continue it in force while there is no such surplus to distribute and
when it is manifestly necessary not only to increase the duties, but at
the same time to borrow money in order to liquidate the public debt and
disembarrass the public Treasury, would cause it to be regarded as an
unwise alienation of the best security of the public creditor, which
would with difficulty be excused and could not be justified.

Causes of no ordinary character have recently depressed American credit
in the stock market of the world to a degree quite unprecedented. I need
scarcely mention the condition of the banking institutions of some of
the States, the vast amount of foreign debt contracted during a period
of wild speculation by corporations and individuals, and, above all, the
Doctrine of repudiation of contracts solemnly entered into by States,
which, although as yet applied only under circumstances of a peculiar
character and generally rebuked with severity by the moral sense of the
community, is yet so very licentious and, in a Government depending
wholly on opinion, so very alarming that the impression made by it to
our disadvantage as a people is anything but surprising. Under such
circumstances it is imperatively due from us to the people whom we
represent that when we go into the money market to contract a loan we
should tender such securities as to cause the money lender, as well at
home as abroad, to feel that the most propitious opportunity is afforded
him of investing profitably and judiciously his capital. A government
which has paid off the debts of two wars, waged with the most powerful
nation of modern times, should not be brought to the necessity of
chaffering for terms in the money market. Under such circumstances as I
have adverted to our object should be to produce with the capitalist a
feeling of entire confidence, by a tender of that sort of security which
in all times past has been esteemed sufficient, and which for the small
amount of our proposed indebtedness will unhesitatingly be regarded as
amply adequate. While a pledge of all the revenues amounts to no more
than is implied in every instance when the Government contracts a
debt, and although it ought in ordinary circumstances to be entirely
satisfactory, yet in times like these the capitalist would feel better
satisfied with the pledge of a specific fund, ample in magnitude to the
payment of his interest and ultimate reimbursement of his principal.
Such is the character of the land fund. The most vigilant money dealer
will readily perceive that not only will his interest be secure on
such a pledge, but that a debt of $18,000,000 or $20,000,000 would by
the surplus of sales over and above the payment of the interest be
extinguished within any reasonable time fixed for its redemption.
To relieve the Treasury from its embarrassments and to aid in meeting
its requisitions until time is allowed for any new tariff of duties
to become available, it would seem to be necessary to fund a debt
approaching to $15,000,000; and in order to place the negotiation of the
loan beyond a reasonable doubt I submit to Congress whether the proceeds
of the sales of the public lands should not be pledged for the payment
of the interest, and the Secretary of the Treasury be authorized out of
the surplus of the proceeds of such sales to purchase the stock, when it
can be procured on such terms as will render it beneficial in that way,
to extinguish the debt and prevent the accumulation of such surplus
while its distribution is suspended.

No one can doubt that were the Federal Treasury now as prosperous as it
was ten years ago and its fiscal operations conducted by an efficient
agency of its own, coextensive with the Union, the embarrassments of the
States and corporations in them would produce, even if they continued as
they are (were that possible), effects far less disastrous than those
now experienced. It is the disorder here, at the heart and center of the
system, that paralyzes and deranges every part of it. Who does not know
the permanent importance, not to the Federal Government alone, but to
every State and every individual within its jurisdiction, even in their
most independent and isolated individual pursuits, of the preservation
of a sound state of public opinion and a judicious administration here?
The sympathy is instantaneous and universal. To attempt to remedy the
evil of the deranged credit and currency of the States while the disease
is allowed to rage in the vitals of this Government would be a hopeless
undertaking.

It is the full conviction of this truth which emboldens me most
earnestly to recommend to your early and serious consideration the
measures now submitted to your better judgment, as well as those to
which your attention has been already invited. The first great want of
the country, that without answering which all attempts at bettering
the present condition of things will prove fruitless, is a complete
restoration of the credit and finances of the Federal Government.
The source and foundation of all credit is in the confidence which the
Government inspires, and just in proportion as that confidence shall
be shaken or diminished will be the distrust among all classes of the
community and the derangement and demoralization in every branch of
business and all the interests of the country. Keep up the standard of
good faith and punctuality in the operations of the General Government,
and all partial irregularities and disorders will be rectified by
the influence of its example; but suffer that standard to be debased
or disturbed, and it is impossible to foresee to what a degree of
degradation and confusion all financial interests, public and private,
may sink. In such a country as this the representatives of the people
have only to will it, and the public credit will be as high as it ever
was.

My own views of the measures calculated to effect this great and
desirable object I have thus frankly expressed to Congress under
circumstances which give to the entire subject a peculiar and solemn
interest. The Executive can do no more. If the credit of the country be
exposed to question, if the public defenses be broken down or weakened,
if the whole administration of public affairs be embarrassed for want of
the necessary means for conducting them with vigor and effect, I trust
that this department of the Government will be found to have done all
that was in its power to avert such evils, and will be acquitted of all
just blame on account of them.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _March 25, 1842_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I have the honor herewith to submit a report[28] from the Secretary of
the Navy, in compliance with your resolution of the 18th February, 1842.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 28: Transmitting list of agents, etc., employed by the Navy
Department without express authority of law, etc.]



WASHINGTON, _March 30, 1842_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I transmit to the House of Representatives two extracts from a note
of the charge d'affaires of the Republic of Texas accredited to this
Government to the Department of State, one suggesting in behalf of his
Government such modifications of the existing laws of the United States
as will impart greater facility to the trade between the two countries,
particularly to that which passes across their frontier, and the other
expressing a desire for some regulation on the part of this Government
by means of which the communication by post between the United States
and Texas may be improved.

As the wishes of the Texan Government in relation to those subjects can
only be gratified by means of laws to be passed by Congress, they are
accordingly referred to the consideration of the two Houses.

JOHN TYLER.

[The same message was sent to the Senate.]



WASHINGTON, _April 1, 1842_.

_To the Senate_:

In part compliance with a resolution of the Senate of the 20th of July,
1841, I transmit herewith a report[29] from the Department of War.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 29: Transmitting list of removals from and appointments to
office in the Department of War from March 4, 1829, to September 30,
1841.]



WASHINGTON, _April 1, 1842_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In compliance with your resolution of the 21st of March, I have the
honor to submit the accompanying communication[30] from the Secretary
of the Navy.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 30: Relating to appointments to office in the Navy and Marine
Corps since April 4, 1841.]



WASHINGTON, _April 4, 1842_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_.

In part compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives
of the 21st March, 1842, I herewith communicate a report[31] from the
Secretary of State.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 31: Transmitting list of appointments by the President or
Secretary of State since April 4, 1841.]



WASHINGTON, _April 7, 1842_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I herewith transmit to the House of Representatives copies of a letter
addressed to the Secretary of State by the chairman of the board of
commissioners appointed to explore and survey the boundary line between
the States of Maine and New Hampshire and the adjoining British
Provinces, together with the report of the operations of that commission
to the 31st ultimo, and a profile of the meridian line from the source
of the St. Croix River as far as surveyed, illustrative of the report.

JOHN TYLER.

[The same message was sent to the Senate.]



DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

_Washington, March 31, 1842_.

Hon. DANIEL WEBSTER,

_Secretary of State_.

SIR: By directions of the board of commissioners for exploring and
surveying the northeastern boundary, I have handed you the papers
hereinafter specified, viz:

1. The report of the operations of the commission up to the present
date.

2. A profile of the meridian line of the source of the St. Croix as far
as surveyed, intended to illustrate the report.

3. A portfolio of drawings intended for the same purpose.

4. A roll marked Appendix No. 1, containing the narrative of the field
operations of the division of Professor Renwick.

5. A tin case containing the detail of the surveys of the division of
Professor Renwick.

In reply to your inquiry in relation to the disposition of the said
papers, I am directed respectfully to suggest that all which it is
absolutely necessary to lay before Congress are the items 1 and 2,
which, with a general map now in preparation, will contain all that will
be of any general public interest.

The portfolio (No. 3) and the box of maps and profiles (No. 5) should
remain on file in the Department; and while a part of the drawings in
the former may be useful for illustration, the latter will be superseded
by the general map, in which will be embodied all that they contain of
importance to the question at issue.

Appendix No. 1, specified as No. 4 in the above list, will probably be
demanded hereafter to give authenticity to the conclusions of the report
(No. 1). It ought not, however, to be communicated until the Appendices
Nos. 2 and 3, containing the operations of the divisions of Messrs.
Graham and Talcott, are handed in; and of the three no more than a
limited number of copies will be useful.

I have the honor to be, with much respect, your most obedient servant,

JAS. RENWICK,
  _Chairman_.




_Report of the commissioners appointed by the President of the United
States for the purpose of surveying and exploring the boundary line
between the States of Maine and New Hampshire and the British
Provinces_.

WASHINGTON, _March 28,1842_.

Hon. DANIEL WEBSTER,

_Secretary of State_.

SIR: The duties assigned to the undersigned by the instructions of your
predecessor were twofold:

First. To explore and survey the lines respectively claimed by the
Governments of the United States and Great Britain.

Second. To examine and report upon the arguments contained in the report
of Messrs. Featherstonhaugh and Mudge addressed to the secretary of
state of Her Britannic Majesty for foreign affairs under date of 16th
April, 1840.

I.

In order to the more exact and successful performance of the duties
included under the first of the above heads, the boundary line was
divided by their instructions into three separate portions, one of
which was assigned to each of the commissioners; and while they were
instructed to assemble in a board for the purpose of comparing their
respective surveys, in view of the performance of the duties included
in the second of the above divisions their explorations have been
separately conducted. Each of the commissioners has employed the methods
and course of action most appropriate in his opinion to the successful
fulfillment of his appointed task, and the nature of the surveys
assigned to one of them has been of a character widely different from
those of his colleagues. The commissioners, therefore, while uniting in
a general report of the progress made up to this time in the duties of
their appointment, beg leave to submit, in the form of appendices, the
narrative of their several operations, with so much of the records
of their observations and calculations as they have severally judged
necessary to authenticate the conclusions at which they have arrived.

The progress which has been made in the labors of the commissioners
enables them at this time to lay before you--

1. A description of the physical features of the disputed territory.

2. A comparison of the heights of the line claimed by the United States
with those of the line styled the "axis of maximum elevation" by Messrs.
Featherstonhaugh and Mudge. In laying the latter before you they have,
in order to avoid delay, made use in part of the published results
obtained by those gentlemen, and although they have already detected
errors in their inferences they do not consider that by accepting them
for the moment as the basis of comparison they can be accused of
exhibiting the line claimed by Great Britain in an unfavorable light.


I.--DESCRIPTION OF THE DISPUTED TERRITORY.

The seacoast of the State of Maine is rugged and hilly. The primitive
rocks of which its geological structure is chiefly composed are broken
into ridges which run parallel to the great streams, and therefore in a
direction from north to south. These ridges terminate in an irregular
line, which to the east of the Penobscot may be identified nearly with
the military road to Houlton. From the northern summit of these ridges
an extensive view of the disputed territory can in many places be
obtained. This is the case at the military post at Houlton, whence a
wide extent of country may be seen. A still more perfect view may be
obtained from the summit of Parks Hill, at a point about 400 yards south
of the road from Houlton to Woodstock and about half a mile east of the
exploring meridian line. At the time when that line was run by the
British and American surveyors, under the fifth article of the treaty of
Ghent, the top of this hill was covered with wood, and they were obliged
to content themselves with the view from Park's barn, which is at least
200 feet beneath the summit. At the present moment the latter is
cleared, and the view from west-southwest to northeast is unimpeded
except by a single clump of trees, which cuts off the view for a few
degrees in the northwest direction; but by a change of position every
part of the horizon between these points is to be seen. Toward the west
are seen ridges parallel to the Penobscot, over which Katahdin towers to
a great height, bearing by compass N. 85 deg. W. In a direction N. 75 deg. W.
are seen two distant peaks, one of which was identified as the
Traveller. All of these eminences lie south of the line claimed by Great
Britain. In the north-northwest direction there appear two ridges of
comparatively small elevation, which were pointed out as the Aroostook
Mountains, but have since been ascertained to lie near the sources of
the Meduxnikeag. These lie in the line claimed by Great Britain in 1817.

Between these and the other mountains there is evidently no connection,
and the rest of the country, as seen from the hill, bears the aspect
of a wooded plain. It will be sufficient to refer to this view to be
satisfied that all the impressions which have been circulated of a
continuous chain of elevations extending along the line claimed by
Great Britain are utterly fallacious.

Toward the north the country exhibits the same general features. One
vast and apparently unbroken plain extends to the utmost limits of the
visible horizon. In the midst of this, and at a distance of nearly 30
miles, Mars Hill alone breaks the monotonous prospect, and from its
isolated position assumes to the eye an importance to which its altitude
of less than 1,800 feet would not otherwise entitle it. No other
eminences are to be seen in this direction, except a round peak bearing
a few degrees west of north and some distant ridges about an equal
distance to the east. The first of these has been ascertained by the
surveys of Major Graham to be an isolated hill near the peak known as
Quaquajo. The eastern ridges are probably those measured between the
Tobique and the Bay of Chaleurs by the British commissioners. A sketch
of this view from Parks Hill is annexed to the report, and lest any
doubt be entertained of its accuracy it is proper to state that the
unassisted vision was not relied upon, but that the outlines were
carefully delineated by means of the camera lucida.

From this view it might be inferred that the northern part of the
admitted possessions of the United States to the east of the Penobscot
and the disputed territory as far as visible constitute a vast
table-land slightly inclined toward the southeast.

On descending into the valley of the St. John the appearances change.
The tableland is cut to a great depth by that stream, and from its bed
the broken edges of the great plain look like ridges whose height is
exaggerated to the senses in consequence of their being densely clothed
with wood. The same is the case with all the branches of this river,
which also cut the table-land to greater or less depths according to
their distance from the stream into which they discharge themselves.

The want of a true highland or mountainous character in this region is
obvious from the aspect it presents in the two different points of view.
Mountainous regions are most imposing when seen from a distance and from
heights. On a nearer approach, and from the valleys which intersect
them, the elevations, so important in the distant view, are hidden
by their own slopes or lose the appearance of relative elevation in
consequence of the absolute heights of the valleys themselves. In
conformity with this character, the line claimed by the United States
for the most part presents, when seen at a distance, the appearance of
lofty and deeply serrated ridges, while to one who traverses it it is a
labyrinth of lakes, morasses, and short but steep elevations which hide
its peaks from the valleys and streams.

The line claimed by Great Britain, on the other hand, when seen from
a distance is as level as the surface of the ocean, with no greater
appearance of elevation and depression than would represent its billows;
while, seen from its own valleys, the heights assume an importance which
their elevation above the valleys when actually measured does not
warrant. The characteristics of the region through which the line of
Messrs. Mudge and Featherstonhaugh passes are therefore the opposite of
those usually remarked in highland countries, while those of the line
claimed by the United States are the same as are always observed in
such regions.

This character of a table-land deeply cut by streams is well exhibited
in the section of their "axis of maximum elevation" by the British
commissioners. In that will be seen the mountains near the source of the
Aroostook, Alleguash, and Penobscot on the one hand, and of the Tobique
on the other, while the intervening space is occupied by a curve
resembling an inverted arch, of which the St. John occupies the
keystone. In a country of this character any line whatever would present
the appearance of a succession of eminences, and might by as liberal a
construction of the term as has been made by Messrs. Mudge and
Featherstonhaugh be called highlands.

The sameness of this general character is broken only by a single chain
of hills.[32] This is a prolongation of Mars Hill toward the north, and,
being both of less height and breadth than that mountain, is hidden by
it from the view of a spectator on Parks Hill. Mars Hill is itself an
isolated eminence, and is in fact nearly an island, for the Presque Isle
and Gissiguit rivers, running the one to the north and the other to the
south of it, have branches which take their rise in the same swamp on
its northwestern side. To the north of the Des Chutes the ground again
rises, and although cut by several streams, and particularly by the
Aroostook, the chain is prolonged by isolated eminences as far as the
White Rapids, below the Grand Falls of the St. John, where it crosses
that river. It may thence be traced in a northern direction to the Sugar
Loaf Mountain, on the Wagansis portage, where it terminates.

[Footnote 32: A chain is made up of mountains whose bases touch each
other.--BALBI.]

To this broken chain belongs the elevation of 918 feet given by Messrs.
Mudge and Featherstonhaugh to an eminence in the neighborhood of the
Aroostook Falls. An accurate profile of so many of these eminences as
fall in the line of the connected meridian is herewith submitted. This
chain of eminences is not prolonged to the westward, as it is entirely
unconnected with any other height aspiring to the name of mountain in
that direction.

It is not in any sense a dividing ridge, being cut by all the streams in
the country, and in particular to a great depth by the St. John and the
Aroostook.

A section of this line was given in a report to the British commissioner
under the fifth article of the treaty of Ghent by Colonel Bouchette, the
surveyor-general of the Province of Canada. His heights were determined
by the barometer, and estimated from the assumed level of the monument
at the source of the St. Croix.

It would now appear that the section of Colonel Bouchette is very
inaccurate, and that the heights as reported by him are not only much
beyond the truth, but that the continually ascending slope ascribed by
him to the country from the monument at the source of the St. Croix to
the point where the due north line crosses the St. John is entirely
erroneous. He, however, adroitly availed himself of this inaccurate
section to attempt to prove the existence of a continuous chain of
mountains from Katahdin to the Great Falls of the St. John, and thence
around the southwestern branches of the Restigouche until it met the
heights rising from the north shore of the Bay of Chaleurs. For this
reason his view taken from Park's barn and that made by Mr. Odell from
the same point were urged for admission as evidence on oath by the
British agent, and the map of Mr. Johnson, which contradicted this
evidence, was carefully excluded. It can not be concealed that could
Colonel Bouchette's idea founded on erroneous premises have been
established by indisputable facts it would have been the most fatal
argument that has ever been adduced against the American claim, for he
would have argued that the meridian line of the St. Croix would at Mars
Hill have first intersected highlands which, rising from the north shore
of the Bay of Chaleurs, would have appeared to divide until within a few
miles of the Grand Falls of the St. John waters which fall into the St.
Lawrence from those which fall into the Atlantic, and would have been
the south boundary of the Province of Quebec.

Mars Hill would then have appeared to be in truth as well as in claim
the northwest angle of the Province of Nova Scotia; and although the
rest of the line would not have fulfilled the conditions, the United
States might by an arbitrator have been compelled to accept this point
as the beginning of their boundary. Nor, in the unexplored state of the
country, is it by any means certain that the American agent, who does
not seem to have seen the drift of the proceedings of Colonel Bouchette,
would have been prepared with the adverse facts, which are now known to
be undeniable. It may therefore be considered fortunate for the claim of
the United States that the survey was afterwards intrusted to a surveyor
who, in pursuit of the double object of encroachment on the United
States and the enlargement of his native Province at the expense of
Canada, signally failed in the proof of either of his positions.

The knowledge now acquired shows that the idea of Colonel Bouchette is
unsupported by the facts of the case, for the highlands which rise from
the north shore of the Bay of Chaleurs do not meet those in which the
most southerly branch of the Restigouche takes its rise.

The British commissioners, although they give a profile of this ridge,
do not pretend to have examined it except at Mars Hill, near the
Aroostook, and at the Grand Falls of the St. John. It must be remarked
that these profiles (the original one of Colonel Bouchette and that
exhibited by themselves) are contrasted--one British authority with
another--for the purpose of invalidating the ground on which the
American claim is founded.

It is not our business to reconcile these conflicting authorities, but
it is our duty to recall the recollections of the fact that no part
of the American argument laid before the King of the Netherlands was
founded on this or any other estimate of heights. Many elevations,
indeed, were measured with great pains on the part of the Americans
as well as of Great Britain.

On behalf of the United States Captain Partridge made many barometric
observations, while Mr. Johnson took an extensive series of vertical
and horizontal angles. His operations were performed in the presence of
Mr. Odell, the surveyor on behalf of Great Britain, who doubtless made
similar ones, as he visited the same stations with a better instrument
and for the same avowed purpose. Mr. Odell's observations were not
presented by the British agent, and those of Mr. Johnson were objected
to. If received, they would have set aside the pretensions that a
continuous ridge of mountains existed between the Metjarmette portage
and Mars Hill. They are, however, superseded by the operations of the
undersigned, which have yielded satisfactory evidence that no chain of
highlands in the sense of the British commissioners, or even an "axis of
maximum elevation," exists where it is laid down on their map. Nor can
it be doubted that the operations of Mr. Johnson had a decided advantage
in point of probable accuracy over theirs. The exploring meridian line
used as a base was measured with a tolerable degree of accuracy, and
from the three heights chosen by him the whole country is visible.

On the other hand, the course of Messrs. Mudge and Featherstonhaugh
being confined, except where they ascended Mars Hill, to the valleys of
the streams, they were for the most part excluded from a prospect. In
describing the view from Mars Hill, however, they have pictured in most
accurate terms the true features of the country:

"The character of the country may be well discerned and understood from
this insulated hill. It presents to the eye one mass of dark and gloomy
forest to the utmost limits of sight, covering by its umbrageous mantle
the principal rivers, minor streams, and scanty vestiges of the
habitation of man."

This description can only agree with that of a vast table-land into
which the streams cut so deep and form such narrow valleys as to be
invisible.

But if a chain of highlands, or even an "axis of maximum elevation,"
had existed as they lay it down, within 20 miles, it would have been
visible, and it need not be said that they would not have failed to
describe it. The inconsistency between their map and this true and
forcible description of the features of the country is apparent.

The same general character of table-land is found to the north of the
St. John above the Grand Falls. Its first important northern tributary
is the Grand River. In ascending this stream the level of the table-land
is soon reached. The river runs between banks of very moderate elevation
and on a regular slope, and although running with great rapidity upon a
pebbly bed it is yet so tortuous that while its distance from its mouth
to the Wagansis portage in a straight line is no more than 13 miles the
meanders of its channel amount to 30.

On the Wagansis portage the table-land is terminated by a ridge whose
summit is elevated 264 feet above the wagansis[33] of Grand River. It
was at first believed that this, although of small elevation, was a
dividing ridge, and that it might correspond to one construction which
has, although inaccurately, been put on the treaty of 1783. This belief
was speedily removed, for the rivulet on its northern side was found to
be cut off from the Restigouche by the Sugar Loaf Mountain, and is
therefore a branch either of the Grand River or of the stream which
falls into the St. John immediately above the Grand Falls. The height of
land which divides this rivulet from the wagan of the Restigouche is not
elevated above the former more than 117 feet. There is, in fact, at this
place a gap 5 or 6 miles in breadth in the great system of mountains
which extend from the Gulf of St. Lawrence at the Bay des Chaleurs to
the river St. Lawrence near the Temiscouata portage. At the northern
verge of the table-land which has been described, and near the mouth of
Green River, rises to the height of about 1,600 feet a mountain known
from the name of that stream. This is, like Mars Hill, isolated, and
affords an extensive view. To the north and west the prospect is bounded
by a continuous line of horizon, which, instead of being obviously below
the level of the eye, as in the view of the disputed territory from Mars
Hill, is evidently of even greater height than the Green River Mountain
itself.

[Footnote 33: Wagan is a term in the Abenaki language signifying way.
Sis is a diminutive particle. Wagansis is therefore the little way; and
it seems probable that the name of Grand River, the usual epithet for
the St. John, has been improperly applied to the small stream which
bears it on the map.]

On entering into this region from the south by any of the navigable
streams which traverse it, it presents a more decidedly mountainous
character than the country to the south. The Grande Fourche of
Restigouche is bordered by two continuous chains of mountains, rising
when it first issues from them to the height of a thousand feet above
its surface. The stream having a rapid fall, the relative elevation
becomes less until, in the neighborhood of the lake in which its north
branch first collects its waters, the relative elevation is not more
than four or five hundred feet.

On traversing this elevated country it presents a different aspect from
what is seen either from a distance or where it is entered from the
rivers. Frequent ridges are crossed; the tops of these are often
occupied by swamps filled with a thick growth of cedars. Deep and small
basins occur, which are occupied by lakes that give rise to rivers
flowing to the St. Lawrence or to the St. John. These are intermingled
with thickets of dwarf spruce, and the streams are sometimes bordered
by marshes covered by low alders, and sometimes cut deep into rocky
channels. In this apparent labyrinth one positive circumstance marks the
line of division, or the true height of land: The streams which run to
the St. John are all of the first description--sluggish--while those
which discharge themselves into the St. Lawrence are rapid, and have the
character of torrents.

On the western side of the disputed territory are ridges of rocky
hills running nearly north and south, and thus tending toward the
St. Lawrence, which they in some places reach and shut out the view
of the interior.

It thus becomes difficult to find a station whence the heights of land
can be viewed and its character exhibited. It has therefore been
hitherto possible for those who have argued in support of the claims
of Great Britain to represent without meeting with contradiction that
the streams which fall into the St. John had their rise in a country
possessed of none of that mountainous character which they urged was
essential to the epithet of highlands. There are, however, points where
a different character is apparent, and some of these are easy of access.
Thus, on the main mail road, along the Southeast Branch of the St.
Lawrence a mile northeast of the church of L'Islette, a rocky eminence
is passed, whence may be seen a bold group of mountains which have been
identified with the sources of the Ouelle, the Kamouraska, and Black
rivers. A view of this group is herewith presented.

From the height to the east of river Du Loup a view may be seen on a
clear day extending round 137 deg. of the horizon, beginning with the
highlands of Bic, bearing N. 58 deg. E., and terminating in a conical
mountain bearing S. 15 deg. W.

The nearest and more conspicuous of these highlands (named those of St.
Andre) are on the river Fourche, a branch of the river Du Loup, whose
waters they divide from those of the St. Francis. A view of these is
also submitted herewith.

A similar view of the same panorama of highlands is obtained from Hare
Island, in the St. Lawrence, an outline of which, taken with the camera
lucida, is likewise submitted. About a quarter of a mile to the south
of the point where the Temiscouata portage crosses Mount Biort the
highlands may be seen at the head of Rimouski, bearing nearly east,
thence extending round by the north to the mountains of St. Andre,
bearing nearly west, forming about one-half of the entire horizon.
The entire panorama from the latter point, taken with the camera
lucida, along with copies of some daguerreotypes made at the same place,
are herewith submitted. Of the part of the line which extends to the
northeast from the source of the Etchemin for a distance of many miles,
a view may be almost constantly seen from the citadel of Quebec and from
the tops of the houses in that city. One still more satisfactory may be
obtained from the road between Quebec and the Falls of Montmorency, in
the neighborhood of the village of Belport. The latter views are in
particular referred to, as they are within the reach of numerous civil
and military officers of the British Government, who must assent to the
evidence of their own senses, which will prove that this region, the
position of the path pursued during the present year by Captain
Talcott's parties, is to all intents a range of highlands.

The boundary presents from these positions the aspect of a continuous
and deeply serrated ridge.

The geological character of the country can not be admitted as having
any bearing upon the subject under consideration. It never entered into
the views of the framers of the treaty of 1783, and therefore could
afford no illustrations of their intentions.

Were it admissible, however, it might be cited as an additional argument
that the dividing height which incloses the waters of the Connecticut
continues unchanged in its features until it is cut off by the deep
channel of the St. Lawrence.

Opportunities for observations of this character were most frequent on
the Temiscouata portage and on the banks of the St. Lawrence itself. It
was only on the former place that the relative geological heights of the
rocks could be observed by means of their outcrop.

The whole of the portage passes over stratified rocks dipping rapidly to
the southeast. They were found to be alternate groups of common and
talcose slate and of a rock made up principally of angular fragments of
white quartz (grauwacke). These are in all respects identical with rocks
which have been observed by one of the commissioners in place in
Berkshire County, Mass., and in Columbia and Rensselaer counties, N.Y.,
and the description of geologists at various intervening points, as well
as the observations of Captain Talcott's parties, would tend to
establish the fact that the formations are continuous.

From these data it would appear probable that the rocks are a
prolongation of the western slope of the great range called by Mr.
Featherstonhaugh, in his report as United States geologist, the Atlantic
ridge. This formation, which is but a few miles in width where it
crosses the Hudson, appears gradually to widen as it proceeds to the
north, and was on the St. Lawrence found to prevail both at the river
Du Loup and at Grand Metis, dipping in the two places in opposite
directions and covered in the interval by the thick diluvial deposits
which form the valley of the Trois Pistoles. To render the analogy more
complete, in the valley of the outlet of the Little Lake (Temiscouata)
was found a vein of metalliferous quartz charged with peroxide of iron,
evidently arising from the decomposition of pyrites, being in fact the
same as the matrix of the gold which has been traced in the talcose
slate formation from Georgia to Vermont; and on the western shore of the
Temiscouata Lake, about a mile to the south of Fort Ingall, lie great
masses of granular carbonate of lime, identically resembling the white
marbles of Pennsylvania, Westchester County, N.Y., and Berkshire County,
Mass.

If the latter be in place, which, although probable, was not ascertained
beyond all question, the primitive carbonate of lime has exactly the
same relation to the slaty rocks which it bears in the latter locality.

The formations which have been spoken of appear to occupy the whole
extent of the country explored by the parties of Professor Renwick.
Everywhere the streams were found cutting through rocks of slate. On
the summits of many of the hills were found weathered masses of angular
quartz rocks, showing that while the slate had yielded to the action of
the elements, the harder and less friable rock had kept its place. The
ridges which intervene between the St. Lawrence at the river Du Loup
and Lake Temiscouata have the character, so well described by Elie de
Beaumont, of mountains elevated by some internal force.

To the eastward of Lake Temiscouata, on the other hand, the country has
the aspect of having once been a table-land, elevated on the average
about 1,700 feet above the level of the sea, and of having been washed
by some mighty flood, which, wearing away the softer rocks, had cut it
into valleys, forming a complex system incapable of being described in
words and only to be understood by inspection of a map.

2.--COMPARISON OF THE ELEVATIONS OF THE BOUNDARY LINE CLAIMED BY THE
UNITED STATES WITH THOSE OF THE "AXIS OF MAXIMUM ELEVATION" OF MESSRS.
FEATHERSTONHAUGH AND MUDGE.

For the purpose of exhibiting the relative claims of the two lines to
the exclusive epithet of "the highlands" in the most clear and definite
manner, each of them will be considered as divided into three portions,
which will be contrasted with each other by pairs The first portion
of each of the lines is that which lies nearest to the point of
bifurcation, the residue of the American line is divided at the source
of the Ouelle, the remainder of the line of Messrs. Featherstonhaugh and
Mudge at that of the Aroostook Metjarmette portage is taken as the point
of bifurcation, whence waters run to the Penobscot, the St. John, and
the St. Lawrence.


  On the American line from the Metjarmette portage
  to Lake Etchemm--                                                Feet
    The maximum height is                                         1,718
    The minimum height is                                         1,218


The minimum measured height is that of Lake Etchemm, which is lower
than the actual source of that stream, and whose omission as not upon
the dividing ridge would make the minimum greater. This height was
determined by the parties of A. Talcott, esq, by two distinct and
separate sets of observations, one of which was continued hourly for
several days, and no doubt can exist that it is as accurate a measure
as the barometer is capable of affording. In the report of Messrs.
Featherstonhaugh and Mudge this height is set down as no more than
957 feet, but it is determined from a single observation. That it is
erroneous must be considered as demonstrated. In the map presented by
those gentlemen they have made use of this erroneous determination for a
purpose which, even were it correct, would not be warranted, for they on
its authority leave out all the symbols by which heights are represented,
and substitute therefore a dotted line with the inscription "Fictitious
hills of Mr. Burnham's map." The actual character of this part of the
American line is an undulating country.


  On the line of Messrs. Featherstonhaugh and Mudge between
  the Metjarmette portage and the Cocumgamoc Mountains--           Feet
    The maximum elevation is                                      2,302
    The minimum elevation is                                        987


This part of the line of Messrs. Featherstonhaugh and Mudge derives its
apparent advantage from the fact that it crosses the summit and occupies
the eastern slope of the highlands claimed by the United States.
Notwithstanding this, the difference in their elevation is not such as
to give it any decided superiority in its highland character.


  On the American line from Lake Etchemm to the river Ouelle--     Feet
    The maximum height is                                         2,854
    The minimum height is                                         1,306

  On the line of Messrs Featherstonhaugh and Mudge from the
  Cocumgamoc Mountains to the head waters of the Aroostook--
    The maximum height is                                         1,268
    The minimum height is                                           880


On the parts of the line thus contrasted the maximum height of that
claimed by Great Britain is less elevated than the lowest gap of that
claimed by the United States.


  On the third portion of the American line

  From the head of the Ouelle to the Temiscouata portage--         Feet
    The maximum height is                                         2,231
    The minimum height is                                           853

  From the point where the line first crosses the Temiscouata
  portage to Mount Paradis--
    The maximum height is                                         1,983
    The minimum height is                                           906

  From the Temiscouata portage to the head of the Abagusquash--
    The maximum height is                                         1,510
    The minimum height is                                           676

  From Abagusquash to the Rimouski Lake--
    The maximum height is                                         1,824
    The minimum height is                                           651

  From the Rimouski Lake to the northwest angle--
    The maximum height is                                         1,841
    The minimum height is                                         1,014

  The greatest elevation of the whole of the third part of the
  American line, therefore, is                                    2,231
  The minimum is                                                    651


The termination of the exploring meridian line falls into this part
of the American line. Its height of 1,519 feet was determined by two
separate observations, compared with others taken on Lake Johnson.
The height of the latter was calculated at 1,007 feet from a series
of observations continued for seventeen days, and is believed to be
as accurate as the method of the barometer is susceptible of.

This height of the termination of that line is estimated by Messrs.
Featherstonhaugh and Mudge at no more than 388 feet, and that of the
lake at no more than 363. In this estimate they reject the indications
of their own barometers, because the results of them would have
contradicted the previous impressions which seem to have governed all
their operations, viz, that the point claimed by the United States as
the northwest angle of Nova Scotia is not in an elevated region of
country.[34]

[Footnote 34: A continuous line of leveling was carried by one of the
parties of Major Graham's division, by means of two spirit levels
checking one another, from tide water at Calais, in Maine, to the
monument at the source of the St. Croix, and thence along the true
meridian line to its intersection with the river St. John. The surface
of the St. John at this point of intersection was thus found to be
419-1/2 feet above the level of mean tide at Calais. The basin of the
river immediately above the Grand Falls may be stated as of the same
elevation in round numbers, as there is very little current in the river
between those two points.]

On the third part of the British line from the sources of the Aroostook
to the Grand Falls of the St. John no height is reported as measured by
the British commissioners which exceeds 1,050 feet, while the greatest
height on their profile is 1,150 feet. The minimum height on their
profile, excluding the Aroostook at its mouth and its intersection with
the meridian line, is 243 feet, and the mean of the numbers entered by
them both on their map and profile is 665 feet.

It will therefore appear that if the profile of Messrs. Featherstonhaugh
and Mudge be correct the lowest gap on the third part of the American
line is about as high as the mean elevation of the part of the British
line with which it is compared.

The line claimed by the United States therefore possesses throughout in
a pre-eminent degree the highland character according to the sense at
one time contended for in the argument of Great Britain, and is, to use
the term of the British commissioners, "the axis of maximum elevation,"
the mean of all the heights measured upon it being 1,459 feet, while
that of those measured on the line of Messrs. Featherstonhaugh and Mudge
is no more than 1,085 feet.

It is regretted that the computations of the barometric and other
observations for the determination of the heights of that portion of
the country between the valley of the St. John and the sources of the
Aroostook, explored by the division of Major Graham, could not be
completed in time to be made use of for this report in the description
of that portion of the line claimed for Great Britain by Messrs.
Featherstonhaugh and Mudge. This delay has been solely caused by
a want of reasonable time to complete this portion of the work, the
commissioner having direction of the division charged with it having
only returned from the field in the month of January.

Sufficient information is known, however, to have been derived from
those surveys to justify the assertion that, instead of the strongly
marked range of highlands represented by the British commissioners as
constituting a part of their "axis of maximum elevation," the country in
the vicinity of the Aroostook lying between its sources and the valley
of the St. John is devoid of the character they have attributed to it.
When properly represented upon a map it will appear as an extended
undulating surface of moderate elevation above the level of the
Aroostook River, sparsely interspersed with occasional detached
elevations rising to heights of 600 to 900 and 1,400 feet above the
level of the sea, but forming no continuous or connected chain whatever
in the direction represented by the British commissioners, or that could
be construed into the character of highlands such as are described in
the treaty of 1783.[35]

[Footnote 35: Since the above was written Major Graham's map and the
computations of the barometric heights above alluded to have been
completed.

This map exhibits in their proper positions the numerous altitudes which
were determined throughout the country watered by the Aroostook and its
principal tributaries, extending laterally to the heights which bound
the basin of that river on either side; along the due west line traced
in the year 1835 by Captain Yule, of the royal engineers, between Mars
Hill and a point near the forks of the Great Machias River; along and in
the vicinity of the road recently opened by the State of Maine from
Lewis's (a point in latitude 46 deg. 12' 20", between the head branches of
the Meduxnikeag and the Masardis or St. Croix of the Aroostook) to the
mouth of Fish River, in latitude 47 deg. 15' 13", being a distance, actually
measured, of 79 miles; and along the new military road, embracing 40-1/2
miles of the distance from Fort Fairfield to Houlton and including the
adjacent heights on either side.

The number of elevations within the territory watered by the Aroostook
and claimed by Great Britain that have thus been carefully measured
amounts to upward of 200.

This survey shows that although the prominent eminences which occur
along that portion of the "axis of maximum elevation" of Messrs. Mudge
and Featherstonhaugh which lies between the mouth and the source of
the Aroostook correspond very nearly in height and position by our
measurements with those reported by themselves, yet these eminences are
separated one from another by spaces of comparatively low and very often
swampy country, so extended as to preclude the idea of a continuous
range of highlands in the direction represented upon the map of those
commissioners.

If a range or chain of highlands is to be made to appear by drawing
a strongly marked line over widely extended valleys or districts of
comparatively low country so as to reach and connect the most prominent
eminences which may fall within the assumed direction, then such a range
or chain of highlands may here be made as plausibly in any other
direction as in that chosen by Messrs. Mudge and Featherstonhaugh, for
the detached elevated peaks are so distributed as under such a principle
to favor any one direction as much as another, and might thus be made to
subserve in an equal degree whatever conflicting theories the object in
view might cause to be originated.

We may also refer, in further illustration of the character of the
country through which a portion of this pretended "axis of maximum
elevation" is made to pass, to a panorama view taken in October, 1841,
by one of Major Graham's assistants from the summit of Blue Hill, where
crossed by the true meridian of the monument, at the source of the St.
Croix. This position is 1,100 feet above the level of the sea and 47-1/2
miles north of the monument. It commands a most satisfactory view of the
whole country embraced within a radius of 40 to 60 miles, including, as
the landscape shows, Parks Hill to the south; Katahdin, the Traveller,
and Mars Hill to the southwest; Quaquajo, the Horseback, the Haystack,
and one or two peaks beyond the Aroostook to the west; the heights upon
the Fish River and the southern margin of the Eagle Lakes to the
northwest, and those south of the St. John (except a small angle
obstructed by the Aroostook Hill) to the north.

The character of the great basin of the Aroostook, dotted with the
detached peaks which rise abruptly from it at intervals of many miles
apart, is here exhibited through at least two-thirds of its extent in so
satisfactory a manner as in itself to preclude the idea of an "axis of
maximum elevation" composed of anything like a connected or continuous
chain in this region of country.

MAY 1 1842.]

In addition to the surveys upon the boundary line claimed by the United
States, an exploring line was run under the direction of Professor
Renwick, as is more particularly described in Appendix No. 1. This line
extended to an eminence on the eastern side of Lake Matapediac, elevated
1,743 feet above the level of the sea. The views obtained from this
eminence established the fact that a chain of highlands extended thence
to the north shore of the Bay des Chaleurs. They are believed to
terminate in an eminence, which from its imposing appearance has been
called by the Scotch settlers at its foot Ben Lomond. This was measured
during the operations of the summer of 1840, and found to rise from
the tide of the bay to the height of 1,024 feet. This exploring line,
coupled with the more accurate surveys, appears to establish the fact of
the existence of a continuous chain of eminences entitled to the epithet
of highlands from the north shore of the Bay des Chaleurs at its western
extremity to the sources of the Connecticut River. Returning from the
latter point, they exhibit the aspect of well-marked ranges of mountains
as far as the sources of the Metjarmette. Thence to the sources of the
Etchemin extends an undulating country whose mean height is 1,300 or
1,500 feet above the level of the sea. The boundary line is thence
prolonged to the Temiscouata portage over well-defined ridges to the
eastern side of Lake Temiscouata. At the sources of two of the streams
which run into this lake the minimum heights of 651 feet and 676 feet
have been observed.

With these exceptions, the sources of the streams which rise to the
north of the Temiscouata portage and between the lake of that name and
Lake Matapediac average more than 900 feet above the level of the sea.
For the purpose of describing this portion of the line claimed by the
United States, we may take this height of 900 feet as the elevation of
a horizontal plane or base. On this are raised knolls, eminences, and
short ridges whose heights above this assumed base vary from 300 to
1,300 feet. The more elevated of these are universally designated by the
hunters who occasionally visit the country and the lumberers who search
it for timber as mountains clothed to the summit with wood, which, in
consequence of the rigor of the climate, attains but a feeble growth.
They have an aspect of much greater altitude than they in reality
possess, but their character as highlands is indisputable. This term,
which the first English visitors ascribed without hesitation to the
hills of New Jersey,[36] whose altitude is about 300 feet above the
level of the sea, is much better merited by a group of eminences rising
from 300 to 1,300 feet above a base itself 900 feet in height, and which
exceed in elevation the well-known highlands of the Hudson River.

[Footnote 36: The highlands of Neversink.]

Not to rest merely on instances drawn from the language of those of
English birth who first settled or traded on the coast of the present
United States, there are in the immediate vicinity of the region in
question a range of eminences the highest of which is no more than
1,206 feet above the level of the sea. These, on the authority of a
distinguished officer of Her Britannic Majesty's navy,[37] are named
the "highlands of Bic," and have long been thus known by all the
navigators of the St. Lawrence who use the English tongue.

[Footnote 37: Captain Byfield.]

To sum up the results of the field operations of the commissioners:

(1) The meridian has been traced by astronomic observations from the
monument, established by the consent of both nations in 1798, at the
source of the St. Croix to a point 4 miles beyond the left bank of the
St. John in the neighborhood of the Grand Falls. In the course of this
not only has no highland dividing waters which run into the St. Lawrence
from those which run into the Atlantic been reached, but no common
source or reservoir of two streams running in opposite directions.[38]
No place has, therefore, been found which by any construction proposed
or attempted to be put on the words of the treaty of 1783 can be
considered as the northwest angle of Nova Scotia. This point must, in
consequence, lie in the further prolongation of the meridian line to
the north.

[Footnote 38: The levelings carried along this meridian line by means of
spirit levels, alluded to in the note at bottom of page 121, passed Mars
Hill at a depression of 12 feet _below_ the level of the base of the
monument which stands (except at seasons of extreme drought) in the
water at the source of the St. Croix.]

(2) The streams whose title to the name of the northwesternmost head of
the Connecticut River is in dispute have been explored, and the line of
the highlands has been traced from their sources to the point at which
the lines respectively claimed by the two nations diverge from each
other.

(3) The line claimed by Messrs. Featherstonhaugh and Mudge, on the part
of Great Britain, has been in a great measure explored.

(4) The line of highlands claimed by the United States has, with some
small exceptions, been thoroughly examined, and its prolongation as far
as the north shore of the Bay of Chaleurs reconnoitered. The parts of
the line which have not been actually reached have been seen from a
distance, and streams flowing from them crossed and leveled. From the
former indication it is probable that the average height of those parts
exceeds that of the neighboring parts of the line. From the heights of
the streams it is certain that the lowest gaps in the unexplored portion
of the line can not be less elevated than 1,000 feet above the level of
the sea.

That part of this line of highlands which lies east of the sources of
the Rimouski fulfills to the letter the words of the royal proclamation
of 1763 and the contemporaneous commission of Governor Wilmot. The first
of those instruments defines the mouth of the river St. Lawrence by a
line drawn from Cape Rozier to the St. John River (on the Labrador
coast), and therefore all to the eastward of that line is "the sea." The
height of land thus traced by the commission, rising from the north
shore of the Bay des Chaleurs at its western extremity, divides waters
which fall into the river St. Lawrence from those which fall into the
sea, and is the southern boundary of the Province established by the
proclamation of 1763 under the name of Quebec. The identity of the line
defined in the proclamation of 1763 and the boundary of the United
States in the treaty of 1783 has been uniformly maintained on the part
of the United States, and is not merely admitted but strenuously argued
for in the report of Messrs. Featherstonhaugh and Mudge.

The undersigned therefore report that they have explored and in a great
measure surveyed and leveled a line of highlands in which the northwest
angle of Nova Scotia lies, and which in their opinion is the true
boundary between the States of Maine and New Hampshire and the British
Provinces.


II.--EXAMINATION OF THE ARGUMENT CONTAINED IN THE REPORT OF MESSRS.
MUDGE AND FEATHERSTONHAUGH.

The progress which has been made in the first portion of the duties
of the commissioners has been set forth in the preceding part of this
report.

Although, as will be there seen, the task of running the meridian line
of the monument marking the source of the St. Croix and of exploring and
surveying the lines of highlands respectively claimed by the Governments
of the United States and Great Britain has not been completed, yet
enough has been done to furnish materials for an examination of the
argument preferred by Messrs. Mudge and Featherstonhaugh in support of
the novel form in which the claim of Great Britain has been presented
by them.

In the surveys made by direction of the commissioners under the fifth
article of the treaty of Ghent the difficult character of the country
had prevented any other method of exploration than that of ascending
rivers to their sources. It was believed on the part of the United
States that the determination of the position of these sources was
sufficient for the demarcation of the line of highlands in relation to
which the controversy exists, and no attempt was made to meet the
British argument by the exhibition of the fact that the lines joining
these sources run in some cases along ridges and in other cases pass
over elevations to which in any sense of the term the epithet of
"highlands" may be justly applied. The denial of this mode of
determining the line of highlands by Great Britain has made it important
that both the lines claimed by Great Britain and by the United States
should be explored and leveled--a task which until recently had not been
attempted on either part. The examination of the lines claimed by the
two nations, respectively, has been in a great measure accomplished, as
will be seen from the reports of the field operations of the commission,
while such of these determinations as have a direct bearing on the
argument will be cited in their proper place in this report.

It is to be regretted that the document now under consideration exhibits
many instances of an unfriendly spirit. Charges of direct and implied
fraud are made, and language is used throughout that is irritating and
insulting. It is fondly hoped that these passages do not express the
sentiments of the British nation, as in a state of feeling such as
this report indicates little hope could be entertained of an amicable
adjustment of this question. Any inference to be drawn from the language
of the report under consideration is contradicted by the official
declarations of the British Government, and may therefore be considered
as the individual act of the authors, not as the deliberate voice of the
nation by which they were employed.

It might have been easy to have retorted similar charges, and thus have
excited in the Government of Great Britain feelings of irritation
similar to those which pervaded the whole population of the United
States on the reception of that report. While, however, it is due
to the honor of the United States to declare that no desire of undue
aggrandizement has been felt, no claim advanced beyond what a strict
construction of their rights will warrant, it is trusted that the
pretensions of Great Britain, however unfounded in fact or principle,
have been advanced with a like disregard to mere extension of territory,
and urged with the same good faith which has uniformly characterized the
proceedings of the United States.

It is not to be wondered that the claims of Great Britain have been
urged with the utmost pertinacity and supported by every possible form
of argument. The territory in question is of great value to her, by
covering the only mode of communication which can exist for nearly six
months in the year, not only between two valuable colonies, but between
the most important of all her possessions and the mother country. The
time is not long past when the use of this very communication was not an
unimportant part of the means by which that colony was restrained from
an attempt to assert its independence. It is not, therefore, surprising
that the feelings of British statesmen and of those who desired to win
their favor have been more obvious in the several arguments which have
appeared on that side of the question than a sober view of the true
principles, on which alone a correct opinion of the case can be founded.

To the United States in their collective capacity the territory in
dispute is, on the other hand, of comparatively little moment. No other
desire is felt throughout the greater part of the Union than that the
question should be settled upon just principles. No regret could,
therefore, be widely felt if it should be satisfactorily shown that the
title of Great Britain to this region is indisputable. But should it be
shown, as is beyond all question the fact, that the title is in truth in
the United States, national honor forbids that this title should be
abandoned. To the States of Maine and Massachusetts, who are the joint
proprietors of the unseated lands, the territory is of a certain
importance from the value of the land and timber, and to the latter,
within whose jurisdiction it falls, as a future means of increasing her
relative importance in the Union, and a just and proper feeling on the
part of their sister States must prevent their yielding to any unfounded
claim or the surrender of any territory to which a title can be
established without an equivalent satisfactory to those States.

To show the basis on which the title rests--

It is maintained on the part of the United States that the territory
they held on the continent of North America prior to the purchase of
Louisiana and the Floridas was possessed by a title derived from their
own Declaration of Independence on the 4th of July, 1776, the assertion
of that independence in a successful war, and its acknowledgment by
Great Britain as a preliminary to any negotiation for a treaty of peace.
It is admitted on the part of Great Britain that a territory designated
by certain limits was _granted_ to the United States in the treaty of
1783. As a matter of national pride, the question whether the territory
of the original United States was held by the right of war or by virtue
of a grant from the British Crown is not unimportant; as a basis of
title it has not the least bearing on the subject. From the date of the
treaty of 1783 all pretensions of the British Crown to jurisdiction or
property within the limits prescribed by the provisions of that
instrument ceased, and when a war arose in 1812 between the two nations
it was terminated by the treaty of Ghent, in which the original
boundaries were confirmed and acknowledged on both sides.

The treaty of 1783, therefore, is, in reference to this territory, the
only instrument of binding force upon the two parties; nor can any other
document be with propriety brought forward in the discussion except for
the purpose of explaining and rendering definite such of the provisions
of that treaty as are obscure or apparently uncertain.

The desire of full and ample illustration, which has actuated both
parties, has led to the search among neglected archives for documents
almost innumerable, and their force and bearing upon the question have
been exhibited in arguments of great ability. Such has been the talent
shown in this task of illustration and so copious have been the
materials employed for the purpose that the great and only important
question, although never lost sight of by the writers themselves, has
to the eye of the casual observer been completely hidden. In the report
under consideration this distinction between treaties of binding force
and documents intended for mere illustration has not been regarded, and
the vague as well as obviously inaccurate delineations of a French or a
Venetian map maker are gravely held forth as of equal value for a basis
of argument as the solemn and ratified acts of the two nations.

In pursuance of this desire of illustration, every known document which
could in any form support either claim has been advanced and set forth
in the statements laid before His Majesty the King of the Netherlands
when acting as umpire under the fifth article of the treaty of Ghent. If
not yet given entire to the public,[39] they are in the possession of
both Governments in a printed form, together with the opinion of the
arbiter in respect to them; and although it is necessary that the
arguments then adduced in favor of the American claim should be in part
repeated, and although new illustrations of the correctness of that
argument have since been brought to light, the present document will be
confined as closely as possible to the provisions of the treaty itself,
and will adduce no more of illustration than is barely sufficient to
render the terms of that treaty certain and definite.

[Footnote 39: A considerable part of the papers, together with the
argument, has been published by Mr. Gallatin in his Right of the United
States to the Northeastern Boundary. New York, 1840. 8 vo. pp. 180.]

The boundaries of the United States are described in the treaty of 1783
in the following words:[40]

[Footnote 40: The words here appearing in italics are not italicized in
the original treaty.]

"And that _all disputes which might arise in future on the subject
of the boundaries of the said United States may be prevented_ it is
hereby agreed and declared that the following are and shall be their
boundaries, viz: _From the northwest angle of Nova Scotia_, viz, _that
angle which is formed by a line drawn due north from the source of
St. Croix River to the highlands; along the said highlands which divide
those rivers that empty themselves into the river St. Lawrence from
those which fall into the Atlantic Ocean_ to the _northwesternmost_ head
of Connecticut River; _thence_ down along the middle of that river to
the forty-fifth degree of north latitude; from thence by a line due west
on said latitude until it strikes the river Iroquois, or Cataraquy;
thence along the middle of said river into Lake Ontario; through the
middle of said lake until it strikes the communication by water between
that lake and Lake Brie; thence along the middle of said communication
into Lake Erie through the middle of said lake until it arrives at the
water communication between that lake and Lake Huron; thence along the
middle of said water communication into the Lake Huron; thence through
the middle of said lake to the water communication between that lake and
Lake Superior; thence through Lake Superior northward of the Isles Royal
and Phelipeaux to the Long Lake; thence through the middle of said Long
Lake and the water communication between it and the Lake of the Woods to
the said Lake of the Woods; thence through the said lake to the most
northwestern point thereof, and from thence on a due west course to the
river Mississippi; thence by a line to be drawn along the middle of the
said river Mississippi until it shall intersect the northernmost part of
the thirty-first degree of north latitude; south by a line to be drawn
due east from the determination of the line last mentioned in the
latitude of 31 deg. north of the equator to the middle of the river
Apalachicola, or Catahouche; thence along the middle thereof to its
junction with the Flint River; thence straight to the head of St. Marys
River, and thence down along the middle of St. Marys River to the
Atlantic Ocean; east _by a line to be drawn along the middle of the
river St. Croix from its mouth in the Bay of Fundy to its source_ and
from its source _directly north_ to the aforesaid highlands which divide
the rivers that fall into the Atlantic Ocean from those which fall into
the river St. Lawrence; comprehending all islands within 20 leagues of
any part of the shores of the United States and lying between lines to
be drawn due east from the points where the aforesaid boundaries between
Nova Scotia on the one part and East Florida on the other shall
respectively touch the Bay of Fundy and the Atlantic Ocean, excepting
such islands as now are or heretofore have been within the limits of
the said Province of Nova Scotia."

So far as the present question is concerned, five points of discussion
are presented by this article of the treaty of 1783:

I. What stream is to be understood by the name of the river St. Croix?

II. The determination of the line due north from the source of that
river.

III. What is the position of the northwest angle of Nova Scotia?

IV. The delineation of the line passing through the highlands from that
angle to the northwest head of Connecticut River.

V. What is to be considered as the northwestern head of Connecticut
River?


I.--RIVER ST. CROIX.

Doubts in respect to the particular river intended to be understood by
the name of the St. Croix having arisen, an article was inserted in the
treaty of commerce signed in London in November, 1794, by Lord Grenville
on the part of Great Britain and by John Jay on the part of the United
States.[41] This article, the fifth of that treaty, provided for the
appointment of a joint commission with full powers to decide that
question. This commission was constituted in conformity, and the award
was accepted by both Governments.[42] The river designated in this award
became thenceforth the true St. Croix, however erroneous may have been
the grounds on which it was decided so to be. When, therefore, in the
fourth article of the treaty of Ghent it is declared that the due north
line from the source of the St. Croix has not been surveyed, and when in
this and the other articles of the same treaty all other uncertain parts
of the boundary are recited, the validity of the decision of the
commissioners under the fifth article of Jay's treaty is virtually
acknowledged. Nay, more; the acknowledgment is completed by the
stipulation in the second article of the treaty of Ghent that "all
territory, places, and possessions taken by either party during the
war," with certain exceptions, shall be forthwith restored to their
previous possessors.[43] The only exceptions are the islands in
Passamaquoddy Bay; and had it been believed that any uncertainty in
respect to the adjacent territory existed it would not have been
neglected. Nay, more; all the settlements lying within the line claimed
by Great Britain before the commission created by the treaty of 1794 had
been taken, and were in her actual possession at the time the treaty of
Ghent took effect, and were forthwith restored to the jurisdiction of
the United States. When, also, it became necessary to proceed to the
investigation of the second point of the discussion, the agents and
surveyors of both parties proceeded as a matter of course to the point
marked in 1798 as the source of the St. Croix.[44] This point is
therefore fixed and established beyond the possibility of cavil, and the
faith of both Governments is pledged that it shall not be disturbed.

[Footnote 41: See Note I, pp. 141,142.]

[Footnote 42: See Note II, p. 142.]

[Footnote 43: See Note III, pp. 142,143.]

[Footnote 44: See Note IV, p. 143.]

II.--DUE NORTH LINE FROM THE SOURCE OF THE ST. CROIX.

The treaty of 1783 provides that the boundary from the source of the
St. Croix shall be drawn "directly north." In relation to this expression
no possible doubt can arise. It is neither susceptible of more than a
single meaning nor does it require illustration from any extrinsic
source. The undersigned, therefore, do not consider that so much of the
argument of Messrs. Mudge and Featherstonhaugh as attempts to show that
this line ought to be drawn in any other direction than due north
requires any reply on the part of the United States. Admitting that the
words had been originally used as a mistranslation of terms in the Latin
grant of James I to Sir William Alexander, the misconception was equally
shared by both parties to the treaty of 1783; and it will be shown
hereafter that this misconception, if any, had its origin in British
official papers. Were it capable of proof beyond all possibility of
denial that the limit of the grant to Sir William Alexander was intended
to be a line drawn toward the northwest instead of the north it would
not affect the question. So far as that grant was used by American
negotiators to illustrate the position of the northwest angle of Nova
Scotia it would have failed to fulfill the object, but such failure in
illustration does not involve the nullity of the treaty itself.

That the translation which has hitherto been universally received as
correct of the terms in the grant to Sir William Alexander is the true
one, and that the new construction which is now attempted to be put upon
it is inaccurate, will be shown in another place,[45] where will also be
exhibited an error committed in rendering the sense of another part of
that instrument. The consideration of the correctness or incorrectness
of the several translations can form no part of the present argument.
While, therefore, it is denied that Messrs. Mudge and Featherstonhaugh
have succeeded in showing that the grant to Sir William Alexander has
been mistranslated, it is maintained that an error in the translation of
this document can have no effect in setting aside the simple and
positive terms of the treaty of 1783. That treaty and its confirmation
in the treaty of Ghent must be admitted to be null and void before that
line can be drawn in any other direction than "due north."

[Footnote 45: See Note V, pp. 143-147.]


III.--NORTH WEST ANGLE OF NOVA SCOTIA.

The term northwest angle of Nova Scotia was used in the secret
instructions of Congress and is adopted in the treaty of 1783. In the
instructions it is named without any explanation, as if it were a point
perfectly well known. In one sense it was so, for although it never had
been marked by a monument, nor perhaps visited by the foot of man, its
position could be laid down upon a map; nay, was so on many existing
maps, and the directions for finding it on the ground were clear and
explicit. These directions are to be found in the royal proclamation of
October, 1763, and in the commission to Montague Wilmot, governor of
Nova Scotia, of cotemporaneous date. Any uncertainty in regard to the
position of this angle which may have existed in relation to the meaning
of the first of these instruments is removed by the act of Parliament of
1774, commonly called the Quebec act.

Before citing these instruments it will be proper to refer to the
circumstances under which the two first were issued.

Great Britain, after a successful war, found herself in possession of
the whole eastern side of the continent of North America. So much of
this as lay to the south of the St. Lawrence and the forty-fifth
parallel of north latitude had been previously made the subject of
charters from the British Crown under a claim of right from priority of
discovery.[46] The possession of this wide tract was not uncontested,
and various other European nations had attempted to found settlements
within the limits of the British charters. In such cases it was held as
a matter of law that where the occupation or defense of the territory
granted had been neglected the right had ceased, and the country, when
recovered by conquest or restored by treaty, was again vested in the
Crown, to be made the subject of new grants or governed as a royal
colony. Thus, when the settlements made by the Dutch and Swedes, which
by the fortune of war had become wholly vested in Holland, were reduced,
the Crown exercised its rights by conveying them to the Duke of York,
although covered in a great part, if not wholly, by previous charters;
and when these countries were again occupied by the Dutch and restored
by the treaty of Breda it was thought necessary that the title of the
Duke of York should be restored by a fresh grant. In both of these
charters to that prince was included the Province of Sagadahock, within
whose chartered limits was comprised the territory at present in
dispute. This Province, confined on the sea between the rivers St. Croix
and Kennebec, had for its opposite limits the St. Lawrence, or, as the
grant expresses it, "extending from the river of Kenebeque and so upward
by the shortest course to the river Canada northward." The shortest
course from the source of the Kennebec to the St. Lawrence is by the
present Kennebec road. This grant therefore covered the whole space
along the St. Lawrence from about the mouth of the Chaudiere River[47]
to the eastern limit of the grant to Sir William Alexander. By the
accession of James II, or, as some maintain, by the act of attainder, it
matters not which, this Province reverted to the Crown, and was by it
granted, in 1691, to the colony of Massachusetts. In the same charter
Nova Scotia also was included. This has been called a war grant, as in
fact it was, and the colony of Massachusetts speedily availed themselves
of it by conquering the whole of the territory conveyed except the
island of Cape Breton. The latter, too, fell before the unassisted arms
of the New England Provinces in 1745, at a time when Great Britain was
too deeply engaged in the contest of a civil war to give aid either in
money or in men to her transatlantic possessions.

[Footnote 46: Sebastian Cabot, in the employ of Henry VII, discovered
the continent of North America 24th June, 1497, and explored it from
Hudsons Bay to Florida in 1498. Columbus discovered South America 1st
August, 1498, while the voyage of Vespucci, whose name has been given to
the continent, was not performed until 1499.--HUMBOLDT.]

[Footnote 47: See Note VI, p. 147.]

The colony of Massachusetts, therefore, could not be charged with any
want of energy in asserting her chartered rights to the territory in
question. It is, in fact, due to her exertions that both Nova Scotia
and New Brunswick came at so early a period into the possession of the
British Crown. In 1654 the French settlements as far as Port Royal, at
the head of the Bay of Fundy, were reduced by Major Sedgwick, but by the
treaty of Breda they were restored to France.

In 1690 Sir William Phips, governor of Massachusetts, with a force
of 700 men, raised in that colony, again conquered the country, and
although on his return the French dislodged the garrison possession
was forthwith resumed by an expedition under Colonel Church. Acadie,
however, or Nova Scotia, was ceded again to France by the treaty of
Ryswick. After several spirited but unsuccessful attempts during the War
of the Succession, General Nicholson, with a force of five regiments,
four of which were levied in Massachusetts, reduced Port Royal, and by
its capitulation the present Provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick
were permanently annexed to the British Crown.[48] Finally the militia
of Massachusetts, during the War of 1776, took possession of the
territory, and occupied it until the date of the treaty of 1783. This
occupation was not limited by the St. Croix, or even by the St. John,
but included the whole of the southern part of New Brunswick, while the
peninsula of Nova Scotia was only preserved to Great Britain by the
fortification of the isthmus which unites it to the mainland.[49]

[Footnote 48: Haliburton's History, Vol. I, pp. 83-87.]

[Footnote 49: Haliburton's History, Vol. I, pp. 244-289.]

The recession of Acadie, or Nova Scotia, to France by the treaty of
Ryswick divested Massachusetts only of the territory granted her in the
charter of 1691 under the latter name. Her war title to Sagadahock was
confirmed by a conquest with her own unaided arms; and even the cession
of Nova Scotia was a manifest injustice to her, as she was at the moment
in full possession of it. It, however, suited the purpose of Great
Britain to barter this part of the conquest of that colony for objects
of more immediate interest.

Admitting that England did convey a part or the whole of Sagadahock to
France under the vague name of Acadie or Nova Scotia,[50] the conquest
by Massachusetts in 1710 renewed her rights to this much at least, and
although the Crown appropriated to itself the lion's share of the spoils
by making Nova Scotia a royal province, it did not attempt to disturb
her possession of Sagadahock. So far from so doing, the commission of
the royal governors was limited to the west by the St. Croix, although
it was stated in a saving clause that the Province of Nova Scotia
extended of right to the Penobscot. From that time until the breaking
out of the Revolutionary War, a space of more than sixty years, the
Province of Sagadahock was left in the undisturbed possession of
Massachusetts under the charter of 1691.

[Footnote 50: See Note VII, pp. 147, 148.]

In defiance of this charter the French proceeded to occupy the right
bank of the St. Lawrence, which at the time of the capture of Quebec and
the cession in the treaty of 1763 was partially held by settlements of
Canadians. The Crown therefore acted upon the principle that the right
of Massachusetts to the right bank of the St. Lawrence had thus become
void, and proceeded by proclamation to form the possessions of France on
both banks of the St. Lawrence into a royal colony under the name of the
Province of Quebec.

This was not done without a decided opposition on the part of
Massachusetts, but any decision in respect to her claims was rendered
needless by the breaking out of the War of Independence. It is only
proper to remark that this opposition was in fact made and that her
claim to the right bank of the St. Lawrence was only abandoned by the
treaty of 1783. The country of which it was intended to divest her by
the proclamation of 1763 is described in a letter of her agent, Mr.
Mauduit, to the general court of that colony as "the narrow tract of
land which lies beyond the sources of all your rivers and is watered
by those which run into the St. Lawrence."

It is assigned by him as a reason why the Province of Massachusetts
should assent to the boundary assigned to the Province of Quebec by the
proclamation that "it would not be of any great consequence to you"
(Massachusetts), "but is absolutely necessary to the Crown to preserve
the continuity of the Province of Quebec." The part of the Province of
Quebec whose continuity with the rest of that colony was to be preserved
is evidently the district of Gaspe, of which Nova Scotia, a royal
colony, was divested by the same proclamation. For this continuity no
more was necessary than a road along the St. Lawrence itself, and the
reason would have been absurd if applied to any country lying beyond
the streams which fall into that river, for up to the present day no
communication between parts of Canada exists through any part of the
disputed territory. The narrow territory thus advised to be relinquished
extends, according to the views of Messrs. Mudge and Featherstonhaugh,
from the Great Falls of the St. John to Quebec, a distance in a straight
line of 160 miles. It has a figure not far from triangular, of which
this line is the perpendicular and the shore of the St. Lawrence from
the Chaudiere to the Metis the base. It contains about 16,000 square
miles. It would have been a perversion of language in Mr. Mauduit to
describe this to his employers as a narrow tract. But the space whose
cession he really intended to advise is in every sense a narrow tract,
for its length along the St. Lawrence is about 200 miles, and its
average breadth to the sources of the streams 30. It contains 6,000
square miles, and is described by him in a manner that leaves no
question as to its extent being "watered by streams" which "run into the
St. Lawrence." It therefore did not include any country watered by
streams which run into the St. John.

It is believed that this is the first instance in which the term
_narrow_ has ever been applied to a triangle almost right angled and
nearly isosceles, and it is not a little remarkable that this very
expression was relied upon in the statement to the King of the
Netherlands as one of the strongest proofs of the justice of the
American claim.

Admitting, however, for the sake of argument, that the Crown did demand
this territory, and that the mere advice of an agent without powers was
binding on Massachusetts, the fact would have no direct bearing upon the
point under consideration. The relinquishment by Massachusetts of the
whole of the territory west of the meridian of the St. Croix would not
have changed the position of the northwest angle of Nova Scotia, nor the
title of the United States collectively under the treaty of 1783 to a
boundary to be drawn from that angle, however it might have affected the
right of property of that State to the lands within it.

And here it is to be remarked that the Government of the United States
is two-fold--that of the individual States and that of the Federal
Union. It would be possible, therefore, that all right of property in
unseated lands within a State's jurisdiction might be in the General
Government, and this is in fact the case in all the new States. Even had
Massachusetts divested herself of the title (which she has not) the
treaty of 1783 would have vested it in the Confederation. She had at
least a color of title, under which the Confederation claimed to the
boundaries of Nova Scotia on the east and to the southern limits of the
Province of Quebec on the north, and this claim was allowed by Great
Britain in the treaty of 1783 in terms which are at least admitted to be
identical in meaning with those of the proclamation creating the latter
Province.[51]

[Footnote 51: Report of Messrs. Featherstonhaugh and Mudge, p. 6.]

To illustrate the subject further:

Of the seventeen British colonies in North America, thirteen succeeded
in asserting their independence; the two Floridas were conquered and
ceded to Spain; while of her magnificent American domain only Quebec and
Nova Scotia were left to Great Britain. The thirteen colonies, now
independent States, claimed all that part of the continent to the
eastward of the Mississippi and north of the bounds of Florida which was
not contained within the limits of the last-named colonies, and this
claim was fully admitted by the boundary agreed to in the treaty of
1783. Within the limits thus assigned it was well known that there were
conflicting claims to parts which had more than once been covered by
royal charters; it was even possible that there were portions of the
wide territory the right to which was asserted by the United States and
admitted by Great Britain that had not been covered by any royal grant;
but the jurisdiction in respect to disputed rights and the title to land
not conveyed forever ceased to be in the British Crown--first by a
successful assertion of independence in arms, and finally by the
positive terms of a solemn treaty.

If it should be admitted, for argument's sake, that the claim of
Massachusetts, as inherited by the State of Maine, to the disputed
territory is unfounded, it is a circumstance that can not enter into
a discussion between Great Britain and the United States of America.
Massachusetts did claim, under at least the color of a title, not merely
to "the highlands," but to the St. Lawrence itself, and the claim was
admitted as far as the former by the treaty of 1783. If it should
hereafter appear that this claim can not be maintained, the territory
which is not covered by her title, if within the boundary of the treaty
of 1783, can not revert to Great Britain, which has ceded its rights to
the thirteen independent States, but to the latter in their confederate
capacity, and is thus the property of the whole Union. As well might
Great Britain set up a claim to the States of Alabama and Mississippi,
which, although claimed by the State of Georgia, were found not to be
covered by its royal charter, as to any part of the territory contained
within the line defined by the treaty of 1783, under pretense that the
rights of Massachusetts are not indefeasible.

While, therefore, it is maintained that whether the title of
Massachusetts be valid or not is immaterial to the present question,
it may be further urged that not even the shadow of a pretense existed
for divesting her of her rights by the proclamation of 1763, except to
territory which by neglect she had permitted France to occupy. On this
point the French are the best authority, for it can not be pretended
that the Crown of England intended in forming the Province of Quebec
to go beyond the utmost limits of the claim of France to her colony of
Canada. The assertions on the part of France in the argument preceding
the War of 1756 were:

First. That both banks of the St. Lawrence are included in Canada.

Second. That with the exception of Miscou and Cape Breton, her grants
extended 10 leagues from the river.

Third. That the commissions of the governors of Canada in the most
formal and precise manner extended their jurisdiction to the sources
of the rivers which discharge themselves into the St. Lawrence.

Now the distance of 10 French leagues and that of the sources of the
rivers, on an average, are nearly identical, and this narrow tract, of
which alone the Crown could with any shadow of justice assume the right
of disposing, is that of which Massachusetts was intended to be divested
by the proclamation of 1763.

It was because Great Britain held that these claims on the part of
France were too extensive that the War of 1756 was waged. In this war at
least one-half of the force which under Wolfe took Louisburg and reduced
Quebec, and under Amherst forced the French armies in Canada to a
capitulation, was raised and paid by the colonies. The creation of the
Province of Quebec, covering a part of their chartered limits, was
therefore a just subject of complaint.

The bounds assigned to the new Province of Quebec to the south by the
proclamation of 7th October, 1763, are as follows:

"The line, crossing the river St. Lawrence and the Lake Champlain in 45 deg.
of north latitude, passes along the highlands which divide the rivers
that empty themselves into the St. Lawrence from those which fall into
the sea, and also along the north coast of the Bay des Chaleurs and the
Gulf of St. Lawrence to Cape Rosieres," etc.

In the same month of October, 1763, the limits of the royal Province of
Nova Scotia are fixed, in the commission to Governor Wilmot, on the west
"by the said river St. Croix to its source, and by a line drawn due
north from thence to the southern boundary of our Province of Quebec; to
the northward, by the same boundary, as far as the western extremity of
the Bay des Chaleurs."

Here, then, we find the first mention in an English dress of the line
to be drawn due north from the source of the St. Croix. There is no
evidence that it was a translation of the terms in the grant to Sir
William Alexander, but if it were it was made not by Americans, but by
Englishmen; and not only made, but set forth under the high authority of
the royal sign manual and authenticated by the great seal of the United
Kingdom of England and Scotland.

The due north line from the source of the St. Croix, meeting the south
bounds of the Province of Quebec, forms two angles. One of these was
the northeast angle of the Province of Sagadahock; the other is the
northwest angle of Nova Scotia. It aright be debated which of the
streams that fall into Passamaquoddy Bay was the true St. Croix, but
such a question could be settled by reference to evidence, and has been
thus settled by the award of the commissioners under the fifth article
of Jay's treaty. Among the many branches of a stream it may for a moment
be doubted which is to be considered as its principal source, but this
can be ascertained by proper methods, and it has been ascertained and
marked with a monument by the same commissioners. The tracing of a
meridian line may be a difficult operation in practical surveying, but
it can be effected by proper instruments and adequate skill, and this
task has in fact been performed by one of the present commissioners,
after being attempted by the surveyors under the fifth article of the
treaty of Ghent. The highlands are defined in the commission of Governor
Wilmot and the proclamation of 1763 beyond the possibility of doubt.
They are on the north shore of the Bay of Chaleurs as described in the
one instrument, and on the western extremity of that bay as described
by the other. They can therefore be found, and they have been found.

