The star of the north. (Bloomsburg, Pa.) 1849-1866, December 16, 1857, Image 1

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Mrs, B. W. srskijli Pr^ristress.]
i . . V - j. rmr •* : -V v
fg "i Ul'-IL
W. H. *' ACOIS V, usiHes Manager.
• OdFFIOE-r,Uj> Mairs, in the new hriek build
ing, oi(4kt soulhjiiG oj Main Street, third
•rM 111 Mr—Two Dulkjtf- r M anonm, if
paid within si* months frajftheiime ofsnb
. scribing ; two dollars bi:<T fifty cents if not
paid Willi in the year. No subscription ru
veived for a less period than six months ; no
discontinuance permitted until all arrearages
'are paid, unless at the option of the editor.
Advertisements not exceeding one square
will be inserted three times for One Dollar,
end twenty-five cents for each additional m-
Fettion. A liberal discount will be made to
those who advertise by the year.
"or '
•# . TO THS 1
Fellov) citizens of the Senate and House of Rep
resentativte: ' J'- 1
In obadhinoe tbihe command of the Con
stitution, it has now become my ditty "to ■
give to Congress information of tho s'ate of j
tho Union, aaid tecomthoitd to their cousid-1
oration such mensuree" as I may judge to I
be "necessary and expedient."
But first. Tuid above nil, onr thanks are
due to Almighty God for the numerous ben-
It efita which Ha has bestowed upon litis peo
jf plo; and our miited prayers ought to ascend
K to Himtfiat Ho would continue to bless our
My great republic in time to come as He has j
(i blessed it in time past Siuce the adjourn
ment of the last Congress, our constituents
have enjoyed an unusual degree of health.
The earth hasyiekledherfriiits abundantly,
and has bountifully rewarded the toil of the
husbandman. Our great staples have com-
KUKided high prices, and, up till witkip a
brief period, our manufacturing, mineral and
mechanical occupations have largely par
taken of the general prosperity. iVe have
; possessed' all the element sof material wealth
ID rich Mftfldcmce, nttd *yet, nouviihtuiuid
, ingrxll these advantage's, our country, in i|s
monetary iti'erews, is at the present mo
■l ment in a deplorable .condition. In the ,
j midst of unsnrpa-sed plenty in all the pro
ductions of agriculture, and in all tho ele- j
menls of national wealth, we find our m;ui- J
ufnclureß suspended, our public works ro- j
tarded, bur private enterprises of different
kinds abandoned, andtliouf tmdsof utefui ln
l.orers thrown ont ol employment and re 1
duced to v. ant. The revenue of the govern- :
ment. which is cluefly.deriveil froth duties |
on imports from abroad, has been greatly
reduced, whilst the appropriations made by j
Congress at its last session for the current
fiscal yoar are yer.y large in amount, |
Under these circumstances a loan may lie :
required before the close of your present
session : but this, although deeply to- ton
regret-ed, would prove to be only a slight
misfortune when compared with the suffer
ing and distress prevailing among the peo- ,
pie. Wfih this the government cannot fail ,
deeply to sympathize, though it may be ,
without the power to extend relief.
I It is our duly to inquire wlmt has produ- '■
L ced such utiforluhaio results, and whether
I theiT recurrence can be prevented ? In all
1 former revulsions the blame might have .
I been fairly attributed to a variety of co-op- j
orating causes ; but not so upon the present
I occasion, it is apparent that our existing j
I misfortunes have proceeded solely from our .
extravagant anfl Vicious System of paper j
currency and bank credits, exciting the peo- t
plo to wild speculations and gambling in
stocks. These revulsions most continue to .
recur rii successive intervals so long as the |
ntiionnt of the paper currency, and hank ;
loans and discounts of tho country shall be '
left to the discretion of fourteeu hundred ir
responsible banking institutions, which
from the very law of their nature will con
sult tho interest of their stockholders rather
than the public welfare.
The ltabJers of the Constitution, when
j they gave to Congress the power "to coin
money tuid to regulate the value thereof,"
I and prohibit the States from coining money, j
emitting bills of credit, or making anything
but gold artel Silver coin a tender in payment
of debts, supposed they hod protected the
people against die evils of An excessive and
irredeemable paper currency. They are not
responsible for the existing anomaly that
government endowed with the sovereign at
tribute of coining money and regulating the
value thereof, should have no power to pre
vent others from driving ibis coin out of the
country and tilling up the channels of em
it culalion with paper which does not repre
m gent gold and silver.
W It is one of the highest and most respon
§ sible duties of government to insure to the
■ people a sound circulating medium, the
f amount of which ought to be adapted with
tiie utmost possible wisdom anu_ skill to the
wants of internal trade and foreign exchan
ges. If this be either greatly above or
greatly below the proper standard, the
remarkable value of every man's property
r ia increased or diminished in tho same pro
jk portion, and injustice to individuals as well
* as incalculable evils to the community are
the consequence.
! Unfortunately, under the construction of
j the Federal Constitution, which lies dow
prevailed too long to be changed, this iin
% portent-and delicate duty has been dissev
% ered from tbe coining power and virtually
■ transferred to more than fourteen hundred
| Stato banks, acting independently o( Bach
other, and regulating their paper issues ul
| most exclusively by a regard to the present
interest of their stock holders. Exercising
I the sovereign power of providingn paper
currency, instead of coin, for the country,
the firstdtlty which owe to the
public is to keep in their vaults a sufficient
amount of gold aud silver to insure the con
vertibility oftheirnotes iuto coin at ail times
and under nil circumstances. No bank
t ought ever to be chartered without such re
strict ions on its business as to seoure this
i result. All other restrictions are comparu
a lively vain. This is the only true fouch-
H stone, the only efficient regulator of a pa
percurrency—the only one which can guard
!tho public against over-issues and batik sus
pensions. As a colateral and eventual se
curity it is doubtless wise, and in all cases
ought to be required, that banks shall hold
an amount of United States or State securi
ties equal to their notes in circulation and
pledged for their redemption. This, how
ever, furnishes no adequate security against
over-issues. £)rt the contrary, It may be
perverted to inflate the currency. Indeed,
it is possible by this means io convert all
the debts of the United Stales and State
5 S ■ ■- S3 ® -
governmotits into bank notes, without refer
ence to the specie required to redeem them.
