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PUBLIC DOCUMENTS. Vessage of the Presi- United States or any place subject to their Jurisdic.
dent of the United States to the tro Houses tion, was ratified by the requisite number of States; at the commencement of the second session of cially declared to have become valid as a part of the
and on the 18th day of December, 1865, it was offi. the Thirty-ninth Congress, December 3, 1866. Constitution of the United States. All of the States
in wbich the insurrection had existed promptly Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and
amended their constitutions, so as to make them House of Representatives :
conform to the great change thus effected in the After a brief interval the Congress of the United organic law of the land; declared null and void all States resumes its annual legislative labors. An all. ordinances and laws of secession; repudiated all pre. wise and merciful Providence has abated the pestic tended debts and obligations created for the revolu. lence which visited our shores, leaving its calamitous tionary purposes of the insurrection; and proceeded, traces upon some portions of our country, Peace, in good faith, to the enactment of measures for the order, tranquillity, and civil authority have been for protection and amelioration of the condition of the mally declared to exist throughout the whole of the colored race. Congress, however, yet hesitated to United States. In all the States civil authority has admit any of these States to representation; and it superseded the coercion af arms, and the people, by was not until toward the close of the eighth month their voluntary action, are maintaining their govern- of the session that an exception was made in favor ments in full activity and complete operation. The of Tennessee, by the admission of her Senators and enforcement of the laws is no longer obstructed in Representatives. any State by combinations too powerful to be sup Y deem it a subject of profound regret that Conpressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceed gress has thus far failed to admit to seats loyal Senings ;” and the animosities engendered by the war ators and Representatives from the other States, are rapidly yielding to the beneficent influences of whose inhabitants, with those of Tennessee, had enour free institutions, and to the kindly effects of un- gaged in the rebellion. Ten States-more than onerestricted social and commercial intercourse. An fourth of the whole number-remain without repreentire restoration of fraternal feeling must be the sentation; the seats of fifty members in the House earnest wish of every patriotic heart; and we will of Representatives and of twenty members in the accomplish our grandest national achievement when, Senate are yet vacant-not by their own consent, forgetting the sad events of the past, and remember. not by a failure of election, but by the refusal of ing only their instructive lessons, we resume our Congress to accept their credentials. Their admis. onward' career as a free, prosperous, and united sion, it is believed, would have accomplished much people.
toward the renewal and strengthening of our relaIn my message of the 4th of December, 1865, Con- tions as one people, and removed serious cause for gress was informed of the measures which had been discontent on the part of the inhabitants of those instituted by the Executive with a view to the grad- States. It would have accorded with the great prin. aal restoration of the States in which the insurrec. ciple enunciated in the Declaration of American Intion occurred to their relations with the General dependence, that no people ought to bear the burden Government. Provisional Governors had been ap- of taxation, and yet be denied the right of reprepointed, conventions called, Governors elected, sentation. It would have been in consonance with Ligislatures assembled, and Senators and Repre. the express provisions of the Constitution, that sentatives chosen to the Congress of the United “each State shall have at least one Representative,” States. Courts had been opened for the enforce- and “that no State, without its consent, shall be dement of laws long in abeyance. The blockade had prived of its equal suffrage in the Senate." These been removed, custom-houses reëstablished, and the provisions were intended to secure to every State, internal revenue laws put in force, in order that the and to the people of every State, the right of reprepeople might contribute to the national income. sentation in each House of Congress, and so imPostal operations had been renewed, and efforts portant was it deemed by the framers of the Constiwere being made to restore them to their former tution that the equality of the States in the Senate condition of efficiency. The States themselves had should be preserved, that not even by an amendment been asked to take part in the high function of of the Constitution can any State, without its conamending the Constitution, and of thus sanctioning sent, be denied a voice in that branch of the National the extinction of African slavery as one of the legiti. Legislature. mate results of our internecine struggle.