The Congress of 1779 and the framers of the treaty of 1783 were
therefore warranted in speaking of the northwest angle of Nova Scotia as
if it were a known point. It could have been laid down with precision on
any good map; it could be discovered by the use of adequate methods and
the expenditure of a sufficient appropriation; it was, in fact, as well
known as the forty-fifth and thirty-second parallels of latitude, which
are named in the same article of the treaty, or as the boundaries of
very many of the States which had united in the Confederation. These
were defined by the course and sources of rivers--by parallels of
latitude and circles of longitude, either of indefinite extent or
setting out from some prescribed point whose position was to be
determined. At the time of making these grants, as in the case before
us, many of the boundaries had never been visited by civilized men. Some
of these lines had, indeed, been sought and traced upon the ground in
pursuance of orders from the privy council of Great Britain or the high
court of chancery, and the recollection of the operation was fresh in
the memory of both parties. Thus in 1750 it was ordered by the latter
tribunal that the boundary on the lower counties on the Delaware (now
the State of that name) and the Province of Maryland should be marked
out. The boundary was an arc of a circle described around the town of
Newcastle, with a given radius, and a meridian line tangent thereto.
This was a far more difficult operation than to draw a meridian line
from a given point, such as the source of a river. It was thought
in 1763 worthy of the attention of the first assistant in the Royal
Observatory at Greenwich, and the American Rittenhouse was associated
with him. This operation was not only of great contemporary fame, but
is still quoted in English books among the data whence we derive our
knowledge of the magnitude and figure of the earth. So also the same
astronomer (Mason) had but a few years before the War of Independence
commenced the tracing of a parallel of latitude from the former line
to the westward, thus marking the respective limits of Pennsylvania,
Maryland, and Virginia. With such examples before them the framers of
the treaty of 1783 were warranted in considering the northwest angle
of Nova Scotia as a point sufficiently definite to be made not merely
one of the landmarks of the new nation, but the corner at which the
description of its boundaries should begin. It has been well remarked by
one of the commentators[52] on the report of Messrs. Featherstonhaugh
and Mudge that if the treaty of 1783 be a grant the grantors are bound
by rule of law to mark out that corner of their _own land_ whence the
description of the grant commences. The British Government therefore
ought, if it be, as it is maintained on its part, a grant, to have
traced the line of highlands dividing their Provinces of Nova Scotia
and Canada. Had this been done in conformity with the proclamation of
1763 and the commission to Governor Wilmot, the northwest angle of Nova
Scotia would be given by the trace of the meridian of the St. Croix.
So far from doing this, the question has been complicated by the denial
that the boundaries defined in that proclamation and in the treaty of
1783 were intended to be identical. The argument on this point was so
ingenious that the arbiter under the fifth article of the treaty of
Ghent did not consider the American case as made out,[53] and this doubt
was the principal ground on which his decision rested. It is therefore
an earnest of a more favorable state of feeling that the sophistry with
which this fact had been veiled, at least in part, is now withdrawn, and
that the commission whose report is under consideration frankly admit
this identity.[54] This admission being made, it is obvious that the
origin of the highlands of the treaty must be sought on the north shore
of the Bay des Chaleurs and at its western extremity, and it follows
that the point where this line of highlands is cut by the meridian of
the monument at the source of the St. Croix is the northwest angle of
Nova Scotia of the treaty of 1783, and must lie to the north of the
Restigouche, or in the very spot claimed by the United States.

[Footnote 52: Hon. John Holmes, of Maine.]

[Footnote 53: See Note VIII, p. 148.]

[Footnote 54: Report of Messrs. Featherstonhaugh and Mudge, pp. 6, 23.]

The British Government has not only failed in marking out the corner of
their territory at which the boundary of the United States begins, but
has in practice adopted a very different point as the northwest angle of
the Province of New Brunswick, which now occupies the place of ancient
Nova Scotia in its contiguity to the American lines. Up to the time of
the discussion before the King of the Netherlands the commissions of the
governors of New Brunswick had been, so far as the western and northern
boundaries are concerned, copies of that to Governor Wilmot. The
undersigned have no means of ascertaining when or how the form of these
commissions was changed, but it was found during the exploration of the
country that the jurisdiction of New Brunswick, limited at least to the
north of the St. John by the exploring meridian line, did not leave the
Bay of Chaleurs at its western extremity and follow thence the old
bounds of the Province of Quebec. It, on the contrary, was ascertained
that it was limited by the Restigouche as far as the confluence of its
southwestern branch, formerly known by the name of Chacodi, and thence
followed the latter up to the point where it is crossed by the exploring
meridian line. On all the territory thus severed from the ancient domain
of Nova Scotia permits to cut timber were found to have been issued by
Canadian authorities, and the few settlers derived their titles to land
from the same source.

Although this demarcation involves a double deviation from the
proclamation of 1763 (first, in following a river instead of highlands;
second, in taking a small branch instead of pursuing the main supply
of the Bay of Chaleurs), the northwest angle of Nova Scotia may be
considered as at last fixed by British authority at a point many miles
north of the point claimed to be such in the statements laid before
the King of the Netherlands on the part of Great Britain, and 48 miles
to the north of where the line of "abraded highlands" of Messrs.
Featherstonhaugh and Mudge crosses the St. John. Were it not that the
American claim would be weakened by any change in the strong ground on
which it has always rested, it might be granted that this is in fact the
long-lost northwest angle of Nova Scotia, and the highlands allowed to
be traced from that point through the sources of the branches of the
St. John and the St. Lawrence.

In proof of the position now assigned to this angle of New Brunswick,
and consequently of ancient Nova Scotia, in the absence of documents
which the archives of Great Britain alone can furnish, the map published
by the Society for the Encouragement of Useful Knowledge, the several
maps of the surveyor-general of the Province of Canada, and the most
recent map of the Provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, by John
Wyld, geographer to the Queen of Great Britain, may be cited.

It may therefore be concluded that the northwest angle of Nova Scotia
is no longer an unknown point. It can be found by a search conducted
in compliance with the proclamation of 1763 and the contemporaneous
commission of Governor Wilmot, and the researches of the present
commission show that it can not be far distant from the point originally
assigned to it in the exploring meridian line. The identity of the first
of these documents with the boundary of the treaty of 1783 is admitted,
and the latter is word for word the same with the description of the
eastern boundary of the United States in the same treaty. Moreover, a
northwest angle has been assigned to the Province of New Brunswick by
British authority, which, did it involve no dereliction of principle,
might without sensible loss be accepted on the part of the United
States.


IV.--HIGHLANDS OF THE TREATY OF 1783.

The highlands of the treaty of 1783 are described as those "which divide
those rivers that empty themselves into the river St. Lawrence from
those which fall into the Atlantic Ocean." It has been uniformly and
consistently maintained on the part of the United States that by the
term "highlands" was intended what is in another form of the same words
called the height of land. The line of highlands in this sense was to be
sought by following the rivers described in the treaty to their source
and drawing lines between these sources in such manner as to divide the
surface waters. It was believed that the sources of such rivers as the
Connecticut and the St. John must lie in a country sufficiently elevated
to be entitled to the epithet of highlands, although it should appear on
reaching it that it had the appearance of a plain. Nay, it was even
concluded, although, as now appears, incorrectly--and it was not feared
that the conclusion would weaken the American argument--that the line
from the northwest angle of Nova Scotia, at least as far as the sources
of Tuladi, did pass through a country of that description. Opposite
ground was taken in the argument of Great Britain by her agent, but
however acute and ingenious were the processes of reasoning by which
this argument was supported, it remained in his hands without
application, for the line claimed by him on the part of his Government
was one having the same physical basis for its delineation as that
claimed by the agent of the United States, namely, one joining the
culminating points of the valleys in which streams running in opposite
directions took their rise. The argument appears to have been drawn
while he hoped to be able to include Katahdin and the other great
mountains in that neighborhood in his claimed boundary, and he does not
appear to have become aware how inapplicable it was in every sense to
the line by which he was, for want of a better, compelled to abide.
The British Government, however, virtually abandoned the construction
of their agent in the convention signed in London the 27th September,
1827.[55]

[Footnote 55: See Note IX, p. 148.]

In this it was stipulated that Mitchell's and Map A should be admitted
to the exclusion of all others "as the only maps that shall be
considered as evidence" of the topography of the country, and in the
latter of these maps, constructed under the joint direction of the
British and American negotiators by the astronomer of the British
Government, it was agreed that nothing but the water courses should
be represented. Finally, it was admitted in the report of Messrs.
Featherstonhaugh and Mudge that the terms highlands and height of land
are identical. The decision of the King of the Netherlands, to which
Great Britain gave her assent in the first instance, recognizes the
correctness of the views entertained in the American statements.[56]
All discussion on this subject is, however, rendered unnecessary by the
knowledge which the undersigned have obtained of the country. The line
surveyed by them not only divides rivers, but possesses in a preeminent
degree the character by which in the British argument highlands are
required to be distinguished.

[Footnote 56: See Note X, pp. 148, 149.]

It is sufficient for the present argument that the identity of the
lines pointed out by the proclamation of 1763 and the act of 1774 with
the boundary of the treaty of 1783 be admitted. Such has been the
uniform claim of the Government of the United States and the State
of Massachusetts, and such is the deliberate verdict of the British
commissioners.[57] The words of the proclamation of 1763 have already
been cited. By reference to them it will be seen that the origin of "the
highlands" is to be sought on the _north_ shore of the Bay of Chaleurs.
If they are not to be found there, a gap exists in the boundary of the
proclamation, which it is evident could not have been intended. It has
been thought by some that the gap did actually exist, but this idea was
founded on an imperfect knowledge of the country. The Bay of Chaleurs
seems, in fact, to have been better known to the framers of the
proclamation of 1763 and the act of 1774 than to any subsequent
authorities, whether British or American. Researches made in the year
1840 show that at the head of the tide of the Bay of Chaleurs a mountain
rises immediately on the northern bank, which from its imposing
appearance has been called by the Scotch settlers at its foot Ben
Lomond. This, indeed, has by measurement been found to be no more than
1,024 feet in height, but no one can deny its title to the name of a
highland. From this a continuous chain of heights has been ascertained
to exist, bounding in the first instance the valley of the Matapediac
to the sources of that stream, which they separate from those of the
Metis. The height of land then passes between the waters of Metis and
Restigouche, and, bending around the sources of the latter to the
sources of the Rimouski, begins there to separate waters which fall into
the St. Lawrence from those which fall into the St. John, which they
continue to do as far as the point where they merge in the line admitted
by both parties.

[Footnote 57: Report of Featherstonhaugh and Mudge, pp. 6, 23.]

These highlands have all the characteristics necessary to constitute
them the highlands of the treaty. Throughout their whole northern
and western slopes flow streams which empty themselves into the St.
Lawrence. Beginning at the Bay of Chaleurs, they in the first place
divide, as it is necessary they should, waters which fall into that
bay; they next separate the waters of Restigouche from those of Metis;
they then make a great detour to the south and inclose the valley
of Rimouski, separating its waters from those of Matapediac and
Restigouche, the Green River of St. John and Tuladi; they next perform a
circuit around Lake Temiscouata, separating its basin from those of the
Otty and Trois Pistoles, until they reach the Temiscouata portage at
Mount Paradis. This portage they cross five times, and finally, bending
backward to the north, inclose the stream of the St. Francis, whose
waters they divide from those of Trois Pistoles, Du Loup, and the Green
River of the St. Lawrence. Leaving the Temiscouata portage at the
sixteenth milepost, a region positively mountainous is entered, which
character continues to the sources of the Etchemin. It there assumes for
a short space the character of a rolling country, no point in which,
however, is less than 1,200 feet above the level of the sea. It speedily
resumes a mountainous character, which continues unaltered to the
sources of the Connecticut.

Now it is maintained that all the streams and waters which have been
named as flowing from the southern and eastern sides of this line are in
the intended sense of the treaty of 1783 rivers which empty themselves
into the Atlantic. The first argument adduced in support of this
position is that the framers of that treaty, having, as is admitted,
Mitchell's map before them, speak only of two classes of rivers--those
which discharge themselves into the St. Lawrence River and those which
fall into the Atlantic Ocean; yet upon this map were distinctly seen the
St. John and the Restigouche. The latter, indeed, figures twice--once
as a tributary to the Bay of Miramichi and once as flowing to the Bay
of Chaleurs.[58] It can not reasonably be pretended that men honestly
engaged in framing an article to prevent "all disputes which might arise
in future" should have intentionally passed over and left undefined
these important rivers, when by the simplest phraseology they might have
described them had they believed that in any future time a question
could have arisen whether they were included in one or the other of the
two classes of rivers they named. Had it been intended that the due
north line should have stopped short of the St. John, the highlands
must have been described as those which divide rivers which fall into
the St. Lawrence _and the St. John_ from those which fall into the
Atlantic Ocean. The mouth of the St. Lawrence had been defined in the
proclamation of 1763 by a line drawn from the river St. John (on the
Labrador coast) to Cape Rozier. If, then, it had been intended that the
meridian line should not have crossed the Restigouche, the phraseology
must have been highlands which divide rivers which fall into the river
_and_ Gulf of St. Lawrence from those which fall into the Atlantic
Ocean. Where such obvious modes of expressing either of these intentions
existed, it is not to be believed that they would have been omitted;
but had they been proposed to be introduced the American negotiators
would have been compelled by their instructions to refuse them. Such
expressions would have prescribed a boundary different not only in
fact, but in terms, from that of the proclamation of 1763 and the
contemporaneous commission to Governor Wilmot. Either, then, the British
plenipotentiaries admitted the American claim to its utmost extent or
they fraudulently assented to terms with the intention of founding upon
them a claim to territory which if they had openly asked for must have
been denied them. The character of the British ministry under whose
directions that treaty was made forbids the belief of the latter having
been intended. The members of that ministry had been when in opposition
the constant advocates of an accommodation with the colonies or of an
honorable peace after all hopes of retaining them in their allegiance
had ceased. They showed on coming into power a laudable anxiety to put
an end to the profitless effusion of human blood, and they wisely saw
that it would be of more profit to their country to convert the new
nation into friends by the free grant of terms which sooner or later
must have been yielded than to widen the breach of kindred ties by an
irritating delay. The debates which ensued in the British Parliament
when the terms of the treaty were made known show the view which the
party that had conducted the war entertained of this question. The
giving up of the very territory now in dispute was one of the charges
made by them against their successors, and that it had been given up by
the treaty was not denied. Nay, the effect of this admission was such
as to leave the administration in a minority in the House of Commons,
and thus became at least one of the causes of the resignation of the
ministry[59] by which the treaty had been made. At this very moment more
maps than one were published in London which exhibit the construction
then put upon the treaty by the British public. The boundary exhibited
upon these maps is identical with that which the United States now claim
and have always claimed.

[Footnote 58: See Note XI, p. 149.]

[Footnote 59: Hansard's Parliamentary Register for 1783.]

The full avowal that the boundary of the treaty of 1783 and of the
proclamation of 1763 and act of 1774 are identical greatly simplifies
the second argument. It has been heretofore maintained on the part of
Great Britain that the word "sea" of the two latter-named instruments
was not changed in the first to "Atlantic Ocean" without an obvious
meaning. All discussion on this point is obviated by the admission.
But it is still maintained that the Bay of Fundy is not a part of the
Atlantic Ocean because it happens to be named in reference to the St.
Croix in the same article of the treaty. To show the extent to which
such an argument, founded on a mere verbal quibble, may be carried, let
it be supposed that at some future period two nations on the continent
of North America shall agree on a boundary in the following terms: By a
line drawn through the Mississippi from its mouth in the Gulf of Mexico
to its source; thence a parallel of latitude until it meet the highlands
which divide the waters that empty themselves into the Pacific Ocean
from those which fall into the Atlantic. Could it be pretended that
because the mouth of the Mississippi is said to be in the Gulf of
Mexico the boundary must be transferred from the Rocky Mountains to
the Alleghanies? Yet this would be as reasonable as the pretensions
so long set up by the British agents and commissioners.

It can not be denied that the line claimed by the United States fulfills
at least one of the conditions. The streams which flow from one side of
it fall without exception into the river St. Lawrence. The adverse line
claimed by Great Britain in the reference to the King of the Netherlands
divides until within a few miles of Mars Hill waters which fall into the
St. John from those of the Penobscot and Kennebec. The latter do not
discharge their waters directly into the ocean, but Sagadahock and
Penobscot bays intervene, and the former falls into the Bay of Fundy;
hence, according to the argument in respect to the Bay of Fundy, this
line fulfills neither condition.

The line of Messrs. Featherstonhaugh and Mudge is even less in
conformity to the terms of the treaty. In order to find mountains
to form a part of it they are compelled to go south of the source of
branches of the Penobscot; thence from mountains long well known, at
the sources of the Alleguash, well laid down on the rejected map of
Mr. Johnson, it becomes entangled in the stream of the Aroostook, which
it crosses more than once. In neither part does it divide waters at all.
It then, as if to make its discrepancy with the line defined in the
proclamation of 1763 apparent, crosses the St. John and extends to the
_south_ shore of the Bay of Chaleurs, although that instrument fixes the
boundary of the Province of Quebec on the north shore of the bay. In
this part of its course it divides waters which fall into the said bay
from those which fall into the St. John. But the proclamation with whose
terms this line is said to be identical directs that the highlands shall
divide waters which fall into the St. Lawrence from those which fall
into the sea. If the branches of the Bay of Chaleurs fulfill the first
condition, which, however, is denied, the St. John must fulfill the
latter. It therefore falls into the Atlantic Ocean, and as the identity
of the boundary of the treaty with that of the proclamation of 1763 and
act of 1774 is admitted, then is the St. John an Atlantic river, and the
line claimed by the United States fulfills both conditions, and is the
only line to the west of the meridian of the St. Croix which can
possibly do so.

The choice of a line different from that presented to the choice of the
King of the Netherlands is no new instance of the uncertainty which has
affected all the forms in which Great Britain has urged her claim.

In fact, nothing shows more conclusively the weakness of the ground on
which the British claim rests than the continual changes which it has
been necessary to make in order to found any feasible argument upon
it.[60] In the discussion of 1798 it was maintained on the part of Great
Britain that the meridian line must cross the St. John River; in the
argument before the commissioners under the fifth article of the treaty
of Ghent it was denied that it ever could have been the intention of the
framers of the treaty of 1783 that it should. Yet the mouthpiece by
which both arguments were delivered was one and the same person. The
same agent chose as the termination of what he attempted to represent
as a continuous range of hills an isolated mountain, Mars Hill; and
the commissioners whose report is under consideration place a range of
abraded highlands, "the maximum axis of elevation," in a region over
which British engineers have proposed to carry a railroad as the most
level and lowest line which exists between St. Andrews and Quebec.[61]

[Footnote 60: See Note XII, p. 149.]

[Footnote 61: Prospectus of St. Andrews and Quebec Railroad, 1836; and
Survey of Captain Yule, 1835.]

On the other hand, the American claim, based on the only practicable
interpretation of the treaty of 1783, has been consistent throughout:
"Let the meridian line be extended until it meets the southern boundary
of the Province of Quebec, as defined by the proclamation of 1763 and
the act of Parliament of 1774."

No argument can be drawn against the American claim from the secret
instructions of Congress dated August, 1779. All that is shown by
these instructions is the willingness to accept a more convenient
boundary--one defined by a great natural feature, and which would have
rendered the difficult operation of tracing the line of highlands and
that of determining the meridian of the St. Croix by astronomic methods
unnecessary. The words of the instructions are:

"And east by a line to be drawn along the middle of the St. John from
its source to its mouth in the Bay of Fundy, _or_ by a line to be
settled and adjusted between that part of the State of Massachusetts Bay
formerly called the Province of Maine and the colony of Nova Scotia,
agreeably to their respective rights, comprehending all islands within
20 leagues of the shores of the United States and lying between lines to
be drawn due east from the points where the aforesaid boundaries between
Nova Scotia on the one part and East Florida on the other part shall
respectively touch the Bay of Fundy and the Atlantic Ocean."

The proposal in the first alternative was to appearance a perfectly fair
one. From an estimate made by Dr. Tiarks, the astronomer of Great
Britain under the fifth article of the treaty of Ghent, in conformity
with directions from Colonel Barclay, the British commissioner, it was
ascertained that the whole disputed territory contained 10,705 square
miles; that the territory bounded by the St. John to its mouth contained
707 square miles less, or 9,998 square miles. The difference at the time
was probably believed to be insensible. The first alternative was,
however, rejected by Great Britain, and obviously on grounds connected
with a difference in supposed advantage between the two propositions.
The American commissioners were satisfied that they could urge no legal
claim along the coast beyond the river St. Croix; they therefore treated
on the other alternative in their instructions--the admitted limits
between Massachusetts and Nova Scotia. Even in the former alternative,
Nova Scotia would still have had a northwest angle, for the very use of
the term shows that by the St. John its northwestern and not the
southwestern branch was intended.

At that moment, when the interior of the country was unknown, the
adoption of the St. John as the boundary, even admitting that the
Walloostook, its southwestern branch, is the main stream, would have
given to the United States a territory of more immediate value than
that they now claim. For this very reason the proposition was instantly
rejected by Great Britain, and the State of Massachusetts was forced
to be contented with the distant region now in debate--a region then
believed to be almost inaccessible and hardly fit for human habitation.

Even now, were there not vested private rights on both sides which might
render such a plan difficult of application, the undersigned would not
hesitate to recommend that this line should be accepted in lieu of the
one which is claimed under the treaty of 1783.

It is finally obvious, from the most cursory inspection of any of the
maps of the territory in question, that the line claimed for Great
Britain in the argument before the King of the Netherlands fulfills
no more than one of the two conditions, while that of Messrs.
Featherstonhaugh and Mudge fulfills neither; and as the line claimed on
the part of the United States is denied to be capable of meeting the
terms of the treaty of 1783 by Great Britain, there is no line that,
in conformity with the British argument, can be drawn within the
disputed territory or its vicinity that will comply with either of
the conditions. This is as well and as distinctly shown in the map of
Mitchell as in the map of the British commission. It would therefore
appear, if, these views be correct, that the framers of the treaty
of 1783 went through the solemn farce of binding their respective
Governments to a boundary which they well knew did not and could not
exist.


V.--NORTHWEST HEAD OF CONNECTICUT RIVER.


The true mode of determining the most northwesterly of any two given
points need no longer be a matter of discussion. It has already been
a matter adjudicated and assented to by both Governments, in the case
of the Lake of the Woods. The point to be considered as most to the
northwest is that which a ruler laid on a map drawn according to
Mercator's projection in a direction northeast and southwest and moved
parallel to itself toward the northwest would last touch. In this view
of the subject the Eastern Branch of the Connecticut, which forms the
lake of that name, is excluded, for its source, so far from lying to the
northwest of those of the other two branches which have been explored,
actually lies to the south of the source of the Indian Stream. The
question must therefore lie between the two others, and it is as yet
impossible to decide which of them is best entitled to the epithet, as
their sources lie very nearly in the same northeast and southwest rhomb
line. Another circumstance would, however, render the decision between
them easy. The forty-fifth parallel of latitude, as laid out by the
surveyors of the Provinces of Quebec and New York in conformity with
the proclamation of 1763, crosses Halls Stream above its junction with
the united current of the other two. In this case the latter is the
Connecticut River of the treaty of 1783, and Halls Stream, which has
not yet joined it, must be excluded. The parallel, as corrected by the
united operations of the British and American astronomers under the
fifth article of the treaty of Ghent, does not touch Halls Stream, and
the Connecticut River, to which it is produced, is the united current of
the three streams. If, then, the corrected parallel should become the
boundary between the United States and the British Provinces, Halls
Stream must become one of those the claim of whose source to the title
of the north-westernmost head of Connecticut River is to be examined.
And here it may be suggested, although with the hesitation that is
natural in impeaching such high authority, that the commissioners under
the fifth article of the treaty of Ghent in all probability misconstrued
that instrument when they reopened the question of the forty-fifth
parallel. It can not be said that the forty-fifth degree of latitude had
"_not been surveyed_" when it is notorious that it had been traced and
marked throughout the whole extent from St. Regis to the bank of the
Connecticut River.

In studying, for the purpose of illustration, the history of this part
of the boundary line it will be found that a change was made in it by
the Quebec act of 1774. The proclamation of 1763 directs the forty-fifth
parallel to be continued only until it meets highlands, while in that
bill the Connecticut River is made the boundary of the Province of
Quebec. Now the earlier of these instruments was evidently founded upon
the French claim to extend their possession of Canada 10 leagues from
the St. Lawrence River, and from the citadel of Quebec, looking to the
south, are seen mountains whence rivers flow to the St. Lawrence. On
their opposite slope there was a probability that streams might flow to
the Atlantic. These mountains, however, are visibly separated from those
over which the line claimed by the United States runs by a wide gap.
This is the valley of the Chaudiere; and the St. Francis also rises on
the southeastern side of these mountains and makes its way through them.
It is not, therefore, in any sense a dividing ridge. Yet under the
proclamation of 1763 the Provinces of New York and New Hampshire claimed
and were entitled to the territory lying behind it, which is covered by
their royal charters. The Quebec act, it would appear, was intended to
divest them of it, and according to the construction of the treaty of
1783 now contended for the United States acquiesced in this diminution
of the territory of those members of the Union. If, however, it be true,
as maintained by Messrs. Featherstonhaugh and Mudge, that the highlands
seen to the south of Quebec are a portion of the ridge seen from
southeast to northeast, and if, as they maintain, so deep and wide a
valley as that of the St. John is no disruption of the continuity of
highlands, it would be possible to show that the highlands of the treaty
of 1783 are made up of these two ridges of mountains and that the United
States is entitled to the whole of the eastern townships. This range of
highlands would coincide with the terms of the proclamation of 1763 by
terminating on the north shore of the Bay of Chaleurs, while the abraded
highlands of Messrs. Featherstonhaugh and Mudge terminate on its south
shore. In fact, there is no step in their argument which might not be
adduced to support this claim, nor any apparent absurdity in preferring
it which would not find its parallel in one or other of the positions
they assume.

In this view of the history of this part of the line it becomes evident,
however, that in divesting the Provinces of New York and New Hampshire
by the Quebec act of territory admitted to belong to them in the
proclamation of 1763 the British Parliament must have intended to make
the encroachment as small as possible, and the first important branch of
the Connecticut met with in tracing the forty-fifth parallel must have
been intended. This intention is fully borne out by the words of the
treaty of 1783, which chose from among the branches of the Connecticut
that whose source is farthest to the northwest.

It has therefore been shown in the foregoing statement--

1. That the river to be considered as the St. Croix and its true source
have been designated by a solemn act, to which the good faith of the
majesty of Great Britain and of the people of the United States is
pledged, and can not now be disturbed.

2. That the boundary line must, in compliance with the provisions of the
treaty of 1783, be drawn due north from the source of that river, and in
no other direction whatever.

3. That the northwest angle of Nova Scotia was a point sufficiently
known at the date of the treaty of 1783 to be made the starting point
of the boundary of the United States; that it was both described in the
treaty and defined, without being named in previous official acts of the
British Government, in so forcible a manner that no difficulty need have
existed in finding it.

4. That the line of highlands claimed by the United States is, as the
argument on the part of Great Britain has maintained it ought to be, in
a mountainous region, while that proposed by Messrs. Featherstonhaugh
and Mudge does not possess this character; that it is also, in the sense
uniformly maintained by the United States, the height of land, which
that of Messrs. Featherstonhaugh and Mudge is not; that it fulfills in
every sense the conditions of the proclamation of 1763, the Quebec act
of 1774, and the treaty of 1783, which no other line that can possibly
be drawn in the territory in question can perform.

5. That as far as the Indian Stream and that flowing through Lake
Connecticut are concerned, the source of the former must in the sense
established by the assent of both parties be considered as the
northwestern source of the Connecticut River, but that if the old
demarcation of the forty-fifth parallel be disturbed the question must
lie between the sources of Halls and of Indian streams.

All which is respectfully submitted.

JAS. RENWICK
  JAMES D. GRAHAM,
    A. TALCOTT,
      _Commissioners_.



_Note I_.

[Treaty of 1794, Article V.]


Whereas doubts have arisen what river was truly intended under the
name of the river St. Croix mentioned in the said treaty of peace, and
forming a part of the boundary therein described, that question shall be
referred to the final decision of commissioners to be appointed in the
following manner, viz:

One commissioner shall be named by His Majesty and one by the President
of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate
thereof, and the said two commissioners shall agree on the choice of a
third, or, if they can not so agree, they shall each propose one person,
and of the two names so proposed one shall be drawn by lot in the
presence of the two original commissioners; and the three commissioners
so appointed shall be sworn impartially to examine and decide the said
question according to such evidence as shall respectively be laid before
them on the part of the British Government and of the United States.
The said commissioners shall meet at Halifax, and shall have power to
adjourn to such other place or places as they shall think fit. They
shall have power to appoint a secretary and to employ such surveyors
or other persons as they shall judge necessary. The said commissioners
shall, by a declaration under their hands and seals, decide what river
is the river St. Croix intended by the treaty. The said declaration
shall contain a description of the said river and shall particularize
the latitude and longitude of its mouth and of its source. Duplicates
of this declaration and of the statements of their accounts and of the
journal of their proceedings shall be delivered by them to the agent
of His Majesty and to the agent of the United States who may be
respectively appointed and authorized to manage the business on behalf
of the respective Governments. And both parties agree to consider such
decision as final and conclusive, so as that the same shall never
thereafter be called into question or made the subject of dispute or
difference between them.


_Note II_.

Declaration of the commissioners under the fifth article of the treaty
of 1794 between the United States and Great Britain, respecting the true
river St. Croix, by Thomas Barclay, David Howell, and Egbert Benson,
commissioners appointed in pursuance of the fifth article of the treaty
of amity, commerce, and navigation between His Britannic Majesty and the
United States of America finally to decide the question "What river was
truly intended under the name of the river St. Croix mentioned in the
treaty of peace between His Majesty and the United States, and forming
a part of the boundary therein described?"


DECLARATION.

We, the said commissioners, having been sworn impartially to examine
and decide the said question according to such evidence as should
respectively be laid before us on the part of the British Government and
of the United States, respectively, appointed and authorized to manage
the business on behalf of the respective Governments, have decided,
and hereby do decide, the river hereinafter particularly described and
mentioned to be the river truly intended under the name of the river St.
Croix in the said treaty of peace, and forming a part of the boundary
therein described; that is to say, the mouth of the said river is in
Passamaquoddy Bay at a point of land called Joes Point, about 1 mile
northward from the northern part of St. Andrews Island, and in the
latitude of 45 deg. 5' and 5" north, and in the longitude of 67 deg. 12' and 30"
west from the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, in Great Britain, and 3 deg.
54' and 15" east from Harvard College, in the University of Cambridge,
in the State of Massachusetts; and the course of the said river up from
its said mouth is northerly to a point of land called the Devils Head;
then, turning the said point, is westerly to where it divides into
two streams, the one coming from the westward and the other from the
northward, having the Indian name of Cheputnatecook, or Chebuitcook, as
the same may be variously spelt; then up the said stream so coming from
the northward to its source, which is at a stake near a yellow-birch
tree hooped with iron and marked S.T. and J.H., 1797, by Samuel Titcomb
and John Harris, the surveyors employed to survey the above-mentioned
stream coming from the northward.


_Note III_.

[Article V of the treaty of Ghent, 1814.]

Whereas neither that point of the highlands lying due north from the
source of the river St. Croix, and designated in the former treaty of
peace between the two powers as the northwest angle of Nova Scotia, nor
the northwesternmost head of Connecticut River has yet been ascertained;
and whereas that part of the boundary line between the dominions of the
two powers which extends from the source of the river St. Croix directly
north to the above-mentioned northwest angle of Nova Scotia; thence
along the said highlands which divide those rivers that empty themselves
into the river St. Lawrence from those which fall into the Atlantic
Ocean, to the northwesternmost head of Connecticut River; thence down
along the middle of that river to the forty-fifth degree of north
latitude; thence by a line due west on said latitude until it strikes
the river Iroquois, or Cataraquy, has not yet been surveyed, it is
agreed that for these several purposes two commissioners shall be
appointed, sworn, and authorized to act exactly in the manner directed
with respect to those mentioned in the next preceding article, unless
otherwise specified in the present article. The said commissioners shall
meet at St. Andrews, in the Province of New Brunswick, and shall have
power to adjourn to such other place or places as they shall think fit.
The said commissioners shall have power to ascertain and determine the
points above mentioned in conformity with the provisions of the said
treaty of peace of 1783, and shall cause the boundary aforesaid, from
the source of the river St. Croix to the river Iroquois, or Cataraquy,
to be surveyed and marked according to the said provisions. The said
commissioners shall make a map of the said boundary, and annex to it a
declaration under their hands and seals certifying it to be the true map
of the said boundary, and particularizing the latitude and longitude
of the northwest angle of Nova Scotia, of the northwesternmost head of
Connecticut River, and of such other points of the said boundary as
they may deem proper; and both parties agree to consider such map and
declaration as finally and conclusively fixing the said boundary. And in
the event of the said two commissioners differing, or both or either of
them refusing, declining, or willfully omitting to act, such reports,
declarations, or statements shall be made by them or either of them, and
such reference to a friendly sovereign or state shall be made in all
respects as in the latter part of the fourth article is contained, and
in as full a manner as if the same was herein repeated.


_Note IV_.

The point originally chosen by the commissioners in 1798 as the source
of the St. Croix was to all appearance the act of an umpire who wished
to reconcile two contending claims by giving to each party about half
the matter in dispute. No one who compares Mitchell's map with that of
Messrs. Featherstonhaugh and Mudge can fail to recognize in the St.
Croix of the former the Magaguadavic of the latter. That this was the
St. Croix intended by the framers of the treaty of 1783 was maintained,
and, it may be safely asserted, proved on the American side. On the
other hand, it was ascertained that the river called St. Croix by De
Monts was the Schoodiac; and the agent of Great Britain insisted that
the letter of the instrument was to be received as the only evidence, no
matter what might have been the intentions of the framers. The American
argument rested on the equity of the case, the British on the strict
legal interpretation of the document. The commissioners were divided in
opinion, each espousing the cause of his country. In this position of
things the umpire provided for in the treaty of 1794 was chosen, and
in the United States it has always been believed unfortunately for her
pretensions. A lawyer of eminence, who had reached the seat of a judge,
first of a State court and then of a tribunal of the General Government,
he prided himself on his freedom from the influence of feeling in his
decisions. As commissioner for the settlement of the boundary between
the States of New York and Vermont, he had offended the former, of which
he was a native, by admitting the claim of the latter in its full
extent, and it was believed that he would rather encounter the odium of
his fellow-citizens than run the risk of being charged with partiality
toward them. Colonel Barclay, the British commissioner, who concurred
in choosing him as umpire, had been his schoolfellow and youthful
associate, and it is believed in the United States that he concurred in,
if he did not prompt, the nomination from a knowledge of this feature
of character. Had he, as is insinuated by Messrs. Featherstonhaugh and
Mudge, been inclined to act with partiality toward his own country, he
had most plausible grounds for giving a verdict in her favor, and that
he did not found his decisions upon them is evidence of a determination
to be impartial, which his countrymen have said was manifested in a
leaning to the opposite side. Those who suspect him of being biased by
improper motives must either be ignorant of the circumstances of the
case or else incapable of estimating the purity of the character of
Egbert Benson. His award, however, has nothing to do with the question,
as it was never acted upon. Both parties were dissatisfied with the
conclusions at which he arrived, and in consequence a conventional
line in which both concurred was agreed upon, and the award of the
commissioners was no more than a formal act to make this convention
binding.

If, then, both Governments should think it expedient to unsettle the
vested rights which have arisen out of the award of 1798, there is a
strong and plausible ground on which the United States may claim the
Magaguadavic as their boundary, and the meridian line of its source
will throw the valley of the St. John from Woodstock to the Grand
Falls within the limits of the State of Maine. While, therefore, it
is maintained that it would violate good faith to reopen the question,
there is good reason to hope that an impartial umpire would decide it
so as to give the United States the boundary formerly claimed.


_Note V_.

The angle made by the southern boundary of the Province of Quebec with
the due north line from the source of the St. Croix first appeared in an
English dress in the commission to Governor Wilmot. This was probably
intended to be identical in its meaning with the terms in the Latin
grant to Sir William Alexander, although there is no evidence to that
effect. If, therefore, it were a false translation, the error has been
committed on the side of Great Britain, and not on that of the United
States. But it is not a false translation, as may be shown to the
satisfaction of the merest tyro in classical literature.

The words of the grant to Sir William Alexander, as quoted by Messrs.
Featherstonhaugh and Mudge, are as follows, viz:

"Omnes et singulas terras continentis ac insulas situatas et jacentes in
America intra caput seu promontorium communiter _Cap de Sable_ appellat,
jacen. prope latitudinem quadraginta trium graduum aut eo circa ab
equinoctiali linea versus septentrionem, a quo promontorio versus littus
maris tenden, ad occidentem ad stationem Sanctae Mariae navium vulgo
_Sanctmareis Bay_. Et deinceps, versus septentrionem per directam lineam
introitum sive ostium magnae illius stationis navium trajicien, quae
excurrit in terrae orientalem plagam inter regiones Suriquorum et
Etcheminorum vulgo _Suriquois_ et _Etchemines_ ad fluvium vulgo nomine
_Sanctae Crucis_ appellat. Et ad scaturiginem remotissimam sive fontem
ex occidentali parte ejusdem qui se primum predicto fluvio immiscet.
Unde per imaginariam directam lineam quae pergere per terram seu currere
versus septentrionem concipietur ad proximam navium stationem, fluvium,
vel scaturiginem in magno fluvio de Canada sese exonerantem. Et ab eo
pergendo versus orientem per maris oris littorales ejusdem fluvii de
Canada ad fluvium, stationem navium, portum, aut littus communiter
nomine de Gathepe vel Gaspee notum et appellatum."

The authentic Latin copy of the grant to Sir William Alexander, as
communicated officially by the British Government, contains no commas,
and would read as follows:

"Omnes et singulas terras continentis ac insulas situatas et jacentes in
America intra caput seu promontorium communiter Cap de Sable appellat.
Jacen. prope latitudinem quadraginta trium graduum aut eo circa ab
equinoctiali linea versus septentrionem a quo promontorio versus littus
maris tenden. ad occidentem ad stationem Sanctae Mariae navium vulgo
Sanctmareis Bay. Et deinceps versus septentrionem per directam lineam
introitum sive ostium magnae illius stationis navium trajicien. quae
excurrit in terrae orientalem plagam inter regiones Suriquorum et
Etecheminorum vulgo Suriquois et Etechemines ad fluvium vulgo nomine
Sanctae Crucis appellat. Et ad scaturiginem remotissimam sive fontem ex
occidentali parte ejusdem qui se primum predicto fluvio immiscet. Unde
per imaginariam directam lineam quae pergere per terram seu currere
versus septentrionem concipietur ad proximam navium stationem fluvium
vel scaturiginem in magno fluvio de Canada sese exonerantem. Et ab eo
pergendo versus orientem per maris oris littorales ejusdem fluvii de
Canada ad fluvium stationem navium portum aut littus communiter nomine
de Gathepe vel Gaspee notum et appellatum."

The translation of Messrs. Mudge and Featherstonhaugh is as follows:

"All and each of the lands of the continent and the islands situated
and lying in America within the headland or promontory commonly called
Cape Sable, lying near the forty-third degree of latitude from the
equinoctial line or thereabout; from which promontory stretching
westwardly toward the north by the seashore to the naval station of
St. Mary, commonly called St. Marys Bay; from thence passing toward the
north by a straight line, the entrance or mouth of that great naval
station which penetrates the interior of the eastern shore betwixt the
countries of the Suriquois and Etchemins, to the river commonly called
the St. Croix, and to the most remote source or spring of the same on
the western side which first mingles itself with the aforesaid river;
from whence, by an imaginary straight line, which may be supposed
(concipietur) to advance into the country or to run toward the north to
the nearest naval station, river, or spring discharging itself into the
great river of Canada and from thence advancing toward the east by the
gulf shores of the said river of Canada to the river, naval station,
port, or shore commonly known or called by the name of Gathepe or
Gaspe."

The only American translations which have ever been presented in
argument are as follows:

[Translation of Messrs. Gallatin and Preble, who were employed to
prepare the statement laid before the King of the Netherlands.]

"Beginning at Cape Sable, in 43 deg. north latitude or thereabout; extending
thence westwardly along the seashore to the road commonly called St.
Marys Bay; thence toward the north by a direct line, crossing the
entrance or mouth of that great ship road which runs into the eastern
tract of land between the territories of the Souriquois and of the
Etchemins (Bay of Fundy), to the river commonly called St. Croix, and
to the most remote spring or source which from the western part thereof
first mingles itself with the river aforesaid; and from thence, by an
imaginary direct line, which may be conceived to stretch through the
land or to run toward the north, to the nearest road, river, or spring
emptying itself into the great river de Canada (river St. Lawrence); and
from thence, proceeding eastwardly along the seashores of the said river
de Canada, to the river, road, port, or shore commonly known and called
by the name of Gathepe or Gaspe."

[Translation of Mr. Bradley, the American agent under the fifth article
of the treaty of Ghent.]

"By the tenor of this our present charter we do give, grant, and convey
to the said Sir William Alexander, his heirs or assigns, all and
singular the lands of the continent and islands situated and lying in
America within the headland or promontory commonly called Cape Sable,
lying near the latitude of 43 deg. or thereabout, from the equinoctial line
toward the north; from which promontory stretching toward the shore of
the sea to the west to the road of ships commonly called St. Marys Bay,
and then toward the north by a direct line, crossing the entrance or
mouth of that great road of ships which runs into the eastern tract of
land between the territories of the Souriquois and the Etchemins, to the
river called by the name of St. Croix, and to the most remote spring or
fountain from the western part thereof which first mingles itself with
the river aforesaid; whence, by an imaginary direct line, which may be
conceived to go through or run toward the north, to the nearest road of
ships, river, or spring emptying itself into the great river of Canada;
and from thence proceeding toward the east by the shores of the sea of
the said river of Canada to the river, road of ships, or shore commonly
known and called by the name of Gachepe or Gaspe."

But the translations of the Americans were merely for form's sake, as
the original Latin, in a copy furnished from a British public office,
was laid before the King of the Netherlands; and no fear need have been
felt that the umpire would not have been able to judge whether the
translations were true or not. It was rather to be inferred that he, in
examining a question submitted in a language foreign to him, would have
found the Latin quite as intelligible as the English. This examination,
however, is wholly superfluous.

From whatever source the negotiators of the treaty of 1783 derived their
view of the boundary, that instrument directs that it shall be a due
north line from the source of the river St. Croix. This expression is
too definite to require explanation or illustration, and it is only for
those purposes that any other instrument can be permitted to be quoted.

In the passages referred to the words "versus septentrionem" occur three
times, and in two of the instances are qualified by the context in such
manner as to leave no possible doubt as to the meaning. The first time
they occur the words of the passage are, "prope latitudinem quadraginta
trium graduum aut eo circa versus septentrionem." The free translation
into modern idiom is beyond doubt, "near the forty-third degree of north
latitude or thereabout;" and the direction toward the north must be
along a meridian line on which latitude is measured, or due north.
Messrs. Mudge and Featherstonhaugh, instead of connecting in their
translation the words "versus septentrionem" with the words "prope
latitudinem," etc., with which they stand in juxtaposition in the Latin
text which they quote, connect them with the words "ad occidentem
tendentem," which occur in the next clause of the sentence, even
according to their own punctuation. We note this as a false translation,
although it does not touch the point in dispute. They have, indeed,
attempted to use it in their argument; but even if the use they make
of it had been successful their inferences fall, because drawn from
erroneous premises.

The second clause in which the words occur is as follows: "Ad stationem
navium Sanctae Mariae vulgo St. Marys Bay, et deinceps versus
septentrionem per directam lineam introitum sive ostium magnae illius
stationis navium trajicientem," etc., "ad fluvium vulgo nomine Sanctae
Crucis appellatum." Here the line, although directed to be drawn toward
the north, is also directed to be drawn between two given points, and it
is clear that under the double direction, if they should differ from
each other, the position of the given points must govern, and the line
be traced from one of them to the other, no matter what may be their
bearings.

The last time the words occur is after the direction that the line shall
pass up the St. Croix and to the most remote western spring or fountain
of that stream, "unde per imaginariam lineam directam quae pergere per
terram seu currere versus septentrionem concipietur." Here alone can any
doubt exist as to the meaning of the terms, and that is easily solved.

The boundary pointed out in the instrument is "such as may be conceived
to go or run toward the north by (per) a direct (directam) line." Now a
direct line toward the north can be no other than a meridian line. Had
it been merely a straight line of vague northerly direction which was
meant, _rectum_, the usual expression for a mathematical straight line,
would have been used instead of _directam_. It is, moreover, to be
considered that the Romans had names both for the northeast and
northwest points of the compass, and that the expression "versus
septentrionem" in its most vague application could not possibly have
admitted of a deviation of more than two points on either hand. Had the
direction intended deviated more than that amount from the true north,
the Latin term corresponding to northeast or northwest must have been
used. Nor is this a matter of mere surmise, for in a passage immediately
following that which has been quoted the direction through the Gulf
of St. Lawrence toward Cape Breton is denoted by the term "versus
Euronotum," leaving no possibility of doubt that had the line directed
to be drawn from the source of the St. Croix been intended to have
a northwestern bearing the appropriate Latin words would have been
employed.

It is, besides, to be recollected that the instrument was drawn by a
person using habitually and thinking in a modern idiom, and that in
translating the English words due north into Latin no other possible
expression could suggest itself than the one employed. Such, then,
was the sense appropriately given to the Latin words, first in the
commission of Governor Wilmot and his successors, governors of Nova
Scotia, and subsequently in the commission of all the governors of New
Brunswick from the time that it was erected into a province until the
question was referred to the King of the Netherlands. In this reference,
although a translation was given in the American argument, it was not as
quoted by Messrs. Featherstonhaugh and Mudge, but was in the words which
have already been cited.

Connected with this subject, although, like it, wholly irrelevant, is
another conclusion which Messrs. Mudge and Featherstonhaugh attempt to
draw from the same grant to Sir William Alexander. That charter directs
the line "versus septentrionem" to be produced "ad proximam navium
stationem, fluvium, vel scaturiginem in magno fluvio de Canada sese
exonerantem." It can hardly be credited that, although a literal
translation of this passage is given, including the whole of the three
terms naval station, river, _or_ spring, that it is attempted to limit
the meaning to the first expression only, and to infer that as Quebec,
in their opinion, is the first naval station above Gaspe on the St.
Lawrence, the line "versus septentrionem" was intended to be drawn
toward that place, but that as "spring" is also mentioned the line
must stop at the source of the Chaudiere. Now it has been uniformly
maintained by British authorities, and most strongly in the discussion
which preceded the War of 1756, that Nova Scotia extended to the St.
Lawrence. The boundary of Sir William Alexander's grant was therefore to
be changed from a geographical line to a water course as soon as it met
with one, and the apparently useless verbiage was introduced to meet
every possible contingency. Supposing, however, that it did not extend
so far, the northwest angle of his Nova Scotia will be where the
meridian line of the St. Croix crosses the Beaver Stream running into
Lake Johnson, only a mile to the north of the point maintained by the
American claim to be such.

The map of L'Escarbot, quoted by Messrs. Mudge and Featherstonhaugh,
illustrates both this point and the second instance in which the term
"versus septentrionem" is employed. On that map, due north of the Bay
of St. Marys, a deep inlet of the Bay of Fundy is represented, and,
continuing in the same direction, a deep inlet of the St. Lawrence is
figured. The latter does not exist, but this map shows that it was
believed to exist at the time of the grant, and must be the "statio
navium" of that instrument.

This inlet of the Bay of Fundy occupies the position of the St. John,
which is almost due north by the most recent determination from St.
Marys Bay, and is so represented on their own map. That the St. John
was by mistake arising from this cause taken for the St. Croix in the
charter to Alexander is obvious from its being described as lying
between the territories of the Etchemin and Souriquois. Now Etchemin, or
canoe men, is the name given by the Micmac Indians to the race of the
Abenakis, from their skill in the management of the canoe; and this race
has always inhabited the river, whence one of their tribes is still
called St. John's Indians. The language of this tribe, although they
have lived apart for many years, is still perfectly intelligible by the
Indians of the Penobscot, and those in the service of the commission
conversed with perfect ease with the Indians of Tobique. Massachusetts,
then, was right in claiming to the St. John as the eastern limit of
the grant to Sir William Alexander, being the stream understood and
described in it under the name of St. Croix, and wholly different from
the river known to the French under that name. If, therefore, Great
Britain should insist that the question in relation to the St. Croix
shall be reopened, the United States would be able to maintain in the
very terms of the original grant to Alexander (on which the British
argument in 1797 rested) that the St. John is the St. Croix, and the
boundary will be that river to its most northwestern source, the
Asherbish, which flows into the upper end of Lake Temiscouata. Nova
Scotia will then have recovered her lost northwest angle, which can not
be found in any of the many shapes under which the British argument has
been presented, although it forms the place of beginning of what is
called a grant to the United States.


_Note VI_.

The fact that a line drawn from the source of the Kennebec to the mouth
of the Chaudiere or thereabout must be one of the boundary lines of
the grant to the Duke of York has not escaped the notice of Messrs.
Featherstonhaugh and Mudge; but they have not derived the true result
from this discovery. The Kennebec being the western limit of the grant,
the line in question bounds the territory on the southwest, while they
infer that it bounds it on the northeast. In making this inference they
appear to have forgotten that the St. Croix is the eastern boundary of
the grant. By their argument the grant to the Duke of York is blotted
wholly from the map, or, rather, becomes a mathematical line which is
absurd.


_Note VII_.

No name which has ever been applied to any part of North America is as
vague as that of Acadie. The charter to De Monts in 1604 extended from
the fortieth to the forty-sixth degree of north latitude; that is to
say, from Sandy Hook, at the mouth of the Hudson, to the peninsula of
Nova Scotia. It therefore included New York, parts of New Jersey and
Pennsylvania, and all the New England States, but excluded the disputed
territory. His settlement was at the mouth of the St. Croix, but
was speedily removed to Port Royal. The latter place was soon after
destroyed by an expedition from Virginia under Argall. Under the title
derived from this conquest it would appear probable that the celebrated
grant to Sir William Stirling was made; but when his agents attempted
to make settlements in the country they found that the French had
preoccupied it. Although the son of Alexander succeeded in conquering
the country granted to his father, and even beyond it to the Penobscot,
it was restored to France by the treaty of St. Germains in 1634, and the
Alexanders were indemnified for the loss by the Crown of England.

In the subsequent cessions to France after its occupations by the arms
of Massachusetts, and in its final cession to Great Britain by the
treaty of Utrecht in 1713, the country ceded is described as Acadie or
Nova Scotia, with its ancient bounds (_cum finibus antiquis_). The
uncertainty arising from this vague description became in 1750 a subject
of controversy between France and England, and was one of the causes
which led to the war of 1756. In this discussion both parties admitted
that the names Acadie and Nova Scotia were convertible terms. England
maintained that the territory thus named extended to the St. Lawrence;
the French, on the other hand, insisted that their Acadie had never
extended more than 10 leagues from the Bay of Fundy; while by
geographers, as quoted by the British commissioners, the name was
limited to the peninsula which forms the present Province of Nova
Scotia.[62] If Acadie had been limited to the north by the forty-sixth
degree of north latitude, as expressed in the charter of De Monts,
that parallel is to the south of Mars Hill. The British Government,
therefore, derives no title to the disputed territory from this source,
as the title of Massachusetts and of Maine as her successor is admitted
to all country south of that parallel.[63]

[Footnote 62: Report of Featherstonhaugh and Mudge, p. 8.]

[Footnote 63: It can not be seriously pretended that when by the treaty
of St. Germains, in 1632, Acadie was restored to France the intention
was to cede to her the colonies already settled in New England. Yet the
language of the British commissioners would imply that this was the case
were it not that they evidently consider the forty-sixth parallel as the
southern boundary of the grant to De Monts, whereas it is the northern.]

It is very easy to tell what country was actually settled by the French
as Acadie. Its chief town was Port Royal, now Annapolis, at the head of
the Bay of Fundy. Nearly all the settlements of the Acadians were in
that vicinity, and for the most part within the peninsula.

From these seats they were removed in 1756 by Great Britain, and to
them a remnant was permitted to return. The most western settlement of
Acadians was on the St. John River near the present site of Fredericton,
and no permanent occupation was ever made by them of country west of the
St. Croix. It is even doubtful whether the settlement near Fredericton
was a part of French Acadie, for it seems to have been formed by persons
who escaped from the general seizure and transportation of their
countrymen.

This settlement was broken up in 1783, and its inhabitants sought refuge
at Madawaska; but it can not be pretended that this forced removal of
Acadians subsequent to the treaty of 1783 was an extension of the name
of their country. The whole argument in favor of the British claim
founded on the limits of ancient Acadie therefore fails:

First. Because of the inherent vagueness of the term, on which no
settled understanding was ever had, although England held it to be
synonymous with Nova Scotia and France denied that it extended more
than 10 leagues from the Bay of Fundy.

Second. Because by its original definition in the grant to De Monts it
excludes the whole disputed territory on the one side; and

Third. Because in its practical sense, as a real settlement, it is
wholly to the east of the meridian of the St. Croix, and this excludes
the whole of the disputed territory on the other.

The portion of the territory granted to the Duke of York, and which is
now the subject of dispute, therefore can not be claimed as a part of
Acadie, as it never fell within its limits either by charter or by
occupation.


_Note VIII_.

[Extract from the award of the King of the Netherlands.]

Considering that in 1763, 1765, 1773, and 1782 it was established that
Nova Scotia should be bounded at the north as far as the western
extremity of the Bay des Chaleurs by the southern boundary of the
Province of Quebec; that this delimitation is again found with respect
to the Province of Quebec in the commission of the Governor-General of
Quebec of 1786, wherein the language of the proclamation of 1763 and of
the Quebec act of 1774 has been used, as also in the commissions of 1786
and others of subsequent dates of the governors of New Brunswick, with
respect to the last-mentioned Province, as well as in a great number
of maps anterior and posterior to the treaty of 1783; and that the
first article of the said treaty specifies by name the States whose
independence is acknowledged; but that this mention does not imply
(_implique_) the entire coincidence of the boundaries between the
two powers, as settled by the following article, with the ancient
delimitation of the British Provinces, whose preservation is not
mentioned in the treaty of 1783, and which, owing to its continual
changes and the uncertainty which continued to exist respecting it,
created from time to time differences between the provincial
authorities.


_Note IX_.

[Article IV of the convention of 1827.]

The map called Mitchell's map, by which the framers of the treaty
of 1783 are acknowledged to have regulated their joint and official
proceedings, and the Map A, which has been agreed on by the contracting
parties as a delineation of the water courses, and of the boundary lines
in reference to the said water courses, as contended for by each party,
respectively, and which has accordingly been signed by the above-named
plenipotentiaries at the same time with this convention, shall be
annexed to the statements of the contracting parties and be the only
maps that shall be considered as evidence mutually acknowledged by the
contracting parties of the topography of the country.

It shall, however, be lawful for either party to annex to its respective
first statement, for the purposes of general illustration, any of the
maps, surveys, or topographical delineations which were filed with
the commissioners under the fifth article of the treaty of Ghent,
any engraved map heretofore published, and also a transcript of the
above-mentioned Map A or of a section thereof, in which transcript each
party may lay down the highlands or other features of the country as it
shall think fit, the water courses and the boundary lines as claimed
by each party remaining as laid down in the said Map A. But this
transcript, as well as all the other maps, surveys, or topographical
delineations, other than the Map A and Mitchell's map, intended to be
thus annexed by either party to the respective statements, shall be
communicated to the other party, in the same manner as aforesaid, within
nine months after the exchange of the ratifications of this convention,
and shall be subject to such objections and observations as the other
contracting party may deem it expedient to make thereto, and shall annex
to his first statement, either in the margin of such transcript, map or
maps, or otherwise.


_Note X_.

[Extract from the award of the King of the Netherlands.]

Considering that, according to the instances alleged, the term highlands
applies not only to a hilly or elevated country, but also to land which,
without being hilly, divides waters flowing in different directions, and
that thus the character, more or less hilly and elevated, of the country
through which are drawn the two lines respectively claimed at the north
and at the south of the river St. John can not form the basis of a
choice between them.


_Note XI_.

The reason of the double delineation of the Restigouche on the map of
Mitchell and several others of ancient date is obvious. A mistake was
common to them all by which the Bay of Chaleurs was laid down too
far to the north. The main branch, or Grande Fourche, of Restigouche
(Katawamkedgwick) has been reached by parties setting out from the banks
of the St. Lawrence at Metis, and was known to fall into the Bay of
Chaleurs, while the united stream had also been visited by persons
crossing the wagansis of Grand River and descending the Southwestern
Branch. The map makers could not, in consequence of the error in
latitude, make their plat meet, and therefore considered the part of
the united streams reached in the two different directions as different
bodies of water, and without authority sought an outlet for that which
they laid down as the southernmost of the two in another bay of the Gulf
of St. Lawrence. On many of the maps, however, the small stream which
modern geographers improperly call Restigouche is readily
distinguishable under the name of Chacodi.


_Note XII_.

In the argument of the British commissioners under Jay's treaty the
following points were maintained, and, being sanctioned by the decision
of the umpire, became the grounds of an award acceded to by both
Governments:

First. That the limits of Nova Scotia had been altered from the southern
bank of the St. Lawrence to the highlands described in the treaty of
peace.

Second. That if the river Schoodiac were the true St. Croix the
northwest angle of Nova Scotia could be formed by the western and
northern boundaries (the meridian line and the highlands).

Third. That the territory of Acadie, or Nova Scotia, was, the same
territory granted to Sir William Alexander.

Fourth. That the sea and Atlantic Ocean were used as convertible terms.

Fifth. That from the date of the treaty of Utrecht the boundary between
Massachusetts and Nova Scotia was that of the patent to Sir William
Alexander.

Sixth. That the Provinces of Quebec and Nova Scotia belonged to and were
in possession of His Britannic Majesty in 1783, and that he had an
undoubted right to cede to the United States such part of them as he
might think fit.

Seventh. That the due north line from the source of the St. Croix must
of necessity cross the St. John.


It has since been maintained on the part of Great Britain:

First. That the limits of Nova Scotia never did extend to the St.
Lawrence.

Second. That the northwest angle of Nova Scotia was unknown in 1783.

Third. That Acadie extended south to the forty-sixth degree of north
latitude, and was not the same with Nova Scotia.

Fourth. That the sea and the Atlantic Ocean were different things.

Fifth. That the claims and rights of Massachusetts did not extend to the
western bounds of the grant to Sir William Alexander.

Sixth. That this being the case the cession of territory not included
within her limits is void.

Seventh. That it could never have been intended that the meridian line
should cross the St. John.


_Note XIII_.

It has been pretended that the grant of the fief of Madawaska in 1683
can be urged as a bar to the claim of Massachusetts. That fief, indeed,
was among the early grants of the French governors of Canada, but it is
not included in the claim which the French themselves set up. It was
therefore covered by the Massachusetts charter, because the grant had
never been acted upon. Even up to the present day this fief can hardly
be said to be settled or occupied except by the retainers of the
garrison of Fort Ingall, and from all the evidence which could be found
on the spot it appeared that no settlement had ever been made upon it
until the establishment of a posthouse some time between the date of the
treaties of 1783 and 1794. It therefore was not at the time the charter
of Massachusetts was granted (1691) "actually possessed or inhabited by
any other Christian prince or state."

An argument has also been attempted to be drawn from the limits given on
Greenleaf's map to a purchase made from the State of Massachusetts by
Watkins and Flint. This purchase is, however, by the patent extended to
the highlands, and the surveyors who laid it out crossed the Walloostook
in search of them. Here they met, at a short distance from that stream,
with waters running to the north, which they conceived to be waters of
the St. Lawrence, and they terminated their survey. The lines traced on
Greenleaf's map are therefore incorrect, either as compared with the
grant or the actual survey, and although from a want of knowledge of the
country the surveyors stopped at waters running into Lake Temiscouata
instead of the St. Lawrence, the very error shows the understanding they
had of the true design of the patent, and this transaction, so far from
being an available argument against the American claim, is an act of
possession at an early date within the limits of the disputed territory.



WASHINGTON, _April 8, 1842_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with your resolution of the 31st March, 1842, I have the
honor to submit the accompanying document and report[64] from the
Commissioner of the General Land Office.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 64: Relating to surveys and sales of the public lands during
1841 and 1842, etc.]



WASHINGTON, _April 9, 1842_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I transmit herewith to the House of Representatives a report from the
Secretary of State, with a copy of the correspondence[65] requested by
their resolution of the 7th instant.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 65: With Great Britain relative to an international copyright
law.]



WASHINGTON, _April 11, 1842_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I herewith transmit a memorial[66] which I have received from the
Choctaw tribe of Indians and citizens of the State of Mississippi, with
a request that I should communicate the same to Congress. This I do not
feel myself at liberty to decline, inasmuch as I think that some action
by Congress is called for by justice to the memorialists and in
compliance with the plighted national faith.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 66: Relating to an alleged violation by the United States of
the treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek.]



WASHINGTON, _April 12, 1842_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In further compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 2d of
February last, requesting information touching the demarcation of the
boundary line between the United States and the Republic of Texas,
I transmit a report from the Secretary of State and the accompanying
documents.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _April 13, 1842_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of the 24th of July last,
I communicate to that body a report from the Secretary of State,
conveying copies of the correspondence[67] which contains the
information called for by that resolution.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 67: Of the diplomatic agent and minister of the United States
at the Court of Austria relative to the commercial interests of the
United States.]



WASHINGTON, _April 13, 1842_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of the 29th July last, I
communicate to that body a report from the Secretary of State, conveying
copies of the correspondence[68] which contains the information called
for by said resolution.

In communicating these papers to the Senate I call their particular
attention to that portion of the report of the Secretary of State in
which he suggests the propriety of not making public certain parts of
the correspondence which accompanied it.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 68: Between the Department of State and Belgium relative to
the rejection by that Government of the treaty ratified by the Senate
February 9, 1833, and the causes of the delay in exchanging the
ratifications of the treaty ratified by the Senate December 31, 1840.]



WASHINGTON, _April 18, 1842_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I have the honor to transmit herewith the report[69] of the Secretary
of State, in compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 18th
February, 1842.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 69: Transmitting names of agents employed by the State
Department without express provision of law.]



WASHINGTON, _April 19, 1842_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith, in part compliance with a resolution of the Senate
of February 18, a report from the Secretary of War, inclosing a list
of all officers, agents, and commissioners employed under the War
Department who are not such by express provision of law, with other
information required by the resolution.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _April 19, 1842_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of War, containing a
list of appointments to office made in that Department since the 4th day
of April, 1841, in part compliance with the resolution of the House of
Representatives of the 21st ultimo.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _April 20, 1842_.

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

I submit to Congress a report from the Secretary of State, accompanied
by documents relating to an application by the captain and owners of the
Spanish ship _Sabina_,[70] which is recommended to their favorable
consideration.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 70: For compensation for rescuing and supporting the captain,
supercargo, and 17 officers and men of the American ship _Courier_, of
New York, which foundered at sea, and landing them safely at the Cape of
Good Hope.]



WASHINGTON, _April 28, 1842_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I submit to the Senate, for the constitutional action of that body, a
treaty concluded on the 11th day of August last with the Minda Wankanton
bands of the Dakota or Sioux Nation of Indians, with the papers
necessary to an understanding of the subject.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _April 28, 1842_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I submit to the Senate, for the constitutional action of that body, a
treaty concluded with the half-breeds of the Dakota or Sioux Nation on
the 3ist day of July last, together with the papers referred to in the
accompanying communication from the Secretary of War as necessary to a
full view of the whole subject.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _April 30, 1842_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In compliance with your resolution of the 29th instant, I have the honor
to transmit the reports of Messrs. Kelley and Steuart, two of the
commissioners originally appointed, along with Mr. Poindexter, to
investigate the affairs of the custom-house of New York, together with
all the correspondence and testimony accompanying the same, and also the
report of Mr. Poindexter, to which is annexed two letters, subscribed by
Mr. Poindexter and Mr. Bradley. The last-named gentleman was substituted
in the place of Mr. Kelley, whose inclinations and duties called him to
his residence in Ohio after the return of the commissioners to this
city, about the last of August. One of the letters just mentioned was
addressed to the Secretary of the Treasury and bears date the 12th of
April instant, and the other to myself, dated the 20th of this month.
From the former you will learn that a most interesting portion of
the inquiry instituted by this Department (viz, that relating to
light-houses, buoys, beacons, revenue cutters, and revenue boats) is
proposed to be made the subject of a further report by Messrs. Bradley
and Poindexter. You will also learn, through the accompanying letter
from Mr. Steuart, the reasons which have delayed him in making a
supplemental and additional report to that already made by himself and
Mr. Kelley, embracing his views and opinions upon the developments made
subsequent to the withdrawal of Mr. Kelley from the commission and the
substitution of Mr. Bradley in his place. I also transmit two documents
furnished by Mr. Steuart, and which were handed by him to the Secretary
of the Treasury on the 7th instant, the one being "memoranda of
proceedings," etc., marked No. 1, and the other "letters accompanying
memoranda," etc., marked No. 2.

The commission was instituted for the purpose of ascertaining existing
defects in the custom-house regulations, to trace to their true causes
past errors, to detect abuses, and by wholesome reforms to guard
in future not only against fraud and peculation, but error and
mismanagement. For these purposes a selection was made of persons of
acknowledged intelligence and industry, and upon this task they have
been engaged for almost an entire year, and their labors remain yet to
be completed. The character of those labors may be estimated by the
extent of Messrs. Kelley and Steuart's report, embracing about 100
pages of closely written manuscript, the voluminous memoranda and
correspondence of Mr. Steuart, the great mass of evidence accompanying
Messrs. Kelley and Steuart's report, and the report of Mr. Poindexter,
extending over 394 pages, comprised in the volume accompanying this,
and additional reports still remaining to be made, as before stated.

I should be better pleased to have it in my power to communicate the
entire mass of reports made and contemplated to be made at one and the
same time, and still more should I have been gratified if time could
have been allowed me, consistently with the apparent desire of the House
of Representatives to be put into immediate possession of these papers,
to have compared or even to have read with deliberation the views
presented by the commissioners as to proposed reforms in the revenue
laws, together with the mass of documentary evidence and information by
which they have been explained and enforced and which do not admit of a
satisfactory comparison until the whole circle of reports be completed.
Charges of malfeasance against some of those now in office will devolve
upon the Executive a rigid investigation into their extent and
character, and will in due season claim my attention. The readiness,
however, with which the House proposes to enter upon the grave and
difficult subjects which these papers suggest having anticipated that
consideration of them by the Executive which their importance demands,
it only remains for me, in lieu of specific recommendations, which under
other circumstances it would have been my duty to make, to urge upon
Congress the importance and necessity of introducing the earliest
reforms in existing laws and usages, so as to guard the country in
future against frauds in the collection of the revenues and the Treasury
against peculation, to relieve trade and commerce from oppressive
regulations, and to guard law and morality against violation and abuse.

As from their great volume it has been necessary to transmit the
original papers to the House, I have to suggest the propriety of the
House taking order for their restoration to the Treasury Department
at such time as may comport with its pleasure.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _May 2, 1842_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I have this day received and now transmit to the House of
Representatives the accompanying communication from Benjamin F. Butler,
having relation to the reports of the commissioners appointed by me to
examine into the affairs connected with the New York custom-house. As
the whole subject is in possession of the House, I deem it also proper
to communicate Mr. Butler's letter.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _May 10, 1842_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

The season for active hostilities in Florida having nearly terminated,
my attention has necessarily been directed to the course of measures to
be pursued hereafter in relation to the few Indians yet remaining in
that Territory. Their number is believed not to exceed 240, of whom
there are supposed to be about 80 warriors, or males capable of bearing
arms. The further pursuit of these miserable beings by a large military
force seems to be as injudicious as it is unavailing. The history
of the last year's campaign in Florida has satisfactorily shown that
notwithstanding the vigorous and incessant operations of our troops
(which can not be exceeded), the Indian mode of warfare, their dispersed
condition, and the very smallness of their number (which increases the
difficulty of finding them in the abundant and almost inaccessible
hiding places of the Territory) render any further attempt to secure
them by force impracticable except by the employment of the most
expensive means. The exhibition of force and the constant efforts
to capture or destroy them of course places them beyond the reach of
overtures to surrender. It is believed by the distinguished officer in
command there that a different system should now be pursued to attain
the entire removal of all the Indians in Florida, and he recommends
that hostilities should cease unless the renewal of them be rendered
necessary by new aggressions; that communications should be opened by
means of the Indians with him to insure them a peaceful and voluntary
surrender, and that the military operations should hereafter be directed
to the protection of the inhabitants.

These views are strengthened and corroborated by the governor of the
Territory, by many of its most intelligent citizens, and by numerous
officers of the Army who have served and are still serving in that
region. Mature reflection has satisfied me that these recommendations
are sound and just; and I rejoice that consistently with duty to Florida
I may indulge my desire to promote the great interests of humanity and
extend the reign of peace and good will by terminating the unhappy
warfare that has so long been carried on there, and at the same time
gratify my anxiety to reduce the demands upon the Treasury by curtailing
the extraordinary expenses which have attended the contest. I have
therefore authorized the colonel in command there as soon as he shall
deem it expedient to declare that hostilities against the Indians have
ceased, and that they will not be renewed unless provoked and rendered
indispensable by new outrages on their part, but that neither citizens
nor troops are to be restrained from any necessary and proper acts of
self-defense against any attempts to molest them. He is instructed to
open communications with those yet remaining, and endeavor by all
peaceable means to persuade them to consult their true interests by
joining their brethren at the West; and directions have been given for
establishing a cordon or line of protection for the inhabitants by the
necessary number of troops.

But to render this system of protection effectual it is essential
that settlements of our citizens should be made within the line so
established, and that they should be armed, so as to be ready to repel
any attack. In order to afford inducements to such settlements, I submit
to the consideration of Congress the propriety of allowing a reasonable
quantity of land to the head of each family that shall permanently
occupy it, and of extending the existing provisions on that subject so
as to permit the issue of rations for the subsistence of the settlers
for one year; and as few of them will probably be provided with arms, it
would be expedient to authorize the loan of muskets and the delivery of
a proper quantity of cartridges or of powder and balls. By such means it
is to be hoped that a hardy population will soon occupy the rich soil of
the frontiers of Florida, who will be as capable as willing to defend
themselves and their houses, and thus relieve the Government from
further anxiety or expense for their protection.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _May 13, 1842_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I transmit herewith a report[71] from the Postmaster-General, made in
pursuance of the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 21st
of March last, together with the accompanying documents.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 71: Transmitting lists of postmasters and others appointed by
the President and Post-Office Department from April 4, 1841, to March
21, 1842.]



WASHINGTON, _May 16, 1842_.

_To the Senate_:

Having directed hostilities in Florida to cease, the time seems to have
arrived for distinguishing with appropriate honors the brave army that
have so long encountered the perils of savage warfare in a country
presenting every imaginable difficulty and in seasons and under a
climate fruitful of disease. The history of the hardships which our
soldiers have endured, of the patience and perseverance which have
enabled them to triumph over obstacles altogether unexampled, and of the
gallantry which they have exhibited on every occasion which a subtle
and skulking foe would allow them to improve is so familiar as not to
require repetition at my hands. But justice to the officers and men now
in Florida demands that their privations, sufferings, and dauntless
exertions during a summer's campaign in such a climate, which for the
first time was witnessed during the last year, should be specially
commended. The foe has not been allowed opportunity either to plant or
to cultivate or to reap. The season, which to him has usually been one
of repose and preparation for renewed conflict, has been vigorously
occupied by incessant and harassing pursuit, by penetrating his hiding
places and laying waste his rude dwellings, and by driving him from
swamp to swamp and from everglade to everglade. True, disease and death
have been encountered at the same time and in the same pursuit, but
they have been disregarded by a brave and gallant army, determined on
fulfilling to the uttermost the duties assigned them, however inglorious
they might esteem the particular service in which they were engaged.

To all who have been thus engaged the executive department, responding
to the universal sentiment of the country, has already awarded the meed
of approbation. There must, however, in all such cases be some who,
availing themselves of the occasions which fortune afforded, have
distinguished themselves for "gallant actions and meritorious conduct"
beyond the usual high gallantry and great merit which an intelligent
public opinion concedes to the whole Army. To express to these the sense
which their Government cherishes of their public conduct and to hold up
to their fellow-citizens the bright example of their courage, constancy,
and patriotic devotion would seem to be but the performance of the very
duty contemplated by that provision of our laws which authorizes the
issuing of brevet commissions.

Fortunately for the country, a long peace, interrupted only by
difficulties with Indians at particular points, has afforded few
occasions for the exercise of this power, and it may be regarded as
favorable to the encouragement of a proper military spirit throughout
the Army that an opportunity is now given to evince the readiness of the
Government to reward unusual merit with a peculiar and lasting
distinction.

I therefore nominate to the Senate the persons whose names are contained
in the accompanying list[72] for brevet commissions for services in
Florida. That the number is large is evidence only of the value of the
services rendered during a contest that has continued nearly as long as
the War of the Revolution. The difficulty has been to reduce the number
as much as possible without injustice to any, and to accomplish this
great and mature consideration has been bestowed on the case of every
officer who has served in Florida.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 72: Omitted.]



WASHINGTON, _May 24, 1842_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith to the Senate a treaty recently concluded with the
Wyandott tribe of Indians, and request the advice and consent of the
Senate to the ratification of the same as proposed to be modified by the
War Department.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _June 1, 1842_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I herewith transmit a report from the Acting Commissioner of the General
Land Office and the documents accompanying the same (from No. 1 to No.
7), in relation to the conduct of N.P. Taylor, present register and
former clerk in the land office at St. Louis, in compliance with your
resolution of the 9th May.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _June 10, 1842_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I submit herewith a treaty concluded at Buffalo Creek on the 20th day of
May last between the United States and the Seneca Nation of Indians, for
your advice and consent to its ratification, together with a report on
the subject from the War Department.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _June 13, 1842_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of the 2d of March last,
requesting information touching proceedings under the convention of the
11th of April, 1839, between the United States and the Mexican Republic,
I transmit a report from the Secretary of State, with the accompanying
documents.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _June 15, 1842_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 29th of March
last, calling for information touching the relations between the United
States and the Mexican Republic, I transmit a report from the Secretary
of State, with the accompanying documents.[73]

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 73: Correspondence respecting certain citizens of the United
States captured with the Texan expedition to Santa Fe, and held in
confinement in Mexico.]



WASHINGTON, _June 17, 1842_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I herewith transmit a report from the Secretary of the Treasury, which,
accompanied by copies of certain letters of Mr. Ewing, late Secretary
of the Treasury, and a statement[74] from the Treasury Department,
completes the answer, a part of which has heretofore been furnished, to
your resolution of the 7th of February last, and complies also with your
resolution of the 3d instant.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 74: Of expenses of the commission to investigate the New York
custom-house, etc.]



WASHINGTON, _June 20, 1842_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

A resolution of the House of Representatives of the 13th instant has
been communicated to me, requesting, "so far as may be compatible with
the public interest, a copy of the quintuple treaty between the five
powers of Europe for the suppression of the African slave trade, and
also copies of any remonstrance or protest addressed by Lewis Cass,
envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of the United States
at the Court of France, to that Government, against the ratification
by France of the said treaty, and of all correspondence between
the Governments of the United States and of France, and of all
communications from the said Lewis Cass to his own Government and
from this Government to him relating thereto."

In answer to this request I have to say that the treaty mentioned
therein has not been officially communicated to the Government of the
United States, and no authentic copy of it, therefore, can be furnished.
In regard to the other papers requested, although it is my hope and
expectation that it will be proper and convenient at an early day to lay
them before Congress, together with others connected with the same
subjects, yet in my opinion a communication of them to the House of
Representatives at this time would not be compatible with the public
interest.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _June 22, 1842_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of the 15th of April last,
I communicate to the Senate a report from the Secretary of State,
accompanying copies of the correspondence[75] called for by said
resolution.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 75: Relating to the conduct and character of William B.
Hodgson (nominated to be consul at Tunis) while dragoman at
Constantinople.]



