Bradford reporter. (Towanda, Pa.) 1844-1884, December 09, 1858, Image 2

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Thursday Morning, December 9, 1858.
TERMS —One linllur ptr annum, invariably in tulvqnice—
four ireels precious to the rr pi ration oj a subscription.
not it r trill be given by a prmtrd wrapper, anil if not re
newed, thr paper will in all casts hr stopped.
CLrBBINO The Itrjwrlrr will he sent to Clubs at the Jul
lowing extremely low rates :
ti copies for s■'< '• !1 > <optrs for. .. I - <" j
10 copies for *OO | M Copies f0r .... 1.1 00 I
ADVERTISEMENTS —For a square of ten lines or less. One
Hollar f or three or less insertions, and twenty-five cents
for each subsequent insertion.
JOB-WORK Fx ended with accuracy and despatch, and a
reasonable prices—with ecery facility for doing Hook*.
Blanks, Hand bills, Hal!tickets, <$T.
MONEY may be sent by mail, at our risk—enclosed in an
envelope, and properly directed, we will be responsible
for Us safe delivery.
"We issue the IIEI-OKTKK one D.iyl.itcr thaa usual,
to give our readers President Been AVAN'S annual nirs
s.vse. The document is nnusually lengthy, and not re
markahly Interesting. The comments to which it
rise, we arc necessarily obliged to defer until next week.
OS-FRED Porc.i. vss' lectures, on Monday and Tuesday
evening* last.were a complete success,both as to the num
bers of the audience and interest they manifested in the
remnks of the Lecturer. On Tuesday partic
ular. when endeavoring to prove the Unity of the Races,
an address of two hours and a half in length was enjoyed
with unwearied attehtion. It is hardly necessary to say,
that it was eloquent, brilliant, logical and witty ; worthy
of his reputation as an orator.
The Fourth Lecture iu the Course will he delivered on
Tuesday. 21st Instant, by Dr. WII.I.HM EI-PER, of Phila
delphia. The Dr. stands in the front rank of public lec
turers. and tlieopp irtunity to hear him will unqucstioua- j
bly be improved by our citizens.
Srnscßini! XT Oven!—Tnc Cosmapolitan Art Associa-1
tion, now in its fifth year, is furnishing subscribers with
a copy of the superb Steel Engraving, after Herring's ce
lebrated painting, " THE YILLAOE BLACKSMITH. ' This
elegant engraving can now be seen at PATTOV \ P AYNE'S.
where subscriptions will be recoired by J. G. PATTON,
Ilonorarv Secretary.
r T! ic N'ew Hall of the Alpha EpsUon Society was de
dicated on Saturday evening last, an Address being read
by G. 11. W ATKINS, followed by remarks from several oth
er gentlemen.
tin Friday evening, 17th inst., an Address will he deliv
ered by W. T. DAVIS, and a public debate will take place.
President's Message.
Ftlloir-Citizrns of the Senate and Hons: of
Representatives :
When we compare the oonilition of the conn
try at the present day with what it was a year
ago, at the meeting of Congress, we have much
reason for gratitude to that Almighty Provi
dence, which has never failed to interpose for
onr relief, at the most critical period of our
history. One year ago the sectional strife be
tween the North and the South, on the dan
gerous subject of Slavery, had again become
so intense as to threaten the peace and perpe
tuity of the confederacy. The application for
the admission of Kansas as a State into the
Union, fostered tins unhappy agitation, and
brought the whole subject once more before
Congress. It was the desire of every patriot
that such a measure of legislation might he
adopted as would remove the agitation from
the States, and confine it to the* Territory
where it legitimately belonged. Much has been
done, I am happy to say, towards the accom
plishment of this object during the last session
of Kansas.
The Supreme Court of the United States
hail previously dicided, that all American citi
zens have an equal right to take into the Terri
tories whatever is held as property under the
laws of any of the States, and to hold such
property there under the guardianship of the
Federal Constitution, so long as the Territori
al condition shall remain.
This is now a well-established position, and
the proceedings of the last session were alone
wanting to give it practical effect. The prin
ciple has been recognized, in some formoroth
er, by almost unanimous vote of both Houses
of Congress, that a Territory has a right to
come into the Union either as a free or a slave
State, according to the will of a majority of
itn people. The just equality of all the States
has thus been vendicated, and a fruitful source
of dangerous dissention among them has been
Whilst such has been the beneficial tenden
cy of your legislative proceedings outside of
Kansas, their influence has been nowl ere sc
happy as within that Territory itself. Left to
manage and control its own affairs in its own
way, without the pressure of external influence,
the revolutionary Topeka organization,and all
resistance to the Territorial Govi rnment estab
lished by Congress, have beeu finally abandon
el. And as a natural consequence, that fine
Territory now appears to be tranquil and pros
perous, and is attracting increasing thousands
uf imigratits to make it their happy home.