It is true, it has been assumed that the existence Having progressed thus far, the Executive Departs of the States was terminated by the rebellious acts ment found that it had accomplished nearly all that of their inhabitants, and that the insurrection havwas within the scope of its constitutional authority. ing been suppressed, they were thenceforward to be One thing, however, yet remained to be done before considered merely as conquered territories. The the work of restoration could be completed, and that Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Departments was the admission to Congress of loyal Senators and of the Government have, however, with great dis. Representatives from the States whose people had tinctness and uniform consistency, refused to sancrebelled against
the lawful authority of the General tion an assumption so incompatible with the nature Government. This question devolved upon the re of our republican system, and with the professed spective Houses, which, by the Constitution, are objects of the war. Throughout the recent legis. made the judges of the elections, returns, and quali- lation of Congress the undeniable fact makes itself fications of their own members; and its consider apparent, that these ten political communities are ation at once engaged the attention of Congress. nothing less than States of this Union. At the very
In the mean time, the Executive Department--no commencement of the rebellion each House declared, other plan having been proposed by Congress-con- with a unanimity as remarkable as it was significant, tinued its efforts to perfect, as far as was practicable, that the war was not "waged, on our part, in any the restoration of the proper relations between the spirit of oppression, nor for any purpose of conquest citizens of the respective States, the States, and the or subjugation, nor purpose of overthrowing or inFederal Government, extending, from time to time, terfering with the rights or established institutions as the public interests seemed to require, the judi- of those States, but to defend and maintain the sucial, revenue, and postal systems of the country. premacy of the Constitution and all laws made in With the advice and consent of the Senate, the ne pursuance thereof, and to preserve the Union with cessary officers were appointed, and appropriations all the dignity, equality, and rights of the several made by Congress for the payment of their salaries. States unimpaired; and that as soon as these ob. The proposition to amend the Federal Constitution, jects” were accomplished, the war ought to cease.” 80 as to prevent the existence of slavery within the In some instances, Senators were permittel io con
tinue their legislative functions, while in other in the duty of the President to recommend to the con. stances Representatives were elected and admitted sideration of Congress “such measures as he shall to seats after their States had formally declared their judge necessary or expedient." I know of no meas. right to withdraw from the Union, and were endeav ure more imperatively demanded by every consider: oring to maintain that right by force. All of the ation of national interest, sound policy, and equal States whose people were in insurrection as States justice, than the admission of loyal members from were included in the apportionment of the direct the now unrepresented States. This would consum. tax of twenty millions of dollars annually laid upon mate the work of restoration, and exert a most saluthe United States by the act approved August 5, tary influence in the reëstablishment of peace, har1861. Congress, by the act of March 4, 1862, and by mony, and fraternal feeling. It would tend greatly the apportionment of representation thereunder, also to renew the confidence of the American people in recognized their presence as States in the Union; the vigor and stability of their institutions. It and they have, for judicial purposes, been divided would bind us more closely together as a nation, into districts, as States alone can be divided. The and enable us to show to the world the inherent and same recognition appears in the recent legislation in recuperative power of a Government founded upon reference to Tennessee, which evidently rests upon the will of the people, and established upon the prin. the fact that the functions of the State were not de. ciple of liberty, justice, and intelligence. Our in. stroyed by the rebellion, but merely suspended; and creased strength and enhanced prosperity would ir. that principle is of course applicable to those States refragably demonstrate the fallacy of the arguments which, like Tennessee, attempted to renounce their against free institutions drawn from our recent naplaces in the Union.
tional disorders by the enemies of republican gov. The action of the Executive Department of the ernment. The admission of loyal members from the Government upon this subject has been equally defi- States now excluded from Congress, by allaying nite and uniform, and the purpose of the war was doubt and apprehension, would turn capital, now specifically stated in the proclamation issued by my awaiting an opportunity for investment, into the predecessor on the 22d day of September, 1862. It channels of trade and industry. It would alleviate was then solemnly proclaimed and declared that the present troubled condition of those States, and, “hereafter, as heretofore, the war will be prosecuted by inducing immigration, aid in the settlement of for the object of practically restoring the constitu- fertile regions now uncultivated, and lead to an intional relation between the United States and each creased production of those staples which have of the States and the people thereof, in which States added so greatly to the wealth of the nation and the that relation is or may be suspended or disturbed.” commerce of the world. New fields of enterprise
The recognition of the States by the Judicial De would be opened to our progressive people, and partment of the Government has also been clear soon the devastations of war would be repaired, and and conclusive in all proceedings affecting them as all traces of our domestic differences effaced (from States, had in the Supreme, Circuit, and District the minds of our countrymen. Courts.
