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85 V EO. W. BOWI IV
NEW SERIES. PRESIDENT'S MESSIER. FtHow-CUizens of the Senate and House of Representatives : The |inst has been an eventful year, and will he hereafter referred to as a marked epoch in the history of the world. While we have been happily preserved from the calamities of war, our domestic prosperity has not (men entirely uninterrupted. The crops, in port ions of the country, have been nearly cut off. Disease has prevailed to a greater extent than usual, and the sacrifice of human life, through casualties by sea and land is without a parallel. Hut the pestilence has swept hy, and restored salubrity invites the absent to their homes, and the re turn of business to its ordinary channels. If the earth has rewarded the labor of the husband man less bountifully than in the preceding seasons, it has left him with abundance for do mestic wants, and a large surplus for exporta tion. In the present, therefoie, as in the past, we find ample grounds for reverent thankful ness to the (iod offirace and Providence, fir His protecting care and merciful dealings with us as a people. Although our attention has been arrested by painful interest in passing events, yet our coun try feels no more than the slight vibiations ol the convulsions, which have shaken Europe.— As individuals, we cannot repress sympathy with human suffering, nor regret for the causes which produced it. As a nation we are re mind, d, that whatever interrupts the peace, or checks the prosjierity, of any part of Christen dom, foods, more or less, to involve our own.— The condition of states is not unlike that of indi viduals. They are mutually dependent upon each other. Arnica: ie relations between them, and reciprocal good will, are essential for the promotion of whatever is desirable in their mor al, social, and political condition. Hence, it lias been my earnest endeavor to maintain peace and fii-ndlv intercourse with all nations. The wise theory of this government so early adopted and steadily pursued, of avoiding all en tangling alliances, has hitherto xeir [ t< d ;l from many complications, in which it would other wise have become involved. Notwithstanding this our clearly defined and w.-J| sustained course of action and our geographical position so remote from Europe, increasing dispisition has been manifested bv some ot its governments, to super vise, and, in ceitnin respects, to direct, our foreign policy. In plans for adjusting the bal ance of power among themselves, they have as sumed to take us into account, and would con stiain us to conform our conduct to their views. One or another of the powers of Europe has, from time to time, undertake n to enforce arbi trary regulations, contrary in many respects to established principle's of international law. That law the United States have, in their foreign in tercourse, uniformly respected and observed, and they cannot recognize any such inforlopa tions therein, as the t-mpoiarv interests of oth ers may suggest. They do not admit that the sovereigns of one continent, or of a particular community of Stat.s, can legislate for all oth ers. Leaving the transatlantic nations to adjust their political system, in the way they may think best for their common welfare, the inde pendent powers of this continent may well assort the right to he exempt from all annoying interference on their part. Systematic absti nence from intimate political connexion with distant foreign nations, does not conliict with giving the widest range to our foreign com merce. This distinction, so cleatly marked in history, seems to have been overlooked, or dis regarded, by some hailing foreign States. Our refusal to be brought w ilhin, and subjected to, their peculiar system, has, I (ear, created a jealous distrust of our conduct, and induced, on their part, occasional acts of disturbing effect ujion our foreign relations. Our present atti tude and past course give assurances, which should not !>e questioned, that our purposes are not aggressive nor threatening to the safety and welfare of other nations. Our military esta blishment, in time of peace, is adapted to main tain exterior defences, and to prserve order a rnong (he aboriginal tribes within the limits of the I ni'.n. Our naval force is intended only i for the protection of our citizens abroad, and of j our commerce, diffused, as it is, over all the, sands of (he globe. The government of the U. ; Stabs, being essentially pacific in policy, stand j prepared to repel invasion by the voluntary ser- j vice of a patriotic people, and provides no per- j manent means of foreign aggression. These j considerations should allay all apprehensions, j that we are disposed to encroach on the rights j or endanger the security of other States. Some European powers have regarded, with I disquieting concern, the teriitorial expansion of; the 1 nited States. This rapid grow th has re sulted from the legitimate exercise of sovereign 1 rights, belonging alike to all nations, and by j many liberally exercised. Under such circum- j sfauc.'s, it could hardly have be.