The past unfortunate experience <<f Kansas
has enforced the lesson so often already taught
that, resistance to lawful authority, under our
form of Government, cannot fail in the end to
p-ove disastrous to its authors. Had the peo
ple of the Territoiy, yielded obedience to the
laws enacted by their Legislature, it would at
the present moment have contained a large ad
ditional population of industrious and enterpri
sing citizens, who have been deterred from en
tering its borders by the existence of civil
strife and organized rebellion.
It was the resistance of rightful authority
and the persevering attempts to establish a re
volutionary government tinder the Topeka con
stitution, which caused the people of Kansas to
commit the grave error of refusing to vote for
Delegates to the Convention to frame a Con
stitution under a law not denied to be fair and
just in its provisions. This refusal to vote has
been the prolific source of all the evils
which have followed. In their hostility to the
Territorial Government they disregarded the
principle, absolutely essential to the workings
of our form of Government, that a majority of
those who vote—not the majority of those who
may stay at home, from whatever cause—mut
decide the result of an election. For this rea
son sticking to take advantage of their own er
ror, they dcuied the authority of the convention
thus elected to frame a constitution.
The convention, notwithstanding, proceeded
to adopt a constitution unexceptionable in its
general features, and providing for the submis
sion of the slavery question to a vote of the
people, which, in my opinion, they were bound
to do under ths Kansas and Nebraska act.—
T< is ;•, tha u ' ieyouani q-i-rt-' >n whvh tv.
alone convulsed the Territory ; and yet the
opponents of the lawful government, persisting
in their first error, refrained from exercising
their right to rote, and preferred that slavery
should continue rather than surrender their
revolutionary Toptka organization.
.V wiser and better spirit seemed to prevail
before the first Monday of January last., when
an election was held under the Constitution. A
majority of the people then voted for a Gover
nor and other State officers, for a member of
Congress, and members of the State Legisla
ture. This election was warmly contested by
the two political parties in Kansas, and a great
i er vote was polled than at any previous elec
tion. A large majority of the memliers of the
Legislature elect belonged to that party which
had previously refused to vote. The Anti-Sla
very party were thus placed in the ascendent,
and the political power of the State was in
their own hands. Had Congress admitted
Kansas into the Union under the Lecompton
Constitution, the Legislature might, at its,very
first session, have submitted the question to a
vote of the people, whether they would or
would not have a Convention to amend their
Constitution, either on the Slavery or 011 any
other question, and have adopted all necesssry
means for giving speedy effect to the will of
the majority. Thus the Kansas question would
! have been immediately anil finally settled.
Under these circumstances, I submitted to
j Congress the Constitution thus framed,with all
' the officers already elected necessary to put the
State Government into operation, accompanied
by a strong recommendation in favor of the
admission of Kansas as a State. In theconrse
of my long public life I have never performed
any official act which, iu the retrospect,has af
forded me more heartfelt satisfaction. Its ad
mission could have inflicted 110 possible injury
on any human being, whilst it would, within a
brief period, have restored peace to Kansas
' and harmony to the Union. In that event,
; the Slavery question would ere this be finally
settled, according to the legally expressed will
of a majority of the voters, and popular sover
eignty would thus have been vindicated in a
constitutional manner.
With inv deep convictions of duty, I could
have pursued no other course. It is true that,
j as an individual, I iiad expressed an opinion,
I before and during the session of the Conven-
I tion, in favor of submitting the remaining clau
ses of the constitution, as well ns that concern
ing Slavery, to the people. Hut, acting in ail
official character, neither myself nor any human
authority had the power to rejudge the pro
ceedings of the Convention, and declare the
constitution which it had framed to be a nullity.
To have done this would have been a violation
of the Kansas and Nebraska act, which left
the people of the Territory "perfectly free
to form and regulate their domestic institutions
in their own way, subject only to the Constitu
tion of the United States." It would have
equally have violated the great principle of
popular sovereignty, at the foundation of our
institutions, to deprive the people of the pow
er, if they thought proper to exercise it, of con
tiding to delegates elected by themselves the
trust of framing a constitution, without requir
ing them to subject their constituents to the
trouble, expense and delay of a second'election.