In our efforts to preserve “the unity of governIn the admission of Senators and Representatives ment which constitutes us one people,” by restoring from any and all of the States, there can be no just the States to the condition which they held prior to ground of apprehension that persons who are dis- the rebellion, we should be cautious, lest, having loyal will be clothed with the powers of legislation : rescued our nation from perils of threatened disin. for this could not happen when the Constitution and tegration, we resort to consolidation, and in the end the laws are enforced by a vigilant and faithful
Con- absolute despotism, as a remedy for the recurrence gress. Each House is made the "judge of the elec- of similar troubles. The war having terminated, tions, returns, and qualifications of its own mem and with it all occasion for the exercise of powers bers," and may, “with the concurrence of two of doubtful constitutionality, we should hasten to thirds, expel a member.” When a Senator or Rep. bring legislation within the boundaries prescribed resentative presents his certificate of election, he by the Constitution, and to return to the ancient may at once be admitted or rejected; or, should landmarks established by our fathers for the guidance there be any question as to his eligibility, his cre of succeeding generations. “The Constitution which dentials may be referred for investigation to the ap at any time exists, until changed by an explicit and propriate committee. If admitted to a seat, it must authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly oblig. be upon evidence satisfactory to the House of which atory upon all.” “ If, in the opinion of the people, he thus becomes a member, that he possesses the requi. the distribution or modification of the constitutional site constitutional and legal qualifications. If refused powers be, in any particular, wrong, let it be coradmission as a member for want of due allegiance to rected by an amendment in the way in which the the Government, and returned to his constituents, Constitution designates, but let there be no change they are admonished that none but persons loyal to by usurpation; for” “it is the customary weapon the United States will be allowed a voice in the legis- by which free governments are destroyed. Wash. lative councils of the nation, and the political power ington spoke these words to his countrymen, when, and moral influence of Congress are thus effectively followed by their love and gratitude, he voluntarily exerted in the interests of loyalty to the Government retired from the cares of public life. “To keep in and fidelity to the Union. Upon this question, so all things within the pale of our constitutional pow. vitally affecting the restoration of the Union and the ers, and cherish the Federal Union as the only rock permanency of our present form of government, my of safety," were prescribed by Jefferson as rules of convictions, heretofore expressed, have undergone action to endear to his countrymen the true prin. no change ; but, on the contrary, their correctness ciples of their Constitution, and promote a Union of has been confirmed by reflection and time. If the sentiment and action equally auspicious to their hapadmission of loyal members to seats in the respective piness and safety.” Jackson held that the action Houses of Congress was wise and expedient a year of the General Government should always be strictly ago, it is no less wise and expedient now. If this confined to the sphere of its appropriate duties, and anomalous condition is right now-if, in the exact justly and forcibly urged that our Government is condition of these States at the present time, it is not to be maintained nor our Union preserved “by lawful to exclude them from representation, I do invasions of the rights and powers of the several not see that the question will be changed by the States. In thus attempting to make our General efflux of time. Ten years hence, if these States re Government strong we make it weak. Its true main as they are, the right of representation will strength consists in leaving individuals and States be no stronger—the right of exclusion will be no as much as possible to themselves; in making itself weaker.
felt, not in its power, but in its beneficence; not in The Constitution of the United States makes it its control, but in its protection; not in binding the
States more closely to the centre, but leaving each treatment, well sheltered and subsisted, and is to be to move unobstructed in its proper constitutional furnished with breech-loading small-arms. The mili. orbit.” These are the teachings of men whose deeds tary strength of the nation has been unimpaired by and services have made them illustrious, and who, the discharge of volunteers, the disposition of unlong since withdrawn from the scenes of life, have serviceable or perishable stores, and the retrench left to their country the rich legacy of their example, ment of expenditure. Sufficient war material to their wisdom, and their patriotism. Drawing fresh meet any emergency has been retained, and, from inspiration from their lessons, let us emulate them the disbanded volunteers standing ready to respond in love of country and respect for the Constitution to the national call, large armies can be rapidly or. and the laws.