WASHINGTON, _June 24, 1842_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith to the Senate the translation of a letter[76]
addressed by the minister of France at Washington to the Secretary of
State of the United States and a copy of the answer given thereto by my
direction, and invite to the subject of the minister's letter all the
consideration due to its importance and to a proposition originating in
a desire to promote mutual convenience and emanating from a Government
with which it is both our interest and our desire to maintain the most
amicable relations.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 76: Relating to the establishment of a line of steamers
between Havre and New York.]

[The same message was sent to the House of Representatives.]



WASHINGTON, _June 24, 1842_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 16th of February
last, I herewith transmit a letter[77] from the Secretary of State and
the papers in that Department called for by the resolution aforesaid.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 77: Transmitting names and compensation of employees and
witnesses in connection with the commission of inquiry relative to
the public buildings in Washington, D.C.]



WASHINGTON, _June 25, 1842_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I have this day approved and signed an act, which originated in the
House of Representatives, entitled "An act for an apportionment of
Representatives among the several States according to the Sixth Census,"
and have caused the same to be deposited in the office of the Secretary
of State, accompanied by an exposition of my reasons for giving to it my
sanction.

JOHN TYLER.

[Transmitted to the House of Representatives by the Secretary of State
in compliance with a resolution of that body.]



WASHINGTON, _June 25,1842_.

A BILL entitled "An act for an apportionment of Representatives among
the several States according to the Sixth Census," approved June 25, 1842.

In approving this bill I feel it due to myself to say, as well that my
motives for signing it may be rightly understood as that my opinions may
not be liable to be misconstrued or quoted hereafter erroneously as a
precedent, that I have not proceeded so much upon a _clear and decided
opinion of my own_ respecting the constitutionality or policy of the
entire act as from respect to the declared will of the two Houses of
Congress.

In yielding _my doubts_ to the matured opinion of Congress I have
followed the advice of the first Secretary of State to the first
President of the United States and the example set by that illustrious
citizen upon a memorable occasion.

When I was a member of either House of Congress I acted under the
conviction that _to doubt_ as to the constitutionality of a law was
sufficient to induce me to give my vote against it; but I have not been
able to bring myself to believe that _a doubtful opinion_ of the Chief
Magistrate ought to outweigh the solemnly pronounced opinion of the
representatives of the people and of the States.

One of the prominent features of the bill is that which purports
to be mandatory on the States to form districts for the choice of
Representatives to Congress, in single districts. That Congress itself
has power by law to alter State regulations respecting the manner of
holding elections for Representatives is clear, but its power to command
the States to make new regulations or alter their existing regulations
is the question upon which I have felt deep and strong doubts. I have
yielded those doubts, however, to the opinion of the Legislature, giving
effect to their enactment as far as depends on my approbation, and
leaving questions which may arise hereafter, if unhappily such should
arise, to be settled by full consideration of the several provisions of
the Constitution and the laws and the authority of each House to judge
of the elections, returns, and qualifications of its own members.

Similar considerations have operated with me in regard to the
representation of fractions above a moiety of the representative number,
and where such moiety exceeds 30,000--a question on which a diversity of
opinion has existed from the foundation of the Government. The provision
recommends itself from its nearer approximation to equality than would
be found in the application of a common and simple divisor to the
entire population of each State, and corrects in a great degree those
inequalities which are destined at the recurrence of each succeeding
census so greatly to augment.

In approving the bill I flatter myself that a disposition will be
perceived on my part to concede to the opinions of Congress in a matter
which may conduce to the good of the country and the stability of its
institutions, upon which my own opinion is not clear and decided.
But it seemed to me due to the respectability of opinion against the
constitutionality of the bill, as well as to the real difficulties
of the subject, which no one feels more sensibly than I do, that the
reasons which have determined me should be left on record.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _July 1, 1842_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In pursuance of the suggestions contained in the accompanying letter
from the Secretary of the Navy and of my own convictions of their
propriety, I transmit to the Senate the report made by Lieutenant
Wilkes, commander of the exploring expedition, relative to the Oregon
Territory. Having due regard to the negotiations now pending between
this Government and the Government of Great Britain through its special
envoy, I have thought it proper to communicate the report confidentially
to the Senate.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _July 2, 1842_.

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

I submit to Congress the printed copy of certain resolutions of the
legislature of the State of Louisiana, accompanied by a letter from the
Senators and Representatives from that State, and also a letter from the
Solicitor of the Treasury and Commissioner of the General Land Office,
requesting and recommending that a suit in ejectment may be authorized
and directed in order to test the validity of a grant made on the 20th
of June, 1797, by the Baron de Carondelet, Governor-General of
Louisiana, to the Marquis de Maison Rouge.

The magnitude of this claim renders it highly desirable that a speedy
termination should be put to all contest concerning it, and I therefore
recommend that Congress shall authorize such proceedings as may be best
calculated to bring it to a close.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _July 9, 1842_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the House of Representatives of
the 21st ultimo, requesting information relative to proceedings of this
Government in the case of George Johnson, a citizen of the United States
aggrieved by acts of authorities of the Republic of Uruguay, I transmit
a report from the Secretary of State with the accompanying Papers.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _July 14, 1842_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 12th
instant, requesting copies of papers upon the subject of the relations
between the United States and the Mexican Republic, I transmit a report
from the Secretary of State and the documents by which it was
accompanied.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _July 14, 1842_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 11th instant,
calling for the recent correspondence between the Republic of Mexico and
this Government in relation to Texas, I transmit a report from the
Secretary of State, with the accompanying documents.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _July 20, 1842_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In further compliance with the resolution of the House of
Representatives of the 29th of April last, I transmit herewith a
supplemental and additional report of William M. Steuart, one of the
commissioners appointed to investigate the affairs of the New York
custom-house, which has recently been received, and which, like the
reports of the commissioners heretofore communicated to the House, I
have not had an opportunity to examine. For the reason stated in my
message to the House of the 30th of April last, I shall abstain, as I
have done hitherto, from recommending any specific measures which might
be suggested by an examination of the various reports on the subject.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _July 22, 1842_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the
13th instant, upon the subject of the relations between the United
States and the Republic of Texas, I transmit a report from the Secretary
of State. My last communication to Congress relating to that Republic
was my message of the 30th of March last, suggesting the expediency
of legislative provisions for improving the trade and facilitating
the intercourse by post between the United States and Texas. The
report of the Secretary of State is accompanied by a copy of all the
correspondence between the two Governments since that period which it
would be compatible with the public interest to communicate to the
House of Representatives at this time.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _August 8, 1842_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In the communication made to the Senate on the 13th of June, in answer
to its resolution of the 2d of March last, there appears to have been,
among other papers, sundry letters addressed to the Department of State
by certain claimants or their agents containing reflections upon the
character of the umpire appointed by His Prussian Majesty pursuant to
the convention between the United States and the Mexican Republic of the
11th of April, 1839. As the call was for all communications which had
been addressed to the Department of State by any of the claimants under
that convention relative to the proceedings and progress of the mixed
commission, the copies were prepared and submitted without attracting
the attention either of the head of the Department or myself. If those
letters had been noticed, their transmission to the Senate, if
transmitted at all, would have been accompanied by a disclaimer on the
part of the Executive of any intention to approve such charges. The
Executive has no complaint to make against the conduct or decisions of
the highly respectable person appointed by his sovereign umpire between
the American and Mexican commissioners.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _August 10, 1842_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with your resolution of the 18th July, I herewith transmit
a letter from the Acting Secretary of the Treasury and a report from the
Commissioner of Public Buildings, together with the accompanying
documents.[78]

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 78: Relating to the macadamizing of Pennsylvania Avenue,
Washington D.C.]



WASHINGTON, _August 11, 1842_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I have the satisfaction to communicate to the Senate the results of
the negotiations recently had in this city with the British minister,
special and extraordinary.

These results comprise--

First. A treaty to settle and define the boundaries between the
territories of the United States and the possessions of Her Britannic
Majesty in North America, for the suppression of the African slave
trade, and the surrender of criminals fugitive from justice in certain
cases.

Second. A correspondence on the subject of the interference of the
colonial authorities of the British West Indies with American merchant
vessels driven by stress of weather or carried by violence into the
ports of those colonies.

Third. A correspondence upon the subject of the attack and destruction
of the steamboat _Caroline_.

Fourth. A correspondence on the subject of impressment.

If this treaty shall receive the approbation of the Senate, it will
terminate a difference respecting boundary which has long subsisted
between the two Governments, has been the subject of several ineffectual
attempts at settlement, and has sometimes led to great irritation, not
without danger of disturbing the existing peace. Both the United States
and the States more immediately concerned have entertained no doubt of
the validity of the American title to all the territory which has been
in dispute, but that title was controverted and the Government of the
United States had agreed to make the dispute a subject of arbitration.
One arbitration had been actually had, but had failed to settle the
controversy, and it was found at the commencement of last year that a
correspondence had been in progress between the two Governments for a
joint commission, with an ultimate reference to an umpire or arbitrator
with authority to make a final decision. That correspondence, however,
had been retarded by various occurrences, and had come to no definite
result when the special mission of Lord Ashburton was announced. This
movement on the part of England afforded in the judgment of the
Executive a favorable opportunity for making an attempt to settle this
long-existing controversy by some agreement or treaty without further
reference to arbitration.

It seemed entirely proper that if this purpose were entertained
consultation should be had with the authorities of the States of
Maine and Massachusetts. Letters, therefore, of which copies are
herewith communicated, were addressed to the governors of those States,
suggesting that commissioners should be appointed by each of them,
respectively, to repair to this city and confer with the authorities
of this Government on a line by agreement or compromise, with its
equivalents and compensations. This suggestion was met by both States
in a spirit of candor and patriotism and promptly complied with.
Four commissioners on the part of Maine and three on the part of
Massachusetts, all persons of distinction and high character, were duly
appointed and commissioned and lost no time in presenting themselves at
the seat of the Government of the United States. These commissioners
have been in correspondence with this Government during the period of
the discussions; have enjoyed its confidence and freest communications;
have aided the general object with their counsel and advice, and in the
end have unanimously signified their assent to the line proposed in the
treaty.

Ordinarily it would be no easy task to reconcile and bring together such
a variety of interests in a matter in itself difficult and perplexed,
but the efforts of the Government in attempting to accomplish this
desirable object have been seconded and sustained by a spirit of
accommodation and conciliation on the part of the States concerned,
to which much of the success of these efforts is to be ascribed.

Connected with the settlement of the line of the northeastern boundary,
so far as it respects the States of Maine and Massachusetts, is the
continuation of that line along the highlands to the northwesternmost
head of Connecticut River. Which of the sources of that stream is
entitled to this character has been matter of controversy and of some
interest to the State of New Hampshire. The King of the Netherlands
decided the main branch to be the northwesternmost head of the
Connecticut. This did not satisfy the claim of New Hampshire. The line
agreed to in the present treaty follows the highlands to the head of
Halls Stream and thence down that river, embracing the whole claim of
New Hampshire and establishing her title to 100,000 acres of territory
more than she would have had by the decision of the King of the
Netherlands.

By the treaty of 1783 the line is to proceed down the Connecticut
River to the forty-fifth degree of north latitude, and thence west by
that parallel till it strikes the St. Lawrence. Recent examinations
having ascertained that the line heretofore received as the true line of
latitude between those points was erroneous, and that the correction of
this error would not only leave on the British side a considerable tract
of territory heretofore supposed to belong to the States of Vermont and
New York, but also Rouses Point, the site of a military work of the
United States, it has been regarded as an object of importance not only
to establish the rights and jurisdiction of those States up to the line
to which they have been considered to extend, but also to comprehend
Rouses Point within the territory of the United States. The
relinquishment by the British Government of all the territory south of
the line heretofore considered to be the true line has been obtained,
and the consideration for this relinquishment is to inure by the
provisions of the treaty to the States of Maine and Massachusetts.

The line of boundary, then, from the source of the St. Croix to the St.
Lawrence, so far as Maine and Massachusetts are concerned, is fixed by
their own consent and for considerations satisfactory to them, the chief
of these considerations being the privilege of transporting the lumber
and agricultural products grown and raised in Maine on the waters of the
St. Johns and its tributaries down that river to the ocean free from
imposition or disability. The importance of this privilege, perpetual
in its terms, to a country covered at present by pine forests of great
value, and much of it capable hereafter of agricultural improvement, is
not a matter upon which the opinion of intelligent men is likely to be
divided.

So far as New Hampshire is concerned, the treaty secures all that she
requires, and New York and Vermont are quieted to the extent of their
claim and occupation. The difference which would be made in the northern
boundary of these two States by correcting the parallel of latitude may
be seen on Tanner's maps (1836), new atlas, maps Nos. 6 and 9.

From the intersection of the forty-fifth degree of north latitude
with the St. Lawrence and along that river and the lakes to the water
communication between Lake Huron and Lake Superior the line was
definitively agreed on by the commissioners of the two Governments
under the sixth article of the treaty of Ghent; but between this
last-mentioned point and the Lake of the Woods the commissioners acting
under the seventh article of that treaty found several matters of
disagreement, and therefore made no joint report to their respective
Governments. The first of these was Sugar Island, or St. Georges Island,
lying in St. Marys River, or the water communication between Lakes Huron
and Superior. By the present treaty this island is embraced in the
territories of the United States. Both from soil and position it is
regarded as of much value.

Another matter of difference was the manner of extending the line from
the point at which the commissioners arrived, north of Isle Royale,
in Lake Superior, to the Lake of the Woods. The British commissioner
insisted on proceeding to Fond du Lac, at the southwest angle of the
lake, and thence by the river St. Louis to the Rainy Lake. The American
commissioner supposed the true course to be to proceed by way of the Dog
River. Attempts were made to compromise this difference, but without
success. The details of these proceedings are found at length in the
printed separate reports of the commissioners.

From the imperfect knowledge of this remote country at the date of
the treaty of peace, some of the descriptions in that treaty do not
harmonize with its natural features as now ascertained. "Long Lake" is
nowhere to be found under that name. There is reason for supposing,
however, that the sheet of water intended by that name is the estuary
at the mouth of Pigeon River. The present treaty therefore adopts that
estuary and river, and afterwards pursues the usual route across the
height of land by the various portages and small lakes till the line
reaches Rainy Lake, from which the commissioners agreed on the extension
of it to its termination in the northwest angle of the Lake of the
Woods. The region of country on and near the shore of the lake between
Pigeon River on the north and Fond du Lac and the river St. Louis on
the south and west, considered valuable as a mineral region, is thus
included within the United States. It embraces a territory of 4,000,000
acres northward of the claim set up by the British commissioner under
the treaty of Ghent. From the height of land at the head of Pigeon River
westerly to the Rainy Lake the country is understood to be of little
value, being described by surveyors and marked on the map as a region
of rock and water.

From the northwest angle of the Lake of the Woods, which is found to be
in latitude 45 deg. 23' 55" north, existing treaties require the line to be
run due south to its intersection with the forty-fifth parallel, and
thence along that parallel to the Rocky Mountains.

After sundry informal communications with the British minister upon the
subject of the claims of the two countries to territory west of the
Rocky Mountains, so little probability was found to exist of coming
to any agreement on that subject at present that it was not thought
expedient to make it one of the subjects of formal negotiation to be
entered upon between this Government and the British minister as part
of his duties under his special mission.

By the treaty of 1783 the line of division along the rivers and lakes
from the place where the forty-fifth parallel of north latitude strikes
the St. Lawrence to the outlet of Lake Superior is invariably to be
drawn through the middle of such waters, and not through the middle of
their main channels. Such a line, if extended according to the literal
terms of the treaty, would, it is obvious, occasionally intersect
islands. The manner in which the commissioners of the two Governments
dealt with this difficult subject may be seen in their reports. But
where the line thus following the middle of the river or water course
did not meet with islands, yet it was liable sometimes to leave the only
practicable navigable channel altogether on one side. The treaty made no
provision for the common use of the waters by the citizens and subjects
of both countries.

It has happened, therefore, in a few instances that the use of the river
in particular places would be greatly diminished to one party or the
other if in fact there was not a choice in the use of channels and
passages. Thus at the Long Sault, in the St. Lawrence--a dangerous
passage, practicable only for boats--the only safe run is between the
Long Sault Islands and Barnharts Island (all which belong to the United
States) on one side and the American shore on the other. On the other
hand, by far the best passage for vessels of any depth of water from
Lake Erie into the Detroit River is between Bois Blanc, a British
island, and the Canadian shore. So again, there are several channels or
passages, of different degrees of facility and usefulness, between the
several islands in the river St. Clair at or near its entry into the
lake of that name. In these three cases the treaty provides that all the
several passages and channels shall be free and open to the use of the
citizens and subjects of both parties.

The treaty obligations subsisting between the two countries for the
suppression of the African slave trade and the complaints made to this
Government within the last three or four years, many of them but too
well founded, of the visitation, seizure, and detention of American
vessels on that coast by British cruisers could not but form a delicate
and highly important part of the negotiations which have now been held.

The early and prominent part which the Government of the United States
has taken for the abolition of this unlawful and inhuman traffic is well
known. By the tenth article of the treaty of Ghent it is declared that
the traffic in slaves is irreconcilable with the principles of humanity
and justice, and that both His Majesty and the United States are
desirous of continuing their efforts to promote its entire abolition;
and it is thereby agreed that both the contracting parties shall use
their best endeavors to accomplish so desirable an object. The
Government of the United States has by law declared the African slave
trade piracy, and at its suggestion other nations have made similar
enactments. It has not been wanting in honest and zealous efforts, made
in conformity with the wishes of the whole country, to accomplish the
entire abolition of the traffic in slaves upon the African coast, but
these efforts and those of other countries directed to the same end have
proved to a considerable degree unsuccessful. Treaties are known to have
been entered into some years ago between England and France by which the
former power, which usually maintains a large naval force on the African
station, was authorized to seize and bring in for adjudication vessels
found engaged in the slave trade under the French flag.

It is known that in December last a treaty was signed in London by the
representatives of England, France, Russia, Prussia, and Austria having
for its professed object a strong and united effort of the five
powers to put an end to the traffic. This treaty was not officially
communicated to the Government of the United States, but its provisions
and stipulations are supposed to be accurately known to the public.
It is understood to be not yet ratified on the part of France.

No application or request has been made to this Government to become
party to this treaty, but the course it might take in regard to it has
excited no small degree of attention and discussion in Europe, as the
principle upon which it is founded and the stipulations which it
contains have caused warm animadversions and great political excitement.

In my message at the commencement of the present session of Congress
I endeavored to state the principles which this Government supports
respecting the right of search and the immunity of flags. Desirous of
maintaining those principles fully, at the same time that existing
obligations should be fulfilled, I have thought it most consistent with
the honor and dignity of the country that it should execute its own laws
and perform its own obligations by its own means and its own power.

The examination or visitation of the merchant vessels of one nation
by the cruisers of another for any purpose except those known and
acknowledged by the law of nations, under whatever restraints or
regulations it may take place, may lead to dangerous results. It is far
better by other means to supersede any supposed necessity or any motive
for such examination or visit. Interference with a merchant vessel by an
armed cruiser is always a delicate proceeding, apt to touch the point of
national honor as well as to affect the interests of individuals. It has
been thought, therefore, expedient, not only in accordance with the
stipulations of the treaty of Ghent, but at the same time as removing
all pretext on the part of others for violating the immunities of the
American flag upon the seas, as they exist and are defined by the law
of nations, to enter into the articles now submitted to the Senate.

The treaty which I now submit to you proposes no alteration, mitigation,
or modification of the rules of the law of nations. It provides simply
that each of the two Governments shall maintain on the coast of Africa
a sufficient squadron to enforce separately and respectively the laws,
rights, and obligations of the two countries for the suppression of the
slave trade.

Another consideration of great importance has recommended this mode of
fulfilling the duties and obligations of the country. Our commerce along
the western coast of Africa is extensive, and supposed to be increasing.
There is reason to think that in many cases those engaged in it have met
with interruptions and annoyances caused by the jealousy and instigation
of rivals engaged in the same trade. Many complaints on this subject
have reached the Government. A respectable naval force on the coast is
the natural resort and security against further occurrences of this
kind.

The surrender to justice of persons who, having committed high crimes,
seek an asylum in the territories of a neighboring nation would seem to
be an act due to the cause of general justice and properly belonging to
the present state of civilization and intercourse. The British Provinces
of North America are separated from the States of the Union by a line of
several thousand miles, and along portions of this line the amount of
population on either side is quite considerable, while the passage of
the boundary is always easy.

Offenders against the law on the one side transfer themselves to the
other. Sometimes, with great difficulty, they are brought to justice,
but very often they wholly escape. A consciousness of immunity from the
power of avoiding justice in this way instigates the unprincipled and
reckless to the commission of offenses, and the peace and good
neighborhood of the border are consequently often disturbed.

In the case of offenders fleeing from Canada into the United States,
the governors of States are often applied to for their surrender, and
questions of a very embarrassing nature arise from these applications.
It has been thought highly important, therefore, to provide for the
whole case by a proper treaty stipulation. The article on the subject
in the proposed treaty is carefully confined to such offenses as all
mankind agree to regard as heinous and destructive of the security of
life and property. In this careful and specific enumeration of crimes
the object has been to exclude all political offenses or criminal
charges arising from wars or intestine commotions. Treason, misprision
of treason, libels, desertion from military service, and other offenses
of similar character are excluded.

And lest some unforeseen inconvenience or unexpected abuse should arise
from the stipulation rendering its continuance in the opinion of one or
both of the parties not longer desirable, it is left in the power of
either to put an end to it at will.

The destruction of the steamboat _Caroline_ at Schlosser four or five
years ago occasioned no small degree of excitement at the time, and
became the subject of correspondence between the two Governments. That
correspondence, having been suspended for a considerable period, was
renewed in the spring of the last year, but no satisfactory result
having been arrived at, it was thought proper, though the occurrence
had ceased to be fresh and recent, not to omit attention to it
on the present occasion. It has only been so far discussed in the
correspondence now submitted as it was accomplished by a violation of
the territory of the United States. The letter of the British minister,
while he attempts to justify that violation upon the ground of a
pressing and overruling necessity, admitting, nevertheless, that
even if justifiable an apology was due for it, and accompanying this
acknowledgment with assurances of the sacred regard of his Government
for the inviolability of national territory, has seemed to me sufficient
to warrant forbearance from any further remonstrance against what took
place as an aggression on the soil and territory of the country. On the
subject of the interference of the British authorities in the West
Indies, a confident hope is entertained that the correspondence which
has taken place, showing the grounds taken by this Government and the
engagements entered into by the British minister, will be found such as
to satisfy the just expectation of the people of the United States.

The impressment of seamen from merchant vessels of this country by
British cruisers, although not practiced in time of peace, and therefore
not at present a productive cause of difference and irritation, has,
nevertheless, hitherto been so prominent a topic of controversy and is
so likely to bring on renewed contentions at the first breaking out of a
European war that it has been thought the part of wisdom now to take it
into serious and earnest consideration. The letter from the Secretary of
State to the British minister explains the ground which the Government
has assumed and the principles which it means to uphold. For the defense
of these grounds and the maintenance of these principles the most
perfect reliance is placed on the intelligence of the American people
and on their firmness and patriotism in whatever touches the honor of
the country or its great and essential interests.

JOHN TYLER.



[The following are inserted because they pertain to the treaty
transmitted with the message of President Tyler immediately preceding.]


DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

_Washington, August 3, 1848_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

The Secretary of State has the honor to transmit to the Senate, in
compliance with a resolution adopted by it on the 29th ultimo, a copy of
_joint report_ of the commissioners under the treaty of Washington of
August 9, 1842, together with a copy of the report of the American
commissioner transmitting the same to the State Department.

JAMES BUCHANAN.



_Mr. Smith to Mr. Buchanan_.

WASHINGTON, _April 20, 1848_.

SIR: In presenting to you the joint report of the commissioners
appointed under the treaty of Washington of August 9, 1842, to survey
and mark the line of boundary between the United States and the British
Provinces, which I have the honor herewith most respectfully to submit,
I have to perform the painful duty of informing you that the maps of
that line and of the adjacent country, which had been elaborately
constructed by the scientific corps on the part of the United States,
and contained upon 100 sheets of drawing paper of the largest size,
together with the tables of the survey, have been destroyed by the
conflagration of the building in which they were contained. This house
had been occupied by Major James D. Graham, the head of the scientific
corps and principal astronomer of the American commission, as his office
until his departure for Mexico. All the maps, drawings, and tables had
been completed and duly authenticated by the joint commissioners, and
were ready to be deposited with their joint report under their hands and
seals in the archives of this Government. Of this I had the honor to
inform you in my letter of the 24th ultimo.

I can hardly express the pain which this unfortunate event has
occasioned me. But I can not perceive that any imputation of blame can
properly be attached to any officer of the commission. The care and
custody of all the work of the United States scientific corps were
properly placed in charge of Major Graham, as the head of that corps,
who had had the immediate direction and superintendence of it from the
first organization of the commission. He required the maps and tables
at his office for reference and revision in the progress of the
astronomical work. Upon his departure for Mexico he placed Lieutenant
A.W. Whipple in his rooms with an injunction to guard with the utmost
care the valuable property of the commission. On the day after he left
the city, and when for the first time informed of the fact, I called
upon Lieutenant Whipple and requested him to have all the maps,
drawings, and tables ready to be turned over to the State Department on
the following day. On the 24th ultimo I acquainted you with that fact.

No censure can possibly be attributed to Lieutenant Whipple, whose great
care and attention to all his duties have been on all occasions highly
distinguished. He escaped from the fire with scarcely an article of his
dress, and his loss in money and clothing is at least $1,000. Major
Graham has lost his valuable library, together with personal effects
to a large amount. The fire was communicated from the basement of the
house, and by no effort could anything be saved.

There are tracings of the maps upon "tissue paper," without the
topography, in the State of Maine, but they are not signed by the
commissioners.

The field books of the engineers were, fortunately, not in Major
Graham's office, and are preserved.

Duplicates of the maps, duly authenticated, have been placed in the
British archives at London, which, although they have not the topography
of the country so fully laid down upon them as it was upon our own,
represent with equal exactness the survey of the boundary itself. Should
it be deemed expedient by this Government to procure copies of them,
access to those archives for that purpose would undoubtedly be
permitted, and the object accomplished at small expense, and when
completed these copies could be authenticated by the joint commissioners
in accordance with the provisions of the treaty.

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

ALBERT SMITH.



_Report of the joint commission of boundary appointed under the treaty
of Washington of August 9, 1842_.

The undersigned, commissioners appointed under the treaty of Washington
to trace and mark the boundary, as directed by that treaty, between the
British possessions in North America and the United States--that is to
say, James Bucknall Bucknall Estcourt, lieutenant-colonel in the British
army, appointed commissioner by Her Britannic Majesty, and Albert Smith,
appointed commissioner by the President of the United States--having
accomplished the duty assigned to them, do now, in accordance with the
directions of the said treaty, submit the following report and the
accompanying maps, jointly signed, to their respective Governments.

In obedience to the terms of the treaty, the undersigned met at Bangor,
in the State of Maine, on the 1st day of May, 1843, where they produced
and verified the authority under which they each were respectively to
act. They then adjourned, because the weather was not sufficiently open
for taking the field, to the 1st of the following month (June), and
agreed to meet again at that time at Houlton.

Accordingly, they did meet at that place, and began their operations.

It may be desirable to state at the outset that for the sake of
convenience the whole line of boundary marked by the undersigned has
been divided in the mention made of the different portions into the
following grand divisions, viz:

"North line," from the source of the St. Croix to the intersection of
the St. John.

"River St. John," from the intersection of the north line to the mouth
of the St. Francis.

"River St. Francis," from its mouth to the outlet of Lake Pohenagamook.

"Southwest line," from the outlet of Lake Pohenagamook to the Northwest
Branch of the St. John.

"South line," from the Northwest Branch to the parallel of latitude 46 deg.
25' on the Southwest Branch.

"Southwest Branch," from the parallel 46 deg. 25' to its source.

"Highlands," from the source of the Southwest Branch of the St. John to
the source of Halls Stream.

"Halls Stream," from its source to the intersection of the line of
Valentine and Collins.

"West line," from Halls Stream to the St. Lawrence near St. Regis, along
the line of Valentine and Collins.

To return to the narration of operations:

The exploring line of Colonel Bouchette and Mr. Johnson, as directed by
the treaty, was traced from the monument at the source of the St. Croix
to the intersection of the St. John.

The monument found at the source of the St. Croix, as described in the
report of Colonel Bouchette and Mr. Johnson, and the course of their
exploring line, was traced by blazes or marks upon the trees.

An old line, cut out by the assistant surveyors of Colonel Bouchette and
Mr. Johnson, was also found, which terminated about half a mile north
of the South Branch of the Meduxnikeag, where, by records to which the
undersigned referred, they ascertained that it had been abandoned
because of its deviation from the exploring line of Colonel Bouchette
and Mr. Johnson.

After the exploration and re-marking of the north line it was cut out 30
feet wide. The same was afterwards done in all parts where the boundary
passed through woodland. After thus opening the north line it was
surveyed, and iron posts were erected at intervals to mark it.

The general bearing of the line was rather to the west of the meridian
of the monument at the source of the St. Croix. The precise line laid
down by the undersigned was determined by successive courses, of which
each was made to be as long as was convenient, provided it did not pass
out of the opening of 30 feet.

At each angle of deflection an iron monument was erected, and placed
anglewise with the line. Other monuments were erected at the crossing of
roads, rivers, and at every mile, commencing from the source of the St.
Croix. Those which were not intended to mark angles of deflection were
placed square with the line.

At the intersection of the St. John by the north line the river is deep
and broad. The boundary runs up the middle of the channel of the river,
as indicated by the maps, dividing the islands as follows:


  No. 1.  Ryan's Island................................ United States.
  No. 2.  King's Island................................ United States.
  No. 3.  Les Trois Isles.............................. United States.
  No. 4.  La Septieme Isle............................. United States.
  No. 5.  Quissibis.................................... Great Britain.
  No. 6.  La Grand Isle................................ United States.
  No. 7.  Thibideau's Islands.......................... United States.
  No. 8.  Madawaska Islands............................ Great Britain.
  No. 9.  Joseph Michaud's three islands............... United States.
  No. 10. Pine Island.................................. Great Britain.
  No. 11. Baker's }
          Turtle  }
          Dagle's } islands ........................... Great Britain.
          Fourth  }
          Fifth   }
  No. 12. Kennedy's Island............................. Great Britain.
  No. 13. Crock's    }
          Cranberry  } islands......................... Great Britain.
          Gooseberry }
  No. 14. Savage's Island.............................. United States.
  No. 15. Wheelock's Island............................ United States.
  No. 16. Caton's Island............................... United States.
  No. 17. Honeywell's Island........................... United States.
  No. 18. Savage and Johnson's Island.................. United States.
  No. 19. Grew's Island................................ United States.
  No. 20. Kendall's Island............................. Great Britain.


The islands were distributed to Great Britain or to the United States,
as they were found to be on the right or left of the deep channel. There
was but one doubtful case, La Septieme Isle, and that was apportioned to
the United States because the majority of the owners were ascertained to
reside on the United States side of the river.

Monuments were erected upon the islands, marking them for Great Britain
or the United States, as the case may have been.

After leaving the St. John the boundary enters the St. Francis, dividing
the islands at the mouth of that river in the manner shown in the maps.
It then runs up the St. Francis, through the middle of the lakes upon
it, to the outlet of Lake Pohenagamook, the third large lake from the
mouth of the river. At the outlet a large monument has been erected.

In order to determine the point on the Northwest Branch to which the
treaty directed that a straight line should be run from the outlet of
Lake Pohenagamook, a survey of that stream was made, and also of the
main St. John in the neighborhood of the mouth of the Northwest Branch,
and a line was cut between the St. John and the point on the Northwest
Branch ascertained by the survey to be 10 miles in the nearest direction
from it, and the distance was afterwards verified by chaining.

It was ascertained also, in accordance with the provisions of the
treaty, by a triangulation of the country toward the highlands dividing
the waters of the St. Lawrence and of the St. John, that more than 7
miles intervened between the point selected on the Northwest Branch and
the crest of the dividing ridge. A large iron monument was afterwards
erected on the point thus selected, and the space around was cleared and
sown with grass seed. It is a short distance below the outlet of Lake
Ishaganalshegeck.

The outlet of Lake Pohenagamook and the point on the Northwest Branch
designated by the treaty having been thus ascertained and marked, in the
spring of 1844 a straight line was run between them. Along that line,
which passes entirely through forest, monuments were erected at every
mile, at the crossings of the principal streams and rivers, and at the
tops of those hills where a transit instrument had been set up to test
the straightness of the line.

As soon as the parallel of latitude 46 deg. 25' had been determined on the
Southwest Branch, in the early part of the summer of 1844, a straight
line was drawn from the boundary point on the Northwest Branch to a
large monument erected on the left bank of the Southwest Branch where it
is intersected by the parallel of latitude 46 deg. 25'. The line so drawn
crosses the Southwest Branch once before it reaches the parallel of
latitude 46 deg. 25', and at about half a mile distance from that parallel.
There also a large monument has been set up on the left bank.

From the intersection of the parallel 46 deg. 25' the boundary ascends the
Southwest Branch, passes through a lake near its head, and so up a small
stream which falls into the lake from the west to the source of that
stream, which has been selected as the source of the Southwest Branch.

On the Southwest Branch there are two principal forks, at each of
which two monuments have been erected, one on each bank of the river
immediately above the forks and upon the branch established as the
boundary. The maps point out their positions. At the mouth of the small
stream selected as the source of the Southwest Branch a monument has
been erected upon a delta formed by two small outlets. Above those
outlets three other monuments have been placed at intervals upon the
same stream.

Upon the crest of the dividing ridge, very close to the source of the
Southwest Branch, a large monument has been erected. It is the first
point in the highlands, and from it the boundary runs along the crest
in a southerly direction, passing near to the southeastern shore of the
Portage Lake, and so on to a large monument erected on a small eminence
on the east side of the Kennebec road. Thence it passes through a
dwelling house called Tachereau's, which was standing there at the time
the line was run; so, by a tortuous course, it runs to the top of Sandy
Stream Mountain; thence, inclining to the southwest, it runs over Hog
Back the First, as shown in the maps; thence toward Hog Back the Second,
which it leaves on the north side. Further on, at the head of Leech
Lake, there is a stream which divides its waters and flows both into
Canada and into the United States. The boundary has been made to run up
that stream a short distance from the fork where the waters divide to a
second fork; thence between the streams which unite to form that fork,
and then to ascend again the dividing ridge. A monument has been erected
at the fork first mentioned, where the waters divide.

As the boundary approaches the valley of Spider River it bends to the
southeast, and, by a wide circuit over high and steep hills, it turns
the head of Spider River; thence it bends to the northwest until it
approaches within about 4 miles of Lake Megantic; thence it turns again
south, having the valley of Arnolds River on the right and of Dead River
on the left. It leaves Gasford Mountain in Canada, threads its way over
very high ground between the head of Arnolds River and the tributaries
of the Magalloway; inclines then to the north, so to the west, over very
rocky, mountainous, and difficult country, leaving Gipps Peak in the
United States, and turns by a sharp angle at Saddle Back to the south.
After that it again inclines to the west, and then to the south, and
again to the west, and passes the head of the Connecticut. About 3 miles
and a half east of the head of the Connecticut there is a division of
waters similar to that described near Leech Lake. The boundary runs down
a stream from near its source to the fork where it divides, and then
again follows the dividing ridge. The spot is noted on the map.

After the boundary has passed the head of the Connecticut it runs to the
northwest, descending into very low, swampy ground between the heads of
Indian Stream and the tributaries of the St. Francis. Thus it passes on,
bending again to the south of west, over a high hill, to the source of
Halls Stream.

Iron monuments have been erected at intervals along the highlands from
the source of the Southwest Branch of the St. John to the source of
Halls Stream, the position of each of which is shown upon the maps.

From the source of Halls Stream the boundary descends that river,
dividing the islands, which are, however, merely unimportant alluvial
deposits, in the manner indicated by the maps until it reaches the
intersection of that stream by the line formerly run by Valentine and
Collins as the forty-fifth degree of north latitude.

At that point a large monument has been erected on the right and a small
one on the left bank of the stream. Monuments have also been erected
along the bank of this stream, as indicated on the maps.

The line of Valentine and Collins was explored and found by the blazes
still remaining in the original forest.

Upon cutting into those blazes it was seen that deep seated in the tree
there was a scar, the surface of the original blaze, slightly decayed,
and upon counting the rings (which indicate each year's growth of the
tree) it was found that the blazes dated back to 1772, 1773, and 1774.
The line of Valentine and Collins was run in 1771, 1772, 1773, and 1774.
The coincidence of the dates of the blazes with those of the above line,
confirmed by the testimony of the people of the country, satisfied the
undersigned that the line they had found was that mentioned in the
treaty. Along this portion of the boundary, which is known as the
forty-fifth degree of Valentine and Collins, and which extends from
Halls Stream to St. Regis, there are several interruptions to the blazes
in those parts where clearings have been made, and there the authentic
marks of the precise situation of the old line have been lost. In those
cases the undersigned have drawn the boundary line straight from the
original blazes on the one side of a clearing to the original blazes on
the other side of the same clearing.

It can not be positively stated that the line as it has been traced
through those clearings precisely coincides with the old line, but the
undersigned believe that it does not differ materially from it; nor have
they had the means of determining a nearer or a surer approximation.

Along this line, at every point of deflection, an iron monument has been
erected; also at the crossing of rivers, lakes, and roads. Those which
mark deflections are placed, as on the "north line," anglewise with the
line; all the others are placed square with it. The maps show the
position of each.

On the eastern shore of Lake Memphremagog an astronomical station was
established, and on a large flat rock of granite, which happened to lie
between the astronomical station and the boundary, was cut the following
inscription:



                            Capt: Robinson.
                            Ast: Station
                            422 feet north.
                _Meridian_                      _Line._
     -----------------------------()--------------------------------

                            Boundary Line
                            595 feet south
                            August, 1845.

                    _British Boundary Commission_


A mark was cut upon the stone, as indicated by the dot upon the meridian
line above, from which these measurements were made.

At Rouses Point a monument of wrought stone was set up at the
intersection of the boundary by the meridian of the transit instrument
used there by Major Graham, and an inscription was cut upon it stating
the latitude and longitude, the names of the observer and his assistant,
the names of the commissioners, and the territories divided.

To mark the position of the instruments used at the following
astronomical stations along the west line, two monuments within a few
feet of each other have been erected at each station, and they have been
placed on the boundary line due north or south of the instrument, as the
case may have been.

The stations are: Lake Memphremagog, Richford, John McCoy's, Trout River.

The boundary along the west line, though very far from being a straight
line, is generally about half a mile north of the true parallel of
latitude 45 deg. from Halls Stream to Rouses Point. At about 28 miles west
of Rouses Point it, however, crosses that parallel to the south until it
reaches Chateaugay River, where it bends northward, and, crossing the
parallel again about 4 miles east of St. Regis, it strikes the St.
Lawrence 151 feet north of 45 deg.. At that point a large monument has been
erected on the bank of the St. Lawrence. Two large monuments have also
been erected, one on either side of the river Richelieu near Rouses
Point.

No marks of the old line were to be found about St. Regis. It was
therefore agreed to run a line due west from the last blaze which should
be found in the woods on the east side of St. Regis. That blaze occurred
about 1 mile east of the St. Regis River.

The maps, which exhibit the boundary on a scale of 4 inches to 1 statute
mile, consist of 62 consecutive sheets of antiquarian paper as
constructed by the British and of 61 as constructed by the American
commission. A general map has also been constructed on a scale of 8
miles to 1 inch by the British and of 10 miles to 1 inch by the American
commission, upon which the before-mentioned sheets are represented.

The following portions of the boundary have been laid down by the
British commission, on detached maps, on a scale of 12 inches to 1 mile,
which have been signed by both commissioners:

Grand Falls of the St. John, including the intersection of that
river by the north line; islands of the St. John; the outlet of Lake
Pohenagamook; the turning point of the boundary on the Northwest Branch
of the St. John; the intersection of the Southwest Branch by the
parallel of latitude 46 deg. 25'; the source of the Southwest Branch; the
source of Halls Stream; the intersection of Halls Stream by the west
line; Rouses Point; St. Regis; Derby.

But similar maps have not been prepared by the American commission,
because during the interval between the finishing of the maps of the
British commission and those of the American it was thought that the
maps already constructed upon a scale of 4 inches to 1 mile represented
the boundary with sufficient clearness and accuracy.

The astronomical observations were begun at the Grand Falls early in
June, 1843, and were carried up the St. John River to the Northwest
Branch by a chain of stations, which, together with the results
obtained, are tabulated in the appendix accompanying this report.

From the valley of the St. John an astronomical connection was made with
Quebec, and thence to Montreal, and so to Rouses Point. From Rouses
Point a connection was obtained with Cambridge University, near Boston.

The astronomical stations on the west line were: Intersection of Halls
Stream by the west line, Lake Memphremagog, Richford, Rouses Point, John
McCoy's, Trout River, St. Regis.

Latitude was also obtained at an astronomical station established for
the purpose at the head of the Connecticut.

Volumes containing the astronomical observations of both commissions are
herewith submitted. From them it will be observed that the results for
absolute longitude obtained by the British and American astronomers do
not agree. It being a difference in no way affecting the survey of the
boundary line, the undersigned do not feel called upon to attempt to
reconcile it. The data upon which those results are based may be seen
in the volumes of observations accompanying this report.

In the appendix will be found, in a tabular form, the following:

An abstract of the survey of the boundary along the north line; an
abstract of the survey of the boundary along the southwest line; an
abstract of the survey of the boundary along the south line; an abstract
of the survey of the boundary along the highlands; an abstract of
the survey of the boundary along the west line; the position of the
monuments erected on the Southwest Branch of the St. John and on Halls
Stream; the distribution of the islands of the St. John and the
monuments on them; the guide lines and offsets run by each commission
for the survey of the highlands; the azimuths of verification for the
survey of the highlands; the latitudes and longitudes obtained from the
astronomical observations; the comparative longitudes obtained, and the
methods used for the purpose.

Upon comparing the maps of the two commissions it will be seen that the
American commission numbers two monuments more than the British. Those
are to be found, one on the "Fourth Island," in the river St. John, and
the other on the highlands between the source of the Southwest Branch of
the river St. John and the Kennebec road.

On the maps of the British commission representing the "west line" the
name of the town of "_Derby_" has been improperly placed north of the
line instead of south of it. Also, on the same maps the direction of
Salmon River, near the western extremity of the "west line," has been
incorrectly laid down from the boundary line northward. A direction has
been given to it northeasterly instead of northwesterly.

The above two corrections the British commissioner is authorized to make
on his maps after his return to England.

To avoid unnecessary delay in making their joint report, the undersigned
have attached their signatures to the maps, although the lettering
of some of the astronomical stations upon the maps of the American
commission, as well as the alterations before mentioned in the maps of
the British commission, are yet to be made; but in the maps of both the
boundary has been laid down accurately and definitively, and the
undersigned engage that it shall not be altered in any respect.

In conclusion the undersigned have the honor to report that the line of
boundary described in the foregoing statement has been run, marked, and
surveyed, and the accompanying maps faithfully constructed from that
survey.

The undersigned take leave to add that the most perfect harmony has
subsisted between the two commissions from first to last, and that no
differences have arisen between the undersigned in the execution of the
duties intrusted to them.

Signed and sealed in duplicate, at the city of Washington, this 28th day
of June, A.D. 1847.

J.B. BUCKNALL ESTCOURT, [SEAL.]
  _Lieutenant-Colonel, Her Britannic Majesty's Commissioner_.

ALBERT SMITH, [SEAL.]
  _United States Commissioner_.

NOTE.--The astronomical computations of the American commission not
being completed, and it being unnecessary to defer the signing of the
report on that account, the American commissioner engages to transmit
them, with any other papers or tables not yet finished, as soon as they
shall be so, to the British commissioner, through the American minister
resident in London, to whom, upon delivery of the documents, the British
commissioner will give a receipt, to be transmitted to the American
commissioner.

J. B. BUCKNALL ESTCOURT,
  _Lieutenant-Colonel, H.B.M. Commissioner of Boundary_.

ALBERT SMITH,
  _United States Commissioner_.



WASHINGTON, _August 18, 1842_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for its consideration with a view to its
ratification, a treaty of amity, commerce, and navigation with the
Republic of Texas, negotiated at the seat of Government of the United
States between the Secretary of State, duly empowered for that purpose,
and the charge d'affaires of that Republic.

In forming the first commercial treaty between the two Governments an
anxious desire has been felt to introduce such provisions as should
promote the interests of both countries. The immediate proximity of
Texas to the United States and the consequent facility of intercourse,
the nature of its principal agricultural production, and the relations
which both countries bear to several large rivers which are boundaries
between them, and which in some part of their course run within the
territories of both, have caused peculiarities of condition and
interests which it has been necessary to guard.

The treaty provides that Texas shall enjoy a right of deposit for such
of her productions as may be introduced into the United States for
exportation, but upon the condition that the Executive of the United
States may prescribe such regulations as may be necessary for the proper
enjoyment of the privilege within our territory. It was thought no more
than reasonable to grant this facility to the trade of Texas, under such
conditions as seem best calculated to guard against abuse or
inconvenience.

The treaty further provides that raw cotton may be imported from either
country into the other free of duties. In general it is not wise to
enter into treaty stipulations respecting duties of import; they are
usually much better left to the operation of general laws. But there are
circumstances existing in this case which have been thought to justify a
departure from the general rule, and the addition of it to the number of
instances, not large, in which regulations of duties of imports have
been made the subject of national compact.

The United States consume large quantities of raw cotton, but they are
exporters of the article to a still greater extent. Texas, for the
present at least, exports her whole crop. These exportations are, in
general, to the same foreign markets, and it is supposed to be of no
considerable importance to the American producer whether he meets the
Texan product at home or abroad.

On the other hand, it is thought that a useful commercial intercourse
would be promoted in several ways by receiving the raw cotton of Texas
at once into the United States free of duty. The tendency of such a
measure is to bring to the United States, in the first instance, Texan
cotton ultimately destined to European markets. The natural effect of
this, it is supposed, will be to increase the business of the cities of
the United States to the extent of this importation and exportation,
and to secure a further degree of employment to the navigation of the
country. But these are by no means all the benefits which may be
reasonably expected from the arrangement. Texas, at least for a
considerable time to come, must import all the manufactured articles
and much of the supplies and provisions necessary for her use and
consumption. These commodities she will be likely to obtain, if to be
had, in the markets of the country in which she disposes of her main
annual product. The manufactures of the North and East, therefore, and
the grain and provisions of the Western States are likely to find in
Texas a demand, increased by whatever augments intercourse between the
two countries, and especially by whatever tends to give attraction to
the cities of the United States as marts for the sale of her great and
principal article of export.

As a security, however, against unforeseen results or occurrences,
it has been thought advisable to give this article of the treaty a
limitation of five years.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _August 23, 1842_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

A resolution of the Senate of the 21st of June last requested the
President to communicate to the Senate, so far as he might deem it
compatible with the public interests, what measures, if any, had been
taken to obtain the recognition by the Mexican Government of such claims
of American citizens as were laid before the late joint commission, but
were not finally acted on by it, and the satisfaction of such claims as
were admitted by said commission; also whether any facts had come to his
knowledge calculated to induce a belief that any such claims had been
rejected in consequence of the evidence thereof having been withheld
by the Mexican Government, its officers or agents, and any other
information which he might deem it expedient to communicate relative
to said claims; and another resolution of the 6th instant requested
the President, so far as he might deem it compatible with the public
service, to communicate to the Senate the measures taken to obtain the
performance of the stipulations contained in the convention with Mexico
in relation to the awards made by the commissioners and umpire under
said convention.

In the present state of the correspondence and of the relations between
the two Governments on these important subjects it is not deemed
consistent with the public interest to communicate the information
requested. The business engages earnest attention, and will be made the
subject of a full communication to Congress at the earliest practicable
period.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _August 24, 1842_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

On the 15th day of April, 1842, in virtue of the sentence of a
court-martial regularly convened under orders from the Secretary of the
Navy, which received my approval, John H. Clack, who was a captain in
the Navy, was dismissed the service. Since the confirmation of that
sentence a letter has been addressed by Mr. Paulding, late Secretary
of the Navy, to Captain Clack, which leads to the belief that he had
analyzed the charges made against Captain Clack, and for reasons which
appeared to him satisfactory and which, according to his letter, he
indorsed on the charges, disposed of the case by refusing to submit it
to a court-martial.

Notwithstanding a diligent search has been made for this document, none
such can be found; but the only paper in the office having reference
to this subject is a letter addressed by Mr. Paulding to Lieutenant
Buchanan, a copy of which, together with the original of that of Mr. P.
to Captain C., is herewith communicated. I felt it, however, every way
due to the high character of Mr. Paulding to consider the fact stated by
him to be as well sustained by his declaration to that effect as if the
record was found, and as the court-martial would not have been ordered
by the present Secretary with the knowledge of the fact stated by Mr.
Paulding, since it would have been improper to have reopened a case once
finally disposed of, I have felt that it was alike due to the general
service of the Navy as to Mr. Clack to nominate him for reappointment
to the service.

I therefore nominate John H. Clack to be a captain in the Navy of the
United States.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _August 25, 1842_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the
11th of June last, upon the subject of claims of citizens of the United
States against the Government of the Mexican Republic, I transmit a
report from the Secretary of State and a copy of the report of the
commissioners on the part of the United States under the late convention
between the United States and that Republic.

JOHN TYLER.




VETO MESSAGES.


WASHINGTON, _June 29, 1842_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I return the bill, which originated in the House of Representatives,
entitled "An act to extend for a limited period the present laws for
laying and collecting duties on imports," with the following objections:

It suspends--in other words, abrogates for the time--the provision of
the act of 1833, commonly called the "compromise act." The only ground
on which this departure from the solemn adjustment of a great and
agitating question seems to have been regarded as expedient is the
alleged necessity of establishing by legislative enactments rules and
regulations for assessing the duties to be levied on imports after the
30th June according to the home valuation, and yet the bill expressly
provides that "if before the 1st of August there be no further
legislation upon the subject, the laws for laying and collecting duties
shall be the same as though this act had not been passed." In other
words, that the act of 1833, imperfect as it is considered, shall in
that case continue to be and to be executed under such rules and
regulations as previous statutes had prescribed or had enabled the
executive department to prescribe for that purpose, leaving the supposed
chasm in the revenue laws just as it was before.

I am certainly far from being disposed to deny that additional
legislation upon the subject is very desirable; on the contrary, the
necessity, as well as difficulty, of establishing uniformity in the
appraisements to be made in conformity with the true intention of that
act was brought to the notice of Congress in my message to Congress at
the opening of its present session. But however sensible I may be of
the embarrassments to which the Executive, in the absence of all aid
from the superior wisdom of the Legislature, will be liable in the
enforcement of the existing laws, I have not, with the sincerest wish to
acquiesce in its expressed will, been able to persuade myself that the
exigency of the occasion is so great as to justify me in signing the
bill in question with my present views of its character and effects. The
existing laws, as I am advised, are sufficient to authorize and enable
the collecting officers, under the directions of the Secretary of the
Treasury, to levy the duties imposed by the act of 1833.

That act was passed under peculiar circumstances, to which it is not
necessary that I should do more than barely allude. Whatever maybe,
in theory, its character, I have always regarded it as importing the
highest moral obligation. It has now existed for nine years unchanged in
any essential particular, with as general acquiescence, it is believed,
of the whole country as that country has ever manifested for any of her
wisely established institutions. It has insured to it the repose which
always flows from truly wise and moderate counsels--a repose the more
striking because of the long and angry agitations which preceded it.
This salutary law proclaims in express terms the principle which, while
it led to the abandonment of a scheme of indirect taxation founded on a
false basis and pushed to dangerous excess, justifies any enlargement
of duties that may be called for by the real exigencies of the public
service. It provides "that duties shall be laid for the purpose of
raising such revenue as may be necessary to an economical administration
of the Government." It is therefore in the power of Congress to lay
duties as high as its discretion may dictate for the necessary uses of
the Government without infringing upon the objects of the act of 1833.
I do not doubt that the exigencies of the Government do require an
increase of the tariff of duties above 20 per cent, and I as little
doubt that Congress may, above as well as below that rate, so
discriminate as to give incidental protection to manufacturing industry,
thus to make the burdens which it is compelled to impose upon the people
for the purposes of Government productive of a double benefit. This
most of the reasonable opponents of protective duties seem willing to
concede, and, if we may judge from the manifestations of public opinion
in all quarters, this is all that the manufacturing interests really
require. I am happy in the persuasion that this double object can be
most easily and effectually accomplished at the present juncture without
any departure from the spirit and principle of the statute in question.
The manufacturing classes have now an opportunity which may never occur
again of permanently identifying their interests with those of the whole
country, and making them, in the highest sense of the term, a national
concern. The moment is propitious to the interests of the whole country
in the introduction of harmony among all its parts and all its several
interests. The same rate of imposts, and no more, as will most surely
reestablish the public credit will secure to the manufacturer all the
protection he ought to desire, with every prospect of permanence and
stability which the hearty acquiescence of the whole country on a
reasonable system can hold out to him.

But of this universal acquiescence, and the harmony and confidence and
the many other benefits that will certainly result from it, I regard
the suspension of the law for distributing the proceeds of the sales
of the public lands as an indispensable condition. This measure is, in
my judgment, called for by a large number, if not a great majority, of
the people of the United States; by the state of the public credit and
finances; by the critical posture of our various foreign relations;
and, above all, by that most sacred of all duties--public faith. The
act of September last, which provides for the distribution, couples it
inseparably with the condition that it shall cease--first, in case of
war; second, as soon and so long as the rate of duties shall for any
reason whatever be raised above 20 per cent. Nothing can be more clear,
express, or imperative than this language. It is in vain to allege that
a deficit in the Treasury was known to exist and that means were taken
to supply this deficit by loan when the act was passed. It is true that
a loan was authorized at the same session during which the distribution
law was passed, but the most sanguine of the friends of the two measures
entertained no doubt but that the loan would be eagerly sought after and
taken up by capitalists and speedily reimbursed by a country destined,
as they hoped, soon to enjoy an overflowing prosperity. The very terms
of the loan, making it redeemable _in three years_, demonstrate this
beyond all cavil. Who at the time foresaw or imagined the possibility of
the present real state of things, when a nation that has paid off her
whole debt since the last peace, while all the other great powers have
been increasing theirs, and whose resources, already so great, are yet
but in the infancy of their development, should be compelled to haggle
in the money market for a paltry sum not equal to one year's revenue
upon her economical system? If the distribution law is to be
indefinitely suspended, according not only to its own terms, but by
universal consent, in the case of war, wherein are the actual exigencies
of the country or the moral obligation to provide for them less under
present circumstances than they could be were we actually involved in
war? It appears to me to be the indispensable duty of all concerned in
the administration of public affairs to see that a state of things so
humiliating and so perilous should not last a moment longer than is
absolutely unavoidable. Much less excusable should we be in parting
with any portion of our available means, at least until the demands
of the Treasury are fully supplied. But besides the urgency of such
considerations, the fact is undeniable that the distribution act could
not have become a law without the guaranty in the proviso of the act
itself.

This connection, thus meant to be inseparable, is severed by the bill
presented to me. The bill violates the principle of the acts of 1833 and
September, 1841, by suspending the first and rendering for a time the
last inoperative. Duties above 20 per cent are proposed to be levied,
and yet the _proviso_ in the distribution act is disregarded. The
proceeds of the sales are to be distributed on the 1st of August, so
that, while the duties proposed to be enacted exceed 20 per cent, no
suspension of the distribution to the States is permitted to take place.
To abandon the principle for a month is to open the way for its total
abandonment. If such is not meant, why postpone at all? Why not let the
distribution take place on the 1st of July if the law so directs (which,
however, is regarded as questionable)? But why not have limited the
provision to that effect? Is it for the accommodation of the Treasury?
I see no reason to believe that the Treasury will be in better condition
to meet the payment on the 1st of August than on the 1st of July.

The bill assumes that a distribution of the proceeds of the public
lands is, by existing laws, to be made on the 1st day of July, 1842,
notwithstanding there has been an imposition of duties on imports
exceeding 20 per cent up to that day, and directs it to be made on the
1st of August next. It seems to me very clear that this conclusion is
equally erroneous and dangerous, as it would divert from the Treasury a
fund sacredly pledged for the general purposes of the Government in the
event of a rate of duty above 20 per cent being found necessary for an
economical administration of the Government.

The bill under consideration is designed only as a temporary measure;
and thus a temporary measure, passed merely for the convenience of
Congress, is made to affect the vital principle of an important act.
If the proviso of the act of September, 1841, can be suspended for the
whole period of a temporary law, why not for the whole period of a
permanent law? In fact, a doubt may be well entertained, according to
strict legal rules, whether the condition, having been thus expressly
suspended by this bill and rendered inapplicable to a case where it
would otherwise have clearly applied, will not be considered as ever
after satisfied and gone. Without expressing any decided opinion on this
point, I see enough in it to justify me in adhering to the law as it
stands in preference to subjecting a condition so vitally affecting the
peace of the country, and so solemnly enacted at a momentous crisis, and
so steadfastly adhered to ever since, and so replete, if adhered to,
with good to every interest of the country, to doubtful or captious
interpretation.

In discharging the high duties thus imposed on me by the Constitution I
repeat to the House my entire willingness to cooperate in all financial
measures, constitutional and proper, which in its wisdom it may judge
necessary and proper to reestablish the credit of the Government.
I believe that the proceeds of the sales of the public lands being
restored to the Treasury--or, more properly speaking, the proviso of
the act of September, 1841, being permitted to remain in full force--a
tariff of duties may easily be adjusted, which, while it will yield a
revenue sufficient to maintain the Government in vigor by restoring its
credit, will afford ample protection and infuse a new life into all our
manufacturing establishments. The condition of the country calls for
such legislation, and it will afford me the most sincere pleasure to
cooperate in it.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _August 9, 1842_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

It is with unfeigned regret that I find myself under the necessity of
returning to the House of Representatives with my objections a bill
entitled "An act to provide revenue from imports, and to change and
modify existing laws imposing duties on imports, and for other
purposes." Nothing can be more painful to any individual called upon to
perform the Chief Executive duties under our limited Constitution than
to be constrained to withhold his assent from an important measure
adopted by the Legislature. Yet he would neither fulfill the high
purposes of his station nor consult the true interests or the solemn
will of the people--the common constituents of both branches of the
Government--by yielding his well-considered, most deeply fixed, and
repeatedly declared opinions on matters of great public concernment to
those of a coordinate department without requesting that department
seriously to reexamine the subject of their difference. The exercise of
some independence of judgment in regard to all acts of legislation is
plainly implied in the responsibility of approving them. At all times
a duty, it becomes a peculiarly solemn and imperative one when the
subjects passed upon by Congress happen to involve, as in the present
instance, the most momentous issues, to affect variously the various
parts of a great country, and to have given rise in all quarters to such
a conflict of opinion as to render it impossible to conjecture with any
certainty on which side the majority really is. Surely if the pause for
reflection intended by the wise authors of the Constitution by referring
the subject back to Congress for reconsideration be ever expedient and
necessary it is precisely such a case as the present.

On the subject of distributing the proceeds of the sales of the public
lands in the existing state of the finances it has been my duty to make
known my settled convictions on various occasions during the present
session of Congress. At the opening of the extra session, upward of
twelve months ago, sharing fully in the general hope of returning
prosperity and credit, I recommended such a distribution, but that
recommendation was even then expressly coupled with the condition that
the duties on imports should not exceed the rate of 20 per cent provided
by the compromise act of 1833. These hopes were not a little encouraged
and these views strengthened by the report of Mr. Ewing, then Secretary
of the Treasury, which was shortly thereafter laid before Congress, in
which he recommended the imposition of duties at the rate of 20 per cent
_ad valorem_ on all free articles, with specified exceptions, and stated
"if this measure be adopted there will be received in the Treasury from
customs in the last quarter of the present year (1841) $5,300,000; in
all of the year 1842, about $22,500,000; and in the year 1843, after the
final reduction under the act of March 2, 1833, about $20,800,000;" and
adds:


  It is believed that after the heavy expenditures required by the public
  service in the present year shall have been provided for, the revenues
  which will accrue from that or a nearly approximate rate of duty will
  be sufficient to defray the expenses of the Government and leave a
  surplus to be annually applied to the gradual payment of the national
  debt, leaving the proceeds of _the public lands_ to be disposed of as
  Congress shall see fit.


I was most happy that Congress at the time seemed entirely to concur in
the recommendations of the Executive, and, anticipating the correctness
of the Secretary's conclusions, and in view of an actual surplus, passed
the distribution act of the 4th September last, wisely limiting its
operation by two conditions having reference, both of them, to a
possible state of the Treasury different from that which had been
anticipated by the Secretary of the Treasury and to the paramount
necessities of the public service. It ordained that "if at any time
during the existence of that act there should be an imposition of duties
on imports inconsistent with the provision of the act of the 2d March,
1833, and beyond the rate of duties fixed by that act, to wit, 20 per
cent on the value of such imports or any of them, then the distribution
should be suspended, and should continue so suspended until that cause
should be removed," By a previous clause it had, in a like spirit of
wise and cautious patriotism, provided for another case, in which all
are even now agreed, that the proceeds of the sales of the public lands
should be used for the defense of the country. It was enacted that the
act should continue and be in force until otherwise provided by law,
unless the United States should become involved in war with any foreign
power, in which event, from the commencement of hostilities, the act
should be suspended until the cessation of hostilities.

Not long after the opening of the present session of Congress the
unprecedented and extraordinary difficulties that have recently
embarrassed the finances of the country began to assume a serious
aspect. It soon became quite evident that the hopes under which the act
of 4th September was passed, and which alone justified it in the eyes
either of Congress who imposed or of the Executive who approved, the
first of the two conditions just recited were not destined to be
fulfilled. Under the pressure, therefore, of the embarrassments which
had thus unexpectedly arisen it appeared to me that the course to be
pursued had been clearly marked out for the Government by that act
itself. The condition contemplated in it as requiring a suspension of
its operation had occurred. It became necessary in the opinions of all
to raise the rate of duties upon imports above 20 per cent; and with a
view both to provide available means to meet present exigencies and to
lay the foundation for a successful negotiation of a loan, I felt it
incumbent on me to urge upon Congress to raise the duties accordingly,
imposing them in a spirit of a wise discrimination for the twofold
object of affording ample revenue for the Government and incidental
protection to the various branches of domestic industry. I also pressed,
in the most emphatic but respectful language I could employ, the
necessity of making the land sales available to the Treasury, as the
basis of public credit. I did not think that I could stand excused, much
less justified, before the people of the United States, nor could I
reconcile it to myself to recommend the imposition of additional taxes
upon them without at the same time urging the employment of all the
legitimate means of the Government toward satisfying its wants. These
opinions were communicated in advance of any definitive action of
Congress on the subject either of the tariff or land sales, under a high
sense of public duty and in compliance with an express injunction of the
Constitution, so that if a collision, extremely to be deprecated, as
such collisions always are, has seemingly arisen between the executive
and legislative branches of the Government, it has assuredly not been
owing to any capricious interference or to any want of a plain and frank
declaration of opinion on the part of the former. Congress differed in
its views with those of the Executive, as it had undoubtedly a right to
do, and passed a bill virtually for a time repealing the proviso of the
act of the 4th September, 1841. The bill was returned to the House in
which it originated with my objections to its becoming a law. With a
view to prevent, if possible, an open disagreement of opinion on a point
so important, I took occasion to declare that I regarded it as an
indispensable prerequisite to an increase of duties above 20 per cent
that the act of the 4th September should remain unrepealed in its
provisions. My reasons for that opinion were elaborately set forth
in the message which accompanied the return of the bill, which no
constitutional majority appears to have been found for passing into
a law.

The bill which is now before me proposes in its twenty-seventh section
the total repeal of one of the provisos in the act of September,
and, while it increases the duties above 20 per cent, directs an
unconditional distribution of the land proceeds. I am therefore
subjected a second time in the period of a few days to the necessity of
either giving my approval to a measure which, in my deliberate judgment,
is in conflict with great public interests or of returning it to the
House in which it originated with my objections. With all my anxiety for
the passage of a law which would replenish an exhausted Treasury and
furnish a sound and healthy encouragement to mechanical industry, I can
not consent to do so at the sacrifice of the peace and harmony of the
country and the clearest convictions of public duty.

For some of the reasons which have brought me to this conclusion I refer
to my previous messages to Congress, and briefly subjoin the following:

1. The bill unites two subjects which, so far from having any affinity
to one another, are wholly incongruous in their character. It is both a
revenue and an appropriation bill. It thus imposes on the Executive, in
the first place, the necessity of either approving that which he would
reject or rejecting that which he might otherwise approve. This is a
species of constraint to which the judgment of the Executive ought not,
in my opinion, to be subjected. But that is not my only objection to the
act in its present form. The union of subjects wholly dissimilar in
their character in the same bill, if it grew into a practice, would not
fail to lead to consequences destructive of all wise and conscientious
legislation. Various measures, each agreeable only to a small minority,
might by being thus united--and the more the greater chance of
success--lead to the passing of laws of which no single provision could
if standing alone command a majority in its favor.

2. While the Treasury is in a state of extreme embarrassment,
requiring every dollar which it can make available, and when the
Government has not only to lay additional taxes, but to borrow money
to meet pressing demands, the bill proposes to give away a fruitful
source of revenue--which is the same thing as raising money by loan
and taxation--not to meet the wants of the Government, but for
distribution--a proceeding which I must regard as highly impolitic,
if not unconstitutional.

A brief review of the present condition of the public finances will
serve to illustrate the true condition of the Treasury and exhibit
its actual necessities:


  On the 5th of August (Friday last) there was
  in the Treasury, in round numbers                        $2,150,000

  Necessary to be retained to meet trust funds   $360,000
  Interest on public debt due in October           80,000
  To redeem Treasury notes and pay the interest   100,000
  Land distribution under the act of the 4th of
  September, 1841                                 640,000
                                                 ________   1,180,000
                                                           __________
  Leaving an available amount of                              970,000


The Navy Department had drawn requisitions on the Treasury at that time
to meet debts actually due, among which are bills under protest for
$1,414,000, thus leaving an actual deficit of $444,000.

There was on hand about $100,000 of unissued Treasury notes, assisted by
the accruing revenue (amounting to about $150,000 per week, exclusive of
receipts on unpaid bonds), to meet requisitions for the Army and the
demands of the civil list.

The withdrawal of the sum of $640,000 to be distributed among the
States, so soon as the statements and accounts can be made up and
completed, by virtue of the provisions of the act of the 4th of
September last (of which nearly a moiety goes to a few States, and only
about $383,000 is to be divided among all the States), while it adds
materially to the embarrassments of the Treasury, affords to the States
no decided relief.

No immediate relief from this state of things is anticipated unless
(what would most deeply be deplored) the Government could be reconciled
to the negotiation of loans already authorized by law at a rate of
discount ruinous in itself and calculated most seriously to affect the
public credit. So great is the depression of trade that even if the
present bill were to become a law and prove to be productive some time
would elapse before sufficient supplies would flow into the Treasury,
while in the meantime its embarrassments would be continually augmented
by the semiannual distribution of the land proceeds.

Indeed, there is but too much ground to apprehend that even if this bill
were permitted to become a law--alienating, as it does, the proceeds of
the land sales--an actual deficit in the Treasury would occur, which
would more than probably involve the necessity of a resort to direct
taxation.

Let it be also remarked that $5,500,000 of the public debt becomes
redeemable in about two years and a half, which at any sacrifice must
be met, while the Treasury is always liable to demands for the payment
of outstanding Treasury notes. Such is the gloomy picture which our
financial department now presents, and which calls for the exercise of a
rigid economy in the public expenditures and the rendering available of
all the means within the control of the Government. I most respectfully
submit whether this is a time to give away the proceeds of the land
sales when the public lands constitute a fund which of all others may be
made most useful in sustaining the public credit. Can the Government be
generous and munificent to others when every dollar it can command is
necessary to supply its own wants? And if Congress would not hesitate
to suffer the provisions of the act of 4th September last to remain
unrepealed in case the country was involved in war, is not the necessity
for such a course now just as imperative as it would be then?

3. A third objection remains to be urged, which would be sufficient in
itself to induce me to return the bill to the House with my objections.
By uniting two subjects so incongruous as tariff and distribution it
inevitably makes the fate of the one dependent upon that of the other
in future contests of party. Can anything be more fatal to the merchant
or manufacturer than such an alliance? What they most of all require
is a system of moderate duties so arranged as to withdraw the tariff
question, as far as possible, completely from the arena of political
contention. Their chief want is permanency and stability. Such an
increase of the tariff I believe to be necessary in order to meet the
economical expenditures of Government. Such an increase, made in the
spirit of moderation and judicious discrimination, would, I have no
doubt, be entirely satisfactory to the great majority of the American
people. In the way of accomplishing a measure so salutary and so
imperatively demanded by every public interest, the legislative
department will meet with a cordial cooperation on the part of the
Executive. This is all that the manufacturer can desire, and it would be
a burden readily borne by the people. But I can not too earnestly repeat
that in order to be beneficial it must be permanent, and in order to be
permanent it must command general acquiescence. But can such permanency
be justly hoped for if the tariff question be coupled with that of
distribution, as to which a serious conflict of opinion exists among the
States and the people, and which enlists in its support a bare majority,
if, indeed, there be a majority, of the two Houses of Congress? What
permanency or stability can attach to a measure which, warring upon
itself, gives away a fruitful source of revenue at the moment it
proposes a large increase of taxes on the people? Is the manufacturer
prepared to stake himself and his interests upon such an issue?

I know that it is urged (but most erroneously, in my opinion) that
instability is just as apt to be produced by retaining the public lands
as a source of revenue as from any other cause, and this is ascribed to
a constant fluctuation, as it is said, in the amount of sales. If there
were anything in this objection, it equally applies to every imposition
of duties on imports. The amount of revenue annually derived from duties
is constantly liable to change. The regulations of foreign governments,
the varying productiveness of other countries, periods of excitement
in trade, and a great variety of other circumstances are constantly
arising to affect the state of commerce, foreign and domestic, and, of
consequence, the revenue levied upon it. The sales of the public domain
in ordinary times are regulated by fixed laws which have their basis in
a demand increasing only in the ratio of the increase of population.
In recurring to the statistics connected with this subject it will be
perceived that for a period of ten years preceding 1834 the average
amount of land sales did not exceed $2,000,000. For the increase which
took place in 1834, 1835, and 1836 we are to look to that peculiar
condition of the country which grew out of one of the most extraordinary
excitements in business and speculation that has ever occurred in the
history of commerce and currency. It was the fruit of a wild spirit of
adventure engendered by a vicious system of credits, under the evils of
which the country is still laboring, and which it is fondly hoped will
not soon recur. Considering the vast amount of investments made by
private individuals in the public lands during those three years, and
which equaled $43,000,000 (equal to more than twenty years' purchase),
taking the average of sales of the ten preceding years, it may be safely
asserted that the result of the public-land sales can hold out nothing
to alarm the manufacturer with the idea of instability in the revenues
and consequently in the course of the Government.

Under what appears to me, therefore, the soundest considerations of
public policy, and in view of the interests of every branch of domestic
industry, I return you the bill with these my objections to its becoming
a law.

I take occasion emphatically to repeat my anxious desire to cooperate
with Congress in the passing of a law which, while it shall assist in
supplying the wants of the Treasury and reestablish public credit, shall
afford to the manufacturing interests of the country all the incidental
protection they require.

After all, the effect of what I do is substantially to call on Congress
to reconsider the subject. If on such reconsideration a majority of
two-thirds of both Houses should be in favor of this measure, it will
become a law notwithstanding my objections. In a case of clear and
manifest error on the part of the President the presumption of the
Constitution is that such majorities will be found. Should they be
so found in this case, having conscientiously discharged my own duty
I shall cheerfully acquiesce in the result.

JOHN TYLER.




PROTEST.[79]

[Footnote 79: The House of Representatives ordered that it be not
entered on the Journal.]


WASHINGTON, _August 30, 1842_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

By the Constitution of the United States it is provided that "every bill
which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate
shall before it become a law be presented to the President of the United
States; _if he approve_, he _shall_ sign it; but if _not_, he _shall_
return it with his objections to that House in which it shall have
originated, who shall enter the objections at large upon the Journal
and proceed to reconsider it."

In strict compliance with the positive obligation thus imposed upon me
by the Constitution, not having been able to bring myself to approve a
bill which originated in the House of Representatives entitled "An act
to provide revenue from imports, and to change and modify existing laws
imposing duties on imports, and for other purposes," I returned the same
to the House with my objections to its becoming a law. These objections,
which had entirely satisfied my own mind of the great impolicy, if not
unconstitutionality, of the measure, were presented in the most
respectful and even deferential terms. I would not have been so far
forgetful of what was due from one department of the Government to
another as to have intentionally employed in my official intercourse
with the House any language that could be in the slightest degree
offensive to those to whom it was addressed. If in assigning my
objections to the bill I had so far forgotten what was due to the
House of Representatives as to impugn its motives in passing the bill,
I should owe, not only to that House, but to the country, the most
profound apology. Such departure from propriety is, however, not
complained of in any proceeding which the House has adopted. It has,
on the contrary, been expressly made a subject of remark, and almost
of complaint, that the language in which my dissent was couched was
studiously guarded and cautious.

Such being the character of the official communication in question,
I confess I was wholly unprepared for the course which has been pursued
in regard to it. In the exercise of its power to regulate its own
proceedings the House for the first time, it is believed, in the history
of the Government thought proper to refer the message to a select
committee of its own body for the purpose, as my respect for the
House would have compelled me to infer, of deliberately weighing the
objections urged against the bill by the Executive with a view to its
own judgment upon the question of the final adoption or rejection of
the measure.

Of the temper and feelings in relation to myself of some of the members
selected for the performance of this duty I have nothing to say.
That was a matter entirely within the discretion of the House of
Representatives. But that committee, taking a different view of its duty
from that which I should have supposed had led to its creation, instead
of confining itself to the objections urged against the bill availed
itself of the occasion formally to arraign the motives of the President
for others of his acts since his induction into office. In the absence
of all proof and, as I am bound to declare, against all law or precedent
in parliamentary proceedings, and at the same time in a manner which
it would be difficult to reconcile with the comity hitherto sacredly
observed in the intercourse between independent and coordinate
departments of the Government, it has assailed my whole official conduct
without the shadow of a pretext for such assault, and, stopping short
of impeachment, has charged me, nevertheless, with offenses declared
to deserve impeachment.