It would have been iu opposition to many pre
cedents in our history, commencing in the very
btst age of the republic, of the admissiou of
Territories as States into the Union, without a
previous vote of the people approving their
It is to be lamented that a question so in
signifii ant when viewed in its practical effects
on the people of Kansas, whether decided one
way or the other, should have kindled such a
flame of excitement throughout the country.
This reflection may prove to he a lesson of wis
dom and of warning for our future guidance.
Practically considered, the question is simply
whethir the people of that Territory should
first come into the Union and then change any
provision in their constitution not agreeable to
themselves or accomplish the very same object
by remaining out of the Union and framing
another Constitution in accordance with their
will ? In either case the result would be pre
cisely the same. The only difference iu point
of fact is, that the object would have been
much sooner attained, and the pacification of
Kansas more speedily effected, had it been ad
mitted as a State during the last session of
My recommendation, however, for the im
mediate admission of Kansas, failed to meet
the approbation of Congress. They deemed
it wiser to adopt a diffcrcut measure for the
settlement of tho question. For my own part
I sli mid have been willing to yield my assent
to almost any constitutional measure to accom
plish this object. I therefore, coidially aqni
es< e 1 ii wlnt lias l(en called '"the Ei g ish
Compromise," and approved the " Act for the
admissiou of the State of Kansas into the Un
ion,'' upon the terms therein prescribed."'
Under the ordinance which accompanied the
Lecompton Coi.s'itution, the people of Kansas
had claimed double the quantity of public lands
for the support of common shools, which had
ever been previously granted to any Statee up
on entering the Union ; and also the alternate
sections of laud for twelve miles on each side
of two railroads, proposed to be constructed
from the northern to the southern boundary,
and from the eastern to the western boundary
of the State. Congress, deeming the claims
~ ' o
; unreasonable, provided, by the act of May 4,
IS-IS, to which I have just referred, for the ad
mission of the State on equal footing with the
original States, but " upon the fundamental
condition precedent" that a majority of tht
people thereof, at an election to be held for
that purpose, should, in place of the very large
grants of the public lauds which they had de
manded under the ordinance, except such
grants as had been made to Miunesota and
other new States. Under this act, should a
majority reject the proposition offered them,
| " it shall be deemed and held that the people
of Kansas do not desire admission iutotheUn
\ ion with said Constitution under the conditions
| set forth iu said proposition." In that event
the act authorizes the people of the Territory
| to elect delegates to form a Constitution and a
: State Government for themselves, " whenever
i and not before, it is ascertained by a census,
i duly and legally taken, that the population of
said Territory equals or exceeds the ratio of
representation required for a member of the
House of Representatives of the Congress of
the United States." The delegates thus as
sembled "shall first determine by a vote wheth
er it is the wish of the people of the proposed
State to he admitted into the Union at that
time, and, if so, shall proceed to form a Con
stitution, and take all necessary steps for the
establishment of a State Government in con
formity with the Federal Constitution." Af
ter this Constitution has been formed, Congress
carrying out the principles of popular sover
eignty and non-lnterven'ion, have left " the
r odc or tr aimer tf its approval or rfifi-ition
by the people of the proposed State"' to be
"prescribed by law," and they "shall then be ad
mitted into the Union hs a State under such
Constitution, thus fairly and legally tnade,witli
or without slavery, as said Constitution tuay 1
An election was held throughout' Kansas in
pursuance of the provisions of this act, on the
2d day of August last, and it resulted in the
rejection, by a large majority, of the proposi
tion submitted to the people by Congress.— !
This being the case, they are now authorized
to form another Constitution, preparatory to'
admission into the Union, but not until their
number, as ascertained by a census, shall equal
or exceed the ratio required to elect a member
to the House of Representatives.
It is not probable, in the present state of
the case, that a third Constitution can be law
fully framed and presented to Congress by
Kansas, before the population shall have reach
ed the designated number. A'or is it to be
presumed that, after their sad experience in re
sisting the Territorial laws, they will attempt
to adopt the Constitution in express violation
of the provision of an act of Congress. During
the session of 1856, much of the time of Con
gress was occupied on the question of admit
ting Kansas under the Topeka Constitution.
Again, nearly the whole of the last session was
devoted to the question of its admission under
the Lecompton Constitution. Surely it is not
unreasonable to require the people of Kansas
to wait before making a third attempt, until
the number ot their inhabitants shall amount
to ninety-three thousand four hnndrcd and twen
ty. During this brief period, the harmony of
the States, as well as the great badness inter
ests of the country, demand that the people of
the Union shall not for a third time lie convul
sed by another agitation on the Kansas ques
tion. By waiting for a short time, and acting
in obedience to law, Kansas will glide into the
Union without the slightest impediment.
