OCR Interpretation


The New era. [volume] ([Portsmouth, Va.]) 1845-1847, December 10, 1846, Image 2

Image and text provided by Library of Virginia; Richmond, VA

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86071753/1846-12-10/ed-1/seq-2/

What is OCR?


Thumbnail for

THE NEW ERA,
VVh.u is it hot n M«;t of busy I/’fo ?— Comper.
rORTKVIOlITU, Va.
TUURSI)\Y, DKCBM RGR 10. 184«.
OUR FLAO !
FREE TRADE—LOW DUTIES—NO DERT—SE
PARATION FROM HANKS—ECONOMY—RE
TRENCHMENT— AND STRICT ADHERENCE
lO THE CONSTITUTION.
' VOLUNTEERS?
Recollect, Fellow-Citizens, that
a MEETING will be held THIS
EVENING, at 7 o’clock, at the
Town Hall, preliminary to a per
fect organization of the Corps. A
general attendance of Citizens is
earnestly requested.
D. APPLETON & CO , NEW YORK.
YY'h are indebted to these publishers for a neat
little duodecimo volume, entitled “ An lotmduc
ttun to the French Language, containing f ables,
S, lect Tales, remarkable Facts, amusing Anec
dotee, 8t,o., \vi It a Dictionary of all the words
translated into English. By M. De Fivas,” np.
148.
No. 21, of Appleton’s Literary Miscellany,
comprising the Tale of Amy Herbert. Edited
by tbe Rev. YV. Sewell. This tale, the editor
says, •* was written by a lady for the use of a
young member of her own family,” and he claims
“responsibility for nothing but recommending its
publication, and suggesting a lew verbal correc
tions.”
PUBLIC ACCQMPATIQN.
It will he seen by advertisement in our col
umns that the Baltimore boats now run but three
times a week, having stopped their daily trip on
the 8th lust. We do not know that we have
any right to complain of any man or set of men
doing just what they please with their own, but
this sudden change of an usual accommodation,
without previous notice, has operated very vexn- I
tiously it not injuriously on many of our citizens,
and especially so at this time, has it immediately
affected us. We could have wished tfiat the
Baltimore Company had run one more boat yes
terday, if for no other purpose than to accommo
date the public, anxiety to road the President’s
Message, which we are by this change prevented
from laying, in full, before our readers', and which
we should have been prepared to do, had we been
previously advised of the alteration' of the run of
these boats.
While on ibis subject, we might as well re
mark that the citizens of Norfolk and Portsmouth
will never be properly accommodated until they
obtain a controlling interest in a line of boats that
that ply between litre and Baltimore.- Forever
are they made the plucked sheep, let wliat w ill be
the opposition, and all the past summer have those
who travelled from these planes been obliged to
pay as much ns those who left Petersburg or
Richmond. We only ask, is this right? Is it
right that our towns should be taxed to suppuit
other inieresis? Would this vexation delay, of
which we are now complaining, have happened,
if these towns had the interest ihey ought to have
in the Bay Boats? Let our ciiizens ponder on
these things, and apply the remedy.
RESIGNATION.
Moncure Robinson, E'<]., has resigned the of
fice of President of the Richmond, Fredericksburg
and Potomac Rail Road; aiid Edwin Robinson,
Esq., has been elected his successor.
SOUTH CAROLINA SENATORS.
On Friday last Mr. Calhoun was re elected for
six years from 4th March next; and, after five
ballolings, A. P. Butler, elected in place o f Mr.
McDuffie resigned.
LEVI I). SLAMM, ESQ.
We are gratified to learn that this gentleman
has been appointed to a Pursership in the Navy.
No man deserved more at the bands of the Ad
ministration, and we are pleased to see his ser
vices rewarded, although he should have had
something better than a Pursership.
LOSS OF THK U S. SLOOP OF WAR
BOSTON.
After our paper went to press on Tuesday, we
learned the astonishing news that this vessel had
been wrecked on the Bahama banks. When the
news first teached the public ear, it was believed
lo be only an idle rumor, bni it proved too true.
There is some fatality attending our Navy, the
unaccountable accidents which have happened,
the failure to accomplish intended ends, and the
humanity of the officers in command of warlike
expeditions, have disheartened the friends of this
branch of our service. We give the report for
n shed to the presR by Midshipman Smith, who
came passenger in the Volant, Matthias, with ten
of the crew of the Boston, merely remarking that
although they were running before a “ black
squall,” it does not appear that ihat was to blame
for their running ashore. The whole matter will
no doubt bo white-washed by a Court of Inquiry.
“ The Boston sailpd from New Ymk on the
8th ult,, had a pleasant passage out, and on the
15th whilst running before a black squall at the
rate of 9 knots, struck on an outer repf on the
north side of the Island of Fleuthera, and was
driven within thirty yards of the beach, the sea
rolling tremendously. Having lost all their boats,
&c., they immediately col awav the masts, hut
the vessel continued to roll towards ihe shore
until within thirty feet of it, where she now lips
in three fppt water, having bilged on her larboard
side. Captain, officers and crew all saved, to
gether with everything belonging to the vessel
excppt the guns and water tanks. Having reach
ed the shore in safety, they immediately went to
work and cleared up an acre of land and built tents
in which to resole, suffering hot little incon7e
nience except for the want of water, which was
very bad and brackish. After making this settle
ment, they cleared a road about one n-ile in length
down a to cove, from which they porposed to ern
bark everything saved beside themselves, to N is
Ran, and from thence to Norfolk. They intended j
leaving the Island on the 3d or 4lh inst.. for Nas j
«au, and may therefore soon be expected at this I
port.”