Had the extraordinary report which the committee thus made to the
House been permitted to remain without the sanction of the latter,
I should not have uttered a regret or complaint upon the subject.
But unaccompanied as it is by any particle of testimony to support the
charges it contains, without a deliberate examination, almost without
any discussion, the House of Representatives has been pleased to adopt
it as its own, and thereby to become my accuser before the country and
before the world. The high character of such an accuser, the gravity of
the charges which have been made, and the judgment pronounced against me
by the adoption of the report upon a distinct and separate vote of the
House leave me no alternative but to enter my solemn protest against
this proceeding as unjust to myself as a man, as an invasion of my
constitutional powers as Chief Magistrate of the American people, and as
a violation in my person of rights secured to every citizen by the laws
and the Constitution. That Constitution has intrusted to the House
of Representatives the sole power of impeachment. Such impeachment
is required to be tried before the most august tribunal known to
our institutions. The Senate of the United States, composed of the
representatives of the sovereignty of the States, is converted into a
hall of justice, and in order to insure the strictest observance of the
rules of evidence and of legal procedure the Chief Justice of the United
States, the highest judicial functionary of the land, is required to
preside over its deliberations. In the presence of such a judicatory the
voice of faction is presumed to be silent, and the sentence of guilt or
innocence is pronounced under the most solemn sanctions of religion, of
honor, and of law. To such a tribunal does the Constitution authorize
the House of Representatives to carry up its accusations against any
chief of the executive department whom it may believe to be guilty of
high crimes and misdemeanors. Before that tribunal the accused is
confronted with his accusers, and may demand the privilege, which the
justice of the common law secures to the humblest citizen, of a full,
patient, and impartial inquiry into the facts, upon the testimony of
witnesses rigidly cross-examined and deposing in the face of day.
If such a proceeding had been adopted toward me, unjust as I should
certainly have regarded it, I should, I trust, have met with a becoming
constancy a trial as painful as it would have been undeserved. I would
have manifested by a profound submission to the laws of my country my
perfect faith in her justice, and, relying on the purity of my motives
and the rectitude of my conduct, should have looked forward with
confidence to a triumphant refutation in the presence of that country
and by the solemn judgment of such a tribunal not only of whatever
charges might have been formally preferred against me, but of all the
calumnies of which I have hitherto been the unresisting victim. As
it is, I have been accused without evidence and condemned without a
hearing. As far as such proceedings can accomplish it, I am deprived of
public confidence in the administration of the Government and denied
even the boast of a good name--a name transmitted to me from a patriot
father, prized as my proudest inheritance, and carefully preserved for
those who are to come after me as the most precious of all earthly
possessions. I am not only subjected to imputations affecting my
character as an individual, but am charged with offenses against the
country so grave and so heinous as to deserve public disgrace and
disfranchisement. I am charged with violating pledges which I never
gave, and, because I execute what I believe to be the law, with usurping
powers not conferred by law, and, above all, with using the powers
conferred upon the President by the Constitution from corrupt motives
and for unwarrantable ends. And these charges are made without any
particle of evidence to sustain them, and, as I solemnly affirm,
without any foundation in truth.

Why is a proceeding of this sort adopted at this time? Is the occasion
for it found in the fact that having been elected to the second office
under the Constitution by the free and voluntary suffrages of the
people, I have succeeded to the first according to the express
provisions of the fundamental law of the same people? It is true that
the succession of the Vice-President to the Chief Magistracy has never
occurred before and that all prudent and patriotic minds have looked
on this new trial of the wisdom and stability of our institutions with
a somewhat anxious concern. I have been made to feel too sensibly
the difficulties of my unprecedented position not to know all that is
intended to be conveyed in the reproach cast upon a President without
a party. But I found myself placed in this most responsible station
by no usurpation or contrivance of my own. I was called to it, under
Providence, by the supreme law of the land and the deliberately declared
will of the people. It is by these that I have been clothed with the
high powers which they have seen fit to confide to their Chief Executive
and been charged with the solemn responsibility under which those powers
are to be exercised. It is to them that I hold myself answerable as a
moral agent for a free and conscientious discharge of the duties which
they have imposed upon me. It is not as an individual merely that I am
now called upon to resist the encroachments of unconstitutional power.
I represent the executive authority of the people of the United States,
and it is in their name, whose mere agent and servant I am, and whose
will declared in their fundamental law I dare not, even were I inclined,
to disobey, that I protest against every attempt to break down the
undoubted constitutional power of this department without a solemn
amendment of that fundamental law.

I am determined to uphold the Constitution in this as in other
respects to the utmost of my ability and in defiance of all personal
consequences. What may happen to an individual is of little importance,
but the Constitution of the country, or any one of its great and clear
principles and provisions, is too sacred to be surrendered under any
circumstances whatever by those who are charged with its protection and
defense. Least of all should he be held guiltless who, placed at the
head of one of the great departments of the Government, should shrink
from the exercise of its unquestionable authority on the most important
occasions and should consent without a struggle to efface all the
barriers so carefully erected by the people to control and circumscribe
the powers confided to their various agents. It may be desirable, as the
majority of the House of Representatives has declared it is, that no
such checks upon the will of the Legislature should be suffered to
continue. This is a matter for the people and States to decide, but
until they shall have decided it I shall feel myself bound to execute,
without fear or favor, the law as it has been written by our
predecessors.

I protest against this whole proceeding of the House of Representatives
as _ex parte_ and extrajudicial. I protest against it as subversive of
the common right of all citizens to be condemned only upon a fair and
impartial trial, according to law and evidence, before the country.
I protest against it as destructive of all the comity of intercourse
between the departments of this Government, and destined sooner or
later to lead to conflicts fatal to the peace of the country and the
integrity of the Constitution. I protest against it in the name of that
Constitution which is not only my own shield of protection and defense,
but that of every American citizen. I protest against it in the name of
the people, by whose will I stand where I do, by whose authority I
exercised the power which I am charged with having usurped, and to whom
I am responsible for a firm and faithful discharge according to my own
convictions of duty of the high stewardship confided to me by them.
I protest against it in the name of all regulated liberty and all
limited government as a proceeding tending to the utter destruction
of the checks and balances of the Constitution and the accumulating
in the hands of the House of Representatives, or a bare majority of
Congress for the time being, an uncontrolled and despotic power. And
I respectfully ask that this my protest may be entered upon the Journal
of the House of Representatives as a solemn and formal declaration for
all time to come against the injustice and unconstitutionality of such
a proceeding.

JOHN TYLER.




SECOND ANNUAL MESSAGE.


WASHINGTON, _December 6, 1842_.

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

We have continued reason to express our profound gratitude to the Great
Creator of All Things for numberless benefits conferred upon us as a
people. Blessed with genial seasons, the husbandman has his garners
filled with abundance, and the necessaries of life, not to speak of its
luxuries, abound in every direction. While in some other nations steady
and industrious labor can hardly find the means of subsistence, the
greatest evil which we have to encounter is a surplus of production
beyond the home demand, which seeks, and with difficulty finds, a
partial market in other regions. The health of the country, with partial
exceptions, has for the past year been well preserved, and under their
free and wise institutions the United States are rapidly advancing
toward the consummation of the high destiny which an overruling
Providence seems to have marked out for them. Exempt from domestic
convulsion and at peace with all the world, we are left free to consult
as to the best means of securing and advancing the happiness of the
people. Such are the circumstances under which you now assemble in your
respective chambers and which should lead us to unite in praise and
thanksgiving to that great Being who made us and who preserves us as
a nation.

I congratulate you, fellow-citizens, on the happy change in the aspect
of our foreign affairs since my last annual message. Causes of complaint
at that time existed between the United States and Great Britain which,
attended by irritating circumstances, threatened most seriously the
public peace. The difficulty of adjusting amicably the questions at
issue between the two countries was in no small degree augmented by the
lapse of time since they had their origin. The opinions entertained by
the Executive on several of the leading topics in dispute were frankly
set forth in the message at the opening of your late session. The
appointment of a special minister by Great Britain to the United States
with power to negotiate upon most of the points of difference indicated
a desire on her part amicably to adjust them, and that minister was met
by the Executive in the same spirit which had dictated his mission.
The treaty consequent thereon having been duly ratified by the two
Governments, a copy, together with the correspondence which accompanied
it, is herewith communicated. I trust that whilst you may see in it
nothing objectionable, it may be the means of preserving for an
indefinite period the amicable relations happily existing between the
two Governments. The question of peace or war between the United States
and Great Britain is a question of the deepest interest, not only to
themselves, but to the civilized world, since it is scarcely possible
that a war could exist between them without endangering the peace of
Christendom. The immediate effect of the treaty upon ourselves will be
felt in the security afforded to mercantile enterprise, which, no longer
apprehensive of interruption, adventures its speculations in the most
distant seas, and, freighted with the diversified productions of every
land, returns to bless our own. There is nothing in the treaty which in
the slightest degree compromits the honor or dignity of either nation.
Next to the settlement of the boundary line, which must always be a
matter of difficulty between states as between individuals, the question
which seemed to threaten the greatest embarrassment was that connected
with the African slave trade.

By the tenth article of the treaty of Ghent it was expressly declared
that--


  Whereas the traffic in slaves is irreconcilable with the principles
  of humanity and justice, and whereas both His Majesty and the United
  States are desirous of continuing their efforts to promote its entire
  abolition, it is hereby agreed that both the contracting parties
  shall use their best endeavors to accomplish so desirable an object.


In the enforcement of the laws and treaty stipulations of Great Britain
a practice had threatened to grow up on the part of its cruisers of
subjecting to visitation ships sailing under the American flag, which,
while it seriously involved our maritime rights, would subject to
vexation a branch of our trade which was daily increasing, and which
required the fostering care of Government. And although Lord Aberdeen
in his correspondence with the American envoys at London expressly
disclaimed all right to detain an American ship on the high seas, even
if found with a cargo of slaves on board, and restricted the British
pretension to a mere claim to visit and inquire, yet it could not well
be discerned by the Executive of the United States how such visit and
inquiry could be made without detention on the voyage and consequent
interruption to the trade. It was regarded as the right of search
presented only in a new form and expressed in different words, and
I therefore felt it to be my duty distinctly to declare in my annual
message to Congress that no such concession could be made, and that the
United States had both the will and the ability to enforce their own
laws and to protect their flag from being used for purposes wholly
forbidden by those laws and obnoxious to the moral censure of the world.
Taking the message as his letter of instructions, our then minister at
Paris felt himself required to assume the same ground in a remonstrance
which he felt it to be his duty to present to Mr. Guizot, and through
him to the King of the French, against what has been called the
"quintuple treaty;" and his conduct in this respect met with the
approval of this Government. In close conformity with these views the
eighth article of the treaty was framed, which provides "that each
nation shall keep afloat in the African seas a force not less than
80 guns, to act separately and apart, under instructions from their
respective Governments, and for the enforcement of their respective laws
and obligations." From this it will be seen that the ground assumed
in the message has been fully maintained at the same time that the
stipulations of the treaty of Ghent are to be carried out in good faith
by the two countries, and that all pretense is removed for interference
with our commerce for any purpose whatever by a foreign government.
While, therefore, the United States have been standing up for the
freedom of the seas, they have not thought proper to make that a pretext
for avoiding a fulfillment of their treaty stipulations or a ground
for giving countenance to a trade reprobated by our laws. A similar
arrangement by the other great powers could not fail to sweep from the
ocean the slave trade without the interpolation of any new principle
into the maritime code. We may be permitted to hope that the example
thus set will be followed by some if not all of them. We thereby also
afford suitable protection to the fair trader in those seas, thus
fulfilling at the same time the dictates of a sound policy and complying
with the claims of justice and humanity.

It would have furnished additional cause for congratulation if the
treaty could have embraced all subjects calculated in future to lead to
a misunderstanding between the two Governments. The Territory of the
United States commonly called the Oregon Territory, lying on the Pacific
Ocean north of the forty-second degree of latitude, to a portion of
which Great Britain lays claim, begins to attract the attention of our
fellow-citizens, and the tide of population which has reclaimed what was
so lately an unbroken wilderness in more contiguous regions is preparing
to flow over those vast districts which stretch from the Rocky Mountains
to the Pacific Ocean. In advance of the acquirement of individual rights
to these lands, sound policy dictates that every effort should be
resorted to by the two Governments to settle their respective claims.
It became manifest at an early hour of the late negotiations that any
attempt for the time being satisfactorily to determine those rights
would lead to a protracted discussion, which might embrace in its
failure other more pressing matters, and the Executive did not regard
it as proper to waive all the advantages of an honorable adjustment of
other difficulties of great magnitude and importance because this, not
so immediately pressing, stood in the way. Although the difficulty
referred to may not for several years to come involve the peace of
the two countries, yet I shall not delay to urge on Great Britain the
importance of its early settlement. Nor will other matters of commercial
importance to the two countries be overlooked, and I have good reason to
believe that it will comport with the policy of England, as it does with
that of the United States, to seize upon this moment, when most of the
causes of irritation have passed away, to cement the peace and amity of
the two countries by wisely removing all grounds of probable future
collision.

With the other powers of Europe our relations continue on the most
amicable footing. Treaties now existing with them should be rigidly
observed, and every opportunity compatible with the interests of the
United States should be seized upon to enlarge the basis of commercial
intercourse. Peace with all the world is the true foundation of our
policy, which can only be rendered permanent by the practice of equal
and impartial justice to all. Our great desire should be to enter only
into that rivalry which looks to the general good in the cultivation
of the sciences, the enlargement of the field for the exercise of the
mechanical arts, and the spread of commerce--that great civilizer--to
every land and sea. Carefully abstaining from interference in all
questions exclusively referring themselves to the political interests
of Europe, we may be permitted to hope an equal exemption from the
interference of European Governments in what relates to the States
of the American continent.

On the 23d of April last the commissioners on the part of the United
States under the convention with the Mexican Republic of the 11th of
April, 1839, made to the proper Department a final report in relation to
the proceedings of the commission. From this it appears that the total
amount awarded to the claimants by the commissioners and the umpire
appointed under that convention was $2,026,079.68. The arbiter having
considered that his functions were required by the convention to
terminate at the same time with those of the commissioners, returned to
the board, undecided for want of time, claims which had been allowed by
the American commissioners to the amount of $928,620.88. Other claims,
in which the amount sought to be recovered was $3,336,837.05, were
submitted to the board too late for its consideration. The minister of
the United States at Mexico has been duly authorized to make demand for
payment of the awards according to the terms of the convention and the
provisions of the act of Congress of the 12th of June, 1840. He has also
been instructed to communicate to that Government the expectations of
the Government of the United States in relation to those claims which
were not disposed of according to the provisions of the convention,
and all others of citizens of the United States against the Mexican
Government. He has also been furnished with other instructions, to be
followed by him in case the Government of Mexico should not find itself
in a condition to make present payment of the amount of the awards in
specie or its equivalent.

I am happy to be able to say that information which is esteemed
favorable both to a just satisfaction of the awards and a reasonable
provision for other claims has been recently received from Mr. Thompson,
the minister of the United States, who has promptly and efficiently
executed the instructions of his Government in regard to this important
subject.

The citizens of the United States who accompanied the late Texan
expedition to Santa Fe, and who were wrongfully taken and held as
prisoners of war in Mexico, have all been liberated.

A correspondence has taken place between the Department of State and
the Mexican minister of foreign affairs upon the complaint of Mexico
that citizens of the United States were permitted to give aid to the
inhabitants of Texas in the war existing between her and that Republic.
Copies of this correspondence are herewith communicated to Congress,
together with copies of letters on the same subject addressed to the
diplomatic corps at Mexico by the American minister and the Mexican
secretary of state.

Mexico has thought proper to reciprocate the mission of the United
States to that Government by accrediting to this a minister of the same
rank as that of the representative of the United States in Mexico. From
the circumstances connected with his mission favorable results are
anticipated from it. It is so obviously for the interest of both
countries as neighbors and friends that all just causes of mutual
dissatisfaction should be removed that it is to be hoped neither will
omit or delay the employment of any practicable and honorable means to
accomplish that end.

The affairs pending between this Government and several others of the
States of this hemisphere formerly under the dominion of Spain have
again within the past year been materially obstructed by the military
revolutions and conflicts in those countries.

The ratifications of the treaty between the United States and the
Republic of Ecuador of the 13th of June, 1839, have been exchanged,
and that instrument has been duly promulgated on the part of this
Government. Copies are now communicated to Congress with a view to
enable that body to make such changes in the laws applicable to our
intercourse with that Republic as may be deemed requisite.

Provision has been made by the Government of Chile for the payment of
the claim on account of the illegal detention of the brig _Warrior_ at
Coquimbo in 1820. This Government has reason to expect that other claims
of our citizens against Chile will be hastened to a final and
satisfactory close.

The Empire of Brazil has not been altogether exempt from those
convulsions which so constantly afflict the neighboring republics.
Disturbances which recently broke out are, however, now understood to
be quieted. But these occurrences, by threatening the stability of the
governments, or by causing incessant and violent changes in them or in
the persons who administer them, tend greatly to retard provisions for a
just indemnity for losses and injuries suffered by individual subjects
or citizens of other states. The Government of the United States will
feel it to be its duty, however, to consent to no delay not unavoidable
in making satisfaction for wrongs and injuries sustained by its own
citizens. Many years having in some cases elapsed, a decisive and
effectual course of proceeding will be demanded of the respective
governments against whom claims have been preferred.

The vexatious, harassing, and expensive war which so long prevailed with
the Indian tribes inhabiting the peninsula of Florida has happily been
terminated, whereby our Army has been relieved from a service of the
most disagreeable character and the Treasury from a large expenditure.
Some casual outbreaks may occur, such as are incident to the close
proximity of border settlers and the Indians, but these, as in all other
cases, may be left to the care of the local authorities, aided when
occasion may require by the forces of the United States. A sufficient
number of troops will be maintained in Florida so long as the remotest
apprehensions of danger shall exist, yet their duties will be limited
rather to the garrisoning of the necessary posts than to the maintenance
of active hostilities. It is to be hoped that a territory so long
retarded in its growth will now speedily recover from the evils incident
to a protracted war, exhibiting in the increased amount of its rich
productions true evidences of returning wealth and prosperity. By the
practice of rigid justice toward the numerous Indian tribes residing
within our territorial limits and the exercise of a parental vigilance
over their interests, protecting them against fraud and intrusion, and
at the same time using every proper expedient to introduce among them
the arts of civilized life, we may fondly hope not only to wean them
from their love of war, but to inspire them with a love for peace and
all its avocations. With several of the tribes great progress in
civilizing them has already been made. The schoolmaster and the
missionary are found side by side, and the remnants of what were once
numerous and powerful nations may yet be preserved as the builders up
of a new name for themselves and their posterity.

The balance in the Treasury on the 1st of January, 1842, exclusive of
the amount deposited with the States, trust funds, and indemnities, was
$230,483.68. The receipts into the Treasury during the three first
quarters of the present year from all sources amount to $26,616,593.78,
of which more than fourteen millions were received from customs and
about one million from the public lands. The receipts for the fourth
quarter are estimated at nearly eight millions, of which four millions
are expected from customs and three millions and a half from loans and
Treasury notes. The expenditures of the first three quarters of the
present year exceed twenty-six millions, and those estimated for the
fourth quarter amount to about eight millions; and it is anticipated
there will be a deficiency of half a million on the 1st of January next,
but that the amount of outstanding warrants (estimated at $800,000) will
leave an actual balance of about $224,000 in the Treasury. Among the
expenditures of this year are more than eight millions for the public
debt and about $600,000 on account of the distribution to the States of
the proceeds of sales of the public lands.

The present tariff of duties was somewhat hastily and hurriedly passed
near the close of the late session of Congress. That it should have
defects can therefore be surprising to no one. To remedy such defects as
may be found to exist in any of its numerous provisions will not fail
to claim your serious attention. It may well merit inquiry whether the
exaction of all duties in cash does not call for the introduction of a
system which has proved highly beneficial in countries where it has been
adopted. I refer to the warehousing system. The first and most prominent
effect which it would produce would be to protect the market alike
against redundant or deficient supplies of foreign fabrics, both of
which in the long run are injurious as well to the manufacturer as the
importer. The quantity of goods in store being at all times readily
known, it would enable the importer with an approach to accuracy to
ascertain the actual wants of the market and to regulate himself
accordingly. If, however, he should fall into error by importing an
excess above the public wants, he could readily correct its evils by
availing himself of the benefits and advantages of the system thus
established. In the storehouse the goods imported would await the demand
of the market and their issues would be governed by the fixed principles
of demand and supply. Thus an approximation would be made to a
steadiness and uniformity of price, which if attainable would conduce
to the decided advantage of mercantile and mechanical operations.

The apprehension may be well entertained that without something to
ameliorate the rigor of cash payments the entire import trade may fall
into the hands of a few wealthy capitalists in this country and in
Europe. The small importer, who requires all the money he can raise for
investments abroad, and who can but ill afford to pay the lowest duty,
would have to subduct in advance a portion of his funds in order to pay
the duties, and would lose the interest upon the amount thus paid for
all the time the goods might remain unsold, which might absorb his
profits. The rich capitalist, abroad as well as at home, would thus
possess after a short time an almost exclusive monopoly of the import
trade, and laws designed for the benefit of all would thus operate for
the benefit of a few--a result wholly uncongenial with the spirit of our
institutions and antirepublican in all its tendencies. The warehousing
system would enable the importer to watch the market and to select his
own time for offering his goods for sale. A profitable portion of the
carrying trade in articles entered for the benefit of drawback must also
be most seriously affected without the adoption of some expedient to
relieve the cash system. The warehousing system would afford that
relief, since the carrier would have a safe recourse to the public
storehouses and might without advancing the duty reship within some
reasonable period to foreign ports. A further effect of the measure
would be to supersede the system of drawbacks, thereby effectually
protecting the Government against fraud, as the right of debenture would
not attach to goods after their withdrawal from the public stores.

In revising the existing tariff of duties, should you deem it proper to
do so at your present session, I can only repeat the suggestions and
recommendations which upon several occacions I have heretofore felt it
to be my duty to offer to Congress. The great primary and controlling
interest of the American people is union--union not only in the mere
forms of government, forms which may be broken, but union founded in
an attachment of States and individuals for each other. This union in
sentiment and feeling can only be preserved by the adoption of that
course of policy which, neither giving exclusive benefits to some nor
imposing unnecessary burthens upon others, shall consult the interests
of all by pursuing a course of moderation and thereby seeking to
harmonize public opinion, and causing the people everywhere to feel and
to know that the Government is careful of the interests of all alike.
Nor is there any subject in regard to which moderation, connected with a
wise discrimination, is more necessary than in the imposition of duties
on imports. Whether reference be had to revenue, the primary object in
the imposition of taxes, or to the incidents which necessarily flow from
their imposition, this is entirely true. Extravagant duties defeat their
end and object, not only by exciting in the public mind an hostility to
the manufacturing interests, but by inducing a system of smuggling on
an extensive scale and the practice of every manner of fraud upon the
revenue, which the utmost vigilance of Government can not effectually
suppress. An opposite course of policy would be attended by results
essentially different, of which every interest of society, and none more
than those of the manufacturer, would reap important advantages. Among
the most striking of its benefits would be that derived from the general
acquiescence of the country in its support and the consequent permanency
and stability which would be given to all the operations of industry. It
can not be too often repeated that no system of legislation can be wise
which is fluctuating and uncertain. No interest can thrive under it.
The prudent capitalist will never adventure his capital in manufacturing
establishments, or in any other leading pursuit of life, if there
exists a state of uncertainty as to whether the Government will repeal
to-morrow what it has enacted to-day. Fitful profits, however high, if
threatened with a ruinous reduction by a vacillating policy on the part
of Government, will scarcely tempt him to trust the money which he has
acquired by a life of labor upon the uncertain adventure. I therefore,
in the spirit of conciliation, and influenced by no other desire than to
rescue the great interests of the country from the vortex of political
contention, and in the discharge of the high and solemn duties of the
place which I now occupy, recommend moderate duties, imposed with a
wise discrimination as to their several objects, as being not only
most likely to be durable, but most advantageous to every interest
of society.

The report of the Secretary of the War Department exhibits a very
full and satisfactory account of the various and important interests
committed to the charge of that officer. It is particularly gratifying
to find that the expenditures for the military service are greatly
reduced in amount--that a strict system of economy has been introduced
into the service and the abuses of past years greatly reformed. The
fortifications on our maritime frontier have been prosecuted with much
vigor, and at many points our defenses are in a very considerable state
of forwardness. The suggestions in reference to the establishment of
means of communication with our territories on the Pacific and to the
surveys so essential to a knowledge of the resources of the intermediate
country are entitled to the most favorable consideration. While I would
propose nothing inconsistent with friendly negotiations to settle the
extent of our claims in that region, yet a prudent forecast points out
the necessity of such measures as may enable us to maintain our rights.
The arrangements made for preserving our neutral relations on the
boundary between us and Texas and keeping in check the Indians in that
quarter will be maintained so long as circumstances may require. For
several years angry contentions have grown out of the disposition
directed by law to be made of the mineral lands held by the Government
in several of the States. The Government is constituted the landlord,
and the citizens of the States wherein lie the lands are its tenants.
The relation is an unwise one, and it would be much more conducive of
the public interest that a sale of the lands should be made than that
they should remain in their present condition. The supply of the ore
would be more abundantly and certainly furnished when to be drawn from
the enterprise and the industry of the proprietor than under the present
system.

The recommendations of the Secretary in regard to the improvements of
the Western waters and certain prominent harbors on the Lakes merit, and
I doubt not will receive, your serious attention. The great importance
of these subjects to the prosperity of the extensive region referred
to and the security of the whole country in time of war can not escape
observation. The losses of life and property which annually occur
in the navigation of the Mississippi alone because of the dangerous
obstructions in the river make a loud demand upon Congress for the
adoption of efficient measures for their removal.

The report of the Secretary of the Navy will bring you acquainted with
that important branch of the public defenses. Considering the already
vast and daily increasing commerce of the country, apart from the
exposure to hostile inroad of an extended seaboard, all that relates to
the Navy is calculated to excite particular attention. Whatever tends
to add to its efficiency without entailing unnecessary charges upon
the Treasury is well worthy of your serious consideration. It will be
seen that while an appropriation exceeding by more than a million the
appropriations of the current year is asked by the Secretary, yet that
in this sum is proposed to be included $400,000 for the purchase of
clothing, which when once expended will be annually reimbursed by the
sale of the clothes, and will thus constitute a perpetual fund without
any new appropriation to the same object. To this may also be added
$50,000 asked to cover the arrearages of past years and $250,000 in
order to maintain a competent squadron on the coast of Africa; all of
which when deducted will reduce the expenditures nearly within the
limits of those of the current year. While, however, the expenditures
will thus remain very nearly the same as of the antecedent year, it is
proposed to add greatly to the operations of the marine, and in lieu of
only 25 ships in commission and but little in the way of building, to
keep with the same expenditure 41 vessels afloat and to build 12 ships
of a small class.

A strict system of accountability is established and great pains are
taken to insure industry, fidelity, and economy in every department of
duty. Experiments have been instituted to test the quality of various
materials, particularly copper, iron, and coal, so as to prevent fraud
and imposition.

It will appear by the report of the Postmaster-General that the great
point which for several years has been so much desired has during the
current year been fully accomplished. The expenditures of the Department
for current service have been brought within its income without
lessening its general usefulness. There has been an increase of revenue
equal to $166,000 for the year 1842 over that of 1841, without, as it
is believed, any addition having been made to the number of letters and
newspapers transmitted through the mails. The post-office laws have been
honestly administered, and fidelity has been observed in accounting for
and paying over by the subordinates of the Department the moneys which
have been received. For the details of the service I refer you to the
report.

I flatter myself that the exhibition thus made of the condition of the
public administration will serve to convince you that every proper
attention has been paid to the interests of the country by those who
have been called to the heads of the different Departments. The
reduction in the annual expenditures of the Government already
accomplished furnishes a sure evidence that economy in the application
of the public moneys is regarded as a paramount duty.

At peace with all the world, the personal liberty of the citizen
sacredly maintained and his rights secured under political institutions
deriving all their authority from the direct sanction of the people,
with a soil fertile almost beyond example and a country blessed with
every diversity of climate and production, what remains to be done in
order to advance the happiness and prosperity of such a people? Under
ordinary circumstances this inquiry could readily be answered. The best
that probably could be done for a people inhabiting such a country would
be to fortify their peace and security in the prosecution of their
various pursuits by guarding them against invasion from without and
violence from within. The rest for the greater part might be left to
their own energy and enterprise. The chief embarrassments which at the
moment exhibit themselves have arisen from overaction, and the most
difficult task which remains to be accomplished is that of correcting
and overcoming its effects. Between the years 1833 and 1838 additions
were made to bank capital and bank issues, in the form of notes designed
for circulation, to an extent enormously great. The question seemed to
be not how the best currency could be provided, but in what manner the
greatest amount of bank paper could be put in circulation. Thus a vast
amount of what was called money--since for the time being it answered
the purposes of money--was thrown upon the country, an overissue which
was attended, as a necessary consequence, by an extravagant increase of
the prices of all articles of property, the spread of a speculative
mania all over the country, and has finally ended in a general
indebtedness on the part of States and individuals, the prostration of
public and private credit, a depreciation in the market value of real
and personal estate, and has left large districts of country almost
entirely without any circulating medium. In view of the fact that in
1830 the whole banknote circulation within the United States amounted
to but $61,323,898, according to the Treasury statements, and that an
addition had been made thereto of the enormous sum of $88,000,000 in
seven years (the circulation on the 1st of January, 1837, being stated
at $149,185,890), aided by the great facilities afforded in obtaining
loans from European capitalists, who were seized with the same
speculative _mania_ which prevailed in the United States, and the large
importations of funds from abroad--the result of stock sales and
loans--no one can be surprised at the apparent but unsubstantial
state of prosperity which everywhere prevailed over the land; and as
little cause of surprise should be felt at the present prostration
of everything and the ruin which has befallen so many of our
fellow-citizens in the sudden withdrawal from circulation of so large an
amount of bank issues since 1837--exceeding, as is believed, the amount
added to the paper currency for a similar period antecedent to 1837--it
ceases to be a matter of astonishment that such extensive shipwreck
should have been made of private fortunes or that difficulties should
exist in meeting their engagements on the part of the debtor States;
apart from which, if there be taken into account the immense losses
sustained in the dishonor of numerous banks, it is less a matter of
surprise that insolvency should have visited many of our fellow-citizens
than that so many should have escaped the blighting influences of the
times.

In the solemn conviction of these truths and with an ardent desire to
meet the pressing necessities of the country, I felt it to be my duty to
cause to be submitted to you at the commencement of your last session
the plan of an exchequer, the whole power and duty of maintaining which
in purity and vigor was to be exercised by the representatives of the
people and the States, and therefore virtually by the people themselves.
It was proposed to place it under the control and direction of a
Treasury board to consist of three commissioners, whose duty it should
be to see that the law of its creation was faithfully executed and that
the great end of supplying a paper medium of exchange at all times
convertible into gold and silver should be attained. The board thus
constituted was given as much permanency as could be imparted to it
without endangering the proper share of responsibility which should
attach to all public agents. In order to insure all the advantages of a
well-matured experience, the commissioners were to hold their offices
for the respective periods of two, four, and six years, thereby securing
at all times in the management of the exchequer the services of two men
of experience; and to place them in a condition to exercise perfect
independence of mind and action it was provided that their removal
should only take place for actual incapacity or infidelity to the trust,
and to be followed by the President with an exposition of the causes of
such removal, should it occur. It was proposed to establish subordinate
boards in each of the States, under the same restrictions and
limitations of the power of removal, which, with the central board,
should receive, safely keep, and disburse the public moneys. And in
order to furnish a sound paper medium of exchange the exchequer should
retain of the revenues of the Government a sum not to exceed $5,000,000
in specie, to be set apart as required by its operations, and to pay the
public creditor at his own option either in specie or Treasury notes of
denominations not less than $5 nor exceeding $100, which notes should
be redeemed at the several places of issue, and to be receivable at all
times and everywhere in payment of Government dues, with a restraint
upon such issue of bills that the same should not exceed the _maximum_
of $15,000,000. In order to guard against all the hazards incident to
fluctuations in trade, the Secretary of the Treasury was invested with
authority to issue $5,000,000 of Government stock, should the same at
any time be regarded as necessary in order to place beyond hazard the
prompt redemption of the bills which might be thrown into circulation;
thus in fact making the issue of $15,000,000 of exchequer bills rest
substantially on $10,000,000, and keeping in circulation never more than
one and one-half dollars for every dollar in specie. When to this it is
added that the bills are not only everywhere receivable in Government
dues, but that the Government itself would be bound for their ultimate
redemption, no rational doubt can exist that the paper which the
exchequer would furnish would readily enter into general circulation and
be maintained at all times at or above par with gold and silver, thereby
realizing the great want of the age and fulfilling the wishes of the
people. In order to reimburse the Government the expenses of the plan,
it was proposed to invest the exchequer with the limited authority to
deal in bills of exchange (unless prohibited by the State in which an
agency might be situated) having only thirty days to run and resting on
a fair and _bona fide_ basis. The legislative will on this point might
be so plainly announced as to avoid all pretext for partiality or
favoritism. It was furthermore proposed to invest this Treasury agent
with authority to receive on deposit to a limited amount the specie
funds of individuals and to grant certificates therefor to be redeemed
on presentation, under the idea, which is believed to be well founded,
that such certificates would come in aid of the exchequer bills in
supplying a safe and ample paper circulation. Or if in place of the
contemplated dealings in exchange the exchequer should be authorized
not only to exchange its bills for actual deposits of specie, but, for
specie or its equivalent, to sell drafts, charging therefor a small but
reasonable premium, I can not doubt but that the benefits of the law
would be speedily manifested in the revival of the credit, trade, and
business of the whole country. Entertaining this opinion, it becomes my
duty to urge its adoption upon Congress by reference to the strongest
considerations of the public interests, with such alterations in its
details as Congress may in its wisdom see fit to make.

I am well aware that this proposed alteration and amendment of the laws
establishing the Treasury Department has encountered various objections,
and that among others it has been proclaimed a Government bank of
fearful and dangerous import. It is proposed to confer upon it no
extraordinary power. It purports to do no more than pay the debts of the
Government with the redeemable paper of the Government, in which respect
it accomplishes precisely what the Treasury does daily at this time in
issuing to the public creditors the Treasury notes which under law it is
authorized to issue. It has no resemblance to an ordinary bank, as it
furnishes no profits to private stockholders and lends no capital to
individuals. If it be objected to as a Government bank and the objection
be available, then should all the laws in relation to the Treasury be
repealed and the capacity of the Government to collect what is due to
it or pay what it owes be abrogated.

This is the chief purpose of the proposed exchequer, and surely if
in the accomplishment of a purpose so essential it affords a sound
circulating medium to the country and facilities to trade it should be
regarded as no slight recommendation of it to public consideration.
Properly guarded by the provisions of law, it can run into no dangerous
evil, nor can any abuse arise under it but such as the Legislature
itself will be answerable for if it be tolerated, since it is but the
creature of the law and is susceptible at all times of modification,
amendment, or repeal at the pleasure of Congress. I know that it has
been objected that the system would be liable to be abused by the
Legislature, by whom alone it could be abused, in the party conflicts of
the day; that such abuse would manifest itself in a change of the law
which would authorize an excessive issue of paper for the purpose of
inflating prices and winning popular favor. To that it may be answered
that the ascription of such a motive to Congress is altogether
gratuitous and inadmissible. The theory of our institutions would
lead us to a different conclusion. But a perfect security against
a proceeding so reckless would be found to exist in the very nature
of things. The political party which should be so blind to the true
interests of the country as to resort to such an expedient would
inevitably meet with final overthrow in the fact that the moment the
paper ceased to be convertible into specie or otherwise promptly
redeemed it would become worthless, and would in the end dishonor the
Government, involve the people in ruin and such political party in
hopeless disgrace. At the same time, such a view involves the utter
impossibility of furnishing any currency other than that of the precious
metals; for if the Government itself can not forego the temptation of
excessive paper issues what reliance can be placed in corporations upon
whom the temptations of individual aggrandizement would most strongly
operate? The people would have to blame none but themselves for any
injury that might arise from a course so reckless, since their agents
would be the wrongdoers and they the passive spectators.

There can be but three kinds of public currency--first, gold and silver;
second, the paper of State institutions; or, third, a representative of
the precious metals provided by the General Government or under its
authority. The subtreasury system rejected the last in any form, and as
it was believed that no reliance could be placed on the issues of local
institutions for the purposes of general circulation it necessarily and
unavoidably adopted specie as the exclusive currency for its own use;
and this must ever be the case unless one of the other kinds be used.
The choice in the present state of public sentiment lies between an
exclusive specie currency on the one hand and Government issues of some
kind on the other. That these issues can not be made by a chartered
institution is supposed to be conclusively settled. They must be made,
then, directly by Government agents. For several years past they have
been thus made in the form of Treasury notes, and have answered a
valuable purpose. Their usefulness has been limited by their being
transient and temporary; their ceasing to bear interest at given periods
necessarily causes their speedy return and thus restricts their range of
circulation, and being used only in the disbursements of Government they
can not reach those points where they are most required. By rendering
their use permanent, to the moderate extent already mentioned, by
offering no inducement for their return and by exchanging them for coin
and other values, they will constitute to a certain extent the general
currency so much needed to maintain the internal trade of the country.
And this is the exchequer plan so far as it may operate in furnishing
a currency.

I can not forego the occasion to urge its importance to the credit of
the Government in a financial point of view. The great necessity of
resorting to every proper and becoming expedient in order to place the
Treasury on a footing of the highest respectability is entirely obvious.
The credit of the Government may be regarded as the very soul of the
Government itself--a principle of vitality without which all its
movements are languid and all its operations embarrassed. In this spirit
the Executive felt itself bound by the most imperative sense of duty
to submit to Congress at its last session the propriety of making a
specific pledge of the land fund as the basis for the negotiation of
the loans authorized to be contracted. I then thought that such an
application of the public domain would without doubt have placed at the
command of the Government ample funds to relieve the Treasury from the
temporary embarrassments under which it labored. American credit has
suffered a considerable shock in Europe from the large indebtedness
of the States and the temporary inability of some of them to meet the
interest on their debts. The utter and disastrous prostration of the
United States Bank of Pennsylvania had contributed largely to increase
the sentiment of distrust by reason of the loss and ruin sustained by
the holders of its stock, a large portion of whom were foreigners and
many of whom were alike ignorant of our political organization and of
our actual responsibilities.

It was the anxious desire of the Executive that in the effort to
negotiate the loan abroad the American negotiator might be able to
point the money lender to the fund mortgaged for the redemption of
the principal and interest of any loan he might contract, and thereby
vindicate the Government from all suspicion of bad faith or inability to
meet its engagements. Congress differed from the Executive in this view
of the subject. It became, nevertheless, the duty of the Executive to
resort to every expedient in its power to do so.

After a failure in the American market a citizen of high character
and talent was sent to Europe, with no better success; and thus the
mortifying spectacle has been presented of the inability of this
Government to obtain a loan so small as not in the whole to amount to
more than one-fourth of its ordinary annual income, at a time when the
Governments of Europe, although involved in debt and with their subjects
heavily burthened with taxation, readily obtained loans of any amount
at a greatly reduced rate of interest. It would be unprofitable to look
further into this anomalous state of things, but I can not conclude
without adding that for a Government which has paid off its debts of
two wars with the largest maritime power of Europe, and now owing a
debt which is almost next to nothing when compared with its boundless
resources--a Government the strongest in the world, because emanating
from the popular will and firmly rooted in the affections of a great
and free people, and whose fidelity to its engagements has never been
questioned--for such a Government to have tendered to the capitalists of
other countries an opportunity for a small investment in its stock, and
yet to have failed, implies either the most unfounded distrust in its
good faith or a purpose to obtain which the course pursued is the most
fatal which could have been adopted. It has now become obvious to all
men that the Government must look to its own means for supplying its
wants, and it is consoling to know that these means are altogether
adequate for the object. The exchequer, if adopted, will greatly aid
in bringing about this result. Upon what I regard as a well-founded
supposition that its bills would be readily sought for by the public
creditors and that the issue would in a short time reach the maximum of
$15,000,000, it is obvious that $10,000,000 would thereby be added to
the available means of the Treasury without cost or charge. Nor can I
fail to urge the great and beneficial effects which would be produced in
aid of all the active pursuits of life. Its effects upon the solvent
State banks, while it would force into liquidation those of an opposite
character through its weekly settlements, would be highly beneficial;
and with the advantages of a sound currency the restoration of
confidence and credit would follow with a numerous train of blessings.
My convictions are most strong that these benefits would flow from the
adoption of this measure; but if the result should be adverse there is
this security in connection with it--that the law creating it may be
repealed at the pleasure of the Legislature without the slightest
implication of its good faith.

I recommend to Congress to take into consideration the propriety of
reimbursing a fine imposed on General Jackson at New Orleans at the
time of the attack and defense of that city, and paid by him. Without
designing any reflection on the judicial tribunal which imposed the
fine, the remission at this day may be regarded as not unjust or
inexpedient. The voice of the civil authority was heard amidst the
glitter of arms and obeyed by those who held the sword, thereby giving
additional luster to a memorable military achievement. If the laws were
offended, their majesty was fully vindicated; and although the penalty
incurred and paid is worthy of little regard in a pecuniary point of
view, it can hardly be doubted that it would be gratifying to the
war-worn veteran, now in retirement and in the winter of his days, to be
relieved from the circumstances in which that judgment placed him. There
are cases in which public functionaries may be called on to weigh the
public interest against their own personal hazards, and if the civil law
be violated from praiseworthy motives or an overruling sense of public
danger and public necessity punishment may well be restrained within
that limit which asserts and maintains the authority of the law and
the subjection of the military to the civil power. The defense of New
Orleans, while it saved a city from the hands of the enemy, placed the
name of General Jackson among those of the greatest captains of the age
and illustrated one of the brightest pages of our history. Now that the
causes of excitement existing at the time have ceased to operate, it is
believed that the remission of this fine and whatever of gratification
that remission might cause the eminent man who incurred and paid it
would be in accordance with the general feeling and wishes of the
American people.

I have thus, fellow-citizens, acquitted myself of my duty under the
Constitution by laying before you as succinctly as I have been able the
state of the Union and by inviting your attention to measures of much
importance to the country. The executive will most zealously unite its
efforts with those of the legislative department in the accomplishment
of all that is required to relieve the wants of a common constituency
or elevate the destinies of a beloved country.

JOHN TYLER.




SPECIAL MESSAGES


WASHINGTON CITY, _December 13, 1842_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I hereby communicate to the Senate a letter from the Secretary of the
Navy, with accompanying documents.[80]

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 80: Communication from Commodore Charles W. Morgan, commanding
the United States naval forces in the Mediterranean, relative to the
adjustment of differences with Morocco; translation of a letter from the
Emperor of Morocco, etc.]

[The same message was sent to the House of Representatives.]



WASHINGTON, _December 14, 1842_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate a treaty recently concluded with the Chippewa
Indians of the Mississippi and Lake Superior, with communications from
the War Department in relation thereto, and ask the advice and consent
of the Senate to the ratification of the said treaty.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _December 14, 1842_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate a treaty recently concluded with the Sac and
Fox Indians, with communications from the War Department in relation
thereto, and ask the advice and consent of the Senate to the
ratification of the said treaty.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _December 23, 1842_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I have received the resolution of the 22d instant, requesting me
"to inform the Senate of the nature and extent of 'the informal
communications' which took place between the American Secretary of
State and the British special minister during the late negotiations in
Washington City upon the subject of the claims of the United States and
Great Britain to the territory west of the Rocky Mountains," and also to
inform the Senate what were the reasons which prevented "any agreement
upon the subject at present" and which made it "inexpedient to include
that subject among the subjects of formal negotiation."

In my message to Congress at the commencement of the present session,
in adverting to the territory of the United States on the Pacific Ocean
north of the forty-second degree of north latitude, a part of which is
claimed by Great Britain, I remarked that "in advance of the acquirement
of individual rights to these lands sound policy dictates that every
effort should be resorted to by the two Governments to settle their
respective claims," and also stated that I should not delay to urge on
Great Britain the importance of an early settlement. Measures have been
already taken in pursuance of the purpose thus expressed, and under
these circumstances I do not deem it consistent with the public interest
to make any communication on the subject.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _December 23, 1842_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I herewith communicate to the Senate a report[81] from the Secretary
of State, in answer to a resolution of the Senate adopted on the 22d
instant.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 81: Stating that the special minister from Great Britain to
the United States made no proposition, informal or otherwise, to the
negotiator on the part of the United States for the assumption or
guaranty of the State debts by the Government of the United States to
the holders of said debts.]



WASHINGTON, _December 29, 1842_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I herewith transmit to the Senate a report[82] from the Secretary of
State, with accompanying papers, in answer to their resolution of the
27th instant.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 82: Transmitting correspondence between the United States
minister at London and the British Government in relation to certain
slaves taken from the wreck of the schooner _Hermosa_ and liberated
by the authorities at Nassau, New Providence.]



WASHINGTON, _December 30, 1842_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In reply to the resolution of the Senate of the 14th December, I
transmit herewith the accompanying letter[83] from the Secretary of the
Navy and the statement thereto appended from the Bureau of Equipment and
Construction.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 83: Relating to the strength and expense of maintaining the
African Squadron under the late British treaty, the number of guns it
is expected to have afloat in the United States Navy during 1843, and
the estimated expense of the naval establishment for 1843.]



WASHINGTON, _December 30, 1842_.

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

I communicate herewith to Congress copies of a correspondence which has
recently taken place between certain agents of the Government of the
Hawaiian or Sandwich Islands and the Secretary of State.

The condition of those islands has excited a good deal of interest,
which is increasing by every successive proof that their inhabitants are
making progress in civilization and becoming more and more competent to
maintain regular and orderly civil government. They lie in the Pacific
Ocean, much nearer to this continent than the other, and have become an
important place for the refitment and provisioning of American and
European vessels.

Owing to their locality and to the course of the winds which prevail in
this quarter of the world, the Sandwich Islands are the stopping place
for almost all vessels passing from continent to continent across the
Pacific Ocean. They are especially resorted to by the great number of
vessels of the United States which are engaged in the whale fishery
in those seas. The number of vessels of all sorts and the amount of
property owned by citizens of the United States which are found in those
islands in the course of the year are stated probably with sufficient
accuracy in the letter of the agents.

Just emerging from a state of barbarism, the Government of the islands
is as yet feeble, but its dispositions appear to be just and pacific,
and it seems anxious to improve the condition of its people by the
introduction of knowledge, of religious and moral institutions, means
of education, and the arts of civilized life.

It can not but be in conformity with the interest and wishes of the
Government and the people of the United States that this community, thus
existing in the midst of a vast expanse of ocean, should be respected
and all its rights strictly and conscientiously regarded; and this must
also be the true interest of all other commercial states. Far remote
from the dominions of European powers, its growth and prosperity as an
independent state may yet be in a high degree useful to all whose trade
is extended to those regions; while its near approach to this continent
and the intercourse which American vessels have with it, such vessels
constituting five-sixths of all which annually visit it, could not but
create dissatisfaction on the part of the United States at any attempt
by another power, should such attempt be threatened or feared, to take
possession of the islands, colonize them, and subvert the native
Government. Considering, therefore, that the United States possesses so
large a share of the intercourse with those islands, it is deemed not
unfit to make the declaration that their Government seeks, nevertheless,
no peculiar advantages, no exclusive control over the Hawaiian
Government, but is content with its independent existence and anxiously
wishes for its security and prosperity. Its forbearance in this respect
under the circumstances of the very large intercourse of their citizens
with the islands would justify this Government, should events hereafter
arise to require it, in making a decided remonstrance against the
adoption of an opposite policy by any other power. Under the
circumstances I recommend to Congress to provide for a moderate
allowance to be made out of the Treasury to the consul residing there,
that in a Government so new and a country so remote American citizens
may have respectable authority to which to apply for redress in case of
injury to their persons and property, and to whom the Government of the
country may also make known any acts committed by American citizens of
which it may think it has a right to complain.

Events of considerable importance have recently transpired in China.
The military operations carried on against that Empire by the English
Government have been terminated by a treaty, according to the terms of
which four important ports hitherto shut against foreign commerce are
to be open to British merchants, viz, Amoy, Foo-Choo-Foo, Ningpo, and
Chinghai. It can not but be interesting to the mercantile interest of
the United States, whose intercourse with China at the single port
of Canton has already become so considerable, to ascertain whether
these other ports now open to British commerce are to remain shut,
nevertheless, against the commerce of the United States. The treaty
between the Chinese Government and the British commissioner provides
neither for the admission nor the exclusion of the ships of other
nations. It would seem, therefore, that it remains with every other
nation having commercial intercourse with China to seek to make proper
arrangements for itself with the Government of that Empire in this
respect.

The importations into the United States from China are known to be
large, having amounted in some years, as will be seen by the annexed
tables, to $9,000,000. The exports, too, from the United States to
China constitute an interesting and growing part of the commerce of the
country. It appears that in the year 1841, in the direct trade between
the two countries, the value of the exports from the United States
amounted to $715,000 in domestic produce and $485,000 in foreign
merchandise. But the whole amount of American produce which finally
reaches China and is there consumed is not comprised in these tables,
which show only the direct trade. Many vessels with American products on
board sail with a primary destination to other countries, but ultimately
dispose of more or less of their cargoes in the port of Canton.

The peculiarities of the Chinese Government and the Chinese character
are well known. An Empire supposed to contain 300,000,000 subjects,
fertile in various rich products of the earth, not without the knowledge
of letters and of many arts, and with large and expensive accommodations
for internal intercourse and traffic, has for ages sought to exclude the
visits of strangers and foreigners from its dominions, and has assumed
for itself a superiority over all other nations. Events appear likely to
break down and soften this spirit of nonintercourse and to bring China
ere long into the relations which usually subsist between civilized
states. She has agreed in the treaty with England that correspondence
between the agents of the two Governments shall be on equal terms--a
concession which it is hardly probable will hereafter be withheld from
other nations.

It is true that the cheapness of labor among the Chinese, their
ingenuity in its application, and the fixed character of their habits
and pursuits may discourage the hope of the opening of any great and
sudden demand for the fabrics of other countries. But experience proves
that the productions of western nations find a market to some extent
among the Chinese; that that market, so far as respects the productions
of the United States, although it has considerably varied in successive
seasons, has on the whole more than doubled within the last ten years;
and it can hardly be doubted that the opening of several new and
important ports connected with parts of the Empire heretofore seldom
visited by Europeans or Americans would exercise a favorable influence
upon the demand for such productions.

It is not understood that the immediate establishment of correspondent
embassies and missions or the permanent residence of diplomatic
functionaries with full powers of each country at the Court of the other
is contemplated between England and China, although, as has been already
observed, it has been stipulated that intercourse between the two
countries shall hereafter be on equal terms. An ambassador or envoy
extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary can only be accredited,
according to the usages of western nations, to the head or sovereign of
the state, and it may be doubtful whether the Court of Pekin is yet
prepared to conform to these usages so far as to receive a minister
plenipotentiary to reside near it.

Being of opinion, however, that the commercial interests of the United
States connected with China require at the present moment a degree of
attention and vigilance such as there is no agent of this Government
on the spot to bestow, I recommend to Congress to make appropriation
for the compensation of a commissioner to reside in China to exercise
a watchful care over the concerns of American citizens and for the
protection of their persons and property, empowered to hold intercourse
with the local authorities, and ready, under instructions from his
Government, should such instructions become necessary and proper
hereafter, to address himself to the high functionaries of the Empire,
or through them to the Emperor himself.

It will not escape the observation of Congress that in order to secure
the important object of any such measure a citizen of much intelligence
and weight of character should be employed on such agency, and that to
secure the services of such an individual a compensation should be made
corresponding with the magnitude and importance of the mission.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _December 31, 1842_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In compliance with your resolution of the 12th of February, 1841,
requesting me to communicate to the House of Representatives the
documents and other information in the possession of the Executive
regarding claims of citizens of the United States on the Government
of Hayti, I now transmit a letter from the Secretary of State and the
accompanying documents.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _January 9, 1843_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I have received a resolution of the Senate of the 27th of December, in
the following terms:


  _Resolved_, That the President be requested to inform the Senate, if
  compatible with the public interest, whether the quintuple treaty
  for the suppression of the slave trade has been communicated to the
  Government of the United States in any form whatever, and, if so, by
  whom, for what purpose, and what answer may have been returned to such
  communication. Also to communicate to the Senate all the information
  which may have been received by the Government of the United States
  going to show that the "_course which this Government might take in
  relation to said treaty has excited no small degree of attention and
  discussion in Europe_." Also to inform the Senate how far the "_warm
  animadversions_" and the "_great political excitement"_ which this
  treaty has caused in Europe have any application or reference to the
  United States. Also to inform the Senate what danger there was that
  "_the laws and the obligations_" of the United States in relation to
  the suppression of the slave trade would be "_executed by others_," if
  we did not "_remove the pretext and motive for violating our flag and
  executing our laws_" by entering into the stipulations for the African
  squadron and the remonstrating embassies which are contained in the
  eighth and ninth articles of the late British treaty. Also that the
  President be requested to communicate to the Senate all the
  correspondence with our ministers abroad relating to the foregoing
  points of inquiry. Also that the President be requested to communicate
  to the Senate all such information upon the negotiation of the African
  squadron articles as will show the origin of such articles and the
  history and progress of their formation.


I informed the Senate, in the message transmitting the treaty with
England of the 9th of August last, that no application or request had
been made to this Government to become a party to the quintuple treaty.
Agents of the Government abroad, regarding the signature of that treaty
as a political occurrence of some importance, obtained, unofficially,
copies of it, and transmitted those copies to the Department of State,
as other intelligence is communicated for the information of the
Government. The treaty has not been communicated to the Government of
the United States from any other quarter, in any other manner, or for
any other purpose.

The next request expressed in the resolution is in these words:


  Also to communicate to the Senate all the information which may have
  been received by the Government of the United States going to show that
  the "course which this Government might take in relation to said treaty
  has excited no small degree of attention and discussion in Europe." Also
  to inform the Senate how far the "warm animadversions" and the "great
  political excitement" which this treaty has caused in Europe have any
  application or reference to the United States.


The words quoted in this part of the resolution appear to be taken from
my message above mentioned. In that communication I said:


  No application or request has been made to this Government to become
  a party to this treaty, but the course it might take in regard to it
  has excited no small degree of attention and discussion in Europe, as
  the principle upon which it is founded and the stipulations which it
  contains have caused warm animadversions and great political
  excitement.

  In my message at the commencement of the present session of Congress
  I endeavored to state the principles which this Government supports
  respecting the right of search and the immunity of flags. Desirous of
  maintaining those principles fully, at the same time that existing
  obligations should be fulfilled, I have thought it most consistent
  with the honor and dignity of the country that it should execute its
  own laws and perform its own obligations by its own means and its own
  power. The examination or visitation of the merchant vessels of one
  nation by the cruisers of another for any purposes except those known
  and acknowledged by the law of nations, under whatever restraints or
  regulations it may take place, may lead to dangerous results. It is
  far better by other means to supersede any supposed necessity or any
  motive for such examination or visit. Interference with a merchant
  vessel by an armed cruiser is always a delicate proceeding, apt to
  touch the point of national honor as well as to affect the interests
  of individuals. It has been thought, therefore, expedient, not only in
  accordance with the stipulations of the treaty of Ghent, but at the
  same time as removing all pretext on the part of others for violating
  the immunities of the American flag upon the seas as they exist and
  are defined by the law of nations, to enter into the articles now
  submitted to the Senate.

  The treaty which I now submit to you proposes no alteration, mitigation,
  or modification of the rules of the law of nations. It provides simply
  that each of the two Governments shall maintain on the coast of Africa a
  sufficient squadron to enforce, separately and respectively, the laws,
  rights, and obligations of the two countries for the suppression of the
  slave trade.


These opinions were expressed by me officially upon the occasion of
making to the Senate a communication of very great importance. It is not
perceived how the accuracy of this general statement can be doubted by
those who are acquainted with the debates of public bodies in Europe,
the productions of the press, and the other modes by which public
opinion is manifested in an enlightened age. It is not to be supposed
that excited attention to public and national transactions or general
political discussions in Europe on subjects open to all the world are
known only in consequence of private information communicated to the
Government, and feeling a strong persuasion that it would be improper in
the Executive to go into any discussion or argument upon such a subject
with the Senate, I have no further remarks to make upon this part of the
inquiry.

The third inquiry is:


  What danger there was that "the laws and the obligations" of the United
  States in relation to the suppression of the slave trade would be
  "executed by others" if we do not "remove the pretext and motive for
  violating our flag and executing our laws."


I have already quoted from the message the entire paragraph to a part of
which this portion of the inquiry is supposed to refer.

As to the danger there was that the laws and the obligations of the
United States in relation to the suppression of the slave trade would
be executed by others if we did not remove the pretext and motive for
violating our flag and provide for executing our laws, I might say that
this depends upon notorious facts and occurrences, of which the evidence
has been in various forms before the country and all the branches of the
Government.

When I came to occupy the Executive chair I could not be ignorant
of the numerous complaints which had been made on account of alleged
interruptions of American vessels engaged in lawful commerce on the
coast of Africa by British cruisers on the ground of their being engaged
in the slave trade. I could not be ignorant, at the same time, of the
well-grounded suspicions which pervaded the country that some American
vessels were engaged in that odious and unlawful traffic. There were two
dangers, then, to be guarded against--the one, that this traffic would
continue to be carried on in American ships, and perhaps much increased,
unless some new and vigorous effort should be made for its suppression;
the other, that acquiescence in the capture of American vessels,
notorious slave dealers, by British cruisers might give countenance to
seizures and detentions of vessels lawfully employed on light or
groundless suspicions. And cases had arisen under the administration of
those who preceded me well calculated to show the extent and magnitude
of this latter danger; and believing that very serious consequences
might in time grow out of the obvious tendency and progress of things,
I felt it to be my duty to arrest that progress, to rescue the immunity
of the American flag from the danger which hung over it, and to do this
by recommending such a provision for the execution of our own laws as
should remove all pretense for the interference of others.

Among the occurrences to which I have alluded, it may be useful to
particularize one case.

The schooner _Catharine_, an American vessel owned by citizens of the
United States, was seized on the coast of Africa by the British cruiser
called the _Dolphin_ and brought into the port of New York in the summer
of 1839. Upon being brought into port, Benjamin F. Butler, esq.,
district attorney of the United States for the southern district of
New York, appeared in the district court of the United States for that
district and in the name and behalf of the United States libeled the
schooner, her apparel and furniture, for a violation of the several acts
of Congress passed for the suppression of the slave trade. The schooner
being arrested by the usual process in such cases and possession taken
of her from the hands of the British captors by officers of the United
States, the cause proceeded, and by a decree of the circuit court in
December, 1840, a forfeiture was pronounced. From this decree an appeal
was taken, which is now pending in the Supreme Court of the United
States.

It is true that in another case, that of the _Tigris_, of like general
character, soon after arising, the then Secretary of State, on the 1st
of March, 1841, informed Mr. Fox, the British minister, that "however
strong and unchangeable may be the determination of this Government to
punish any citizens of the United States who violate the laws against
the African slave trade, it will not permit the exercise of any
authority by foreign armed vessels in the execution of those laws."

But it is evident that this general declaration did not relieve the
subject from its difficulties. Vessels of the United States found
engaged in the African slave trade are guilty of piracy under the acts
of Congress. It is difficult to say that such vessels can claim any
interference of the Government in their behalf, into whosesoever hands
they may happen to fall, any more than vessels which should turn general
pirates. Notorious African slave traders can not claim the protection of
the American character, inasmuch as they are acting in direct violation
of the laws of their country and stand denounced by those laws as
pirates. In case of the seizure of such a vessel by a foreign cruiser,
and of her being brought into a port of the United States, what is to
be done with her? Shall she be libeled, prosecuted, and condemned as if
arrested by a cruiser of the United States? If this is to be done, it
is clear that the agency of a foreign power has been instrumental in
executing the laws of the United States. Or, on the other hand, is the
vessel, with all her offenses flagrant upon her, to be released on
account of the agency by which she was seized, discharged of all
penalties, and left at liberty to renew her illegal and nefarious
traffic?

It appeared to me that the best, if not the only, mode of avoiding these
and other difficulties was by adopting such a provision as is contained
in the late treaty with England.

The Senate asks me for the reasons for entering into the stipulations
for the "remonstrating embassies" contained in the late treaty. Surely
there is no stipulation in the treaty for any "remonstrating embassies,"
or any other embassies, nor any reference or allusion to any such thing.
In this respect all that the treaty provides is in the ninth article and
is in these words:


  The parties to this treaty agree that they will unite in all becoming
  representations and remonstrances with any and all powers within whose
  dominions such markets [for African slaves] are allowed to exist, and
  that they will urge upon all such powers the propriety and duty of
  closing such markets effectually, at once and forever.


It always gives me sincere pleasure to communicate to both Houses of
Congress anything in my power which may aid them in the discharge of
their high duties and which the public interest does not require to
be withheld. In transmitting the late treaty to the Senate everything
was caused to accompany it which it was supposed could enlighten the
judgment of the Senate upon its various provisions. The views of the
Executive, in agreeing to the eighth and ninth articles, were fully
expressed, and pending the discussion in the Senate every call for
further information was promptly complied with, and nothing kept back
which the Senate desired. Upon this information and upon its own
knowledge of the subject the Senate made up and pronounced its judgment
upon its own high responsibility, and as the result of that judgment the
treaty was ratified, as the Journal shows, by a vote of 39 to 9. The
treaty has thus become the law of the land by the express advice of the
Senate, given in the most solemn manner known to its proceedings. The
fourth request is--


  That the President be requested to communicate to the Senate all the
  correspondence with our ministers abroad relating to the foregoing
  points of inquiry.


If this branch of the resolution were more definite, some parts of
it might perhaps be met without prejudice to the public interest
by extracts from the correspondence referred to. At a future day a
communication may be expected to be made as broad and general as a
proper regard to these interests will admit, but at present I deem any
such communication not to be consistent with the public interest.

The fifth and last is--


  That the President be requested to communicate to the Senate all such
  information upon the negotiation of the African squadron articles as
  will show the origin of such articles and the history and progress of
  their formation.


These articles were proposed to the British minister by the Secretary
of State under my express sanction and were acceded to by him and have
since been ratified by both Governments. I might without disrespect
speak of the novelty of inquiring by the Senate into the history and
progress of articles of a treaty through a negotiation which has
terminated, and as the result of which these articles have become the
law of the land by the constitutional advice of the Senate itself. But
I repeat that those articles had their origin in a desire on the part of
the Government of the United States to fulfill its obligations, entered
into by the treaty of Ghent, to do its utmost for the suppression of
the African slave trade, and to accomplish this object by such means as
should not lead to the interruption of the lawful commerce of the United
States or any derogation from the dignity and immunity of their flag.
And I have the satisfaction to believe that both the Executive, in
negotiating the treaty of which these articles form part, and the
Senate, in advising to its ratification, have effected an object
important to the Government and satisfactory to the people.

In conclusion I hope I may be permitted to observe that I have, out of a
profound respect for the Senate, been induced to make this communication
in answer to inquiries some of which at least are believed to be without
precedent in the history of the relations between that body and the
executive department. These inquiries were particularly unexpected to
me at the present moment. As I had been so fortunate as to find my own
views of the expediency of ratifying the late treaty with England
confirmed by a vote of somewhat more than four-fifths of the Senators
present, I have hitherto flattered myself that the motives which
influenced my conduct had been fully appreciated by those who advised
and approved it, and that if a necessity should ever arise for any
special explanation or defense in regard to those motives it could
scarcely be in that assembly itself.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _January 18, 1843_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In compliance with the resolution of the House of Representatives of the
27th ultimo, I now transmit the letter and pamphlet[84] which accompanies
this.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 84: Entitled "Acts and Resolutions of the Legislative Council
of the Territory of Florida," passed at its twentieth session, January
3 to March 5, 1842.]



WASHINGTON, _January 23, 1843_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I herewith transmit to the Senate, in answer to their resolution of the
19th instant, reports[85] from the State and War Departments.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 85: Relating to a grant of land in Oregon Territory to the
Hudsons Bay Company by the British Government.]



WASHINGTON, _January 23, 1843_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate herewith, in answer to their resolution of the
5th instant, a report[86] from the Secretary of State, with accompanying
documents.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 86: Transmitting correspondence with Great Britain relative to
the destruction of the steamboat _Caroline_ at Schlosser, N.Y., December
29, 1837.]



WASHINGTON, _January 31, 1843_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of the
24th instant, requesting me to communicate answers to certain queries
therein contained respecting instructions given to the commissioners
appointed to adjudicate claims arising under the Cherokee treaty of
1835, I transmit herewith a report from the War Department, accompanied
by a copy of the instructions referred to.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _January 31, 1843_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

At the last session of Congress a resolution was passed by the House of
Representatives requesting me to cause to be communicated to the House
"the several reports made to the Department of War by Lieutenant-Colonel
Hitchcock relative to the affairs of the Cherokee Indians, together with
all information communicated by him concerning the frauds he was charged
to investigate; also all facts in the possession of the Executive
relating to the subject."

A resolution of the same import had been passed by the House of
Representatives on the 18th of May last, requiring the Secretary of
War to communicate to the House the same reports and matters. After
consultation with me and under my directions, the Secretary of War
informed the House that the reports referred to relative to the affairs
of the Cherokees contained information and suggestions in reference
to the matters which it was supposed would become the subject of a
negotiation between that Department and the delegates of the Cherokee
Nation. It was stated by him that the nature and subject of the report,
in the opinion of the President and the Department, rendered its
publication at that time inconsistent with the public interest. The
negotiation referred to subsequently took place, and embraced the
matters upon which Lieutenant-Colonel Hitchcock had communicated his
views. That negotiation terminated without the conclusion of any
arrangement. It may, and in all probability will, be renewed. All the
information communicated by Lieutenant-Colonel Hitchcock respecting the
Cherokees--their condition as a nation and their relations to other
tribes--is herewith transmitted. But his suggestions and projects
respecting the anticipated propositions of the delegates and his views
of their personal characters can not in any event aid the legislation of
Congress, and in my opinion the promulgation of them would be unfair and
unjust to him and inconsistent with the public interest, and they are
therefore not transmitted.

The Secretary of War further stated in his answer to the resolution that
the other report referred to in it, relating to the alleged frauds which
Lieutenant-Colonel Hitchcock was charged to investigate, contained such
information as he (Colonel Hitchcock) was enabled to obtain by _ex
parte_ inquiries of various persons whose statements were necessarily
without the sanction of an oath, and which the persons implicated had
had no opportunity to contradict or explain. He expressed the opinion
that to promulgate those statements at that time would be grossly unjust
to those persons and would be calculated to defeat rather than promote
the objects of the inquiry, and he remarked that sufficient opportunity
had not been given to the Department to pursue the investigation or to
call upon the parties affected for explanations or to determine on the
measures proper to be adopted. And he hoped these reasons would be
satisfactory for not transmitting to the House at that time the reports
referred to in its resolution.

It would appear from the report of the Committee on Indian Affairs, to
whom the communication of the Secretary of War was referred, and which
report has been transmitted to me, together with the resolutions of the
House adopted on the recommendation of the committee, and from those
resolutions, that the reasons given by the Secretary were not deemed
satisfactory and that the House of Representatives claims the right to
demand from the Executive and heads of Departments such information as
maybe in their possession relating to "subjects of the deliberations
of the House and within the sphere of its legitimate powers," and that
in the opinion of the House the reports and facts called for by its
resolution of the 18th of May related to subjects of its deliberations
and were within the sphere of its legitimate powers, and should have
been communicated.

If by the assertion of this claim of right to call upon the Executive
for all the information in its possession relating to any subject of the
deliberation of the House, and within the sphere of its legitimate
powers, it is intended to assert also that the Executive is bound to
comply with such call without the authority to exercise any discretion
on its part in reference to the nature of the information required or to
the interests of the country or of individuals to be affected by such
compliance, then do I feel bound, in the discharge of the high duty
imposed upon me "to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of
the United States," to declare in the most respectful manner my entire
dissent from such a proposition. The instrument from which the several
departments of the Government derive their authority makes each
independent of the other in the discharge of their respective functions.
The injunction of the Constitution that the President "shall take care
that the laws be faithfully executed" necessarily confers an authority
commensurate with the obligation imposed to inquire into the manner in
which all public agents perform the duties assigned to them by law. To
be effective these inquiries must often be confidential. They may result
in the collection of truth or of falsehood, or they may be incomplete
and may require further prosecution. To maintain that the President
can exercise no discretion as to the time in which the matters thus
collected shall be promulgated or in respect to the character of
the information obtained would deprive him at once of the means of
performing one of the most salutary duties of his office. An inquiry
might be arrested at its first stage and the officers whose conduct
demanded investigation may be enabled to elude or defeat it. To require
from the Executive the transfer of this discretion to a coordinate
branch of the Government is equivalent to the denial of its possession
by him and would render him dependent upon that branch in the
performance of a duty purely executive.

Nor can it be a sound position that all papers, documents, and
information of every description which may happen by any means to come
into the possession of the President or of the heads of Departments must
necessarily be subject to the call of the House of Representatives
_merely_ because they relate to a subject of the deliberations of the
House, although that subject may be within the sphere of its legitimate
powers. It can not be that the only test is whether the information
relates to a legitimate subject of deliberation. The Executive
Departments and the citizens of this country have their rights and
duties as well as the House of Representatives, and the maxim that the
rights of one person or body are to be so exercised as not to impair
those of others is applicable in its fullest extent to this question.
Impertinence or malignity may seek to make the Executive Departments the
means of incalculable and irremediable injury to innocent parties by
throwing into them libels most foul and atrocious. Shall there be no
discretionary authority permitted to refuse to become the instruments
of such malevolence?

And although information comes through a proper channel to an executive
officer it may often be of a character to forbid its being made public.
The officer charged with a confidential inquiry, and who reports its
result under the pledge of confidence which his appointment implies,
ought not to be exposed individually to the resentment of those whose
conduct may be impugned by the information he collects. The knowledge
that such is to be the consequence will inevitably prevent the
performance of duties of that character, and thus the Government will
be deprived of an important means of investigating the conduct of its
agents.

It is certainly no new doctrine in the halls of judicature or of
legislation that certain communications and papers are privileged, and
that the general authority to compel testimony must give way in certain
cases to the paramount rights of individuals or of the Government. Thus
no man can be compelled to accuse himself, to answer any question that
tends to render him infamous, or to produce his own private papers
on any occasion. The communications of a client to his counsel and
the admissions made at the confessional in the course of religious
discipline are privileged communications. In the courts of that country
from which we derive our great principles of individual liberty and the
rules of evidence it is well settled--and the doctrine has been fully
recognized in this country--that a minister of the Crown or the head of
a department can not be compelled to produce any papers or disclose any
transactions relating to the executive functions of the Government which
he declares are confidential or such as the public interest requires
should not be divulged; and the persons who have been the channels of
communication to officers of the State are in like manner protected
from the disclosure of their names. Other instances of privileged
communications might be enumerated if it were deemed necessary. These
principles are as applicable to evidence sought by a legislature as
to that required by a court.

The practice of the Government since its foundation has sanctioned the
principle that there must necessarily be a discretionary authority in
reference to the nature of the information called for by either House
of Congress.

The authority was claimed and exercised by General Washington in 1796.
In 1825 President Monroe declined compliance with a resolution of the
House of Representatives calling for the correspondence between the
Executive Departments of this Government and the officers of the United
States Navy and others at or near the ports of South America on the
Pacific Ocean. In a communication made by the Secretary of War in 1832
to the Committee of the House on the Public Lands, by direction of
President Jackson, he denies the obligation of the Executive to furnish
the information called for and maintains the authority of the President
to exercise a sound discretion in complying with calls of that
description by the House of Representatives or its committees. Without
multiplying other instances, it is not deemed improper to refer to the
refusal of the President at the last session of the present Congress to
comply with a resolution of the House of Representatives calling for
the names of the members of Congress who had applied for offices. As no
further notice was taken in any form of this refusal, it would seem to
be a fair inference that the House itself admitted that there were cases
in which the President had a discretionary authority in respect to the
transmission of information in the possession of any of the Executive
Departments.

Apprehensive that silence under the claim supposed to be set up in the
resolutions of the House of Representatives under consideration might be
construed as an acquiescence in its soundness, I have deemed it due to
the great importance of the subject to state my views, that a compliance
in part with the resolution may not be deemed a surrender of a necessary
authority of the Executive.

Many of the reasons which existed at the date of the report of the
Secretary of War of June 1, 1842, for then declining to transmit the
report of Lieutenant-Colonel Hitchcock concerning the frauds which he
was charged to investigate have ceased to operate. It has been found
wholly impracticable to pursue the investigation in consequence of the
death and removal out of the country of those who would be called upon
to testify, and in consequence of the want of adequate authority or
means to render it effectual. It could not be conducted without expense.
Congress at its last session prohibited the payment of any account
or charge whatever growing out of or in any way connected with any
commission or inquiry, except military and naval courts-martial and
courts of inquiry, unless special appropriations should be made for the
payment of such accounts and charges. Of the policy of that provision of
law it does not become me to speak, except to say that the institution
of inquiries into the conduct of public agents, however urgent the
necessity for such inquiry may be, is thereby virtually denied to the
Executive, and that if evils of magnitude shall arise in consequence
of the law I take to myself no portion of the responsibility.

In relation to the propriety of directing prosecutions against the
contractors to furnish Indians rations who are charged with improper
conduct, a correspondence has been had between the War Department and
the Solicitor of the Treasury, which is herewith transmitted in a
conviction that such prosecution would be entirely ineffectual.

Under these circumstances I have thought proper to direct that
the report of Lieutenant-Colonel Hitchcock concerning the frauds
which he was charged to investigate be transmitted to the House of
Representatives, and it accordingly accompanies this message. At
the same time, I have to request the House to consider it so far
confidential as not to direct its publication until the appropriate
committee shall have examined it and expressed their opinion whether
a just regard to the character and rights of persons apparently
implicated, but who have not had an opportunity to meet the imputations
on them, does not require that portions at least of the report should
not at present be printed.

This course is adopted by me from a desire to render justice to all and
at the same time avoid even the appearance of a desire to screen any,
and also to prevent the exaggerated estimate of the importance of the
information which is likely to be made from the mere fact of its being
withheld.

The resolution of the House also calls for "all facts in the possession
of the Executive, from any source, relating to the subject." There are
two subjects specified in the resolution--one "relative to the affairs
of the Cherokee Indians," and another "concerning the frauds he
[Lieutenant-Colonel Hitchcock] was charged to investigate."