This excellent provision, which Congress has
applied to Kansas, ought to lie extended and
rendered applicable to all Territories which
may here after seek admission into the Union.
Whilst Consrress possesses the undoubted
power of admitting a new State into the Union,
however small may be the number of its inhab
itants, yet this power ought not, in my opinion,
be exercised before the population shall amount
to the ratio required by the act for the admis
sion of Kansas. Had this been previously the
rule, the country would have escaped all the
evils and misfortunes to which it has been ex
posed by tlie Kansas question.
Of course, it would be unjust to give this
rule a retrospective application, and exclude a
State which, acting upon the past practice of
the Government, has already lormed its Con
stitution, elected its Legislature and other ofli
cers, and is now prepared to enter the Union.
The rule ought to be adopted, whenever we
consider its bearing on the people of the Terri
tories or upon the people of the existing St ites.
Many of tlip serious dissensions which have pre
vailed in Congress ami throughout the country,
would have been avoided, had this rule been
adopted at an earlier period of the Govern
Immediately upon the formation of a new
Territory, people from different States and
from foreign countries rush into it, for the lau
dable purpose of improving their condition.—
Their first duty to themselves is to open and
cultivate farms, to construct roads, to establish
schools, to erect places of religious worship,and
to devote their energies generally to reclaim
the wilderness and to lay the foundation of a
flourishing and prosperous commonwealth. If,
in this incipient condition, with a population
of a few thousand, they should prematurely en
ter the Union, they are oppressed by the bur
den of Stite taxation, and the means necessa
ry for the improvement of the Territory and
the advancement of their own Interests, are
thus diverted to very different purposes.
The Federal Government has ever been a
liberal pirent to the Territories, and a gener
ous contributor to the useful enterprises of the
early settlers. It has paid the expenses of their
government and legislative assemblies out of
the common treasury, and thus relieved them
from a heavy charge. Under these circum
stances, nothing can lie better calculated to re
tard their material progress than to divert them
from their useful employment by prematurely
exciting angry political contest among them
selves, for the benefit of aspiring leaders. It
is surely no hardship for embryo Governors,
Senators and Members of Congress to wait un
til the number of inhabitants shall equal those
of a single Congressional District. They sure
ly ought not be permitted to rush into the
Union with a population less than one half of
several of the large counties in the interior of
some of the States. This was the condition of
Kansas when it made application to be admit
ted under the Topeka Constitution. Besides,
it requires some time to render the mass of a
population collected in a new Territory at all
homogeneous, and to unite them to anything
like a fixed policy Establish the rule, and all
will look forward to it and govern themselves
i cc irdinglv.
Hut justice tothepeopleof theseveralStates
requires that this rule should he established by
Congress. Each State is entitled to two Sena
tors and at least to one Representative in Con
gress. Should the people of the States fail to
elect a Vice-President, the power devolves up
on the Senators to select this officer from the
two highest candidates on the list. lucaseof
the death of the President, the Vice-President
thus elected by the Senate becomes President
of the United States. On all the questions of
legislation, the Senators of the smallest States
of the Union have an equal vote with those
from the largest. The same may be said in re
gard to the ratification of treaties, and of Ex
ecutive appointments. All this has worked
admirably in practice, whilst it conforms in
principle with the character of a Government
instituted by sovereign States. I presume 110
American citizen would desire the slightest
change in the arrangement. Still, is it not un
just and unequal to the existing States to in
vest some forty or fifty thousand people collec
ted in a Territory with the attributes of sover
eignty, and place them on equal footing with
Virginia and New York in the Senate of the
United States.
For these reasons, I earnestly recommend the
passage of a general act which shall provide
that, upon the application of a Territorial Le
gislature, declaring their belief that the Terri
tory contains a number of inhabitants which,if
in a State, would entitle them to elect a Mem
ber of shall be the duty of the Pre
sident to cause a census to be taken, and if
found sufficient, then by the terms of this act
to authorize thein to proceed " in their own
way" to frame a State Constitution preparato
ry to admission into the Union. I also recom
mend that an appropriation may be made to
enable the President to take a census of the
ppopie of Lauras. •? -
The present coudition of the Territory of
t-Utah, when contrasted with wbat it wae one
year ago, is a subject for congratulation: It
was then in a state of open rebellion, aiid cost,
what it might, the character of 1 the Govern
ment required that thisrebelli"ii should be-op
pressed and tbe Mormons compelled to yield
obedieuce to the Constitution and the laws. In
order to accomplish this object, as I informed
' you in my last annual message, I appointed a
new Governor instead of Brighara Young, and
other Federal officers to take the place ol those
who, consulting their personal safety, had found
it necessary to withdraw from the Territory.
