OCR Interpretation


The spirit of democracy. [volume] (Woodsfield, Ohio) 1844-1994, December 13, 1845, Image 2

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85038115/1845-12-13/ed-1/seq-2/

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0 mch win should be refunded. By virtue of
. another chose ia th am tec I ion of the irl, il ie
provided that ill imitation of Port, or any other
wine. "aha.Il be subject to the duty pro ided for the
genuine article." Imitations of Port wine, the pro
duction of France, ir imported to aome extent into
tb United State; and the government of that coun
try Bow claims that, under a correct construction of
the act, these imltationa ought not to pay a higher
duty than that imposed upon the original Port wine
of Portugal. It appear! to roe to be unequal and
unjust, that French imitations, of Port wine should
be subjected to a duty of fifteen tents, while the
More) valuable article from Portugal should pay a
duty of ail centt only per gallon. 1 therefore rec
ommend to Congress such legislation aa may be
aocrasary to correct the inequality.
The late President, in his annual message of De
cember last, recommended an appropriation to sat
isfy the claims oftbeTeian Government against
tb United Statea, which bad keen previously ad
jnated, so far as the powers of the executive extend.
These claims arose out of the art of disarming a
body of Teian troopa under the command bf Ma
jor Snively, by an officer in the service of the Uni
ted Statea. acting under the orders of our Govern
ment; and the forcible entry into the custom-house
at Bryarly' landing, on Ked river, by certain citi
zen of the United Statea, and Inking away there- I
from thegooda seized by the collector ot thecus
toma aa ferfeited under the laws of Texas- This
was t liquidated debt, ascertained to be due to Tex
as when aa independent Mate. Hr acceptance
of the terms of annexation proposed by the United
State doe not discharge or invalidate the claim.
I recommend that provision be made lor its pay
ment 111 commissioner appointed to China during the
special session of the Senate in March last, short
ly afterwards Mt out on his mission in the United
Slates ship Columbus. On arriving at Rio de Ja
neiro on nia passage, tne state ot nis neann naa oe
Cora so critical, that, by the advice of his medical
attendants, be returned to the United Slates early
in th month of October last. Commodore Biddle,
Commanding the East India squadron, proceeded
n hi voyage in the Columbus, and was charged
by the commissioner with the duty of exchanging
with the proper authorities the ratifications of the
treaty lately concluded with the Emperor of Chi
na. Since the return al the commissioner to the
United Ststos.his health has been much improved,
and he entertain tho confident belief thnt he will
soon be able to proceed on his mission.
Unfortunately, difference continues to exist
among some of the nations of South America,
which, following our example, have established
their iudependence, whils in others, internal dis
sent ions prevail. It is natural that our sympathies
should b warmly enlisted for their welfare; that
w should desire that oil controversies between
them should be amicably adjusted, and their gov
ernment! administered iu a manner to protect the
right, and promote the prosperity of their people.
It is contrary, however to our settled policy, to in
terfere in their controversies, whether external or
internal.
I have thus adverted to all the subjects connect
ed with our foreign relations, to which 1 deem it
necessary to call your attention. Our pulicy is not
only peace with all, but good will tnnarda all the
Powers of the earth. While we are just to all, we
require that all shall be just to us. Excepting the
diflerences with Mexico and Gieat Britain, our
relations with all civilized nations aie of th most
satisfactory character. It is hoped that in this en
lightened age, these differences may be amicably
adjusted.
Tht Secretary of the Treasury, in his annual
report to Congress, will communicate a full state
ment of the condition of our finances. The im
port fur the fiscal year ending on the thirtieth of
Jun last, were ol the value of one hundred and
seventeen millions two hundred and fifty-four
ttiousaud five hundred and sxty-four dollars, of
which the amount exported was fifteen millions
three hundred and forty-six thousand eight hundred
and thirty dollars leaving a balance of one hun
dred and one millions nine hundred and seven thou
sand seven hundred and thirty-four dollars for do
mestic consumption. The exports for the same
year were ol the value of one hundred and four
teen millions six hundred and forty-six thousand
six hundred and six dollars; of which, the amount
of domestic articles was ninety-nine millions tw o
hundred and ninety-nine thousand seven hundred
and seventy-six dollars. The receipts into the
treasury during the seme year were twenty. ine
millions seven hundred and sixty-nhie thousand
one hundred and thirty-three dollars and fifty-six
cents; of which, there were derived from custom",
twenty-seven millions five hundred and twenty
eight thousand one hundred and t welve dollars and
evenly cents; from sales of public lands, two mil
lions seventy-seven thousand and twenty-two dol
lars and thirty cents; and from incidental an 1 mis
cellaneous sources, one hundred and rixiy-tliiee
thousand nine hundred and ninety-eight dollars ai.d
fifty-six cents. The expenditures for the same
period were twenty-nine millionsnine hundred and
sixty-eight thousand two hundred and six dollars
and ninety-eight cents; of which, eight millions live
hundred and eighty thousand one hundred and fif
ty seven dollars and sixty-two cents were applied
to the payment of the public debt. The balance
in the treasury on the first of July last, was seven '
.... , , j ' . i.. .1 i.i
millions six hundred and fifty eight thousand three
hundred and six dollars and twenty two cents.
