The Ebensburg Alleghanian. (Ebensburg, Pa.) 1865-1871, December 17, 1868, Image 1

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TSRUS- ,tl1 1 Annum.
President's Message.
Citizens of the Senate and ITouse of
Representatives ;
nnn the re-assembling of Congress, it
fa becomes roy duty to call your attention
;he state oi the Union, ana disorganized
tion under the various laws which have
i passed upon the subject of reconstruc
It may be safely assumed as an ax
in the government of the States, that
greatest wrongs inflicted upon the people
caused by unjust and arbitrary legisla
,orby the unrelenting decrees of des
c rulers, and that injurious and oppres
mcasures arc the greatest evils that can
dieted upon a nation.' The legislator
V a ruler who has the wisdom and mag-
inaty to retrace bia steps when convinced
nor, will sooner or later be rewarded
.the respect and gratitude of an intelli
: and patriotic people. Our own history,
ii'.gh embracing a perioa of less than a
ury, affords abundant proof that most,
jtfill our domestic troubles are directly
fabie to violations of the organic law.
; excessive legislation.
PEALED. Jie nii'Sl Sirililllg lliUBliniiuua yJk iiv
fnrnm(ul bv the euactments ol tne
. three years upon the question of re
duction. After a lair trial tney nave
antially failed and proved pernicious
:r results, and there seems to be no
rason why they should longer remain
the statute books. . States to which
Constitution guarantees a republican
i oi Uovernmeni, nave ueeu reuueeu 10
tary dependencies, in each of which the
;le have been made subjects to the arbi-
v will rtf tlio rnmmamlin" general. A 1-
.vh the Constitution requires that each
e shall be represented in Congress, Vir
a, Mississippi and Texas are yet exclud-
rom the Houses, and contrary to the ex-
.. provisions ol that instrument, were
eii participation in the recent election
a President and Vice President of the
ed Stuies. The attempt to place the
! population under the domination of
ics of color in the South, has ' impaired
t destroyed the kind'y relations that
jTbviuiisly existed between them, and
:al distrust has engendered a feeling of
:uity which, leading income instances"
AlWon and bloodshed, has prevented!
: co-operation between the two races so
:.tal to the success of industrial en ter
es in the Southern States. Nor have the
iVUuts of those States alone suffered
la the disturbed condition of affairs grow-.-
unt of iZse Congressional enactments.
rehensions of trouble, which might
n involve the peace of the nation. Its
restt uave been injuriously aueciea oy
dera-vment of business and laoor. me
?wnt want of prosperity throughout
rlicm of the country.
t Federal Constitution, the Magta
i of American rights, under whose
ind salutary provisions we have suc
:Jly conducted all our domestic and for
.iBiirs; sustained ourselves in peace
in war, and became a great nation
ng the powers of the earth, must as
ilynowbe adequate to the settlement
.1 questions growing out of the civil
rwaei alone for its vindicated. This
u act is made most manifest by the con-
.a of the country. When Congress as
a!ed in the month of December, 1865,
strife had ceased. The spirit of rebel
bid spent its entire force in the South
States. The people had warmed into
nal life, and throughout the whole
itry a healthy reaction ia public senti
- had taken nlaee bv the ann'.ication of
t - -cl
f s-xple, yet effective provisions of the
pitution. The Executive Department,
i tho voluntary aid of the States, had
f-?ht tho work of restoration a3 near
fjletion as was within the scope of its
4 -'luritT, and the nation was encouraged
Jiilm prospect of an early and satisfactory "
f-stment uf all its difficulties, Congress,
. V ciieu, anu rejusiug 10 pericct
f' 1 consummated, decline!