To protect these civil officers, and (o aidthhn,
as a posse cnviila!us, la the execution of the
laws in case of need, I ordered a-detachment of
the army to accompany them to Utah, Ihe
necessity for adopting these measures is now
On the 16th of September, 1857, Governor
Young issued his proclamation, in the style (of
independent sovereign, announcing his purpose
to resist by force of actus the entry of the Uni
ted States troops into our own Territory of
Utah. By this lie required all the forces in
the Territory to " hold themselves in readiness
to march at a moment's notice to repel any and
all such invasion," and established martial law
from its date throughout the Territory. These
proved to be idle threats. Forts Bridget' and
Supply were vacated and burnt down by the
Mormons to deprive our troops of a shelter
after their long and fatiguing march. Orders
were issued by Daniel 11. Wells, styling him
self " Lieutenant General, Nauvoo Legion," to
stampede the animals of the United States
troops on their march, to set Ore to their
trains to burn the grass and the whole country
before them and oti their Hanks, to keep them
from sleeping by night surprises, and to block
ade the road by fclliug trees and destroying the
fords of rivers, Ac., Ac.
These orders were promptly and effectually
obeyed. On the 4th of October, 1857, the
Mormons captured and burned on Greeu river
three of our supply trains, con.i.stiiig if seven
ty-live wagons loaded with provisions and tents
for the army, and drove away several hundred
animals. This diminished the supply of pro
visions so materially that Gen. Johnston was
obliged to reduce the ration, and even with
this precaution there was only sufficient left to
subsist the troops until the Ist of June.
The Secretary of War employed all his en
ergies to forward them the necessary supplies,
and to muster and send such a military force
to Utah as would render resistance on the part
of the Mormons hopeless, and thus terminate
the war without the effusion of blood. In his
efforts he was efficiently sustained by Congress.
Tliev granted appropriations sufficient to cover
the deficiency thus necessarily created, and al
so provided for raising two regiments of volun
teers, " fur tlie purpose of quelling disturban
ces in the territory of Utah, fur the protection
of supply and emigrant trains, and the sup
pression of Indian hostilities on the frontier."
Happily, there was no occasion to call tliese
regiments into service. If there had been, i
should have felt serious embarrassment in se
lecting them, so great was the number of our
brave and patriotic eitiacus anxious to serve
their country in this distant and apparently
dangerous expedition. Thus it has beeu, and
thus may it ever be !
The whole wisdom and economy of sending
sufficient reinforcements to Utah are establish
ed not only by the event, but iu the opinion of
those who, from their position and opportuni
ties, are the most capable of forming a correct
judgment. Gen. Johnston, the commander of
the forces, in addressing the Secretary of War
from Fort Bridger, under date Oct. 18, 1857,
expresses the opinion that "unless a large force
is sent here, from the nature of the country, a
protracted war on their (the Mormons) part
is inevitable." This he considers necessary, to
terminate the war "speedily and in ire econom
ically than if attempted by insufficient means."
In the meantime it was my at xious desire
that the iNloriuoiis seouhl yield obedience to
the Constitution and the laws, without render
ing it necessary to resort to military force. To
aid in accomplishing this object, 1 deemed it
advisable in April last to dispatch two distin
guished citizens of the I'nited States, Messrs
Powell and MeColloch, to Utah. They bore
with them a proclamation addressed by myself
to the inhabitants of Utah, dated on the t>th
day of that month, warning them of their true
condition, and how hopeless it was on their
port to persist in rebellion against the United
States, that they must expect no further lenity
but look to l>3 rigorously dealt with according
to their deserts. The instructions to these
agents, as well as a copy of the proclamation,
and their reports are herewith submitted. It
will be seen by their report of the 3rd of July
last, that they have fully confirmed the opin
ion expressed by Gen. Johnston in the previous
October, as to the necessity of sending rein
forcements to Utah. In this they state they
"are firmly impressed with the belief that the
presence of the army here and the large addi
tional force that has been ordered to this Ter
ritory, were the chief inducements that, caused
the Mormons to abandon the idea of resisting
the authority of the United States. A less de
cisive policy would probably have resulted in
a long, bloody and expensive war."