•However valuable those securities maybe
in they cannot be converted
: into gold and silver at the moment o.l' press
■ ere, os ear experience tenches, in sufficient
time to prevent bank suspensions and the
r deprecintion of bank notes, lit England,
which is to a considerable extent a paper
I money country, though vastly behind our
■ own in this respect, it was deemed advisa
ble. anterior to the act of Parliament of
i 18-14, which wisely separated the i.-.-ue of
notes from the banking department, for the
bank of England always to keep on hand
gold and silver equal to one-third of its
combined.circulation and deposits. If litis
' proportion was uo more than sufficient to
seoure the convertibility of its notes, with
1 tho whole ofGroat Britain, and iosome ex
tent the continent of Europe, as a field for
its circulation, rendering it almost impossi
ble that a Mtdden and immediate run to a
dangerous amount should be made upon it,
the same proportion would certainly bo in
sufficient turner our banking System. Each
of our fourteen hundred batiks has but a
limited circumlerence for its circulation, ami
in the course of a very leW days the deposi
tors aud uote-hohlers might demand from
such a bank a sufficient amount iri specie
to compel it to suspend, even although it
had coin in its vaults equal to one-third of
its immediate liabilities. And yet lam not
i aware, with the exception of the banks of
i Louisiana, that any Btato bank throughout
| tlie Union has been required by its chatter
I to keep tins or any proportion of gold aud
| silver compared with tile amount of its com
bined circulation and'deposits. What has
been the consequence? la a recent report
mado by the Treasury Department on the
condition of the banks throughout the Stales,
according to returns dated nearest to Janua
ry, 1857, the aggregate amount of actual
specie iu Uieir vaults is #a8,34®,838,
of the-r circulation *213,778,832, and of
their deposit.'- ¥236,351.842. Thus it ap
pears that these banks iu the aggregate
have considerably loss than ono dollar in
seven ot gold and silver compared with
tlieir circulation and deposits. It was pal
pubic, therefore, that the very first pressure
must drive them to suspension, and deprive
the people of a convertible currency with 1
all iis disastrous eonseqnoricos. ft is truly
woaderlal that they should have soloug coil
tinped to preserve their credit, when a de
■ it the payment of one-seventh of
tlieir immediate? liabilities would have driv
-len them into insolvency. And this is the
} condition of the bauks,
llittt four hundred nii'lious of gold from Cal-
I ifornia have flowed in lipon its within the
! last eight years, and the lido still continues
r to flow. Indeed, such bus been the extrav
-1 aganco of bank 'credits that tbe batiks now
! hold a ceastder.tblo less amount of specie,
' either in proportiontotheircapilal orto their
1 circulation and deposits combined, tlujn they
did before the di.-eoyery of gold m t'alifor
' nia. Whilst in dm year 18 .8 thoir specie
i in proportion to tlieir capital was more than
! equal to otto dollar for four and a half, in
1857 it does not amount to one dollar for
every six dolhvrs and thirty lluee ceqts of
ihcir capital. lit 1848 the specie Was equal
witiifh n very small fraction to one dollar in
| five of their circttla ion and deposits; in
| 1857 it-is not equal to one dollar in seven
and a hatf of tlieir circulation and deposits. (
j From this statement it is easy to account 1
for our financial history of tho la-t fohv
' yours. It has been a history of extravagant .
expansions ia the business of the country, j
j followed by ruinous coutruclicms. At suc
; ce.rsh c interval* the best add most citlorprla I
ing men have been torn pled to their ruin by ;
1 excessive bank loans ot more paper credit
! exciting thinn to ex ruvagnnt importations J
! of foreign goods,' wild speculations, and
! ruinous and *demor;i!i*ittg stock gamiditig. j
When (Ro crisis arrives, as arrive it must,
, the, banks can extend no relief to the peo-:
j pic. In a vain sttuggle to redeem their lia- 1
> biiities in specie tlioy ure compelled to cou- I
I tract thohr loans and their iasrtes ; ami at j
last, m tbe hour of distress, when their asr t
1 sistauce is most needed, they andtheir debt- j
ors together sink into insolvency.
It is this paper system ot extravagant
expansion, rawing tire nominal price of ev- j
ery article far beyond its re;d value, when j
compared witlr the cost of similar articles
in countries whose circulation is wisely reg
; uhited. Which hns-pfovenlad us from com
peting ip our own markets with foreign
manufacturers, has produced extravagant
importations, trad has counteracted lite j
effect of the largo protection ;
afforded to our domestic raahelaieurres by (
lite present revenue tariff. Bat for this tho '
branches ol our manufacturns composed of
raw materials, the production ot our own
country —such as cotton, iron, and woolen '
htbrics—would not only have acquired
almost exclusive possession of the home ;
market, but would have created for them
'sclvefiaforeigiimatketilirotigliontthe world. <
Deplorable, however, as may be our pres- j
ent financial condition, we may vet indulge
in bright hopes for the Imure. No other na
tion has ever existed, which could have en-1
dnred such violent expansions and contrsc-'
liens of paper credits without lasting injnry; j
yet the buoyaooy of youth, tho energies ol ]
our population, and the spinl wljich never j
quails before difficulties, Will enable us soon
10 recover ftomour present financial cmbar- (
rasstnent r aod may oven occasion os speedi- j
ly to fqrget tba lesson which they have
In the meantime it is the duty of the gov
ernment, by all proper means within iis
power, to aid in alleviating the sufferings
of tho people occasioned by,the suspension
of the banks, and to provide against a recur
rence of die same oulamiiy. Ontoriuaately
•in either aspect of tho case, ii can do but
little. Thinks lo the independent treasury
the government has rot su-peuded payment,
as it was compelled to do by tba failure of
iho banks io 1337. It will continue to dis
charge lis lisbiliiies to the people in gojd
and silver, hs disbursemontK in com will
pass into circulation, and materially assist in
restoring a souod currency. From its, high
credit, tdiorrld we be compelled to make a
temporary loun, it can bo affacted on advan
tageous terms. This, however, shall, if pos
sible, be avoided; but, if nut, then the amount
shall be limited to the lowest practicable sum.