JiJmit members from the States, adopted
J-urseof measures, fustrating all that had
p bwcessfally accomplished, and, after
f9.Vf.ira of notation and strife has left
country farther from the attainment of
a n.j Iraternil feelin" than at the in-
'a cf the Congressional plan of recon-
it neeua no argument to show
' hie legislation which has produced
ttmsequaoces should bo abrogate!, or
ai.e to contorm to the genuine princi
,' Uepublican Government. Under the
of party passions and sectional
!,-ice other acts have been passed not
by the Constitution.
r;res3 Las already been made fami'lar
tiny views respecting ti tenure-of-ofiice
penence has proven that it repeal
landed by tho best interests of the
'jry. and that while it remains in force
Iffhiderjt cannot enjnin-that rigid ac-
, , v , ..
i' Bonest and tflicient execution of the
MU revocation would enable the Execu-.
. artment to exercise the power of
h e ori-inal design of the Federal Con-
act of March 2d, 1867. making ap-
'vr ns,.,tr th support of the army for
y -uuing June gQth, isgs, and for
'ffcr ?0sts contains provisions which
eith the President's constitutional
iiH!43 ander-in-chief of the ar-
ay to States of the Union the
lJTrotcr: t, i . -li. i
i , rp, v "ivuisciYcs wiiii ineir own
Hesft Drnvit-irvnn cVimill of nna
fw while the first might, in times
pl-atpm l1-6 UIBl1 """'t 1U units
":-c?er?ency. seriouslv embarrass the
m uuvp i . rr '
c-itnm oru t0 employ and direct
6tr,eDgthof th Datin for - its
f'rrta n Pation, the other is
'titntinn 1 exPress declaration of the
St-cii.1 ,We11 "gutted militia
'.th ; t lU0 Becnrity of a tree
rBhVi i x .PeoP1J to keep and
U Et . n0t He infriQeed. It is be
U:c,, S J i0 "Peal of all such laws would
7 mo American people aa at
least a partial return to ' the fnndamental
principles of the government, and an indi
cation that hreafter the Constitution is to be
made the nation's safe and unerring guide;
they can ' be productive of no permanent
benefit to the country, and should not be
permitted to stand as so many monuments
of deficient wisdom which has characterized
our iecent legislation,
The condition of our finances demands the
early and earnest consideration of Congress
Compared with the growth of our population,
public expenditures have reached an amount
unprecedented in our history. The popula
tion of (lie United States in 1790 was nearly
four millions of people ; increasing each de
cade about thirty-three per cent., it leached
in 1800 thirty-ono millions, an increase of
seven hundred per cent, on the population in
1790. In is estimated it will reach
thirty-eight millions, or an increase of eight
hundred and sixty-eight per cent, in seventy
nine years. The annual expenditures of the
Federal Government in 1791 were four mil
lions two hundred thousand dollars ; in 1820
eighteen millions two hundred thousand
dollais ; in 1850, forty-one millions ; in 1860,
sixty-three millions. .'In 1864, nearly thir
teen hundred millions, and in 1809, it is es
timated by the Secretary of the Treasury in
his last annual report that they will be three
hundred and seventy-two millions.
By comparing the public disbursement of
1809 as estimated with those of 1791, it will
be seen that the increaso since the beginning
of our government has been eight thousand
six hnndred and eighteen per cent., while
the increase of the population for the same
period was only eight hundred and sixty
eight per cent. Again, the expense of the
Government in 1860, the year of peace im-.
mediately preceding the war, were only
sixty-five millions, while in 1869, the 'year
of peace three years after the war, it ia estw
mated they will .be three hundred and sev
enty millions, an increase of four hundred
and eighty-nine per cent, while the increase
of population was only twenty-one per cen-.
for the same period. These statistics fur
ther show, that in 1791 the annual national
expenses compared with the population
were but little more than one dollar per
capita, and in 1860, two dollars per capita,
while in 1869 they will reach the extrava
gant sum of nine dollars and seveuty-eisht
oents per capita. It will be observed that
all of these statements referred to exhibit the
disbursements of peace periods.- It may,
therefore, be of interest to compare the ex
penditures of the three war periods, the war
with Great Britain, the Mexican war and
tbo wor of tl'f icUIHon.' In 18l4 the an-1
nual expenses incident to. the war of 1812
reach the highest amount, about $31,000,000
while our population blightly exceeded 8,
000.000, showing an expenditure of only
three dollars and eighty cents per capita.