These gentlemen conducted themselves to my
entire satisfaction, and rendered useful services
in executing the humane inteutionsof the Gov
Ic also affords me great satisfaction to state
that Governor Gumming has performed his du
ty in an ahle and conciliatory manner, and
with the happiest effect. I cannot, in this con
nection, refrain from mentioning the valuable
services of Col. Thotuas L. Kane, who from
motives of pure benevolence, and without any
official character or pecuniary compensation,
visited Utah during the last inclement winter,
fur the purpose of contributing to the pacifica
tion of the Territory.
I am happy to inform you, that the Govern
or and other civil officers of Utah are now per
forming their appropriate functions without
resistance. The authority of the Constitution
and the laws has becu fully restored, and peace
prevails throughout the Territory.
A portion of the troops sent to Utah are
now encamped at Cedar Valley, forty-four
miles southwest of Salt Lake City ; and the
remainder have been ordered to Oregon to sup
press Indian hostilities.
The march ot the army to Salt Lake City,
through the Indian Territory, has had a pow
erful effect in restraining the hostile feelings
against the United States which existed among
the Indians in that region, and in securing em
igrants to the Far West against their depre
dations. This will ajso be the means of estab
lishing military posts and promoting settlements
along the route.
I recommend that the benefits of our land
law- 1 ami nrpemption svtrm be extended to ♦he
' people of Utah, by the establishment of a laud
office in that Territory.
*1 have occasion, also, to congratulate yen
oh tlte resalt ot Qur negotiations with China.
YejU wojre informed by my last annual mes- J
sage,- that Our Minister had been instructed to
occupy a neuirfcl-position in the hostites con
ducted by (Ireat Britain and France against
Canton. He was, however, at the same time I
' directed lofooojierntc Phrdially with the British
and French Ministers, in all peaceful measures,
' to secure by treaty those just concessions to I
; foreign commerce, which nations of the world
had a right to demand. It was impossible for
me to proceed further than this on iny ownau
thority, without usurping the war-making
i power, which, under the Constitution, belongs
! exclusively to Congress
Besides, after a careful examination of the
nature and extent of our grievances, I did not
believe they were of such a pressing and ag
gravated character, as would have justified
Congress in declaring war against the Chinese
Empire, without first ranking another earnest
attempt to adjust them by peaceful negotia
tion. I was the more inclined to this opinion,
because of the severe chastisement which bad
then hut recently been inflicted upon the Chi
nese by our squadron, in the capture and des
truction of the Barrier forts, to avenge an in
sult to our (lag.
The event has proved the wisdom of onr
neutrality. Our Minister has executed his in
struction with eminent skill and ability. In
i conjunction with the Russian Plenipotentiary
he has peacefully, but effectually, cooperated
with the English and French Plenipotentiaries;
j each of the four Powers has concluded a separ
ate treaty with China, of a highly satisfactory
character. The treaty concluded by our own
Plenipotentiary will immediately be submitted
to the Senate.
I am happy to announce that, through the
anorectic yet conciliatory efforts of our Consul
General in Japan, a new treaty has been con
cluded with that Empire, which may lie ex
pected materially to angment onr trade and in
| terconrse in that quarter, and remove from our
countrymen the disabilities which have hereto
j fore been imposed upon the exercise of their
religion. The treaty shall be submitted to the
Senate for approval without delay.
It is my earnest desire that every misunder
standing with the Government of Great Brit
ain should be amicably and speedily adjusted.
It has been the misfortune of both countries,
almost ever since the j eriod of the Revolution,
to have been annoyid by a succession of irri
tating and dangerous questions, threatening
| their friendly relations. This has partially
j prevented the full developement of those feel
i ings of mutual friendship bet ween the people of
the two countries, so natural in themselves,and
Iso conducive to their common interest. Any
serious interruption of the commerce between
1 the United States and Great Britain would
; l>e equally injurious to both. In fact no two
J nations have ever existed on the face of the
earth, which could do each other so much good
' or so much harm
Entertaining these sentiments, I am grati
fied to inform you that tire long-pending con
troversy between those two Governments, in
I relation to visitation and search, has been am
, icably udjnste 1. Tire daim on the part of
I Great Britain, forcibly to visit American ves
; sels on the high seas in time of peace, could
' not be sustained by the law of nations, and it
had been overruled by her most eminent jurists
This question was recently brought to an issue
. by the repeated acts of British cruisers in
j boarding and searching our merchant vessels
in the Gulf of Mexico, and the adjacent seas,
j These acts were more injurious ami annoying
as these waters are traversed by a large pnr
j tion of the commerce and navigation of the
! United States, and their free coastwise trade
between different States of the Union. Such
vexations interruptions could not fail to excite
j the feelings of tlie country, and to require the
i interposition of Government. Remonstrances
were addressed to the British Government
! against these violations of our rights of sover
j eignty, and a naval force was at the same time
I ordered to the Cuban waters, with directions
! " to protect all vessels of the United States on
; high seas from search or detention by the ves
j sels of war of any other nation." These meas
ures received the unqualified ami even enthu
siastic approbation of the American people.