1 have therefore, determined that whilst
no useful government works already in pro
gress shalfba suspended, new works, not nl
tctidy commenced, will be postponed if lbi
c'ari be done without iojUry io the country.— !
Those necessary tor its rfetence shall proceed ,
as thonglt there had been no crisis in our j
monetary affairs. ' * . f5 ajirt
Bat the Federal Government cannot dpi
much to provide against recurrence of ox- j
isttng evils. Even if insurmountable fonsti- f
rational objections did not exist against the
creation of a National Bank, this would fur- j
nislt no adequate preventive security. The J
history of tli last Bank of the United States
l&f;.' ■T.'-X-'MpjplS Mf
- j abtindattdy proves the (rath of this assertion.
. Shell a Bunk could not. it ii would, regulate
>, the issues and credits of fourteen hundred
t Bute banks in such a manner us to prevent
- thq ruinous .expansions and oontracitons it:
t our rurreucy whinh vflltcted the country
5 thronghoat ifie esfstOnce of the late bank,
, or secure os against future suspensions. In
r j 182 a, an effort was mnJe by die bank of
r England tocorlßil the issues of the country
- banks urldor the most fisvorablo ciroum
-1 stances. The paper currency had been ex-
I panded to a ruinous extent, and the Bank
> put forth all its power to contract it in order
I to reduce prices and restore the equilibrium
i of the foreign exchanges. It accord!,igly
t commenced a system of curtailment of it?
v loans and issues, in the vain hope that tba
i joint stock toil private bunks of the kingootii
- would be compelled to follow iu example.—
r L lound, however, that as it contracted they
• expanded, ami at'the end of tho process, to
i employ tbe language of a very high official
, authority, "whatever redaction or the paper
■ circulation was effected by the Bnuk of Eug
i land, in 1825, was more than made up by
l the issues of the country banks."
I But the Bank of the U. S. would not, if it
■ could-, restrain the issues and loans of the
l State bank?, because its doty as a regulator
i of the currency must often he iti direct con
flict with thy immediate interest of its stock-
I holders. If wo expect one agent to restrain
t or control another, their interests must, at
1 least, iu some degree, bo antagonistic. But
: the directors of a Bank of (lie United States
would feel tho fame interest and the same
• inclination with the directors of the Slate
banks to expand the currency, to aocotnmo.
date thoir favorites and frieuds with loans,
and to declare Urge dividends. Soch has
been our experience in regard lo the last
After all, we must mainly rely npon the
pulriotiern and wisdom of the Slates for tbe
prevention aud redress or the evil. If they
will afford us a real ypecie basis inrotir paper
circulation by increasing the denomination
! of bank notes, first to twenty, und afterwards
, to fifty doffars; if they will require that the
j banks shall at ail times keep on hand at least
j one dollar of gpid and silver /or every three
; dollars of their cireulalioti and deposits: ami
J if they wifl provide by a self-e'seculiug euaet
-1 meat, which nothing can orre-l, thai the
I moment tbey suspend they go into liquida
i lion, I believe thus suoh provisions, with a
. weekly publication by each hank of a state- i
, merit ol its condition, would go far to secure I
i us against future SUspensious of specie pay- J
j Congress, in my opinion, possess the pow- '
' er to pa-* a uuilerin bankrupt law applicable '
to ail banking institutions throughout the U.
State#, and 1 strongly recommend its exer
cise. This would make it Ilia irreversible
; orgsntc law of eaoh bank's existence, that a
suspension ol specie payments shall produce .
, its civil daih. The instinct of sell-iiroeervn
tioa would then compel it to perform its du
ties iu such n manner as to escape the pen
alty and preserve its life.
The existence of banks and the circulation
d of bank paper are so identified with the hab
; its of oar people, that they cannot at this
day be "soddeldy abolished <\ ithoat much
immediate injury to we country. If we could
confine litem to their appropriate sphere, and
J prevent (hem from 'aifhi'tiirteriqg to. the spirit
of wild and reelrio.-s vpscultutdn by extrava
punt loans tnd issues, (hey might oe contin
ued wi h advantage tit the pobito.
But (his I ,y, after im;g nd ranch (pflec
' lion: if experience shall prove it to be im
> po6sit'le to enjoy the' fteiliiies which well
, regulnled bunks might afford, without at the
suine siiffeiitig the calamities whiefi
| tho excesses of the bonks have hitherto in
flicted upon lite country, it would ihea he
far the leßserovil to deprive ttiem altogether
. of tlie power to issue tt paper currency tuul
ooafirte ihein lo the functioiiM of banks of
: deposite and discount,
j Our with foreign govern meals are
upon the whole, in u sati-factory e.ottd t:#u.
Theffiplornatic tliiTicullics which oxisted
; between the govqrnmentof the United States
and that of Great Britain'at the adjournment
! of the list Congress have beeu happily let
! initiated by thq appointment of a British
j Minister lo this country, who has beeu cor
dially received.
Whilst it is greatly to the interest, as I am
convinced it is the sincere desire, of the r
governments dnd the people of tho two
countries to be on terms friensliip
with each other, it has been our misfortune
l almost always to have had' sotne irritatiftg,
I it not dangerous, out-standing question with
Great Britain.