-n expected that those among them, which have, within a corn- j paratively recent period, subdued and absorbed j ancient kingdoms, planted their standards on e- ; very continent, and now possess, or claim the i control of, the islands of every ocean as their j appropriate domain, would bxk with unfriend-I ly sentiments upon the acquisitions of this coun- j try, in every instance honorably obtained, or ; would feel themselves justified in imputing our • advancement to a spirit of aggression, or to a passion for political predominance. Out foreign commerce has reached a magnitude ; and extent nearly equal to that of the first mari- i time power of the earth, and exceeding lhaLxif any other. Over this great interest, in which. ot only our merchants, but all classes of citi zens, at least indirectly, are concerned, it is the j duty of the executive and legislative branches °f the government to exercise a careful super vision, and adopt proper measures for its pro tection. The policy which I have had in view in regard to this interest, embraces its future, as well as its present security. Long experience bus shown that, in general,' so, that at the commencement of the existing war in Europe, Great Britain and France an nounced their purpose to observe it for the pre sent: not, however, as a recognized internation al right, but as a mere concession for the time being. The co-operation, however, of these two powerful maiatitne nations in the interest of neutral rights, appeared to me to afford an occasion, inviting and justifying, on the part of the I'nited States, a renewed effort to make the doctrine in question a principle of international law, by means of special conventions between the several powers of Europe and America.— Accordingly, a proposition, embracing not only the rule, that free ships make free goods, except contraband articles, hut also the less contested one, that neutral property, other than contra band, though on board enemy's ships, shall he exempt from confiscation, has been submitted by the Government to those of Europe and Amer ica. Russia acted promptly in this matter, and a convention was concluded between that coun try and the I'nited States, providing lor the ob servance of the principles announced, not only as between themselves, but also as hetwet n them and all other nations, which shall enter into like stipulations. None of the other [towers have as yet taken final action 011 the subject. I am not aware, however, that any objection to the proposed stipulations has been made: but on the contrary, they are acknowledged to he es sentia! to tiie security of neutral commerce : and '.lm only apparent obstacle to their general adop tion is in tiie possibility that it may be encum bered by inadmissible conditions. The King of the Two Sicilies lias expressed to to our minister at Naples his readiness to concur in our proposition relative to (mitral rights, and to enter into a convention on that .subject. The King of Prussia entirely approves of the project of a treaty to the same effect, submitted to him, but proposes an additional article provi ding for the renunciation of privateering. Such an article, for most obvious reasons, is much de sired by nations ha\ing naval establishments, large in proportion to their foreign commerce. It it were adopted as an international rule, the commerce of a natiom having comparatively a small naval force, would be very much at the mercy of its enemy, in case of war with a pow er of decided naval superiority. The bare state ment of the condition in which the United States would he placed, after having surrendered the right to resort to privateers, in the event of war with a belligerent of naval supremacy, will show that this government could never listen to such a proposition. The navy of the first mari time power in Europe is at b ast ten times as large as that of the United States. The foreign commerce of the two countries is nearly equal, andabout equally exposed toh stiledepredations. In war between that power and the United States, without r<*sort on our part to our mer cantile marine, the means of our enemy to in flict injury upon our commerce would he ten fold greater than ours to retaliate. We could not extricate our country from this unequal con dition, with such an en-mv, unless we at once departed from our present peaceful policy, and became a great naval power. Nor would this country be better situated, in war with one of the secondary naval powers. Though the na val disparity would be less, the greater extent, and more exposed condition of our wide-spread commerce, would give any of them a like ad vantage over us. The proposition to enter into engagements to forego resort to privateers, in case this coimtrv should tie forced into war with a great naval power, is not entitled to more favorable consid eration than would he a proposition, to agree not to accept the services of volunteers for oper ation on land. When the honor or the rights of our country require if to assume a hostile attitude, it confidently relies UJSJII the patriot ism of its citizens, not ordinarily devoted to tin military profession, to augment the armv and the navy, so as to make them fully adequate to the emergency which calls them into action.