The following I9 a list of officers attached to
the Boston :
Commander, George F. Pearson, of Mass •
Lieutenants, Henry K. Thatcher,of Maine, Bar
nard J. Mnrellor, of Penn/, and Francis S. Hag
gerty, of Penn. ; Acting Master, Sumy Rolando
;-. . — : i- ■
> f S. C.; Purser, Win. Sinclair, «»f Ga ; Assia ,
lanl Surgeon. Morris BTUcU. of Vs.; Marine
Officer. Matthew R Ktntzing, of penn.; Passed •
M idshipmen. Willia n (J. Temple. of Vt., John
alleotl, uf Ohio, Thomas S. Phelps, of M lino,
John Madigan, Jr., of Maine, and Peter Wager,
uf Penn.; Midshipmen, Thomas B. Wainxvright,
of 5S. C., Joseph B. Smith, of Mass., Francis A.
Roy. of N. Y.. and George S King, of Midi •
Captain’s Clerk, James M. Story, of N. H. ;
Boatswain. William Black, of N. H.; Gv.niw,
William G. 'I'luimpsim, of Mass.; Snlmaker,
Samuel Rhodes, of M !*S.
THE VIRGINIA LEGISLATURE.
I his body met on Monday, both Houses being
folly attended, avert* organized by chosing their
"I'l presiding o{fleers, Mr. Scott in the Senate,
and Mr. Goode in the House.
The GOVERNOR’S MESSAGE was deliy.
erod to the two Honees immediately on their cr
ginizaliun, and is, indeed, a masterly document.
I he T tines sneeringly designates it as an •* ex
traordinary medley ”—it is a “ tnri//ej/,” how
ever, which will receive the unanimous approval
of the ~rople of this Slate, for exery subject of
interest is fairly brought before the puh-ic eye,
and the Governor’s opinion frankly and freely ex
pfessed thereon. We shall lake time, herealter,
to thoroughly examine it, and lay it before onr
readers. The unfortunate combination uf circum
stances spoken of in another place, and the press
nl matter upon our columns, prevents us from do
ing justice to the subject now, hut we must make
room for the following paragraphs which immedi
ately interest this portion of the State. We are
not prepared at present, to give onr unqualified
approval ot the Governor's suggestions as to our
Rail Road, yet it may he best ; but the recommen
dation to stimulate onr mechanics and others to
enter into the business of ship building, meets uur
entire approbation.
•* Yon will he informed hy the report of the
Board of Pnhlie Works, of the sale and purchase
of the late Portsmouth and Roanoke Railroad, for
and on arcnuut of the Stale. This purchase was
made principally with a view of placing the road
at the pleasure of the Legislature. The rivalry
which had existed between this road, front the
day it was opened, and the Petersburg Railroad,
had been so disastrous, and the loss to the Stale,
both in capital and revenue, so serious, that it
was deemed c paramount duty on the part of the
public agents to acquire the control of ibis road,
that it might not fall into rival hands, and again
become an instrument of dangerous and destruc
tive Competition. This policy, so just and so rea
sonable, was alone. I am persuaded, in the con
templation of the Legislature, on the passage of
the act providing for the sale of the Portsmouth
and Roanoke Rail Road. I n no one was offence
intended, and most assuredly none to a sister
State, with which we are united hv many lies of
interest and affection. It is, therefore, with pro
found regret that I have to inform you that the
Chief Magistrate of North Carolina, in his recent
message to the General Assembly, characterised
the ant refetred to as the “ mere effusion of a
jealous and hostile spirit, without object or mean
ing.”
“ The Portsmouth and Roanoke Rail Road, un
der the name of the Seaboard and Roanoke Rail
Road, being now the property of the State, furnish
es a question ofdiffieulty. It will not do to revive it
as a rival road—to recommence that career, which
has already proved so fatal. Nor yet will it he
just to our fellow citizens who are interested in
the road, or to the people of North Carolina, to
leave it in its present condition. Sincerely anx
ious to protect the interests dependent on this road,
ami yet bound so to advise that the Common
wealth shall sustain no injury in the premises, I
have, after much consideration,concluded lorecotn
mend the passage of a law that will give the
various railroad compands, or either of them, be
tween the Roanoke and the Potomac, constituting
what is generally called the inland route, the right
to subscribe for lour sevenths of the amount requi
site to put it io prime running condition, and also to
pot on a line ot hoats in connection therewith to
the city ol Baltimore ; each share of stock to give
a vote, and all questions arising nut of this road,
io any way, to he left to the appellate control of
the Board of Public Works. 'Phis plan will re
open this road, as it formerly stood ; prevent the
revival ol dangerous competition ; restore to those
dependent upon this road their former facilities;
relieve our railroads of anxiety and uncertainty,
and. in connexion w ith the Bay line of boats, se’
cure a good dividend upon the new investment.