ganized, equipped, and concentrated. Fortifications The report of the Secretary of the Treasury affords on the coast and frontier have received, or are being much information respecting the revenue and com. prepared for more powerful armaments; lake surmerce of the country. His views upon the currency, veys and harbor and river improvements are in and with reference to a proper adjustment of our course of energetic prosecution. "Preparations have revenue system, internal as well as impost, are com been made for the payment of the additional bounmended to the careful consideration of Congress. ties authorized during the recent session of ConIn my last Annual Message I expressed my general gress, under such regulations as will protect tho views upon these subjects. I need now only call Government from fraud, and secure to the honor. attention to the necessity of carrying into every de- ably-discharged soldier the well-earned reward of partment of the Government a system of rigid ac. his faithfulness and gallantry. More than six thoucountability, thorough retrenchment, and wise econ. sand maimed soldiers have received artificial limbs omy. With no exceptional nor unusual expenditures, or other surgical apparatus; and forty-one national the oppressive burdens of taxation can be lessened cemeteries, containing the remains of 104,526 Union by such a modification of our revenue laws as will soldiers, have already been established. The total be consistent with the public faith, and the legiti- estimate of military appropriations is $25,205,669. mate and necessary wants of the Government.
It is stated in the report of the Secretary of the The report presents a much more satisfactory con. Navy that the naval force at this time consists of two dition of our finances than one year ago the most hundred and seventy-eight vessels, armed with two sanguine could have anticipated. During the fiscal thousand three hundred and fifty-one guns. Of year ending the 30th June, 1865, the last year of the these, one hundred and fifteen vessels, carrying one war, the public debt was increased $941,902,537, and thousand and twenty-nine guns, are in commission, on the 31st of October, 1865, it amounted to $2,740,; distributed chiefly among seven squadrons. The 854,750. On the 31st day of October, 1866, it had number of men in the service is thirteen thousand been reduced to $2,551,310,066, the diminution, six hundred. Great activity and vigilance have been during a period of fourteen months, commencing displayed by all the squadrons, and their movements September 1, 1865, and ending October 31, 1866, have been judiciously and efficiently arranged in having been $206,379,565. In the last annual report such manner as would best promote American comon the state of the finances, it was estimated that merce, and protect the rights and interests of our during the three-quarters of the fiscal year ending countrymen abroad. The vessels unemployed are the 30th June last, the debt would be increased undergoing repairs, or are laid up until their ser$112,194, 947. During that period, however, it was vices may be required. Most of the iron-clad fleet reduced $31,196,387, the receipts of the year having is at League Island, in the vicinity of Philadelphia, been $89, 905,905 more, and the expenditures $200, a place which, until decisive action should be taken 529,235 less than the estimates. Nothing could more by Congress, was selected by the Secretary of the clearly indicate than these statements the extent and Navy as the most eligible location for that class of availability of the national resources, and the rapidity vessels. It is important that a suitable public sta and safety with which, under our form of govern. tion should be provided for the iron-clad feet. It is ment, great military and naval establishments can intended that these vessels sball be in proper condibe disbanded, and expenses reduced from a war to a tion for any emergency, and it is desirable that the peace footing.
bill accepting League Island for naval purposes, During the fiscal year ending the 30th of June, which passed the House of Representatives at its 1866, the receipts were $558,032,620, and the expen- last session, should receive final action at an early ditures $520,750,940, leaving an available surplus of period, in order that there may be a suitable public $37,281,680. It is estimated that the receipts for the station for this class of vessels, as well as a navyfiscal year ending the 30th June, 1867, will be $475,- yard of area sufficient for the wants of the service, 061,386, and that the expenditures will reach the on the Delaware River. The naval pension fund sum of $816,428,078, leaving in the Treasury a sur amounts to $11,750,000, having been increased plus of $158,633,308.,. For the fiscal year ending $2,750,000 during the year. The expenditures of the June 30, 1868, it is estimated that the receipts will Department for the fiscal year ending 30th June last amount to $436,000,000, and that the expenditures were $43,324,526, and the estimates for the coming will be $350,247,641-showing an excess of $85,752,; year amount to $23,568, 436. Attention is invited to 859 in favor of the Government. These estimated the condition of our seamen, and the importance of receipts may be diminished by a reduction of excise legislative measures for their relief and improveand import duties; but after all necessary reductions ment. The suggestions in behalf of this deserving shall have been made, the revenue of the present and class of our fellow-citizens are earnestly recomof following years will doubtless be sufficient to cover mended to the favorable attention of Congress. all legitimate charges upon the Treasury, and leave The report of the Postmaster-General presents a a large annual surplus to be applied to the payment most satisfactory condition of the postal service, of the principal of the debt. There seems now to and submits recommendations which deserve the be no good reason why taxes may not be reduced as consideration of Congress. The revenues of the the country advances in population and wealth, and Department for the year ending June 30, 1866, were yet the debt be extinguished within the next quarter $14,386,986, and the expenditures $15,352,079, showof a century:
ing an excess of the latter of $965,093. In antici. The report of the Secretary of War furnishes val. pation of this deficiency, however, a special approuable and important information in reference to the priation was made by Congress in the act approved operations of his Department during the past year. July 28, 1866. Including the standing appropriation Few volunteers now remain in the service, and they of $700,000 for free mail matter, as a legitimate porare being discharged as rapidly as they can be re tion of the revenues yet remaining unexpended, the placed by regular troops. The army has been actual deficiency for the past year is only $265,093– promptly paid, carefully provided with medical a sum within $51,141 of the amount estimated in the
annual report of 1864. The decrease of revenue fund. The title to the lands should not pass, by compared with the previous year was one and one. patent or otherwise, but remain in the Government fifth per cent., and the increase of expenditures, and subject to its control until some portion of the owing principally to the enlargement of the mail road has been actually built. Portions of them service in the South, was twelve per cent. On the might then, from time to time, be conveyed to the 30th of June last there were in operation six thou. corporation, but never in a greater ratio to the whole sand pine hundred and thirty mail routes, with an quantity embraced by the grants than the completed aggregate length of one hundred and eighty thou. parts bear to the entire length of the projected imsand pine hundred and twenty-one miles, an aggre. provement. The restriction would not operate to gate annual transportation of seventy-one million the prejudice of any undertaking conceived in good eight hundred and thirty-seven thousand nine hun. faith and executed with reasonable energy, as it is dred and fourteen miles, and an annual aggregate the settled practice to withdraw from market the cost, including all expenditures, of $8,410,184. The lands falling within the operation of such grants, and length of railroad routes is thirty-two thousand and thus exclude the inception of a subsequent adverse ninety-two miles, and the annual transportation right. A breach of the conditions which Congress thirty million six hundred and nine thousand four may deem proper to impose should work a forfeiture hundred and sixty-seven miles. The length of of claim to the lands so withdrawn but unconveyed, steamboat routes iš fourteen thousand three hundred and of title to the lands conveyed which remain un. and forty-six miles, and the annual transportation sold. three million four hundred and eleven thousand nine Operations on the several lines of the Pacific Railhundred and sixty-two miles. The mail service is road have been prosecuted with unexampled vigor rapidly increasing throughout the whole country, and success. Should no unforeseen causes of delay and its steady extension in the Southern States indi. occur, it is confidently anticipated that this great cates their constantly improving condition. The thoroughfare will be completed before the expiration growing importance of the foreign service also mer of the period designated by Congress. its attention. The Post-office Department of Great During the last fiscal year the amount paid to penBritain and our own have agreed upon a preliminary sioners, including the expenses of disbursement, basis for a new postal convention, which it is be was thirteen million four hundred and fifty-nine lieved will prove eminently beneficial to the com- thousand nine hundred and ninety-six dollars; and mercial interests of the United States, inasmuch as fifty thousand one hundred and seventy-seven names it contemplates a reduction of the international let. were added to the pension rolls. The entire number ter postage to one-half the existing rates; a reduc. of pensioners June 30, 1866, was one hundred and tion of postage with all other countries to and from twenty-six thousand seven hundred and twenty-two. which correspondence is transmitted in the British This fact furnishes melancholy and striking proof of mail, or in closed mails through the United King. the sacrifices made to vindicate the constitutional dom; the establishment of uniform and reasonable authority of the Federal Government, and to maincharges for the sea and territorial transit of corre. tain inviolate the integrity of the Union. They im. spondence in closed mails; and an allowance to each pose upon us corresponding.obligations. It is estipost-office department of the right to use all mail mated that thirty-three million dollars will be recommunications established under the authority of quired to meet the exigencies of this branch of the the other for the dispatch of correspondence, either service during the next fiscal year. in open or closed mails, on the same terms as those Treaties have been concluded with the Indians, applicable to the inhabitants of the country provi- who, enticed into armed opposition to our Governding the means of transmission.