— The proposal to surrender the right to employ privateers is professedly founded upon the prin ciple, that private property of unoffending non combatants, though enemies, should be exempt from the ravages of war: but the proposed sur render goes but little way in canyingout that principle, which equally requires that such pri vate property should not be seized or molested by national ships of war. Should the leading powers of Europe concur in proposing, as a rule of international law, to exempt private proper ty, upon the ocean, from seizure by public arm ed cruisers, as well as by privateers, the United States will readily meet them upon that broad ground. Since the adjournment of Congress, the ratifi cations of the treaty between the United Stales and Great Britain, relative to coast fisheries, and to reciprocal trade with the British North American provinces, have been exchanged, and some of its anticipated advantages are already enjoyed bv us, although its full execution was to abide certain acts ot legislation not yet fully performed. So soon as it was ratified, Great when the principal powers of Europe are enga ged in war, the rights of neutral nations are en dangered. This consideration led, in the pro gress of the war of independence, to the forma tion of the celebrated confederacy of armed neu trality, a primafv object of which was, to assert the doctrine, that free .=!, ips make In e goods, except in the case of articles contraband of war: a doctrine which, from the verv commence ment of our national being, has been a cherish ed idea of the Statesmen of tfa is country. At one period or another, every maratune power has, by some solemn treaty stipulation, recogni zed that principle, a rid it might have been hop ed that it would come to he universally receiv ed and respected as a rule of international law. Hot the refusal of one power prevented this, and in the next great war which ensiled, tirat of the French revolution, it failed to be respected a rnong the belligerent States of Europe. .Not withstanding this, the principle is generally ad mitted to he a sound and salutary one; so much BEDFORD, PA. Fit Britain opened to our commerce the free nation of the river St. Lawrence, and to to fishermen unmolested access to the shores j l ays, from which they had been previously f.i eluded, on the coasts of her North Ameriiai ; provinces -, in return for which she asked nj the introduction, free of duty, into the porta a l the United States, of the fish caught on the saw coast ly British fishermen. This being ;h> I compensation, stipulated in the treaty, for j#iv ileges of (he highest importance and valuJ t< the I nited States, which were thus voluntril) t yielded hefiire it became effective, the recjies | seemed to me to he a reasonable one ; bij i could not be acceded to, from want of anth ty to suspend our laws imposing duties upoijaL foreign fish. In the meantime, the Treasjry Department issued a regulation, for ascertaiifig the duties paid or secured by bonds on sh ; caught on the coasts of the British proving, i and brought to our markets by British ' alter the fishing-grounds had been made lily accessible to the citizens of the United Sta-s. I recommend to voitr favorable considerate a ■ proposition, which will be submitted to voisbr j authority to refund the duties and cancel he i bonds thus received. The provinces of Canada and New Bns wick have also anticipated the full operatiuo/ the treaty, by legislative arrangements, re-c --; lively, to admit, tree of duty, the produefcof i the United States- mentioned in the free lof the treaty and an arrangement similar to at i regarding British fish, has been trade for dies now chargeable on the products of those > vinces enumerated in the same free list, anci troduced therefrom into the United States a j proposition for refunding which will, in v judgment, te in like manner entitled to yr : favorable consideration. There is a difference of opinion betweoiie 1 nited States and Great Britain, as to the ba j dary line of the Territory of Washington - joining tlie British possessions on the Part, i which has already led to difficulties on the jt of the citizens and local authorities of the p governments. I commend that provision,* j made for a commission, to be joined by ona j the part of her Britannic Majesty, for the p , pose of running and establishing the line! j controversy. Certain stipulations of the ti| | and fourth articles of the treaty concluded; the United States and Great Britain "in IS regarding possessory rights of the Ilndsi Bay Company, arid property of the Pug| i Sound Agricultural Company, have given r ; to serious disputes, and it is important to all c<j j cerned, that a summary means of settling thi j amicably should be devised. I have reason j ; believe that an arrangement can tie made i , just terms, tor the extinguishment of the rigii ! in question, embracing also, the right of tj Hudson's Bay Company to the navigation ji the river Columbia : and I therefore .