I deem it to be my duly to call your attention
to the slate of our shipping interests. With un
usual advantages fur ship building, and heavy ex
ports to support it, a vessel is rarely built, and is
as rarely owned among us. Nearly the whole of
our heavy export and coastwise trade is in the
hands of those, many of whom, it they dared,
would excite a servile war among us. The tini
her of our forests is carried to New England,
with which to build a'marine to transport our pro
duce. Even the oysters of our creeks and rivers,
anti (he pine w nods which lino their shores, are
borne, in bottoms not onr own, to our sister States.
Ibis untoward condition of our navigation inter
ests is a source of deep mortification. Cannot
those interests be improved 7 Much can he done
by individual association. The daw n of a belter
day, | trust, is at hand. But legislation may has
ten the day when we shall be free from depen
dence upon other Stales for the means of trans
poriing onr large productions to the markets of
the world. To secure this important element of
wealth, independence, and safely, I recommend a
moderate bounty upon the tonnage of all vessels
over 200 Ions burthen, built within onr lirn.ts hy
mechanics resident therein, and a moderate boun
<y l,pr hut per annum on all vessels of like di
mensions, which shall he built,owned and manned
by our own citizens.”
Mu \\ f.bjter aoaiff —In Ins last speech at
I hiladelphia, as reported by the party papers* Mr,
V\ ehster said :_
A ml here allow me lossy, as a matter of histo
ry, that before, and at ihe lime, our troops, were
ordered to march to the left bank of the R,o
Grande, no apprehension whatever was entertain
led of any invasion of Texas by Mexico, or any
acts of hostility on the part of that power.”
'* N" apprehension whatever?” Indeed ! Then
it was a lurky movement, that of General Tay
lor’s going down to Point Isabel, else the women
and all men of our frontier might have shared the
the horrible fate of the unfortunate Rogers family,
whose bones for months lay bleaching twenty five
or thirty miles tvest of I lie Jtfeiices. Verily, Mr.
W (-lister is a g.eal lawyer, nod nothing else._
jy. Y. Sun.
CONGRESS.
I lie two Houses assembled on Monday at 12
o clock. Forty three members of the Senate w ere
present, arid 182 of the House.
A .Joint Committee was appointed to wait on
the I resident of the United .Slates, and inform
"m 1 ,nt l*'p tvv° Houses bad assembled, and were
ready to receive any communication he might be
pleased to make.
A resolution tvas introduced by Mr. Cobb, in
the House, and adopted to cast lots for seals By
ibis plan, Mr. Pilsbory of Texas had the first
choice,
Mr. Breese in the Senate, and Mr. Hopkins in
the House, from the Joint Committee, reported
that they bad performed the duty assigned to them
and that the President in reply stated that he
would send a communication in writing to both
Houses, Tuesday at 12 o’clock.
PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE.
This an xinn-iy In iheil for document, is at
length nn unr table, and we hasten In lay its must
important passages before our readers. NVe bad
made everv arrangement to give them the whole
document, hut the unexpected change in the run
of the Baltimore Boats, and the consequent nrriv
al of the mails hr;ve defeated our intentions.
We here acknnwcdge the polite attentions of
the Hon. A. Atkinson, and the Hun. Thus. H
Bayly, with those of our “ attentive” Washing
ton ^Correspondent, hqt whoge object was defeated
fnun the same cause. To the Herald and Bea
con our thanks are due for Extras containing the
Message, as well as to passengers who came by
the boat, as we have copies, also, by our uumermm
‘•exchanges” which arrived this morning. Fnun
these various sources we make ejetraots of all
that is of pressing interest to the reader.
The Message opens as follows;
Fellow Citizens of the Senate,
anil House of Representatives;
In resuming your labors in tbe service of tbe
people, it is a subject of congratulation that tin rc
lias been nn period in our past history when all
ih*’ elements of national prosperity have been so
fully developed. Since your list session, no af
dieting dispensation has visited our country ; gen
eral good health has prevailed ; abundance has
crowned the toil of the husbandman; and labor
in all its branches is receiving an ample reward,
while education, science, and the arts, are rapidly
enlarging the means of social happiness. The
progress of our country in her career of great
ness, not only in the vast extension of our tern
torial limits and the rapid inorense of our popula
tion. hut in resources and wealth, and in the hap
py condition of our people, is without example in
the history of nations.
As the wisdom, strength, and henefieenee of
our free institutions are unfolded, every day adds
fresh motives to contentment, and fresh incen
tires to patriotism.
Our devout and sincere acknowledgments are
due to the gracious Giver of all good, for the
numberless blessings which our beloved country
enjoys.