All the papers in the War Department or its bureaus relating to the
affairs of the Cherokee Indians, it is believed, have been from time
to time communicated to Congress and are contained in the printed
documents, or are now transmitted, with the exception of those portions
of Lieutenant-Colonel Hitchcock's report hereinbefore mentioned, and
excepting the correspondence with the Cherokee delegates in the
negotiations which took place during the last summer, which are not
supposed to be within the intent of the resolution of the House. For
the same reason a memorial from the Old Settlers, or Western Cherokees,
as they term themselves, recently presented, is not transmitted. If
these or any other public documents should be desired by the House,
a specification of them will enable me to cause them to be furnished
if it should be found proper.

All the papers in the War Office or its bureaus known or supposed to
have any relation to the alleged frauds which Lieutenant-Colonel
Hitchcock was charged to investigate are herewith transmitted.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _February 8, 1843_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I herewith transmit to the House of Representatives, in answer to their
resolution of the 28th ultimo, a report[87] from the Secretary of State.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 87: Stating that no information is in possession of the
Government of any negotiation of a treaty, or of any overtures to treat,
for a cession of California by Mexico to England.]



WASHINGTON, _February 9, 1843_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In order to enable Congress to approve or disapprove the selection of a
site for a Western armory made by the board of commissioners appointed
by me for that purpose pursuant to the act of September 9, 1841, I
transmit herewith their report and proceedings, as required by that act.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _February 13, 1843_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I herewith transmit to the House of Representatives a report made to me
on the 9th instant by the Secretary of the Treasury, on the subject of
the present and prospective condition of the finances.

You will perceive from it that even if the receipts from the various
sources of revenue for the current year shall prove not to have been
overrated and the expenditures be restrained within the estimates, the
Treasury will be exhausted before the close of the year, and that this
will be the case although authority should be given to the proper
Department to reissue Treasury notes. But the state of facts existing at
the present moment can not fail to awaken a doubt whether the amount of
the revenue for the respective quarters of the year will come up to the
estimates, nor is it entirely certain that the expenditures which will
be authorized by Congress may not exceed the aggregate sum which has
hitherto been assumed as the basis of the Treasury calculations.

Of all the duties of the Government, none is more sacred and imperative
than that of making adequate and ample provision for fulfilling with
punctuality its pecuniary engagements and maintaining the public credit
inviolate. Any failure in this respect not produced by unforeseen causes
could only be regarded by our common constituents as a serious neglect
of the public interests. I feel it, therefore, to be an indispensable
obligation, while so much of the session yet remains unexpired as to
enable Congress to give to the subject the consideration which its
great importance demands, most earnestly to call its attention to
the propriety of making further provision for the public service of
the year.

The proper objects of taxation are peculiarly within the discretion of
the Legislature, while it is the duty of the Executive to keep Congress
duly advised of the state of the Treasury and to admonish it of any
danger which there may be ground to apprehend of a failure in the means
of meeting the expenditures authorized by law.

I ought not, therefore, to dissemble my fears that there will be a
serious falling off in the estimated proceeds both of the customs and
the public lands. I regard the evil of disappointment in these respects
as altogether too great to be risked if by any possibility it may be
entirely obviated.

While I am far from objecting, under present circumstances, to the
recommendation of the Secretary that authority be granted him to reissue
Treasury notes as they shall be redeemed, and to other suggestions which
he has made on this subject, yet it appears to me to be worthy of grave
consideration whether more permanent and certain supplies ought not to
be provided. The issue of one note in redemption of another is not the
payment of a debt, which must be made in the end by some form of public
taxation.

I can not forbear to add that in a country so full of resources,
of such abundant means if they be but judiciously called out, the
revenues of the Government, its credit, and its ability to fulfill all
its obligations ought not to be made dependent on temporary expedients
or on calculations of an uncertain character. The public faith in this
or in all things else ought to be placed beyond question and beyond
contingency.

The necessity of further and full provision for supplying the wants of
the Treasury will be the more urgent if Congress at this present session
should adopt no plan for facilitating the financial operations of the
Government and improving the currency of the country. By the aid of a
wise and efficient measure of that kind not only would the internal
business and prosperity of the country be revived and invigorated, but
important additions to the amount of revenue arising from importations
might also be confidently expected. Not only does the present condition
of things in relation to the currency and commercial exchanges produce
severe and distressing embarrassments in the business and pursuits of
individuals, but its obvious tendency is to create also a necessity
for the imposition of new burdens of taxation in order to secure the
Government and the country against discredit from the failure of means
to fulfill the public engagements.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _February 18, 1843_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

A resolution has been communicated to me, which was adopted by the House
of Representatives on the 2d instant, in the following terms:


  _Resolved_, That the President of the United States be requested to
  inform this House by what authority and under whose instructions
  Captain Thomas ap Catesby Jones, commander of the squadron of the United
  States in the Pacific Ocean, did, on or about the 19th of October last,
  invade in warlike array the territories of the Mexican Republic, take
  possession of the town of Monterey, and declare himself the commander of
  the naval and military expedition for the occupation of the Californias.

  _Resolved_, That the President of the United States be requested to
  communicate to this House copies of all the instructions given by him
  or under his authority to the said Captain Jones from the time of his
  appointment to the command of the said squadron; also copies of all
  communications received from him relating to his expedition for the
  occupation of the Californias; and also to inform this House whether
  orders have been dispatched to the said Captain Jones recalling him
  from his command.


The proceeding of Captain Jones in taking possession of the town
of Monterey, in the possessions of Mexico, was entirely of his own
authority, and not in consequence of any orders or instructions of
any kind given to him by the Government of the United States. For that
proceeding he has been recalled, and the letter recalling him will be
found among the papers herewith communicated.

The resolution of the House of Representatives asks for "copies of all
the instructions given to Captain Jones from the time of his appointment
to the command of the said squadron, also copies of all communications
received from him relating to his expedition for the occupation of the
Californias," without confining the request to such instructions and
correspondence as relate to the transactions at Monterey, and without
the usual reservation of such portions of the instructions or
correspondence as in the President's judgment could not be made public
without prejudice or danger to the public interests.

It may well be supposed that cases may arise even in time of peace in
which it would be highly injurious to the country to make public at a
particular moment the instructions under which a commander may be acting
on a distant and foreign service. In such a case, should it arise,
and in all similar cases the discretion of the Executive can not
be controlled by the request of either House of Congress for the
communication of papers. The duties which the Constitution and the laws
devolve on the President must be performed by him under his official
responsibility, and he is not at liberty to disregard high interests or
thwart important public objects by untimely publications made against
his own judgment, by whomsoever such publications may be requested.
In the present case, not seeing that any injury is likely to arise
from so doing, I have directed copies of all the papers asked for to be
communicated; and I avail of the opportunity of transmitting also copies
of sundry letters, as noted below.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _February 20, 1843_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit to the House of Representatives a report from the Secretary
of State, accompanied by a copy of the correspondence[88] requested by
their resolution of the 29th of December last.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 88: Between the consul-general of the United States at Tangier
and the Government of Morocco.]



WASHINGTON, _February 20, 1843_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate a report[89] from the Secretary of State, in
answer to their resolution of the 14th instant.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 89: Communicating a copy of the commission and instructions
issued to Daniel Webster, Secretary of State, to treat with Lord
Ashburton, special minister from Great Britain to the United States.]



WASHINGTON, _February 24, 1843_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, in answer to their resolutions of the 20th of
December and of the 9th instant, the inclosed copies of papers[90] from
the Department of State, with an accompanying list.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 90: Correspondence with the United States minister to France
relative to the quintuple treaty of December 20, 1841, and the Ashburton
treaty of August 9, 1842.]



WASHINGTON, _February 27, 1843_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In compliance with the resolution of the House of Representatives of
the 22d instant, requesting me to communicate to the House "whatever
correspondence or communication may have been received from the British
Government respecting the President's construction of the late British
treaty concluded at Washington as it concerns an alleged right to visit
American vessels," I herewith transmit a report made to me by the
Secretary of State.

I have also thought proper to communicate copies of Lord Aberdeen's
letter of the 20th December, 1841, to Mr. Everett, Mr. Everett's letter
of the 23d December in reply thereto, and extracts from several letters
of Mr. Everett to the Secretary of State.

I can not forego the expression of my regret at the apparent purport of
a part of Lord Aberdeen's dispatch to Mr. Fox. I had cherished the hope
that all possibility of misunderstanding as to the true construction of
the eighth article of the treaty lately concluded between Great Britain
and the United States was precluded by the plain and well-weighed
language in which it is expressed. The desire of both Governments is to
put an end as speedily as possible to the slave trade, and that desire,
I need scarcely add, is as strongly and as sincerely felt by the United
States as it can be by Great Britain. Yet it must not be forgotten
that the trade, though now universally reprobated, was up to a late
period prosecuted by all who chose to engage in it, and there were
unfortunately but very few Christian powers whose subjects were not
permitted, and even encouraged, to share in the profits of what was
regarded as a perfectly legitimate commerce. It originated at a period
long before the United States had become independent and was carried on
within our borders in opposition to the most earnest remonstrances and
expostulations of some of the colonies in which it was most actively
prosecuted. Those engaged in it were as little liable to inquiry or
interruption as any others. Its character, thus fixed by common consent
and general practice, could only be changed by the positive assent of
each and every nation, expressed either in the form of municipal law
or conventional arrangement. The United States led the way in efforts
to suppress it. They claimed no right to dictate to others, but they
resolved, without waiting for the cooperation of other powers, to
prohibit it to their own citizens and to visit its perpetration by them
with condign punishment. I may safely affirm that it never occurred
to this Government that any new maritime right accrued to it from the
position it had thus assumed in regard to the slave trade. If before our
laws for its suppression the flag of every nation might traverse the
ocean unquestioned by our cruisers, this freedom was not, in our
opinion, in the least abridged by our municipal legislation.

Any other doctrine, it is plain, would subject to an arbitrary and
ever-varying system of maritime police, adopted at will by the great
naval power for the time being, the trade of the world in any places
or in any articles which such power might see fit to prohibit to its
own subjects or citizens. A principle of this kind could scarcely be
acknowledged without subjecting commerce to the risk of constant and
harassing vexations.

The attempt to justify such a pretension from the right to visit and
detain ships upon reasonable suspicion of piracy would deservedly be
exposed to universal condemnation, since it would be an attempt to
convert an established rule of maritime law, incorporated as a principle
into the international code by the consent of all nations, into a rule
and principle adopted by a single nation and enforced only by its
assumed authority. To seize and detain a ship upon suspicion of piracy,
with probable cause and in good faith, affords no just ground either for
complaint on the part of the nation whose flag she bears or claim of
indemnity on the part of the owner. The universal law sanctions and the
common good requires the existence of such a rule. The right under such
circumstances not only to visit and detain but to search a ship is a
perfect right and involves neither responsibility nor indemnity. But,
with this single exception, no nation has in time of peace any authority
to detain the ships of another upon the high seas on any pretext
whatever beyond the limits of her territorial jurisdiction. And such,
I am happy to find, is substantially the doctrine of Great Britain
herself in her most recent official declarations, and even in those now
communicated to the House. These declarations may well lead us to doubt
whether the apparent difference between the two Governments is not
rather one of definition than of principle. Not only is the right of
_search_, properly so called, disclaimed by Great Britain, but even that
of mere visit and inquiry is asserted with qualifications inconsistent
with the idea of a perfect right.

In the dispatch of Lord Aberdeen to Mr. Everett of the 20th of December,
1841, as also in that just received by the British minister in this
country made to Mr. Fox, his lordship declares that if in spite of
all the precaution which shall be used to prevent such occurrences an
American ship, by reason of any visit or detention by a British cruiser,
"should suffer loss and injury, it would be followed by prompt and ample
remuneration;" and in order to make more manifest her intentions in this
respect, Lord Aberdeen in the dispatch of the 20th December makes known
to Mr. Everett the nature of the instructions given to the British
cruisers. These are such as, if faithfully observed, would enable the
British Government to approximate the standard of a fair indemnity.
That Government has in several cases fulfilled her promises in this
particular by making adequate reparation for damage done to our
commerce. It seems obvious to remark that a right which is only to be
exercised under such restrictions and precautions and risk, in case of
any assignable damage to be followed by the consequences of a trespass,
can scarcely be considered anything more than a privilege asked for and
either conceded or withheld on the usual principles of international
comity.

The principles laid down in Lord Aberdeen's dispatches and the
assurances of indemnity therein held out, although the utmost reliance
was placed on the good faith of the British Government, were not
regarded by the Executive as a sufficient security against the abuses
which Lord Aberdeen admitted might arise in even the most cautious and
moderate exercise of their new maritime police, and therefore in my
message at the opening of the last session I set forth the views
entertained by the Executive on this subject, and substantially affirmed
both our inclination and ability to enforce our own laws, protect our
flag from abuse, and acquit ourselves of all our duties and obligations
on the high seas. In view of these assertions the treaty of Washington
was negotiated, and upon consultation with the British negotiator as to
the quantum of force necessary to be employed in order to attain these
objects, the result to which the most deliberate estimate led was
embodied in the eighth article of the treaty.

Such were my views at the time of negotiating that treaty, and such, in
my opinion, is its plain and fair interpretation. I regarded the eighth
article as removing all possible pretext on the ground of mere necessity
to visit and detain our ships upon the African coast because of any
alleged abuse of our flag by slave traders of other nations. We had
taken upon ourselves the burden of preventing any such abuse by
stipulating to furnish an armed force regarded by both the high
contracting parties as sufficient to accomplish that object.

Denying as we did and do all color of right to exercise any such general
police over the flags of independent nations, we did not demand of Great
Britain any formal renunciation of her pretension; still less had we the
idea of yielding anything ourselves in that respect. We chose to make
a practical settlement of the question. This we owed to what we had
already done upon this subject. The honor of the country called for it;
the honor of its flag demanded that it should not be used by others to
cover an iniquitous traffic. This Government, I am very sure, has both
the inclination and the ability to do this; and if need be it will not
content itself with a fleet of eighty guns, but sooner than any foreign
government shall exercise the province of executing its laws and
fulfilling its obligations, the highest of which is to protect its flag
alike from abuse or insult, it would, I doubt not, put in requisition
for that purpose its whole naval power. The purpose of this Government
is faithfully to fulfill the treaty on its part, and it will not permit
itself to doubt that Great Britain will comply with it on hers. In this
way peace will best be preserved and the most amicable relations
maintained between the two countries.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _February 27, 1843_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit to Congress sundry letters which have passed between the
Department of State and the Chevalier d'Argaiz, envoy extraordinary and
minister plenipotentiary of Spain near the Government of the United
States, on the subject of the schooner _Amistad_ since the last
communication of papers connected with that case. This correspondence
will show the general grounds on which the Spanish minister expresses
dissatisfaction with the decision of the Supreme Court in that case and
the answers which have been made to his complaints by the Department of
State.

In laying these papers before Congress I think it proper to observe that
the allowance of salvage on the cargo does not appear to have been a
subject of discussion in the Supreme Court. Salvage had been denied in
the court below and from that part of the decree no appeal had been
claimed.

The ninth article of the treaty between the United States and Spain
provides that "all ships and merchandise of what nature soever which
shall be rescued out of the hands of any pirates or robbers on the high
seas shall be brought into some port of either State and shall be
delivered to the custody of the officers of that port in order to be
taken care of and restored entire to the true proprietor as soon as due
and sufficient proof shall be made concerning the property thereof." The
case of the _Amistad_, as was decided by the court, was not a case of
piracy, and therefore not within the terms of the treaty; yet it was a
case in which the authority of the master, officers, and crew of the
vessel had been divested by force, and in that condition the vessel,
having been found on the coast, was brought into a port of the United
States; and it may deserve consideration that the salvors in this case
were the officers and seamen of a public ship.

It is left to Congress to consider, under these circumstances, whether,
although in strictness salvage may have been lawfully due, it might not
yet be wise to make provision to refund it, as a proof of the entire
good faith of the Government and of its disposition to fulfill all its
treaty stipulations to their full extent under a fair and liberal
construction.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _February 28, 1843_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for its consideration with a view to
ratification, a convention further to provide for the payment of
awards in favor of claimants under the convention between the United
States and the Mexican Republic of the 11th of April, 1839, signed
in the City of Mexico on the 30th day of last month. A copy of the
instructions from the Department of State to the minister of the United
States at Mexico relative to the convention and of the dispatches of
that minister to the Department is also communicated. By adverting to
the signatures appended to the original draft of the convention as
transmitted from the Department of State to General Thompson it will be
seen that the convention as concluded was substantially approved by the
representatives of a large majority in value of the parties immediately
interested.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _February 28, 1843_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I communicate to the House of Representatives a report from the
Secretary of State, which, with the documents[91] accompanying it,
furnishes the information requested by their resolution of the 18th
instant.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 91: Correspondence between the representatives of foreign
governments and the United States relative to the operation of the
tariff laws on treaties existing with foreign governments.]



WASHINGTON, _March 3, 1843_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In submitting the name of Henry A. Wise to the Senate for the mission
to France, I was led to do so by considerations of his high talent,
his exalted character, and great moral worth. The country, I feel
assured, would be represented at Paris in the person of Mr. Wise by
one wholly unsurpassed in exalted patriotism and well fitted to be the
representative of his country abroad. His rejection by the Senate has
caused me to reconsider his qualifications, and I see no cause to doubt
that he is eminently qualified for the station. I feel it, therefore,
to be my duty to renominate him.

I nominate Henry A. Wise, of Virginia, to be envoy extraordinary and
minister plenipotentiary to the Court of His Majesty the King of the
French, in place of Lewis Cass, resigned.

JOHN TYLER.



MARCH 3, 1843.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In submitting to you the name of Caleb Cushing as Secretary of the
Treasury, I did so in full view of his consummate abilities, his
unquestioned patriotism and full capacity to discharge with honor to
himself and advantage to the country the high and important duties
appertaining to that Department of the Government. The respect which
I have for the wisdom of the Senate has caused me again, since his
rejection, to reconsider his merits and his qualifications. That review
has satisfied me that I could not have a more able adviser in the
administration of public affairs or the country a more faithful officer.
I feel it, therefore, to be my duty to renominate him.

I nominate Caleb Gushing to be Secretary of the Treasury, in the place
of Walter Forward, resigned.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _March 3, 1843_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I herewith transmit to the House of Representatives copies of the final
report and appendices of the joint commission appointed to explore and
survey the boundary line between the States of Maine and New Hampshire
and the adjoining British Provinces, together with a general map showing
the results of their labors.

JOHN TYLER.



_Report of the commissioners appointed by the President of the United
States for the purpose of exploring and surveying the boundary line
between the States of Maine and New Hampshire and the British
Provinces_.[92]

[Footnote 92: This report proper and Appendix No. 1 are the only
portions of the original final report which can be found filed with the
archives of the commission. The copy of the report which was transmitted
to the House of Representatives is missing from the files of the House.
A careful search in the Government libraries of Washington warrants me
in asserting that the report has never been printed.--COMPILER.]


WASHINGTON, _January 27, 1843_.

Hon. DANIEL WEBSTER,

_Secretary of State_.

SIR: The operations of the divisions under the direction of the several
commissioners during the past season have been as follows, viz:

I.

The work remaining to be performed by the division under the direction
of the chairman of the board was as follows:

1. The completion of the survey of the line of highlands around the
sources of the Rimouski, filling up the gap left in former surveys in
the line of boundary claimed by the United States.

2. The survey of the line of highlands rising from the northern side of
the Bay of Chaleurs at its western extremity from the point visited and
measured in 1840 to its connection with the line surveyed in 1841 in the
vicinity of Lake Metis.

3. The astronomical determination of the longitude of one or more points
in the surveyed lines, in order to the compilation of a geographical map
of undeniable accuracy.

The party, which was dispatched at the earliest possible period, having
been recalled by a special messenger as soon as the signature of the
treaty of Washington was made known to the commissioner, no more than
the first of these objects was attempted, and some of the observations
that would have been considered necessary to make this survey useful as
evidence in case of a further discussion of the subject of boundary were
not completed. The expedition has, however, obtained for its results an
accurate survey of the Green River of St. John from its mouth to the
portage between it and the South Branch of the Katawamkedgwick, a survey
of that portage, and a careful chain and compass survey of the highlands
surrounding the sources of Rimouski. The first of these is connected
with the survey of the river St. John made by Major Graham; the last
was united at its two extremities with stations of the survey of 1841.
Throughout the whole of the surveys the latitudes were carefully
determined, by the methods employed during the former years, at a
sufficient number of points. The longitudes have been estimated by the
use of chronometers, but the sudden recall of the party left the latter
part of the task incomplete. Any defect arising from the latter cause
may be considered as in a great degree compensated by the connections
referred to with the work of Major Graham and the surveys of the
previous years.

The party left Portland to take the field on the 18th June, and reached
the Grand Falls of the St. John on its return on the 25th August.

The surplus stores, with the boats and camp equipage, were stored there,
and were afterwards transferred to the parties of the two other
commissioners.

A map of the operations of this division was placed on file in the State
Department on the 27th December.

The distance surveyed along Green River from its mouth to the portage is
57 miles, the length of the portage 5-1/2 miles, the distance measured
in exploration of the remaining portion of the boundary claimed by the
United States 61-1/2 miles, making in all 124 miles.

II.

The parties under the direction of A. Talcott entered upon their field
duties about the middle of September, and completed that branch of the
service by the 5th of November.

During that period the following rivers and streams were surveyed:

1. The "main St. John River" from the mouth of the "Alleguash" to the
Forks.

2. The "Southwest Branch" to its source at the Metjarmette portage.

3. The "South Branch," or "Wool-as-ta-qua-guam," to 5 miles above Bakers
Lake and near to the exploring line of 1841 along the highlands claimed
by Great Britain.

4. The "West Branch," or "Mat-ta-wa-quam," to its source in the highlands.

5. The "Northwest Branch" to its source in the highlands.

6. The "Big Black River," or "Chim-pas-a-ooc-ten," to its source.

7. The "Little Black River," or "Pas-a-ooc-ten."

8. The "Chim-mem-ti-cook River" as far as navigable.

The character of all these streams is the same--slack water of moderate
depth alternating with rapids. They can never be navigated by anything
larger than a bateau.

The method of survey was to trace the course of each stream by compass,
estimating distances by the eye, or by pacing when the nature of the
margin of the river would permit.

The average distance coursed per day was about 9 miles, and at the camps
formed at night astronomical observations north and south of the zenith
were made to determine their position in latitude, and observations for
the local time to ascertain their differences of longitude.

Meridian observations of the sun were also made at a point intermediate
to the camps whenever they could be obtained.

Thirty-three of these points have been used in the correction of the
paced and estimated distances.

Tables exhibiting these observations, their calculation and results,
will accompany the detailed maps.

With a view to facilitate the operations of the joint commission it was
conceived to be important that the intersection of the parallel of 46 deg.
25' with the Southwest Branch should be ascertained, as also the point
on the Northwest Branch (10 miles from the main St. John) where the
boundary line from the outlet of Lake Pohenagamook intersects the said
branch.

It is believed that these points are projected on the map which
accompanies this report so near to their true position that the line
indicating the boundary as drawn on the map may be considered to
substantially exhibit the division of territory as effected by the late
treaty.

The more thorough knowledge acquired through these explorations of the
character of the territory which has been relinquished by the United
States fully confirms the opinion previously entertained of its little
value, either for its timber growth or for purposes of agriculture.

Bordering on the "Big Black" and "Little Black" rivers the growth of
pine is large and apparently of good quality, and it is believed that
most of the smaller streams falling into the St. John below the "Seven
Islands" will be found fringed with pine, but it is quite certain that
very little will be found included between the lines of boundary and the
highlands as claimed by the United States to the westward of St. Francis
River.

The office work of this party is nearly completed, all the calculations
arising from the astronomical observations have been made, and the
detailed maps (five in number) drawn to the scale of 1:50,000 (or nearly
1-1/4 inches to 1 mile), exhibiting the result of the surveys in 1840,
1841, and 1842, are in such a state of forwardness as to insure their
completion by the middle of February.

These explorations and surveys embrace--

1. The highlands as claimed by the United States, extending from the
northwesternmost head of the Connecticut River to the portage road which
leads from the St. Lawrence River to Lake Temiscouata.

2. The highlands as claimed by Great Britain from the Metjarmette
portage to the source of the Aroostook River.

3. All the principal heads or branches of the Connecticut River north of
the forty-fifth degree of latitude.

4. The St. John and all its principal branches or tributaries west of
the Alleguash River.

III.

The division under the direction of Major Graham has been employed
during the past season in making the following surveys, viz:

1. In prolonging the meridian of the monument at the source of the river
St. Croix.

2. In making a survey of the Little Madawaska River, a tributary to the
Aroostook, from its mouth to its source in the Madawaska Lakes.

3. In surveying the group of lakes lying northwest of the Madawaska
Lakes, known by the appellation of the Eagle Lakes, or sometimes by the
aboriginal one of the Cheaplawgan Lakes, and especially to ascertain if
those lakes, or any of them, emptied their waters into the river St.
John by any other outlet than Fish River.

4. A survey of the portion of Fish River included between the outlet of
Lake Winthrop and the river St. John.

5. A survey of the river St. John between the Grand Falls and the mouth
of the Alleguash.

6. A survey of the Alleguash from its mouth to its source.

7. A survey of the river St. Francis from its mouth to the outlet of
Lake St. Francis.

8. In making astronomical observations for the latitude and longitude of
the Grand Falls and the mouths of the Grand, the Green, Madawaska, Fish,
and St. Francis rivers.

Early in July a party under the direction of an officer of Topographical
Engineers was sent into the field and directed to occupy the most
northern astronomical station fixed the preceding year upon the true
meridian of the monument at the source of the river St. Croix, with the
view of being prepared to complete its trace to the northwest angle of
Nova Scotia before the termination of the season in case the pending
negotiations for a conventional boundary should fail.

The true meridian was in this way prolonged to a point 19 miles north
of the station alluded to of last year, or 13-1/2 miles north of its
intersection with the river St. John, reaching to the summit of the
height immediately south of Grand River, where a permanent station was
fixed. The point thus fixed is 90-3/4 miles north of the monument at
the source of the St. Croix.

This portion of the work was performed by the 15th of August, at which
period it was considered inexpedient to incur the expense of continuing
it any farther.

A party under the direction of another officer of Topographical
Engineers, which took the field also in July was charged with the
surveys of the Little Madawaska River, the Eagle or Cheaplawgan Lakes,
the portion of Fish River from the outlet of Lake Winthrop--one of the
Eagle group--to its debouche into the St. John, of the river St. John,
thence to the meridian of the source of the St. Croix, and finally of
the Alleguash from its mouth to its source.

The Little Madawaska was ascended in bateaux from its mouth to its
source, which is found in the Madawaska Lakes, and a trace of the river
was made by coursing with a compass and estimating the distances, which
were checked by astronomical observations for latitude and longitude.

The position of its mouth had been fixed by the surveys of the preceding
year, and observations for latitude and longitude were made at a point
intermediate between its mouth and its source and also at the junction
of the two lakes which form its source. The trace of the river was
corrected so as to agree with the results of these observations before
being laid down upon the map.

A portage of 5-1/4 miles was cut from the Madawaska to the Eagle Lakes,
which are only 4-3/4 miles apart in a direct line. The party transported
their baggage and boats by this portage and launched them on Lake
Sedgwick, the most southern and largest of the Eagle group.

This group, which is composed of the Winthrop, Sedgwick, Preble, Bear,
and Cleveland lakes, being all connected one with another by water
communications between them, was carefully surveyed by triangulating
them and coursing their shores with the chain and compass, except those
parts which were so straight as to render the work sufficiently accurate
by sketching those portions between consecutive points of triangulation
of no great distance apart. They were also sounded so far as to obtain
their general depths.

The survey was continued from the outlet of Lake Winthrop down Fish
River to its mouth, which was found to be the only outlet from this
group to the river St. John.

Lake Cleveland, the most northern and deepest of the group, was
connected in position with the river St. John at a point 2 miles below
the upper chapel of the Madawaska settlement, by a chained and coursed
line following the portage represented on the map 5-1/6 miles long.

The Alleguash was ascended in the month of October in bateaux and canoes
from its mouth to its source in Lake Telos, a distance of about 94
miles. The river and its lakes were coursed by a compass, the distances
estimated, and the projection resulting therefrom corrected before being
placed upon the map by means of astronomical observations at eight
intermediate points between its mouth and its source. The lakes were
triangulated by means of magnetic bearings as far as was practicable,
in order to obtain their widths and general contour. In the vicinity
of Chamberlain Lake use has also been made of a recent survey of Mr.
Parrott, a surveyor in the employ of the State of Maine, to whom we
acknowledge ourselves indebted for the aid which this portion of his
valuable labors furnished us.

Between the head of Lake Telos and Webster Pond, one of the sources
of the East Branch of the Penobscot, there is a portage of only 1 mile
and a half. This, together with a small cut or canal, made in 1841 to
connect the waters of Lake Telos with those of Webster Pond, enabled the
party which made this survey to proceed with their boats and baggage
down the Penobscot to Bangor, where they and their surplus stores were
disposed of.

A survey of the river St. John was made in the month of September with
the chain and compass from the mouth of Fish River to the intersection
of the meridian of the monument at the source of the St. Croix with the
St. John. This survey was afterwards extended eastward to the Grand
Falls, in order to connect with the astronomical station established
there, and westward to the mouth of the Alleguash, embracing a distance
of 87 miles. The islands were all surveyed, and the channels on either
side of them sounded.

The commissioner, having had other duties assigned him in reference
to the question of boundary, did not take the field in person until
September. Between the middle of that month and the middle of December
he was occupied in performing the field duties assigned him by the
Department of State.

The party conducted by him in person made the astronomical observations
for the determination of the latitude and longitude of the Grand Falls
of the St. John, and of the mouths of the Grand, Green, Madawaska, Fish,
and St. Francis rivers, all tributary to the St. John.

The same party also made a survey of the river St. Francis from its
mouth to the outlet of Lake St. Francis, a distance of 81 miles.

This river was coursed by means of a compass, and whenever the nature
of the shores would permit the distances from bend to bend were either
measured with a chain or paced. Through the greater part of the stream,
however, the impediments offered by the thick and small growth near the
shores rendered this degree of minuteness impracticable and a resort to
estimating the distances by the eye, well practiced by previous actual
measurements, became necessary.

Before putting the trace of the river thus derived upon the map it was
adjusted to correspond with the results of astronomical observations for
latitude and longitude at twelve intermediate points between its mouth
and the outlet of Lake St. Francis. Its three principal lakes, viz,
Pettiquaggamas, Petteiquaggamak, and Pohenagamook, were triangulated and
sounded as exhibited by the maps of detail yet to be handed in of the
operations of this division.

A profile of the river, exhibiting the slope of the country through
which it flows, was obtained by barometric observations made at fifteen
points between its mouth and the bridge where it is intersected by the
Grand portage road.

A connection was made with Long Lake, a tributary to Lake Temiscouata,
by a chained line from a point on the St. Francis 2 miles below the
mouth of Blue River to the western shore of Long Lake, by which it was
ascertained that the shore of this lake approached within 2-3/4 miles of
the river St. Francis.

The outlet of Lake Pohenagamook was reached in a distance of 49-3/4
miles from the mouth of the St. Francis following the sinuosities of the
river on the 18th of October.

A camp was established on the southwest shore of the lake at its outlet
for the purpose of making the necessary astronomical observations to
determine the latitude and longitude of this position. Ten days were
spent here for this object, out of which we had only three nights that
were favorable for observation. These were improved as far as possible,
and the results obtained, combined with those obtained by Captain
Talcott's parties on the Northwest and Southwest branches of the St.
John, have furnished the elements for laying down upon the general map
the straight lines which show the boundary as it is required to run
between the highlands and the river St. John under the treaty of 1842.
These furnish data for an accurate exhibition of the extent of territory
included by this portion of the boundary as fixed by that treaty.

The south shore of Lake Pohenagamook forms an angle of about 100 deg. with
the direction of the stream which flows from it, and marks with great
certainty the point at which, according to the late treaty, the straight
line is to be commenced in running the boundary southwestward to the
Northwest Branch of the river St. John.

The work of this division was connected with that of Captain Talcott's
division of the preceding year by noting the position of a common point
on the western shore of Lake Pohenagamook near its head.

The commissioner and his party reached the Grand portage, or British
military road, where it crosses the river St. Francis on the 2d of
November, and connected their work with that of Professor Renwick's
division of the preceding year at the bridge near Fournier's house.

Observations were also made at this bridge for the latitude and
longitude, when the weather was favorable, between the nights of the
2d and 5th of November, and a connection was made in longitude with
the meridian of Quebec by comparisons of the local time with three
chronometers transported from the first to the last mentioned place
between the 6th and 10th of November.

This comparison was repeated on the return of the commissioner by
observing again at the St. Francis bridge before mentioned on the night
of the 10th of December, with the thermometer ranging during these
observations from 11 to 15 deg. below zero of Fahrenheit's scale, there
being then near 4 feet of snow upon the ground. The commissioner then
proceeded by the Grand portage road, and the road which pursues the
margin of Temiscouata Lake and the valleys of the Madawaska and St. John
rivers, to the mouth of Green River, where on the night of the 12th of
December he again observed at the same point where his observations of
the 29th of September were made while ascending the St. John. These
completed, he proceeded to the Grand Falls, and on the 14th of December
discharged his party, which terminated his field duties for the season.

The distance surveyed along the new line of boundary by this division
the past season is--


                                                                 Miles.
  1. Along the river St. John from the meridian of the
     monument of the source of the St. Croix to the mouth
     of the river St. Francis                                    71-1/2

  2. Along the river St. Francis from its mouth to the
     outlet of Lake Pohenagamook                                 49-3/4

                                                  Total         121-1/4


IV.

A map marked L squared, on a scale of 1:400,000, exhibiting the lines
respectively claimed by the two nations under the treaty of 1783, as
well as that adopted by the treaty of 1842, is herewith presented. By
reference thereto the operations of the several divisions during the
present and previous years will be better understood.

For a more particular view of the surveys and explorations made under
the direction of each of the commissioners, including descriptions of
the face of the country, navigation of streams, etc., the undersigned
respectfully refer to their respective narratives hereto appended, and
to the maps of detail deposited by each in the Department of State.

All which is respectfully submitted.

JAS. RENWICK,
  A. TALCOTT,
    JAMES D. GRAHAM,
      _Commissioners_.



APPENDIX No. 1.

OPERATIONS OF THE DIVISION UNDER THE DIRECTION OF JAMES RENWICK, LL.D.,
CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD.

I.--_Operations during the year 1841_.

1. At as early a period as there was any probability of the country
being accessible two engineers were dispatched from the city of New York
for the purpose of exploring the Rimouski River. This had been crossed
by the commissioner late in the previous season. It had been ascertained
that it took its source much farther to the south than was represented
on any map, and that at its head would be the greatest difficulty in the
intended researches. It was, besides, considered necessary that skillful
boatmen and practiced woodsmen should be engaged in Canada. These it was
believed could be found in Quebec, and the chief of this detachment,
with an appointment as acting commissioner, was directed to perform this
duty on his route.

This detachment accordingly left New York on the 22d May. On reaching
Quebec it was found that the proper persons could only be engaged at
Trois Rivieres. A delay was thus occasioned before this part of the duty
could be performed. The detachment, however, reached Rimouski 4th June,
where the snow was still found upon the ground and the river barely fit
for the access of boats. No time had therefore been lost, and the
reconnoissance of the river was successfully performed. The detachment,
after passing all the establishments of lumberers, extended its
explorations beyond the remotest Indian paths, and leaving its boats
penetrated on foot several miles to the south of the highest point
of the stream in which boats could float. In this progress through
unexplored ground a lake wholly unknown was discovered. The results of
this expedition were embodied in a map, which on examination by parties
furnished with better means was found accurate.

It was found by this party that the Rimouski presented difficulties
which would forbid its ascent by a party provided with stores and
instruments for the prosecution of a survey along the height of land,
and that it would be impracticable even to make it the route of an
expedition to reach its own source. The little knowledge which was
possessed of its upper course and the fact that it had probably never
been explored even by Indian hunters were accounted for by its
difficulty of access, which would forbid the carriage of a sufficient
supply of provisions for consumption during its ascent and descent. On
other streams difficulties of this sort had been and were afterwards
overcome by the use of the bateaux of the Penobscot, of greater burthen
and strength than the birch canoes, but the continual repetition of
portages on the Rimouski forbade the use of any vessel heavier than the
latter.

2. The main body of engineers, etc., was ordered to assemble in New York
on the 15th May, for which time a vessel was chartered for the purpose
of conveying them, with stores sufficient for an expedition of five
months and the necessary instruments and camp equipage, to Metis, on the
St. Lawrence. The experience of the former season had shown that the
country was so poor as to furnish little for the support of a numerous
party, and it was believed that even game and fish would be found scarce
at the points where supplies would be most needed. It was therefore to
be chosen between laying in the supplies in New York or in Quebec, and
while the great advantage of conveying all the important instruments
by sea turned the scale in favor of the former place, it has been
ascertained that the decision was in other respects correct, for the
dangers and difficulties of navigating the St. Lawrence might have
frustrated altogether, and would certainly have materially delayed,
the commencement of the main survey.

The sailing of the vessel was delayed, in expectation of the arrival of
instruments from Europe, until the 30th of May, when a sufficient supply
for beginning the operations arrived.

In the meantime Mr. Lally, one of the first assistants, was directed to
proceed to Bangor, in Maine, for the purpose of procuring boats and men
to manage them. These were obtained and brought down the Penobscot to
Castine, where they were on the 8th June embarked in the vessel which
carried the rest of the party, and which had orders to call at that port
for the purpose. The experience of the previous year had manifested the
great superiority of the bateaux of the Penobscot over all other vessels
in the navigation of shallow and rapid rivers. The physical energy and
enterprise of the boatmen of that river had also been known. It was
believed that it was not only essential that a considerable proportion
of the laboring force should be American citizens, but that much good
would result from emulation between the boatmen of the Penobscot and the
Canadian voyageurs. This expectation was in a great degree confirmed by
the result, for although it must be stated with regret that it became
necessary at an early period to discharge some of the Americans,
the remainder were models of intelligence, sobriety, industry, and
perseverance, and entered into the work, not with the feelings of hired
laborers, but with those of men who felt that the interest of their
country was at stake.

3. The commissioner did not leave New York until 30th of June, being
delayed in expectation of more instruments. A part of these only
had arrived, but further delay might have been injurious. Proper
instructions had been given for setting the party in motion in case it
could be organized before he joined it, but these were rendered nugatory
by the length of the vessel's passage. This did not reach Metis till
7th July, so that the commissioner, arriving on the 9th, was in time
to direct the first operations in person. The stores, boats, and
instruments had been landed and partially carried to a camp on the river
above the falls. A heavy rain on the 10th July rendered the roads almost
impassable, and it was not till the morning of the 12th that the first
detachment could be embarked. This was comprised of Dr. O. Goodrich,
the assistant commissary, two surveyors, and an assistant engineer. The
first was in charge of stores sufficient for six weeks' consumption. The
surveyors had orders to survey the river for the purpose of connecting
it with the line of exploration, and the latter was directed to make
barometric observations. The commissioner and the remaining engineers
were detained at Metis by the necessary astronomic observations. These
being completed, the instruments, camp equipage, and a portion of the
stores were embarked, and the main body proceeded up the river about
noon on the 15th July.

4. The river was found to be still swollen by the melting of the snows
on the highlands near its source, and, being at all times rapid, the
progress of the party was attended both with difficulty and danger. One
of the birch canoes, although managed by a skillful voyageur, was twice
upset, and one of the heavily loaded bateaux filled with water in a
rapid. The result of the first accident was unimportant, except as
respected the personal comfort of one of the party, who lost his
clothing when it could not be replaced; the second accident caused the
loss of some valuable stores. A guide had been procured in the person of
a Canadian who was said to have acted in the same capacity to Captain
Broughton, who had descended the river by order of the commissioners
of Great Britain in 1840. So long as the services of the guide were
unimportant he was found intelligent and acquainted with the country,
but on passing beyond the region usually visited by lumbering parties
he manifested a very scanty knowledge. It had been the intention of the
commissioner to ascend to Lake Metis and thence proceed to the height of
land by an old portage said to have existed from that lake to the one
at the head of the Grande Fourche of the Restigouche, which had been
explored by the commissioner in 1840. Lake Metis was chosen because all
former accounts, and particularly those of the surveyors of the joint
commission under the fifth article of the treaty of Ghent, represented
this as the body of water seen to the northwest of the termination
of the exploring meridian line. The guide appeared to confirm this
impression, and held out inducements that led to the belief that he was
acquainted with the portage in question. The nearer, however, it was
approached the less seemed to be his confidence. When there appeared
to be some reason to doubt his competency or his will, a place in the
river was reached where it divided into two branches of nearly equal
magnitude. On inquiry from the guide it was ascertained that the
easternmost of these was the main Metis, the other the Mistigougeche
(Riviere au Foin). Although the latter appeared to be the most direct
course to the boundary, it was still believed, and nothing could be
learned from him to the contrary, that the former led to the termination
of the exploring meridian line. The party of Dr. Goodrich had gone up
the Metis, and it was necessary to communicate with it before any change
in plan could be made. The commissioner therefore entered the main
Metis, and in the evening overtook the surveyors, who had been unable
to keep the survey up with the progress of the boats. An express was
therefore sent forward to stop the boats, and, the party encamping,
astronomic observations were made for the solution of the difficulty in
which it appeared to be enveloped. A detachment was also sent out to
explore to the eastward of the Metis. This reached the Lake of the
Little Red River, and from its banks took bearings to what appeared to
be the greatest mountain of the country. This is known by the name of
Paganet, and lies to the southwest of Lake Matapediac, forming a part of
the highlands which are so obviously described as the boundary of the
Province of Quebec in the proclamation of 1763. Its height was reported
to be probably 3,000 feet, but as it has appeared in the course of the
survey that heights in that region may easily be overestimated, it
can not be safely taken at more than 2,500 feet. The result of the
astronomic observations seemed to show that the main stream would lead
too far to the eastward, and after mature deliberation it was resolved
that the course should be retraced and the Mistigougeche ascended. The
first part of the operation was attended with little delay. Half an hour
sufficed for reaching the forks, whence the party had been six hours in
mounting. The guide also stated that the Mistigougeche was a much less
difficult stream than Metis. Of the comparative facility, except for a
few miles of the latter, no opportunity for judging was obtained; but
these were so difficult as to confirm his statement. On the other hand,
the former was found to be much worse than it had been represented by
him. His knowledge, in fact, was limited to its state in winter, for
it appeared from a subsequent interview with Captain Broughton to be
doubtful whether he had served in the employ of that officer; and it can
be well imagined that the river when locked up in ice should present
an aspect of far less rapidity than when rushing with its springtide
violence. The Mistigougeche was found to be intercepted by a fall of a
few feet, which could not be passed by the boats when loaded, although
the Penobscot men boldly and successfully carried theirs up when empty,
in which feat they were imitated by the voyageurs, who had at first
deemed it impossible. The loads of the boats were carried over a
portage, and in this operation the chronometers were found to deviate
from each other, showing a manifest change of rate in some or all of
them. This may be ascribed to a change in the mode of transportation,
but was more than could be reasonably anticipated, considering the
shortness of the portage (2,000 yards) and the great care that was taken
in conveying them. At some distance above the falls a lake of moderate
size was reached, embosomed in hills and embarrassed at its upper end
with grass. From the last feature it was ascertained that both lake and
river take their epithet of Grassy (Riviere an Foin, and, in Indian,
of Mistigougeche, or Grassy Lake). At this lake the party of the
commissioner was in advance of the loaded boats. A halt was therefore
made and a party sent out to explore to the westward. This party reached
an eminence whence a lake was seen, which the guide stated to be the
head of a branch of the Rimouski, far distant, as he averred, from any
waters of the Restigouche. Subsequent examination has shown that this
party had actually reached the height of land and that the survey of the
boundary might have been advantageously commenced from this point.

On leaving the lake the river was found to have a gentle current for a
few miles. It was then interrupted by a bed of timber, after passing
which it became as rapid as ever. In a short time, however, a noble
sheet of water was reached, surrounded by lofty hills, and of great
depth. At the upper end of this a place was chosen for a stationary
camp, and preparations were made for proceeding to the land survey.
While these were going forward with as much dispatch as possible, Mr.
Lally, one of the first assistants, was detached to reconnoiter the
inlet of the lake. During his absence observations were taken and the
rates of the chronometers worked up. Of the four instruments with which
the expedition was furnished, two had varied from the other two on
the portage. All were of good reputation, and no means existed of
determining on which pair reliance could be placed. From the rates
of two of them it appeared that the camp was situated 12 miles to the
northwest of the tree chosen by the American surveyors in 1818 as
marking the northwest angle of Nova Scotia. Actual survey has shown that
the distance is about 10 miles. The result given by the chronometers was
speedily confirmed by the return of Mr. Lally, who reported that he had
actually reached the marked tree, well known to him by his visit to it
the year before, and that he had pursued for a couple of miles the line
cut out subsequently by Captain Broughton.

6. The preparations being completed, Messrs. H.B. Renwick and Lally were
sent out, each at the head of a sufficient party, with instructions to
proceed together to the west until they reached waters running to the
Restigouche and then to divide, Mr. Lally proceeding to the northwest
angle and Mr. Renwick toward Rimouski. Each was directed to pursue as
far as possible the height of land and to remain in the field as long
as the supplies which the men could carry would permit. They were also
ordered to mark their path in order to insure a safe return, as well as
all the stations of their barometric observations. Bach of the laborers
was loaded with 56 pounds besides his own baggage and ax, and the
engineers and surveyors carried their own baggage and instruments. The
commissioner, with one assistant, remained in the stationary camp for
the purpose of determining the longitude accurately and of making
corresponding barometric observations.

7. In this place it will be proper to state that the lake which was thus
reached was ascertained with certainty to be that seen by the surveyors
of the joint commission in 1818, and which was by them supposed to be
Lake Metis. As it has no name yet assigned to it, it has been called
upon our maps Lake Johnson, in honor of the American surveyor by whom it
was first visited. It is 1,007 feet above the level of the sea, being
more than twice as much as the total fall assigned to the waters of the
Metis in the report of Messrs. Mudge and Featherstonhaugh. So great an
elevation in so short a course is sufficient to account for the great
rapidity of the stream. To illustrate this rapidity in an obvious
manner, the birch canoes, which on the waters of the St. John are easily
managed by one man, are never intrusted on those of the Metis to less
than two. Our departure from Metis in boats so deeply loaded, as was
afterwards learned, was considered there as a desperate attempt, and
although but one of them sustained injury, this is to be ascribed to the
great skill of the boatmen; and to show the velocity of the stream in a
still stronger light, it is to be recollected that, after deducting the
loss of time on the Metis, nine days of incessant labor were spent in
taking up the loaded boats, while the assistant commissary whom it
became necessary to send to Metis left the stationary camp at 2 o'clock
in the morning of the 28th July and reached the mouth of the river
before sunset of the same day, after making two portages, one of 2,000
yards and the other of 2 miles.

8. The first day of the operations of Messrs. H.B. Renwick and Lally was
attended with an accident which had an injurious effect. The surveyor of
Mr. Lally's party, Mr. W.G. Waller, fell from a tree laid as a bridge
across a stream and lamed himself to such a degree as to be incapable
either of proceeding with the party or of returning to the stationary
camp. It became necessary, therefore, to leave him, with a man to attend
him, in the woods, and it was a week before he was sufficiently
recovered to be able to walk. Intelligence was immediately sent to the
commissioner, by whom the assistant he had retained in camp to aid in
astronomic observations was sent to take the place of the surveyor. Two
days were thus lost, and the intended astronomic observations were far
less numerous than they might have been with the aid of a competent
assistant.

The two parties, proceeding together, reached Katawamkedgwick Lake. That
under the direction of Mr. H.B. Renwick immediately crossed it, while
that of Mr. Lally proceeded along the eastern bank for the purpose of
reaching the source of the stream. This being attained, the party of
Mr. L. pursued the height of land as nearly as possible and reached the
exploring meridian line. Crossing this, some progress was made to the
eastward, when a failure of provisions compelled a return to camp. The
party of Mr. H.B. Renwick, proceeding until the Rimouski was seen,
turned to the south and finally reached the southeasterly source of that
river, a point probably never before pressed by human foot, for it was
found to consist in a series of beaver ponds, in which that animal was
residing in communities and without any appearance of having been ever
disturbed. The low state of provisions in this instance also called the
party back, but not before every anticipated result had been obtained.

9. The party of Mr. H.B. Renwick having returned first, immediate
preparations were made for descending the stream. Before they were
completed Mr. Lally also came in, and both were assembled at Metis on
the 14th, whence the commissioner set out instantly for the river Du
Loup, which had been chosen as the base of further operations.

The circumstances of the operations up the Metis and Metis and
Mistigougeche had been upon the whole favorable. With the exception of
a single thundershower, no rain had been experienced; the country was
still sufficiently moist to insure a supply of water even upon the
ridges. The sun was observed daily for time and latitude, and the nights
admitted of observations of the pole star for latitude at almost every
camp. At the stationary camp, however, the mists rising from the lake
obscured the horizon and rendered the eclipses of Jupiter's satellites
invisible; nor was it possible to observe the only occultation of a star
which calculation rendered probable during the period in question. Much,
however, had been accomplished. A river little known had been carefully
surveyed some miles beyond its junction with a branch unheard of by
geographers. This branch had been explored, its course and length
determined; a path nearly coinciding with the boundary line for an
extent of 86 miles had been measured and leveled, and regions before
unseen visited. One accident of a serious character had occurred, and
one of the laboring men, although an _homme du nord_, seasoned in the
service of the Hudsons Bay Company, had been rendered unfit by fatigue
for further duty in the service; but with these exceptions the health
and strength of the party were unimpaired. All augured well for a speedy
and successful completion of the task in a manner as perfect as had been
anticipated.

10. Instructions had been transmitted to the commissary, as soon as it
was found that a portage to Katawamkedgwick and thence to Rimouski was
impracticable, to have a vessel ready at Metis to transport the stores
to the river Du Loup. One was in consequence chartered, but, being
neaped in the harbor of Rimouski, did not reach Metis till the 19th
August. When loaded, her sailing was delayed by an unfavorable wind, and
its continuance prevented her from reaching the river Du Loup before the
29th August. An entire week of very favorable weather was thus lost for
field operations, and it was not even possible to employ it to advantage
in observations, as all the chronometers but one and the larger
instruments, in order to expose them as little as possible to change of
rate or injury, had been forwarded from Metis in the vessel. With the
one chronometer and the reflecting repeating circle numerous
observations were, however, made for the latitude of the river Du Loup.

11. During the time the main body was engaged in ascending the Metis
and in the other operations which have been mentioned an engineer was
directed to proceed from Metis along the Kempt road for the purpose of
exploring along the dividing ridge between the waters of the Bay of
Chaleurs in the vicinity of Lake Matapediac and the St. Lawrence. This
line forms the continuation of that claimed by the United States, and
is important in its connection with the proclamation of 1763; but as it
falls without the ground which is the subject of dispute, it was not
considered necessary to survey it. The heights which could be reached
were therefore measured with the barometer, and the position of the
points at which the observations were taken referred to existing maps
without any attempt to correct their errors.

In the course of this reconnoissance an eminence 1,743 feet in height,
lying to the southeast of Lake Matapediac, was ascended. Thence was had
the view of a wide, open valley extending toward the southeast to the
Bay of Chaleurs and bounded on the northeast and southwest by highlands.
The former were pointed out by the guide as the Chic Choc Mountains, in
the district of Gaspe; the latter, it appeared beyond question, extended
to the Bay of Chaleurs, and strike it below the Matapediac. At the
latter place a party detached down the Restigouche in 1840 had measured
the height of Ben Lomond, a highland rising abruptly from the western
termination of the Bay of Chaleurs. and found it to be 1,024 feet. Thus
it appears beyond the possibility of doubt that a chain of eminences
well entitled to the name of highlands, both as dividing waters and
rising to the character of mountains, depart from "_the northern shore
of the Bay of Chaleurs at its western extremity_," bound the valley of
the Matapediac to the northeast, and, bending around the lake of that
name, separate its waters from those of the Metis. These are deeply cut
by valleys, whose direction appears from the map of the reconnoissance
and from the course of the tributary streams which occupy their lines
of maximum slope to run from southwest to northeast, or at right angles
to the general course of the highlands themselves. These highlands are
obviously those defined in the proclamation of 1763 and the commission
of Governor Wilmot.

12. As soon as the necessary instruments arrived from Metis at the river
Du Loup a party was detached to survey the Temiscouata portage, a line
known to be of great importance to the subsequent operations, but whose
interest has been increased from the unexpected frequency with which the
line dividing the waters touches or crosses it. Stores for a month's
service were transported with all possible dispatch to Lake Temiscouata,
along with the boats and camp equipage.

Two separate parties were now formed, the one to proceed up Temiscouata
Lake, the other to ascend the Tuladi. The embarkation of both was
completed at noon on the 4th September.

13. Mr. H.B. Renwick, with the party under his command, was directed
if possible to ascend the middle or main branch of Tuladi and form a
stationary camp at the highest point of that stream which could be
reached by boats.

Mr. Lally had orders to enter and follow the river Asherbish, which
enters Lake Temiscouata at its head, until the progress of his boats
should be interrupted. The first party was directed to operate in the
first place toward the west, the second toward the east, upon the height
of land until they should meet each other's marks. The party of Mr. H.B.
Renwick was directed, therefore, to proceed from the head of Tuladi and
reach if possible the head of Rimouski, thus forming a connection with
the line explored from the head of Mistigougeche; that of Mr. Lally to
proceed from the head of Asherbish along the height of land to the
Temiscouata portage. The commissary was then moved up with a large
amount of stores and halted on the summit of Mount Biort, to be within
reach of both the parties in case of a demand for new supplies, and to
receive them on their return.

14. The party of Mr. H.B. Renwick, having passed through Tuladi Lake,
entered the main stream of that name on the 5th September. The head of
it had been seen by that gentleman in September, 1840, and held out the
promise of abundance of water for navigation. This promise did not
fail, but it was found that the stream had probably never before been
ascended, and was therefore embarrassed with driftwood. After cutting
through several rafts with great labor, a place was reached where the
stream spread out to a great width over beds of gravel, and all further
progress in boats became impossible. It was therefore determined to fall
down the stream and ascend the western branch, well known under the
name of Abagusquash, and which had been fully explored in 1840. The
resolution to return was taken on the 6th, and on the evening of the
9th the beaver pond at the head of Abagusquash was reached; here a
stationary camp was established. One of the men had wounded himself with
an ax and three more were so ill as to be unfit for service. The numbers
were yet sufficient for short expeditions, and one was immediately
fitted out for the head of Tuladi with provisions to form a cache for
future operations. This expedition explored so much of the height of
land as would otherwise have been thrown out of the regular order in
consequence of the failure to ascend the main branch of Tuladi.

15. In the meantime Mr. Lally proceeded up Lake Temiscouata and entered
the Asherbish. This stream was also found very difficult, and on the
evening of the 7th no more than 7 miles had been accomplished on it.
At this point a stationary camp was fixed and a detachment sent out to
explore the neighborhood. On the 10th Mr. Lally set out to the eastward,
and struck the lower end of Abagusquash Lake on the afternoon of the
11th September. Being obviously too far to the south, he ascended that
stream and reached H.B. Renwick's camp on the evening of the 12th.
The next morning he proceeded to the height of land, and after twice
crossing it reached his stationary camp on Asherbish at noon on the
21st September.

On this expedition two out of three barometers were broken, and an
assistant was therefore sent to seek a fresh supply from the stores.

16. The expedition sent out by H.B. Renwick to the head of the Tuladi
returned on the 13th September. One of the men came in severely wounded,
and those left sick and wounded in camp were still unfit for service;
others also were taken sick. Of the laborers of the party, one-half were
thus lost for the present to the service. The engineer in command,
who had finished the observations for which he had remained in the
stationary camp, determined, therefore, to proceed to Mount Biort in
order to obtain men. Previous to his departure on the 15th September he
fitted out a second expedition with all the disposable strength for the
purpose of operating between the head of Tuladi and the point in the
height of land where Mr. Lally's line diverged to the southwest. The
newly engaged hands and the detachment on its return both reached the
camp on the Abagusquash on the 19th of September. On the 21st, all
arrangements having been completed, Mr. H.B. Renwick, leaving the
assistant commissary with only one man in the stationary camp, set off
toward the head of Rimouski. This course was pursued for six days, when
it became necessary to return for want of provisions, and the stationary
camp was reached on the 2d October. On this expedition the line of
exploration made in June up the Rimouski was intersected and the ground
traversed in July and August seen and connected with the survey, but
it was found impossible to penetrate along the height of land on the
western side of Rimouski to its head. On reaching the camp snow began
to fall, and the thermometer marked 18 deg. in the morning. All further
operations for the season in this direction were therefore at an end.
A portion of the line which divides the waters falling into the St.
John from those falling into the St. Lawrence remained in consequence
unsurveyed. It can not, however, be said to be absolutely unexplored,
for it was seen from the eastern side of Rimouski, presenting the
appearance of a range of hills at least as elevated as any on the
boundary.

18. Mr. Lally having received a fresh supply of barometers on the
evening of the 23d, resumed his survey of the height of land on the 25th
September, and reached the camp of the commissary on Mount Biort on the
2d October, having surveyed and leveled the intermediate dividing ridge.
The party of H.B. Renwick descended the Abagusquash and Tuladi, and,
crossing Lake Temiscouata, reached the same rendezvous on the 5th
October. The interval was spent by Mr. Lally's party in clearing a space
for a panoramic view on the summit of Mount Biort.

19. The commissioner, having superintended in person the equipment and
embarkation of the parties of Messrs. H.B. Renwick and Lally on Lake
Temiscouata, returned to the river Du Loup for the purpose of making
astronomic observations. These being completed, he visited and conferred
with the parties of his colleague, A. Talcott, esq., on their way to the
height of land southeast of Kamouraska. Here he made arrangements for
the junction of the two lines on the Temiscouata portage. He then
proceeded to the camp of the commissary on Mount Biort, and there made
provision for the completion of the residue of the line in the vicinity
of the portage. He also selected points of view for the use of the
daguerreotype and camera lucida, and, being unable to do any more on the
ground for the furtherance of the objects of his appointment, returned
to New York, taking with him the earlier records of the field operations
for the purpose of organizing the office work.

20. Under the direction of Mr. H.B. Renwick, a party led by Mr. Lally
set off from Mount Biort on the 7th October, and, proceeding westward
along the portage road to the ridge of Mount Paradis, turned to the
south along the dividing ridge. This being pursued led them back to the
portage at a point about 21-1/2 miles from the river Du Loup on the
10th. The dividing ridge was now found for some distance to coincide
nearly with the portage road and to pass over the summit of the Grande
Fourche Mountain, a fact which had not before been suspected. The source
of the Grande Fourche of Trois Pistoles having been headed, the party
reached a station which the commissary had now established at the river
St. Francis on the 13th October. Departing from this, the basin of the
St. Francis to the north of the portage road was explored, and the
survey finished on the 17th October.

Operating from the St. Lawrence as a base, and within reach of a
cultivated country, whence numerous roads are cut to the height of
land, it would have been possible to have kept the field for perhaps a
fortnight longer. The plans and estimates of the division had been made
with this view, and it was anticipated that the height of land might
have been surveyed 30 miles to the south of the Temiscouata portage.
Although this would have been practicable, it would have been a service
of hardship. The necessity for this was obviated by the progress of the
parties of A. Talcott, esq., which completed their surveys up to the
portage on the same day that the surveys of this division were finished.

22. The circumstances under which the latter part of the survey was
performed from the time of leaving the river Du Loup, on the 3d
September, were far less favorable than had been experienced on the
Metis and its branches. The continual drought had at the beginning of
this part of the duty affected the streams and springs in such a way
as to render navigation difficult and water for drinking scarce on the
heights of land to which the survey was necessarily directed. On the
eastern side of Lake Temiscouata a large fire had extended itself into
the woods. On the Temiscouata portage the persons in charge of that road
had set fire to the brush and wood cut in opening it out to an increased
breadth, and a belt of flame 30 miles in length was at each change of
wind carried in some new direction into the dry forest. The camp and
collection of stores on Mount Biort were thus threatened for several
days, and only saved by great exertions. Serious apprehensions were
entertained lest the return of the parties in the field might be
obstructed by the spreading of their own fires. The smoke of this vast
extent of combustion obscured the heavens and rendered astronomic
observations difficult or prevented it altogether. Finally, a season of
unprecedented drought was closed on the 24th of September by the setting
in of the equinoctial storm, and from this day until that on which the
survey terminated few hours elapsed without rain, sleet, or snow. In
spite of these obstacles, it is believed that the State Department will
have no reason to be dissatisfied with the results of the campaign.

23. The results of the operations of this division are embodied in a map
and profiles, which are herewith presented. The degree of reliance to be
placed on this map will be best understood from a detail of the methods
employed in preparing it.

The river Metis and its branch, the Mistigougeche, were surveyed by an
azimuth compass of Smallcaldus construction, and the distances measured
by a micrometric telescope by Ertil, of Munich. The courses of the rest
of the lines were determined by compasses of similar construction, and
the distances measured by chains of 100 feet constructed by Dollond, of
London, and Brown, of New York. An exception to this general rule exists
in the survey of the eastern side of Rimouski. The courses and distances
thus measured, and corrected for the variation of the compass, were
compared with astronomic observations for latitude and with longitudes
deduced from chronometers. For this reason, as the line on the east side
of Rimouski is almost in the direction of the meridian, it was not
considered necessary to lose time in measuring it when the latitude of
the several camps, determined by observations of the pole star, were
taken nightly.

The latitudes of the courses under the direction of Mr. H.B. Renwick
were determined by a reflecting repeating circle of Dollond; those on
Mr. Lally's by a good sextant. The latitudes and times at Grand Metis,
the river Du Loup, and the stationary camp on Mistigougeche and
Abagusquash were principally determined from observations made with the
Dollond circle. Lunar transits were taken at the river Du Loup, and
distances of the moon for longitude at several places on the line. The
reliance for the longitudes was, however, principally upon timekeepers,
and of these the party was furnished with one box and two pocket
chronometers by Parkinson & Trodsham, one pocket chronometer by
Molyneux, one by French, one by Barraud, and one by Morrice. Thus, while
several could be retained at the station, each party in the field was
furnished with two, and the measured distance furnished a check, which,
in case of discrepancy, that on which greatest reliance could be placed
might be ascertained. It is sufficient to say that the deductions have
been in general satisfactory, although the rough motion to which
these instruments were subjected in passing through pathless woods,
embarrassed by fallen trees and morasses in which the bearers often
sunk to the middle, caused changes of rate and even sudden variations.
Uncertainty arising from these causes was rendered less to be dreaded
from its being possible to refer, as a base of operations, to the
excellent survey of the St. Lawrence River by Captain Byfield, of the
British navy. With the geographical positions given in his charts our
own observations agreed so closely as materially to confirm the
respective accuracy of both.

24. The point which in this part of the survey has been kept in view as
most important is the determination of the heights. For this purpose the
party of Professor Renwick was furnished with the following barometers:

Two loaned by the Superintendent of the Coast Survey, of his own
construction; two portable and one standard, by Neurnan; three of the
siphon form, by Buntin, of Paris; one by Traughton & Simms; one by
Forlin, of Paris; three of siphon form, by Roach & Warner, of New York;
two by Tagliabue, of New York, originally on the plan of Durand, but
which had been advantageously altered by Roach & Warner in such manner
as to admit of the adjustment of the level of the mercury in the
cistern.

The stations at which the lower barometers were placed were Grand Metis
until the return of the expedition up the river of that name, and the
river Du Loup from that time until the close of the survey. At these
places all the barometers not actually in the field were suspended and
registered at the hours most likely to correspond with the observations
of a traveling party, say at 6, 7, 8, and 9 in the morning, noon, 1, 5,
and 6 in the afternoon, until as the season advanced and the days became
short the earliest and latest of these hours were omitted. Although
several barometers were thus constantly observed, no other use of these
was made but to determine their comparisons with each other, except one
of the barometers of Mr. Hassler, Superintendent of the Coast Survey.
This, from its superior simplicity, being, in fact, no more than the
original Tonicillean experiment, with a well-divided scale and
adjustment of its 0 deg. to the surface of the mercury in the cistern, was
found to be most certain in its results. All the barometers used by the
parties in the field were therefore reduced to this by their mean
differences.

The stations at the two above-mentioned places were near the St.
Lawrence. At Metis the height of the cistern of the standard barometer
was determined by a spirit level. At the river Du Loup the height of the
station was determined by two sets of observations of barometers, taken
with different instruments by different observers, and at an interval of
a week from each other. The results of the two several sets, which were
calculated separately, differ no more than 0.5 of a foot from each
other.

On reaching the highest accessible points of the streams on which the
parties proceeded toward the height of land, stationary camps were
established, as has been already stated. At these series of observations
were made at the same hours as at the river stations. The height of
the former was then calculated from a series of observations taken at
noon and at 1 p.m. for the whole of the time the camp was occupied.
The heights of the points at which observations were made by the
traveling party were then deduced from a comparison with the nearest
contemporaneous observations at the stationary camp. An exception to
this rule was made in the observations to the westward of Temiscouata
Lake, which were referred directly to those made at the river Du Loup,
which was sufficiently near for the purpose.

The height of the stationary camp at Mount Biort having been determined
by observations continued for several days, the level of Lake
Temiscouata was thence determined by using a set of levels taken with a
theodolite by Breithaupt, of Cassel, in 1840. The height of the lake
thus deduced is greater than it would appear to be from the barometric
observations taken in December, 1840. It had been imagined that a
difference in level might exist between the St. Lawrence at Metis and
at the river Du Loup. Four days of contemporaneous observations were
therefore made at each with a view to the solution of this question.
The idea of a difference of level was not sustained by the operation.

The heights of the river stations were measured in each case to the
highest mark left by spring tides, and half the fall of that tide as
given by Captain Byfield has been added in all cases as a reduction to
the mean level of the sea. Opportunities were offered in a few instances
for testing the accuracy of the method by different barometers used by
different observers at different days on the same point. No discrepancy
greater than 7 feet has been thus discovered. In other cases the same
observer returned and observed at the same places, and here a similar
congruity of result has been found to exist.

The whole of the calculations have been made by the formulae and tables
of Bailey. Before adopting these their results were compared in one
or two instances with those of a more exact formula. The differences,
however, were found so small as to be of no importance, amounting in the
height of Lake Johnson to no more than 5 feet in 1,007. The original
record of the barometric observations, each verified by the initials of
the observer, have been deposited in the State Department.

25. The paths pursued by the traveling parties were marked by blazing
trees. The position of the barometer at each place of observation was
also marked. The operation was a search for the boundary line in an
unknown country, hence it rarely happened that the path of the parties
has pursued the exact dividing line of the waters of the St. Lawrence
and the Atlantic, but has been continually crossing it. The maps
herewith submitted and the marks by which the line of the survey has
been perpetuated would have enabled a party sent out for that especial
purpose to trace the boundary on the ground without difficulty other
than that arising from the inacessible character of the country.

26. The commissioner can not speak in too high terms of the industry and
perseverance manifested by the engineers and surveyors employed on this
division, and in particular of the skill and intelligence of the two
first assistants. Circumstances had prevented the receipt of portable
astronomic instruments which had been ordered from Paris and Munich, and
an instrument formed by the adaptation of a vertical circle to the lower
part of an excellent German theodolite by Draper, of Philadelphia, was
found on its being opened at Metis to have received an injury which
rendered its accuracy doubtful. The whole reliance for the greatest
accuracy was thus thrown on the repeating circle of Dollond. Such,
however, was the address and skill of the engineer to whom it was
intrusted that he not only fulfilled the object for which it was
intended, of determining the position of the points visited by the
traveling parties, but accomplished the same object at the stationary
camps and at the river stations, without delaying for an hour the
operations of the survey.

The duty which these gentlemen performed was arduous in the extreme. It
has been seen that on the expedition up the Metis a seasoned voyageur
had been worn out by the severity of his labors; on the Tuladi half the
men were sick at a time; and of Mr. Rally's party two Penobscot Indians
of herculean frame were compelled to return by extreme fatigue. The
engineers, while in the field, were even more exposed to fatigue than
the laborers, for they carried their own baggage and instruments, and
were engaged nightly in observation and calculation, while the workmen
could repose.

27. The commissioner to whom the survey of the northern division of the
boundary line was intrusted has to express his acknowledgments for the
politeness and good offices of the authorities of Her Britannic Majesty.
In compliance with his request, permission was granted by the late
lamented Governor-General for the admission of a vessel and the entry of
the stores, camp equipage, and instruments of the party at one or more
ports on the St. Lawrence. Letters were addressed by the principal
secretary of the colony of Canada to all the officers and magistrates,
directing them to give every facility to the operations, and these
directions were obeyed, not as mere matters of form, but with a truly
hospitable spirit. To the officers of the Sixty-eighth Regiment, forming
the garrison of Fort Ingall and occupying the post of the river Du Loup,
as well as to the officers of the commissariat on duty at those places,
acknowledgments are due for numerous attentions.

II.--_Operations of the year 1842_.

1. Of the task originally assigned in the instructions for this division
there remained to be completed--

(1) A portion of the boundary claimed by the United States around the
head waters of the river Rimouski.

(2) The line of highlands forming the south bounds of the Province of
Quebec, extending from the north shore of the Bay of Chaleurs at its
western extremity.

2. Experience had shown that the portion of the boundary which remained
unsurveyed could not be reached with any hope of completing the survey
by any of the streams running into the St. Lawrence nor from the waters
of Lake Temiscouata. The Green River (of St. John) was therefore chosen
as the line of operation. It was known that a portage existed between
its boatable waters and those of the Grande Fourche of Restigouche. The
plan for the work of the season was therefore laid as follows:

To proceed up Green River with a party, thence to cross to the Bell
Kedgwick by the portage, and having, by expeditions from the banks of
that stream, surveyed the remainder of the claimed boundary, to fall
down the stream to the Bay of Chaleurs, and, ascending the highland
measured in 1840, to proceed along the heights in order to reach if
possible the northwest angle of Nova Scotia.

The work being the most remote and difficult of access of any on the
whole boundary, it was necessary to take measures early, and, it being
apparent that if they were not vigorously pressed the whole summer's
work would be frustrated, permission was granted by the Secretary of
State to prepare stores and provisions, and the party was sent forward
toward its line of operations. Care was, however, taken, in conformity
with his instructions, to secure means of communication.

3. The transportation of stores, equipage, and instruments was rendered
unexpectedly easy by a steamboat running from Portland to St. John, and
by the politeness of the British consul at Portland and the collector of
Her Britannic Majesty's customs at St. John free entrance was permitted
at the latter port. These articles were shipped from Portland the 19th
of June and under the charge of the Hon. Albert Smith reached the Grand
Falls of St. John July ----.

4. Mr. Lally, first assistant engineer, with the surveyor, was
dispatched by the way of Bangor and Houlton to the same point of
rendezvous on 18th June for the purpose of procuring boats and engaging
laborers. Mr. H.B. Renwick, first assistant, with Mr. F. Smith, second
assistant, were placed in charge of the chronometers and the necessary
astronomic instruments, with instructions to observe on the meridian
of the St. Croix at Houlton, and again at its intersection with the
river St. John, for the purpose of ascertaining the rate taken by
the chronometers when carried. These preliminary operations being
successfully performed, the party was completely organized at the Grand
Falls of the St. John on the 2d July. The energy and activity of the
persons intrusted with these several duties was such that this date of
complete preparation for the field duties was at least a week earlier
than any calculation founded on the experience of former years rendered
probable. The commissioner, advised of the negotiation in progress, had
made his arrangements to reach the Grand Falls of the St. John on the
10th July. Being directed by the State Department to remain in New York,
he sent orders by mail to the party to halt until further instructions.

5. These orders were not received, for the party, being fully organized,
left the Grand Falls in three different detachments on the 4th, 6th,
and 8th of July. The first detachment was composed of the surveyor,
Mr. Bell, and an engineer having instructions to make a survey of Green
River. The second was in charge of the assistant commissary, and was
composed of three bateaux and fourteen pirogues, carrying stores and
equipage for three months' service. The third was formed by the two
first assistants, who, after performing the necessary astronomic
observations at the Grand Falls and at two points on Green River, passed
the surveying party and reached the portage between Green and Kedgwick
rivers on the evening of the 13th July.

6. Green River has a fall and rapids near its junction with the St.
John, which are passed by a portage of 1-1/2 miles. At 15 miles from its
mouth is a second fall, which is passed by a portage of 82 yards. The
stream for this distance and for 5 miles above the second fall is very
rapid, its bed being in some reaches almost filled with rocks. For the
next 10 miles it has deep still reaches, alternating with gravel beds,
or else the river flows over ledges of rock. It is then interrupted by a
third fall, requiring a portage of 176 yards. Thence to the second fork
of the lakes it has the same character as for the last 10 miles, except
that in some places it flows with a gentle current between low banks
covered with alder. From the second fork of the lakes to the southern
end of the Green River and Kedgwick portage the stream is very narrow
and may be styled one continuous rapid. It is upon the whole the most
difficult of navigation of all the streams running into the St. John
from its northern side, and approaches in its character of a torrent
to the waters on the St. Lawrence side of the highlands.

7. The portage from Green River to the South Branch of Kedgwick is 5-1/4
miles in length, and passes over the summits of two of the highest
mountains in the ceded district, as well as several ridges. No vessel
heavier than a birch canoe had ever before been carried over it. It
therefore became necessary to clear it out before the bateaux and other
heavy articles could be transported. Fifteen extra laborers, who had
been engaged, with their pirogues, to carry some of the stores from the
St. John, were retained to aid in making this portage, which swelled the
number to twenty-seven. This large force was industriously engaged for
eight days in carrying the stores and equipage over the portage, with
the boats and canoes required for the future operations of the party.
In the meantime the portage was surveyed, and a great number of
observations were made, by which the latitude of the southern end of the
portage and its difference in longitude from that of the meridian line
were determined with great accuracy. In addition to the other labors of
the party, a storehouse and observatory were erected.

8. The commissioner, learning that the party had left the Grand Falls
before his letter could have reached that place, addressed fresh orders
to the engineer in command. These were sent under cover to the British
postmaster at Lake Temiscouata, who was requested to send them up Green
River by an express. By these he was directed to stop the progress of
the party and to proceed himself to the river Du Loup, there to await
fresh instructions.