-.uggej vour consideration the expediency of makinal : contingent appropriation for that puiqiose. t France was the early ami efficient ally jJ l the United States in their struggle for iiuii pendence. From that time to the preseij with occasiana! slight interruptions, cordial rjr lations of friendship have existed between l|. j governments and people ol the two , The kindly sentiments, cherished alike by b<i i nations, have led to extensive social and corj j mercial intercourse; which, 1 trust, will not j i interrupted or checked by anv casual event j jan apparently unsatisfactory character, l i j French consul at San Francisco was not loir since brought into the United States riistrij I court at that place, by compulsory process, j witness in favor of another foreign consul, | violation,as the French Government conceive | of his privileges under our consular conventi<| 1 with France. There being nothing in llie tranj | action which could imply any disrespect I I Fiance or its consul, such explanation has bed j made as I hope will be satisfactoiy. Subsi qimntlv, misunderstanding arose on the suhjej of the French government 1 aving, as it appeal ed, abruptly excluded the American minister I Spain from passing through Fiance, on his w;j from London to Madrid. But that governing has unequivocally disavowed any design to <H ny the right of transit to the minister of tlj United States; and, afieT explanations to llij effect, he has re aimed !iis journey, and actual! returned through France to Spain. I berewil lay before Congress the correspondence on th subject between our envoy at Paris and tlj minister of foreign relations of the Fiench gt vernmenf. The position of our afTairs with Spain n mains as at the close of your Inst session. Ti terna! agitation, assuming very nearly the cha acter of political revolution, has recently coi vnlsed that country. The late ministers wei violently expelled from power, and men, < very different views in relation to its interrn affairs, have succeeded. Since this chang' there has been no propitious opportunity to r< sume, and press'on, negotiations for the adjus rnent of serious ijuestions of diliirultv bet wee the Spanish government and the United Stat'-i There is reason to believe that our minister wi tind the present government more favorably in clined than the preceding to comply with on just demands, and to make suitable arrange merits for restoring harmony, and preset*vin peace, between the two countries. Negotiations are pending with Denmark t discontinue the practice of levying tolls on on vessels and their cargoes passing through th Sound. Ido not doubt that we can claim ex emption therefrom, as an atter of right. It i admitted on all hands, that this exaction is sine tinned, not by the general principles of the lav of nations, but only by special convention; which most of the commercial nations have en tered into with Denmark. The fifth article c our treaty of ISi26, with Denmark, provide) that there shall not be paid, on the vessels t the United States and their cargoes when pass ing through the Sound, higher duties than thus of the most favored nations. This may be regarded as an implied agret ment to submit to the tolls during the continu Freedom of Thought and Opinion. ►AY MORNING, DEC. 15, 1&54. ance of the treaty,-and, consequently, may em barrass the assertion of our right to "he* released therefrom. 1 here are also other provisions in the treaty which ought to be modified, it was to temain in lorce for ten years, and until one year after either party should give notice to the oilier of intention to terminate it. I deem it expedient that the contemplated notice should be given to the government of Denmark. The naval expedition, despatched about two years since for the purpose of establishing rela tions with the empire of Japan, has been ably and skilfully conducted to a successful termina tion by the officer to whom it was entrusted. A treaty, opening certain of the ports of that populous country, has been negotiated : and in order to give full effect thereto, it only remains to exchange ratifications, arid adopt requisite commercial regulations. Ihe treaty lately concluded between the I nited States and Mexico settled some of our most embarrassing difficulties with that country, ■ •ut numerous claims upon it for wrongs and in uries to our citizens remain unadjusted, and many new cases have been recently added to :he former list of grievances. Our legation has een earnest in its endeavors to obtain from lie Mexican government, a favorable considei ltion of these claims, but hitherto without suc •ess. i his failure is, probably, in some mea nre. to be ascribed to the disturbed condition of bat country. It has been my anxious desire o maintain friendly relations" with the M<xi ari republic, and to cause its rights and terri ories to lie respected, not only by our own cit zens, but bv foreigners, who have resorted to lie I nited States for the purpose of organizing mstile expeditions against some of the States o? hat republic. The defenceless condition in rhich its frontiers have been left, has slimula fd lawless adventurers to em! ark in these enter •rises, and greatly increased the difficulty of nforcing our obligations of neutrality. Re ardmg it as my solemn duty o fulfil, .'fficient v, these obligations, not onh towards Mexico ut other foreign nations, I have exerted all tin' owers with which I am invested to defeat such riminal proceedings, and bring to punishment mse who, by taking a part therein, violated ur laws. The energy and activity of our civil and mil ary authorities hare frustrated the designs of lose who meditated expeditions of this charac 