The amount of the public debt remaining un
paid on the first of October last, was seventeen
million seventy-five thousand four hundred and
forty five dollars and fifty-two cents. Further
payments of the public debt would have been
roade.in anticipation of the period of its reimburse
ment under th authority conferred upon the Sec
retary of the Treasury by the acts of July twenty
first, 1841, and of April fifteenth 1842, and March
third, 1843, had not the unsettled stale of our re
lations with Mexico menaced hostile collisnn.
with that power. In view of such a contingency
it was deemed prudent to retain in the treasury
an amount unusually large for ordinary purposes.
A few years ago, our whale national djtil grow
ing out of the Revolution and the war of 1812 with
Great Britain was extinguished, and we presented
to the world the rare and noble spectacle of a great
and growing people who had fully discharged eve
ry obligation. Since that time, the existing debt
ha been contracted; and small as it is, in compari
son with the similar burdens of most other nations,
it should be extinguished at the earlis practicable
period Should the state of the country permit,
and, especially, it our foreign relations interpose
no obstacle, it is contemplated to apply all the mon
ey in the treasury as they accrue beyond what is
required for the appropriations by Congress, to its
liquidation. I cherish the hope of soon being able
lo congratulate the country on its recovering once
mace the lofty posjtion which it so recently occu
pied. Our country, which exhibits to the world
the benefits of self-government, in developing all
th sources of national prosperity, owes to mankind
the permanent example of a nation free from the
bilieliting iufluenca of a public debt.
The aitmitlon of Congress is invited to the im
parlance of making suitable modifications and re
ttMciioii of the rates of duty imposed by our pres
ent tariff laws. The object of imposing duties on
imports should be lo raise revenue to pay the ne
crssnry expenses of government Congress may,
iitotWitedly, in the exerciseof a sound discretion,
discriminate fn arranging the rates of duly on dif
ferent articles; but the discrimination should b
within th revenue standard, and bs made with i
tie view to raise money for the support or gov
ernment. ' It becomes important In understand distinctly
what is meant by a revenue standard, the maxi
mum of which should not be exceeded in the rates
of duty imposed. It is conceded, and experience
prove, that duties may he laid so high as to di
minish or prohibit altogether th importation of
any givto article, and thereby lessen or destroy
the revenue which, at lower rates, would be de
rived from it importation. Such duties exceed
the revenue rates, and are not imposed lo raise
money for the support of government. If Congress
vy a d uty frr revenue of one per cent, on a given
article, it will produce a given amount of money tu
the Treasury, and will incidentally and necessarily
afford protection nr advantage to the amount of
iit pr cent, to the hom e manufacturer of a simi
Wr tike "wild over the importer. If the duty
litH lo ten per cent it will produce a greater
amount of money and afford greater piolectinn
If it be still raised to twenty, twenty five, or thirty
per rent., and it, as it is raised, the revenue deriv
ed from it is found lo bs increased; the protection
or advantage will also be increased; but if it be rais
ed to thirty-one per cent., and it is found that the
revenue produced at that rale is less than at thirty
per cent it ceases lo be a revenue duty. The
precise point in the ascending scale of duties, at
which it is ascertained Irom experience mat tne
revenue ia greatest, is the maximum rate of duty
u Inch can be laid tor the tonajuie purpose ot col
lecting money for thesupport of government. To
raise the duties higher than that point, and thereby
diminish the amount collected, is to levy them for
protection merely, nod not far revenue. A long,
then, as Congress may gradually Increase the rate
of duty on a given article, and the revenue is in
creased by such increase of duly, they are within
the revenue standard When they go beyond that
point, and as they increase the duties, the revenue
is diminished or uesttoyert, tne act ceases 10 nave
for its object the raising of money to support gov
ernment, but is for protection merely.
It does not follow that Congress should levy the
highest duty on all articles of import w hich ihey
will bear within the revenue standard; for such
rates would probably produce a much larger
amount than the economical adminstralion ol the
government would require. Nor doe it follow
that the duties on all articles should beat the same,
or a hnrizontr I rate. Some articles will bear a
much higher revenue duty than others. J3elow
the maximum of the revenue standard Congress
may and ought to discriminate in the rates imposed,
taking care so to adjust them on different articles
as to produce in the aggregate the amount which,
when added to the proceeds of sales of public lands,
may be needed to pay the economical expenses
of the government.
In levying tariff of duties, Congress, exercise
the taxing power, and for the purposes of revenue
may select the objects ol taxation, i ney may ex
empt certain articles altogether, and permit their
importation free of duty. On others they may im
pose low duties. In these classes should be em
braced such articles of necessity as are in geneial
use, and especially such as are consumed by the
laborer and the poor, as well as by the wealthy
citizen. Care should be taken that all the great in
terests of the country, including manufactures,
agriculture, commerce, navigation, and the me
chanic arts, should, as far as may be practicable,
derive equal advantages lrom the incidental pro
tection which a just system ot revenue duties may
rr. ; i i
anora. i axation, uireci or indirect, is aDuiucu,
and it should be so imposed as to operate as equally
hs may be, on all classes, in the proportion of their
ability to bear it. I a make the Taxing power an
actual benefit to one cl iss, necessarily increases
the burden of the others beyond their propr rtion,
and would be manifestly unjust. The terms "pro
tection to domestic industry," are of popular im
port; but they should apply under a just system to
all the various branches of industry in our country.
The farmer or planter who toils yearly in bis fields,
is engaged in "domestic industry," and is as much
entitled to have his labor "protected," as the man
ufacturer, the man of commerce, the navigator, or
the mechanic, who are engaged also in "domestic
industry" in their different pursuits. The joint la
bors of all these classes constitute the aggregate of
the "domestic industry" of the nation, and they
are equally entitled to the mtion's "protection."