These orders did not arrive in time to prevent the party intended for
the survey of the boundary from setting out. The engineer who had
hitherto been in command returned to the St. John in pursuance of his
original instructions and met the express on his way down Green River.
The commissioner, being advised on the 13th July that the treaty had
been signed, immediately dispatched a special messenger, who joined the
chief of the division at the mouth of Green River on the 24th July.
Measures were now taken for the recall and return of the party in the
woods, and the whole division was assembled at the stationary camp at
the north end of the portage on the 11th of August.

9. The party engaged in the survey of the remaining part of the boundary
line had before the orders of recall reached them successfully
accomplished that duty, having connected their survey with points in the
survey of the previous year and thoroughly explored the culminating
points of the valley of Rimouski. As had been anticipated from the level
of the streams seen in 1841, this portion of the boundary claimed by the
United States is more elevated than any other portion of that line
between the Temiscouata portage and the northwest angle of Nova Scotia.
This survey would therefore have added an important link to the argument
of the United States had not the question been settled by treaty.

The party having received its orders of recall, all the articles of
equipment which could not be carried in the boats which had been
launched on the waters of the Restigouche were transported to the other
end of the portage and embarked in pirogues sent up Green River for that
purpose under the direction of the assistant commissary. The engineers
then set out on their return by the Bell Kedgwick, the Grande Fourche,
and the Southwest Branch of Restigouche. Ascending the latter stream,
this party reached the Wagansis portage on the 21st August, and arrived
at the Grand Falls on the 25th August.

The descent of the Bell Kedgwick was attended with great difficulties
in consequence of the low state of the waters. Until its junction with
Katawamkedgwick, to form the Grande Fourche of Restigouche, it was
necessary to drag the boats by hand.

10. The detailed map of the surveys of this division, exhibiting the
more important points whose altitudes were determined by the barometer,
has already been lodged in the Department of State under date of 27th
December.

Although the interest of this survey to the United States has now passed
away, yet, as it is probable that many years may elapse before this
country shall be again explored, and as it may still possess some
interest to the nation into whose undisputed possession it has now
fallen, it may not be improper to state the methods employed in the
survey, for the purpose of showing to what degree of faith it is
entitled.

The latitude and longitude of the mouth of Green River were furnished by
Major Graham. The three portages on that river were surveyed by chain
and compass. The courses on the navigable parts of the river were taken
with a compass and the distances measured by a micrometrical telescope
by Ertil, of Munich. This instrument, which had given satisfactory
results on Metis and Mistigougeche in 1841, was still more accurate
in the present survey. The latitude of the south end of the Kedgwick
portage as given by the plot of Green River on the original projection
differed no more than 5" from that given by numerous astronomic
observations, an agreement so close that it might be almost considered
as arising from happy accident. This survey therefore required but
little correction, which was applied from the observations already cited
and from those at two intermediate points.

The survey of Kedgwick portage was performed with chain and compass. In
the woods between the Bell Kedgwick and the boundary and along the whole
line of survey the same method was used, observations for time and
latitude being also taken whenever the weather permitted. As the lines
intersected those of the last year, it can now be stated that every part
of the boundary claimed by the United States, from the height of land on
the Temiscouata portage which divides the waters of the Green River of
the St. Lawrence from those of the St. Francis to the northwest angle of
Nova Scotia, as well as its connections with the St. Lawrence and Lake
Temiscouata by the Temiscouata portage, and with the St. Lawrence a
second time by the Metis and Mistigougeche, and with the St. John by
Green River, has been actually surveyed. This result is one that neither
the Department in its original instructions nor the commissioner on
his first view of the country had contemplated. In stating this the
commissioner feels it his duty to acknowledge his obligations to the
untiring zeal and energy of the gentlemen who have acted under his
orders, and especially to his two first assistants, who, entering upon
duties of an entirely novel character, not only to themselves, but
to the country, have in the course of the operations of two years
accumulated under the most disadvantageous circumstances a stock of
observations which for number and accuracy may compare with those taken
with every convenience at hand by the most practiced astronomers.

In addition to the latitude of numerous points determined astronomically
by the party engaged in surveying the line through the woods, the
latitude of a point near the southern end of Green River and Kedgwick
has been determined by eighty-six altitudes of sun and stars taken with
a repeating and reflecting circle.

The whole number of altitudes of sun and stars taken during the
expedition for time and latitude was 806.

III.

1. The operations of this division during the three seasons which it has
been engaged in field duties have given a view of nearly every part of
the country which has now been ceded to Great Britain to the north of
the St. John River and the Temiscouata portage. During the year 1840
the commissioner proceeded in person by the wagansis of Grand River to
the waters of the Bay of Chaleurs, ascended the Grande Fourche of the
Restigouche to Lake Kedgwick, and then traversed the country from that
lake to the Tuladi by a route never before explored. In 1841 the
Rimouski and Metis were both ascended--the first to the limits of its
navigation by canoes, the latter to the lake in which the waters of its
western branch are first collected. From this lake lines of survey
repeatedly crossing the boundary claimed by the United States were
extended to a great distance in both directions. The operations of the
year were closed by a survey of so much of the boundary as incloses
the basin of Lake Temiscouata and intersects so frequently the great
portage. These latter surveys covered in some degree the explorations
of one of the parties in 1840, which, therefore, are not quoted as a
part of the work of that year. In 1842 the valley of Green River was
explored, that stream was carefully surveyed, and the remainder of the
boundary line dividing the sources of Rimouski from those of Green River
and the eastern branches of Tuladi run out with chain and compass.

In these surveys and explorations the character of the country, its
soil, climate, and natural productions, have been thoroughly examined,
and may be stated with full confidence in the accuracy of the facts.

2. Beginning on the southern side of the ceded territory, the left bank
of the St. John is for a few miles above the Grand Falls uncultivated
and apparently barren. Thence to the confluence of the Madawaska it
presents a continued settlement upon land of good quality, producing
large crops of potatoes and grass. It also yields wheat, oats, and
barley, but the crops are neither abundant nor certain. The Madawaska
River presents but few attempts at settlement on either of its banks.
Its left bank is represented to be generally barren, but some good
land is said to exist on its southwestern side. The shores of Lake
Temiscouata are either rocky or composed of a light, gravelly soil,
which is so poor that it will not repay the labor of cultivation, even
when newly cleared, without the aid of manure. Some tolerable meadows
are found, which are at the moment highly valued in consequence of a
demand for forage by the British troops. The valley of Green River has
in some places upon its banks intervals of level alluvium which might be
improved as meadows, and it has been represented as being in general
fertile. A close examination has not confirmed this impression.

Mr. Lally reports that--

"In the valley of Green River there are some tracts of land capable
of cultivation, but the greater portion of it is a hard, rocky soil,
covered with a growth of poplar and trees of that description. Some
of the most desirable spots for farms had been formerly taken up by
settlers from the Madawaska settlement, but although the land is as
good as that on the river St. John, they were obliged to abandon their
clearings on account of the early frosts and the black flies. It can
hardly be conceived that the latter would be a sufficient cause for
leaving valuable land to waste, but such is the fact, as I have been
informed by some of those who made the attempt to settle, and I can
well believe it from my own experience there."

3. The explorations of 1840, in which the ground lying between the
western sources of Green River and Squattuck, a branch of Tuladi, was
traversed, showed a considerable extent of better land than any other in
the ceded territory. The commissioner traveled for a part of two days
along a table-land of no great elevation, covered with rock, maple, and
a thick undergrowth of moosewood, both said to be signs of good soil;
of this there may be from seven to ten thousand acres, and it is a far
larger body of tillable land than is to be found in any other part of
the country north of the settlements on the St. John.

4. By far the greater portion of the territory in question is composed
of the highlands in which the streams that flow to the St. Lawrence and
the Atlantic take their rise. With but three exceptions no part of this
is less than 1,000 feet above the level of the sea. It is a perfect
labyrinth of small lakes, cedar and alder swamps, and ridges covered
with a thick but small growth of fir and spruce, or, more rarely, of
birch. No portion of it appears to be fit for tillage.

5. In respect to timber, it was found that the pine, the only tree
considered of any value, ceased to grow in rising from the St. Lawrence
at less than 1,000 feet above the level of the sea. Only one extensive
tract of pine was seen by any of the parties; this lies around the
sources of the St. Francis, and may cover three or four thousand acres.
This river, however, discharges itself from Lake St. Francis through a
bed of bowlders, and is sometimes wholly lost to the view. This tract,
therefore, although repeatedly examined by the proprietors of sawmills
on the St. Lawrence and the St. John, has been hitherto found
inaccessible. The pine timber on the seigniory of Temiscouata has been
in a great degree cut off or burnt by fires in the woods. There is still
some timber on the waters of Squattuck, but it has been diminished by
two or three years of active lumbering, while that around Tuladi, if it
were ever abundant, has disappeared. It would, however, appear from
report that on the waters of the North Branch of Restigouche to the
eastward of the exploring meridian there is some valuable timber. This
is the only portion of the district which has not been explored.

6. As to the valley of Green River, the engineer who has already been
quoted reports as follows:

"This river has had the reputation of having on it large quantities of
pine timber, but as far as I have been able to judge it is small and
rather sparsely scattered along the slopes of the ridges. Above the
third falls of the river, which are rather more than 30 miles from its
mouth, there is scarcely any to be seen. Some of the Madawaska settlers,
who have explored nearly every tributary of the river, report that there
is good timber on some of them. Judging from the language that they used
in relation to some that I saw myself, I infer that what they call good
would not be so considered by the lumbermen of the Penobscot. The people
who lumber in this vicinity do it on a small scale when compared with
the operators in Maine. They rarely use more than two horses to draw
their lumber to the stream, so that a tract which would not afford more
than a month's work to an extensive operator would keep one of these
people employed for years."

7. As respects climate, the country would be considered unfit for
habitation by those accustomed to the climates even of the southern
parts of Maine and of New Hampshire. Frosts continue on the St. John
until late in May, and set in early in September. In 1840 ice was found
on the Grand River on the 12th of that month, and snow fell in the first
week of October on Lake Temiscouata. In the highland region during the
last week of July, although the thermometer rose above 80 deg., and was once
above 90 deg., white frost was formed every clear night. Upon the whole,
therefore, it may be concluded that there is little in this country
calculated to attract either settlers or speculators in lumber. The
former were driven to it under circumstances of peculiar hardship and
of almost paramount necessity. Their industry and perseverance under
adverse circumstances is remarkable, but they would have been hardly
able to overcome them had not the very question of the disputed boundary
led to an expenditure of considerable money among them.




VETO MESSAGE.[93]

[Footnote 93: Pocket veto.]


WASHINGTON, _December 14, 1842_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

Two bills were presented to me at the last session of Congress, which
originated in the House of Representatives, neither of which was signed
by me; and both having been presented within ten days of the close of
the session, neither has become a law.

The first of these was a bill entitled "An act to repeal the proviso of
the sixth section of the act entitled 'An act to appropriate the
proceeds of the sales of the public lands and to grant preemption
rights,' approved September 4, 1841."

This bill was presented to me on Tuesday, the 30th August, at
twenty-four minutes after 4 o'clock in the afternoon. For my opinions
relative to the provisions contained in this bill it is only necessary
that I should refer to previous communications made by me to the House
of Representatives.

The other bill was entitled "An act regulating the taking of testimony
in cases of contested elections, and for other purposes." This bill was
presented to me at a quarter past 1 o'clock on Wednesday, the 31st day
of August. The two Houses, by concurrent vote, had already agreed to
terminate the session by adjournment at 2 o'clock on that day--that is
to say, within three-quarters of an hour from the time the bill was
placed in my hands. It was a bill containing twenty-seven sections, and,
I need not say, of an important nature.

On its presentment to me its reading was immediately commenced, but was
interrupted by so many communications from the Senate and so many other
causes operating at the last hour of the session that it was impossible
to read the bill understandingly and with proper deliberation before the
hour fixed for the adjournment of the two Houses; and this, I presume,
is a sufficient reason for neither signing the bill nor returning it
with my objections.

The seventeenth joint rule of the two Houses of Congress declares
that "no bill or resolution that shall have passed the House of
Representatives and the Senate shall be presented to the President of
the United States for his approbation on the last day of the session."

This rule was evidently designed to give to the President a reasonable
opportunity of perusing important acts of Congress and giving them some
degree of consideration before signing or returning the same.

It is true that the two Houses have been in the habit of suspending this
rule toward the close of the session in relation to particular bills,
and it appears by the printed Journal that by concurrent votes of the
two Houses passed on the last day of the session the rule was agreed to
be suspended so far as the same should relate to all such bills as
should have been passed by the two Houses at 1 o'clock on that day. It
is exceedingly to be regretted that a necessity should ever exist for
such suspension in the case of bills of great importance, and therefore
demanding careful consideration.

As the bill has failed under the provisions of the Constitution to
become a law, I abstain from expressing any opinions upon its several
provisions, keeping myself wholly uncommitted as to my ultimate action
on any similar measure should the House think proper to originate it
_de novo_, except so far as my opinion of the unqualified power of
each House to decide for itself upon the elections, returns, and
qualifications of its own members has been expressed by me in a paper
lodged in the Department of State at the time of signing an act entitled
"An act for the apportionment of Representatives among the several
States according to the Sixth Census," approved June 22, 1842, a copy
of which is in possession of the House.

JOHN TYLER.




THIRD ANNUAL MESSAGE.


WASHINGTON, _December, 1843_.

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

If any people ever had cause to render up thanks to the Supreme Being
for parental care and protection extended to them in all the trials
and difficulties to which they have been from time to time exposed, we
certainly are that people. From the first settlement of our forefathers
on this continent, through the dangers attendant upon the occupation
of a savage wilderness, through a long period of colonial dependence,
through the War of the Revolution, in the wisdom which led to the
adoption of the existing forms of republican government, in the hazards
incident to a war subsequently waged with one of the most powerful
nations of the earth, in the increase of our population, in the spread
of the arts and sciences, and in the strength and durability conferred
on political institutions emanating from the people and sustained by
their will, the superintendence of an overruling Providence has been
plainly visible. As preparatory, therefore, to entering once more upon
the high duties of legislation, it becomes us humbly to acknowledge
our dependence upon Him as our guide and protector and to implore a
continuance of His parental watchfulness over our beloved country. We
have new cause for the expression of our gratitude in the preservation
of the health of our fellow-citizens, with some partial and local
exceptions, during the past season, for the abundance with which the
earth has yielded up its fruits to the labors of the husbandman, for the
renewed activity which has been imparted to commerce, for the revival of
trade in all its departments, for the increased rewards attendant on
the exercise of the mechanic arts, for the continued growth of our
population and the rapidly reviving prosperity of the whole country.
I shall be permitted to exchange congratulations with you, gentlemen of
the two Houses of Congress, on these auspicious circumstances, and to
assure you in advance of my ready disposition to concur with you in the
adoption of all such measures as shall be calculated to increase the
happiness of our constituents and to advance the glory of our common
country.

Since the last adjournment of Congress the Executive has relaxed no
effort to render indestructible the relations of amity which so happily
exist between the United States and other countries. The treaty lately
concluded with Great Britain has tended greatly to increase the good
understanding which a reciprocity of interests is calculated to
encourage, and it is most ardently to be hoped that nothing may
transpire to interrupt the relations of amity which it is so obviously
the policy of both nations to cultivate. A question of much importance
still remains to be adjusted between them. The territorial limits of the
two countries in relation to what is commonly known as the Oregon
Territory still remain in dispute. The United States would be at all
times indisposed to aggrandize itself at the expense of any other
nation; but while they would be restrained by principles of honor, which
should govern the conduct of nations as well as that of individuals,
from setting up a demand for territory which does not belong to them,
they would as unwillingly consent to a surrender of their rights. After
the most rigid and, as far as practicable, unbiased examination of the
subject, the United States have always contended that their rights
appertain to the entire region of country lying on the Pacific and
embraced within 42 deg. and 54 deg. 40' of north latitude. This claim being
controverted by Great Britain, those who have preceded the present
Executive--actuated, no doubt, by an earnest desire to adjust the matter
upon terms mutually satisfactory to both countries--have caused to be
submitted to the British Government propositions for settlement and
final adjustment, which, however, have not proved heretofore acceptable
to it. Our minister at London has, under instructions, again brought the
subject to the consideration of that Government, and while nothing will
be done to compromit the rights or honor of the United States, every
proper expedient will be resorted to in order to bring the negotiation
now in the progress of resumption to a speedy and happy termination. In
the meantime it is proper to remark that many of our citizens are either
already established in the Territory or are on their way thither for the
purpose of forming permanent settlements, while others are preparing
to follow; and in view of these facts I must repeat the recommendation
contained in previous messages for the establishment of military posts
at such places on the line of travel as will furnish security and
protection to our hardy adventurers against hostile tribes of Indians
inhabiting those extensive regions. Our laws should also follow them, so
modified as the circumstances of the case may seem to require. Under the
influence of our free system of government new republics are destined
to spring up at no distant day on the shores of the Pacific similar
in policy and in feeling to those existing on this side of the Rocky
Mountains, and giving a wider and more extensive spread to the
principles of civil and religious liberty.

I am happy to inform you that the cases which have from time to time
arisen of the detention of American vessels by British cruisers on the
coast of Africa under pretense of being engaged in the slave trade have
been placed in a fair train of adjustment. In the case of the _William
and Francis_ full satisfaction will be allowed. In the cases of the
_Tygris_ and _Seamew_ the British Government admits that satisfaction
is due. In the case of the _Jones_ the sum accruing from the sale
of that vessel and cargo will be paid to the owners, while I can not
but flatter myself that full indemnification will be allowed for all
damages sustained by the detention of the vessel; and in the case of the
_Douglas_ Her Majesty's Government has expressed its determination to
make indemnification. Strong hopes are therefore entertained that most,
if not all, of these cases will be speedily adjusted. No new cases have
arisen since the ratification of the treaty of Washington, and it is
confidently anticipated that the slave trade, under the operation of
the eighth article of that treaty, will be altogether suppressed.

The occasional interruption experienced by our fellow-citizens engaged
in the fisheries on the neighboring coast of Nova Scotia has not failed
to claim the attention of the Executive. Representations upon this
subject have been made, but as yet no definitive answer to those
representations has been received from the British Government.

Two other subjects of comparatively minor importance, but nevertheless
of too much consequence to be neglected, remain still to be adjusted
between the two countries. By the treaty between the United States and
Great Britain of July, 1815, it is provided that no higher duties shall
be levied in either country on articles imported from the other than on
the same articles imported from any other place. In 1836 rough rice by
act of Parliament was admitted from the coast of Africa into Great
Britain on the payment of a duty of 1 penny a quarter, while the same
article from all other countries, including the United States, was
subjected to the payment of a duty of 20 shillings a quarter. Our
minister at London has from time to time brought this subject to the
attention of the British Government, but so far without success. He is
instructed to renew his representations upon it.

Some years since a claim was preferred against the British Government on
the part of certain American merchants for the return of export duties
paid by them on shipments of woolen goods to the United States after the
duty on similar articles exported to other countries had been repealed,
and consequently in contravention of the commercial convention between
the two nations securing to us equality in such cases. The principle on
which the claim rests has long since been virtually admitted by Great
Britain, but obstacles to a settlement have from time to time been
interposed, so that a large portion of the amount claimed has not yet
been refunded. Our minister is now engaged in the prosecution of the
claim, and I can not but persuade myself that the British Government
will no longer delay its adjustment.

I am happy to be able to say that nothing has occurred to disturb in any
degree the relations of amity which exist between the United States and
France, Austria, and Russia, as well as with the other powers of Europe,
since the adjournment of Congress. Spain has been agitated with internal
convulsions for many years, from the effects of which, it is hoped, she
is destined speedily to recover, when, under a more liberal system of
commercial policy on her part, our trade with her may again fill its old
and, so far as her continental possessions are concerned, its almost
forsaken channels, thereby adding to the mutual prosperity of the two
countries.

The Germanic Association of Customs and Commerce, which since its
establishment in 1833 has been steadily growing in power and importance,
and consists at this time of more than twenty German States, and
embraces a population of 27,000,000 people united for all the purposes
of commercial intercourse with each other and with foreign states,
offers to the latter the most valuable exchanges on principles more
liberal than are offered in the fiscal system of any other European
power. From its origin the importance of the German union has never been
lost sight of by the United States. The industry, morality, and other
valuable qualities of the German nation have always been well known and
appreciated. On this subject I invite the attention of Congress to the
report of the Secretary of State, from which it will be seen that while
our cotton is admitted free of duty and the duty on rice has been much
reduced (which has already led to a greatly increased consumption),
a strong disposition has been recently evinced by that great body to
reduce, upon certain conditions, their present duty upon tobacco. This
being the first intimation of a concession on this interesting subject
ever made by any European power, I can not but regard it as well
calculated to remove the only impediment which has so far existed to
the most liberal commercial intercourse between us and them. In this
view our minister at Berlin, who has heretofore industriously pursued
the subject, has been instructed to enter upon the negotiation of a
commercial treaty, which, while it will open new advantages to the
agricultural interests of the United States and a more free and expanded
field for commercial operations, will affect injuriously no existing
interest of the Union. Should the negotiation be crowned with success,
its results will be communicated to both Houses of Congress.

I communicate herewith certain dispatches received from our minister at
Mexico, and also a correspondence which has recently occurred between
the envoy from that Republic and the Secretary of State. It must but be
regarded as not a little extraordinary that the Government of Mexico,
in anticipation of a public discussion (which it has been pleased to
infer from newspaper publications as likely to take place in Congress,
relating to the annexation of Texas to the United States), should have
so far anticipated the result of such discussion as to have announced
its determination to visit any such anticipated decision by a formal
declaration of war against the United States. If designed to prevent
Congress from introducing that question as a fit subject for its calm
deliberation and final judgment, the Executive has no reason to doubt
that it will entirely fail of its object. The representatives of a brave
and patriotic people will suffer no apprehension of future consequences
to embarrass them in the course of their proposed deliberations, nor
will the executive department of the Government fail for any such cause
to discharge its whole duty to the country.

The war which has existed for so long a time between Mexico and Texas
has since the battle of San Jacinto consisted for the most part of
predatory incursions, which, while they have been attended with much of
suffering to individuals and have kept the borders of the two countries
in a state of constant alarm, have failed to approach to any definitive
result. Mexico has fitted out no formidable armament by land or by sea
for the subjugation of Texas. Eight years have now elapsed since Texas
declared her independence of Mexico, and during that time she has been
recognized as a sovereign power by several of the principal civilized
states. Mexico, nevertheless, perseveres in her plans of reconquest, and
refuses to recognize her independence. The predatory incursions to which
I have alluded have been attended in one instance with the breaking up
of the courts of justice, by the seizing upon the persons of the judges,
jury, and officers of the court and dragging them along with unarmed,
and therefore noncombatant, citizens into a cruel and oppressive
bondage, thus leaving crime to go unpunished and immorality to pass
unreproved. A border warfare is evermore to be deprecated, and over such
a war as has existed for so many years between these two States humanity
has had great cause to lament. Nor is such a condition of things to be
deplored only because of the individual suffering attendant upon it. The
effects are far more extensive. The Creator of the Universe has given
man the earth for his resting place and its fruits for his subsistence.
Whatever, therefore, shall make the first or any part of it a scene of
desolation affects injuriously his heritage and may be regarded as a
general calamity. Wars may sometimes be necessary, but all nations have
a common interest in bringing them speedily to a close. The United
States have an immediate interest in seeing an end put to the state of
hostilities existing between Mexico and Texas. They are our neighbors,
of the same continent, with whom we are not only desirous of cultivating
the relations of amity, but of the most extended commercial intercourse,
and to practice all the rites of a neighborhood hospitality. Our own
interests are involved in the matter, since, however neutral may be our
course of policy, we can not hope to escape the effects of a spirit of
jealousy on the part of both of the powers. Nor can this Government be
indifferent to the fact that a warfare such as is waged between those
two nations is calculated to weaken both powers and finally to render
them--and especially the weaker of the two--the subjects of interference
on the part of stronger and more powerful nations, who, intent only on
advancing their own peculiar views, may sooner or later attempt to bring
about a compliance with terms as the condition of their interposition
alike derogatory to the nation granting them and detrimental to the
interests of the United States. We could not be expected quietly to
permit any such interference to our disadvantage. Considering that Texas
is separated from the United States by a mere geographical line; that
her territory, in the opinion of many, down to a late period formed a
portion of the territory of the United States; that it is homogeneous
in its population and pursuits with the adjoining States, makes
contributions to the commerce of the world in the same articles with
them, and that most of her inhabitants have been citizens of the United
States, speak the same language, and live under similar political
institutions with ourselves, this Government is bound by every
consideration of interest as well as of sympathy to see that she shall
be left free to act, especially in regard to her domestic affairs,
unawed by force and unrestrained by the policy or views of other
countries. In full view of all these considerations, the Executive has
not hesitated to express to the Government of Mexico how deeply it
deprecated a continuance of the war and how anxiously it desired to
witness its termination. I can not but think that it becomes the United
States, as the oldest of the American Republics, to hold a language to
Mexico upon this subject of an unambiguous character. It is time that
this war had ceased. There must be a limit to all wars, and if the
parent state after an eight years' struggle has failed to reduce to
submission a portion of its subjects standing out in revolt against it,
and who have not only proclaimed themselves to be independent, but have
been recognized as such by other powers, she ought not to expect that
other nations will quietly look on, to their obvious injury, upon a
protraction of hostilities. These United States threw off their colonial
dependence and established independent governments, and Great Britain,
after having wasted her energies in the attempt to subdue them for a
less period than Mexico has attempted to subjugate Texas, had the wisdom
and justice to acknowledge their independence, thereby recognizing the
obligation which rested on her as one of the family of nations. An
example thus set by one of the proudest as well as most powerful nations
of the earth it could in no way disparage Mexico to imitate. While,
therefore, the Executive would deplore any collision with Mexico or
any disturbance of the friendly relations which exist between the two
countries, it can not permit that Government to control its policy,
whatever it may be, toward Texas, but will treat her--as by the
recognition of her independence the United States have long since
declared they would do--as entirely independent of Mexico. The high
obligations of public duty may enforce from the constituted authorities
of the United States a policy which the course persevered in by Mexico
will have mainly contributed to produce, and the Executive in such a
contingency will with confidence throw itself upon the patriotism of
the people to sustain the Government in its course of action.

Measures of an unusual character have recently been adopted by the
Mexican Government, calculated in no small degree to affect the trade
of other nations with Mexico and to operate injuriously to the United
States. All foreigners, by a decree of the 23d day of September, and
after six months from the day of its promulgation, are forbidden to
carry on the business of selling by retail any goods within the confines
of Mexico. Against this decree our minister has not failed to
remonstrate.

The trade heretofore carried on by our citizens with Santa Fe,
in which much capital was already invested and which was becoming of
daily increasing importance, has suddenly been arrested by a decree of
virtual prohibition on the part of the Mexican Government. Whatever may
be the right of Mexico to prohibit any particular course of trade to the
citizens or subjects of foreign powers, this late procedure, to say the
least of it, wears a harsh and unfriendly aspect.

The installments on the claims recently settled by the convention with
Mexico have been punctually paid as they have fallen due, and our
minister is engaged in urging the establishment of a new commission in
pursuance of the convention for the settlement of unadjusted claims.

With the other American States our relations of amity and good will have
remained uninterrupted. Our minister near the Republic of New Granada
has succeeded in effecting an adjustment of the claim upon that
Government for the schooner _By Chance_, which had been pending for many
years. The claim for the brig _Morris_, which had its origin during the
existence of the Republic of Colombia, and indemnification for which
since the dissolution of that Republic has devolved upon its several
members, will be urged with renewed zeal.

I have much pleasure in saying that the Government of Brazil has
adjusted the claim upon that Government in the case of the schooner
_John S. Bryan_, and that sanguine hopes are entertained that the same
spirit of justice will influence its councils in arriving at an early
decision upon the remaining claims, thereby removing all cause of
dissension between two powers whose interests are to some extent
interwoven with each other.

Our minister at Chili has succeeded in inducing a recognition by that
Government of the adjustment effected by his predecessor of the first
claim in the case of the _Macedonian_. The first installment has been
received by the claimants in the United States.

Notice of the exchange of ratifications of the treaty with Peru, which
will take place at Lima, has not yet reached this country, but is
shortly expected to be received, when the claims upon that Republic will
doubtless be liquidated and paid.

In consequence of a misunderstanding between this Government and that of
Buenos Ayres, occurring several years ago, this Government has remained
unrepresented at that Court, while a minister from it has been
constantly resident here. The causes of irritation have in a great
measure passed away, and it is in contemplation, in view of important
interests which have grown up in that country, at some early period
during the present session of Congress, with the concurrence of the
Senate, to restore diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Under the provisions of an act of Congress of the last session a
minister was dispatched from the United States to China in August of the
present year, who, from the latest accounts we have from him, was at
Suez, in Egypt, on the 25th of September last, on his route to China.

In regard to the Indian tribes residing within our jurisdictional
limits, the greatest vigilance of the Government has been exerted to
preserve them at peace among themselves and to inspire them with
feelings of confidence in the justice of this Government and to
cultivate friendship with the border inhabitants. This has happily
succeeded to a great extent, but it is a subject of regret that they
suffer themselves in some instances to be imposed upon by artful and
designing men, and this notwithstanding all efforts of the Government
to prevent it.

The receipts into the Treasury for the calendar year 1843, exclusive
of loans, were little more than $18,000,000, and the expenditures,
exclusive of the payments on the public debt, will have been about
$23,000,000. By the act of 1842 a new arrangement of the fiscal year was
made, so that it should commence on the 1st day of July in each year.
The accounts and estimates for the current fiscal year will show that
the loans and Treasury notes made and issued before the close of the
last Congress to meet the anticipated deficiency have not been entirely
adequate. Although on the 1st of October last there was a balance in the
Treasury, in consequence of the provisions thus made, of $3,914,082.77,
yet the appropriations already made by Congress will absorb that balance
and leave a probable deficiency of $2,000,000 at the close of the
present fiscal year. There are outstanding Treasury notes to about the
amount of $4,600,000, and should they be returned upon the Treasury
during the fiscal year they will require provision for their redemption.
I do not, however, regard this as probable, since they have obviously
entered into the currency of the country and will continue to form a
portion of it if the system now adopted be continued. The loan of 1841,
amounting to $5,672,976.88, falls due on the 1st day of January, 1845,
and must be provided for or postponed by a new loan; and unless the
resources of revenue should be materially increased by you there will be
a probable deficiency for the service of the fiscal year ending June 30,
1845, of upward of $4,000,000.

The delusion incident to an enormously excessive paper circulation,
which gave a fictitious value to everything and stimulated adventure and
speculation to an extravagant extent, has been happily succeeded by the
substitution of the precious metals and paper promptly redeemable in
specie; and thus false values have disappeared and a sounder condition
of things has been introduced. This transition, although intimately
connected with the prosperity of the country, has nevertheless been
attended with much embarrassment to the Government in its financial
concerns. So long as the foreign importers could receive payment for
their cargoes in a currency of greatly less value than that in Europe,
but fully available here in the purchase of our agricultural productions
(their profits being immeasurably augmented by the operation), the
shipments were large and the revenues of the Government became
superabundant. But the change in the character of the circulation from a
nominal and apparently real value in the first stage of its existence
to an obviously depreciated value in its second, so that it no longer
answered the purposes of exchange or barter, and its ultimate
substitution by a sound metallic and paper circulation combined, has
been attended by diminished importations and a consequent falling off
in the revenue. This has induced Congress, from 1837, to resort to the
expedient of issuing Treasury notes, and finally of funding them, in
order to supply deficiencies. I can not, however, withhold the remark
that it is in no way compatible with the dignity of the Government that
a public debt should be created in time of peace to meet the current
expenses of the Government, or that temporary expedients should be
resorted to an hour longer than it is possible to avoid them. The
Executive can do no more than apply the means which Congress places in
its hands for the support of Government, and, happily for the good of
the country and for the preservation of its liberties, it possesses
no power to levy exactions on the people or to force from them
contributions to the public revenue in any form. It can only recommend
such measures as may in its opinion be called for by the wants of the
public service to Congress, with whom alone rests the power to "lay and
collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises." This duty has upon several
occasions heretofore been performed. The present condition of things
gives flattering promise that trade and commerce are rapidly reviving,
and, fortunately for the country, the sources of revenue have only to
be opened in order to prove abundant.

While we can anticipate no considerable increase in the proceeds of the
sales of the public lands, for reasons perfectly obvious to all, for
several years to come, yet the public lands can not otherwise than be
regarded as the foundation of the public credit. With so large a body
of the most fertile lands in the world under the control and at the
disposal of this Government, no one can reasonably doubt the entire
ability to meet its engagements under every emergency. In seasons of
trial and difficulty similar to those through which we are passing the
capitalist makes his investments in the Government stocks with the most
assured confidence of ultimate reimbursement; and whatever may be said
of a period of great financial prosperity, such as existed for some
years after 1833, I should regard it as suicidal in a season of
financial embarrassment either to alienate the lands themselves or the
proceeds arising from their sales. The first and paramount duty of those
to whom may be intrusted the administration of public affairs is to
guard the public credit. In reestablishing the credit of this central
Government the readiest and most obvious mode is taken to restore
the credit of the States. The extremities can only be made sound by
producing a healthy action in the central Government, and the history of
the present day fully establishes the fact that an increase in the value
of the stocks of this Government will in a great majority of instances
be attended by an increase in the value of the stocks of the States. It
should therefore be a matter of general congratulation that amidst all
the embarrassments arising from surrounding circumstances the credit
of the Government should have been so fully restored that it has been
enabled to effect a loan of $7,000,000 to redeem that amount of Treasury
notes on terms more favorable than any that have been offered for many
years. And the 6 per cent stock which was created in 1842 has advanced
in the hands of the holders nearly 20 per cent above its par value. The
confidence of the people in the integrity of their Government has thus
been signally manifested. These opinions relative to the public lands
do not in any manner conflict with the observance of the most liberal
policy toward those of our fellow-citizens who press forward into the
wilderness and are the pioneers in the work of its reclamation. In
securing to all such their rights of preemption the Government performs
but an act of retributive justice for sufferings encountered and
hardships endured, and finds ample remuneration in the comforts which
its policy insures and the happiness which it imparts.

Should a revision of the tariff with a view to revenue become necessary
in the estimation of Congress, I doubt not you will approach the subject
with a just and enlightened regard to the interests of the whole Union.
The principles and views which I have heretofore had occasion to submit
remain unchanged. It can, however, never be too often repeated that the
prominent interest of every important pursuit of life requires for
success permanency and stability in legislation. These can only be
attained by adopting as the basis of action moderation in all things,
which is as indispensably necessary to secure the harmonious action of
the political as of the animal system. In our political organization no
one section of the country should desire to have its supposed interests
advanced at the sacrifice of all others, but union, being the great
interest, equally precious to all, should be fostered and sustained by
mutual concessions and the cultivation of that spirit of compromise from
which the Constitution itself proceeded.

You will be informed by the report from the Treasury Department of the
measures taken under the act of the last session authorizing the reissue
of Treasury notes in lieu of those then outstanding. The system adopted
in pursuance of existing laws seems well calculated to save the country
a large amount of interest, while it affords conveniences and obviates
dangers and expense in the transmission of funds to disbursing agents.
I refer you also to that report for the means proposed by the Secretary
to increase the revenue, and particularly to that portion of it which
relates to the subject of the warehousing system, which I earnestly
urged upon Congress at its last session and as to the importance of
which my opinion has undergone no change.

In view of the disordered condition of the currency at the time and
the high rates of exchange between different parts of the country,
I felt it to be incumbent on me to present to the consideration of
your predecessors a proposition conflicting in no degree with the
Constitution or with the rights of the States and having the sanction
(not in detail, but in principle) of some of the eminent men who have
preceded me in the Executive office. That proposition contemplated the
issuing of Treasury notes of denominations of not less than $5 nor more
than $100, to be employed in the payment of the obligations of the
Government in lieu of gold and silver at the option of the public
creditor, and to an amount not exceeding $15,000,000. It was proposed
to make them receivable everywhere and to establish at various points
depositories of gold and silver to be held in trust for the redemption
of such notes, so as to insure their convertibility into specie. No
doubt was entertained that such notes would have maintained a par value
with gold and silver, thus furnishing a paper currency of equal value
over the Union, thereby meeting the just expectations of the people and
fulfilling the duties of a parental government. Whether the depositories
should be permitted to sell or purchase bills under very limited
restrictions, together with all its other details, was submitted to
the wisdom of Congress and was regarded as of secondary importance.
I thought then and think now that such an arrangement would have been
attended with the happiest results. The whole matter of the currency
would have been placed where by the Constitution it was designed to be
placed--under the immediate supervision and control of Congress.
The action of the Government would have been independent of all
corporations, and the same eye which rests unceasingly on the specie
currency and guards it against adulteration would also have rested on
the paper currency, to control and regulate its issues and protect it
against depreciation. The same reasons which would forbid Congress from
parting with the power over the coinage would seem to operate with
nearly equal force in regard to any substitution for the precious metals
in the form of a circulating medium. Paper when substituted for specie
constitutes a standard of value by which the operations of society are
regulated, and whatsoever causes its depreciation affects society to an
extent nearly, if not quite, equal to the adulteration of the coin. Nor
can I withhold the remark that its advantages contrasted with a bank
of the United States, apart from the fact that a bank was esteemed as
obnoxious to the public sentiment as well on the score of expediency
as of constitutionalty, appeared to me to be striking and obvious.
The relief which a bank would afford by an issue of $15,000,000 of its
notes, judging from the experience of the late United States Bank, would
not have occurred in less than fifteen years, whereas under the proposed
arrangement the relief arising from the issue of $15,000,000 of Treasury
notes would have been consummated in one year, thus furnishing in
one-fifteenth part of the time in which a bank could have accomplished
it a paper medium of exchange equal in amount to the real wants of the
country at par value with gold and silver. The saving to the Government
would have been equal to all the interest which it has had to pay on
Treasury notes of previous as well as subsequent issues, thereby
relieving the Government and at the same time affording relief to the
people. Under all the responsibilities attached to the station which
I occupy, and in redemption of a pledge given to the last Congress
at the close of its first session, I submitted the suggestion to its
consideration at two consecutive sessions. The recommendation, however,
met with no favor at its hands. While I am free to admit that the
necessities of the times have since become greatly ameliorated and that
there is good reason to hope that the country is safely and rapidly
emerging from the difficulties and embarrassments which everywhere
surrounded it in 1841, yet I can not but think that its restoration to
a sound and healthy condition would be greatly expedited by a resort
to the expedient in a modified form.

The operations of the Treasury now rest upon the act of 1789 and the
resolution of 1816, and those laws have been so administered as to
produce as great a quantum of good to the country as their provisions
are capable of yielding. If there had been any distinct expression of
opinion going to show that public sentiment is averse to the plan,
either as heretofore recommended to Congress or in a modified form,
while my own opinion in regard to it would remain unchanged I should be
very far from again presenting it to your consideration. The Government
has originated with the States and the people, for their own benefit and
advantage, and it would be subversive of the foundation principles of
the political edifice which they have reared to persevere in a measure
which in their mature judgments they had either repudiated or condemned.
The will of our constituents clearly expressed should be regarded as the
light to guide our footsteps, the true difference between a monarchical
or aristocratical government and a republic being that in the first the
will of the few prevails over the will of the many, while in the last
the will of the many should be alone consulted.

The report of the Secretary of War will bring you acquainted with the
condition of that important branch of the public service. The Army may
be regarded, in consequence of the small number of the rank and file in
each company and regiment, as little more than a nucleus around which
to rally the military force of the country in case of war, and yet
its services in preserving the peace of the frontiers are of a most
important nature. In all cases of emergency the reliance of the country
is properly placed in the militia of the several States, and it may well
deserve the consideration of Congress whether a new and more perfect
organization might not be introduced, looking mainly to the volunteer
companies of the Union for the present and of easy application to the
great body of the militia in time of war.

The expenditures of the War Department have been considerably reduced in
the last two years. Contingencies, however, may arise which would call
for the filling up of the regiments with a full complement of men and
make it very desirable to remount the corps of dragoons, which by an act
of the last Congress was directed to be dissolved.

I refer you to the accompanying report of the Secretary for information
in relation to the Navy of the United States. While every effort has
been and will continue to be made to retrench all superfluities and lop
off all excrescences which from time to time may have grown up, yet it
has not been regarded as wise or prudent to recommend any material
change in the annual appropriations. The interests which are involved
are of too important a character to lead to the recommendation of any
other than a liberal policy. Adequate appropriations ought to be made to
enable the Executive to fit out all the ships that are now in a course
of building or that require repairs for active service in the shortest
possible time should any emergency arise which may require it. An
efficient navy, while it is the cheapest means of public defense,
enlists in its support the feelings of pride and confidence which
brilliant deeds and heroic valor have heretofore served to strengthen
and confirm.

I refer you particularly to that part of the Secretary's report which
has reference to recent experiments in the application of steam and in
the construction of our war steamers, made under the superintendence
of distinguished officers of the Navy. In addition to other manifest
improvements in the construction of the steam engine and application of
the motive power which has rendered them more appropriate to the uses of
ships of war, one of those officers has brought into use a power which
makes the steamship most formidable either for attack or defense. I can
not too strongly recommend this subject to your consideration and do not
hesitate to express my entire conviction of its great importance.

I call your particular attention also to that portion of the Secretary's
report which has reference to the act of the late session of Congress
which prohibited the transfer of any balance of appropriation from other
heads of appropriation to that for building, equipment, and repair.
The repeal of that prohibition will enable the Department to give
renewed employment to a large class of workmen who have been necessarily
discharged in consequence of the want of means to pay them--a
circumstance attended, especially at this season of the year, with much
privation and suffering.

It gives me great pain to announce to you the loss of the steamship
the _Missouri_ by fire in the Bay of Gibraltar, where she had stopped
to renew her supplies of coal on her voyage to Alexandria, with Mr.
Cushing, the American minister to China, on board. There is ground
for high commendation of the officers and men for the coolness and
intrepidity and perfect submission to discipline evinced under the most
trying circumstances. Surrounded by a raging fire, which the utmost
exertions could not subdue, and which threatened momentarily the
explosion of her well-supplied magazines, the officers exhibited no
signs of fear and the men obeyed every order with alacrity. Nor was she
abandoned until the last gleam of hope of saving her had expired. It is
well worthy of your consideration whether the losses sustained by the
officers and crew in this unfortunate affair should not be reimbursed
to them.

I can not take leave of this painful subject without adverting to the
aid rendered upon the occasion by the British authorities at Gibraltar
and the commander, officers, and crew of the British ship of the line
the _Malabar_, which was lying at the time in the bay. Everything that
generosity or humanity could dictate was promptly performed. It is by
such acts of good will by one to another of the family of nations that
fraternal feelings are nourished and the blessings of permanent peace
secured.

The report of the Postmaster-General will bring you acquainted with the
operations of that Department during the past year, and will suggest
to you such modifications of the existing laws as in your opinion
the exigencies of the public service may require. The change which
the country has undergone of late years in the mode of travel and
transportation has afforded so many facilities for the transmission of
mail matter out of the regular mail as to require the greatest vigilance
and circumspection in order to enable the officer at the head of the
Department to restrain the expenditures within the income. There is also
too much reason to fear that the franking privilege has run into great
abuse. The Department, nevertheless, has been conducted with the
greatest vigor, and has attained at the least possible expense all the
useful objects for which it was established.

In regard to all the Departments, I am quite happy in the belief that
nothing has been left undone which was called for by a true spirit of
economy or by a system of accountability rigidly enforced. This is in
some degree apparent from the fact that the Government has sustained no
loss by the default of any of its agents. In the complex, but at the
same time beautiful, machinery of our system of government, it is not
a matter of surprise that some remote agency may have failed for an
instant to fulfill its desired office; but I feel confident in the
assertion that nothing has occurred to interrupt the harmonious action
of the Government itself, and that, while the laws have been executed
with efficiency and vigor, the rights neither of States nor individuals
have been trampled on or disregarded.

In the meantime the country has been steadily advancing in all that
contributes to national greatness. The tide of population continues
unbrokenly to flow into the new States and Territories, where a refuge
is found not only for our native-born fellow-citizens, but for emigrants
from all parts of the civilized world, who come among us to partake of
the blessings of our free institutions and to aid by their labor to
swell the current of our wealth and power.

It is due to every consideration of public policy that the lakes and
rivers of the West should receive all such attention at the hands
of Congress as the Constitution will enable it to bestow. Works in
favorable and proper situations on the Lakes would be found to be as
indispensably necessary, in case of war, to carry on safe and successful
naval operations as fortifications on the Atlantic seaboard. The
appropriation made by the last Congress for the improvement of the
navigation of the Mississippi River has been diligently and efficiently
applied.

I can not close this communication, gentlemen, without recommending
to your most favorable consideration the interests of this District.
Appointed by the Constitution its exclusive legislators, and forming
in this particular the only anomaly in our system of government--of the
legislative body being elected by others than those for whose advantage
they are to legislate--you will feel a superadded obligation to look
well into their condition and to leave no cause for complaint or regret.
The seat of Government of our associated republics can not but be
regarded as worthy of your parental care.

In connection with its other interests, as well as those of the whole
country, I recommend that at your present session you adopt such
measures in order to carry into effect the Smithsonian bequest as in
your judgment will be best calculated to consummate the liberal intent
of the testator.

When, under a dispensation of Divine Providence, I succeeded to the
Presidential office, the state of public affairs was embarrassing and
critical. To add to the irritation consequent upon a long-standing
controversy with one of the most powerful nations of modern times,
involving not only questions of boundary (which under the most favorable
circumstances are always embarrassing), but at the same time important
and high principles of maritime law, border controversies between
the citizens and subjects of the two countries had engendered a
state of feeling and of conduct which threatened the most calamitous
consequences. The hazards incident to this state of things were greatly
heightened by the arrest and imprisonment of a subject of Great Britain,
who, acting (as it was alleged) as a part of a military force, had aided
in the commission of an act violative of the territorial jurisdiction of
the United States and involving the murder of a citizen of the State of
New York. A large amount of claims against the Government of Mexico
remained unadjusted and a war of several years' continuance with the
savage tribes of Florida still prevailed, attended with the desolation
of a large portion of that beautiful Territory and with the sacrifice of
many valuable lives. To increase the embarrassments of the Government,
individual and State credit had been nearly stricken down and confidence
in the General Government was so much impaired that loans of a small
amount could only be negotiated at a considerable sacrifice. As a
necessary consequence of the blight which had fallen on commerce and
mechanical industry, the ships of the one were thrown out of employment
and the operations of the other had been greatly diminished. Owing to
the condition of the currency, exchanges between different parts of
the country had become ruinously high and trade had to depend on a
depreciated paper currency in conducting its transactions. I shall
be permitted to congratulate the country that under an overruling
Providence peace was preserved without a sacrifice of the national
honor; the war in Florida was brought to a speedy termination; a large
portion of the claims on Mexico have been fully adjudicated and are in
a course of payment, while justice has been rendered to us in other
matters by other nations; confidence between man and man is in a great
measure restored and the credit of this Government fully and perfectly
reestablished; commerce is becoming more and more extended in its
operations and manufacturing and mechanical industry once more reap the
rewards of skill and labor honestly applied; the operations of trade
rest on a sound currency and the rates of exchange are reduced to their
lowest amount.

In this condition of things I have felt it to be my duty to bring to
your favorable consideration matters of great interest in their present
and ultimate results; and the only desire which I feel in connection
with the future is and will continue to be to leave the country
prosperous and its institutions unimpaired.

JOHN TYLER.




SPECIAL MESSAGES.


CITY OF WASHINGTON, _December 8, 1843_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

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

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _December 12, 1843_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith to the Senate, for their consideration in reference
to its ratification, a convention for the surrender of criminals between
the United States of America and His Majesty the King of the French,
signed at this place on the 9th day of November last by the Secretary
of State and the minister plenipotentiary _ad interim_ from the French
Government to the United States.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _December 16, 1843_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

The two Houses of Congress at their last session passed a joint
resolution, which originated in the House of Representatives,
"presenting the thanks of Congress to Samuel T. Washington for the
service sword of George Washington and the staff of Benjamin Franklin,
presented by him to Congress." This resolution (in consequence,
doubtless, of a merely accidental omission) did not reach me until after
the adjournment of Congress, and therefore did not receive my approval
and signature, which it would otherwise promptly have received. I
nevertheless felt myself at liberty and deemed it entirely proper to
communicate a copy of the resolution to Mr. Washington, as is manifested
by the accompanying copy of the letter which I addressed to him. The
joint resolution, together with a copy of the letter, is deposited in
the Department of State, and can be withdrawn and communicated to the
House if it see cause to require them.

JOHN TYLER.



[From Miscellaneous Letters, Department of State.]


SAMUEL T. WASHINGTON, Esq.

WASHINGTON, _April 27_.

DEAR SIR: I send you a copy of a joint resolution of the two Houses of
Congress expressive of the estimate which they place upon the presents
which you recently made to the United States of the sword used by your
illustrious relative, George Washington, in the military career of his
early youth in the Seven Years' War, and throughout the War of our
National Independence, and of the staff bequeathed by the patriot,
statesman, and sage Benjamin Franklin to the same leader of the armies
of freedom in the Revolutionary War, George Washington.

These precious relics have been accepted in the name of the nation, and
have been deposited among its archives.

I avail myself of the opportunity afforded in the performance of this
pleasing task to tender you assurances of my high respect and esteem.

JOHN TYLER.



[From Pocketed Laws, Department of State.]

JOINT RESOLUTION presenting the thanks of Congress to Samuel T.
Washington for the service sword of George Washington and the staff of
Benjamin Franklin, presented by him to Congress.

_Resolved unanimously by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled_, That the thanks of this
Congress be presented to Samuel T. Washington, of Kanawha County, Va.,
for the present of the sword used by his illustrious relative, George
Washington, in the military career of his early youth in the Seven
Years' War, and throughout the War of our National Independence, and of
the staff bequeathed by the patriot, statesman, and sage Benjamin
Franklin to the same leader of the armies of freedom in the
Revolutionary War, George Washington.

That these precious relics are hereby accepted in the name of the
nation; that they be deposited for safe-keeping in the Department of
State of the United States; and that a copy of this resolution, signed
by the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of
Representatives, be transmitted to the said Samuel T. Washington.

JOHN WHITE,
  _Speaker of the House of Representatives_.

WILLIE P. MANGUM,
  _President of the Senate pro tempore_.



WASHINGTON, _December 26, 1843_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith a communication from the War Department, containing
all the information and correspondence in that Department "on the
subject of the 'mountain howitzer' taken by Lieutenant Fremont on the
expedition to the Oregon" [Territory], as requested by the resolution of
the Senate of the 18th instant.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, D.C., _December 27, 1843_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I lay before the Senate a convention for the settlement of the claims
of the citizens and Government of the Mexican Republic against the
Government of the United States and of the citizens and Government of
the United States against the Government of the Mexican Republic, signed
in the City of Mexico on the 20th of last month.

I am happy to believe that this convention provides as fully as is
practicable for the adjustment of all claims of our citizens on the
Government of Mexico. That Government has thus afforded a gratifying
proof of its promptness and good faith in observing the stipulation of
the sixth article of the convention of the 30th of January last.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _January 8, 1844_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I herewith transmit a report[94] made by the Secretary of the Navy in
pursuance of the provisions of the act of the 3d March, 1843.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 94: Transmitting abstracts of proposals made to the Navy
Department and its several bureaus.]



WASHINGTON, _January 10, 1844_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit the accompanying letter[95] from the Secretary of State, and
copy of a correspondence between that officer and the minister from
Portugal near this Government, to which I invite the attention of
Congress.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 95: Relating to the duties levied on the wines of Portugal and
its possessions by tariff acts of the United States in violation of the
treaty of August 26, 1840.]



WASHINGTON, _January 16, 1844_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 10th
instant, requesting the President to communicate to that body "copies of
all correspondence with any foreign government relative to the title,
boundary, discovery, and settlement of the Territory of Oregon," I have
to state that the information called for by the House has been already
from time to time transmitted to Congress, with the exception of such
correspondence as has been held within the last few months between the
Department of State and our minister at London; that there is a prospect
of opening a negotiation on the subject of the northwestern boundary of
the United States immediately after the arrival at Washington of the
newly appointed British minister, now daily expected; and that under
existing circumstances it is deemed inexpedient, with a view to the
public interest, to furnish a copy of the correspondence above
mentioned.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON CITY, _January 17, 1844_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 26th ultimo, I
transmit herewith a report of the Secretary of War, with a copy of the
proceedings of the court-martial in the case of Second Lieutenant D.C.
Buell, Third Infantry, and of all orders and papers in relation thereto.

It will be perceived that at the date of the resolution the final action
of the Executive was not had upon the case. That action having since
taken place, it is communicated with the papers.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, D.C., _January 19, 1844_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In compliance with your resolution of the 15th December, 1843,
requesting "such information as may be on file in any of the Departments
relative to the formation of a junction between the Atlantic and Pacific
oceans," I transmit herewith a letter from the Secretary of State, with
accompanying documents, in relation thereto.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _January 24, 1844_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I communicate to the House of Representatives a report from the
Secretary of State, under date of the 7th ultimo, accompanied by a copy
of a note from the Chevalier de Argaiz, on the subject of the schooner
_Amistad_.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _January 26, 1844_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith a report of the Secretary of War and accompanying
papers, containing the information respecting the Indians remaining at
present in Florida, requested by a resolution of the House of
Representatives of the 10th instant.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _January 30, 1844_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit a report[96] of the War Department, prepared under a
resolution of the Senate of the 4th instant.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 96: Relating to the proceedings and conduct of the Choctaw
commission, sitting in the State of Mississippi, under the Dancing
Rabbit Creek treaty.]



WASHINGTON, _February 6, 1844_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In compliance with the resolution of the House of Representatives of the
22d January, I herewith transmit a letter[97] from the Secretary of the
Navy, containing all the information in the possession of that
Department on the subject to which the resolution refers.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 97: Relating to appointments of masters' mates and the
postponement of the sailing of the frigate _Raritan_.]



WASHINGTON, _February 7, 1844_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate of the United States, in answer to their
resolution of the 9th of January last, a report[98] from the Secretary
of State and a report[99] from the Secretary of War.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 98: Stating that there has been no correspondence with the
British Government relative to presents, etc., by that Government to
Indians in the United States.]

[Footnote 99: Transmitting a letter from the Commissioner of Indian
Affairs relative to presents, etc., to Indians in the United States by
the British Government.]



WASHINGTON, _February 9, 1844_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 31st January, I
herewith transmit the accompanying letter[100] from the Secretary of the
Navy.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 100: Relating to a proposed extension of the duties of the
Home Squadron.]



WASHINGTON, _February 12, 1844_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I herewith transmit to the Senate articles of agreement between the
Delawares and Wyandots, by which the Delawares propose to convey to the
Wyandots certain lands therein mentioned, for the ratification and
approval of the Senate, together with the accompanying documents, marked
A and B.

My mind is not clear of doubt as to the power of the Executive to act in
the matter, but being opposed to the assumption of any doubtful power,
I have considered it best to submit the agreement to your consideration.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _February 12, 1844_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith a letter from the governor of Iowa, accompanied by
a memorial from the legislative assembly of that Territory, asking
admission as an independent State into the Union.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _February 12, 1844_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith the copy of a report made by Captain R.F. Stockton,
of the United States Navy, relative to the vessel of war the
_Princeton_, which has been constructed under his supervision and
direction, and recommend the same to the attentive consideration of
Congress.

JOHN TYLER.



FEBRUARY 15, 1844.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I communicate herewith a letter from the Secretary of the Treasury,
submitting a report from the Commissioner of the General Land Office and
accompanying papers, in answer to a resolution adopted by the Senate on
the 6th instant, requesting certain information respecting the receipt
by local land officers of fees not authorized by law and the measures
which have been adopted in reference thereto.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, D.C., _February 15, 1844_.

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

In compliance with the request contained in the accompanying letter from
the governor of the State of Kentucky, I herewith transmit certain
resolutions[101] adopted by the legislature of that State, in relation
to a digest of the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 101: Asking the publication and distribution of a digest of
the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States.]



WASHINGTON, _February 20, 1844_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I transmit herewith a report[102] from the Secretary of War, containing
the information requested in the resolution of the House of
Representatives of the 29th ultimo.

In order to a full understanding of the matter I have deemed it proper
to transmit with the information requested a copy of the reply of the
Adjutant-General to Brevet Major-General Gaines, with the documents to
which it refers.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 102: Relating to the settlement of the accounts of
Major-General Gaines, etc.]



WASHINGTON, _February 20, 1844_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate a report[103] from the Secretary of State, with
accompanying documents, in answer to their resolution of the 31st of
January last.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 103: Relating to slaves committing crimes and escaping from
the United States to the British dominions since the ratification of the
treaty of 1842, and the refusal of the British authorities to give them
up, and to the construction which the British Government puts upon the
article of said treaty relative to slaves committing crimes in the
United States and taking refuge in the British dominions.]



WASHINGTON, _February 21, 1844_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I herewith transmit to the House of Representatives, in answer to their
resolution of the 16th instant, a report[104] from the Secretary of
State, with the correspondence therein referred to.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 104: Relating to a demand upon the British Government for
the surrender of certain fugitive criminals from Florida under the
provisions of the tenth article of the treaty of Washington.]



WASHINGTON, _February 23, 1844_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith a communication from the Secretary of the Navy,
to which I invite the particular attention of Congress. The act
entitled "An act to authorize the President of the United States to
direct transfers of appropriation in the naval service under certain
circumstances" has this day met with my approval, under no expectation
that it can be rendered available to the present wants of the service,
but as containing an exposition of the views of Congress as to the
entire policy of transfers from one head of appropriation to any
other in the naval service and as a guide to the Executive in the
administration of the duties of that Department. The restrictions
laid upon the power to transfer by the latter clauses of the act have
rendered its passage of no avail at the present moment.

It will, however, be perceived by the document accompanying the report
of the Secretary that there has been realized by recent sales of old
iron, copper, and other materials the sum of $116,922.79. These sales
were ordered for the express purpose of enabling the Executive to
complete certain ships now on the stocks, the completion of which is
called for by the economical wants of the service; and the doubt
existing as to the power of the Government to apply this sum to the
objects contemplated proceeds from the fact that the late Secretary of
the Navy directed them to be placed in the Treasury, although in doing
so he had no intention of diverting them from their intended head of
expenditure. The Secretary of the Treasury, however, has brought himself
to the opinion that they could only be entered under the head of
miscellaneous receipts, and therefore can only be withdrawn by authority
of an express act of Congress. I would suggest the propriety of the
passage of such an act without delay.

As intimately associated with the means of public defense, I can not
forbear urging upon you the importance of constructing, upon the
principles which have been brought into use in the construction of the
_Princeton_, several ships of war of a larger class, better fitted than
that ship to the heavy armament which should be placed on board of them.
The success which has so eminently crowned this first experiment should
encourage Congress to lose no time in availing the country of all the
important benefits so obviously destined to flow from it. Other nations
will speedily give their attention to the subject, and it would be
criminal in the United States, the first to apply to practical purposes
the great power which has been brought into use, to permit others to
avail themselves of our improvements while we stood listlessly and
supinely by. In the number of steam vessels of war we are greatly
surpassed by other nations, and yet to Americans is the world indebted
for that great discovery of the means of successfully applying steam
power which has in the last quarter century so materially changed the
condition of the world. We have now taken another and even bolder step,
the results of which upon the affairs of nations remain still to be
determined, and I can not but flatter myself that it will be followed
up without loss of time to the full extent of the public demands. The
Secretary of the Navy will be instructed to lay before you suitable
estimates of the cost of constructing so many ships of such size and
dimensions as you may think proper to order to be built.

The application of steam power to ships of war no longer confines us to
the seaboard in their construction. The urgent demands of the service
for the Gulf of Mexico and the substitution of iron for wood in the
construction of ships plainly point to the establishment of a navy-yard
at some suitable place on the Mississippi. The coal fields and iron
mines of the extensive region watered by that noble river recommend such
an establishment, while high considerations of public policy would lead
to the same conclusion.

One of the complaints of the Western States against the actual operation
of our system of government is that while large and increasing
expenditures of public money are made on the Atlantic frontier the
expenditures in the interior are comparatively small. The time has now
arrived when this cause of complaint may be in a great measure removed
by adopting the legitimate and necessary policy which I have indicated,
thereby throwing around the States another bond of union.

I could not forego the favorable opportunity which has presented itself,
growing out of the communication from the Secretary of the Navy, to urge
upon you the foregoing recommendations.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _February 29, 1844_.

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

I have to perform the melancholy duty of announcing to the two Houses of
Congress the death of the Hon. Abel P. Upshur, late Secretary of State,
and the Hon. Thomas W. Gilmer, late Secretary of the Navy.

This most lamentable occurrence transpired on board the United States
ship of war the _Princeton_ on yesterday at about half past 4 o'clock in
the evening, and proceeded from the explosion of one of the large guns
of that ship.

The loss which the Government and the country have sustained by this
deplorable event is heightened by the death at the same time and by the
same cause of several distinguished persons and valuable citizens.

I shall be permitted to express my great grief at an occurrence
which has thus suddenly stricken from my side two gentlemen upon whose
advice I so confidently relied in the discharge of my arduous task of
administering the office of the executive department, and whose services
at this interesting period were of such vast importance.

In some relief of the public sorrow which must necessarily accompany
this most painful event, it affords me much satisfaction to say that
it was produced by no carelessness or inattention on the part of the
officers and crew of the _Princeton_, but must be set down as one of
those casualties which to a greater or less degree attend upon every
service, and which are invariably incident to the temporal affairs of
mankind. I will also add that it in no measure detracts from the value
of the improvement contemplated in the construction of the _Princeton_
or from the merits of her brave and distinguished commander and
projector.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _March 7, 1844_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I transmit to the House of Representatives a report[105] from the Secretary
of State, with documents, containing the information requested by
their resolution of the 26th ultimo.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 105: Relating to the colony of Liberia, in Africa.]



WASHINGTON, _March 8, 1844_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of the
10th of January last, I communicate to that body a report[106] from the
Secretary of State _ad interim_, which embraces the information called
for by said resolution.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 106: Relating to the production, growth, and trade in tobacco.]



WASHINGTON, _March 8, 1844_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I communicate to the Senate a report,[107] with the documents
accompanying it, from the Secretary of State, in answer to a resolution
of that body of the 25th of January, 1844.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 107: Transmitting names, returns, etc., of consuls and
commercial agents of the United States.]



WASHINGTON, _March 9, 1844_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, in answer to their resolution of the 21st
ultimo, a report[108] from the Secretary of State, with accompanying
papers.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 108: Relating to the abuse of the United States flag in
subservience to the African slave trade, and to the taking away of
slaves the property of Portuguese subjects in vessels owned or
employed by citizens of the United States.]



WASHINGTON, _March 11, 1844_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In compliance with your resolution of the 26th ultimo, I herewith
transmit a report[109] from the Secretary of the Navy.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 109: Transmitting list of officers appointed in the Navy
since June 1, 1843.]



WASHINGTON, _March 12, 1844_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith a report[110] of the Secretary of War, prepared in
compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of the 26th
ultimo.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 110: Transmitting list of officers appointed in the Army
since June 1, 1843.]



WASHINGTON, D.C., _March 18, 1844_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith a report[111] from the Secretary of State, in answer
to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 18th of January
last.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 111: Transmitting list of persons employed by the Department
of State without express authority of law, etc., from March 4, 1837, to
December 31, 1843, inclusive.]



WASHINGTON, _March 19, 1844_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith a letter[112] from the Secretary of State and
certain documents accompanying the same, in answer to the resolution
of the Senate of the 8th instant.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 112: Transmitting the commission appointing Caleb Cushing a
representative of the Government of the United States in China; papers,
etc., concerning the payment of $40,000, appropriated for sending a
commissioner, etc., to China.]



WASHINGTON, _March 20, 1844_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate a report from the Secretary of State, with
documents, containing the information[113] requested by their resolution
of the 23d ultimo.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 113: Relating to the interpretation of the tenth article
of the treaty of August 9, 1842, between the United States and Great
Britain.]



WASHINGTON, _March 20, 1844_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith to the House of Representatives a copy of the
convention concluded on the 17th day of March, 1841, between the United
States and the Republic of Peru, which has been duly ratified and of
which the ratifications have been exchanged.

The communication of this treaty is now made to the end that suitable
measures may be adopted to give effect to the first article thereof,
which provides for the distribution among the claimants of the sum of
$300,000, thereby stipulated to be paid.

JOHN TYLER.

[The same message was sent to the Senate.]



WASHINGTON CITY, _March 26, 1844_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith copies of the report and papers[114] referred to in
a resolution of the Senate of the 20th of February last.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 114: Relating to the survey of the harbor of St. Louis.]



WASHINGTON, _March 26, 1844_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I submit for the consideration of Congress the accompanying
communication from A. Pageot, minister plenipotentiary _ad interim_ of
the King of the French, upon the subject of the tonnage duties levied
on French vessels coming into the ports of the United States from
the islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon, and proposing to place our
commercial intercourse with those islands upon the same footing as now
exists with the islands of Martinique and Guadaloupe, as regulated by
the acts of the 9th of May, 1828, and of the 13th of July, 1832. No
reason is perceived for the discrimination recognized by the existing
law, and none why the provisions of the acts of Congress referred to
should not be extended to the commerce of the islands in question.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _March 27, 1844_.

_To the Senate_:

I transmit herewith a communication from the Secretary of the Treasury,
to whom I had referred the resolution of the Senate of the 27th December
last, showing that the information[115] called for by that resolution
can not be furnished from authentic data.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 115: Statement of the expenditures of the Government each year
from its organization up to the present period, and when and for what
purpose these expenditures were made.]



WASHINGTON, D.C., _April 9, 1844_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of
the 23d of March last, requesting the President to lay before the House
"the authority and the true copies of all requests and applications upon
which he deemed it his duty to interfere with the naval and military
forces of the United States on the occasion of the recent attempt of the
people of Rhode Island to establish a free constitution in the place
of the old charter government of that State; also copies of the
instructions to and statements of the charter commissioners sent to him
by the then existing authorities of the State of Rhode Island; also
copies of the correspondence between the Executive of the United States
and the charter government of the State of Rhode Island, and all the
papers and documents connected with the same; also copies of the
correspondence, if any, between the heads of Departments and said
charter government or any person or persons connected with the said
government, and of any accompanying papers and documents; also copies
of all orders issued by the Executive of the United States, or any of
the Departments, to military officers for the movement or employment
of troops to or in Rhode Island; also copies of all orders to naval
officers to prepare steam or other vessels of the United States for
service in the waters of Rhode Island; also copies of all orders to the
officers of revenue cutters for the same service; also copies of any
instructions borne by the Secretary of War to Rhode Island on his visit
in 1842 to review the troops of the charter government; also copies of
any order or orders to any officer or officers of the Army or Navy to
report themselves to the charter government; and that he be requested
to lay before this House copies of any other papers or documents in
the possession of the Executive connected with this subject not above
specifically enumerated," I have to inform the House that the Executive
did not deem it his "duty to interfere with the naval and military
forces of the United States" in the late disturbances in Rhode Island;
that no orders were issued by the Executive or any of the Departments
to military officers for the movement or employment of troops to or in
Rhode Island other than those which accompany this message and which
contemplated the strengthening of the garrison at Fort Adams, which,
considering the extent of the agitation in Rhode Island, was esteemed
necessary and judicious; that no orders were issued to naval officers to
prepare steam or other vessels of the United States for service in the
waters of Rhode Island; that no orders were issued "to the officers of
the revenue cutters for said service;" that no instructions were borne
by "the Secretary of War to Rhode Island on his visit in 1842 _to review
the troops of the charter government_;" that no orders were given to any
officer or officers of the Army or Navy to report themselves to the
charter government; that "requests and applications" were made to the
Executive to fulfill the guaranties of the Constitution which impose on
the Federal Government the obligation to protect and defend each State
of the Union against "domestic violence and foreign invasion," but the
Executive was at no time convinced that the _casus foederis_ had arisen
which required the interposition of the military or naval power in the
controversy which unhappily existed between the people of Rhode Island.
I was in no manner prevented from so interfering by the inquiry whether
Rhode Island existed as an independent State of the Union under a
charter granted at an early period by the Crown of Great Britain or not.
It was enough for the Executive to know that she was recognized as a
sovereign State by Great Britain by the treaty of 1783; that at a later
day she had in common with her sister States poured out her blood and
freely expended her treasure in the War of the Revolution; that she was
a party to the Articles of Confederation; that at an after period she
adopted the Constitution of the United States as a free, independent,
and republican State; and that in this character she has always
possessed her full quota of representation in the Senate and House of
Representatives; and that up to a recent day she has conducted all her
domestic affairs and fulfilled all her obligations as a member of the
Union, in peace and war, under her _charter government_, as it is
denominated by the resolution of the House of the 23d March. I must be
permitted to disclaim entirely and unqualifiedly the right on the part
of the Executive to make any real or supposed defects existing in any
State constitution or form of government the pretext for a failure to
enforce the laws or the guaranties of the Constitution of the United
States in reference to any such State. I utterly repudiate the idea,
in terms as emphatic as I can employ, that those laws are not to be
enforced or those guaranties complied with because _the President_ may
believe that the right of suffrage or any other great popular right
is either too restricted or too broadly enlarged. I also with equal
strength resist the idea that it falls within the Executive competency
to decide in controversies of the nature of that which existed in Rhode
Island on which side is the majority of the people or as to the extent
of the rights of a mere numerical majority. For the Executive to assume
such a power would be to assume a power of the most dangerous character.
Under such assumptions the States of this Union would have no security
for peace or tranquillity, but might be converted into the mere
instruments of Executive will. Actuated by selfish purposes, he might
become the great agitator, fomenting assaults upon the State
constitutions and declaring the majority of to-day to be the minority
of to-morrow, and the minority, in its turn, the majority, before whose
decrees the established order of things in the State should be
subverted. Revolution, civil commotion, and bloodshed would be the
inevitable consequences. The provision in the Constitution intended for
the security of the States would thus be turned into the instrument
of their destruction. The President would become, in fact, the great
_constitution maker_ for the States, and all power would be vested
in his hands.

When, therefore, the governor of Rhode Island, by his letter of the
4th of April, 1842, made a requisition upon the Executive for aid to
put down the late disturbances, I had no hesitation in recognizing the
obligations of the Executive to furnish such aid upon the occurrence of
the contingency provided for by the Constitution and laws. My letter
of the 11th of April, in reply to the governor's letter of the 4th, is
herewith communicated, together with all correspondence which passed at
a subsequent day and the letters and documents mentioned in the schedule
hereunto annexed. From the correspondence between the Executive of the
United States and that of Rhode Island, it will not escape observation
that while I regarded it as my duty to announce the principles by which
I should govern myself in the contingency of an armed interposition on
the part of this Government being necessary to uphold the rights of the
State of Rhode Island and to preserve its domestic peace, yet that the
strong hope was indulged and expressed that all the difficulties would
disappear before an enlightened policy of conciliation and compromise.
In that spirit I addressed to Governor King the letter of the 9th of
May, 1842, marked "private and confidential," and received his reply
of the 12th of May of the same year. The desire of the Executive was
from the beginning to bring the dispute to a termination without the
interposition of the military power of the United States, and it will
continue to be a subject of self-congratulation that this leading
object of policy was finally accomplished. The Executive resisted
all entreaties, however urgent, to depart from this line of conduct.
Information from private sources had led the Executive to conclude that
little else was designed by Mr. Dorr and his adherents than mere menace
with a view to intimidation; nor was this opinion in any degree shaken
until the 22d of June, 1842, when it was strongly represented from
reliable sources, as will be seen by reference to the documents herewith
communicated, that preparations were making by Mr. Dorr, with a large
force in arms, to invade the State, which force had been recruited in
the neighboring States and had been already preceded by the collection
of military stores in considerable quantities at one or two points. This
was a state of things to which the Executive could not be indifferent.
Mr. Dorr speedily afterwards took up his headquarters at Chepachet and
assumed the command of what was reported to be a large force, drawn
chiefly from voluntary enlistments made in neighboring States. The
Executive could with difficulty bring itself to realize the fact that
the citizens of other States should have forgotten their duty to
themselves and the Constitution of the United States and have entered
into the highly reprehensible and indefensible course of interfering so
far in the concerns of a sister State as to have entered into plans of
invasion, conquest, and revolution; but the Executive felt it to be its
duty to look minutely into the matter, and therefore the Secretary of
War was dispatched to Rhode Island with instructions (a copy of which is
herewith transmitted), and was authorized, should a requisition be made
upon the Executive by the government of Rhode Island in pursuance of
law, and the invaders should not abandon their purposes, to call upon
the governors of Massachusetts and Connecticut for a sufficient number
of militia at once to arrest the invasion and to interpose such of the
regular troops as could be spared from Fort Adams for the defense of the
city of Providence in the event of its being attacked, as was strongly
represented to be in contemplation. Happily there was no necessity for
either issuing the proclamation or the requisition or for removing
the troops from Fort Adams, where they had been properly stationed.
Chepachet was evacuated and Mr. Dorr's troops dispersed without the
necessity of the interposition of any military force by this Government,
thus confirming me in my early impressions that nothing more had been
designed from the first by those associated with Mr. Dorr than to excite
fear and apprehension and thereby to obtain concessions from the
constituted authorities which might be claimed as a triumph over the
existing government.

With the dispersion of Mr. Dorr's troops ended all difficulties.
A convention was shortly afterwards called, by due course of law, to
amend the fundamental law, and a new constitution, based on more liberal
principles than that abrogated, was proposed, and adopted by the people.
Thus the great American experiment of a change in government under the
influence of opinion and not of force has been again crowned with
success, and the State and people of Rhode Island repose in safety under
institutions of their own adoption, unterrified by any future prospect
of necessary change and secure against domestic violence and invasion
from abroad. I congratulate the country upon so happy a termination of
a condition of things which seemed at one time seriously to threaten the
public peace. It may justly be regarded as worthy of the age and of the
country in which we live.

JOHN TYLER.



PROVIDENCE, _April 4, 1842_.

The PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

SIR: The State of Rhode Island is threatened with domestic violence.
Apprehending that the legislature can not be convened in sufficient
season to apply to the Government of the United States for effectual
protection in this case, I hereby apply to you, as the executive of
the State of Rhode Island, for the protection which is required by the
Constitution of the United States. To communicate more fully with you
on this subject, I have appointed John Whipple, John Brown Francis, and
Elisha R. Potter, esqs., three of our most distinguished citizens, to
proceed to Washington and to make known to you in behalf of this State
the circumstances which call for the interposition of the Government
of the United States for our protection.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

SAM. W. KING,
  _Governor of Rhode Island_.