In 1847 the expenditures growing out of the
war with Mexico, reached fifty-five millions,
and the population about twenty-one mil
lions, giving only two dollars and sixty
cents per capita for tho war expenses of that
year. In 1865 the expenditure called for by
the rebellion reached the vast amouut of
twelve hundred and ninety millions, which,
compared with a population of thirty-four
millions, gives thirty-eight dollars and
twenty-eight cents per cents per capita.
From the 4th day of March, 1789, to the
30th of June, 1861, the entire rxpenditures
of the Government were seventeen hundred
millions of dollars. During that period we
were engaged in wars with Great Britain
and Mexica, and were engaged in hostilities
with powerful Indian tribes. Louisiana was
purchased from France at a cost of fifteen
millions of dollars; Florida was ceded to us
by Spain for five millions ; California was
acquired from Mexico for fifteen millions,
and the Territory of New Mexico was ob
tained from Texas fr the sum of ten mil
lions. Early in 1861 the war of the rebel
lion commenced, and from the first of July
of that year to the thirtieth of June, 1SG5.
the public expenditures reached the enor
mous aggregate of thirty-three hundred mil
lions. Three yearB of peace have intervened,
and during that time the disbursements of
the Government have successively been five
hundred aud twenty millions, three hundred
and ninety millions. Adding to these
amounts three hundred and seventy-two
millions estimated as necessary for the fiscal
year ending the 30th of Jane, 1869, we ob
tain a total expenditure of sixteen hundred
millions of dollors during the war, or nearly
as much as was expended the seventy-two
years that preceded the rebellion, and em
braced the extraordinary expenditures already
named, these startling facts clearly illustrate
tho necessity of retrenchment in all branches
of the public service. Abuses which were
tolerated during the war for the preservation
of the nation will not be endured by the peo
ple now, that profound peace prevails.
The reeeipts from internal revenues and
customs have, during the past three years,
gradually diminished, and the continuance
of useless and extravagant expenditures will
involve us in national bankruptcy, or else
make inevitable an increase of taxes already
too onerous and in many respects obnoxious
on account of their inquisitorial character.
One huadred millions annually are expend
ed for the military force, a large portion of
which is employed in the execution of laws
both unnecessary and unconstitutional. One
bundled and fifty millions are required each
year to pay the interest on the public debt.
An army of tax gatherers impoverishes the
nation, and public agents, placed by Con
gress beyond the control of the Executive,
divert from their legitimate purposes large
sums of money, which they collect fiora the
people in the name of the government. Ju
dicious legislation and prudent economy can
alone remedy these defects, and avert evils
which, if suffered to exist, cannot fail to di
minish confidence in the public councils and
weaken the attachment and respect of the
people toward their political institutions.
Without proper care the6mall balance which
it is estimated will remain in the Treasury
at the close of the present fiscal year will
not be realized, and additional millions be
added to a debt which is now enumerated
by billions. It is ehown by the able and
comprehensive report of the Secretary of the
Treasury that the receipts for the fiscal year
ending June SO. 1868, were $405,638,083,
and that the expenditures for the Fame pe
riod were $377,340,284, leaving in the Trea
sury a surplus of $282,97? 98. It i3 esti
mated that the receipts during the present
fiscal year ending June 30, 1869; will be
$341,392,868, and the expenditures $336,
152,470, showing a small balance of $5,240,
398 in favor of the Government. For the
fiscal year ending June 30, 1870, it is esti
mated,tbat the receipts will amount to $327,
000,000, and the expenditures to $303,000,
000, leaving on estimated surplus of $24,
It becomes proper in this connection to'
make a brief reference to our public indebt
edness, which has accumulated with t such
alarming rapidity and assumed such colossal
proportions. In 1789, when tho Govern
meot commenced operations nnder the
Federal Constitution, it was burdened' with
an indebtedness of seventy-five millions of
dollars, created during the war of the Revo
lution. -This amount had bees reduced". to
forty-five millions of dollars, when, in 1812,
war was declared against; Great Britain. -The
three .year': struggle that followed
largely increased . the national obligations,
and in 1816 they had attained the sum of
one hundred and twenty-seven millions.