No one of them can justly claim to be the exclu
sive recipients of "protection," which can only be
afforded by increasing burdens on the "domestic
industry" of the others.
If these views be correct, it remains to inquire
how far the tariff act of 1842 is consistent with
them. That many of the provisions of that act are
in violation of the cardinal principles here laid
down, all must concede. The rates of duty im
posed by it on some articles are prohibitory, and on
others so high as greatly to diminish importations,
and lo produce a less amount of revenue than would
be derived from lower rates. They operate as
"protection merely," to one branch of "domestic
industry," by taxing other branches.
By the introduction of minimums, or assumed
and false values, and by the imposition of specific
duties, the injustice and inequality of the act of
1842 in its practical operations on different classes
and pursuits are seen and felt. Many of the op
pressive duties imposed by it under the operation
of these principles, range from one per cent, to
more than two hundred per cent. They are pro
hibitory on some articles, and partially so on others,
and bear most heavily on articles of common ne
cessity, and but lightly on articles of luxury. Il is
so framed that much the greatest burden which it
imposes is thrown on labor and the poorer classes
who are least aide to bear it, while it protects cap
ital and exempts the rich from paying their just
proportion of the taxation required for the support
of government While it protects the capital of
the wealthy manufacturer.and increases his profits,
itdoos not benefit the operatives or laborers in his
employment, whose wages have not been increas
ed by it. Articles of prime necessity or of coarse
quality and low price, used by the masses of the
people, are, in many instances, subjected by it to
heavy taxes, while articles of hner quality and
higher price, or of luxury, which can be used only
ny tne opulent, are ngniiy taxed. It imposes
heavy and unjust burdens on the farmer, the plant.
.i .! ., i .1 - r
er, the commeicial man, and those ot all other
pursuits except the capitalist who has made his in
vestments in manulactures. All the great inter
es'snftlte country are not. as neatly as may be
practicable, equally protected by it.
The government in theory knows no distinction
ol persons or classes, and should not bestow upon
some favors and privileges which all others may not
enjoy. It was the purpose ol its illustrious fouo
ders to base the institutions which they reared un.
on the great and unchanging principles of justice
and equity; conscious that if administeied in the
spirit in which they were conceived, they would
be felt only by the benefits which they dillused, and
would secure for themselves a defence in th hearts
of the people, more powerfully than standing ar
mies, and all the means and appliances invented to
sustaiu governments founded iu injustice and op
pression The well-known fact that the tariff act of 1842
was passed by a majority of one vote in the Senate,
and two in the House of Representatives, and that
some of those who felt themselves constrained, un
der the peculiar circumstances existing at the
time, to vote in its favor, proclaimed it defects,
and expressed theirdetermination to aid in its mod
ification on the first opportunity, affords strong and
conclusive evidence that it was not intended to
be permanent, and oftb expediency and necessi
ty of its thorough revision.
In recommending to Congress a reduction of
the present rates of duty, and a revision and modi
fication of the act of 1842, 1 am far from entertain
ing opinions unfriendly to the manufacturers. On
the contrary, I desire Id see them prosperous, as
far as they can be so, without imposing unequal
burdens on other interests. The advantage under
any system of indirect taxation, even within the
revenue standard, must be in favor of the manu
facturing interest; and of this, no other interest
will complain.
I lecommend to Congress the abolition of the
minimum principle, or assumed arbitrary, and
lalse values, and of specific duties, and the substi
tution in their place of ad valorem duties, as the
fairest and most equitable indirect tax which can
be imposed. By the ad valorem principle, all arti
cles are taxed according to their cost or value, and
thote which are of inferior quality, or of small
cost, bear only the just proportion of the tax with
those which are of superior quality or greater cost
The articles consumed by all are taxed at the same
rate. A system of ad valorem revenue djtlea,
with proper discrimination and proper guards
against frauds in collecting them, it is not doubted,
will afford ample, incidental advantages to the
manufacturers, and enable them to derive as great
profits as can be derived from any other regular
business. It is believed that such a system, strictly
within the revenue standard, will place the manu
facturing interest on stable footing, and inure to
their permanent advaotsge; while it will, as nei'.rly
as may be practicable, extend to all the great inter
ests of the country the incidental protection which
can be afforded by our revenue law. Such a sys
tem, when once firmly established, would be per
manent, and not be subject to the constant com
plaints, agitations, and changes which irust ever
occur, when duties are not laid for revenue; but lor
the "protection merely" of a favored interest.
In the deliberations of Congress on this subject,
it is hoped thtt a spirit of mutual concession and
compromise between conflicting interests may pre
vail, and that the result of their labors may be
crowned with the happiest consequenres.
By the constitution of the United States it is pro
vided, that "no money shall be drawn from the
treasury, but in consequence of appropriations
made by law." A public treasury . was undoubt
edly contemplated and intended to be created, in
which the public money should be kept from the
period of collection until need for public uses. In
the collection and disbursement of the public mon
ey no agencies have ever been employed by law,
except such as were appointed by the government,
directly responsible to it, and under its control,
The safe keeping of the public money should be
confided to a public treasury created by law, and
tinder like responsibility and control. Ill not to
be imagined that the framer of the constitution
could have intended that a treasury should be crea
ted as a place ol deposite and safekeeping of the
public money which was irresponsible to the gov
ernment. The first Congress under (he consti
tution, by the act of the second of September, 1789,
"to establish the Treasury Department," provided
for the apDointment of a treasurer, and made it his
duty "to receive and keep the moneys of the United
Slntes," and "at all times to submit to the Secretary
of the Treasury and the Comptroller, or either of
them, the inspection of the moneys in hands."