PROVIDENCE, _April 4, 1842_.

The PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

SIR: For nearly a year last past the State of Rhode Island has been
agitated by revolutionary movements, and is now threatened with
domestic violence.

The report[116] of a joint committee of both branches of the legislature
of this State, with an act[116] and resolutions[116] accompanying the
same, herewith communicated, were passed unanimously by the senate, and
by a vote of 60 to 6 in the house of representatives. The legislature
adjourned to the first Tuesday of May next.

[Footnote 116: Omitted.]

It has become my duty by one of these resolutions to adopt such measures
as in my opinion may be necessary in the recess of the legislature to
execute the laws and preserve the State from domestic violence.

The provisions of the said act "in relation to offenses against the
sovereign power of this State" have created much excitement among that
portion of the people who have unequivocally declared their intention to
set up another government in this State and to put down the existing
government, and they threaten, individually and collectively, to resist
the execution of this act. The numbers of this party are sufficiently
formidable to threaten seriously our peace, and in some portions of the
State, and in this city particularly, may constitute a majority of the
physical force, though they are a minority of the people of the State.

Under the dangers which now threaten us, I have appointed John Whipple,
John Brown Francis, and Elisha R. Potter, esqs., three of our most
distinguished citizens, to proceed to Washington and consult with you in
behalf of this State, with a view that such precautionary measures may
be taken by the Government of the United States as may afford us that
protection which the Constitution of the United States requires. There
is but little doubt that a proclamation from the President of the United
States and the presence here of a military officer to act under the
authority of the United States would destroy the delusion which is now
so prevalent, and convince the deluded that in a contest with the
government of this State they would be involved in a contest with the
Government of the United States, which could only eventuate in their
destruction.

As no State can keep troops in time of peace without the consent of
Congress, there is the more necessity that we should be protected by
those who have the means of protection. We shall do all we can for
ourselves. The Government of the United States has the power to
_prevent_ as well as to defend us from violence. The protection provided
by the Constitution of the United States will not be effectual unless
such precautionary measures may be taken as are necessary to prevent
lawless men from breaking out into violence, as well as to protect the
State from further violence after it has broken out. Preventive measures
are the most prudent and safe, and also the most merciful.

The protective power would be lamentably deficient if "the beginning
of strife," which "is like the letting out of waters," can not be
prevented, and no protection can be afforded the State until to many
it would be too late.

The above-named gentlemen are fully authorized to act in behalf of
the State of Rhode Island in this emergency, and carry with them
such documents and proof as will, no doubt, satisfy you that the
interposition of the authority of the Government of the United States
will be salutary and effectual.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

SAM. W. KING,
  _Governor of Rhode Island_.



APRIL 9, 1842.

MY DEAR SIR:[117] Will you do me the favor to see the committee from
Rhode Island as soon after the meeting of the Cabinet as may suit your
convenience?

[Footnote 117: Addressed to the President of the United States.]

I regret to learn from Mr. Francis that the leaning of your mind was
decidedly against any expression of opinion upon the subject, upon the
ground that _free suffrage_ must _prevail_. Undoubtedly it will. That
is not the question. The freeholders of Rhode Island have yielded that
point, and the _only_ question is between their constitution, providing
for an extension of suffrage, and ours, containing _substantially_ the
_same_ provision--whether their constitution shall be carried out by
_force of arms without_ a majority, or the present government be
supported _until_ a constitution can be agreed upon that will command
a majority. Neither their constitution nor ours has as yet received a
majority of the free white males over 21 years of age. _There is no
doubt upon that subject_, and I very much regret that your mind should
have been influenced (if it has) by the paper called the Express. Nearly
all the leaders who are professional men have abandoned them, on the
ground that a majority is not in favor of their constitution. I _know_
this to be true. I do hope that you will reconsider this vital question
and give us a full hearing before you decide.

With great respect, very truly and sincerely, yours,

JOHN WHIPPLE.



His Excellency JOHN TYLER,

_President of the United States_:

The undersigned, having been deputed by Samuel W. King, the governor
of the State of Rhode Island, to lay before you the present alarming
condition in which the people of that State are placed, and to request
from you the adoption of such prudential measures as in your opinion may
tend to prevent domestic violence, beg leave most respectfully to state
the following among the leading facts, to which your attention is more
particularly invited:

That the people of Rhode Island have no fundamental law except the
charter of King Charles II, granted in 1663, and the usage of the
legislature under it. Legislative usage under their charters has been
decided by the Supreme Court of the United States to be the fundamental
law both in Connecticut and Rhode Island.

That from the date of the Rhode Island charter down to the year 1841, a
period of nearly two hundred years, no person has been allowed to vote
for town or State offices unless possessed of competent estates and
admitted free in the several towns in which they resided.

That since the statute of 1728 no person could be admitted a freeman of
any town unless he owned a freehold estate of the value fixed by law
(now $134) or was the eldest son of such a freeholder.

That until the past year no attempt has been made, to our knowledge, to
establish any other fundamental law, by force, than the one under which
the people have lived for so long a period.

That at the January session of the legislature in 1841 a petition signed
by five or six hundred male inhabitants, praying for such an extension
of suffrage as the legislature might in their wisdom deem expedient to
propose, was presented.

That, influenced by that petition, as well as by other considerations,
the legislature at that session requested the qualified voters, or
freemen, as they are called with us, to choose delegates at their
regular town meetings to be holden in August, 1841, for a convention
to be holden in November, 1841, to frame a written constitution.

That the result of the last meeting of this legal convention in
February, 1842, was the constitution[118] accompanying this statement,
marked ----, which, in case of its adoption by the people, would have
been the supreme law of the State.

[Footnote 118: Omitted.]

Most of the above facts are contained in the printed report of a
numerous committee of the legislature at their session in March, 1842,
which report was adopted by the legislature.

That in May, 1841, after said legal convention had been provided for
by the legislature, and before the time appointed for the choice of
delegates by the qualified voters (August, 1841), a mass meeting was
held by the friends of an extension of suffrage at Newport, at which
meeting a committee was appointed, called the State committee, who were
authorized by said mass meeting to take measures for calling a
convention to frame a constitution.

That this committee, thus authorized, issued a request for a meeting
of the male citizens in the several towns to appoint delegates to the
proposed convention.

That meetings (of unqualified voters principally, as we believe) were
accordingly holden in the several towns, unauthorized by law, and
contrary to the invariable custom and usage of the State from 1663 down
to that period; that the aggregate votes appointing the delegates to
that convention were, according to their own estimate, about 7,200,
whereas the whole number of male citizens over 21 years of age, after
making a deduction for foreigners, paupers, etc., was, according to
their own estimate, over 22,000.

That this convention, thus constituted, convened in Providence in
October, 1841, and the constitution called the "people's constitution"
was the result of their deliberations.

That at subsequent meetings of portions of the people in December, 1841,
by the authority of this convention alone (elected, as its delegates had
been, by about one-third of the voters, according to their own standard
of qualification), all males over 21 years of age were admitted to vote
for the adoption of the people's constitution; that these meetings were
not under any presiding officer whose legal right or duty it was to
interpose any check or restraint as to age, residence, property, or
color.

By the fourteenth article of this constitution it was provided that
"this constitution shall be submitted to the people for their adoption
or rejection on Monday, the 27th of December next, and on the two
succeeding days;" "and every person entitled to vote as aforesaid who
from sickness or _other causes_ may be unable to attend and vote in the
town or ward meetings assembled for voting upon said constitution on the
days aforesaid is requested to write his name on a ticket, and to obtain
the signature upon the back of the same of a person who has given in his
vote, as a witness thereto, and the moderator or clerk of any town or
ward meeting convened for the purpose aforesaid shall receive such vote
on either of the three days next succeeding the three days before named
for voting for said constitution."

During the first three days about 9,000 votes were received from the
hands of the voters in the open meetings. By the privilege granted
to any and all friends of the constitution of _bringing into_ their
meetings the _names_ of voters during the three following days 5,000
votes more were obtained, making an aggregate of about 14,000 votes.

This constitution, thus originating and thus formed, was subsequently
declared by this convention to be the supreme law of the land. By its
provisions a government is to be organized under it, by the choice of
a governor, lieutenant-governor, senators and representatives, on the
Monday preceding the third Wednesday in April, 1842.

By the provisions of the "landholder's constitution," as the legal
constitution is called, every white native citizen possessing the
freehold qualification, and over 21 years of age, may vote upon a
residence of _one_ year, and without any freehold may vote upon a
residence of _two_ years, except in the case of votes for town taxes,
in which case the voter must possess the freehold qualification _or_
be taxed for other property of the value of $150.

By the "people's constitution" "every white male citizen of the United
States of the age of 21 years who has resided in this State for _one_
year and in the town where he votes for six months" shall be permitted
to vote, with the same exception as to voting for town taxes as is
contained in the other constitution.

The provision, therefore, in relation to the great subject in
dispute--the elective franchise--is substantially the same in the two
constitutions.

On the 21st, 22d, and 23d March last the legal constitution, by an
act of the legislature, was submitted to all the persons who by its
provisions would be entitled to vote under it after its adoption, for
their ratification. It was rejected by a majority of 676 votes, the
number of votes polled being over 16,000. It is believed that many
freeholders voted against it because they were attached to the old form
of government and were against any new constitution whatever. Both
parties used uncommon exertions to bring all their voters to the polls,
and the result of the vote was, under the scrutiny of opposing interests
in legal town meetings, that the friends of the people's constitution
brought to the polls probably not over 7,000 to 7,500 votes. The whole
vote against the legal constitution was about 8,600. If we allow 1,000
as the number of freeholders who voted against the legal constitution
because they are opposed to any constitution, it would leave the number
of the friends of the people's constitution 7,600, or about one-third of
the voters of the State under the new qualification proposed by either
constitution.

It seems incredible that there can be 14,000 friends of the people's
constitution in the State, animated as they are by a most extraordinary
and enthusiastic feeling; and yet upon this trial, in the usual open and
fair way of voting, they should have obtained not over 7,600 votes.

The unanimity of the subsequent action of the legislature, comprehending
as it did both the great political parties--the house of representatives
giving a vote of 60 in favor of maintaining the existing government of
the State and only 6 on the other side, with a unaminimous vote in the
senate--the unanimous and decided opinion of the supreme court declaring
this extraordinary movement to be illegal in all its stages (see
----[119]), a majority of that court being of the Democratic party, with
other facts of a similar character, have freed this question of a mere
party character and enabled us to present it as a great constitutional
question.

Without presuming to discuss the elementary and fundamental principles
of government, we deem it our duty to remind you of the fact that the
existing government of Rhode Island is _the_ government that adopted the
Constitution of the United States, became a member of this Confederacy,
and has ever since been represented in the Senate and House of
Representatives. It is at this moment the existing government of Rhode
Island, both _de facto_ and _dejure_, and is the only government in that
State entitled to the protection of the Constitution of the United
States.

It is that government which now calls upon the General Government for
its interference; and even if the legal effect of there being an
ascertained majority of unqualified voters against the existing
government was as is contended for by the opposing party, yet, upon
their own principle, ought not that majority in point of fact to be
clearly ascertained, not by assertion, but by proof, in order to justify
the General Government in withdrawing its legal and moral influence to
prevent domestic violence?

That a domestic war of the most furious character will speedily ensue
unless prevented by a prompt expression of opinion here can not be
doubted. In relation to this, we refer to the numerous resolutions
passed at meetings of the friends of the people's constitution, and more
especially to the Cumberland resolutions[119] herewith presented, and
the affidavits,[119] marked ----, and to repeated expressions of similar
reliance upon the judgment of the Chief Magistrate of the nation.

[Footnote 119: Omitted.]

All which is respectfully submitted by--

JOHN WHIPPLE.
  JOHN BROWN FRANCIS.
    ELISHA R. POTTER.



WASHINGTON, _April 11, 1842_.

His Excellency the GOVERNOR OF RHODE ISLAND.

SIR: Your letter dated the 4th instant was handed me on Friday by Mr.
Whipple, who, in company with Mr. Francis and Mr. Potter, called upon me
on Saturday and placed me, both verbally and in writing, in possession
of the prominent facts which have led to the present unhappy condition
of things in Rhode Island--a state of things which every lover of peace
and good order must deplore. I shall not adventure the expression of an
opinion upon those questions of domestic policy which seem to have given
rise to the unfortunate controversies between a portion of the citizens
and the existing government of the State. They are questions of
municipal regulation, the adjustment of which belongs exclusively to the
people of Rhode Island, and with which this Government can have nothing
to do. For the regulation of my conduct in any interposition which I may
be called upon to make between the government of a State and any portion
of its citizens who may assail it with domestic violence, or may be in
actual insurrection against it, I can only look to the Constitution and
laws of the United States, which plainly declare the obligations of the
executive department and leave it no alternative as to the course it
shall pursue.

By the fourth section of the fourth article of the Constitution of the
United States it is provided that "the United States shall guarantee to
every State in this Union a republican form of government, and shall
protect each of them against invasion, and, on application of the
legislature or executive (when the legislature can not be convened),
_against domestic violence_." And by the act of Congress approved on the
28th February, 1795, it is declared "that in case of an insurrection in
any State _against the government thereof_ it shall be lawful for the
President of the United States, upon application of the legislature
of such State or by the executive (when the legislature can not be
convened), to call forth such numbers of the militia of any other State
or States as may be applied for, as he may judge sufficient to suppress
such insurrection." By the third section of the same act it is provided
"that whenever it may be necessary, in the judgment of the President, to
use the military force hereby directed to be called forth, the President
shall forthwith, by proclamation, command such insurgents to disperse
and retire peaceably to their respective abodes within a reasonable
time." By the act of March 3, 1807, it is provided "that in all cases of
insurrection or obstruction to the laws, either of the United States
or of any individual State or Territory where it is lawful for the
President of the United States to call forth the militia for the purpose
of suppressing such insurrection or of causing the laws to be duly
executed, it shall be lawful for him to employ for the same purposes
such part of the land or naval force of the United States as shall be
judged necessary, having first observed all the prerequisites of the
law in that respect."

This is the first occasion, so far as the government of a State and its
people are concerned, on which it has become necessary to consider of
the propriety of exercising those high and most important of
constitutional and legal functions.

By a careful consideration of the above-recited acts of Congress your
excellency will not fail to see that no power is vested in the Executive
of the United States to anticipate insurrectionary movements against the
government of Rhode Island so as to sanction the interposition of the
military authority, but that there must be an actual insurrection,
manifested by lawless assemblages of the people or otherwise, to whom
a proclamation may be addressed and who may be required to betake
themselves to their respective abodes. I have, however, to assure your
excellency that should the time arrive--and my fervent prayer is
that it may never come--when an insurrection shall exist _against the
government_ of Rhode Island, and a requisition shall be made upon the
Executive of the United States to furnish that protection which is
guaranteed to each State by the Constitution and laws, I shall not be
found to shrink from the performance of a duty which, while it would be
the most painful, is at the same time the most imperative. I have also
to say that in such a contingency the Executive could not look into real
or supposed defects of the existing government in order to ascertain
whether some other plan of government proposed for adoption was better
suited to the wants and more in accordance with the wishes of any
portion of her citizens. To throw the Executive power of this Government
into any such controversy would be to make the President the armed
arbitrator between the people of the different States and their
constituted authorities, and might lead to a usurped power dangerous
alike to the stability of the State governments and the liberties of the
people. It will be my duty, on the contrary, to respect the requisitions
of that government which has been recognized as the existing government
of the State through all time past until I shall be advised in regular
manner that it has been altered and abolished and another substituted in
its place by legal and peaceable proceedings adopted and pursued by the
authorities and people of the State. Nor can I readily bring myself
to believe that any such contingency will arise as shall render the
interference of this Government at all necessary. The people of the
State of Rhode Island have been too long distinguished for their love
of order and of regular government to rush into revolution in order to
obtain a redress of grievances, real or supposed, which a government
under which their fathers lived in peace would not in due season
redress. No portion of her people will be willing to drench her fair
fields with the blood of their own brethren in order to obtain a redress
of grievances which their constituted authorities can not for any length
of time resist if properly appealed to by the popular voice. None of
them will be willing to set an example, in the bosom of this Union, of
such frightful disorder, such needless convulsions of society, such
danger to life, liberty, and property, and likely to bring so much
discredit on the character of popular governments. My reliance on the
virtue, intelligence, and patriotism of her citizens is great and
abiding, and I will not doubt but that a spirit of conciliation will
prevail over rash councils, that all actual grievances will be promptly
redressed by the existing government, and that another bright example
will be added to the many already prevailing among the North American
Republics of change without revolution and a redress of grievances
without force or violence.

I tender to your excellency assurances of my high respect and
consideration.

JOHN TYLER.



NEWPORT, R.I., _May 4, 1842_.

His Excellency JOHN TYLER,

_President of the United States_.

SIR: I transmit herewith certain resolutions passed by the general
assembly of this State at their session holden at Newport on the first
Wednesday of May instant.

You are already acquainted with some of the circumstances which have
rendered necessary the passage of these resolutions. Any further
information that may be desired will be communicated by the bearers, the
Hon. Richard K. Randolph, speaker of the house of representatives, and
Elisha R. Potter, esq., a member of the senate of this State.

I can not allow myself to doubt but that the assistance to which this
State is entitled under the Constitution of the United States, to
protect itself against domestic violence, will be promptly rendered by
the General Government of the Union.

With great respect, I am, Your Excellency's humble servant,

SAM. W. KING,
  _Governor of Rhode Island_.



STATE OF RHODE ISLAND AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS,
  _In General Assembly, May Session, 1842_.

Whereas a portion of the people of this State, for the purpose of
subverting the laws and existing government thereof, have framed a
pretended constitution, and for the same unlawful purposes have met in
lawless assemblages and elected officers for the future government of
this State; and

Whereas the persons so elected in violation of law, but in conformity to
the said pretended constitution, have, on the 3d day of May instant,
organized themselves into executive and legislative departments of
government, and under oath assumed the duties and exercise of said
powers; and

Whereas in order to prevent the due execution of the laws a strong
military force was called out and did array themselves to protect the
said unlawful organization of government and to set at defiance the due
enforcement of law: Therefore,

_Resolved by the general assembly_, That there now exists in this State
an insurrection against the laws and constituted authorities thereof,
and that, in pursuance of the Constitution and laws of the United
States, a requisition be, and hereby is, made by this legislature upon
the President of the United States forthwith to interpose the authority
and power of the United States to suppress such insurrectionary and
lawless assemblages, to support the existing government and laws, and
protect the State from domestic violence.

_Resolved_, That his excellency the governor be requested immediately to
transmit a copy of these resolutions to the President of the United
States.

True copy.

Witness: HENRY BOWEN,
  _Secretary of State_.



WASHINGTON, _May 7, 1842_.

The GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF RHODE ISLAND.

SIR: Your letter of the 4th instant, transmitting resolutions of the
legislature of Rhode Island, informing me that there existed in that
State "certain lawless assemblages of a portion of the people" "for
the purpose of subverting the laws and over-throwing the existing
government," and calling upon the Executive "forthwith to interpose
the authority and power of the United States to suppress such
insurrectionary and lawless assemblages and to support the existing
government and laws and protect the State from domestic violence,"
was handed me on yesterday by Messrs. Randolph and Potter.

I have to inform your excellency in reply that my opinions as to the
duties of this Government to protect the State of Rhode Island against
domestic violence remain unchanged. Yet, from information received by
the Executive since your dispatches came to hand I am led to believe
that the lawless assemblages to which reference is made have already
dispersed and that the danger of domestic violence is hourly
diminishing, if it has not wholly disappeared. I have with difficulty
brought myself at any time to believe that violence would be resorted
to or an exigency arise which the unaided power of the State could not
meet, especially as I have from the first felt persuaded that your
excellency and others associated with yourself in the administration
of the government would exhibit a temper of conciliation as well as
of energy and decision. To the insurgents themselves it ought to be
obvious, when the excitement of the moment shall have passed away, that
changes achieved by regular and, if necessary, repeated appeals to the
constituted authorities, in a country so much under the influence of
public opinion, and by recourse to argument and remonstrance, are more
likely to insure lasting blessings than those accomplished by violence
and bloodshed on one day, and liable to overthrow by similar agents on
another.

I freely confess that I should experience great reluctance in employing
the military power of this Government against any portion of the people;
but however painful the duty, I have to assure your excellency that if
resistance be made to the execution of the laws of Rhode Island by such
force as the _civil power_ shall be unable to overcome, it will be the
duty of this Government to enforce the constitutional guaranty--a
guaranty given and adopted mutually by all the original States, of which
number Rhode Island was one, and which in the same way has been given
and adopted by each of the States since admitted into the Union; and
if an exigency of lawless violence shall actually arise the executive
government of the United States, on the application of your excellency
under the authority of the resolutions of the legislature already
transmitted, will stand ready to succor the authorities of the State in
their efforts to maintain a due respect for the laws. I sincerely hope,
however, that no such exigency may occur, and that every citizen of
Rhode Island will manifest his love of peace and good order by
submitting to the laws and seeking a redress of grievances by other
means than intestine commotions.

I tender to your excellency assurances of my distinguished consideration.

JOHN TYLER.



JOHN TYLER,

_President of the United States_.

SIR: As requested by the general assembly, I have the honor of
transmitting to you, under the seal of the State, the accompanying
resolutions.

And I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

THOMAS W. DORR,
  _Governor of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations_.



STATE OF RHODE ISLAND AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS,
  _General Assembly, May Session, in the City of Providence, A.D. 1842_.

_Resolved_, That the governor be requested to inform the President
of the United States that the government of this State has been duly
elected and organized under the constitution of the same, and that the
general assembly are now in session and proceeding to discharge their
duties according to the provisions of said constitution.

_Resolved_, That the governor be requested to make the same
communication to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the
House of Representatives, to be laid before the two Houses of the
Congress of the United States.

_Resolved_, That the governor be requested to make the same
communication to the governors of the several States, to be laid before
the respective legislatures.

A true copy.

Witness:
  [L.S.] WM. H. SMITH,
    _Secretary of State_.



MAY 9, 1842.

Governor KING, _of Rhode Island_.

SIR: Messrs. Randolph and Potter will hand you an official letter, but I
think it important that you should be informed of my views and opinions
as to the best mode of settling all difficulties. I deprecate the use of
force except in the last resort, and I am persuaded that measures of
conciliation will at once operate to produce quiet. _I am well advised_,
if the general assembly would authorize you to announce a general
amnesty and pardon for the past, without making any exception, upon the
condition of a return to allegiance, and follow it up by a call for a
new convention upon somewhat liberal principles, that all difficulty
would at once cease. And why should not this be done? A government never
loses anything by mildness and forbearance to its own citizens, more
especially when the consequences of an opposite course may be the
shedding of blood. In your case the one-half of your people are involved
in the consequences of recent proceedings. Why urge matters to an
extremity? If you succeed by the bayonet, you succeed against your own
fellow-citizens and by the shedding of kindred blood, whereas by taking
the opposite course you will have shown a paternal care for the lives of
your people. My own opinion is that the adoption of the above measures
will give you peace and insure you harmony. A resort to force, on the
contrary, will engender for years to come feelings of animosity.

I have said that I _speak advisedly_. Try the experiment, and if it fail
then your justification in using force becomes complete.

Excuse the freedom I take, and be assured of my respect.

JOHN TYLER.



PROVIDENCE, R.I., _May 12, 1842_.

His Excellency the PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES.

MY DEAR SIR: I have had the honor to receive your communication of
9th instant by Mr. Randolph, and assure you it has given me much
satisfaction to know that your views and opinions as to the course
proper to be pursued by the government of this State in the present
unhappy condition of our political affairs is so much in conformity
with my own.

Our legislature will undoubtedly at their session in June next adopt
such measures as will be necessary to organize a convention for the
formation of a new constitution of government, by which all the evils
now complained of may be removed.

It has already been announced as the opinion of the executive that
such of our citizens as are or have been engaged in treasonable and
revolutionary designs against the State will be pardoned for the past on
the condition only that they withdraw themselves from such enterprise
and signify their return to their allegiance to the government.

With high consideration and respect, your obedient and very humble
servant,

SAM. W. KING.



KINGSTON, R.I. _May 15, 1842_.

His Excellency JOHN TYLER,

_President of the United States_.

DEAR SIR: We arrived at Newport on Wednesday morning in time to attend
the meeting of our legislature.

The subject of calling a convention immediately, and upon a liberal
basis as to the right of voting for the delegates, was seriously
agitated amongst us. The only objection made was that they did not wish
to concede while the _people's party_ continued _their threats_. All
allowed that the concession must be made, and the only difference of
opinion was as to time.

For my own part, I fear we shall never see the time when concession
could have been made with better grace or with better effect than now.
If two or three _noisy_ folks among the suffrage party could only have
their mouths stopped for a week or two, a reconciliation could be
brought about at any time, or if Mr. Dorr would allow himself to be
arrested peaceably and give bail no one could then object. But the
supporters of the government say it is wrong to give up so long as Mr.
Dorr threatens actual resistance to the laws in case he is arrested. If
this could be done, they would then consider that they had sufficiently
shown their determination to support the laws, and the two measures
which you proposed to us in conversation at Washington--a convention and
then a _general_ amnesty--would succeed beyond a doubt.

Allow me to suggest that if Mr. Wickliffe, or someone who you might
think would have most influence, would address a letter to Governor
Fenner on the subject of conciliation it might be of great service.
Governor F. is the father-in-law of General Mallett and a member of
our senate.

Our assembly adjourned to the third Monday of June, but it is in the
power of the governor to call it sooner, which can be done in a day at
any time. Unless, however, there is a little more _prudence_ in the
_leaders_ on both sides, we shall then be farther from reconciliation
than now. The great mass of both parties I believe to be sincerely
anxious for a settlement.

I do not know whether a letter addressed to the President upon a subject
of this nature would of course be considered as public and liable to
inspection. Few would write freely if that were the case. If private, I
will cheerfully communicate from time to time any information that may
be in my power and which might be of any service.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ELISHA R. POTTER.

Mr. Dorr returned to Providence this (Monday) morning with an armed
escort.



WASHINGTON, _May 20, 1842_.

ELISHA R. POTTER, Esq.

DEAR SIR: You have my thanks for your favor of the 16th [15th] instant,
and I have to request that you will write to me without reserve whenever
anything of importance shall arise. My chief motives for desiring the
adoption of the measures suggested to you, viz, a general amnesty and a
call of a convention, were, first, because I felt convinced that peace
and harmony would follow in their train, and, secondly, if in this I was
disappointed the insurgents would have had no longer a pretense for an
appeal to the public sympathies in their behalf. I saw nothing to
degrade or to give rise to injurious reflections against the government
of the State for resorting to every proper expedient in order to quiet
the disaffection of any portion of her own people. Family quarrels are
always the most difficult to appease, but everybody will admit that
those of the family who do most to reconcile them are entitled to the
greatest favor. Mr. Dorr's recent proceedings have been of so
extravagant a character as almost to extinguish the last hope of a
peaceable result, and yet I can not but believe that much is meant for
effect and for purposes of intimidation merely. I certainly hope that
such may be the case, though the recent proceedings in New York may have
excited new feelings and new desires. This mustering of the clans may
place Governor King in a different situation from that which he occupied
when I had the pleasure of seeing you. _Then_ he might have yielded with
grace; whether he can do so now is certainly a question of much
difficulty and one on which I can not venture to express an opinion at
this distance from the scene of action.

I shall be always most happy to hear from you, and your letters will
never be used to your prejudice.

Accept assurances of my high respect.

JOHN TYLER.



PROVIDENCE, _May 16, 1842_.

The PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

SIR: At the request of Governor King, I inclose to you an extra of the
Providence Daily Express of this morning, containing the proclamation
of Thomas W. Dorr to the people of this State.

It states definitely the position assumed by him and his faction against
the government of this State and of the United States.

His excellency tenders to you the highest respect and consideration.

Respectfully, yours,

THOS. A. JENCKES,
  _Private Secretary_.



STATE OF RHODE ISLAND AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS.

A PROCLAMATION.

BY THOMAS W. DORR, GOVERNOR AND COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF THE SAME.

FELLOW-CITIZENS: Shortly after the adjournment of the general assembly
and the completion of indispensable executive business I was induced by
the request of the most active friends of our cause to undertake the
duty (which had been previously suggested) of representing in person the
interests of the people of Rhode Island in other States and at the seat
of the General Government. By virtue of a resolution of the general
assembly, I appointed Messrs. Pearce and Anthony commissioners for the
same purpose.

Of the proposed action of the Executive in the affairs of our State you
have been already apprised. In case of the failure of the civil posse
(which expression was intended by the President, as I have been
informed, to embrace the military power) to execute any of the laws of
the charter assembly, including their law of pains and penalties and of
treason, as it has been for the first time defined, the President
intimates an intention of resorting to the forces of the United States
to check the movements of the people of this State in support of their
republican constitution recently adopted.

From a decision which conflicts with the right of sovereignty inherent
in the people of this State and with the principles which lie at the
foundation of a democratic republic an appeal has been taken to the
people of our country. They understand our cause; they sympathize in the
injuries which have been inflicted upon us; they disapprove the course
which the National Executive has adopted toward this State, and they
assure us of their disposition and intention to interpose a barrier
between the supporters of the people's constitution and the hired
soldiery of the United States. The democracy of the country are slow to
move in any matter which involves an issue so momentous as that which is
presented by the controversy in Rhode Island, but when they have once
put themselves in motion they are not to be easily diverted from their
purposes. They believe that the people of Rhode Island are in the right;
that they are contending for equal justice in their political system;
that they have properly adopted a constitution of government for
themselves, as they were entitled to do, and they can not and will
not remain indifferent to any act, from whatever motive it may
proceed, which they deem to be an invasion of the sacred right of
self-government, of which the people of the respective States can not
be divested.

As your representative I have been everywhere received with the utmost
kindness and cordiality. To the people of the city of New York, who have
extended to us the hand of a generous fraternity, it is impossible to
overrate our obligation at this most important crisis.

It has become my duty to say that so soon as a soldier of the United
States shall be set in motion, by whatever direction, to act against the
people of this State in aid of the charter government I shall call for
that aid to oppose all such force, which, I am fully authorized to say,
will be immediately and most cheerfully tendered to the service of the
people of Rhode Island from the city of New York and from other places.
The contest will then become national, and our State the battle ground
of American freedom.

As a Rhode Island man I regret that the constitutional question in this
State can not be adjusted among our own citizens, but as the minority
have asked that the sword of the National Executive may be thrown into
the scale against the people, it is imperative upon them to make the
same appeal to their brethren of the States--an appeal which they are
well assured will not be made in vain. They who have been the first to
ask assistance from abroad can have no reason to complain of any
consequences which may ensue.

No further arrests under the law of pains and penalties, which was
repealed by the general assembly of the people at their May session,
will be permitted. I hereby direct the military, under their respective
officers, promptly to prevent the same and to release all who may be
arrested under said law.

As requested by the general assembly, I enjoin upon the militia
forthwith to elect their company officers; and I call upon volunteers to
organize themselves without delay. The military are directed to hold
themselves in readiness for immediate service.

Given under my hand and the seal of the State, at the city of
Providence, this 6th day of May, A.D. 1842.

[L.S.]


THOMAS W. DORR,

  _Governor and Commander in Chief of the State of Rhode Island and
Providence Plantations_

By the governor's command:
  WILLIAM H. SMITH,
    _Secretary of State_.



PROVIDENCE, R.I., _May 25, 1842_.

The PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

SIR: Since my last communication the surface of things in this city and
State has been more quiet. The complete dispersing of the insurgents and
flight of their leader on Wednesday last, 18th instant, seem to have
broken their strength and prevented them from making head openly in any
quarter.

But another crisis now appears to be approaching. By the private
advices received by myself and the council from our messengers in the
neighboring States we learn that Dorr and his agents are enlisting men
and collecting arms for the purpose of again attempting to subvert, by
open war, the government of this State. Those who have assisted him
at home in his extreme measures are again holding secret councils and
making preparations to rally on his return. Companies of men pledged to
support him have met and drilled in the north part of this State during
the present week.

From the forces which he can collect among our own citizens we have
nothing to fear. Our own military strength has once scattered them, and
could as easily do so a second time. But if the bands which are now
organizing in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York should make the
incursion which they threaten, with Dorr at their head, we have reason
to apprehend a civil war of the most destructive and vindictive
character. Our own forces might be sufficient to repel them, but having
little discipline and no officer of military experience to lead them,
they could not do it without the loss of many valuable lives.

For the evidence that such forces are organizing in other States, I
refer Your Excellency to a letter from Governor Seward, of New York, and
to a statement made by one of our messengers to the council, which will
be handed you. Other messengers confirm to the fullest extent the same
intelligence.

In this posture of affairs I deem it my duty to call upon Your
Excellency for the support guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of
the United States to this government. I would submit to Your Excellency
whether a movement of a sufficient body of troops to this quarter, to be
stationed at Fort Adams, and to be subject to the requisitions of the
executive of this State whenever in his opinion the exigency should
arise to require their assistance, would not be the best measure to
insure peace and respect for the laws and to deter invasions.

You will see by the statement[120] of the secret agent of the government
that the time set for this incursion is very near. The mustering of the
insurgents and their movement upon the city will probably be with the
greatest expedition when once commenced--in a time too short for a
messenger to reach Washington and return with aid. I therefore make this
application before any movement of magnitude on their part, in order
that we may be prepared at the briefest notice to quell domestic
insurrection and repel invasion.

SAM. W. KING
  _Governor of Rhode Island_.

[Footnote 120: Omitted.]



EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT,

_Albany, May 22, 1842_.

His Excellency SAMUEL WARD KING,

_Governor of Rhode Island_.

SIR: In compliance with your excellency's requisition, I have this day
issued a warrant for the arrest of Thomas Wilson Dorr, esq., charged in
Rhode Island with the crime of treason. The warrant will be delivered to
a police officer of this city, who will attend Colonel Pitman and be
advised by him in regard to the arrest of the fugitive should he be
found in this State.

May I be allowed to suggest to your excellency that a detention of the
accused in this State would be liable to misapprehension, and if it
should be in a particular region of this State might, perhaps, result in
an effort to rescue him. Therefore it seems to be quite important that
your excellency should without delay designate, by a communication to
me, an agent to receive the fugitive and convey him to Rhode Island.

I have the honor to be, with very high respect and consideration, your
excellency's obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.



WASHINGTON CITY, _May 28, 1842_.

His Excellency Governor KING.

SIR: I have received your excellency's communication of the 25th
instant, informing me of efforts making by Mr. Dorr and others to embody
a force in the contiguous States for the invasion of the State of Rhode
Island, and calling upon the Executive of the United States for military
aid.

In answer I have to inform your excellency that means have been taken
to ascertain the extent of the dangers of any armed invasion by the
citizens of other States of the State of Rhode Island, either to put
down her government or to disturb her peace. The apparent improbability
of a violation so flagrant and unprecedented of all our laws and
institutions makes me, I confess, slow to believe that any serious
attempts will be made to execute the designs which some evil-minded
persons may have formed.

But should the necessity of the case require the interposition of the
authority of the United States it will be rendered in the manner
prescribed by the laws.

In the meantime I indulge a confident expectation, founded upon the
recent manifestations of public opinion in your State in favor of law
and order, that your own resources and means will be abundantly adequate
to preserve the public peace, and that the difficulties which have
arisen will be soon amicably and permanently adjusted by the exercise
of a spirit of liberality and forbearance.

JOHN TYLER.

The Secretary of War will issue a private order to Colonel Bankhead,
commanding at Newport, to employ, if necessary, a private and
confidential person or persons to go into all such places and among
all such persons as he may have reason to believe to be likely to give
any information touching Rhode Island affairs, and to report with the
greatest dispatch, if necessary, to the President. He will also address
a letter to General Wool conveying to him the fears entertained of a
hostile invasion contemplated to place Dorr in the chair of state of
Rhode Island by persons in the States of Connecticut and New York,
and also to General Eustis, at Boston, of a similar character, with
instructions to adopt such inquiries (to be secretly made) as they may
deem necessary, and to report with the greatest dispatch all information
which from time to time they may acquire.

(Indorsed: "President's instructions, May 28, 1842.")



WAR DEPARTMENT, _May 28, 1842_.

Colonel BANKHEAD,

_Newport, R.I._

SIR: The governor of Rhode Island has represented to the President that
preparations are making by Mr. Dorr and some of his adherents to recruit
men in the neighboring States for the purpose of supporting his
usurpation of the powers of government, and that he has provided arms
and camp equipage for a large number of men. It is very important that
we should have accurate information on this subject, and particularly in
relation to the movements made in other States. I have therefore to
desire you to employ proper persons to go to the places where it may be
supposed such preparations are making to possess themselves fully of all
that is doing and in contemplation, and report frequently to you. It is
said that Mr. Dorr's principal headquarters are at the town of Thompson,
in the State of Connecticut. It may be well for you to communicate
personally with Governor King and ascertain from him the points and
places at which any preparations for embodying men are supposed to be
making, and to direct your inquiries accordingly.

It is important that you should select persons on whose integrity and
accuracy the fullest reliance can be placed. They should not be
partisans on either side, although to effect the object it will of
course be necessary that some of them should obtain (if they do not
already possess) the confidence of the friends of Mr. Dorr. You will
please communicate directly to me all the information you obtain, and
your own views of it.

It is scarcely necessary to say that this communication is of the most
private and confidential character, and is not to be made known to
anyone.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

J.C. SPENCER.



WAR DEPARTMENT, _May 29, 1842_.

Brigadier-General EUSTIS,

_Boston_.

SIR: The governor of Rhode Island has represented to the President that
preparations are making in other States (particularly in Massachusetts)
for an armed invasion of that State to support the usurpations of Mr.
Dorr and his friends and foment domestic insurrection. It is very
important that we should have accurate information on this subject, and
I have to desire you to take all necessary means to acquire it, and
communicate directly to me as speedily and frequently as possible. It is
said that 1,000 stand of arms have been procured in Boston, some pieces
of artillery, and a large quantity of camp equipage for the use of the
insurgents. Your attention to this is particularly desired to ascertain
its truth or falsehood. It is also said that there are 200 men enrolled
and embodied in a town upon the borders of Rhode Island, the name of
which has escaped me. Please inquire into this. If it becomes necessary
to employ confidential persons to discover what is doing, you will do
so, being careful to select those only that are entirely trustworthy;
and it will be desirable to avoid heated partisans on either side. Their
inquiries should be conducted quietly and privately.

I desire you to communicate fully and freely what you may learn and your
views concerning it for the information of the President and the
Department.

It is scarcely necessary to say that this communication is strictly
private and confidential.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

[J.C. SPENCER.]



NEW YORK, _June 3, 1842_.

The PRESIDENT.

MY DEAR SIR: I came to this city yesterday, having taken a severe cold
on the Sound, and am now just out of my bed. I transmit herewith a
letter from ----, a friend appointed by me, as you requested, to look
into the Rhode Island business. Mr. ---- has had access to authentic
sources in Governor Dorr's party, and I have no doubt his account of the
whole matter is perfectly just. I supposed I should receive the foreign
mail here, but I shall not wait for it if I should feel well enough to
travel to-morrow.

Yours, truly,

DANL. WEBSTER.



NEW YORK, _June 3, 1842_.

Hon. DANIEL WEBSTER,

_Secretary of State_.

DEAR SIR: In pursuance of the arrangement made when you were in Boston,
I have visited the State of Rhode Island, and, so far as could be done,
possessed myself of a knowledge of the existing state of things there.
I had a full and free interview with Governor King and his council, as
well as with several other gentlemen upon each side of the matter in
controversy. All agree that, so far as the people of Rhode Island are
concerned, there is no danger of any further armed resistance to the
legitimate authorities of the State. It was never intended, probably, by
the majority of those called the suffrage party to proceed in any event
to violence, and when they found themselves pushed to such an extremity
by their leaders they deserted their leaders and are now every day
enrolling themselves in the volunteer companies which are being
organized in every part of the State for the suppression of any further
insurrectionary movements that may be made. A large majority of those
elected or appointed to office under the people's constitution (so
called) have resigned their places and renounced all allegiance to that
constitution and the party which supports it, so that the insurgents are
now without any such organization as would enable them to carry out
their original purposes if they otherwise had the power.

Governor King and his council alone, of all the intelligent persons with
whom I consulted, fear an irruption upon them of an armed force to be
collected in other States, and this is the only difficulty of which they
now have any apprehension. This fear is excited by the boasts frequently
made by the few who still avow their determination to adhere to the
constitution that they have at their control large bodies of armed men,
as well as camp equipage, provisions, money, and munitions of war, which
have been provided for them in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York.
The supposition that Rhode Island is to be invaded by a foreign force,
when that force would neither be led nor followed by any considerable
number of the people of the State, does not seem, to say the least,
to be a very reasonable one. If those who think they are suffering
injustice are not disposed to make an effort to redress their supposed
wrongs, they would hardly expect the work to be done by others.

The ostensible object of the insurgents now is not the real one. They
meditate no further forcible proceedings. They bluster and threaten for
several reasons:

First. Because they suppose they shall thus break their fall a little
and render their retreat a little less inglorious than it would be if
they should beat it at once.

Second. They believe that if they keep up a shew of opposition to the
existing government they shall be more likely to revolutionize it by
peaceable measures; and

Third. They think they can make their influence so far felt as to
operate favorably upon those who are now under arrest for treason or who
may be hereafter arrested for the same offense.

That these are the views and purposes of the insurgents I am
confidentially assured by the notorious individual from whom I told you
I could learn their plans and designs; and no one has better means of
knowing than he, having been himself one of Mr. Dorr's confidential
advisers from the beginning.

The meeting at Woonsocket on the 1st did not amount to much, being but
thinly attended. The projected fortifications at that place have been
abandoned. It is said they will be thrown up in some other spot to be
designated hereafter, but this is not believed.

Mr. Dorr is now understood to be lurking in this city. Warrants have
been issued for his arrest both by the governor of this State and the
governor of Massachusetts, but he moves so privately and shifts his
whereabouts so often that he eludes his pursuers.

Under all the circumstances I think you will come to the opinion
entertained by seven-eighths of all the people of Providence (the scene
of his operations thus far) that, deserted by his followers at home and
disgraced in the estimation of those who sympathized with him abroad;
Mr. Dorr has it not in his power to do any further serious mischief.

Yours, very truly,

---- ----.



PROVIDENCE, R.I., _June 22, 1842_.

Hon. J.C. SPENCER,

_Secretary of War_.

SIR: When I last had the honor to write to you I felt confident that
there would be no further disturbance of the peace in this State.
Governor King was of the same opinion. But I now fear, from strong
indications, that Mr. Dorr and his party are determined to enter the
State in force, and that in a few days serious difficulties will arise.

On my arrival here this morning from Newport, on my way to New York,
I learnt from undoubted authority that several large boxes of muskets,
supposed to contain about eighty, were received the evening before last
at Woonsocket from New York; that several mounted cannon had been also
received there and forwarded on to Chepachet; that a number of men, not
citizens of the State, with arms, were in and about Woonsocket and
Chepachet; that forty-eight kegs of powder were stolen on Sunday night
last from a powder house in this neighborhood, and that Dorr, with about
twenty men, landed last evening at Norwich.

An unsuccessful attempt was made two nights ago to steal the guns of the
artillery company at Warren, and at several other places where guns had
been deposited by the State, by some of Dorr's men, one of whom has been
identified and arrested.

It has been observed for several days past that many of the suffrage
party and residents of this city have been sending off their families
and effects. The inhabitants of the city are seriously alarmed and in a
state of much excitement. An express to convey the above intelligence to
Governor King at Newport will be immediately sent down by the mayor of
the city.

I shall be in New York early to-morrow morning ready to receive any
instructions you may think proper to honor me with.

I have been compelled to write this in haste.

I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,

JAS. BANKHEAD,
  _Colonel Second Regiment Artillery_.



CITY OF PROVIDENCE, MAYOR'S OFFICE,

_June 23,1842_.

SIR:[121] Governor King, having gone to Newport this afternoon, has
requested me to forward his letter to Your Excellency, with such
depositions as I could procure concerning the state of affairs in
the north part of the State. These documents will be taken on by the
Hon. William Sprague, our Senator, who intends leaving to-night for
Washington. Should any accident prevent Mr. Sprague from going, I shall
forward them to be put in the mail. I inclose the depositions[122] of
Messrs. Samuel W. Peckham and Charles I. Harris. Messrs. Keep and
Shelley, whom I sent out, have just returned. If I can get their
depositions in time, I shall also forward them.

[Footnote 121: Addressed to the President of the United States.]

[Footnote 122: Omitted.]

About 11 a.m. this day a body marched from Woonsocket to Chepachet
amounting to 90 men, and other small bodies are marching in that
direction, so that I suppose that about 400 will be concentrated at
Chepachet this evening.

In this city there is much excitement, but no symptoms as yet of men
gathering with arms. There are many who I fear will be ready to join
in any mischief should Dorr's forces approach us. Up to 8 o'clock this
morning Mr. Dorr was in Connecticut, but a gentleman from Chepachet
informs me his friends expect him this day.

I remain, with great respect, your obedient servant,

THOS. M. BURGESS,
  _Mayor_.



EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT,

_Providence, June 23, 1842_.

His Excellency JOHN TYLER,

_President of the United States_.

SIR: After my last communication the excitement and military operations
of the insurgents against the government of this State appeared to
subside, and I indulged hopes that no open violence would be attempted,
but that they were disposed to await the action of the general assembly,
now in session at Newport. I regret that I am obliged to inform Your
Excellency that within a few days past appearances have become more
alarming. Several iron cannon have been stolen from citizens of
Providence, and during the night of the 19th a powder house, owned by a
merchant of Providence, was broken open and about 1,200 pounds of powder
stolen therefrom. Yesterday the military operations of the insurgents
became more decided in their character. At Woonsocket and Chepachet
there were gatherings of men in military array, pretending to act under
the authority of Thomas W. Dorr. They established a kind of martial law
in those villages, stopped peaceable citizens in the highways, and at
Chepachet four citizens of Providence were seized by an armed force,
pinioned, and compelled to march about 10 miles under a guard of about
forty men to Woonsocket, where they were cruelly treated under pretense
of being spies. The insurgents are provided with cannon, tents,
ammunition, and stores.

It is ascertained that Thomas W. Dorr has returned from the city of New
York to the State of Connecticut, and I have reason to believe he will
be at Chepachet this day, where he will concentrate what forces he has
already under arms with such others as he can collect. Those already
assembled are composed of citizens of other States as well as of our
own, and are variously estimated at 500 to 1,000 men.

I have this morning had an interview with Colonel Bankhead, who will
communicate to the War Department such facts as have come to his
knowledge. I would further state to Your Excellency that in those
villages and their vicinity the civil authority is disregarded and
paralyzed.

Under these circumstances I respectfully submit to Your Excellency that
the crisis has arrived when the aid demanded by the legislature of the
State from the Federal Government is imperatively required to furnish
that protection to our citizens from domestic violence which is
guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

I confidently trust that Your Excellency will adopt such measures as
will afford us prompt and efficient relief.

I remain, with great consideration, your obedient servant,

SAM. W. KING.



WASHINGTON, _June 25, 1842_.

Governor KING.

SIR: Your letter of the 23d instant was this day received by the hands
of Governor Sprague, together with the documents accompanying the same.
Your excellency has unintentionally overlooked the fact that the
legislature of Rhode Island is now in session. The act of Congress gives
to the Executive of the United States no power to summon to the aid of
the State the military force of the United States unless an application
shall be made by the legislature if in session; and that the State
executive can not make such application except when the legislature can
not be convened. (See act of Congress, February 28, 1795.)

I presume that your excellency has been led into the error of making
this application (the legislature of the State being in session at the
date of your dispatch) from a misapprehension of the true import of my
letter of 7th May last. I lose no time in correcting such
misapprehension if it exist.

Should the legislature of Rhode Island deem it proper to make a
similar application to that addressed to me by your excellency, their
communication shall receive all the attention which will be justly due
to the high source from which such application shall emanate.

I renew to your excellency assurances of high consideration.

J. TYLER.



PROVIDENCE, R.I., _June 23, 1842_.

Hon. JOHN C. SPENCER,

_Secretary of War_.

SIR: I addressed you yesterday afternoon in great haste, that my letter
might go by the mail (then about being closed), to inform you of the
sudden change in the aspect of affairs in this State, and also to inform
you that I should be this morning at Governors Island, New York.

At the urgent solicitation of Governor King, who crossed over from
Newport to Stonington to intercept me on the route, I returned last
night to this place from Stonington, having proceeded so far on my way
to New York.

In addition to what I stated in my letter yesterday, I learn from
Governor King (who has just called on me) that four citizens of this
city who had gone to Chepachet to ascertain what was going on there were
arrested as spies by the insurgents, bound, and sent last night to
Woonsocket, where they were confined when his informer left there at
8 o'clock this morning; also that martial law had been proclaimed by the
insurgents at Woonsocket and Chepachet, and no one was allowed to enter
or depart from either place without permission.

The citizens of this city are in a state of intense excitement.

I shall return to-morrow to Newport to await any instructions you may be
pleased to favor me with.

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

JAS. BANKHEAD,
  _Colonel Second Regiment Artillery_.



PROVIDENCE, R.I., _June 23, 1842_.

Brigadier-General R. JONES,

_Adjutant-General United States Army_.

SIR: I left Newport yesterday morning to return to Fort Columbus, with
the belief that my presence could no longer be necessary for the purpose
I had been ordered there for. The legislature was in session, and, as I
was well assured, determined honestly and faithfully to adopt measures
to meet the wishes of the citizens of this State to form a constitution
on such liberal principles as to insure full satisfaction to all
patriotic and intelligent men who had any interest in the welfare of
the State. The well-known intention of the legislature in this respect
would, I hoped and believed, reconcile the factious and produce
tranquillity. But the aspect of affairs has suddenly become more
threatening and alarming. There is an assemblage of men at Woonsocket
and Chepachet, two small villages (say 15 miles distant hence) on the
borders of Connecticut, composed principally of strangers or persons
from other States. They have recently received 75 muskets from Boston
and 80 from New York, in addition to former supplies. They have also
several mounted cannon and a large quantity of ammunition, 48 kegs of
which they stole from a powder house not far distant from this, the
property of a manufacturer of powder. Dorr, it is supposed, joined his
party at one of the above-named places the night before last; he has
certainly returned from New York and passed through Norwich. His
_concentrated_ forces are variously estimated at from 500 to 1,000 men.

I had proceeded thus far yesterday afternoon on my return to New York,
and had taken my seat in the cars for Stonington, when an express from
Governor King, who was at Newport, overtook me, to request that I would
not leave the State; too late, however, for me then to stop here, as
the cars were just moving off. On getting to Stonington I there found
Governor King, who had crossed over from Newport to intercept me, and
at his solicitation I at once returned with him last night in an extra
car to this place. Not then having a moment's time to write you, as the
steamboat left immediately on the arrival of the cars at Stonington,
I sent my adjutant on in the boat with directions to report to you the
fact and the cause of my return.

I had written thus far when the governor called on me, and has informed
me that four citizens of this State, who had gone to Chepachet to
ascertain the exact state of affairs there, were arrested as spies,
bound, and sent last night to Woonsocket, where two hours ago they were
still in confinement. Martial law has been declared in Chepachet and
Woonsocket, and no one allowed to enter or depart without permission.
I yesterday afternoon wrote to the Secretary of War (as I had been
directed), in great haste, however, to send by the mail, to inform him
of the sudden change in the aspect of affairs here; in which letter
I stated that I should be at Governors Island this morning. As I, of
course, then did not contemplate to the contrary, I beg you will do me
the favor to acquaint him with the cause of my return.

I can only add that the citizens of this place are in a state of intense
anxiety and excitement. I remain here to-day at the special request of
several who have just left me. To-morrow I shall return to Newport to
await any communication from you.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAS. BANKHEAD,
  _Colonel Second Regiment Artillery_.



PROVIDENCE, R.I., _June 27, 1842_.

SIR:[123] As there was no mail yesterday from this, I could make no
report to the Major-General Commanding of the military movements in
this quarter up to that time. Since my last letter to you most of the
volunteers and other military companies called out by the governor
have assembled here to the amount of about 2,000 men. The force of the
insurgents under the immediate direction of Mr. Dorr, and concentrated
at Chepachet, is estimated at from 800 to 1,000 men armed with muskets,
about 1,500 without arms, and 10 or 12 cannon mounted.

[Footnote 123: Addressed to Brigadier-General R. Jones, Adjutant-General
United States Army.]

It seems to be impossible to avoid a conflict between the contending
parties without the interposition of a strong regular force.

The State force here can defend this city, and it might successfully
attack the insurgent force at Chepachet; but there would be danger in
leaving the city without adequate means of protection to it, as there is
doubtless a large number within the city with concealed arms ready to
commence hostilities.

The position taken by Dorr's troops at Chepachet is naturally strong,
and has been much strengthened by intrenchments, etc. It would therefore
be highly imprudent to make the attack, even if no secret foes were left
behind within the city, without a positive certainty of success; and
with the aid of a few disciplined troops a defeat there would be ruinous
and irreparable.

A force of 300 regular troops would insure success, and probably without
bloodshed.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAS. BANKHEAD,
  _Colonel Second Regiment Artillery_.



WASHINGTON, _June 27, 1842_.

The PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

SIR: The intelligence from Rhode Island since the call was made on you
by the Senators from that State is of a character still more serious
and urgent than that then communicated to you by Mr. Sprague, who was
charged with communications to Your Excellency from Governor King. We
are informed that a requisition was made upon the Government of the
United States by the governor of Rhode Island, pursuant to resolutions
passed by the general assembly of that State when in session in May
last, calling for a proclamation against those engaged in an armed
rebellion against the government of Rhode Island and for military aid in
suppressing the same; that Your Excellency replied to Governor King that
in the opinion of the Executive the force arrayed against the government
of the State was not then such as to warrant immediate action on his
part, but that Your Excellency in your reply proceeded to say: "If an
exigency of lawless violence shall actually arise, the executive
government of the United States, on the application of your excellency
under the authority of the resolutions of the legislature already
submitted, will stand ready to succor the authorities of the State in
their efforts to maintain a due respect for the laws." Whereby it was
understood that in the event of the assembling of such an armed force as
would require the interference contemplated by the Constitution and laws
of the United States the Executive of the United States, upon being duly
notified of the fact by the governor of the State, would act upon the
requisition already made by the legislature without further action on
the part of that body.

We understand that upon this notice being given through the
communications handed you by Mr. Sprague on Saturday, containing proof
of the existence and array of a large body of armed men within the State
of Rhode Island, who had already committed acts of lawless violence,
both by depredating largely upon property in various parts of the
State and by capturing and confining citizens, as well as owning and
manifesting a determination to attack the constituted authorities, you
considered that it was desirable that this communication should have
been accompanied with a further resolution of the general assembly
authorizing the governor to act in this instance, from the fact that
the assembly was then in session by adjournment.

It is the purpose of this communication respectfully to state that we
conceive the existing circumstances call for the immediate action of the
Executive upon the information and papers now in its possession.

The meeting of the legislature during the last week was by adjournment.
It is in law regarded as the May session of the general assembly, and
can be regarded in no other light than if it had been a continuous
session of that body held from day to day by usual adjournments. Had
this last been the case, it can not be conceived that new action on its
part would have been required to give notice of any movements of hostile
forces engaged in the same enterprise which was made known to the
Executive by its resolutions of May last.

Our intelligence authorizes us to believe that a multitude of
lawless and violent men, not citizens of Rhode Island, but inhabitants
of other States, wickedly induced by pay and by hopes of spoil, and
perhaps instigated also by motives arising from exasperation on the
part of their instigators and of themselves at the course heretofore
indicated in this matter by the executive government of the Union, have
congregated themselves and are daily increasing their numbers within the
borders of our State, organized, armed, and arrayed in open war upon the
State authorities, and ready to be led, and avowedly about to be led,
to the attack of the principal city of the State as part of the same
original plan to overthrow the government, and that in the prosecution
of this plan our citizens have reason to apprehend the most desperate
and reckless assaults of ruffianly violence upon their property, their
habitations, and their lives.

We beg leave to refer you, in addition, to a letter which we understand
was received yesterday by General Scott from Colonel Bankhead, detailing
some information in his possession.

We therefore respectfully request an immediate compliance on the part
of the Executive with the requisition communicated in the papers from
Governor King, as the most effectual, and, in our opinion, the only
measure that can now prevent the effusion of blood and the calamities
of intestine violence, if each has not already occurred.

We are, with the highest respect, Your Excellency's obedient servants,

JAMES F. SIMMONS.
  WM. SPRAGUE.
    JOSEPH L. TILLINGHAST.



WASHINGTON, _June 29,1842_.

The Secretary Of War.

SIR: From the official communication of Colonel Bankhead to you, this
day laid before me, it is evident that the difficulties in Rhode Island
have arrived at a crisis which may require a prompt interposition of
the Executive of the United States to prevent the effusion of blood.
From the correspondence already had with the governor of Rhode Island
I have reason to expect that a requisition will be immediately made
by the government of that State for the assistance guaranteed by the
Constitution to protect its citizens from domestic violence. With a view
to ascertain the true condition of things and to render the assistance
of this Government (if any shall be required) as prompt as may be, you
are instructed to proceed to Rhode Island, and, in the event of a
requisition being made upon the President in conformity with the laws of
the United States, you will cause the proclamation herewith delivered
to be published. And should circumstances in your opinion render it
necessary, you will also call upon the governors of Massachusetts and
Connecticut, or either of them, for such number and description of the
militia of their respective States as may be sufficient to terminate at
once the insurrection in Rhode Island. And in the meantime the troops
in the vicinity of Providence may with propriety be placed in such
positions as will enable them to defend that city from assault.

JOHN TYLER.




BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas the legislature of the State of Rhode Island has applied to
the President of the United States setting forth the existence of
a dangerous insurrection in that State, composed partly of deluded
citizens of the State, but chiefly of intruders of dangerous and
abandoned character coming from other States, and requiring the
immediate interposition of the constitutional power vested in him to be
exercised in such cases, I do issue this my proclamation, according to
law, hereby commanding all insurgents and all persons connected with
said insurrection to disperse and retire peaceably to their respective
abodes within twenty-four hours from the time when this proclamation
shall be made public in Rhode Island.

In testimony whereof I have caused the seal of the United States to be
hereunto affixed, and signed the same with my hand.

Done at the city of Washington this ---- day of ---- A.D. 1842, and of
the Independence of the United States the sixty-sixth.

[L.S.] JOHN TYLER.

By the President:
  DANL. WEBSTER,
    _Secretary of State_.



WASHINGTON, _April 22, 1844_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith, for your approval and ratification, a treaty which
I have caused to be negotiated between the United States and Texas,
whereby the latter, on the conditions therein set forth, has transferred
and conveyed all its right of separate and independent sovereignty and
jurisdiction to the United States. In taking so important a step I have
been influenced by what appeared to me to be the most controlling
considerations of public policy and the general good, and in having
accomplished it, should it meet with your approval, the Government will
have succeeded in reclaiming a territory which formerly constituted a
portion, as it is confidently believed, of its domain under the treaty
of cession of 1803 by France to the United States.

The country thus proposed to be annexed has been settled principally
by persons from the United States, who emigrated on the invitation
of both Spain and Mexico, and who carried with them into the wilderness
which they have partially reclaimed the laws, customs, and political
and domestic institutions of their native land. They are deeply
indoctrinated in all the principles of civil liberty, and will bring
along with them in the act of reassociation devotion to our Union and
a firm and inflexible resolution to assist in maintaining the public
liberty unimpaired--a consideration which, as it appears to me, is to be
regarded as of no small moment. The country itself thus obtained is of
incalculable value in an agricultural and commercial point of view. To a
soil of inexhaustible fertility it unites a genial and healthy climate,
and is destined at a day not distant to make large contributions to the
commerce of the world. Its territory is separated from the United States
in part by an imaginary line, and by the river Sabine for a distance
of 310 miles, and its productions are the same with those of many of
the contiguous States of the Union. Such is the country, such are its
inhabitants, and such its capacities to add to the general wealth of the
Union. As to the latter, it may be safely asserted that in the magnitude
of its productions it will equal in a short time, under the protecting
care of this Government, if it does not surpass, the combined production
of many of the States of the Confederacy. A new and powerful impulse
will thus be given to the navigating interest of the country, which will
be chiefly engrossed by our fellow-citizens of the Eastern and Middle
States, who have already attained a remarkable degree of prosperity by
the partial monopoly they have enjoyed of the carrying trade of the
Union, particularly the coastwise trade, which this new acquisition is
destined in time, and that not distant, to swell to a magnitude which
can not easily be computed, while the addition made to the boundaries
of the home market thus secured to their mining, manufacturing, and
mechanical skill and industry will be of a character the most commanding
and important. Such are some of the many advantages which will
accrue to the Eastern and Middle States by the ratification of the
treaty--advantages the extent of which it is impossible to estimate with
accuracy or properly to appreciate. Texas, being adapted to the culture
of cotton, sugar, and rice, and devoting most of her energies to the
raising of these productions, will open an extensive market to the
Western States in the important articles of beef, pork, horses, mules,
etc., as well as in breadstuffs. At the same time, the Southern and
Southeastern States will find in the fact of annexation protection and
security to their peace and tranquillity, as well against all domestic
as foreign efforts to disturb them, thus consecrating anew the union of
the States and holding out the promise of its perpetual duration. Thus,
at the same time that the tide of public prosperity is greatly swollen,
an appeal of what appears to the Executive to be of an imposing, if not
of a resistless, character is made to the interests of every portion of
the country. Agriculture, which would have a new and extensive market
opened for its produce; commerce, whose ships would be freighted with
the rich productions of an extensive and fertile region; and the
mechanical arts, in all their various ramifications, would seem to
unite in one universal demand for the ratification of the treaty. But
important as these considerations may appear, they are to be regarded
as but secondary to others. Texas, for reasons deemed sufficient by
herself, threw off her dependence on Mexico as far back as 1836, and
consummated her independence by the battle of San Jacinto in the same
year, since which period Mexico has attempted no serious invasion of her
territory, but the contest has assumed features of a mere border war,
characterized by acts revolting to humanity. In the year 1836 Texas
adopted her constitution, under which she has existed as a sovereign
power ever since, having been recognized as such by many of the
principal powers of the world; and contemporaneously with its adoption,
by a solemn vote of her people, embracing all her population but
ninety-three persons, declared her anxious desire to be admitted into
association with the United States as a portion of their territory.
This vote, thus solemnly taken, has never been reversed, and now by the
action of her constituted authorities, sustained as it is by popular
sentiment, she reaffirms her desire for annexation. This course has been
adopted by her without the employment of any sinister measures on the
part of this Government. No intrigue has been set on foot to accomplish
it. Texas herself wills it, and the Executive of the United States,
concurring with her, has seen no sufficient reason to avoid the
consummation of an act esteemed to be so desirable by both. It can
not be denied that Texas is greatly depressed in her energies by her
long-protracted war with Mexico. Under these circumstances it is but
natural that she should seek for safety and repose under the protection
of some stronger power, and it is equally so that her people should turn
to the United States, the land of their birth, in the first instance in
the pursuit of such protection. She has often before made known her
wishes, but her advances have to this time been repelled. The Executive
of the United States sees no longer any cause for pursuing such a
course. The hazard of now defeating her wishes may be of the most fatal
tendency. It might lead, and most probably would, to such an entire
alienation of sentiment and feeling as would inevitably induce her to
look elsewhere for aid, and force her either to enter into dangerous
alliances with other nations, who, looking with more wisdom to their
own interests, would, it is fairly to be presumed, readily adopt such
expedients; or she would hold out the proffer of discriminating duties
in trade and commerce in order to secure the necessary assistance.
Whatever step she might adopt looking to this object would prove
disastrous in the highest degree to the interests of the whole Union.
To say nothing of the impolicy of our permitting the carrying trade
and home market of such a country to pass out of our hands into those
of a commercial rival, the Government, in the first place, would be
certain to suffer most disastrously in its revenue by the introduction
of a system of smuggling upon an extensive scale, which an army of
custom-house officers could not prevent, and which would operate to
affect injuriously the interests of all the industrial classes of this
country. Hence would arise constant collisions between the inhabitants
of the two countries, which would evermore endanger their peace. A large
increase of the military force of the United States would inevitably
follow, thus devolving upon the people new and extraordinary burdens in
order not only to protect them from the danger of daily collision with
Texas herself, but to guard their border inhabitants against hostile
inroads, so easily excited on the part of the numerous and warlike
tribes of Indians dwelling in their neighborhood. Texas would
undoubtedly be unable for many years to come, if at any time, to resist
unaided and alone the military power of the United States; but it is not
extravagant to suppose that nations reaping a rich harvest from her
trade, secured to them by advantageous treaties, would be induced to
take part with her in any conflict with us, from the strongest
considerations of public policy. Such a state of things might subject
to devastation the territory of contiguous States, and would cost the
country in a single campaign more treasure, thrice told over, than is
stipulated to be paid and reimbursed by the treaty now proposed for
ratification. I will not permit myself to dwell on this view of the
subject. Consequences of a fatal character to the peace of the Union,
and even to the preservation of the Union itself, might be dwelt upon.
They will not, however, fail to occur to the mind of the Senate and of
the country. Nor do I indulge in any vague conjectures of the future.
The documents now transmitted along with the treaty lead to the
conclusion, as inevitable, that if the boon now tendered be rejected
Texas will seek for the friendship of others. In contemplating such a
contingency it can not be overlooked that the United States are already
almost surrounded by the possessions of European powers. The Canadas,
New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, the islands in the American seas, with
Texas trammeled by treaties of alliance or of a commercial character
differing in policy from that of the United States, would complete the
circle. Texas voluntarily steps forth, upon terms of perfect honor and
good faith to all nations, to ask to be annexed to the Union. As an
independent sovereignty her right to do this is unquestionable. In
doing so she gives no cause of umbrage to any other power; her people
desire it, and there is no slavish transfer of her sovereignty and
independence. She has for eight years maintained her independence
against all efforts to subdue her. She has been recognized as
independent by many of the most prominent of the family of nations,
and that recognition, so far as they are concerned, places her in
a position, without giving any just cause of umbrage to them, to
surrender her sovereignty at her own will and pleasure. The United
States, actuated evermore by a spirit of justice, has desired by the
stipulations of the treaty to render justice to all. They have made
provision for the payment of the public debt of Texas. We look to her
ample and fertile domain as the certain means of accomplishing this; but
this is a matter between the United States and Texas, and with which
other Governments have nothing to do. Our right to receive the rich
grant tendered by Texas is perfect, and this Government should not,
having due respect either to its own honor or its own interests, permit
its course of policy to be interrupted by the interference of other
powers, even if such interference were threatened. The question is one
purely American. In the acquisition, while we abstain most carefully
from all that could interrupt the public peace, we claim the right to
exercise a due regard to our own. This Government can not consistently
with its honor permit any such interference. With equal, if not greater,
propriety might the United States demand of other governments to
surrender their numerous and valuable acquisitions made in past time at
numberless places on the surface of the globe, whereby they have added
to their power and enlarged their resources.

To Mexico the Executive is disposed to pursue a course conciliatory in
its character and at the same time to render her the most ample justice
by conventions and stipulations not inconsistent with the rights and
dignity of the Government. It is actuated by no spirit of unjust
aggrandizement, but looks only to its own security. It has made known to
Mexico at several periods its extreme anxiety to witness the termination
of hostilities between that country and Texas. Its wishes, however, have
been entirely disregarded. It has ever been ready to urge an adjustment
of the dispute upon terms mutually advantageous to both. It will be
ready at all times to hear and discuss any claims Mexico may think she
has on the justice of the United States and to adjust any that may be
deemed to be so on the most liberal terms. There is no desire on the
part of the Executive to wound her pride or affect injuriously her
interest, but at the same time it can not compromit by any delay in its
action the essential interests of the United States. Mexico has no right
to ask or expect this of us; we deal rightfully with Texas as an
independent power. The war which has been waged for eight years has
resulted only in the conviction with all others than herself that Texas
can not be reconquered. I can not but repeat the opinion expressed in my
message at the opening of Congress that it is time it had ceased. The
Executive, while it could not look upon its longer continuance without
the greatest uneasiness, has, nevertheless, for all past time preserved
a course of strict neutrality. It could not be ignorant of the fact of
the exhaustion which a war of so long a duration had produced. Least of
all was it ignorant of the anxiety of other powers to induce Mexico to
enter into terms of reconciliation with Texas, which, affecting the
domestic institutions of Texas, would operate most injuriously upon the
United States and might most seriously threaten the existence of this
happy Union. Nor could it be unacquainted with the fact that although
foreign governments might disavow all design to disturb the relations
which exist under the Constitution between these States, yet that one,
the most powerful amongst them, had not failed to declare its marked
and decided hostility to the chief feature in those relations and its
purpose on all suitable occasions to urge upon Mexico the adoption of
such a course in negotiating with Texas as to produce the obliteration
of that feature from her domestic policy as one of the conditions of her
recognition by Mexico as an independent state. The Executive was also
aware of the fact that formidable associations of persons, the subjects
of foreign powers, existed, who were directing their utmost efforts
to the accomplishment of this object. To these conclusions it was
inevitably brought by the documents now submitted to the Senate.
I repeat, the Executive saw Texas in a state of almost hopeless
exhaustion, and the question was narrowed down to the simple proposition
whether the United States should accept the boon of annexation upon fair
and even liberal terms, or, by refusing to do so, force Texas to seek
refuge in the arms of some other power, either through a treaty of
alliance, offensive and defensive, or the adoption of some other
expedient which might virtually make her tributary to such power and
dependent upon it for all future time. The Executive has full reason to
believe that such would have been the result without its interposition,
and that such will be the result in the event either of unnecessary
delay in the ratification or of the rejection of the proposed treaty.

In full view, then, of the highest public duty, and as a measure of
security against evils incalculably great, the Executive has entered
into the negotiation, the fruits of which are now submitted to the
Senate. Independent of the urgent reasons which existed for the step
it has taken, it might safely invoke the fact (which it confidently
believes) that there exists no civilized government on earth having a
voluntary tender made it of a domain so rich and fertile, so replete
with all that can add to national greatness and wealth, and so necessary
to its peace and safety that would reject the offer. Nor are other
powers, Mexico inclusive, likely in any degree to be injuriously
affected by the ratification of the treaty. The prosperity of Texas
will be equally interesting to all; in the increase of the general
commerce of the world that prosperity will be secured by annexation.

But one view of the subject remains to be presented. It grows out of the
proposed enlargement of our territory. From this, I am free to confess,
I see no danger. The federative system is susceptible of the greatest
extension compatible with the ability of the representation of the most
distant State or Territory to reach the seat of Government in time to
participate in the functions of legislation and to make known the wants
of the constituent body. Our confederated Republic consisted originally
of thirteen members. It now consists of twice that number, while
applications are before Congress to permit other additions. This
addition of new States has served to strengthen rather than to weaken
the Union. New interests have sprung up, which require the united power
of all, through the action of the common Government, to protect and
defend upon the high seas and in foreign parts. Each State commits with
perfect security to that common Government those great interests growing
out of our relations with other nations of the world, and which equally
involve the good of all the States. Its domestic concerns are left to
its own exclusive management. But if there were any force in the
objection it would seem to require an immediate abandonment of
territorial possessions which lie in the distance and stretch to a
far-off sea, and yet no one would be found, it is believed, ready to
recommend such an abandonment. Texas lies at our very doors and in our
immediate vicinity.

Under every view which I have been able to take of the subject, I think
that the interests of our common constituents, the people of all the
States, and a love of the Union left the Executive no other alternative
than to negotiate the treaty. The high and solemn duty of ratifying or
rejecting it is wisely devolved on the Senate by the Constitution of the
United States.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _April 22, 1844_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith an additional article to the treaty of extradition
lately concluded between the Governments of France and the United
States, for your approval and ratification. The reason upon which it is
founded is explained on the face of the article and in the letter from
Mr. Pageot which accompanies this communication.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _April 26, 1844_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 22d instant,
requesting the President to communicate to that body any communication,
papers, or maps in possession of this Government specifying the
southern, southwestern, and western boundaries of Texas, I transmit
a map of Texas and the countries adjacent, compiled in the Bureau of
Topographical Engineers, under the direction of Colonel J.J. Abert,
by Lieutenant U.E. Emory, of that Corps, and also a memoir upon the
subject by the same officer.

JOHN TYLER.



_To the Senate of the United States_:

In my annual message at the commencement of the present session of
Congress I informed the two Houses that instructions had been given
by the Executive to the United States envoy at Berlin to negotiate
a commercial treaty with the States composing the Germanic Customs
Union for a reduction of the duties on tobacco and other agricultural
productions of the United States, in exchange for concessions on our
part in relation to certain articles of export the product of the skill
and industry of those countries. I now transmit a treaty which proposes
to carry into effect the views and intentions thus previously expressed
and declared, accompanied by two dispatches from Mr. Wheaton, our
minister at Berlin. This is believed to be the first instance in which
the attempt has proved successful to obtain a reduction of the heavy and
onerous duties to which American tobacco is subject in foreign markets,
and, taken in connection with the greatly reduced duties on rice and
lard and the free introduction of raw cotton, for which the treaty
provides, I can not but anticipate from its ratification important
benefits to the great agricultural, commercial, and navigating interests
of the United States. The concessions on our part relate to articles
which are believed not to enter injuriously into competition with the
manufacturing interest of the United States, while a country of great
extent and embracing a population of 28,000,000 human beings will more
thoroughly than heretofore be thrown open to the commercial enterprise
of our fellow-citizens.

Inasmuch as the provisions of the treaty come to some extent in conflict
with existing laws, it is my intention, should it receive your approval
and ratification, to communicate a copy of it to the House of
Representatives, in order that that House may take such action upon it
as it may deem necessary to give efficiency to its provisions.

JOHN TYLER.

APRIL 29, 1844



WASHINGTON, _April 29, 1844_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I herewith transmit to the Senate, with reference to my message of
the 22d instant, the copy of a recent correspondence[124] between the
Department of State and the minister of Her Britannic Majesty in this
country.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 124: With reference to the annexation of Texas.]



WASHINGTON, _April 29, 1844_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate a report of the Secretary of War, prepared
in compliance with the request contained in a resolution of the 10th
instant.[125]

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 125: Proceedings under act of March 3, 1843, for the relief
of the Stockbridge tribe of Indians in the Territory of Wisconsin.]