It is a source of high satisfaction to know that
the relations of the United Slates with all other
nations, with n single exception, are of the most
amicable character. Sincerely attached to the
policy of peace, early adapted and steadily pnr
sued bv this gavernment. I have anxiously desir
ed to cultivate friendship and commerce with ev
ery foreign power. The spirit and habits of the
American people are favorable to the maintenance
, of such international harmony. In adhering to
I ,l"fi wise policy, a preliminary and paramount du
| ty obviously consists in the' protection of our na
tional interests from encroachment or sacrifice,
i and onr national honor from reproach. These
! must be maintained at any hazard-. They admit
of no compromise or neglect, and must he sctupti
lonslv and constantly guarded. In their vigilant
vindication, collision and conflict with foreign
powers may sometimes become unavoidable.
Such has been our scrupulous adhetence to the
dictates of justice, in all onr foreign intercourse,
that, though steadily and rapidly advancing, in
prosperity and power, we have given no jost
cause of complaint to any nation, and have en
joyed the blessings of peace fur mote than thirty
yeats. From a policy so sacred to humanity, and
so salutary in its effects upon onr political sys
'em, wc should never he induced voluntarily to
depart.
The existing war with Mexico was neither de
sired nor provoked by the United .States. On
the contrary, nil honorable means were resorted
to to avert it. After years of endurance of hgra
vated and nnredressed wrongs on onr part, Mexi
co, in violation of solemn treaty stipulations, and
of every principle of justice recognized by civil
ized nations, commenced hostilities ; and thus, by
her own act, forced the war upon us. Long be
fore the advance of our army to the left bank of
the Rio Grande, we had ample cause of war with
Mexico; and had the United States resorted to
this extremity, we might have appealed to the
whole civilized world for the justice of our cause.
I deem it my duty to present to you, on the
present occasion, a condensed review of the inju
ries we had sustained, of the causes which led to
the war. ami of its progress since its commence
ment. 1 his is rendered the more necessary be
cause of the misapprehensions which have, to
some extent, prevailed, as to its origin and true
character. The war has been represented as un
just and unnecessary, and as on« of aggression on
our part upon a weak and injured enemy. Such
erroneous views, though entertained by but few,
have been widely and extensively circulated, not
only at home, but have been spread throughout
Mexico and the whole world. A more effectual
means could out have been devised to encouraoe
the enemy and protract the war than to advocate
ami adhere to their cause, and thus give them
aid and comfort.”
It is a source of national pride and exultation,
that the great body of onr people have thrown no
such obstacles in the way of the government in
prosecuting the war successfully, but have shown
themselves to he eminently patriotic, and ready
to vindicate their country’s honor and interest at
any sacrifice. I he alacrity and promptness with
which onr volunteer forces rushed to the field on
their country s call, prove not only their patriot
ism, but their deep conviction that our cause is
just.
[From this paragraph, to Where we take up
the Message again, the President proceeds with
an elaborate and minute history of our relations
witli Mexico, from the lime of her independence
to ilie period when Santa Anna was permitted to
return to Mexico, which, although well known to
every American reader, and consequently unneces
sary to he inserted here, was necessary in a great
state paper, which goe3 before the whole nations
of the earth, and to which the world annually
looks for a justification or condemnation of our
nets as a nation. As such a history it is admira
bly and ably drawn.]
Under all these circumstances, it was believed
that any revolution in Mexico, founded upon op.
position to the ambitions projects of Paredes,
would tend to promote the cause of peace as well
.as prevent any attempted F.umpean interference
in the affairs of the North American continent_
both objects of deep interest to the United States,
i My views upon that subject were fully communi
cated to Congress in my last annual message._
In any event, it was certain that no change what
ever in ihe government of Mexico which would
deprive Paredes of power could be for the worse,
so far as the United States were concerned, while
it was highly probable that any change must be
for the belt# r.
I bis was tlm state of affairs existing when
Congress, on the thirteenth of May last, recog
nised the existence of a war which had been com
menced by the government of Paredes; and it
became an object of much importance, with a
view to a speedy settlement of our difficulties
arid the restoration of an honorable peaco, that
Parades should nut retain power in Mex ic*». .
Before that time there were symptoms of a
revolution in Mexico, favored, as it was under
stood to he, by the more liberal parly, and espe
cially by those who were opposed to foreign in
lerferenre and to the monareliial form of govern
ment. Santa Anna was then in exile in Havana,
having been expelled from power and banished
from his country by a revolution which occurred
in December, 1844; hut it was known that he
had still a considerable party in his favor in Mex
ico. It was also equally well known that no fig
"" ,J. ' Mv'-1-1.1 , 1 — :
lance which could be exerted by our squadron
s-.iuld. in all probability* hive prevented him
roin effecting a'landlm>' sotnew here on the ex
ensive gulf const .if"Mexico, if he deatred to re
iiirn to liis country. He had openly professed an
•nitre- change of |mlicr 5 had expressed his regret
hat he had auhverted the federal constitution of
18*24. and avowed that he was now in favor of
its restoration: He had publicly declared his
hostility, in the strongest terms,In the establish*
lishuient of a monarchy, and to Kuropean inter
I'erence in the affairs of his country. Information
to this effect hnd Item received, from sources be
lieved to he relinhle, at the date of the reengni
lion of the existence of the war by Congress, and
was afterwards fully confirmed by the receipt of
the despatch of our consul in the city of Mexico,
with the accompanying documents, which are
herewith transmitted. Besides, it was reasona
ble to suppose that he must sec the ruinous conse
quences to Mexico of a war with the United
States, and that it would he his interest to favor
a pence.