That banks, national or state, could not have
been intended to be used s a substitute for the
treasury spoken of in the constitution, as keepers
of the public money, is manifest from the fact, that
at that time there was no nutional bank, and but
three or four State banks of limited capital existed
in the country. Their employment as depositories
was at first resorted lo, to a limited extent, but with
no avowed intention of continuing them perma
nently, in place of the treasury of the constitution.
When they were afterwards from time to time em
ployed, it was fiom motive of supposed conve
nience. -
Our experience has shown, that when banking
corporations have been the keepers of the public
money, and been thereby made in effect the treas
ury, the government can have no guaranty that it
can command the use of its own money for public
purposes. The late Bank of the United States
proved to be faithless. The State banks which
were alterwards employed, were faithless. Hut a
few years ago, with millions of public money in
their keeping, the government was brought almost
to bankruptcy, and the public credit seriously im
paired, because of their inability or indisposition to
pay, on demand, to the public creditors, in tho on
ly currency recognised by the constitution. Their
failure occurred in a period of peace, and great in
convenience and loss were suffered by the public
from it. Had the country been involved in a for
eign war, that inconvenience and loss would have
been much greater, and might have resulted in
extreme public calamity. The public money
should not be mingled with the private funds of
banks or individuals, or be used lor private pur
poses. When it is placed in banks for safekeeping,
it is in effect loaned to them without interest, and
is loaned by them upon interest to the borrowers
from them. The public money is convened into
banking capital, and is used and loaned out for the
private profit of bank stockholders; and when cal
led for, (as was the case in 1837,) it may be in the
pockets of the borrowers from the banks, instead
of being in the public treasury contemplated by
the constitution. The fratners of the constitution
never have intended that the money paid into the
treasury should be thus converted to private use,
and placed beyond the control of the government
Banks which hold the public money are often
tempted, by a desire of gain, to extend their loans,
increase their circulation, and thus stimulate if not
prodoce a spirit of speculation and extravagance,
which sooner or later mu-;t result in ruin to thou
sands. If the public money be not permit'ed to be
thus used, hut be kept in the treasury and paid out
to the public creditors in gold and silver, the temp
tation afforded by its deposite with banks to an un
due expansion of their business would be checked,
while the amount of the constitutional currency
left in circulation, would be enlarged by its em
ployment i.i the public collections and disburse
ments, and the banks themselves would in conse
quence be found in a safer and sounder condition.
At present, State banks are employed as deposi
tories, but without adequate regulation of law,
whereby the public money can be secured against
the casualties and excesses, revulsions, suspensions
and defalcations, to which, from over issues, over
trading, an inordinate desire for gain, or other
causes, they are constantly exposed. The Secre
tary of the Treasury has in nil cases, when it was
practicable, taken collateral security lor the amount
which they hold, by the pledge of stocks of the
United States, or such of the States as were in
good credit. Some of the deposite banks have giv
en this description of security, and others have
declined to do so.
Entertaining the opinion that "the separation of
the moneys ot the goverume.it from banking insti
tutions is indispensable for the safety of the funds
ol the government and the rights of the people."
I recommend to Congress that provision be made
by law for such separation, and that a constitutional
treasury he created for the safe-keeping of the
public money. The constitutional treasury re
commended is designed as a secure depository for
the public money, without any power to make
loans or discounts, nr to issue any paper whatever
as a currency or circulation. I caunot doubt that
such a treasury as was contemplated by the con
stitution should be independent of all bankine cor
porations. The money of the people should be
kept in the treasury of the people created by law,
and be in the custody of agents of the people chos
en by themselves, according to the forms of the
constitution; agents who are directly responsible to
me govercment, who are under adequate bonds
and oaths, and who are subject to severe punish
ments for any embezzlement, private use, or mis
application ot the public runds, and for any failure
in other respects to perform their duties. To say
that lha people or their government ar incompe
tent, or not to be trusted with the custody of their
own money, in their own treasury, provided by
themselves, but must rely on the presidents, cash
iers, and stockholders ol banking corporation, not
appointed by them, nor responsible to them, would
be to concede that they are incompetent for self
government.
In lecommanding the establishment of a consti
tutional treasury, iu which the public mooey shall
be kept, I desire .that adequate provision be made
by law for its safety, and that all executive discre
tion or control over it shall be removed, except
such as may be necessary iu directing its disburse
ment in pursuance ol appropriations made by law.
Under our present land system, limiting the min
imum price at which the public lands can be en
tered to one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre,
large quantities of lands of inferior quality remain
unsold, because they will not command that price.
From the records of the General Land Office it ap
pears, (hat, of the public lands remaining unsold in
the several States and Territories in which they
are situated, thirty-nine millions one hundred and
five thousand five hundred and seventy-seven acres
have been in the market, subject to entry more than
twenty years; forty-nine millions six hundred and
thirty-eight thousand six hundred and forty-four
acres for more than fifteen years; seventy-three
millions seventy-four thousand and six hundred
acres for more than tn years; and one hundred
and six millions one hundred and seventy-six thou
sand nine hundred and sixty-one acres for more
than five years. Much the largest portion of these
lands will continue to be unsaleable at the minimum
price at which they are petmilled to be sold, so
long as large territories of lands from which the
more valuable portions have not been selected are
annually brought into market by the government.