Wise and economical legislation, however,
enabled the Government to pay tho entire
amount within a periods of twenty years,
and the extinguishment of the national debt
filled tho land with rejoicing, and. was, one
of the great events of President Jackson's
administration After its' redemption, a'
Jargo . fund . remained in the Treasury,
which was deposited for safe keeping with
;the several States on condition that it should,
be J returned when required by . the pubiio
wants. .In 1849, the year after the termina-;
tion of an expensive war with' Mexico, we
.found ourselves involved in a debt of sixty
four millions, and this was the amount owed
by the government in i860, just prior to the
outbreak of the rebellion'.' In the spring of
,1861 our civil war commenced ; each year
of its continuance made an enormous addi
tion to th3 debt,: and when, in the spring of
'1865, the nation successfully' emerged from
i the .conflict, the obligations of the govern
ment had reached the immense sum of $2,
875.992,909. . Tho Secretary of the Treas
ury shows that on the 1st day of November,
1867. this amount had jbeen reduced , to
i$2J49l,504;450, but at the same time hi3
his report exhibits an increase during, the
past year of $35,625,102, for tho debt on
j the first day of November last is stated, to
jhave been $2,527, 129,552 It is estimated
i by the tJecretary thnt the returns for tbo
;past month will add to our liabilities the.
further sum of eleven millions, making a
; total increase during thirteen month of forty
six and a half millions.
g The President then argues in favor of a
reduction of the public debt, in which he
says we should without further delay make
provision for the payment of our obligations
at as early a day as may bo practicable.
Xhe fruit of the labors of the people, he goes
on to say, should be enjoyed by our citizens,
rather than be used to build up and sustain
moneyed monopolies in our own and other
lands. Our foreign debt is already compu
ted by the Secretary of the Treasury .at
$850,000,000. Citizens of foreign countries
receive interest upon a large portion of our
securities, and American tax-paj ers are made
to contribute large sums for their support.
The idea that such a debt is to become per
manent should be at all times discarded, as
taxation is too heavy to be borne
Tho Piesident also discusses the rate of
interest now paid by the Government, aod
comes to the conclusion that we are paying
an extravagant per centage for the use of tho
money borrowed.J file says : Our national
credit should be sacredly observed, but ia
making provision for our creditors we should
not forget what is due to the masses cf the
people. It may be assumed that the holders
of our securities have already Teceived upon
their bonds a larger amount than their ori
ginal investment, measured by a gold stand
ard. Upon this statement of facts it would
become just and equitable that the cix per
cent, interest now paid by the Govermoant
should be applied to the reduction of the
priucipal in semi-annual instalments, which
in sixteen years and eighteen months would
liquidate the entire national debt. Six per
cent, in gold would at present rates bo equal
to nine per cent, in currency, and equivalent
to the payment of the debt one and a half
times in a fraction less than seventeen years.
This, in connection with all the other ad
vantages derived from their investment,
would afford to the public creditors a fair
and liberal compensation for the use of their
capital, and with this they should be satisfied.
The President, after adverting to the in
flation of the currency, says that it is the
bvious duty of the Government, as early as
may he consistent with the principles of
sound political economy, to take such mea
sures as will enable the holder of its notes
and those of the national banks to oonvert
them without, loss Into specie or its equiva
lent. A reduction of our paper circulating
medium may not necessarily follow. This,
however, would depend upon the law of de
mand and supply ; though it should be
borne in mind that by making legal-tender
and banknotes convertible into coin or its
equivalent, their present specie value in the
hands of their holders would be enhanced
one hundred per cent. Legislation for the
accomplishment of a result so desirable is de--manded
by the highest public considerations.
He further says that equal and exact justice
requires that all creditors of the Government
should be paid in a currency possessing uni
form value. This can only be accomplished
by the restoration of currency to the standard
established by the Constitution, and by this
means we would remove a discrimination
which may, if it has not already done so,
rvreate a prejudice that may become deep
rooted and wide-spread, aud imperil the na
tional credit.