'r, except in two instances. Cue of tlmse, imposed of foreigners, was at first connfenanc ' and aided by the Mexican government itself, having been deceived as to their reaf object! he other, small in number, eluded the vigi mce oi tile magistrates ot San I'rancisco, and irreeded in reaching the Mexican territories; it tile effective measures taken by this govern eiit compelled the abandonment of the under kin?. file commission to establish the new line he i'"en the 1 nited States and Mexico, according tiie provisions of the tieaty of the 30th oT ecember last, has been organized, and the ork is already commenced. Cur treaties with the argentine confederation, id with the republics of Uraguav and I'ara uiy, secure to us the free navigation of the rer La Platte, and some of its larger tributa 's: but the same succ< ss has not attended our deavors to open the Amazon. The reasons favor of (In- free use of that river, I had oc sion to present fully, in a former message ; (J, considering the cordial relations which re long existed between this government and azil, it may be expected that pending negoti ants wili, eventually, reach a favorable ie- It. Convenient means of transit between the ■ eral parts of a country, are not only desira • for the objects of commercial and personal inm.urncation, Tint essential to its existence im r one government. Separated as are the At ic and Pacific coasts of the United States by * whole breadth of the continent, s'ill the in diums of each are closely bound together by nmunity ot origin and institutions, and fil ing attachment to the Union. Hence the istant and increasing intercourse, and vast in cliange ot commercial productions, between ■ut? remote divisions of the Republic. At the •sent time, the most practical and only com diotis rentes for communication between m, are the way of the Isthmus of Central A rica. It is the duty of the Government to ure these avenues against all danger of inter >tion. In relation to Centra! America, perplexing -stions existed between the United States I Great Britain at the time of the cession of lilornia. These, as well as questions which sequently arose concerning inter-oceanic nmunication acioss the isthmus, were, as it s supposed, adjusted by the treaty of April 1S:">0 ; but, unfortunately, they have been ipened by serious misunderstanding as to the tort of some of its provisions, a readjustment which is now under consideration. Cur lister at London has made strenuous efforts iccomplish this desirable object, but has not found it possible to bring the negotiations tc ■rmination. is incidental to these questions, T deem it per to notice an occurrence which happen in Central America near the close of the last ion of Congress. So soon as the necessity ; perceived of establishing inter-oceanic com nrations across the isthmus, a company was inized, under authority of the State of Nica ia, but composed, for (he mcs! pait, of citi s of tiie United States, for the purpose of ning such a transit way, hv (lie river San n and Nicaragua, which soon became an il ble and much used route in the transporta of our citizens and their property between Atlantic and Pacific. leanwhile, and in anticipation of the com ion and importance of this transit way, a iber of adventurers bad taken possession of old Spanish port at the mouth of the river Juan, in open defiance of the state or states entral America, u hicli, upon their becoming pendent, had rightfully succeeded to the ! 'ocal sovereignty and jursidiction o< Spain. I hese adventurers undertook to change the name of the place from San Juan del Norte to Greytown, and, though at first pretending to act as the subjects of the fictitious sovereign of the Mosquito Indians, they subsequently repu diated the control of any power whatever, as sumed to adopt a distinct political organization, and declared themselves an independent sover eign state. It, at the same time, a faint hope was enter tained that they might become a stable and re spectable community, that hope soon vanished. I hey proceeded to a.-sert unfounded claims to civil jurisdiction over Punta Arenas, a position on the opjiosite side of the river San Juan, which was in jmssession, under a title wholly independent of them, of citizens of the United States, interested in the Nicaragua Transit Com pany, and which was indispensably necessary to the prosperous operation of that route across the Isthmus. The company resisted their groundless claims, whereupon they proceeded to destroy some of its buildings, and attempted violently to dispossess it. At a later period they organized a strong force for thejiurpose of demolishing the estab lishment at Punta Arenas, but this mischievous design was defeated by tile interposition of one of our ships of war, at that time in the harbor of San Juan. Suseqoentlt to this, in May last, <1 body of men from Greytown crossed over to Punta Arenas, arrogating cn authority to arrest on the charge of murder, a captain ol die of the steamboats of the Transit company. Peine well aware that the claim to exercise jurisdiction there would be resisted then, as it had on previ ous occasions, they went prepared to assert IJV force of arms. Our minister to Central America happened to he present on that occasion. Believing