With the view to the sale and settlement of these
inferior lands, I recommend that the price be grad.
uated and reduced below the present minimum
rate, confining the sales at the reduced prices to
settlers and cultivator, in limited quantities.
If graduated and reduced iu price for a limited
term lo one dollar per acre, and after the ex
piration of (hat petiod for a second and third term
to lower rates, a large portion of these lands would
be purchased, and many worthy citizen, m ho ar
unable to pay higher rales, could purchase homes
for themselves and their families. By adopting the
policy of graduation and reduction of price, these
inferior lands will be sold for their real value, while
the Stairs in which they lie will be freed from the
inconvenience, if not Injustice, In which they are
subjected, in consequence of the United States con
tinuing to own large quantities of public lands
within their borders, not liable to taxation ior tne
unnnrt ol their local rovernmenla.
f recommend the continuance of the policy of
granting pre-emption, m lis most liberal extent, to
all those who have settled, or may nereatter seme,
'on the public lands, whether surveyed or unsur
Wved, lo which the Indian title may have been
extioguished at the time of settlement. It has been
found by experience, that in consequence of com
binations of purchasers and other causes, a very
email quantity ol the public lands, when (old at
public auction, commands a higher price than the
minimum rate established by law. The settlers
on the public lands are, however, but rarely able to
secure their homes and improvements at the public
sales at that rate: because these combinations, by
means of the capital they command, and their su.
perior ability to purchase, render it Impossible for
the settler to compete with them in the market By
putting down all competition, these combinations
of capitalists and speculators are usually enabled
to purchase the lands, including the improvements
of the settlers, at the minimum price of the govern
ment, and either turn them out ot their homes, or
extort from them, according to their ability to pay,
double or quadruple the amount paid for them to
the government. It is to the enterprise and perse
verance of the hardy pioneers of the West, who
penetrate the wilderness with their families, suf
fer the dangers, the privations, and hardships at
tending the settlement of a new country, and pre
pare the way for the body of emigrants who, in
the course ol a few years, usually follow them, that
we are in a great degree, indebted for the rapid ex
tension and aggrandizement of our country.
Experience has proved that no portion of our
population are more patriotic than the hardy and
oraveinen ot me trontier, or more ready to obey
the call of their country, and to defend her rights
and her honor, whenever and by whatever enemy
assailed. They should be protected from the grasp
ing speculator, and secured, at the minimum price
of the public lands, in the humble homes which
they have improved by their labor. With this end
in view, all vexations or unnecessary restrictions
imposed upon them by the existing pre-emption
laws, should be repealed or modified. It is the
true policy of the government lo afford facilities to
its citizens to become the owners of small portions
of our vast public domain at law and moderate
rates.
The present system of managing the mineral
lands of the U: ited States is believed to be radi
cally defective. Mure than a million of acres of
the public lauds.titpposed to cont aiii lead and other
minerals, have been reserved from sale, and nu
merous lea-es upm them have been granted to in
dividuals upon a stipulated rent. The system of
granting lea-es lias proved to be not only unprofit
able to the government, out unsatislactory to the
citizens who have gone upon the lands, and must,
if continued, lay the foundation of much future dif
ficulty between the government and the lessees.
According to the official records, the amount of
rents received by the government for the years
1841, 1812, 1843, and 1814, wassix thousand three
hundred and filly-four dollars and seventy-four
cents, while the expenses of the system during the
same period, including salaries of superintend
ents, agents, clerks, and incidental expenses, were
twenty -six thousand one hundred and eleven dol
lars and eleven cents the income being less than
one-fourth of the expenses. To this pecuniary loss
may be added the injury sustained by the public in
consequence of 'he destruction of timber, and the
careless and wasteful manner of working the
mines. The system has given rise to much litiga
tion between the United States and individual cit
izens, producing irritation and excitement iu the
mineral region, and involving the government in
heavy additional expenditures. It is believed that
similar losses and embarrassments will continue to
occur, while the present system of leasing these
lands remains unchanged. These lands are now
under the superintendence and care of the War
Department, with the ordinary duties of which
thvv have no proper or natural connexion. I re
commend the repeal of the present system, and that
these lands be placed under the superintendence
and management of the General Land Office, as
oilier public lands, and b brought into market and
sold upon such terms as Congress in their wisdom
may prescribe, reserving lo the government an
equitable per cenlage of the gross amount of mine
ral product, and that the pre-emption principle he
extended to resident miners and settlers upon them,
at (he minimum price which may be established by
Congress.
I refer you to the accompanying report of the
Secretary of War, for information respecting the
present situation of the army, and its operations
during the past year; the stale of our defences;
the condition ol the public works; and our rela
tions with the various Indian tribes within our lim
its or upon our borders. I invite your attention to
the suggestions contained in that report, in relation
to these prominent objects of national interest.