Most fortunately, however, no collision took
piace, and the British Government promptly
avowed its recognition of the international law
upon this subject, as laid down by the Govern
ment of the United Stales in the note of the
Secretary of State to the British Minister at
Washington, of April IS, 1858, which secure
the vessels of the United States upon the high
seas from visitation or search in time of perns',
under any circumstances whatever. The claim
! has been abandoned in a manner reflecting
! honor on the British Government, and evincing
a just regard for the law of nations, and can
not fait to strengthen the amicable relations
! between the two countries.
The British Government, at the same time,
proposed to the United States that some mode
should he adopted, by mutual arrangement be
j tween the two countries, of a character which
| may be found effective without being offensive,
: for verifying the nationality of vessels suspect
ed on good grounds of carrying false colors.
They have also invited the United States to
1 take the initiative, and propose measures for
this purpose. Whilst declining to assume so
grave a responsibility, the Secretary of State
has informed the British Government that we
are ready to receive any proposals which they
may feci disposed to offer, having this object
in view, and to consider them in an amicable
spirit. A strong opinion is, however, expres
sed. that the occasional abuse of the flag of
j any nation is an evil far less to be deprecated
j than the establishment of any regulations
which might he incompatible with the freedom
of the sens. This Government has yet receiv
ed no communication specifying the manner in
j which the British Government would propose
| to carry out their suggestion ; and I am in
; elined to believe that no plan which can he
' devised will he free from erabarrasments. Still
I shall form no decided opinion on the subject
nntil 1 shall have carefully and in the best
spirit examined any proposals which they may
think proper to make.
I atn truly sorry that I cannot also inform
you that the complications between Great Brit
ain and the United States, arising out of the
Clayton nnd Bnlwer treaty of April 1850, have
! been finally adjusted.
At the commencement of your last session, I
had reason to hope that, emancipating them
selves from further unavailing discussions, the
two Governments would proceed to settle the
Central American question in a practical man
ner, alike honorable and satisfactory to both ;
and this 1 one 1 have not vet abandoned. In
my last annual message, I stated
tures hud beta made by the British
ment lor this purpose, in" a friendly 'l'
I cordial) yreciprocatvd. Their proposal b
to withdraw these questions from direct * #v
tiation| between the two Governments i"'""
accomplish the same object, by an,.!,'' U '''
between the? British Government una i '
the Central American Republics who!',
lorial interests are immediately involved qn**
settlement was to be made in acconja'J
the general tenor of the interpretation?
I upon the Clayton and Bulwer treatv b V
United States, with certain modification/
negotiations are still pending upon this'' "•*
it would not he proper for me now to
nicate their present condition. A final ' .''
ment of these questions is greaily to be
as this would wipe out the temaini n *
of dispute betw'eeti Hie two countries'* '"
Our relations with the two great ei; -
France and Russia, as well u a with ail
Governments on the Continent of For;!,*
ceit that of Spain, continue to be of o, ei "
friendly character.
With Spain our relations remain' j, Un
t satisfactory condition. In my ,/■
cember last, I informed you" that our I
Extraordinary and Minister rienipote: J
to Madrid had asked for his reeah ■ ..u
was my purpose to semi out a uewMmi>t - f
that Court with special instructions uiu.,?'
tions pending between the two Govern:
and with a determination to have them
ily and amicably adjusted, if that were •
ble. This purpose has been hitherto dt/c,'
by causes which I need not enumerate. U
The mission to Spain has been iutru-vj
a distinguished citizen of Kentucky, who s'
proceed to Madrid without delay, ami • .
another and a final attempt to obtain '
from that Government.