Since the origin of the government, wo
have been employed in negotiating treaties ,
' with that power, and afterwards in discuss- [
' ing their true intent and meaning. lathis'
! respect, the convention of April 19, 1850,1
; commonly called the Clayton aud Bulwer |
' treaty, has been the most uiif'orititiale of ail; I
] because the two governments place directly
j opposite and contradictory constructions 1
! upon its first and inosL important article j
■ Whilst, in the United States, we believe that <
| this treaty would place both powers upon '
an exact equality by the stipulation that 1
' neither will ever "occupy, or iortify, or col-1.
; oaiza, or assume or exercise any dominion" ]
1 over, nny part of Central America, it is con
j tended by ilu> Brilil government that the
( true construction of this language lias left
I thonuin the rightful possession of ell that
i portion of Central America which was in
their occupancy at the date of the treaty;
in tact that the treaty is a virtual recognition ;
on the unit of the United States of the right i
of Great Britain, oilber as an owner nr pro
tector, in tbe whole extensive coast o! Cen
tral America, sweeping round, from the Itio
Hondo to the port and harbor of Suu Juan
de Nicaragua ; together with the adjacent
Bay Islands, eJrcepi the oortiparaiively small
portion of this between the Sarstoon aud
Cape Hohdurasf According to their con
struction, the treat Jdot's no more than sirftp
' ly prohibit tliein from extending their pon
sossions hi Central America beyond their
present limits. It is not too much to
tliai if in the United States the treaty had
boon considered susceptible of such a con
struction, it never would haVe been negotia
ted under the authority of the-President,
' nor woutd it have received the .approbation
of the Seuuto. The universal conviction in
the United States was, that wiicu ~ur gov
ernment conjeirted, to violate its traditional
and time hoflored policy, una to atfgnlafe
with u to reign government never to occupy
or acquire tetritory in lite Central American
portion,-ot our owti eoniinopt, tho considoy
! mion for this-sacrifice was tliot Great Briain
should in this respect at least be placed in
j the same position with ourselves. Whilst
j we have no right to doubt the sincority oi
| the British government in the if construe
j tirn of the treaty, it ia at the some tinge my
deliberate conviction that this construction
[is in opposition both to its letter and its
spirit- ' 'S| , - j -sv . -v.'
JJ !_ 1.1, 1 , !jdi . W'.
Truth an# Right God and our Country.
U—L U—U-! I —1 -J '. - -
Under ihe lte administration negotiation*
i were icwiluted between the two government*
I j (or the purpose", il pos-ible,'of removing these
| (tiffn-itliiep; and a treaty huvtnaj thi* tandubie
. i object in view was signed at Xondon on the
17ih October, 1856, and was submitted by
; the President to the Senate On the following
i | 10th of Decembet. Whether thi* treaty,
f' either in its original or amended lorrn would
. have accomplished the object mien-led with
i out giving birth to new and embarrassing
. | complications between the two government*,
may perhaps be well questioned. Certain
fc in, however, it was rendered mttch less ob
, Woodabla by Ihe d.ffeient amendments
made to it by Wo Setipta. The treaty, as
. amended, wa* ratifi-d by me on the 12th
i March. 1857, and wntransmitted to Loudon
for ratificationby the British government. —
. That government expressed its Willingneee
ip concur in aft the amendments made by
i the Senate with the eitiyle exception of the
I clause relating to Ruataii turn 'pother i*l
,,n,b, in tlm B.iy of ttondord -. The orltde
in Ihe original Ireaiy, as submitted to Ihe
Senate, alter reciting thet these island* and
their inhabitants "haying been by a conven
tion bearing date the ?7th day ol Augatt,
1856, between her Briianuio Majesty and
the Republic', of llondurue, cooslttuisd and
declared a tree territory under the sovereign
ly of the said Jiepubli® ol Honduras,?' stipu
lated that "the two contracting paitios do
hereby mutually engage to recognise and re
spect. in all fttlure time, the independence
■ and tights ol the suid tree territory, as .a pan
, ol the Republic ol Hondurs*." ..
Upon an examination of this convention
between Great Britain and Honduras on the
27th August, M 156, it was found that, whilst
declaring the llay islands to be "a free ter
ritory under the sovereignty of the republic
of Honduras," il deprived that republic of
rights without which its sovereignty over
llietn cootd sea'cely by-said to exist. I' di
vided them from Ibe remainder of Houdu-as,
and gave to iheir inhabitant;* a separate gov-'
ernmant of their own, with legislative, exec
utive, and judicial officers, elected by them
selves. It deprived the government of Hon
duras c.r the taxing power in every form, and
exempted the people of the islands Irom the
performance oi military duty excepl lor their
own exclusive defence, it also prohibited ;
that republic from erecting fortifications upon
them lot "heir protection— thus leaving thorn
i open to invasion from any quarter;and, fiual
l ly, it provided "that slavery rhall not t any
| lime hereafter bq permitted to exist therein."
Hud Honduras nitifiHt,' this convention, |
I she would have raliiied Ihe establishment
' of a Stale substantially independent within
! her own limits, nd a State at nil timf* sub
ject to lit it 1 >ii inlluence and control. More
| over, had the United 'States ratified the tree- j
1 ty wnh Greet Britain in its original lorm, we
stmnlil have ben bound "to recognize and |
respect in all future time" these stipulations
i to the prejudice of Honduras, llniug in di
j icct opposition to the spirit and meaning of;
I the Clayitm and BnKver treaty as under
stood iutlte United States, tlin Senate rejected j
! the entire clause and substituted in its stead
a simple recognition ol tie sovereign right I
of Honduras to these islands in the lollow- I
ins langt'.nge; "'l'll- two cot rwcting panic '
do hereby mutually engage to recognize and
respect the inlands of .ftuaian, Bonaeo, Utila,
Barbarerta, Helena and, situate in the
Bay of Honduras,, and oir ibe coast of the re
public of Honduras, as under the sovereign
ly and as part of lltd republic of Honduras.''