The Secretary of the Interior, in his re
port, gives valuable information In reference
to the interests cpnfined to the supervision
of his department, and reviews the opera
tions of tho Land OfEce, Pension Office, Pat
ent Office and Indian Bureau. During the
fiscal year ending June 30th, 1868, six mil
lions six hundred and fifty-five thousand
seven hundred acres of public land were dis
posed of. The entire cash receipts of the
General Land Office for the same period were
$1,032,745, being greater by $284,883 than
the amount realized from the same sources
dnring tho previous year. The entries un
der the Homestead law cover two million
three hundred and twenty-eight thousand
nine hundred and twenty-three acres, nearly
one-fourth of which was taken under the act
of June, ist; 1867, which applies only to
the Si-nies of. Alabama, Mississippi, Louisi
ana, Arkansas and Florida. ;.
On the COth of June. 1868, one hundred
and sixty-nine thousann six hundred ' and
fiity-three names were borne on tha pension
rolls, and during the year ending on that
day, the total amount paid for pensions, in
cluding the expenses of disbursements, was
$24,010,982; being $5,391,025 greater than
that expended for like purposas during the
preceding year. :,
' Exception is taken to the act of 23d July
last, which reduces the interest on the fund
loaned to the Government by the Secretary
as trustee, to. three per cent, instead of six
per cent., which was originally stipulated
when the investment was made, An amend
ment of the Pension law3 is suggested to
remedy omissions and defects In existing en
actments. The expenditures of the depart
ment during the last fiscal year were $201,
203,94, and the estimates for the coming
year amount to $20,993,3 14.
. During, the year ending the 30th of Sep
tember last, the expenses of the Patent Office
exceeded the receipts by one hundred and
seventy one dollars, and including re-issues
and designs, fourteen thousand one hnndred
and fifty-three patents were issued
....... IStilAN AFFAIRS.
Treaties with various Indian tribos have
been concluded, aad will be submitted to the
Senate for its constitutional action. I cor
diallay sanction the stipulations which pro
vide for reserving lands for the various tribes,
where they may be encouraged to abandon
their nomadic habits.'and engage in agricul
tural and industrial pursuits. This policy,
inaugurated many. years since, has met with
signal success whenever it has been pursued
in good faith and with becoming liberality
by the United States. The necessity for ex
tending it as far as practicable in our rela
tions with the aboriginal population is greater
now than at any preceding period. Whilst
wfl fnrnaK. subsistence and instructions to
the Indians and guarantee M,jL.t.i,..i
enjoyment of their treaty rights, we should
habitually insist upon the faithful observance
of their agreement to remain within their re
spective rcservationsr This is the only mode
by which these collisions with other tribes
and with the whites can be avoided and the
safety of our frontier settlements secured.
The compTjnies constructing the railway
from Omaha to Sacramento have been most
energetically engaged in prosecuting the
;work, and it is believed that the line will be
completed befo?e the expiration of the next
;fiscal year. The six per cent, bonds issued
;to these companies amounted on the fith in--stantto
$44,337,006", and additional work
f had been performed to the extent of $3,200,
1000. " The Secretary of tho Interior in Au
gust last, invited my attentioa to the report
of a Director of the Union PaciSc Railroad
Company, who had been specially instructed
to examine the location, construction and
equipment of their road, and submitted for
the opinion of tho Attorney General certain
questions in regard to the authority of the
Kxecuti re, which arose upon this report,
and those which h&d from time to time been
. presented by the Commissioners appointedf
appointed to examine this and other lines,
and have recently submitted a statement of
their investigations, of which the report of
the Secretary of the Interior furnishes spec
ial information.
The report of the Secretary of War con
tains information of interest respecting tho
several Buaeaus of the War Department,
and the operations of the army. The
strength of our military force on the SOth of
September last was 68,600 men, and it is
computed that this number will be decreased
to 43,000. It isi the opinion of the Secretary
of War, that within the next year a consid
erable diminution of the infantry force may
be made without detriment to the interest of
the country, and in view of the great ex
pense atteudiog the military establishment
and the absolute necessity of retrenchment,
wherever it can be applied, it is hoped that
Congress will sanction the reduction which
his report recommends. While in 1860.
sixteen thousand fhree hundred men cost the
nation $16,472,000, the sum of $05,682,000
a3 necessary for the support of the army du
ring tho fiscal year, ending June 30, 1870.