Spanish officials, under the direct eontro' , :
the Captain General of Cuba, have insult#-'
our national flag, aud, in repeated in-'.a;
I have from time to time inflicted injuries on r'
| sons and property of our citizens. Tliese hav
; given birth to numerous claims against tC
j Spanish Government, the merits of which ha
! beeu ably discussed for a series of years, hv
! our .successivediplomatic representatives \
withstanding this we have not arrived at.
practical result in any single instance, n:
we may except the case of the Biack Wurrio
under the late administration; and that •
seuted an outrage of such a character as woa
have justified an immediate resort to war
our attempts to obtain redress have btea br'J
(led and defeated The frequent and oft:
curring changes in the Spanish Ministry ha
, been employed as reasons for delay. We U
j been compelled to wait, again and again, un
I the new Minister shall have had tiuie to -J
j vestigate the justice of our e'emaud.
Even what has been denominated tiie 0
j ban claims," in which more than a hundred
our citizens are directly interested, have fi
nished no exception. The.-e claims wuel
: refunding duties unjustly exacted from A'i -1
j can vis-els, at different Custom house int.'.-
ba, so long ago as the year U'44. The;:
i ciples upon which they re.-t are mauift-ty..
equitable and just, that after a period of Da
ly ten years, in 185-i, they were recognized ij
the Spanish Government. Proceeding
afterwords institute i to find their amount,
this was finally fixed according to their -
statement, (with which we are ss'i-iied. t:
the sum of one hundred aud twenty-eight
j sond six hundred aud thirty-live dollars s |
I fifty-four cents. Just at the moment, after i
delay of fourteen years, when we had rtiui
to expect that this sum would he repaid j
j interest, we have received a proposal offering
! to refund one-third of that amount, (forty-t<i
i thousand eight hundred and seventy-eight u ■
lars and forty-one cents,) but without iuterestj
if we would accept this in full sati.-faetx -
The offer is. also, accompauied by a dixlar*; i
that this indemnification is not founded on a,'
reason of strict justice, but is muUu as a.- .'
cinl favor.
One alledged cause of procrastination i.' !
examination and adjustment of our 11 j
arises from an obstacle which it is the duty i
the SpanUi Government to remove. W I
the Captain-General of Cuba i> invested *'d
general despotic authority in the go or ~~
of that Island, the power is withheld fro... t
to examine aud redress wrongs committe. ]
officials under his control, on citizens
United States. Instead of making our c i
I plaints directly to him at Havana we are
ged to present them through our *
Madrid. These are then referred back!
Captain-General for information ; and nd
time is thus consumed in preliminary T j
j gations and correspondence between M--1
j and Cuba, before the Spanish Governor • '
j proceed to negotiation. Many of the
j ties between the two Governments *'.■ • -j
| obviated, and along train of negotiation > •
cd, if the Captain-General were invested *
! authority to settle questions of easy - 1
j on the spot, where all the facts are trr >i
could be promptly and satisfactprry ascer
j cd. M'e have hitherto in vain urged up • j
j Spanish Government to confer this p- v '- r 1
; on the Captain-General, and our Miu ;•
Spain will again be instructed to urge tl - 1
ject on their notice. In this resp et v y
a different position from the Powers oi '
Cuba is almost withiu sight u!'<>ur >h> ' '
commerce with it far greater than t.m.
other nation, including Spain itself. ■
. citizens aie in habits of daily and e\ '■
personal intercourse with every part
| Island. It is, therefore, a great cr j
: that, when a difficulty occurs, no n" '•
j unimportant, which might be road, y
j at the moment, we should be obliged ta
! to Madrid, especially when the very t:>. |
; to t>e taken there is to refer it back to
The truth is, that Cuba, in its e.\;stiri.
nial condition, is a constant source
I and annoyance to the American
j the only spot m the civilised worid w
j African slave trade is tolerated: aim *J 1
; bound by treaty with Great Britain
tain a naval foi-ee era the coast ot A r
| much exjvense both of life and treasure. .
I for the purtKise of arresting slaver-
: that Island. 'Hie la to serious diAßc l "-
tween the United States and Great ' ,
resyveeting the right of search, now SC V,
terminated, could never have arisen
had not affipded a market for j
as this market shall remain open. th' M ;J
no l.ojve for tbeciviliaation of benig' '' '
Whilst the demand for slaves eoiiti® ;> ' -
Iva, wars will l>e waged among th® i" j
barbarous chiefs in Africa, for :
seizing subjects to supply this trnb
a condition of affairs, it is impos- 1 " ' cr peaj
light of civilization and reliuion can t
etrate these dark abodes. wOT I i 1 ]
It has been mado known to j
my predecessors, that tho ' nitetj t
on several occasion' 1 , endea*" • •