It was under these circumstances and upon
these considerations that it was deemed expedi
ent not to obstruct Ins return to Mexico, should
he attempt to do so. Our object was the restora
tion ol pence; and with that view, no reason
was perceived why we should lake pirt with Pa
redes, and aid him. by means of our blockade, in
preventing the return of his rival to Mexico. On
the contrary, it was believed that the intestine di
visions which ordinary sagacity could not hut an
ticipale as the Iruit of Santa Anna's return to
Mex ico, and his contest with Paredes, might
strongly lend to produce a disposition with built
parties to restore nod preserve peace with the
United Stales. Paredes was a soldier by profes
sion, and a monarchist in principle. He had hut
recently before been succes-ful in a military revo
lution, by which he had obtained power. He
was the sworn enemy of the United States, with
which he had involved his country in the existing
war. >Sania Anna hnd been expelled from power
!>v the army, was known to be in open hostility
m i reties, and punuciy pledged against lurrign
intervention and the restoration of monarchy in
Mexico. In view of these facts anti circumstan
ces it was, that, when orders were issued to the
commander of otir naval forces in the Golf, tin
the fifteenth day of May last, only two days af
ter the existence of the war had heen recognised
hy Congress, o place tin* cnasts of Mexico under
blockade, he was directed not to obstruct the pas
sage of S’toia Anna to Mexico, should he attempt
to return.
A revolution took place in Mexico in the early
part of August following, by which the power of
Paredes was overthrown, anti lie has since been
banished from iIip country, and is now in exile._
Shortly afterwards, Santa Anna returned. It re
mains to he seen whether his return may not yet
prove to ho favorable to a pacific adjustment of
the existing difficulties, it being manifestly his
interest not to persevere in the prosecution of a
w ar commenced hy Paredes, to accomplish a pur
pose so absurd as the reconquest of Texas to the
Sahine. Had Paredes remainrd in power, it is
morally certain that any pacific adjustment would
ha vp heen hopeless.
Upon the commencement of hostilities by Mex
ico against the United Slates, the indignant spirit
of the nation was at once aroused. Congress
promptly responded to the expectations of the
country, and, hy the act of the thirteenth of May
last, recognised the fact that war existed, by the
act of Mexico, between the United Stales and
that republic, nnd granted the means necessary
for its rigorous prosecution. Being involved in a
war thus commenced hy Mexico, nnd for the
justice of which on our part we may confidently
appeal tojhe whole world, I resolved to prosecute
it with the utmost vigor. Accordingly; the ports
of Me xico on the Golf and on the Pacific have
heen placed under blockade, and her territory in
vaded at several important points. The reports
from the Departments of War and the Navy will
inform yon inure in detail of the measures adopt
ed in the emergency in which our country was
placed, and of the gratifying results which have
hpen accomplished.
The various columns of the army have per
formed their duty under great disadvantages,
with the most distinguished skill and courage._
'The victories of Palo Alto nnd Ilesafca d<* la Pal
ma, and of Monterey, won against greatly superior
numbers, ar.d against most decided advantages in
other respects on the part of the enemy,"were
brilliant in their execution., nnd entitle our brave
officers and soldiers to the grateful thanks of their
country. The nation deplores the loss of the
brave offiei-rs and men who have gallantly fallen
while vindicating and defending (heir country’s
rights and honor.
It is a subject of pride 3nd satisfaction that our
volunteer citizen-soldiers, who so promptly re
sponded to their country’s call, w ith an experi
ence of the discipline of a camp of only a few
weeks, have borne their part in the hard fought
battle of Monterey with a constancy and courage
equal to that of vetpran troops, and worthy of
the highest admiration. The privations of long
marches through the enemy’s country,and through
n wilderness, have heen home without a murmur.
By rapid movements the province of New Mexi
co, with Santa Fe, its capital, has been captured
without bloodshed. The navy has co operated
with the army, and rendered important services:
if not so brilliant, it is because the enemy had no
force to meet them on their own element, and be
cause of the defences which nature has interposed
in the difficulties of the navigation on the Mexi
can coast. Our squadron in the Pacific, with the
co operation of a gallant officer of the army, and
a small forre hastily collected in that distant
country, have acquired bloodless possession of the
California?, nnd the American flag hns been rais
ed at every important point in that province.
I congratulate yon on the success which has
thus attended our military and naval operations.
"■W Mian seven months alter Mcx im commenc
ed hostilities, at a time selected by herself, we
have taken possession of many of her principal
ports, driven back and pursued her in vading army,
and acquired military possession of the Mexican
provinces of New Mexico, New Leon. Coaltoila,
iamaulipas, and the Oalifornias, a territory
larger in extent than that embraced in the origi
nal thirteen Slates ot the Union, inhabited by a
Considerable population, and much of it more than
a thousand miles from the points at which we
had to collect our forces snd commence our move
ments. By the blockade, the import and export
trade of the enemy has been cut off.