When orders were given during (he past summer
for concentrating a military force on the western
frontier of Texas, our troops were widely dis
persed, and in small detachments, occupying po.sts
remote fiom each other. The prompt and expedi
tious manner in which an army, embracing more
than half aui peace establishments, was drawn to
gether on an emergency so sudden, reflects great
credit on the officers who were intrusted with the
excution of these orders, as well as upon the dis
cipline of the army itself. To be in strength to
protect and defend the people and territory of
Texas, in the event Mexico should commence
hostilities, or invade her territories with a large
army which she threatened, I authorized the gen
eral aisigned to the command of the army of occu
pation td make requisitions for additional forces
from several of the Stales nearest the Texan terri
tory, and which could most expeditiously furnish
them, if, in his opinion, a larger force than that
under his command, and the auxiliaryaid which,
under like circumstances, he was authorized to
recehe from Texas, should be required. The
contingency upon which the exercise of this au
thority depended, has not occurred. The circum
stances under which two companies of State artil
lery Irom the city ol Pvew Orleans were sent into
1. exas. and mustered into the service of the United
States, are fully stated in the report of the Secre
tary of War. I recommend to Congress that oro.
vision bt made foi the payment of these troips, as
well as a small number of Texan volunteers, whom
the commanding general thought it necessary to
receive or muster into our service.
Duriug the last summer,; the first regiment of
uragoons inane extensive excursions tnrougli the
Indian country on our Dorders, a part of them ad
vancing nearly to the possessions of the Hudson's
Bay Company in the north, and a part as far as the
South Pass of the Rocky mountains, and the head
waters of the tributary streams of the Colorado of
the West, 'lhe exhibition of this mi htarv fores
mon the Indian tribes in those distant regions,
and the councils held with them bv the command.
ers of the expeditions, it is believed, will have a
salutary influence in restraining them from hostil
ities among themselves, and maintaining friendly
relations between them and the United States. An
interesting account of one of these excursions ac
companies the report of the Secretary of War-
Under the directions of (he War Department, Bre
vet Captain Fremont, of thecoma of tonoor'anhi.
cal engineers, has been employed since 1842 in
exploring the country west of the Mississippi, and
beyond the Rocky mountains.. Two expeditions
have alteady been brought to a close, and the re
ports of that scientific and enterprising officer have
furnished much interesting and valuable informa
tion. He is now engaged in a third exoediimn-
but it is not. expected that this arduous service
will be completed in season to enable me to com
municate the result lo Congress at the present ses-
Our relations with the Indian tribes are bf a fa
vorable character. The policy of removing them
to a country designed for their permanent resi.
deuce, west of the Mississippi and without the lim
it of th organized State and Territories, is bet
ter appreciated by them than it was a few year
ago; while education is Dow attended to, and the
habit of civilized life ar gaining ground among
them. ' ' '
Serious difficulties of long standing continue to
distract the several parties into wnicn tne i,nero
kern -are unhappily divided.- The efforts of the
government to adjust the difficulties between
them have heretofore proved unsuccessful; and
there remain no probability that this desirable ob
ject can be accomplished without the aid of fur
ther legislation by Congress. I will, at an early
period of your session, present the subject for
your consideration, accompanied with an exposi
tion of the complaints and claims of the soveral
parties into which the nation is divided, with a view
to the adoption of such measures by Congress as
may enable the executive to do justice lo them re
spectively, and to put an end, if possible, to the dis
sensions which have long prevailed, and still pre
vail, among them.
i I refer you to the report of the Secretary of the
Navy tor the present condition of that brunch of
the national defence; and for grave suggestions,
having for their object the increase of its efficiency,
and a greater economy in its management. During
the past year the officers and men have performed
their duty in a satisfactory manner. The order
which have been given, have been executed with
promptness and fidelity. A larger force than has oft
en formed one squadron under our flag was readily
concentrated in the gulf of Mexico, and apparently
without unusual effort. ' It is especially to be ob
served, that notwithstanding the union of so con
siderable a for.ee, no act was committed that even
the jealousy of an irritated power could construe as
un act of aggression; and that the commander of
the squadron, and his officers, in strict conformity
with their instructions, holding themselves ever
ready for the most active duty, have achieved the
still purer glory of contributing to the preservation
of peace. It is believed that at all our foreign sta
tions the honor of onr flag has been maintained, and
that generally our ship of war have been distin
guished for their good discipline and order. 1 am
happy to add, that the display of maritime force
which was required by the events of the summer,
has been made wholly within the usual appropria
tions for the service of the year, so that no addi
tional appropriations aie required.
The commerce ot the United States, and with
it the navigating interest, have steadily and rapid
ly increased since the organization of our govern
ment, until, it is believed, we are now second lo
but one Power in the world, and at no distant day
we shall probably be inferior to none. Exposed
as they must be.it has been a wise policy to afford to
these important interests protection with our ships
ol war, distributed in the great high ways of trade
throughout the world. For more than thirty years
appropriations have been made, and annually ex
pended, for the gradual increase of our naval for
ces. In peace, our navy performs the important
duty of protecting oui commerce; and, in the event
of war, will be, as it has been, a most efficient means
of defence.