that the captain of the steamboat was innocent, fiir he witnessed the transaction on which the charge was founded, and believing, also, that (lie intruding party having no jurisdiction over the place w here they projiosed to make the ar iest, would encounter desperate resistance if they persisted in their purpose, he interposed, effectually to prevent violence and bloodshed. Ihe American minister afterwards visited Greytown, and whilst he was there, a mob, in cluding certain of the so-called public function aries ol the place, surrounded the house in which he was, avowing that they had come to arrest lum, by order of some person exercising the chief authority. Whilst parleying with them he was wounded by a ntissle from the riowd. A boat, despatched from the American steamer "Northern Light'' to release him from fhe perilous situation in which he was under stood to be, was fired into by the town guard, and compelled tr. return. These incidents, to gether with the known character ofthe popula tion of Greytown, and the ir excited state, indu ced just apprehensions that the lives and pro perty of our citizens of Punta Arenas would he in imminent danger after the departure of the steamer, with her passengers lor New York, unless a guard was left fbr their protection.— for this purpose, and in older to ensure the safety of passengers and property passing over the route, a temporary f.rce was organized, at considerable expense to the United States, for which provision was made at the last session of Congress. I'll is pretended community, a heterogeneous assemblage gathered from various countries, and composed, for the most part, of blacks and per sons ol mixed blood, had pieviouslv given oth er indications of mischievous and dangerous pro pensities. Early in the same month, property was clandestinely abstracted from the depot of the transit company and taken to Greytown. The plunderers obtained shelter there, and their pursuers were driven back hv its people, who not only protected the wrong-doers arid shared the plunder, but treated with rudeness arid violence those who sought to recover their property. Such, in substance, are the facts submitted fbr my consideration, and proved bv trustwor thy evidence. I could not doubt that the case demanded the interjiosition of this government. Justice required that reparation should he made fbr so many and such gioss wrongs, and that a course of insolence and plunder, tending, direct- It to the insecurity of the lives of numerous travellers, and ol the rich trea.-ure belonging to our citizens, passing over this transit" way, should he peremptorily arrested. Whatever it might be in other respects, the community in question, in power to do mischief, was not despi cable. It was provided with ordnance, small arms, and ammunition, and migh' easily seize on the unarmed boats, freighted with millions of property, which passed almost daily within its reach. It did not profess to belong to any reg ular government, and had, in fact, no recogniz ed independence on, or connection with, any one to which the United States or their injur ed citizens might apply for redress, or which could be held responsible, in any wav, for the outrages committed. Not standing before the world in the attitude of an organized political society, being neither competent to exercise the l ights nor to discharge the obligations of a gov ernment, it was, in tact, a marauding establish ment, too dangerous to be disregarded, and too guilty to pass unpunished, and yet incapable of being treated in any other way than as a pirati cal resort of outlaws, or a camp of savages, de predating on emigrant trains or caravans on the frontier settlements of'cnilzed states. Seasonable notice was given to the people of Greytown that this government required them lo repair the injuries they had done to our citi zens, and to make suitable apology fbr the insult if our minister, and that a ship-oi-war would he lespatched thither to enforce the compliance with these demands. But the notice passed un teeded. Thereupon, a commander of the navy, i) charge of the sioop-of-war ('vane, was order ed to repeat the demands, and to insist upon a rompliance therwith. Finding that neither the lopulace, nor those assuming to have authority J\ er tlmm, manifested any disposition to make TEKIttS, S3 PER TEAR. he required reparation, or even to offer excuse or their conduct, he warned them by a public proclamation that, if they did not give satisfac ion vvithin a time specified, he would bombard he town. By this precedure he afforded them jpportunity to provide for their personal safety. lotho.se also who desired to avoid Joss of properly, in the punishment about to be inflict ed on the offending town, lie furnished the iieans of removing their effects, by the boats of lis own ship, and of a steamer which he procur ed and tendered to them for that purjose. At length perceiving no disposition on the part of the town to comply with his requisitions, he lppealed to the commander of her Brittannic Majesty's schooner "Bernuda," who was seen t > have intercourse and apparently much influ ence with the leaders among them— to inter pose and persuade them to take some course calculated to save the necessity ol resorting to the