Well may the American people be proud of the
energy and gallantry of our regular and volunteer
officers and aoldiers. The events of these few*
months afford a gratifying proof that our country
can, under any emergency, confidently rely for
(tie maintenance of her honor, and the defence of
her rights, on an effective force, ready at all times
voluntarily lo relinquish Ihe comforts of homeJor
the perils and privations of the camp. Afftl
though such a force may be for ihe time ex pen
sive, it is in (lie end economical, as the ability lo
command il removes the necessity of employing :
a large standing army in the tiir.e of peace, anjl
proves that our people love their institutions, and
are ever ready to defend and protect them.
W bile the war was in a course of vigorous and
successful prosecution, being still anxious to arrest
it9 evils, and considering that, after the brilliant
victories of our arms on the eighth and ninth of
May last, the national honor could not be coni
prommitted by it, another overture waT made to
Mexico, by my direction, on the twenty sevenih
of ./nly last, to terminate hostilities by a peace
jtist and honorable to both countries. On the
thirty first of August following, the Mexican gov
ernment declined fo aceppt this friendly overture,
but referred it to the deci4jv»n of a Mexican Con
gresn, to be assembled in ihe early part of the
present month, f communicate to you, herewith,
i copy of the letter of the Secretary of Slate pro
posing to reopen negotiations, of the an* w er oft he
Mexican government, and of the reply thereto of
the Secretary of State.
The war will continue to he prosecuted with
vigor, as the hesl means of securing peace, It is
hoped that the decision of the Mexican Congress,
to which our Inst overture has been referred, may
result in a speedy and honorable peace. With
our experience, however, of the unreasonable
course of the Mexican authorities, it is the part of
wisdom not to relax in the energy uf our military
operations until the result is made known. |o
this view, it is deemed important to hold military
possession of the provinces which have been tak
en, until a definitive treaty of peace shall have
been concluded and ratified by the two countries.
The war has nut been waged with n view
conquest ; but having been commenced by Mexico,
it has been carried into the enemy’s country, and
will he vigorously prosecuted there, with 3 view
to obtain an honorable peace, and thereby secure
ample indemnity fur the expenses of the war, as
well as to our much injured citizens, w ho hold
large pecuniary demands against Mexico.
Hy the laws of nations a conquered territory is
subject to be governed by the conqueror during
his military possession, and until there is either a
treaty of peace, lir he shall voluntarily withdraw
from it. The old civil government being neces
sarily superseded, it is the right and duty of the
conqueror to secure his conquest, and to provide
for the maintenance of civil order and the rights
°t the inhabitants. This right hasbppn exercised,
and this duty performed, by our military and na
val commanders, by tbe establishment uf tempo
rary governments in some of tbe conquered prov
inces in Mexico, .assimilating them as far .as prac
licahle tu the free institutions of our own country.
In ihe provinces of New Mexico, and of the Cali
fornias, little if any further resistance is appre
hended from the inhabitants to thp temporary
governments which have thus, from the necessity
or me case, nnn according to tho laws ot war.
been established. It may he proper to pr-wide
for the security of these important conquests hy
making an adequate appropriation for the purpose
of erecting fortifications and defraying tin1 ex
penses necessarily incident to the maintenance of
our possessions and authority over them.
Near the close of your last session, for reasons
communicated to Congress, I deemed it impor
tant, as a measure for securing a sppedy ppace
with Mexico, that a sum of money should be np
propriated and placdd in the power of the F.xecn
live, similar to that which had been made upon
two former occasions, during the administration
of President Jefferson.
On the twenty sixth of February, 1803. an
appropriation of two millions of dollars was made
and placed at the disposal of the President. Its
object is well known. It was at that time in
contemplation to acquire Louisiana from France,
and it was intended to be applied as a part of the
cmsideratiou which might he paid for that terri
tory. On the thirteenth of February, 180G. the
same sum was in like manner appropriated, with
a view to the purchase of the Floridan from
Spain. These appropriations were made to fa
cilitate negutiatiens, and as a means to enable the
President to accomplish the important objects in
view. I hough it did not become necessaiy for
the President to use these appropriations, yet a
state of things might have arisen* in which it
would have been highly important for him to do
so, and the wisdom of making them cannot he
doubled. It is believed that the measure recom
mended at your last session met with tho appro
bation of decided majorities in both houses of
Congress. Indeed, in different forms, a hill ma
king nn appropriation of two millions of dollars,
passed each house, and it is much to be regretted
ihat it Hid not become a law The reasons which
induced me to recommend the measure at that
time still exist; and I again submit the euhjpcl
for your consideration, and suggest the importance,
of early action upon it. Should the appropriation
he made, and be not needed, it will remain in tho
treasury : should it he deemed proper to apply it
in whole or in part, it will be accounted for as
other pnhlio expenditures.
Immedivtely after Congress had recognised the
existence of the war with Mexico, my"atlenlion
was directed to the danger that privateers might
be titled out in the ports of Cuba and Porto Rico
to prey upon the commerce of the United Slates;
and I invited the special attention of the Spanish
government'to the fourteenth article of our treaty
with that power of the twentieth of October.