The estimates of war debt, for the last two
fiscal yaars, were for 1807, $33,814,461, and
and for 1868, $25,205,669. The actual
expenditures during the same periods were
respectively, 95,224,415 and $123,246,648.
The estimate submitted in December last,
for the fiscal year ending J une 30, 1869, wa3
$77,121,707. The expenditures for the first
quarter, ending the 30th of September last,,
were $27,219,117, and the Secretary of the
Treasury gives $66,000,000 as the amount
which will probably be required during the
remaining three-quarters, if there should be
no reduction of the army, making its aggre
gate cost for the year considerably ia excess
of ninety-three millions. .The difference be
tween the estimates and expenditures for the
three fiscal years which have been named, is
thus shown to be $175,545,343 for this sin
gle branch of public service.
The report of the Secretary of the Navy
exhibits the operations of that department
and of the Navy duaing the year. A consid
erable reduction of the force has been effected.
There are forty-two vessels carrying four
hundred and eleven guns in the six squad
rons which are established in different parts
of the world. Three of these vessels are re
turning to the United States and four are
used as storeships. leaving the actual cruis-r
ing force thirty-five vessels, carrying three
hundred and fifty -six guns. The total num
ber of vessels in the Navy is two hundred
and six, mounting seventeen hundred and
forty-three guns. Eighty-one vessels of ev
ery description are in use, armed with six
hundred and ninety-six guns. The number
of enlisted men in the service, including ap
prentices, has been reduced to eight thou
sand and five hundred. An increase of navy
yard facilities is recommended "which will,
in the event of war, be promotive of economy
and security. A more thorough and sys
tematic survey of the North Pacific Ocean
is advised, in view of our recent acquisitions,'
our expanding commerce, aud the increasing
intercourse between the Pacific States and.
Asia. The Naval Tension Fund, which
consists of a moiety of the avails of prizes
captured during the war, amounts to $14,
000,000. '
. The Postmaster General's report furnishes
a full and clear exhibit of the operations and
condition of the postal service. The ordina
ry postal revenue for the ' fiscal year ending
June 30, 1868, was $15,202,400, and the
total expenditures embracing all the service
for which special appropriations have been
made by Congress, amounted to 22,730,
692, showing an excess of expenditures of
6,437,771 ; showing an excess of expendi
tures of $6,437,771 deducting from the ex
penditures the. sum of $1,896,525, the
amount of appropriations for ocean, steam
ship and other special services, the excess of
expenditures was $4,541,466. By using an
unexpended balance in the Treasury of $3,
800,000, the actual sum for which a 'special
appropriation , is required to meet the defi
ciency, is $7,412 66. The causes : which
produced this Jare excess of ckpcmluure
over revenue, were the restoration of serv-"
ices , in the late insurgent States, and the
putting into operation of the new service es
tablished by acts of Congress, which amount
ed within" the last two years and a half to
about "forty-eight thousand seven hundred
miles, equal to more than one-third the
whole amount of the service at the close of
the war. New postal conventions with
Great Britain, North Germany, Belgium,
the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Italy, re
spectively, have been carried into ' effect ;
under their provisions important improve
ments have resulted in the reduced rates of
international postage, and the enlarged mail
facilities with European countries. The
cost of the United States trans-Atlantic
Ocean mail service, since January 1, 1808,
has been largely lessened under tho opera
tion1 of these new conventions ; reduc
tion . of over ono-half having .been effected -I
the new arrangement for Ocean
mail steamstnp service, '.vnich vgU mto
effect on that date. Tho attention of Con
gress is invited to the practical suggestions
and recommendations made In his report,
by the Postmaster General.