The successful use of steam navigation on the
ocean has been followed by the introduction of war
steamers in great and increasing numbers into the
navies of the principal maratiine Powers of the
world. A due regard to our own safety and to an
efficient protection to our large and increasing
commerce demands a corresponding increase on
our part. No country has greater facilities for the
construction of vessels of this description than ours,
or can promise itself greater advantages from (heir
employment. They are admirably adapted to the
protection of our commerce, to the rapid transmis
sion of intelligence, and to the coast defence. In
pursuance of the wise policy of a gradual increase
of our navy, large supplies ol live oak timber, and
other materials for ship building.have been collect
ed, and are now under shelter and in a state of good
preservation, while iron steamers can be built with
great facility in various parts of (he Union. The
use of iron as a material, especially In the construc
tion of steamers, which can enter wilh safety many
of the harbors along our coast now inaccessible to
vessels of greater draught, and the practicability of
constructing them in the interior, strongly recom
mends that liberal appropriations should be made
for this important object Whatever may have
been our policy in the earlier stages of the govern
ment, when the nation was in its infancy, our
shipping interests and commerce comparatively
small, our resources limited, our population sparse
and scarcely extending beyond the limits of the
original thirteen States, that policy must be essen
tially different now that we have grown from three
to more than twenty millions of people, that our
commerce, carried in our own ships, is found iu
every sea, and that our territorial boundaries and
settlements have been so greatly expanded. Neither
our commerce, not our Ion; line of coast on the
ocean and on the lakes, can be successfully defend
ed against foreign aggression by means of fortifica
tions alone. These are essential at important com
meicial and military points, but our chief reliance
fur this object must b! on a well-organized.eflicient
navy The benefits resulting from such a navy are
not confined to the Atlantic Stales. The produc
tions of the interior which seek a market abroad,
are directly dependent on the salety and freedom
ol our commerce. The occupation of the Bali.e
below New Orleans by s hostile force would em
barrass, if not stagnate, the whole export trade of
the Mississippi, and affect the value of the agricul
tural products of the entire valley of that mighty
river and its tributaries.
It has never been our policy to maintain large
standing armies in lime of peace. 'I hey are con
trary to the genius of our free institutions, would
impose heavy burdens on the people, and be dan
gerous tu public liberty. Our reliance f ir protec
tion and defence on the land must be ni.iinly on
our citizen soldiers, who will he ever rea'ly, as
they ever have been ready in times past, to ru-h
with alacrity at the call of their country to her
defence. This description of force, however, can
not defend our coast, harbors, anil inland seas, nor I
protect nur commerce on the ocean or the lakes.
These must bs protected by our navy.
Considering an increased naval force, and espe
cially of steam vessels corresponding with our
growth and importance as a nation, and proportion
ed to the increased and increasing naval power of
oilier nations, of vast importance as regards our
safety, and the great and growing Interests to be
protected by it, I recommend the subject to the
favorable consideration of Congress.
The report of the Postmaster General herewith
communicated contains a detailed statement of the
operations of his department duriug the past year.
It will be seen that the income from postages will
fall short of the expenditures for the year between
one and two millions of dollars This deficiency
has been caused by the the reduction ol the rate of
postage, which was made by the act or the third of
March last. No principle has been mors generally
acquiesced in by tbl people than 4hat this depart
ment should sustain itself by limiting itsexpendi.
tures to its income. Congress has never sought to
make it a source of revenue for general purposes,
except for a short period during the last war with
Great Britain, nor should it ever become a charge
on the general treasury. II Congress shall adhere
to this principle, as I think they ought, it will be
necessary either to curtail the present mail service,
so as to reduce the expenditures, or so to modify
the act of the third ot March last as to improve it
revenues. The extension of th mail service, and
the additional facilities which will be demanded by
the rapid extension and increase of population on
our western frontier, will not admit of such curtail
ment as will materially reduce the present expen
ditures. In the adjustment, of the tariff ol postage
the interests ol the people demand, that the lowest
rates be adopted which will produce the necessary
revenue (o meet the expenditures of the depart
ment. I invite lhe attention of Congress to the
suggestion of the Postmaster General on this aub
ject, under the belief that such a modification of
the late law may be made as will yield lunlcient
revenue without further calls on the treasury, and
and with very little change in the present rale of
postage. ,: . .'
Proper measures have been taken, In pursuance
of the act ol the third of March last, lor th estab
lishment of lines of rnslt steamers between this
and foreign countries. The importance of this ser
vice commends Itself strongly lo favorable consid
eration. . , ' ' " ' . . .....
With the growth of our country, the public busi
ness which devolves on lhe heads of the several
Executive Departments has greatly increased.1 In
ome tespect,the distribution of duties among them
seems to be incongruous, and many of these might
be transferred from one to' another with advantage,
to the publie interests. A more auspicious time
fortheconsiderationof this subject by Oongree. f
with a view to system in the organization of lb
several departments, and a more appropriate di vis
ion of the public business, will not probably occur.
The most impoitant duties of the State Depart
ment relate to our foreign affair. By tb great n-
largement of the family of nations, th increase of
our commerce, and the corresponding extension of ,
our consular system,the business of this department
has been greatly increased. In iu present organs -,
zation, many duties of a domestic nature, and run.
sisting of details, ar devolved on th Secretary ot.
State, which do not appropriately belong to the for-',
eign department of thegovernment.and may prop, j
erly be transferred to some other deoartmant. n. ,
ol these grow out of the present state of the law
concerning the Patent Office, which, a few year,
since, was a subordinate clerkship, but hss become .
a distinct bureau of great importance. Wilh an
excellent internal organization, it is still connected
with the State Department. In the transaction of -its
business, questions of much importance to in
ventors, ana to the community, frequently arise,
which, by existing laws, are referred for decision
toa board, of which the Secretary of Slate ia a:
member. These questions are h gal, and th con.
nexion which now exists between the State D '
partment and the Patent OiTicc.may.ivith great pro '
priety and advantage.b transferred to th Attorney '
General. - . :.
In his last annual message to Congress. Mr. '
Madison invited attention to a proper provision
for the Attorney General as an " important im
provement in the executive estcblishment." Thi
recommendation was repeated by some of his suc
cessors. The official duties of the Attorney Gen
eral have been much inrceased within a few years,
and his office has become one ot great importance.