1795, under which the citizens and subjects of
either nation whashall take commissions or let
ters of marque to act as privateers against the
other, “shall be punished as pirates.*'
It affords me pleasure to inform you that I have i
received assurances from the Spanish government I
that this ariicle of the treaty shall he faithfully j
observed on iis part. Orders for this purpose were
immediately transmitted from ihal government to
the authorities of Cuba and Porto Rico to exert
their utmost vigilance in preventing nny attempts
to fit out privateers in those islands against the
United States. From the good faith of Spain
I am folly satisfied that this treaty will he expeu
ted in its spirit as well as its letter; whilst the
United Slates will,on their part, faithfully per
form all Ihe obligations which it imposes on them.
Information has been recently received at the
Department of Slate that the Mexican govern
merit has sent to Havana blank commissions, and
blank certificates of naturalization, signed hv Gen
eral Salas, the present head of the Mexican gov
ernment. There is, also, reas.m to apprehend that
similar documents have been transmitted to other
parts of the world. Copies of thpse papers, in
translation, are herewith transmitted.
As the preliminaries required by the practice of
civilized nations for commissioning privaieers and
regulating their conduct appear not to have been
observed, and as these commissions are in blank,
to be filled up with the names of citizens and sub
jpcts of all nations who may be willing to purchase
ibem, the whole proceeding can only be construed
as an invitation to all the freebooters npm earth,
who aie willing lo pay fo the privilege, to cruise
against American commerce. It will be for our
courts of justice to decide whether, under such cir
cumstances, these Mexican letters of marque and
reprisal shall protect those who accept them, and
commit robberies upon the high seas under their
authority, from the pains and penalties of piracy.
If the certificates of naturalization thus granted
he intended by Mexico to shield Spinislt subjects
from the guilt and punishment of pirnies, under
our treaty with Spain, they will certainly prove
unavailing. Such a subterfuge would be bin a
weak device to defeat the provisions of a solemn
treaty.
f recommend that Congress should immediately
provide by law for the trial and punishment as pi
rates of Spanish subjects who, escaping tfie vigi
lance of their government, shall be found guilty <d
privateering against the United Stales. 1 do not
apprehend serious danger from these privateers.—
Our navy will bo constantly on the alert to protect
our rouunerce. Besides, in case prizes should be
made of American vessels, the utmost vigilance
will be exerted by our blockading squadron to pre
vent the captors from taking them into Mexican
ports, and it is not apprehended that any nation
will violate its neutrality by suffering such prizes
to be condemned and sold w ithin its jurisdiction.
I recommend that Congress should immediately
provide by law for granting letters of marque and
reprisal aga nst vessels under the Mexican flag._
It is true that there are but few, if any. commer
cial vessels of Mexico upon the high seas ; and it
is therefore not probable that many American pri
vsteers would he fitted out, in case a law shonld
pass authorizing this mode of warfare. It js. not
withstanding, eeriain that such privateers may
render go- d service to the commercial interests o!
tbn corin'ty, by recapturing our merchant ships,
should any be taken by armed vessels under the
Mexican flag, a« we)) as by capturing these ves**!
themselves. F.very ‘mean* within out
should hs rendered available for the prn'sction
onr c >mni< ree. n'
'I'ns annual report of the S'Oretary of ^
Treasury will exhibit a detailed statement of t|*
condition of the finances, 'Pits 'imports f,,/ ^
fiscal year ending nn the thirtieth of Jutin |.lKI*
were nl the value of one hundred and twenty (,n’
million six hundred and ninety one thousand ne *
en ho ltd red and ninety seven dollars; of whi^
the amount exported was eleven million three
hundred and forty -six thousand six hundred and
twenty three dollars; leaving the amount retain*;
m the country for domestic consumption one him
dred nnd ten million three hundred and forty fj,
ihmsand one hundred and, seventy-four dollar
I’lie value of the exports for the same period was
• me hundred and thirteen million four hundred
• nd liirbtv-eight thousand five hundred apd air
tepn dollars; or which mm hundred and two tn(|
lion non hundred and forty one thousand eig|,t
hundred nnd ninety threo dollars consisted of do.
mestic productions, and eleven million three hun.
dred nnd forty six thousand six hundred a*r.d
twenty three dollars of foreign articles.
The receipts into the lffa$tiry for the same ye,r
were twenty nine million four hundred and nine
iy nine thousand twq hundred nnd forty sereri
dollars and six cents; of which tlioro was derived
I from customs twenty six million sevtn hundred
and twelve thousand six hundred and sixty R(.v,.n
dollars and eighty seven cents, from sales of pu(,,
lie lands two million six hundred and ninety
thousand four hundred and fifty-two dollars and
turly-eight cents, and from incidental and misce.|.
Inneous sources nine)y two thousand one hundred
and twenty six dollars and seventy-one cents.^.
'Hie expenses for I lit* same period were twenty,
eight million thirty ope thousand tine hundred
and fourteen dollars anil twenty cents; and ih„
balance in the treasury on the first day of J,,|_
last was nine million one hundred and twpnty Rjx
thousand four hundred and thirty-nine dollars and
eight cents.