Great Britain rejected this amendment, as
signing as the only reason, I but the ratifica
tions ol the convention ol Ilia 27th August,
1856, between iter nod Honduras, had not i
bean "exchanged, owing to the hesitation oi
the government." Had this beon done, it is '
eta'.ej that "her Majesty's government would !
have had little diUletlTty in agreeing to the
modification proposed by the iSeuate, which j
then would have lud in effect Ihe sam sijjui- j
ficuttnn us the wording." Whether j
this would have been the-edeoi; whether the
mere isircurriMaitee of tha "exchange of the
ratification* ol tha British convention with
Honduras prior to the point ol time to the
ratification cf our treaty with Great Britain
would, "in effect," hava had "the sumo
signification as the original wording," ami
thus hav3 nullified the amendment of the
Senate, may well be doubted, it is, perhaps,
' laminate lhut the question has never arisen, i
I Tnn British government, ifCrrrealintely after j
rejecting the treaty a* amended, proposed to j
enter into a nsw treaty with the United
States, similar in all ro.-pec's to the treaty j
which they had refused to ratify, if the U. ;
S. would consent to add to tho Semite's clear I
and unqualified recognition of the sovereign- 1
' ty of Honduras over the Bay islands the fol
lowing conditional stipulations: "Whenever ;
; and so soon a; the republic ot Honduras 1
[.shall have concluded uud ratified a treaty j
: with Great Britain, by which Great Britain ;
ahull have ceded, and ilia republic of Hon- (
j durus shall hare accepted, the said islands,
subject to the provisions and conditions con- j
tained in such treaty."
This proposition was, of course, rejected. j
! After the Senate had refused to recognize j
I the British convention with Honduras ol the j
27th August, 1856, with full knowledge of its
j contents, it was impossible for me, noocssa-'
j- rily ignorant of "the provisions and condi- j
I tion*" which contuined la e lature ;
i convention between the same parlies, to :
j sanotion tbcm in advance, I
| The faot is, when two nations like Giee! 1
Britain and the United States, mutually do- |
I sirous, as tlfey are, and I trust over may be, j
j of maintaining the most friendly relations j
I with each otheX, have unfortunately oonclu- |
| ded a troaty which they understand in sens- I
es diredlly nppdsjlsy (lie wisest Course is to i
abrogate such a treaty by mutual, [
ahtl Id commence anew. Hal tins been done ]
promptly, all difficulties trt Central America ;
would most probably ere this have been ail
justed to the salisfaoiiou of both parties.
Tne time spent in discussing the meaning
of the Clayton and "Bulwer treaty would
have been devoted to this praiseworthy pur
pose, and the task would have been the
more easily aeconoplisfiieii bewuiis-e tho inter
ests of lire two countries in Central America
is identical j being confined to securing sale
transits over all the routes across Ibe Isth- j
ppus. - I
Whilst entertaining these sentiments, I j
shall noverlhelets not reluse to conl-ibate to ,
any reasonable adjustment of the Central ,
American questions whtoh is net practically I
inconsistent with the American interpretation >
of the treaty. Oveilurv-. for this purpose
have been recently made by the Brit nth gov- |
ernment in a friendly spirit, which 1 cordial- ;
ly reciprocate; but whether ffm renewed •
effort will result in succesg I am not yet pre- !
pared to express en opinion.. A brief period j
will determine. Vr I
With Fyance our ancient .relations of friend- :
ship still continue to exist. The French j
government have, in several instanceo, which j
need.not be enumerated, evinced a epfrlt of j
good will and kindness towards oor country
s which I heartily reciprocate. It is notwilh
s standing, much to bo regretted that two na
e lions whose productions ate of such a char
s ac'er as to invite the most extensive ex
- changesan.l Ireesl commercial iutercoerse
should continue to enforce ancient audobso-
I lete restrictions of trade against each other
, Onr commercial treaty with Fiance is in thif
i respect an exception (torn onr treaties with
- ail other commercial nations. It jealously
levies discriminating duties both on tonnage
, and on articles,, the growth, produce, or man
t ufactnre of the one country, when arriving
- In vp*sels belonging to the other.
s More than forty years ago, on Ihe third oi
R March, 1815, Congress p.isssd an act offering
t to alt nations to admit their vessels ladvn
I ' with their national productions into the ports
- i of the Untied States upon the earns terms
s , with our own vessel*, provided they would
i reciprocate to us similar advantages. This
t I ant confined (tie reciprocity to the pioductions
. of the respective foreign nations who might
a i enter into the prooosat! arrangement with
[ the United States. i'lie act ol May 21, 1828,
I removed this restriction, and uflerod a simi
-1 lur reciprocity to all such vessels without
, 1 reference to the origin of their cargoes.—
I i Upon these priuciples, our commercial Irea-
I ties and anjiigemcnis have been founded,
■ ; exc-pt with France; and let us hope that this
. j exception may not long exist.
> 1 Our relations with Russia remain,"es (hey
. I have ever been, on tho most friendly looting,
i • The present Emperor, as well as his prede
i ' censors have never failed, when the occasion
offered, to manifest their good will to our
i country; ud iheirfriendship hae always been
i highly" appreciated by the government and
people of the United Slates.
With all other F.uropvan governments, ex
i | cept that of Spain, our relations are as
I peace luias we could desire. I regret to say
, thnt no progress whatever ho* been made,
i sinco the adjournment of Congress, towards
the settlement of any of the numerous
i claims of our citizens against the Spanish
government. Besides, the outrage commit
ted on our flog by the Spanish wnrlrignle
| Ferrolanu, on the high sea, off the coast of
Cuba, in March, 1855, by firing into lite
American Mail steamer, K.l Dorado, and
detaining and searching her, remains unac
, kuowledged and unredressed. Ttie general
lone anil lomper of lite Spanish government
towards that ol the United States are irtttuh
to bo regretted. Our present envoy extraor
dinary uud miuistor plenipotentiary to Madrid
has asked to bo recalled; and it is my purpose
to send out a new minister to Spain, with
1 special instructions ou all question* pending
' between the two governments, and with a
; determination to have tliont speedily cud
amicably adjusted, if this be possible, lit
| the mean time, whenever our minister urges
the jttst claims of our citizens on lite notice
, of Abe Spanish government, be is met with
| the objection that Congress have never made
tin-aupropria.ion recommended by President
Polk in his aiinoat mct-vage of December,
; 1847, "to be paid to the Spanish government
; for the purpose of distribution among the
! ejaimaiits in tiie A mistad ease." A similar
j recommendation w >j made by my iinmedi
! ate piedecesor in his nie9-ageot December,
i 1863; and entirely conenrring with both in
the opinion thai true iniomiii y is justly due
uuJer the treaty with Spain ot tho 27th Oc
tober, 1703, 1 earnestly recommend sueh
an appropriation to the favorable considera
tion of Congress.