extreme measures indicated in his procla mation : hut that officer, instead of acceding to tlie request, did nothing more than to protest against the contemplated bombardment. "NO steps of any sort were taken by the peo ple to give the satisfaction required. No indi viduals, if any there were, who regarded tlieiii >e|\esas not responsible for the misconduct of the community, adopted any means to seperate themselves from the fate of the guilty . The several charges on which the demands" for re dress were (bunded, had been publicly known to ail for some time, and were again announced to them. I hey did not deny any of these charges : they offered no explanation, nothing in extenuation of tlieir conduct : hut contuma ciously refused to hold any intercourse with the commander of the "Cyane." By their obsti nate silence they seemed rather desirous to pro voke chastisement than to escape it. 1 here is ample reason to believe that this conduct of wanton defiance, on their part, is imputed chief.y to the delusive idea that the .-iinerican government would be deterred from punishing them, through fear of displ-asing a lonnidahlp foreign power, which, thcv presum ed to think, locked with complacency upon their aggressive and insulting deportment to wards the I riited States. Jhe "Cyane" at length fired upon the town. Before mucb in jury had been done, the fire was twice suspend ed, in order to afford opportunity for au ar rangement ; but this was declined. Most ol the buildings of the place, of little value generally, were, in the sequel, destroyed; but, owing to the considerate precautions takeu by our naval commander, there was no destruction of life. VY hen the "Cyane" was ordered to Central America, it was confident!v hoped and expect ed that no occasion would arise for "a resort to violence and destruction of property and loss of life. Instructions to that effect were given to her commander. And no extreme act would have been requisite had not the people them "*lves by th.-ir extraordinary conduct in the af fair, frustrated all the possible mild measures for obtaining satisfaction. A withdrawal from the place, the object of his visit entirely defeated, would, under the circumstances in which the commander of the Cyane found himself, have been absolute abandonment of all claim of our citizens for idemnification, and submissive ac quiescence in national indignity. It would have encouraged in these lawless men a spirit of insolence and rapine most dangerousto the lives and property of citizens at Punta Arenas, and piohahlv emboldened tliern to grasp at the treasures and valuable merchandize continually passing over the Nicaragua route. It certainly would have been most satisfactory to me if the objects of the "Cy'ane's" mission could have hem consummated without any act of public force ; but the arrogant contumacy of the otfend ers rendered it impossible to avoid the alterna tive, either to break up iheir establishment, or to leave them impressed with the idea that they might persevere with impunity in a career of insolence and plunder. I his transaction has been the subject of com plaint on the part of some foreign powers, and has been characterized with more of harshness than of justice. Jf comparisons were to be in stituted, it would not be difficult to present re peated instances in the history of states, stand ing in the very front of modern civilization, w here communities, far less offending and more defenceless than Greytown, have been chastis ed with much greater severity, and w here not cities only have been laid in ruins, but human life has been recklessly sacrificed, and the blood of the innocent made profusely to mingle with that of the guilty. Passing from foreign to domestic affairs, vour attention is naturally directed to I fie financial condition of the country, always a subject of general interest. For complete and exact in formation regarding the finances, and the vari ous branches ot the public service connected tiierewith, I refer you to the report of the Se cretary ot the Treasury : from which it will ap peal, that the amount ol revenue during the last fiscal year, from ali sources, was seventy three million five hundred and forty-nine thou sand seven hundred and five dollars ; and that the public expenditures for the same period, ex clusive of payments on account of the public tlebt, amounted to fiitv-one mill ion eight thou sand two hundred and forty-nine dollars. Dur ing the same period, the payments made in re demption ol the public debt, including interest and premium, amounted to twenty-four million three hundred and thirty-six thousand three hundred and eighty dollars. io the sum total of the receipts of that year is to be added a balance remaining in the trea sury at the commencement thereof, amounting to twenty-one million nine hundred and forti two thousand eight hundred and ninety-two dollars; and at the close of the same year, a corresponding balance amounting to twenty million one hundred and thirty-seven thousand nine hundred and sixty-seven dollars of receipts above expenditures, also remained in the trea sury. Although, in the opinion of the Secreta ry of the Treasury, the receipts of the current fiscal year are not likely to equal in atnouut VOL XXIII, NO. 18.