1 he amount nt the public debt, including trea.
sury notes, on the first of tlie present month, «a8
twenty four million two hundred and fifty six
thousand four hundred and ninety four dollars and
sixty cents, of which ihp sum of seventeen mil
lion seven hundred and eighty eight thousand se
von hundred and ninety nine dollars and sixty,
two cents was outstanding on the fourth of Marrh
1845, leaving the amount incurred since that
time six million four hundred and sixty-seven
thousand six hundred and ninety four dollars and
ninety eight cents.
• In tirder to prosecute the war with Mexico
with vigor and energy, as the bpst means of*
bringing it to a speedy and honorahle termination,
a further loan will he necessary to meet the ex
penditures for the present and the next fiscal
years. If the war should he continued until the
thirtieth of June, 1848—being the end of the
next fiscal year—it is estimated that an addition
al loan of twenty three millions of dollars will !-e
required; This estimate is made upon the a8.
sumption that it will lie necessary to retain con
stantly in the treasury four millions of dollars,In
guard against contingencies. If such surplus
were not required to ho retained, then a loan of
nineteen millions of dollars would he snfTM»nt.
If. Itowever, Congress should, at the present ses
sion, impose a revenue duly on the principal arli
cIps now embraced in the free list, it is estimated
that an additional revenue of about two millions
and a half, amounting, it js estimated, on the
thirtieth of June, 1848, to four millions of dol
lars, would be derived from that source; and the
loan required would he reduced by that amount.
It is estimated, also, that should Congress grad
uate and reduce the price of such of the public
lands as have been long in the market, the addi
tional revenue derived from that source would he
annually, for several years to eome, hr tween half
a million and a mi l imn of dollars; and the loan
required may be reduced by that amount also.—
Should these measures be adopted, the loan re
quired would not probably exceed eighteen or
nineteen millions of dollars—leaving in the trea
sury a constant surplus of four millions of dollars.
The loan proposed, it is estimated, will he suffi
cient to cover the necessary expenditures, both
for the war and for all other purposes, op to the
thirtieth of June. 1848; and an amount of this
loan, not exceeding one-half, may he required du
ring the present fiscal year, and the greater part
of the remainder during the first half of the fis
cal year succeeding.
In order thfal timely notice ntay he given, and
proper measures taken to effect the loan, or such
portion of it as may he required, it is important
that the authority of Congress to make it he given
at an early period of your prespnt session. It is
suggested that the loan should be contracted fora
period of twenty years, with authority to purchase
the stock and pay it off. at an earlier period, st
its market valne, out of any surplus which may
at any time bo in the treasury applicable to that
purpose. After ihe establishment of peace with
Mexico, it is supposed that a considerable surplos
will exist, and that the debt rnav he extinguished
in a much shorter period than that for which it
may he contracted. The period of twenty years,
as that for which the proposed loan may be con
tracted, in preference to a shorter period, is sug
gested, because all experience, both at home and
abroad, has shown that loans are effected upon
much better terms upon lung time, than when
they are reimbursable nt short daipa.
Necpssary as this measure is to sustain the
honor and the interests of the country, engaged in
a foreign war, it is not doubted but that Congress
will promptly authorize it.
The balance in the treasury on the first of July
Inst exceeded nine millions «>f dollars, notwith
standing considerable expenditures had been mad*
fur the war during the months of May and Jim®
preceeding. But for the war, the whole public
debt could and would have been extinguished
within a short period ; and it was a part of my
settled policy to do so, and thus relieve the people
from its burden, and place the government in *
position which would enable it to reduce the pub
lic expenditures to that economical standard which
is most consistent with the general welfare, a ml
the pure and w holesome progress of our institu
tions.
Among our just causes of complaint agar*1
Mexico, arising nut of tier refusal to treat f"r
peace, as well beforo as since the war so unjustly
commenced on her part, are the extraordinary ex
penditures in which we have been involved.-—
Justice to our own people will make it prn|mr that
Mexico should be field responsible for these ex
penditures.
ftconoiny in the public expenditures is at
times a high duly which all public functionaries
of the government owe to the people. This duty
becomes the morn imperative in a period of war,
when large and extraordinary expenditures be
come unavoidable. During the existence of lb®
war with Mexico all our resources should be
husbanded, and no appropriations made except
such as are absolutely necessary for its vigorous
prosecution and the doe administration of the
government. Objects of appropriation, which i"
peace may he deemed useful or proper, but which
are not indispensable for the public service, maV*
when the country is engaged in a foreign war, be
well postponed to a future period. By the obser
vance of this policy st your present session, larg®
amounts may be saved to the treasury, snd be sp
irited to objects of pressing and urgent necessity,
and thus tlm creation of a corresponding antonnl
of public debt may he avoided.
It is not meant to recommend that the ordinary
ami necessary appropriations for the support td
government should ho withheld, hut it is well
known that at every session of Congress appm
prist ions sre proposed for numerous objects which
mav or may not be made, without materially ef
fecting the public interests ; and these it is recom
nended should not be granted.

xml | txt