A treaty ol friendship and commerce was
concluded at Constantinople on die 13th of
December, 1856, between the Uni'cd States
and Petsi3, the ratifications cf wlifeh were
; exchanged at Constantinople no the 1 31 h of
June, 1857, and the treaty was proclaimed by
j the President on the 18. 1> August, 1857.
i This treaty, it is believed, will prove bertefi
| cial to American commerce. The Stinh has
! manifested au earnest disposition to cultivate
j friendly relations with our country, ami lias
■ expressed a strong wish that wo *liould
be represented at Teheran by a minister ple
nipotentiary; and I recommend that an ap
propriation be made for this purpoep.
Recent occurrenues in China have been
unfavorable to a revision of Ibe treaty with
that empire of the 3d July, 18-1-1, with a
view tn the security and extension of Our
commerce. Toe 24di article of this treaty
stipulated tor a revision ofitjin case experience
should prove this to be requisite ; ' in wliioh
j case the two government* will, at the expl
j ration of twelve years fro.n the dale of snid
'Convention, treat amicably concerning the
same, by mean* of suitable persons appoiu
• ted to conduct such negotiations." These
1 twelve years expired on the 3d of July, 1850;
| hut long before that period it was oscertaiiieil
t that important changes in the trea'y were
: necessary; and several fruitless otiompts
i were made by the commissioner ol the Uni
■ ted States to effect these changes. Another
effort was about to bo made for (be 6ame
purpose by our commissioner, *in conjunc
! tion With the minister# of England and Franca,
j bat this was suspended by the occurrence of
i hostilities in the Canton river between Great
I Britain and the Chinese Empire. These
| hostilities have necessarily interrupted the
' trade ol all nations with Canton, which is
j now In a state of blockade, and have occ
| sinned a serious loss of life mid property,
i Meanwhile the insurrection within tho ern
i pire against the existing imperial dynasty
i still corn[tUtes, end it is difficult to anticipate
j what will be the result.
Under these circumstances, I have deemed
j it advisable to appoint a distinguished oiti-
I zn of Pennsylvania envoy extraordinary and
! minister plenipotentiary to proceed to China,
and to avail himself of any opportunities
which may offer to effect changes in the ex
isting trea'ty favorable to American com
| mcrce. He left the United biateß for the
( place of his destination in July last in the war
I steamer Minnesota. B'psciel ministers to
I China have also been appointed by the gov
j ernment* ol Great Btitalr. and Franco.
I yVhilsl our minister has been ir.-tructed (o
occupy a neotrtd position in reffcreuco to
the existing hostilities nl Canton, he will cor
dially co-operate with the British uud Ftaneh
miuuterH in all peaceful measures to secure '
by treaty stipulations, those just concessions
to commerce winch the nation* of the world
havo H rigid to expect, and whnsli Chine oti-
I not leng be permitted to withhold. From
assurances received, I entertain no doubt
I that the three Ministers will act in harmoui
ions concert to obtain similar commercial!
' treaties for each of the power* they repro
VVe cannot fail to feel a deep interest in
all that concerns the welfare nt the iii-lepeii
dent republic* on onr own Comment, as weft ;
, a* of the Empire of Brazil.
Onr difficulties with New Grenada, which
a short time since bore so threatening an as
pect are, it i* to be bopod, in a fair train of
settlement, in a muouer jasi and honorable
to both parties.
The lsihmo* of Central America, inclu-,
I ding that of Panama, is the highway between |
Ibe Atlantic and Pacific, over which a large
l- portion of die commerce of the world is dcs
i- lined lo pass. The Uatied Stales ate more
r- deeply interested than any other nation in
(. prestnving lite freedom aud security of all
, the rommuiiicationa across this Isthmus. It
j. is our duty, therefore, to take cate that they
r. shall not be interrupted either by invasions
is from our own country or by wsra between
h the independent States of Central America,
y Under our treaty with New (irenoda of the
e 12th December, 1846, we are bound to guar
i- nnty the t.eutrulity of the Isthmus of Panama,
g through which the Panama ratlroad passes,
"as well as the rights of sovereignty and
if property which New (irenada has and pos
g j testes over the said Territory Thisobli
i) I gallon is founded upeu equivalents granicd
s • by the treaty to the government and people
s of the United States.
d Under these circumstances. I • recommend
s to Congress the passage ot an not author!-
s zing the President, in oue or necessity, to
it employ the land and naval forces of tho Unt
il j ted SinIOS to carry into efTeol this auarantce
t t : of neutrality unci protection. 1 also rncom
i- i mend similar legislation for the security of
it | any other rottto ucross the isthmus in which
. wc may acquire an interest by tresty.
- | With the independent republic on this
I, i continent it is both our duly and our interest
8I to cultivate the most friendly relations. We
| can never feel indifieretil lo their (ate, and
■j must always rejoice in their prosperity. Un
r, fortunately, bmh for them and for us, bur ex-
I ample and advice have lost much of their in
n ; ffuence in consequence of the lawless ex
r peditions which have been fitted out against
I some ot them within the limits of our conn
j j try. Nothing is better calculated to rotard
| our etoady material progress. or impair our
. ' character as a nation, than the toleration of
s such enterprises in violation of ofna-
I, ' lions.