ment at the outbreak of the rebellion, bave unconThe report of the Secretary of the Interior exhibits ditionally submitted to our authority, and mavithe condition of those branches of the public service fested an earnest desire for a renewal of friendly which are committed to his supervision. During the relations. last fiscal year four million six hundred and twenty. During the year ending September 30, 1866, eight nine thousand three hundred and twelve acres of thousand seven hundred and sixteen patents for usepublic land were disposed of, one million eight hun. ful invention and design were issued, and at that ared and ninety-two thousand five bundred and six. date the balance in the Treasury to the credit of the teen acres of which were entered under the home patent fund was two hundred and twenty-eight thoustead act. The policy originally adopted relative to sand two hundred and ninety-seven dollars. the public lands has undergone essential modifica As a subject upon which depends an immense tions. Immediate revenue, and not their rapid set- amount of the production and commerce of the countlement, was the cardinal feature of our land system. try, I recommend to Congress such legislation as Long experience and earnest discussion have re. may be necessary for the preservation of the levees of sulted in the conviction that the early development the Mississippi River. It is a matter of national imof our agricultural resources, and the diffusion of an portance that early steps should be taken not only energetic population over our vast territory, are ob- to add to the efficiency of these barriers against de. jects of far greater importance to the national growth structive inundations, but for the removal of all ob. and prosperity than the proceeds of the sale of the structions to the free and safe navigation of that land to the highest bidder in open market. The pre- great channel of trade and commerce. emption laws confer upon the pioneer who complies The District of Columbia, under existing laws, is with the terms they impose the privilege of purchas. not entitled to that representation in the national ing a limited portion of “unoffered lands" at the councils which, from our earliest history, has been minimum price. The homestead enactments relieve uniformly accorded to each Territory established the settler from the payment of purchase-money, from time to time within our limits. "It maintains and secure him a permanent home, upon the condi. peculiar relations to Congress, to whom the Contion of residence for a term of years. This liberal stitution has granted the power of exercising exclupolicy invites emigration from the old, and from the sive legislation over the seat of Government. Our more crowded portions of the New World. Its pro. fellow-citizens residing in the District, whose in. pitious results are undoubted, and will be more sig. terests are thus confided to the special guardianship nally manifested when time shall bave given to it of Congress, exceed in number the population of a wider development.
several of our Territories, and no just reason is perCongress has made liberal grants of public land to ceived why a delegate of their choice should not be corporations, in aid of the construction of railroads admitted to a seat in the House of Representatives. and other internal improvements. Should this pol. No mode seems so appropriate and effectual of en. cy hereafter prevail, more stringent provisions will abling them to make known their peculiar condition be required to secure a faithful application of the and wants, and of securing the local legislation
adapted to them. I therefore recommend the pas- of November last, to assume his proper functions as sage of a law authorizing the electors of the District Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States to that of Columbia to choose a delegate, to be allowed the Republic. It was also thought expedient that he same rights and privileges as a delegate representing should be attended in the vicinity of Mexico by the a Territory. The increasing enterprise and rapid Lieutenant-General of the army of the United States, progress of improvement in the District are highly with the view of obtaining such information as might gratifying, and I trust that the
efforts of the munici. Þe important to determine the course to be pursued pal authorities to promote the prosperity of the by the United States in reēstablishing and maintain. national metropolis will receive the efficient and gen- ing pecessary and proper intercourse with the Reerous cooperation of Congress.
public of Mexico. Deeply interested in the cause of The report of the Commissioner of Agriculture re- liberty and humanity, it seemed an obvious duty on views the operations of his Department during the our part to exercise whatever influence we possessed past year, and asks the aid of Congress in its efforts for the restoration and permanent establishment in to encourage those States which, scourged by war, that country of a domestic and republican form of are now earnestly engaged in the reorganization of government. domestic industry.