His duties may be still further increased with ad
vantage to the public interests. A an executive '
officer, his residence and constant attention at the
seat of government are required. Legal question
involving important principles, and large amount
of public money, are constantly referred to him by
the President and executive department for hi
examination' and decision. The public business
under his official managament before the judiciary '
has been so augmented by the extension of ourter. :
ritory, and the acts of Congress authorizing suit
against me uiuteu states lor large bodies of valua
ble public lands, as greatly to increase his labor '
and responsibilities. I therefore recommend that
the Attorney General be placed on the same footing '
with the head of the other executive departments,
with such subordinate officers, provided by law '
for hi department, as may be required to discharge
the additional duties which have been or may be
devolved upon him.
Congress possess the power of exclusive legists
lion over the District of Columbia, and I commend
the Interests of its inhabitants to your favorable
consideration. The people ol this District bare '
no legislative body ol.their own. and must confide
their local as well as their general interests to Rep. '
resentatives in whose election Ihey have no voice, :
and over whose official conduct they have no con
trol. Each member of the National Legislature
should consider himself as their immediate Kepr. -seutative,
and should be the more ready to give at
tention to their interests and wants, because he is '
not responsible to them. I recommend that a lib-'
eral and generous spirit may characterize your
measures in relation to them. I shall be ever dis
posed to show a proper regard for their wishes, '
and, within constitutional limits, shall al all lime
cheerfully co-operate with you for the advancement
ot tneir welfare.
I (rust it may not be deemed inappropriate to the
occasion for m to dwell for a moment on lhe
memory of the mosi eminent citizen of our coun-
try, who, during the su mmer that is gone by, ha
descended lo the tomb. The enjoyment of con.
lemplating, at the advanced age of near fourscore
years, the happy condition of his country, cheered
the last hours of Andrew Jackson, who departed
this life in the tranquil hope of a blessed immor
tality. His death was happy, as his life had been
eminently useful. He hud an unfaltering confi
dence in the virtue and capacity of the people, and
in the permanence of that free government which
he had largely contributed to establish and defend.
His great deeds had secured to him lhe affections
of his fellow-citizens, and it was his happiness lo
witness the growth and glory of Ins country which
he loved so well. He departed amidst thebcue-'
dictions of millions of ficemen. The nation paid
its tribute to his memory at his tomb. Coining
generations Will learn Irom his example the love
of country and the rights of man. In hi language
on a similar occasion to the present, " I now com
mend yon, fellow-citizens, to the guidance of Al
mi'shtvGod, wilh a full reliance on His merciful
providence for the maintenance ol our free institu.
tions; and with an earnest supplication, that what,
ever errors it may he my lot to commit in discharg.
ing lhe arduous duties which have devolved on
me, will find a remedy in the harmony and wis.
dnm of your counsels."
JAM ICS K. POLK.
Washi-nctoh, December 2, 1845.
fjr Our readers will perceive that our columns
are, to-day, almost entirely occupied by the Presi
dent's Message. We have only room to say that
tlie Hon. John W. Davis, of Indiana, was elect
cd Speaker of the House of Congress, and B. D.
Fhe.ncii, Clerk.
Washington City, Dec. 2, 1845.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
The House went into the election of Piinler,
which resulted as follows:
Whole number ol votes
Necessary to a choice
Ritchie & Heiss
Jesse E. Dow it Co.
Gales Sl Seatoti
Jefferson &. Co. .
Me;sr. Ritchie k Heiss, are elected
to the House.
108
100
128
69
4
2
Printers
OSEPH FRIANG'S ESTATE. Notice is
I hereby given (hat the subscriber has been ap.
pointed and qualified as administrator of the estate
of Joseph Friang, late of Monroe county, deceased.
dec 13
JOHN B.
uaMUNEH.-Adm'x.
C3AMUEL BROOKS' ESTATE Notice i
3 hereby given that lhe subscriber have been
appointed and qualified as administrator of the es
tate ofSaml. Brooks, late of Monroe Co., deceased.
wm. AWILLAKD,
dec 13 JOHN JONES, J
Admr'i
ATTACHMENT. At my instance an attach,
ment was this day issued by John Adam t
justice of the peace of Adam township, Monroe
county, against the property and effect of Isaac
Dickason and F. G. Collins, non-resident ot (aid
county. ' ; -;-:-' -
dec. 8, 1845. . " ELI EL HEADLEY.
' WM. C. WALTOflT. '
ATTORNEY t COUNSELLOR AT LAW,
" Solicitor in Chancery, '
H AVINO extended hi arrangements to practice in
. the Stat Courts for the counties of Monroe,
Belmont, Guernsey, Harrison and, Jerter. -
on, in thi Stale; in th U. 8. Cirn
. cuit and DimiCT Coosvts) ,
for Ohio; and in the So.
rniHB Coubt of 4he
United Stato at
Washington ,j ' t : ; r, i
; ... -i .. City, :o., ; .
Tender hi professional service to hi numerous
friends and th publie generally, from whom he
hope to recaiv a gtnerou and liberal patronage.
All bu sines iutrusted to hi car will receive tb
most prompt and energetic devotion of hi profe
sioml skill and industry. -. v . . . , s . .. w -fCf"
Office oppotite tht Court ffouu. KWi.
field, Monro Q, . , rjjor. go 1845.
NEW ORLEANS MELASSES a frsh tf
ply, just received and for sal by
J. R.&J.H. MORRJS.

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