) I It isono of the first and highest duties of
3 any independent Stute, in its relations with
8 the members of the great family ol uaiious.
) j to restrain iis people from acis of hostile ag
. , gsession against their citizens or subjects.
• | The most eminent writers on public law do
f | not hosiiaie to denounce such hostile acts as
, : robbery and murder.
] Weak and feeble States like those of Cen
tra! America, may t\ot leal themselves able
I to assert and vindicate their rights. Tho
i case would be far different if expeditions
, were act on foot within our own territories to
. make private war against a powerful nation.
I II such expeditions were fitted out front
, abroad against any portion of our own cottn
, try, to burn down our cities, murder and
, plunder our people, and usurp our goveru
, mem, wu should call any power on earth to j
I tho strictest account for not preventing such j
, ' enormities.
, ■ Ever since the administration of General
Washington, acts of Congress have been in
, force to punish severely tho c-ime of setting
, oil foot a inililary expedition within the lim
bs of the United States, to proceed front
thence against u nation or State with whom
\ we are at peace. The present neutrality act
, oi April 20lb, 1819, is but litllo more than a
. collection of pre existing laws. Under this
act the President is empowered lo employ
| the land aud naval force end militia "for the
i porpo-9 of preventing the carrying on of any
. soch expedition c enterprise from lha tcrri
. ; lories and jurisdiction of the" UtritoJ Stales,"
i and the collectors of custom.-, are authorized
and required to-dHnin any vessel in port
; when there is reason to believe she is about
, to take part in such lawless enterprise,
f When it was firt rendered probable that
i ! nit attempt would be made to get up another
i unlawlul expedition against Nicaragua, the
[ Secretary of Stale issued instructions to lite
i marshal* and district attorneys, which were
, ! directed by the Secretaries ol War and the j
. 1 Navy to the appropriate army and navy ofii- I
i cms, requiring lliem to be vigilant, and to
ore their best exerlions in carrying into effect
i the provisions ot the act ol 1818. Notwith
standing those precautions, the expedition
, i has escaped from our shores. Such outer- ]
. prises can do no possible good lo the conn- j
! try, but have already inflicted much injury i
i both on iis interests and its character. Itiey j
i Imve prevented peaceful emigration Irom the !
, ! United States to the Stales ot Central Amer
ica, which could not tail to provo highly !
I beneficial to all the parties concerned. In a
. I pecuniary point ol view alono, onrotizens )
i have sustained heavy losses front the seizure
. ' and closing of the transit route by the San !
1 Junn between the two oceans.
, ' Tlia loader of the recent expedition was
. | arrested at New Orleans, but was discharged \
. on giving bail fur his appearance in the iu
. sufficient sum of two thousand dollars.
[ I commend the whole subject lo tho veri
.l ous attention of Congress, believing that our j
i duty and interest, us well as our national
. character, require thai we should adopt such
r i measure* as will bn effectual in >eH<raining
, j our citizens from committing such outrages.
. i I regret lo mtorm you that the President of
Paraguay hn refused to ratify the treaty be- '
| tween the Untied States and that State as
I j amended by the Senate, the signature of
i which was mentioned in the message of my
i predecessor lo Congress nl the opening of its
, session in December, 18611. The reasons as- •
siineJ for this refusal will appear in the cor-1
respondeuce herewith submitted.
li being desirable to ascertain the fitness
of the river La Plata aud its tirbniaries for
navigation by steam, the Untied States stea
mer Water Witch was sent thither for that j
purpose iu 1853. This enterprise was sue- '
j ce-sftilly carried on until February, 1855, i
' when whilst in tho peaceful proseculiou oi
I her voyage up the Parma river, the Mourner
was fired upon by a Paraguayan fort. The
5 fire was relented, but as the Water Whoh
. j was of small force, and not designed for of
! Tensive operation*, she retired Irom tho con- •
1 flici. The pretekt npou which the attack ,
i ' was made was r decree of the President ol
! Paraguay of October, 1854, prohibiting for- |
i eign vessels of war from naviguting tho riv- j
j ers of that State. As Paraguay, however, ,
' was the of but one bank of tho river I
of that name, the other belouging to Corrien- i
te, a State of the Argentine Confederation, '
lite right of its government to expect that such ,
i a decree would be obeyed cannot be acknow- j
j lodged. But the Water Witch was not prop- j
' erly speaking a vessel-of-war. She was a
| small steamer engaged in # scientific outer- 1
; prise intended for the advantage of com met- i
I ciel B|ates generally. Under these oireun I
; stances, I am constrained to ooneufei thu at
tack upon her as nnjuttifiable, and at calling
for satisfaction (rots the Paraguayan govern
Citizens of the United States, also, who
were established iu bnamess in Paraguay, !
'• have had their property seized and taken
j- from them,.'and have otherwise been treated
| by the authorities in an insulting end arbitra
ry manner, which require* tedrcss.
A damaret for these purposes will be made
in a firm but conciliatory spirit, Thie will
(tys more probably be granted if the Kieoo
< tive shall have authority to ue other means
|in the event ol a refusal. Thiais accordingly
[Two Dollars per Annus,
- I It I* unnecessary lo s'ate in detail the afar
e j ming condition ol the Territory of Kansas at
n | the lime of my inauguration. The opposing
111 putties then stood in hostile erray against
it j earh other, end any accident might have re
v lighted ihe flames of civil war,— Besides, at
s this criiiraljtnotnent, Kansas was left without
i j a governor by the resign ation of Governor
i. j Grary.
3J At the time of the election for delegates
• an extensive organization existed ir. the Ter
i, j ritory, whoso avowed object it was, if need
i, i be, lo put down the lawlul government by
I force, and to establish a government of their
- | own onderjthe soealled Topeka Constitution.