No important question has occurred dur
ing the last year in our accustomed cordial
and friendly intercourse with Cosra Bica,
Guatemala. Honduras, San Salvador, France,
Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Portugal, the
Netherlands. Denmark, Sweden and Nor
way, Rome, Greece, Turkey, Persia, Egypt,
Liberia, Morocco, Tripoli, Tunis, Muscat,
Siam, Borneo and Madagascar. Cordial
relations have also been maintained with tho
Argentine and the Oriental Republics. The
expressed wish of Congress that our national
good offices might be tendered to those Re
publics, and also to Brazil and Paraguay,
for bringing to an end the continuous war
which has so long been raging in the Valley
of the La Plata, has been assiduously com
plied with, and fully acknowledged by all
the belligerents. That important negotia
tion, however, has thus far been without re
sult. Charles A. Washburn, late United
States Minister to Paraguay, having resign
ed, and being desirous to return to the
United States, the Rear Admiral command
ing the South Atlantic Squadron was early
directed to send a ship of war to Ascencion,
the capital of Paraguay, to receive Mr.
Wrashburn and his family, and remove them
from a situation which was represented to
be endangered by faction and foreign war.
The Brazilian commander of the allied inva
ding forces refused permission to the Wasp
to pass through the blockading forces, and
that vessel returned to its accustomed an
chorage, remonstrance having been made
against the refusal. It was promptly over
ruled, and tho Wasp therefore resumed her
errand, received Mr. Washburne and family,
and conveyed them to a. safe and convenient
seaport. In the meantime an excited con
troversy had arisen between tho President
of Paraguay and tho late United States
Minister, which it is understood grew out of
his proceedings in giving asylum in tho
United States legation to alleged enemies of
that Republic. The question of the right to
give asylum is one always difficult and often
productive of great embarrassment in States
well organized and established. Foreign
powers refuse either to concede or exercise
:that right except as to persons actually be
longing to the Diplomatic service. Ou the
other band all such powers insist upon exer
cising the right of asylum in States where
, the law of nations is not fully acknowledged,
respected and obeyed. The President of Par
aguay is understood to have been opposed to
Mr. Waahburne's proceedings, owing to the
injurious and very improbable charge of
personal complicity in insurrection and trea
son. The correspondence, however, has not
reached the United States. Mr. Washburne,
in connection with this controversy, repre
sents that two Unite! States citizens at
tached to the legation were arbitrarily seized'
at his side when leaving tho capital of Par
aguay, committed to prison, and there sub
jected to torture for the purpose of procuring
confessions of their own criminality, and
testimony to support tho President's allega
tions against the United States Minister.
A dispatch has been received from Mr.
McMahon, the newly appointed Minister to
Paraguay, saying that he had reached the
La Plate. He has been instructed to proceed
without delay to Asunsrion, there to Investi
gate the whole subject. The Roar admiral,
commanding the United States South Atlan
tic Squadron, has becu directed to attend the
new Minister with a proper naval force, and
to sustain such just demands as the occasion
may require, and to vindicate the rights of
the United States citizens referred to, and of '
any others who may bo exposed to danger in ;
the theater of war . m .
, With these exceptions, friendly relation :
have been maintained between the United '
States and Brazil and Paraguay. Our rela
tions during the past year, with Bolivia,
Ecuador Peru, and Chile, have become espec
ially frieudly and cordial. Spain and the
Republics of Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador havo
expressed their willingness to accept the
meditations of the United States for termina
ting the war upon the South Pacific coast.