WASHINGTON, _May 1, 1844_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith a dispatch from the British minister, addressed to
the Secretary of State, bearing date the 30th April, in reply to the
letter of the Secretary of State of the 27th April, which has already
been communicated to the Senate, having relation to the Texas treaty.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _May 3, 1844_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 29th ultimo, requesting
a copy of additional papers upon the subject of the relations between
the United States and the Republic of Texas, I transmit a report from
the Secretary of State and the documents by which it was accompanied.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _May 6, 1844_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I herewith transmit the accompanying correspondence, relating to the
treaty recently concluded by the minister of the United States at Berlin
with the States comprising the Zollverein.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _May 6, 1844_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit to the House of Representatives a report[126] of the Secretary
of War, prepared as requested by the resolution of the House of the 18th
of January last.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 126: Transmitting lists of persons employed by the War
Department since March 4, 1837, without express authority of law, etc.]



WASHINGTON, _May 6, 1844_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith a report and accompanying documents from the
Secretary of War, containing all the information that can be now
furnished by that Department, in answer to the resolution of the House
of Representatives of the 18th of January, respecting the allowance of
claims previously rejected.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _May 7, 1844_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for its consideration with a view to
ratification, a postal convention between the United States and the
Republic of New Granada, signed in the city of Bogota on the 6th of
March last.

In order that the Senate may better understand the objects of the
convention and the motives which have made those objects desirable
on the part of the United States, I also transmit a copy of a
correspondence between the Department of State and the chairman of the
Committee on Commerce in the Senate, and between the same Department and
Mr. Blackford, the charge d'affaires of the United States at Bogota, who
concluded the convention on the part of this Government.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _May 10, 1844_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I deem it proper to transmit the accompanying dispatch, recently
received from the United States envoy at London, having reference to the
treaty now before the Senate lately negotiated by Mr. Wheaton, our envoy
at Berlin, with the Zollverein.

I will not withhold the expression of my full assent to the views
expressed by Mr. Everett in his conference with Lord Aberdeen.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _May 10, 1844_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I communicate to Congress a letter from the Imaum of Muscat and a
translation of it, together with sundry other papers, by which it will
be perceived that His Highness has been pleased again to offer to the
United States a present of Arabian horses. These animals will be in
Washington in a short time, and will be disposed of in such manner as
Congress may think proper to direct.

JOHN TYLER.


WASHINGTON, _May 11, 1844_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I herewith communicate to the Senate, for its consideration, two
conventions concluded by the minister of the United States at
Berlin--the one with the Kingdom of Wurtemberg, dated on the 10th day of
April, and the other with the Grand Duchy of Hesse, dated on the 26th
day of March, 1844--for the mutual abolition of the _droit d'aubaine_
and the _droit de detraction_ between those Governments and the United
States, and I communicate with the conventions copies of the
correspondence necessary to explain the reasons for concluding them.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _May 15, 1844_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 13th instant,
requesting to be informed "whether, since the commencement of the
negotiations which resulted in the treaty now before the Senate for the
annexation of Texas to the United States, any military preparation has
been made or ordered by the President for or in anticipation of war,
and, if so, for what cause, and with whom was such war apprehended,
and what are the preparations that have been made or ordered; has any
movement or assemblage or disposition of any of the military or naval
forces of the United States been made or ordered with a view to such
hostilities; and to communicate to the Senate copies of all orders or
directions given for any such preparation or for any such movement or
disposition or for the future conduct of such military or naval forces,"
I have to inform the Senate that, in consequence of the declaration of
Mexico communicated to this Government and by me laid before Congress
at the opening of its present session, announcing the determination
of Mexico to regard as a declaration of war against her by the United
States the definitive ratification of any treaty with Texas annexing the
territory of that Republic to the United States, and the hope and belief
entertained by the Executive that the treaty with Texas for that purpose
would be speedily approved and ratified by the Senate, it was regarded
by the Executive to have become emphatically its duty to concentrate
in the Gulf of Mexico and its vicinity, as a precautionary measure,
as large a portion of the home squadron, under the command of Captain
Conner, as could well be drawn together, and at the same time to
assemble at Fort Jesup, on the borders of Texas, as large a military
force as the demands of the service at other encampments would authorize
to be detached. For the number of ships already in the Gulf and the
waters contiguous thereto and such as are placed under orders for that
destination, and of troops now assembled upon the frontier, I refer you
to the accompanying reports from the Secretaries of the War and Navy
Departments. It will also be perceived by the Senate, by referring to
the orders of the Navy Department which are herewith transmitted, that
the naval officer in command of the fleet is directed to cause his ships
to perform all the duties of a fleet of observation and to apprise the
Executive of any indication of a hostile design upon Texas on the part
of any nation pending the deliberations of the Senate upon the treaty,
with a view that the same should promptly be submitted to Congress for
its mature deliberation. At the same time, it is due to myself that
I should declare it as my opinion that the United States having by the
treaty of annexation acquired a title to Texas which requires only the
action of the Senate to perfect it, no other power could be permitted
to invade and by force of arms to possess itself of any portion of the
territory of Texas pending your deliberations upon the treaty without
placing itself in an hostile attitude to the United States and
justifying the employment of any military means at our disposal to drive
back the invasion. At the same time, it is my opinion that Mexico of
any other power will find in your approval of the treaty no just cause
of war against the United States, nor do I believe that there is any
serious hazard of war to be found in the fact of such approval.
Nevertheless, every proper measure will be resorted to by the Executive
to preserve upon an honorable and just basis the public peace by
reconciling Mexico, through a liberal course of policy, to the treaty.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _May 15, 1844_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 13th instant,
requesting to be informed "whether a messenger has been sent to Mexico
with a view to obtain her consent to the treaty with Texas, and, if so,
to communicate to the Senate a copy of the dispatches of which he is
bearer and a copy of the instructions given to said messenger; and also
to inform the Senate within what time said messenger is expected to
return," I have to say that no messenger has been sent to Mexico in
order to obtain her assent to the treaty with Texas, it not being
regarded by the Executive as in any degree requisite to obtain such
consent in order (should the Senate ratify the treaty) to perfect the
title of the United States to the territory thus acquired, the title to
the same being full and perfect without the assent of any third power.
The Executive has negotiated with Texas as an independent power of the
world, long since recognized as such by the United States and other
powers, and as subordinate in all her rights of full sovereignty to no
other power. A messenger has been dispatched to our minister at Mexico
as bearer of the dispatch already communicated to the Senate, and which
is to be found in the letter addressed to Mr. Green, and forms a part of
the documents ordered confidentially to be printed for the use of the
Senate. That dispatch was dictated by a desire to preserve the peace
of the two countries by denying to Mexico all pretext for assuming a
belligerent attitude to the United States, as she had threatened to do,
in the event of the annexation of Texas to the United States, by the
dispatch of her Government which was communicated by me to Congress at
the opening of its present session. The messenger is expected to return
before the 15th of June next, but he may be detained to a later day. The
recently appointed envoy from the United States to Mexico will be sent
so soon as the final action is had on the question of annexation, at
which time, and not before, can his instructions be understandingly
prepared.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _May 16, 1844_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In my message communicating the treaty with Texas I expressed the
opinion that if Texas was not now annexed it was probable that the
opportunity of annexing it to the United States would be lost forever.
Since then the subject has been much agitated, and if an opinion may
be formed of the chief ground of the opposition to the treaty, it is
not that Texas ought not at some time or other to be annexed, but that
the present is not the proper time. It becomes, therefore, important,
in this view of the subject, and is alike due to the Senate and the
country, that I should furnish any papers in my possession which may be
calculated to impress the Senate with the correctness of the opinion
thus expressed by me. With this view I herewith transmit a report from
the Secretary of State, accompanied by various communications on the
subject. These communications are from private sources, and it is to be
remarked that a resort must in all such cases be had chiefly to private
sources of information, since it is not to be expected that any
government, more especially if situated as Texas is, would be inclined
to develop to the world its ulterior line of policy.

Among the extracts is one from a letter from General Houston to General
Andrew Jackson, to which I particularly invite your attention, and
another from General Jackson to a gentleman of high respectability,
now of this place. Considering that General Jackson was placed in a
situation to hold the freest and fullest interview with Mr. Miller, the
private and confidential secretary of President Houston, who, President
Houston informed General Jackson, "knows all his actions and understands
all his motives," and who was authorized to communicate to General
Jackson the views of the policy entertained by the President of Texas,
as well applicable to the present as the future; that the declaration
made by General Jackson in his letter "that the present golden moment to
obtain Texas must not be lost, or Texas might from necessity be thrown
into the arms of England and be forever lost to the United States,"
was made with a full knowledge of all circumstances, and ought to be
received as conclusive of what will be the course of Texas should the
present treaty fail--from this high source, sustained, if it requires
to be sustained, by the accompanying communications, I entertain not
the least doubt that if annexation should now fail it will in all human
probability fail forever. Indeed, I have strong reasons to believe that
instructions have already been given by the Texan Government to propose
to the Government of Great Britain, forthwith on the failure, to enter
into a treaty of commerce and an alliance offensive and defensive.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _May 17, 1844_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 13th instant, relating
to a supposed armistice between the Republics of Mexico and Texas,
I transmit a report from the Secretary of State and the papers by which
it was accompanied.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _May 18, 1844_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 29th ultimo, upon the
subject of unpublished correspondence in regard to the purchase of or
title to Texas, I transmit a report from the Secretary of State and the
documents by which it was accompanied.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _May 18, 1844_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In answer to a resolution of the House of Representatives of the 3d of
January last, requesting the President of the United States "to cause to
be communicated to that House copies of all the instructions given to
the commanding officers of the squadron stipulated by the treaty with
Great Britain of 9th of August, 1842, to be kept on the coast of Africa
for the suppression of the slave trade," and also copies of the
"instructions given by the British Government to their squadron
stipulated by the same, if such instructions have been communicated to
this Government," I have to inform the House of Representatives that
in my opinion it would be incompatible with the public interests to
communicate to that body at this time copies of the instructions
referred to.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _May 20, 1844_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of the
22d ultimo, I communicate a report[127] from the Secretary of State,
which embraces the information called for by said resolution.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 127: Relating to indemnity from Denmark for three ships and
their cargoes sent by Commodore John Paul Jones in 1779 as prizes into
Bergen, and there surrendered by order of the Danish King to the British
minister, in obedience to the demand of that minister.]



WASHINGTON, _May 20. 1844_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I herewith transmit a letter from the Secretary of the Navy,
accompanied by a report from the Bureau of Construction and Equipment
and a communication from Lieutenant Hunter, of the Navy, prepared
at the request of the Secretary, upon the subject of a plan for the
establishment in connection with the Government of France of a line of
steamers between the ports of Havre and New York, with estimates of the
expense which may be necessary to carry the said plan into effect.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _May 23, 1844_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

Your resolution of the 18th instant, adopted in _executive_ session,
addressed to the Secretary of the Treasury _ad interim_, has been
communicated to me by that officer. While I can not recognize this
call thus made on the head of a Department as consistent with the
constitutional rights of the Senate when acting in its executive
capacity, which in such case can only properly hold correspondence with
the President of the United States, nevertheless, from an anxious desire
to lay before the Senate all such information as may be necessary to
enable it with full understanding to act upon any subject which may be
before it, I herewith transmit communications[128] which have been made
to me by the Secretaries of the War and Navy Departments, in full answer
to the resolution of the Senate.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 128: Relating to money drawn from the Treasury to carry into
effect orders of the War and Navy Departments made since April 12,
1844, for stationing troops or increasing the military force upon the
frontiers of Texas and the Gulf of Mexico and for placing a naval force
in the Gulf of Mexico, etc.]



WASHINGTON CITY, D.C., _May 24, 1844_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I transmit herewith a report[129] from the Secretary of the Navy, in
compliance with the resolution of the House of Representatives of the
18th of January last.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 129: Transmitting list of persons employed by the Navy
Department without express authority of law from March 4, 1837,
to January 18, 1844, etc.]



WASHINGTON, _May 31, 1844_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 22d instant, requesting
information in regard to any promise by the President of military or
other aid to Texas in the event of an agreement on the part of that
Republic to annex herself to the United States, I transmit a report from
the Secretary of State and the documents by which it was accompanied.

In my message to the Senate of the 15th of this month I adverted to
the duty which, in my judgment, the signature of the treaty for the
annexation of Texas had imposed upon me, to repel any invasion of that
country by a foreign power while the treaty was under consideration by
the Senate, and I transmitted reports from the Secretaries of War and
of the Navy, with a copy of the orders which had been issued from those
Departments for the purpose of enabling me to execute that duty.
In those orders General Taylor was directed to communicate directly
with the President of Texas upon the subject, and Captain Conner was
instructed to communicate with the charge d'affaires of the United
States accredited to that Government. No copy of any communication which
either of those officers may have made pursuant to those orders has yet
been received at the Departments from which they emanated.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _June 1, 1844_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith to the Senate a copy of a letter dated the 25th
of August, 1829, addressed by Mr. Van Buren, Secretary of State, to
Mr. Poinsett, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of the
United States to Mexico, which letter contains, it is presumed, the
instructions a copy of which was requested by the resolution of the
Senate of the 28th ultimo in executive session.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _June 3, 1844_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 28th ultimo, upon the
subject of a "private letter" quoted in the instruction from the late
Mr. Upshur to the charge d'affaires of the United States in Texas, dated
the 8th of August last, I transmit a report from the Secretary of State,
to whom the resolution was referred.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _June 4, 1844_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In answer to the resolution of the Senate of yesterday in executive
session, requesting a copy of a note supposed to have been addressed to
the Secretary of State by the diplomatic agents of the Republic of Texas
accredited to this Government, I transmit a report from the Secretary of
State, to whom the resolution was referred.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _June 5, 1844_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I herewith transmit to the Senate, with reference to previous Executive
communications to that body relating to the same subject, the copy of a
letter[130] recently received at the Department of State from the
minister of the United States in London.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 130: Relating to the treaty of annexation with Texas.]



WASHINGTON, _June 7, 1844_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I herewith transmit to the House of Representatives the copy of a letter
recently addressed to the Secretary of State by the British minister at
Washington, with the view of ascertaining "whether it would be agreeable
to this Government that an arrangement should be concluded for the
transmission through the United States of the mails to and from Canada
and England which are now landed at Halifax and thence forwarded through
the British dominions to their destination."

It will be perceived that this communication has been referred to the
Postmaster-General, and his opinion respecting the proposition will
accordingly be found in his letter to the Department of State of the 5th
instant, a copy of which is inclosed. I lose no time in recommending the
subject to the favorable consideration of the House and in bespeaking
for it early attention.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _June 8, 1844_.

_To the House of Representatives_:


In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of the
29th of April last, I communicate to that body a report[131] from the
Secretary of State, which embraces the information called for by that
resolution.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 131: Transmitting correspondence from 1816 to 1820, inclusive,
between United States ministers to Spain and the Department of State,
between those ministers and Spanish secretaries of state, and between
the Department of State and the Spanish ministers accredited to the
United States.]



WASHINGTON, _June 10, 1844_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

The treaty negotiated by the Executive with the Republic of Texas,
without a departure from any form of proceeding customarily observed in
the negotiations of treaties for the annexation of that Republic to the
United States, having been rejected by the Senate, and the subject
having excited on the part of the people no ordinary degree of interest,
I feel it to be my duty to communicate, for your consideration, the
rejected treaty, together with all the correspondence and documents
which have heretofore been submitted to the Senate in its executive
sessions. The papers communicated embrace not only the series already
made public by orders of the Senate, but others from which the veil
of secrecy has not been removed by that body, but which I deem to be
essential to a just appreciation of the entire question. While the
treaty was pending before the Senate I did not consider it compatible
with the just rights of that body or consistent with the respect
entertained for it to bring this important subject before you. The
power of Congress is, however, fully competent in some other form of
proceeding to accomplish everything that a formal ratification of the
treaty could have accomplished, and I therefore feel that I should but
imperfectly discharge my duty to yourselves or the country if I failed
to lay before you everything in the possession of the Executive which
would enable you to act with full light on the subject if you should
deem it proper to take any action upon it.

I regard the question involved in these proceedings as one of vast
magnitude and as addressing itself to interests of an elevated and
enduring character. A Republic coterminous in territory with our own, of
immense resources, which require only to be brought under the influence
of our confederate and free system in order to be fully developed,
promising at no distant day, through the fertility of its soil, nearly,
if not entirely, to duplicate the exports of the country, thereby making
an addition to the carrying trade to an amount almost incalculable
and giving a new impulse of immense importance to the commercial,
manufacturing, agricultural, and shipping interests of the Union, and at
the same time affording protection to an exposed frontier and placing
the whole country in a condition of security and repose; a territory
settled mostly by emigrants from the United States, who would bring back
with them in the act of reassociation an unconquerable love of freedom
and an ardent attachment to our free institutions--such a question could
not fail to interest most deeply in its success those who under the
Constitution have become responsible for the faithful administration of
public affairs. I have regarded it as not a little fortunate that the
question involved was no way sectional or local, but addressed itself to
the interests of every part of the country and made its appeal to the
glory of the American name.

It is due to the occasion to say that I have carefully reconsidered the
objections which have been urged to immediate action upon the subject
without in any degree having been struck by their force. It has been
objected that the measure of annexation should be preceded by the
consent of Mexico. To preserve the most friendly relations with Mexico;
to concede to her, not grudgingly, but freely, all her rights; to
negotiate fairly and frankly with her as to the question of boundary;
to render her, in a word, the fullest and most ample recompense for any
loss she might convince us she had sustained, fully accords with the
feelings and views the Executive has always entertained.

But negotiation in advance of annexation would prove not only abortive,
but might be regarded as offensive to Mexico and insulting to Texas.
Mexico would not, I am persuaded, give ear for a moment to an attempt
at negotiation in advance except for the whole territory of Texas.
While all the world beside regards Texas as an independent power, Mexico
chooses to look upon her as a revolted province. Nor could we negotiate
with Mexico for Texas without admitting that our recognition of her
independence was fraudulent, delusive, or void. It is only after
acquiring Texas that the question of boundary can arise between the
United States and Mexico--a question purposely left open for negotiation
with Mexico as affording the best opportunity for the most friendly and
pacific arrangements. The Executive has dealt with Texas as a power
independent of all others, both _de facto_ and _de jure_. She was an
independent State of the Confederation of Mexican Republics. When by
violent revolution Mexico declared the Confederation at an end, Texas
owed her no longer allegiance, but claimed and has maintained the right
for eight years to a separate and distinct position. During that period
no army has invaded her with a view to her reconquest; and if she has
not yet established her right to be treated as a nation independent _de
facto_ and _de jure_, it would be difficult to say at what period she
will attain to that condition.

Nor can we by any fair or any legitimate inference be accused of
violating any treaty stipulations with Mexico. The treaties with Mexico
give no guaranty of any sort and are coexistent with a similar treaty
with Texas. So have we treaties with most of the nations of the earth
which are equally as much violated by the annexation of Texas to the
United States as would be our treaty with Mexico. The treaty is merely
commercial and intended as the instrument for more accurately defining
the rights and securing the interests of the citizens of each country.
What bad faith can be implied or charged upon the Government of the
United States for successfully negotiating with an independent power
upon any subject not violating the stipulations of such treaty I confess
my inability to discern.

The objections which have been taken to the enlargement of our territory
were urged with much zeal against the acquisition of Louisiana, and yet
the futility of such has long since been fully demonstrated. Since that
period a new power has been introduced into the affairs of the world,
which has for all practical purposes brought Texas much nearer to the
seat of Government than Louisiana was at the time of its annexation.
Distant regions are by the application of the steam engine brought
within a close proximity.

With the views which I entertain on the subject, I should prove
faithless to the high trust which the Constitution has devolved upon me
if I neglected to invite the attention of the representatives of the
people to it at the earliest moment that a due respect for the Senate
would allow me so to do. I should find in the urgency of the matter a
sufficient apology, if one was wanting, since annexation is to encounter
a great, if not certain, hazard of final defeat if something be not
_now_ done to prevent it. Upon this point I can not too impressively
invite your attention to my message of the 16th of May and to the
documents which accompany it, which have not heretofore been made
public. If it be objected that the names of the writers of some of the
private letters are withheld, all that I can say is that it is done
for reasons regarded as altogether adequate, and that the writers are
persons of the first respectability and citizens of Texas, and have such
means of obtaining information as to entitle their statements to full
credit. Nor has anything occurred to weaken, but, on the contrary, much
to confirm, my confidence in the statements of General Jackson, and
my own statement, made at the close of that message, in the belief,
amounting almost to certainty, "that instructions have already been
given by the Texan Government to propose to the Government of Great
Britain, forthwith on the failure [of the treaty], to enter into a
treaty of commerce and an alliance offensive and defensive."

I also particularly invite your attention to the letter from Mr.
Everett, our envoy at London, containing an account of a conversation in
the House of Lords which lately occurred between Lord Brougham and Lord
Aberdeen in relation to the question of annexation. Nor can I do so
without the expression of some surprise at the language of the minister
of foreign affairs employed upon the occasion. That a Kingdom which is
made what it now is by repeated acts of annexation--beginning with the
time of the heptarchy and concluding with the annexation of the Kingdoms
of Ireland and Scotland--should perceive any principle either novel or
serious in the late proceedings of the American Executive in regard to
Texas is well calculated to excite surprise. If it be pretended that
because of commercial or political relations which may exist between the
two countries neither has a right to part with its sovereignty, and that
no third power can change those relations by a voluntary treaty of union
or annexation, then it would seem to follow that an annexation to be
achieved by force of arms in the prosecution of a just and necessary war
could in no way be justified; and yet it is presumed that Great Britain
would be the last nation in the world to maintain any such doctrine.
The commercial and political relations of many of the countries of Europe
have undergone repeated changes by voluntary treaties, by conquest,
and by partitions of their territories without any question as to the
right under the public law. The question, in this view of it, can be
considered as neither "serious" nor "novel." I will not permit myself to
believe that the British minister designed to bring himself to any such
conclusion, but it is impossible for us to be blind to the fact that
the statements contained in Mr. Everett's dispatch are well worthy of
serious consideration. The Government and people of the United States
have never evinced nor do they feel any desire to interfere in public
questions not affecting the relations existing between the States of the
American continent. We leave the European powers exclusive control over
matters affecting their continent and the relations of their different
States; the United States claim a similar exemption from any such
interference on their part. The treaty with Texas was negotiated from
considerations of high public policy, influencing the conduct of the
two Republics. We have treated with Texas as an independent power
solely with a view of bettering the condition of the two countries. If
annexation in any form occur, it will arise from the free and unfettered
action of the people of the two countries; and it seems altogether
becoming in me to say that the honor of the country, the dignity of the
American name, and the permanent interests of the United States would
forbid acquiescence in any such interference. No one can more highly
appreciate the value of peace to both Great Britain and the United
States and the capacity of each to do injury to the other than myself,
but peace can best be preserved by maintaining firmly the rights which
belong to us as an independent community.

So much have I considered it proper for me to say; and it becomes me
only to add that while I have regarded the annexation to be accomplished
by treaty as the most suitable form in which it could be effected,
should Congress deem it proper to resort to any other expedient
compatible with the Constitution and likely to accomplish the object
I stand prepared to yield my most prompt and active cooperation.

The great question is not as to the manner in which it shall be done,
but whether it shall be accomplished or not.

The responsibility of deciding this question is now devolved upon you.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _June 10, 1844_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 7th instant, upon the
subject of the supposed employment of Mr. Duff Green in Europe by the
Executive of the United States, I transmit a report from the Secretary
of State, to whom the resolution was referred.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _June 12, 1844_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 4th instant,
calling for a correspondence[132] between the late minister of the
United States in Mexico and the minister for foreign affairs of that
Republic, I transmit a report from the Secretary of State and the
documents by which it was accompanied.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 132: On the subject of an order issued by the Mexican
Government expelling all natives of the United States from Upper
California and other departments of the Mexican Republic, and of
the order prohibiting foreigners the privilege of the retail trade
in Mexico.]



WASHINGTON, _June, 12, 1844_.

_To the Senate of the United States_;

The resolution of the Senate of the 3d instant, requesting the
President to lay before that body, confidentially, "a copy of any
instructions which may have been given by the Executive to the American
minister in England on the subject of the title to and occupation of the
Territory of Oregon since the 4th of March, 1841; also a copy of any
correspondence which may have passed between this Government and that
of Great Britain in relation to the subject since that time," has been
received.

In reply I have to state that in the present state of the subject-matter
to which the resolution refers it is deemed inexpedient to communicate
the information requested by the Senate.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _June 15, 1844_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I herewith transmit to the House of Representatives, in answer to their
resolution of the 4th instant, a report from the Secretary of State, with
the correspondence[133] therein referred to.

JOHN TYLER.

[Footnote 133: With Great Britain relative to the duties exacted by that
Government on rough rice exported from the United States, contrary to
the treaty of 1815.]



WASHINGTON, _June 17, 1844_.

The PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:

I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of State, in answer
to a resolution of the 12th instant. Although the contingent fund for
foreign intercourse has for all time been placed at the disposal of the
President, to be expended for the purposes contemplated by the fund
without any requisition upon him for a disclosure of the names of
persons employed by him, the objects of their employment, or the amount
paid to any particular person, and although any such disclosures might
in many cases disappoint the objects contemplated by the appropriation
of that fund, yet in this particular instance I feel no desire to
withhold the fact that Mr. Duff Green was employed by the Executive to
collect such information, from private or other sources, as was deemed
important to assist the Executive in undertaking a negotiation then
contemplated, but afterwards abandoned, upon an important subject, and
that there was paid to him through the hands of the Secretary of State
$1,000, in full for all such service. It is proper to say that Mr. Green
afterwards presented a claim for an additional allowance, which has been
neither allowed nor recognized as correct.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _June 17, 1844_.

_To the Senate_:

I have learned that the Senate has laid on the table the nomination,
heretofore made, of Reuben H. Walworth to be an associate justice of the
Supreme Court, in the place of Smith Thompson, deceased. I am informed
that a large amount of business has accumulated in the second district,
and that the immediate appointment of a judge for that circuit is
essential to the administration of justice. Under these circumstances I
feel it my duty to withdraw the name of Mr. Walworth, whose appointment
the Senate by their action seems not now prepared to confirm, in the
hope that another name may be more acceptable.

The circumstances under which the Senate heretofore declined to advise
and consent to the nomination of John C. Spencer have so far changed as
to justify me in my again submitting his name to their consideration.

I therefore nominate John C. Spencer, of New York, to be appointed an
associate justice of the Supreme Court, in the place of Smith Thompson,
deceased.

JOHN TYLER.




VETO MESSAGES.[134]

[Footnote 134: The first is a pocket veto.]


WASHINGTON, _December 18, 1843_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I received within a few hours of the adjournment of the last Congress a
resolution "directing payment of the certificates or awards issued by
the commissioners under the treaty with the Cherokee Indians." Its
provisions involved principles of great importance, in reference to
which it required more time to obtain the necessary information than
was allowed.

The balance of the fund provided by Congress for satisfying claims under
the seventeenth article of the Cherokee treaty, referred to in the
resolution, is wholly insufficient to meet the claims still pending. To
direct the payment, therefore, of the whole amount of those claims which
happened to be first adjudicated would prevent a ratable distribution of
the fund among those equally entitled to its benefits. Such a violation
of the individual rights of the claimants would impose upon the
Government the obligation of making further appropriations to indemnify
them, and thus Congress would be obliged to enlarge a provision, liberal
and equitable, which it had made for the satisfaction of all the demands
of the Cherokees. I was unwilling to sanction a measure which would thus
indirectly overturn the adjustment of our differences with the
Cherokees, accomplished with so much difficulty, and to which time is
reconciling those Indians.

If no such indemnity should be provided, then a palpable and very gross
wrong would be inflicted upon the claimants who had not been so
fortunate as to have their claims taken up in preference to others.
Besides, the fund having been appropriated by law to a specific purpose,
in fulfillment of the treaty, it belongs to the Cherokees, and the
authority of this Government to direct its application to particular
claims is more than questionable.

The direction in the joint resolution, therefore, to pay the awards
of the commissioners to the amount of $100,000 seemed to me quite
objectionable, and could not be approved.

The further direction that the certificates required to be issued by the
treaty, and in conformity with the practice of the board heretofore,
shall be proper and sufficient vouchers, upon which payments shall be
made at the Treasury, is a departure from the system established soon
after the adoption of the Constitution and maintained ever since. That
system requires that payments under the authority of any Department
shall be made upon its requisition, countersigned by the proper Auditor
and Comptroller. The greatest irregularity would ensue from the mode of
payment prescribed by the resolution.

I have deemed it respectful and proper to lay before the House of
Representatives these reasons for having withheld my approval of the
above-mentioned joint resolution.

JOHN TYLER.



WASHINGTON, _June 11, 1844_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I return to the House of Representatives, in which it originated, the
bill entitled "An act making appropriations for the improvement of
certain harbors and rivers," with the following objections to its
becoming a law:

At the adoption of the Constitution each State was possessed of a
separate and independent sovereignty and an exclusive jurisdiction
over all streams and water courses within its territorial limits.
The Articles of Confederation in no way affected this authority or
jurisdiction, and the present Constitution, adopted for the purpose of
correcting the defects which existed in the original Articles, expressly
reserves to the States all powers not delegated. No such surrender of
jurisdiction is made by the States to this Government by any express
grant, and if it is possessed it is to be deduced from the clause in the
Constitution which invests Congress with authority "to make all laws
which are necessary and proper for carrying into execution" the granted
powers. There is, in my view of the subject, no pretense whatever for
the claim to power which the bill now returned substantially sets up.
The inferential power, in order to be legitimate, must be clearly and
plainly incidental to some granted power and necessary to its exercise.
To refer it to the head of convenience or usefulness would be to throw
open the door to a boundless and unlimited discretion and to invest
Congress with an unrestrained authority. The power to remove
obstructions from the water courses of the States is claimed under the
granted power "to regulate commerce with foreign nations, _among the
several States_, and with the Indian tribes;" but the plain and obvious
meaning of this grant is that Congress may adopt rules and regulations
prescribing the terms and conditions on which the citizens of the United
States may carry on commercial operations with foreign states or
kingdoms, and on which the citizens or subjects of foreign states or
kingdoms may prosecute trade with the United States or either of them.
And so the power to regulate commerce _among the several States_ no more
invests Congress with jurisdiction over the water courses of the States
than the first branch of the grant does over the water courses of
foreign powers, which would be an absurdity.

The right of common use of the people of the United States to the
navigable waters of each and every State arises from the express
stipulation contained in the Constitution that "the citizens of each
State shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in
the several States." While, therefore, the navigation of any river in
any State is by the laws of such State allowed to the citizens thereof,
the same is also secured by the Constitution of the United States on the
same terms and conditions to the citizens of every other State; and so
of any other privilege or immunity.

The application of the revenue of this Government, if the power to do
so was admitted, to improving the navigation of the rivers by removing
obstructions or otherwise would be for the most part productive only of
local benefit. The consequences might prove disastrously ruinous to as
many of our fellow-citizens as the exercise of such power would benefit.
I will take one instance furnished by the present bill--out of no
invidious feeling, for such it would be impossible for me to feel, but
because of my greater familiarity with locations--in illustration of the
above opinion: Twenty thousand dollars are proposed to be appropriated
toward improving the harbor of Richmond, in the State of Virginia. Such
improvement would furnish advantages to the city of Richmond and add to
the value of the property of its citizens, while it might have a most
disastrous influence over the wealth and prosperity of Petersburg, which
is situated some 25 miles distant on a branch of James River, and which
now enjoys its fair portion of the trade. So, too, the improvement of
James River to Richmond and of the Appomattox to Petersburg might, by
inviting the trade to those two towns, have the effect of prostrating
the town of Norfolk. This, too, might be accomplished without adding a
single vessel to the number now engaged in the trade of the Chesapeake
Bay or bringing into the Treasury a dollar of additional revenue. It
would produce, most probably, the single effect of concentrating the
commerce now profitably enjoyed by three places upon one of them. This
case furnishes an apt illustration of the effect of this bill in several
other particulars.

There can not, in fact, be drawn the slightest discrimination between
the improving the streams of a State under the power to regulate
commerce and the most extended system of internal improvements on land.
The excavating a canal and paving a road are equally as much incidents
to such claim of power as the removing obstructions from water courses;
nor can such power be restricted by any fair course of reasoning to the
mere fact of making the improvement. It reasonably extends also to the
right of seeking a return of the means expended through the exaction of
tolls and the levying of contributions. Thus, while the Constitution
denies to this Government the privilege of acquiring a property in the
soil of any State, even for the purpose of erecting a necessary
fortification, without a grant from such State, this claim to power
would invest it with control and dominion over the waters and soil of
each State without restriction. Power so incongruous can not exist in
the same instrument.

The bill is also liable to a serious objection because of its blending
appropriations for numerous objects but few of which agree in their
general features. This necessarily produces the effect of embarrassing
Executive action. Some of the appropriations would receive my sanction
if separated from the rest, however much I might deplore the
reproduction of a system which for some time past has been permitted
to sleep with apparently the acquiescence of the country. I might
particularize the Delaware Breakwater as an improvement which looks
to the security from the storms of our extended Atlantic seaboard of
the vessels of all the country engaged either in the foreign or the
coastwise trade, as well as to the safety of the revenue; but when, in
connection with that, the same bill embraces improvements of rivers at
points far in the interior, connected alone with the trade of such river
and the exertion of mere local influences, no alternative is left me but
to use the qualified veto with which the Executive is invested by the
Constitution, and to return the bill to the House in which it originated
for its ultimate reconsideration and decision.

In sanctioning a bill of the same title with that returned, for the
improvement of the Mississippi and its chief tributaries and certain
harbors on the Lakes, if I bring myself apparently in conflict with any
of the principles herein asserted it will arise on my part exclusively
from the want of a just appreciation of localities. The Mississippi
occupies a footing altogether different from the rivers and water
courses of the different States. No one State or any number of States
can exercise any other jurisdiction over it than for the punishment of
crimes and the service of civil process. It belongs to no particular
State or States, but of common right, by express reservation, to all
the States. It is reserved as a great common highway for the commerce
of the whole country. To have conceded to Louisiana, or to any other
State admitted as a new State into the Union, the exclusive jurisdiction,
and consequently the right to make improvements and to levy tolls on
the segments of the river embraced within its territorial limits, would
have been to have disappointed the chief object in the purchase of
Louisiana, which was to secure the free use of the Mississippi to all
the people of the United States. Whether levies on commerce were made
by a foreign or domestic government would have been equally burdensome
and objectionable. The United States, therefore, is charged with
its improvement for the benefit of all, and the appropriation of
governmental means to its improvement becomes indispensably necessary
for the good of all.

As to the harbors on the Lakes, the act originates no new improvements,
but makes appropriations for the continuance of works already begun.

It is as much the duty of the Government to construct good harbors,
without reference to the location or interests of cities, for the
shelter of the extensive commerce of the Lakes as to build breakwaters
on the Atlantic coast for the protection of the trade of that ocean.
These great inland seas are visited by destructive storms, and the
annual loss of ships and cargoes, and consequently of revenue to the
Government, is immense. If, then, there be any work embraced by that act
which is not required in order to afford shelter and security to the
shipping against the tempests which so often sweep over those great
inland seas, but has, on the contrary, originated more in a spirit of
speculation and local interest than in one of the character alluded to,
the House of Representatives will regard my approval of the bill more as
the result of misinformation than any design to abandon or modify the
principles laid down in this message. Every system is liable to run into
abuse, and none more so than that under consideration; and measures can
not be too soon taken by Congress to guard against this evil.

JOHN TYLER.




EXECUTIVE ORDERS.

CIRCULAR[135]

[Footnote 135: Sent to all diplomatic and consular officers of the
United States.]


DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

_Washington, February 29, 1844_.

SIR: It has become my most painful duty to announce to you the sudden
and violent death of the Hon. Abel P. Upshur, late Secretary of State
of the United States. This afflicting dispensation occurred on the
afternoon of yesterday, from the bursting of one of the great guns on
board the Government steamship _Princeton_, near Alexandria, on her
return from an excursion of pleasure down the river Potomac. By this
most unfortunate accident several of our distinguished citizens, amongst
whom were the Secretaries of State and of the Navy, were immediately
killed, and many other persons mortally wounded or severely injured.
It is the wish of the President that the diplomatic and consular agents
of the United States, and all other officers connected with the State
Department, either at home or abroad, shall wear the usual badge of
mourning, in token of their grief and of respect for the memory of
Mr. Upshur, during thirty days from the time of receiving this order.

In consequence of this event, the President has been pleased to charge
me _ad interim_ with the direction of the Department of State, and I
have accordingly this day entered upon the duties of this appointment.

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

JNO. NELSON.



GENERAL ORDERS.


WAR DEPARTMENT, _February 29, 1844_.

In the deepest grief the President of the United States has instructed
the undersigned to announce to the Army that from the accidental
explosion of a gun yesterday on board the United States steamship
_Princeton_ the country and its Government lost at the same moment the
Secretary of State, the Hon. A.P. Upshur, and the Secretary of the Navy,
the Hon. T.W. Gilmer.

Called but a few days since to preside over the administration of the
War Department, it is peculiarly painful to the undersigned that his
first official communication to the Army should be the announcement of a
calamity depriving the country of the public services of two of our most
accomplished statesmen and popular and deeply esteemed fellow-citizens.
Their virtues, talents, and patriotic services will ever be retained in
the grateful recollection of their countrymen and perpetuated upon the
pages of the history of our common country.

Deep as may be the gloom which spreads over the community, it has
pleased the Almighty Disposer of Events to add another shade to it
by blending in this melancholy catastrophe the deaths of an eminent
citizen, Virgil Maxcy, esq., lately charge d'affaires to Belgium; a
gallant and meritorious officer of the Navy, a chief of a bureau,
Captain B. Kennon, and a private citizen of New York of high and
estimable character, besides others, citizens and sailors, either
killed or wounded.

As appropriate honors to the memory of these distinguished Secretaries,
half-hour guns will be fired at every military post furnished with the
proper ordnance the day after the receipt of this order from sunrise to
sunset. The national flag will be displayed at half-staff during the
same time. And all officers of the Army will wear for three months the
customary badge of mourning.

WM. WILKINS
  _Secretary of War_.



GENERAL ORDER.

NAVY DEPARTMENT, _February 29, 1844_.

As a mark of respect to the memory of the late Hon. Thomas W. Gilmer,
Secretary of the Navy, whose career at his entrance upon the duties of
his office, would have been nobly maintained by that ability and vigor
of which his whole previous life had been the guaranty, the flags of all
vessels in commission, navy-yards, and stations are to be hoisted at
half-mast on the day after the receipt of this order, minute guns to the
number of seventeen are to be fired between sunrise and sunset, and
crape is to be worn on the left arm and upon the sword for the space of
three months.

By command of the President:

L. WARRINGTON,
  _Secretary of the Navy ad interim_.




FOURTH ANNUAL MESSAGE.


WASHINGTON, _December 3, 1844_.

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

We have continued cause for expressing our gratitude to the Supreme
Ruler of the Universe for the benefits and blessings which our country,
under His kind providence, has enjoyed during the past year.
Notwithstanding the exciting scenes through which we have passed,
nothing has occurred to disturb the general peace or to derange the
harmony of our political system. The great moral spectacle has been
exhibited of a nation approximating in number to 20,000,000 people
having performed the high and important function of electing their Chief
Magistrate for the term of four years without the commission of any acts
of violence or the manifestation of a spirit of insubordination to the
laws. The great and inestimable right of suffrage has been exercised by
all who were invested with it under the laws of the different States in
a spirit dictated alone by a desire, in the selection of the agent, to
advance the interests of the country and to place beyond jeopardy the
institutions under which it is our happiness to live. That the deepest
interest has been manifested by all our countrymen in the result of
the election is not less true than highly creditable to them. Vast
multitudes have assembled from time to time at various places for the
purpose of canvassing the merits and pretensions of those who were
presented for their suffrages, but no armed soldiery has been necessary
to restrain within proper limits the popular zeal or to prevent violent
outbreaks. A principle much more controlling was found in the love of
order and obedience to the laws, which, with mere individual exceptions,
everywhere possesses the American mind, and controls with an influence
far more powerful than hosts of armed men. We can not dwell upon this
picture without recognizing in it that deep and devoted attachment on
the part of the people to the institutions under which we live which
proclaims their perpetuity. The great objection which has always
prevailed against the election by the people of their chief executive
officer has been the apprehension of tumults and disorders which might
involve in ruin the entire Government. A security against this is found
not only in the fact before alluded to, but in the additional fact that
we live under a Confederacy embracing already twenty-six States, no one
of which has power to control the election. The popular vote in each
State is taken at the time appointed by the laws, and such vote is
announced by the electoral college without reference to the decision of
other States. The right of suffrage and the mode of conducting the
election are regulated by the laws of each State, and the election is
distinctly federative in all its prominent features. Thus it is that,
unlike what might be the results under a consolidated system, riotous
proceedings, should they prevail, could only affect the elections
in single States without disturbing to any dangerous extent the
tranquillity of others. The great experiment of a political
confederation each member of which is supreme as to all matters
appertaining to its local interests and its internal peace and
happiness, while by a voluntary compact with others it confides to
the united power of all the protection of its citizens in matters not
domestic has been so far crowned with complete success. The world has
witnessed its rapid growth in wealth and population, and under the guide
and direction of a superintending Providence the developments of the
past may be regarded but as the shadowing forth of the mighty future.
In the bright prospects of that future we shall find, as patriots and
philanthropists, the highest inducements to cultivate and cherish a love
of union and to frown down every measure or effort which may be made to
alienate the States or the people of the States in sentiment and feeling
from each other. A rigid and close adherence to the terms of our
political compact and, above all, a sacred observance of the guaranties
of the Constitution will preserve union on a foundation which can not
be shaken, while personal liberty is placed beyond hazard or jeopardy.
The guaranty of religious freedom, of the freedom of the press, of the
liberty of speech, of the trial by jury, of the habeas corpus, and of
the domestic institutions of each of the States, leaving the private
citizen in the full exercise of the high and ennobling attributes of his
nature and to each State the privilege (which can only be judiciously
exerted by itself) of consulting the means best calculated to advance
its own happiness--these are the great and important guaranties of the
Constitution which the lovers of liberty must cherish and the advocates
of union must ever cultivate. Preserving these and avoiding all
interpolations by forced construction under the guise of an imagined
expediency upon the Constitution, the influence of our political system
is destined to be as actively and as beneficially felt on the distant
shores of the Pacific as it is now on those of the Atlantic Ocean.
The only formidable impediments in the way of its successful expansion
(time and space) are so far in the progress of modification by the
improvements of the age as to render no longer speculative the ability
of representatives from that remote region to come up to the Capitol, so
that their constituents shall participate in all the benefits of Federal
legislation. Thus it is that in the progress of time the inestimable
principles of civil liberty will be enjoyed by millions yet unborn
and the great benefits of our system of government be extended to now
distant and uninhabited regions. In view of the vast wilderness yet to
be reclaimed, we may well invite the lover of freedom of every land to
take up his abode among us and assist us in the great work of advancing
the standard of civilization and giving a wider spread to the arts and
refinements of cultivated life. Our prayers should evermore be offered
up to the Father of the Universe for His wisdom to direct us in the
path of our duty so as to enable us to consummate these high purposes.

One of the strongest objections which has been urged against
confederacies by writers on government is the liability of the members
to be tampered with by foreign governments or the people of foreign
states, either in their local affairs or in such as affected the peace
of others or endangered the safety of the whole confederacy. We can not
hope to be entirely exempt from such attempts on our peace and safety.
The United States are becoming too important in population and resources
not to attract the observation of other nations. It therefore may in the
progress of time occur that opinions entirely abstract in the States
in which they may prevail and in no degree affecting their domestic
institutions may be artfully but secretly encouraged with a view to
undermine the Union. Such opinions may become the foundation of
political parties, until at last the conflict of opinion, producing an
alienation of friendly feeling among the people of the different States,
may involve in general destruction the happy institutions under which we
live. It should ever be borne in mind that what is true in regard to
individuals is equally so in regard to states. An interference of one in
the affairs of another is the fruitful cause of family dissensions and
neighborhood disputes, and the same cause affects the peace, happiness,
and prosperity of states. It may be most devoutly hoped that the good
sense of the American people will ever be ready to repel all such
attempts should they ever be made.

There has been no material change in our foreign relations since my last
annual message to Congress. With all the powers of Europe we continue
on the most friendly terms. Indeed, it affords me much satisfaction to
state that at no former period has the peace of that enlightened and
important quarter of the globe ever been, apparently, more firmly
established. The conviction that peace is the true policy of nations
would seem to be growing and becoming deeper amongst the enlightened
everywhere, and there is no people who have a stronger interest in
cherishing the sentiments and adopting the means of preserving and
giving it permanence than those of the United States. Amongst these, the
first and most effective are, no doubt, the strict observance of justice
and the honest and punctual fulfillment of all engagements. But it is
not to be forgotten that in the present state of the world it is no less
necessary to be ready to enforce their observance and fulfillment in
reference to ourselves than to observe and fulfill them on our part in
regard to others.

Since the close of your last session a negotiation has been formally
entered upon between the Secretary of State and Her Britannic Majesty's
minister plenipotentiary and envoy extraordinary residing at Washington
relative to the rights of their respective nations in and over the
Oregon Territory. That negotiation is still pending. Should it during
your session be brought to a definitive conclusion, the result will
be promptly communicated to Congress. I would, however, again call
your attention to the recommendations contained in previous messages
designed to protect and facilitate emigration to that Territory. The
establishment of military posts at suitable points upon the extended
line of land travel would enable our citizens to emigrate in comparative
safety to the fertile regions below the Falls of the Columbia, and make
the provision of the existing convention for the joint occupation of the
territory by subjects of Great Britain and the citizens of the United
States more available than heretofore to the latter. These posts would
constitute places of rest for the weary emigrant, where he would be
sheltered securely against the danger of attack from the Indians and
be enabled to recover from the exhaustion of a long line of travel.
Legislative enactments should also be made which should spread over him
the aegis of our laws, so as to afford protection to his person and
property when he shall have reached his distant home. In this latter
respect the British Government has been much more careful of the
interests of such of her people as are to be found in that country than
the United States. She has made necessary provision for their security
and protection against the acts of the viciously disposed and lawless,
and her emigrant reposes in safety under the panoply of her laws.
Whatever may be the result of the pending negotiation, such measures
are necessary. It will afford me the greatest pleasure to witness a
happy and favorable termination to the existing negotiation upon terms
compatible with the public honor, and the best efforts of the Government
will continue to be directed to this end.

It would have given me the highest gratification in this my last annual
communication to Congress to have been able to announce to you the
complete and entire settlement and adjustment of other matters in
difference between the United States and the Government of Her Britannic
Majesty, which were adverted to in a previous message. It is so
obviously the interest of both countries, in respect to the large
and valuable commerce which exists between them, that all causes
of complaint, however inconsiderable, should be with the greatest
promptitude removed that it must be regarded as cause of regret that any
unnecessary delays should be permitted to intervene. It is true that
in a pecuniary point of view the matters alluded to are altogether
insignificant in amount when compared with the ample resources of that
great nation, but they nevertheless, more particularly that limited
class which arise under seizures and detentions of American ships on the
coast of Africa upon the mistaken supposition indulged in at the time
the wrong was committed of their being engaged in the slave trade,
deeply affect the sensibilities of this Government and people. Great
Britain, having recognized her responsibility to repair all such wrongs
by her action in other cases, leaves nothing to be regretted upon the
subject as to all cases arising prior to the treaty of Washington than
the delay in making suitable reparation in such of them as fall plainly
within the principle of others which she has long since adjusted. The
injury inflicted by delays in the settlement of these claims falls with
severity upon the individual claimants and makes a strong appeal to her
magnanimity and sense of justice for a speedy settlement. Other matters
arising out of the construction of existing treaties also remain
unadjusted, and will continue to be urged upon her attention.

The labors of the joint commission appointed by the two Governments
to run the dividing line established by the treaty of Washington were,
unfortunately, much delayed in the commencement of the season by the
failure of Congress at its last session to make a timely appropriation
of funds to meet the expenses of the American party, and by other
causes.

The United States commissioner, however, expresses his expectation that
by increased diligence and energy the party will be able to make up for
lost time.

We continue to receive assurances of the most friendly feelings on the
part of all the other European powers, with each and all of whom it is
so obviously our interest to cultivate the most amicable relations; nor
can I anticipate the occurrence of any event which would be likely in
any degree to disturb those relations. Russia, the great northern power,
under the judicious sway of her Emperor, is constantly advancing in the
road of science and improvement, while France, guided by the counsels of
her wise Sovereign, pursues a course calculated to consolidate the
general peace. Spain has obtained a breathing spell of some duration
from the internal convulsions which have through so many years marred
her prosperity, while Austria, the Netherlands, Prussia, Belgium, and
the other powers of Europe reap a rich harvest of blessings from the
prevailing peace.

I informed the two Houses of Congress in my message of December last
that instructions had been given to Mr. Wheaton, our minister at Berlin,
to negotiate a treaty with the Germanic States composing the Zollverein
if it could be done, stipulating, as far as it was practicable to
accomplish it, for a reduction of the heavy and onerous duties levied on
our tobacco and other leading articles of agricultural production, and
yielding in return on our part a reduction of duties on such articles
the product of their industry as should not come into competition,
or but a limited one, with articles the product of our manufacturing
industry. The Executive in giving such instructions considered itself as
acting in strict conformity with the wishes of Congress as made known
through several measures which it had adopted, all directed to the
accomplishment of this important result. The treaty was therefore
negotiated, by which essential reductions were secured in the duties
levied by the Zollverein on tobacco, rice, and lard, accompanied by a
stipulation for the admission of raw cotton free of duty; in exchange
for which highly important concessions a reduction of duties imposed by
the laws of the United States on a variety of articles, most of which
were admitted free of all duty under the act of Congress commonly known
as the compromise law, and but few of which were produced in the United
States, was stipulated for on our part. This treaty was communicated to
the Senate at an early day of its last session, but not acted upon until
near its close, when, for the want (as I am bound to presume) of full
time to consider it, it was laid upon the table. This procedure had
the effect of virtually rejecting it, in consequence of a stipulation
contained in the treaty that its ratifications should be exchanged on or
before a day which has already passed. The Executive, acting upon the
fair inference that the Senate did not intend its absolute rejection,
gave instructions to our minister at Berlin to reopen the negotiation so
far as to obtain an extension of time for the exchange of ratifications.
I regret, however, to say that his efforts in this respect have been
unsuccessful. I am nevertheless not without hope that the great
advantages which were intended to be secured by the treaty may yet
be realized.

I am happy to inform you that Belgium has, by an "_arrete royale_"
issued in July last, assimilated the flag of the United States to her
own, so far as the direct trade between the two countries is concerned.
This measure will prove of great service to our shipping interest, the
trade having heretofore been carried on chiefly in foreign bottoms.
I flatter myself that she will speedily resort to a modification of her
system relating to the tobacco trade, which would decidedly benefit the
agriculture of the United States and operate to the mutual advantage of
both countries.

No definitive intelligence has yet been received from our minister of
the conclusion of a treaty with the Chinese Empire, but enough is known
to induce the strongest hopes that the mission will be crowned with
success.

With Brazil our relations continue on the most friendly footing. The
commercial intercourse between that growing Empire and the United States
is becoming daily of greater importance to both, and it is to the
interest of both that the firmest relations of amity and good will
should continue to be cultivated between them.

The Republic of New Granada still withholds, notwithstanding the most
persevering efforts have been employed by our charge d'affaires, Mr.
Blackford, to produce a different result, indemnity in the case of the
brig _Morris_; and the Congress of Venezuela, although an arrangement
has been effected between our minister and the minister of foreign
affairs of that Government for the payment of $18,000 in discharge of
its liabilities in the same case, has altogether neglected to make
provision for its payment. It is to be hoped that a sense of justice
will soon induce a settlement of these claims.

Our late minister to Chili, Mr. Pendleton, has returned to the United
States without having effected an adjustment in the second claim of the
_Macedonian_, which is delayed on grounds altogether frivolous and
untenable. Mr. Pendleton's successor has been directed to urge the claim
in the strongest terms, and, in the event of a failure to obtain a
prompt adjustment, to report the fact to the Executive at as early a day
as possible, so that the whole matter may be communicated to Congress.

At your last session I submitted to the attention of Congress the
convention with the Republic of Peru of the 17th March, 1841, providing
for the adjustment of the claims of citizens of the United States
against that Republic, but no definitive action was taken upon the
subject. I again invite to it your attention and prompt action.

In my last annual message I felt it to be my duty to make known to
Congress, in terms both plain and emphatic, my opinion in regard to the
war which has so long existed between Mexico and Texas, which since the
battle of San Jacinto has consisted altogether of predatory incursions,
attended by circumstances revolting to humanity. I repeat now what I
then said, that after eight years of feeble and ineffectual efforts to
reconquer Texas it was time that the war should have ceased. The United
States have a direct interest in the question. The contiguity of the
two nations to our territory was but too well calculated to involve our
peace. Unjust suspicions were engendered in the mind of one or the other
of the belligerents against us, and as a necessary consequence American
interests were made to suffer and our peace became daily endangered; in
addition to which it must have been obvious to all that the exhaustion
produced by the war subjected both Mexico and Texas to the interference
of other powers, which, without the interposition of this Government,
might eventuate in the most serious injury to the United States. This
Government from time to time exerted its friendly offices to bring about
a termination of hostilities upon terms honorable alike to both the
belligerents. Its efforts in this behalf proved unavailing. Mexico
seemed almost without an object to persevere in the war, and no other
alternative was left the Executive but to take advantage of the
well-known dispositions of Texas and to invite her to enter into
a treaty for annexing her territory to that of the United States.

Since your last session Mexico has threatened to renew the war, and has
either made or proposes to make formidable preparations for invading
Texas. She has issued decrees and proclamations, preparatory to the
commencement of hostilities, full of threats revolting to humanity,
and which if carried into effect would arouse the attention of all
Christendom. This new demonstration of feeling, there is too much reason
to believe, has been produced inconsequence of the negotiation of the
late treaty of annexation with Texas. The Executive, therefore, could
not be indifferent to such proceedings, and it felt it to be due as well
to itself as to the honor of the country that a strong representation
should be made to the Mexican Government upon the subject. This was
accordingly done, as will be seen by the copy of the accompanying
dispatch from the Secretary of State to the United States envoy at
Mexico. Mexico has no right to jeopard the peace of the world by urging
any longer a useless and fruitless contest. Such a condition of things
would not be tolerated on the European continent. Why should it be on
this? A war of desolation, such as is now threatened by Mexico, can not
be waged without involving our peace and tranquillity. It is idle to
believe that such a war could be looked upon with indifference by our
own citizens inhabiting adjoining States; and our neutrality would be
violated in despite of all efforts on the part of the Government to
prevent it. The country is settled by emigrants from the United States
under invitations held out to them by Spain and Mexico. Those emigrants
have left behind them friends and relatives, who would not fail to
sympathize with them in their difficulties, and who would be led by
those sympathies to participate in their struggles, however energetic
the action of the Government to prevent it. Nor would the numerous
and formidable bands of Indians--the most warlike to be found in any
land--which occupy the extensive regions contiguous to the States of
Arkansas and Missouri, and who are in possession of large tracts of
country within the limits of Texas, be likely to remain passive. The
inclinations of those numerous tribes lead them invariably to war
whenever pretexts exist.

Mexico had no just ground of displeasure against this Government or
people for negotiating the treaty. What interest of hers was affected by
the treaty? She was despoiled of nothing, since Texas was forever lost
to her. The independence of Texas was recognized by several of the
leading powers of the earth. She was free to treat, free to adopt her
own line of policy, free to take the course which she believed was best
calculated to secure her happiness.

Her Government and people decided on annexation to the United States,
and the Executive saw in the acquisition of such a territory the means
of advancing their permanent happiness and glory. What principle of good
faith, then, was violated? What rule of political morals trampled under
foot? So far as Mexico herself was concerned, the measure should have
been regarded by her as highly beneficial. Her inability to reconquer
Texas had been exhibited, I repeat, by eight (now nine) years of
fruitless and ruinous contest. In the meantime Texas has been growing
in population and resources. Emigration has flowed into her territory
from all parts of the world in a current which continues to increase
in strength. Mexico requires a permanent boundary between that young
Republic and herself. Texas at no distant day, if she continues separate
and detached from the United States, will inevitably seek to consolidate
her strength by adding to her domain the contiguous Provinces of Mexico.
The spirit of revolt from the control of the central Government has
heretofore manifested itself in some of those Provinces, and it is
fair to infer that they would be inclined to take the first favorable
opportunity to proclaim their independence and to form close alliances
with Texas. The war would thus be endless, or if cessations of
hostilities should occur they would only endure for a season. The
interests of Mexico, therefore, could in nothing be better consulted
than in a peace with her neighbors which would result in the
establishment of a permanent boundary. Upon the ratification of the
treaty the Executive was prepared to treat with her on the most liberal
basis. Hence the boundaries of Texas were left undefined by the treaty.
The Executive proposed to settle these upon terms that all the world
should have pronounced just and reasonable. No negotiation upon that
point could have been undertaken between the United States and Mexico in
advance of the ratification of the treaty. We should have had no right,
no power, no authority, to have conducted such a negotiation, and to
have undertaken it would have been an assumption equally revolting
to the pride of Mexico and Texas and subjecting us to the charge of
arrogance, while to have proposed in advance of annexation to satisfy
Mexico for any contingent interest she might have in Texas would have
been to have treated Texas not as an independent power, but as a mere
dependency of Mexico. This assumption could not have been acted on by
the Executive without setting at defiance your own solemn declaration
that that Republic was an independent State. Mexico had, it is true,
threatened War against the United States in the event the treaty of
annexation was ratified. The Executive could not permit itself to be
influenced by this threat. It represented ill this the spirit of our
people, who are ready to sacrifice much for peace, but nothing to
intimidation. A war under any circumstances is greatly to be deplored,
and the United States is the last nation to desire it; but if, as the
condition of peace, it be required of us to forego the unquestionable
right of treating with an independent power of our own continent upon
matters highly interesting to both, and that upon a naked and
unsustained pretension of claim by a third power to control the free
will of the power with whom we treat, devoted as we may be to peace
and anxious to cultivate friendly relations with the whole world, the
Executive does not hesitate to say that the people of the United States
would be ready to brave all consequences sooner than submit to such
condition. But no apprehension of war was entertained by the Executive,
and I must express frankly the opinion that had the treaty been ratified
by the Senate it would have been followed by a prompt settlement, to the
entire satisfaction of Mexico, of every matter in difference between the
two countries. Seeing, then, that new preparations for hostile invasion
of Texas were about to be adopted by Mexico, and that these were brought
about because Texas had adopted the suggestions of the Executive upon
the subject of annexation, it could not passively have folded its arms
and permitted a war, threatened to be accompanied by every act that
could mark a barbarous age, to be waged against her because she had
done so.

Other considerations of a controlling character influenced the course
of the Executive. The treaty which had thus been negotiated had failed
to receive the ratification of the Senate. One of the chief objections
which was urged against it was found to consist in the fact that the
question of annexation had not been submitted to the ordeal of public
opinion in the United States. However untenable such an objection was
esteemed to be, in view of the unquestionable power of the Executive to
negotiate the treaty and the great and lasting interests involved in
the question, I felt it to be my duty to submit the whole subject to
Congress as the best expounders of popular sentiment. No definitive
action having been taken on the subject by Congress, the question
referred itself directly to the decision of the States and people.
The great popular election which has just terminated afforded the best
opportunity of ascertaining the will of the States and the people upon
it. Pending that issue it became the imperative duty of the Executive
to inform Mexico that the question of annexation was still before the
American people, and that until their decision was pronounced any
serious invasion of Texas would be regarded as an attempt to forestall
their judgment and could not be looked upon with indifference. I am most
happy to inform you that no such invasion has taken place; and I trust
that whatever your action may be upon it Mexico will see the importance
of deciding the matter by a resort to peaceful expedients in preference
to those of arms. The decision of the people and the States on this
great and interesting subject has been decisively manifested.
The question of annexation has been presented nakedly to their
consideration. By the treaty itself all collateral and incidental issues
which were calculated to divide and distract the public councils were
carefully avoided. These were left to the wisdom of the future to
determine. It presented, I repeat, the isolated question of annexation,
and in that form it has been submitted to the ordeal of public
sentiment. A controlling majority of the people and a large majority of
the States have declared in favor of immediate annexation. Instructions
have thus come up to both branches of Congress from their respective
constituents in terms the most emphatic. It is the will of both the
people and the States that Texas shall be annexed to the Union promptly
and immediately. It may be hoped that in carrying into execution the
public will thus declared all collateral issues may be avoided. Future
Legislatures can best decide as to the number of States which should be
formed out of the territory when the time has arrived for deciding that
question. So with all others. By the treaty the United States assumed
the payment of the debts of Texas to an amount not exceeding
$10,000,000, to be paid, with the exception of a sum falling short of
$400,000, exclusively out of the proceeds of the sales of her public
lands. We could not with honor take the lands without assuming the full
payment of all incumbrances upon them.

Nothing has occurred since your last session to induce a doubt
that the dispositions of Texas remain unaltered. No intimation of an
altered determination on the part of her Government and people has been
furnished to the Executive. She still desires to throw herself under
the protection of our laws and to partake of the blessings of our
federative system, while every American interest would seem to require
it. The extension of our coastwise and foreign trade to an amount almost
incalculable, the enlargement of the market for our manufactures, a
constantly growing market for our agricultural productions, safety to
our frontiers, and additional strength and stability to the Union--these
are the results which would rapidly develop themselves upon the
consummation of the measure of annexation. In such event I will not
doubt but that Mexico would find her true interest to consist in meeting
the advances of this Government in a spirit of amity. Nor do I apprehend
any serious complaint from any other quarter; no sufficient ground
exists for such complaint. We should interfere in no respect with the
rights of any other nation. There can not be gathered from the act any
design on our part to do so with their possessions on this continent.
We have interposed no impediments in the way of such acquisitions of
territory, large and extensive as many of them are, as the leading
powers of Europe have made from time to time in every part of the world.
We seek no conquest made by war. No intrigue will have been resorted to
or acts of diplomacy essayed to accomplish the annexation of Texas. Free
and independent herself, she asks to be received into our Union. It is
a question for our own decision whether she shall be received or not.

The two Governments having already agreed through their respective
organs on the terms of annexation, I would recommend their adoption by
Congress in the form of a joint resolution or act to be perfected and
made binding on the two countries when adopted in like manner by the
Government of Texas.

In order that the subject may be fully presented in all its bearings,
the correspondence which has taken place in reference to it since the
adjournment of Congress between the United States, Texas, and Mexico is
herewith transmitted.

The amendments proposed by the Senate to the convention concluded
between the United States and Mexico on the 20th of November, 1843, have
been transmitted through our minister for the concurrence of the Mexican
Government, but, although urged thereto, no action has yet been had on
the subject, nor has any answer been given which would authorize a
favorable conclusion in the future.

The decree of September, 1843, in relation to the retail trade, the
order for the expulsion of foreigners, and that of a more recent date
in regard to passports--all which are considered as in violation of
the treaty of amity and commerce between the two countries--have led
to a correspondence of considerable length between the minister for
foreign relations and our representatives at Mexico, but without any
satisfactory result. They remain still unadjusted, and many and serious
inconveniences have already resulted to our citizens in consequence of
them.

Questions growing out of the act of disarming a body of Texan troops
under the command of Major Snively by an officer in the service of
the United States, acting under the orders of our Government, and the
forcible entry into the custom-house at Bryarlys Landing, on Red River,
by certain citizens of the United States, and taking away therefrom the
goods seized by the collector of the customs as forfeited under the laws
of Texas, have been adjusted so far as the powers of the Executive
extend. The correspondence between the two Governments in reference
to both subjects will be found amongst the accompanying documents.
It contains a full statement of all the facts and circumstances, with
the views taken on both sides and the principles on which the questions
have been adjusted. It remains for Congress to make the necessary
appropriation to carry the arrangement into effect, which I respectfully
recommend.

The greatly improved condition of the Treasury affords a subject for
general congratulation. The paralysis which had fallen on trade and
commerce, and which subjected the Government to the necessity of
resorting to loans and the issue of Treasury notes to a large amount,
has passed away, and after the payment of upward of $7,000,000 on
account of the interest, and in redemption of more than $5,000,000 of
the public debt which falls due on the 1st of January next, and setting
apart upward of $2,000,000 for the payment of outstanding Treasury notes
and meeting an installment of the debts of the corporate cities of the
District of Columbia, an estimated surplus of upward of $7,000,000 over
and above the existing appropriations will remain in the Treasury at the
close of the fiscal year. Should the Treasury notes continue outstanding
as heretofore, that surplus will be considerably augmented. Although
all interest has ceased upon them and the Government has invited their
return to the Treasury, yet they remain outstanding, affording great
facilities to commerce, and establishing the fact that under a
well-regulated system of finance the Government has resources within
itself which render it independent in time of need, not only of private
loans, but also of bank facilities.

The only remaining subject of regret is that the remaining stocks of the
Government do not fall due at an earlier day, since their redemption
would be entirely within its control. As it is, it may be well worthy
the consideration of Congress whether the law establishing the sinking
fund (under the operation of which the debts of the Revolution and last
war with Great Britain were to a great extent extinguished) should not,
with proper modifications, so as to prevent an accumulation of
surpluses, and limited in amount to a specific sum, be reenacted. Such
provision, which would authorize the Government to go into the market
for a purchase of its own stock on fair terms, would serve to maintain
its credit at the highest point and prevent to a great extent those
fluctuations in the price of its securities which might under other
circumstances affect its credit. No apprehension of this sort is at this
moment entertained, since the stocks of the Government, which but two
years ago were offered for sale to capitalists at home and abroad at a
depreciation, and could find no purchasers, are now greatly above par in
the hands of the holders; but a wise and prudent forecast admonishes us
to place beyond the reach of contingency the public credit.

It must also be a matter of unmingled gratification that under the
existing financial system (resting upon the act of 1789 and the
resolution of 1816) the currency of the country has attained a state of
perfect soundness; and the rates of exchange between different parts
of the Union, which in 1841 denoted by their enormous amount the great
depreciation and, in fact, worthlessness of the currency in most of
the States, are now reduced to little more than the mere expense of
transporting specie from place to place and the risk incident to the
operation. In a new country like that of the United States, where so
many inducements are held out for speculation, the depositories of the
surplus revenue, consisting of banks of any description, when it reaches
any considerable amount, require the closest vigilance on the part of
the Government. All banking institutions, under whatever denomination
they may pass, are governed by an almost exclusive regard to the
interest of the stockholders. That interest consists in the augmentation
of profits in the form of dividends, and a large surplus revenue
intrusted to their custody is but too apt to lead to excessive loans
and to extravagantly large issues of paper. As a necessary consequence
prices are nominally increased and the speculative mania very soon
seizes upon the public mind. A fictitious state of prosperity for a
season exists, and, in the language of the day, money becomes plenty.
Contracts are entered into by individuals resting on this unsubstantial
state of things, but the delusion speedily passes away and the country
is overrun with an indebtedness so weighty as to overwhelm many and to
visit every department of industry with great and ruinous embarrassment.
The greatest vigilance becomes necessary on the part of Government to
guard against this state of things. The depositories must be given
distinctly to understand that the favors of the Government will be
altogether withdrawn, or substantially diminished, if its revenues shall
be regarded as additions to their banking capital or as the foundation
of an enlarged circulation.

The Government, through its revenue, has at all times an important part
to perform in connection with the currency, and it greatly depends upon
its vigilance and care whether the country be involved in embarrassments
similar to those which it has had recently to encounter, or, aided by
the action of the Treasury, shall be preserved in a sound and healthy
condition.

The dangers to be guarded against are greatly augmented by too large a
surplus of revenue. When that surplus greatly exceeds in amount what
shall be required by a wise and prudent forecast to meet unforeseen
contingencies, the Legislature itself may come to be seized with a
disposition to indulge in extravagant appropriations to objects many
of which may, and most probably would, be found to conflict with the
Constitution. A fancied expediency is elevated above constitutional
authority, and a reckless and wasteful extravagance but too certainly
follows.

The important power of taxation, which when exercised in its most
restricted form is a burthen on labor and production, is resorted to
under various pretexts for purposes having no affinity to the motives
which dictated its grant, and the extravagance of Government stimulates
individual extravagance until the spirit of a wild and ill-regulated
speculation involves one and all in its unfortunate results. In view of
such fatal consequences, it may be laid down as an axiom founded in
moral and political truth that no greater taxes should be imposed than
are necessary for an economical administration of the Government, and
that whatever exists beyond should be reduced or modified. This doctrine
does in no way conflict with the exercise of a sound discrimination in
the selection of the articles to be taxed, which a due regard to the
public weal would at all times suggest to the legislative mind. It
leaves the range of selection undefined; and such selection should
always be made with an eye to the great interests of the country.
Composed as is the Union of separate and independent States, a patriotic
Legislature will not fail in consulting the interests of the parts to
adopt such course as will be best calculated to advance the harmony
of the whole, and thus insure that permanency in the policy of the
Government without which all efforts to advance the public prosperity
are vain and fruitless.

This great and vitally important task rests with Congress, and the
Executive can do no more than recommend the general principles which
should govern in its execution.

I refer you to the report of the Secretary of War for an exhibition of
the condition of the Army, and recommend to you as well worthy your best
consideration many of the suggestions it contains. The Secretary in no
degree exaggerates the great importance of pressing forward without
delay in the work of erecting and finishing the fortifications to which
he particularly alludes. Much has been done toward placing our cities
and roadsteads in a state of security against the hazards of hostile
attack within the last four years; but considering the new elements
which have been of late years employed in the propelling of ships
and the formidable implements of destruction which have been brought
into service, we can not be too active or vigilant in preparing and
perfecting the means of defense. I refer you also to his report for
a full statement of the condition of the Indian tribes within our
jurisdiction. The Executive has abated no effort in carrying into effect
the well-established policy of the Government which contemplates a
removal of all the tribes residing within the limits of the several
States beyond those limits, and it is now enabled to congratulate the
country at the prospect of an early consummation of this object. Many of
the tribes have already made great progress in the arts of civilized
life, and through the operation of the schools established among them,
aided by the efforts of the pious men of various religious denominations
who devote themselves to the task of their improvement, we may fondly
hope that the remains of the formidable tribes which were once masters
of this country will in their transition from the savage state to a
condition of refinement and cultivation add another bright trophy to
adorn the labors of a well-directed philanthropy.

The accompanying report of the Secretary of the Navy will explain to you
the situation of that branch of the service. The present organization of
the Department imparts to its operations great efficiency, but I concur
fully in the propriety of a division of the Bureau of Construction,
Equipment, Increase, and Repairs into two bureaus. The subjects as now
arranged are incongruous, and require to a certain extent information
and qualifications altogether dissimilar.

The operations of the squadron on the coast of Africa have been
conducted with all due attention to the object which led to its
origination, and I am happy to say that the officers and crews have
enjoyed the best possible health under the system adopted by the officer
in command. It is believed that the United States is the only nation
which has by its laws subjected to the punishment of death as pirates
those who may be engaged in the slave trade. A similar enactment on the
part of other nations would not fail to be attended by beneficial
results.

In consequence of the difficulties which have existed in the way of
securing titles for the necessary grounds, operations have not yet been
commenced toward the establishment of the navy-yard at Memphis. So soon
as the title is perfected no further delay will be permitted to
intervene. It is well worthy of your consideration whether Congress
should not direct the establishment of a ropewalk in connection with the
contemplated navy-yard, as a measure not only of economy, but as highly
useful and necessary. The only establishment of the sort now connected
with the service is located at Boston, and the advantages of a similar
establishment convenient to the hemp-growing region must be apparent to
all.

The report of the Secretary presents other matters to your consideration
of an important character in connection with the service.

In referring you to the accompanying report of the Postmaster-General it
affords me continued cause of gratification to be able to advert to the
fact that the affairs of the Department for the last four years have
been so conducted as from its unaided resources to meet its large
expenditures. On my coming into office a debt of nearly $500,000 existed
against the Department, which Congress discharged by an appropriation
from the Treasury. The Department on the 4th of March next will be
found, under the management of its present efficient head, free of debt
or embarrassment, which could only have been done by the observance and
practice of the greatest vigilance and economy. The laws have
contemplated throughout that the Department should be self-sustained,
but it may become necessary, with the wisest regard to the public
interests, to introduce amendments and alterations in the system.

There is a strong desire manifested in many quarters so to alter the
tariff of letter postage as to reduce the amount of tax at present
imposed. Should such a measure be carried into effect to the full extent
desired, it can not well be doubted but that for the first years of its
operation a diminished revenue would be collected, the supply of which
would necessarily constitute a charge upon the Treasury. Whether such
a result would be desirable it will be for Congress in its wisdom
to determine. It may in general be asserted as true that radical
alterations in any system should rather be brought about gradually than
by sudden changes, and by pursuing this prudent policy in the reduction
of letter postage the Department might still sustain itself through the
revenue which would accrue by the increase of letters. The state and
condition of the public Treasury has heretofore been such as to have
precluded the recommendation of any material change. The difficulties
upon this head have, however, ceased, and a larger discretion is now
left to the Government.

I can not too strongly urge the policy of authorizing the establishment
of a line of steamships regularly to ply between this country and
foreign ports and upon our own waters for the transportation of the
mail. The example of the British Government is well worthy of imitation
in this respect. The belief is strongly entertained that the emoluments
arising from the transportation of mail matter to foreign countries
would operate of itself as an inducement to cause individual enterprise
to undertake that branch of the task, and the remuneration of the
Government would consist in the addition readily made to our steam navy
in case of emergency by the ships so employed. Should this suggestion
meet your approval, the propriety of placing such ships under the
command of experienced officers of the Navy will not escape your
observation. The application of steam to the purposes of naval warfare
cogently recommends an extensive steam marine as important in estimating
the defenses of the country. Fortunately this may be obtained by us
to a great extent without incurring any large amount of expenditure.
Steam vessels to be engaged in the transportation of the mails on our
principal water courses, lakes, and ports of our coast could also be so
constructed as to be efficient as war vessels when needed, and would of
themselves constitute a formidable force in order to repel attacks from
abroad. We can not be blind to the fact that other nations have already
added large numbers of steamships to their naval armaments and that this
new and powerful agent is destined to revolutionize the condition of
the world. It becomes the United States, therefore, looking to their
security, to adopt a similar policy, and the plan suggested will enable
them to do so at a small comparative cost.

I take the greatest pleasure in bearing testimony to the zeal and
untiring industry which has characterized the conduct of the members of
the Executive Cabinet. Each in his appropriate sphere has rendered me
the most efficient aid in carrying on the Government, and it will not,
I trust, appear out of place for me to bear this public testimony. The
cardinal objects which should ever be held in view by those intrusted
with the administration of public affairs are rigidly, and without favor
or affection, so to interpret the national will expressed in the laws as
that inj