Such was the condition of affairs in regard to MexIt is a subject of congratulation that no foreign ico, when, on the 22d of November last, official in. combinations
against our domestic peace and safety, formation was received from Paris that the Emperor or our legitimate influence among the nations, have of France had some time before decided not to with. been formed or attempted. While sentiments of draw a detachment of his forces in the month of reconciliation, loyalty, and patriotism have increased November past, according to engagement, but that at home, a more just consideration of our national this decision was made with the purpose of withcharacter and rights has been manifested by foreign drawing the whole of those forces in the ensuing nations.
spring of this determination, however, the United The entire success of the Atlantic Telegraph be. States had not received any notice or intimation; tween the coast of Ireland and the Province of New and, so soon as the information was received by the foundland, is an achievement which has been justly Government, care was taken to make known its discelebrated in both hemispheres as the opening of an sent to the Emperor of France. era in the progress of civilization. There is reason I cannot forego the hope that France will recon. to expect that equal success will attend, and even sider the subject, and adopt some resolution in re. greater results follow, the enterprise for connecting gard to the evacuation of Mexico which will conform the two continents through the Pacific Ocean by the as nearly as practicable with the existing engageprojected line of telegraph between Kamschatka and ment, and thus meet the just expectations of the the Russian possessions in America.
United States. The papers relating to the subject The resolution of Congress protesting against par. will be laid before you. It is believed that, with the dons by foreign governments of persons convicted evacuation of Mexico by the expeditionary forces, no of infamous offences, on condition of emigration to subject for serious difference between France and our country, has been communicated to the states the United States would remain. The expressions with which we maintain intercourse, and the prac. of the Emperor and people of France warrant a tice, so justly the subject of complaint on our part, hope that the traditionary friendship between the has not been renewed.
two countries might in that case be renewed and perThe congratulations of Congress to the Emperor manently restored. of Russia, upon his escape from attempted assassina. A claim of a citizen of the United States for intion, have been presented to that bumane and en dempity for spoliations committed on the high seas lightened ruler, and received by him with expressions by the French authorities, in the exercise of a belli. of grateful appreciation.
gerent power against Mexico, has been met by the The Executive, warned of an attempt by Spanish. Government of France with a proposition to defer American adventurers to induce the emigration of settlement until a mutual convention for the adjustfreedmen of the United States to a foreign country, ment of all claims of citizens and subjects of both protested against the project as one which, if con countries, arising out of the recent wars on this conBummated, would reduce them to a bondage even tinent, shall be agreed upon by the two countries. more oppressive than that from which they have just The suggestion is not deemed unreasonable, but it been relieved. Assurance has been received from belongs to Congress to direct the manner in which the government of the state in which the plan was claims for indemnity by foreigners, as well as by matured, that the proceeding will meet neither its citizens of the United States, arising out of the late encouragement nor approval. It is a question wor. civil war, shall be adjudicated and determined. I thy of your consideration, whether our laws upon have no doubt that the subject of all such claims will this subject are adequate to the prevention or pun- engage your attention at a convenient and proper time. ishment of the crime thus meditated.
It is a matter of regret that no considerable adIn the month of April last, as Congress is aware, a vance has been made toward an adjustment of the friendly arrangement was made between the Emperor differences between the United States and Great of France and the President of the United States for Britain, arising out of the depredations upon our the withdrawal from Mexico of the French military national commerce and other trespasses committed expeditionary forces. This withdrawal was to be during our civil war by British subjects, in violation effected in three detachments, the first of which, it of international law and treaty obligations. The was 'understood, would leave Mexico in November delay, however, may be believed to have resulted in now past, the second in March next, and the third no small degree from the domestic situation of Great and last in November, 1867. Immediately upon the Britain. An entire change of ministry occurred in completion of the evacuation the French Government that country during the last session of Parliament. was to assume the same attitude of non-intervention, The attention of the new ministry was called to the in regard to Mexico, as is held by the Government subject at an early day, and there is some reason to of the United States. Repeated assurances have expect that it will now be considered in a becoming been given by the Emperor, since that agreement, and friendly spirit. The importance of an early disthat he would complete the promised evacuation position of the question cannot be exaggerated. within the period mentioned, or sooner.
Whatever might be the wishes of the two GovernIt was reasonably expected that the proceedings ments, it is manifest that good-will and friendship thus contemplated would produce a crisis of great between the two countries cannot be established political interest in the Republic of Mexico. The until a reciprocity, in the practice of good faith and newly-appointed Minister of the United States, Mr. neutrality, shall be restored between the respective Campbell, was therefore sent forward, on the 9th day nations.