- ; The persons attached to this revolutionary
I | organization abstained from taking any part
i . ie the election.
| Oiuha 19th ol February previous, the far-
I | riiorial logidature had passed a law providing
. tor the election of delegates on the third Mon
t i day of June lo a convention to meet oo the
- j Ist Monday ol September, for the purpose ol
i; framing a Coustiiatiou preparatory to admis
.isi on iulo the Union. Tina law was 111 the
I j main fair and jest; and it is to be regretted
i that all the qualified electors had -not regis
| tared themselves aud voted under iu provi
i; sions.
The act of tho territorial legislature 'had
• I omitted lo provide for submitting to tbe peo-
I pie the constitution which might be framed
I by the convent on ; end iu the excited state
■ | of public feeling thiooghout Kansas an app-e
--• > hension extensively prevailed thai a design
• { existed lo force upon them a constitution in
I relation to slavery against their will. Iu thie
• emergency it became my duty, as it waa my
I unquestionably right, having in view th* ooi
' | on of all good citizens in support of tha torii-
I torial laws,ho express an opinion on the tr*B
■ construction of the provisions concerning
| sluvery contained in the organie sot of Con
-1 i gress of the 30th May, 1854. Congress de
; elared it to be "the true intent and meaning
of this net not to legislate slave into any Tar
i titory or State, nor lo exclude it therefrom,
but to leave the people thereof perfectly free
> lo foim and regulate their domestio innito
i lion* ill llieir"ovvn wgy." Under it Kansas,
| "when admitted as a State," was to "bo re
ceived into the Union, with or without slave
i ry, as their Constitution may prescribe at the
| time oFtheir admission."
Did Congress mean by this language that
' the delegates elected to frame a constitution
i should have authority finally to decide the
| question of slavery, or did ihey intend by lear
; ing ii to the people that the people of Kan
sas themselves should deoide this question
, by a direct vote ? On this subject I confess
i 1 hail never entertained a serious doubt, and,
[ therefore in my instructions to Governor
I Walket ofjihe 28ih March hist, I merely said
that jwhen "a constitution shall be submit
ted m tho pcop'e of the Territory, they must
be protected In the exercise of their right of
voting for or against that instrument, and the
fair expression of the popular will must not
bo interrupted by fraud or violence."
In expressing this opinion it was far from
nty intention to interfere with the decision of
the people of Kansas, either for or against
slavery. From this I have always carefully
abstained, luiiusted with the duty of taking
"care that the laws be Uilhlully executed,"
my only desire was that the people of Kansas
should furnish to Congress the evidence re
quired by the organic act, whether for or
against slavery; and in this manner smooth
(heir passage into the U.tion. In emerging
from the condition of territorial dependence
into that of a sovereign Stale, it was their du
ty. in my opinion, !o make known their wilf
by the votes of the majority, on the direct
question whether this important doutasiio in
stitution should or should not continue to *x
| int. indeed, this was the only possible mode
i in which their will oould be authentically as
Tite election of delegates to a convention
must necessarily take place in separate dis
tricts. Fiom ihis'cause it may readily hap
pen, as has ofter. been the case, that a major-
I ny of the people of a Siute or Territory are
! one side of a question, whilst a majority of
| the representatives from the several district*
| into which it is divided may be upon the
i other side. This arises from the fact that in
; some district* delegates muy be elected by
; small metodiies, wliil t in others those of
, ditierent sentiment* may receive majorities
; sufficiently great not to overcome the vote*
j given for the former, but lo leaves large ma
jority of the whole people in direct opposition
| to a m*jotity ol the delegate*. Besides, our
j history proves that influences may be brought
' to bear on the representative sufficiently pow-
I erful to induce him to disregard the will of
, bis constituent*. The truth is, that no other
| authentic and satisfactory mode exiai* of as
certaining the will ofn majority of the peopls
of any State or Territory on an imporlaut aud
exciting question like tnat ot slavery in Kan
' *a, except, by leaving it to a direct vote.
How wise, then, was it for Congress lo pass
over all subordinate and intermediate agen
cies, and proceed directly lo the source of all
legitimate power under our institutions!
How vain would any other principle'prore
< in practice! This may be illustrated by the
' case of Kansas ShonUshe be admitted ift
i to the Union, with a Constitution either main
taining or abolishing slavery, against tha
.sentiment of the people, this could have do
other effect than to continue end to exaspe
rate the existing agitation during lbs brief
1 period required to make the Constitution con
lorm lo the irresistible will of tbe majority.
Tbe friends and supporter* of the Nebras
ka and Kansas act, when struggling on a ro
' cent occasion to sustain its wise provision*
before lh great tribunal of the American.
people, never differed about its (rue meaning
|on tins subject. F.verywhore throughout th*
i Union lliey pledged their faith and
1 their honor, that drey Would cheerfully sub
mit the qiiesiioo of slavery to the decision of.
! die bona lido people of Kansas, without any
: rest riot ion or qualification, whatever. All
1 were cordially united upon th* great doc
| trine of popular sovereignty, wtlicfi is the Vi
tal principle ot our free institutions. Had tt
then been insinuated from any quuee that
{ it wauki be a sulfioient compliance with tbn
requisitions of the crgauio'law for th* mem
! bar* of u convention, thereafter to be elec
■ red, to withhold the question ol slavery fton*
; ilie people, and lo substitute their own will
i toi that of a legally ascertained majority of at!
their ooosiiiueui*, tbi* would have been fat
vutidy raj-clod Everywhere they remained
true to <h resolutions adopted On a celebra
ted occasion recognising "the right oDth*
people of all Territories— iocluding Kansas
and Nebraska—acting through legally and
Uirly expressed will of a msjbrity of actus'
resideuts, end whenever die number o' their
inhabitant* justifies it, lo iorm ■ Coesiiiuiioo,
with or without slavery, auJ be admitted in
to the Union upon tsrroa of perfect equality
with the.other States '
The Convention to frame a Con-bioiio#
for Kansas met oc the lit Mbadsy of bep
tember last. They wwejJaNetl regeihes by
' virtue of an act of (ho TerjhetLeg'swtmv