Chile has not finally declared upon the ques
.tion. In the meantime the conflict has
practically exhausted itself, since no belliger
ent or hostile movement has been made by
either party during tho last two years, and
there are no indications of a present purpose
to resume hostilities on either side. Great
Britian and France have cordially seconded
our propositions of mediation, and I do not
forgo the hope that it may soon be accepted
by all the belligerents and lead to a secure,
establishment of peace and friendly relations
between the Spanish - American Republics
and Spain- a resnit which would be attend
ed with common benefits to the belligerents,
and much advantage to all commerc'iTjl na
tions. ' ; -
r communicate for the consideration, of
Congress a correspondence which shows that
the Bolivian Republic has established" the
extremely liberal principle of receiving into
its citizenship any. citizen of the United
States, or of any other of the American Re
publics, upon the simple condttion of volun
tary registry. Tne correspondence herewith
submitted x will be found painfully' replete
with account? of the ruin and wretchedness
produced by recent earthquakes of "un
paralled severity in the Republics of Peru
Ecuador and Bolivia. The diplomatie agen
cy and naval officers of the United States
who were present in these countries at the
time of these disasters, furnished all the re
lief in their powTer to the sufferers, and were
promptly rewarded with grateful and
couching acknowledgements by the Con
gress of Teru. an appeal ' to the charity
of our fellow-citizens has been atiswerd by
much liberality.' In this connection I sub- '
mit an appeal which has been made by the -Swiss
Republic, whose government and In
stitutions are kindred to our own, in behalf
of its inhabitants, who are suffering extreme
destitution produced by recent inundations.
Our relations with Mexico duriDg the year
have been marked by an increasing grofath
of mutual confidence. Tho Mexican Gov
ernment has not yet actea upon ine ireanew .
cpiuv--- Tl vT "' ' bHshing .
the right3 of naturalized citizens upon a yuii
and liberal basis for regulating Consular pow
ers, and for the adjustment of mutual claims.
All commercial nations, as well as all friecdi,
of republican institutions, have occasion to
regret the frequent local disturbances which
occur in tome of the constituent States of Co-
lurabia. Nothing has occurred, however, to
effect the harmony and cordial friendship
which have for several years existed between
that youthful and vigorous republic and our
own. Negotiations are pending with a view
to the survey and construction of a ship ca
nal across the Isthmus of Darien. under tho
auspices of the United States. I hoi to be
able to submit the result of that riegotiatlon
to tho Senate during its present sebion.
The very liberal treaty which was entered
into last year by the Unittd fctates and Nl
carauga has been ratified by the latter re
public. Costa Rico, with the earnestness of
a sincerely frisadly neighbor, solicits recipro
city of trade, which I commend to th6 con
sideration of Congress. The convention cre
ated by treaty between the United States
and Venezuela, in July, 1865, for the mutu
al adjustment of claims, has been held, and
its decisions h;ive been received at the De
partment cf State. The heretofore recog
nized Government of the United States of
Venezuela has been subverted, a Provisional
Government having been instituted under
circumstances which promise durability. It
Iras been formally recognized.
I have been reluctantly obliged to ask ex
planation and satisfaction for national inju
ries committed by the President of Hayti.
The political and social condition of the Re
publics of Hayti and St. Domingo are very
unsatisfactory and painful. The abolition
of slavery, which has been carried intoefTecfc
throughout the Island of St. Domingo and
the entire West Indies, except the Spanish
bland? of Cuba aod Porto Rico, has been
followed by a profound popular conviction
of tho rightfulness of republican institutions
and an iutense desire to secure them. Tho
attempts, however, to establish repnblicii
there encounters many obstacles, most of
which may be supposed to result from long
indulged habits of colonial supineness and
dependence upon European powers.
The Presllent says that the acquisition of
Alaska was made with the view of extend
ing the National jurisdiction in the American '
hemisphere; and, believing that a further
step could be taken in the same direction, .
he says that last year he entered into a
treaty with the King of Denmark for the
purchase of the islands of St. Thomas and
St. Johns, on the best terms then attainable,
and with the express consent of the people
of those islands. This treaty still remains
under consideration in the Senate. A new"
convention has been entered into with Den
mark, enlarging the time fixed for the final '
ratification of the original treaty.' He fur
ther commends to Congress the consideration
of the subject of the peaceful annexation of
tho two republics of the island of St. Do-,
mingo to the United States. .
', The President asks the Senate to confirm'
the treaty for the establishment of commer
cial reciprocity betwoen the Hawaiian King
dom and this Govornmeut.
The President makes mention of two
treaties between the United States and
Haty. for the regulation of Consular Powers,
and the extradition of criminals. A liberal
Consular Convention has been negotiated
with Belgium. Treaties have baen ratified
Continued on fourth pagt.
i .