OCR Interpretation

Sentinel of the valley. [volume] (Woodstock, Va) 1841-1848, December 16, 1847, Image 4

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

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn95079484/1847-12-16/ed-1/seq-4/

What is OCR?

Thumbnail for

[ Continuedfrom Jirsl page]
sion would probably cause them to speak
their sentiments freely, and to adopt the mea
sures necessary for the restoration of peace.
With a people distracted and divided ny eon
tending factions, and. a government subject
to constant changcs,by successive revolutions,
the continued successes of our arms may fail
to secure a satisfactory peace. In such even'
it may become prop*' for our commanding
generals in the field to give encouragement
and assurances of protection to the friends of
peace in Mexico in the establishment and
maintainonce of a free republican government
of their own choice, able and willing to con
clude a peace which would be just to them,
and secure to us the indemnity we demand —
This may become the only mode of obtaining
such a peace: Should such be the result,tile
war which Mexico has forced upon us would
thus he converted into an enduing blessing
to herself After finding her lorn and <hs
traded by factious, a'ad ruled by military
usurpers, we should then leave her with a re
publican government in the enjoyment of re
al independence, and domestic peace ail 1
prosperity , perlbi ming all her relative du
ties in the great family of nations,ami promo
ting her own happiness by wise laws and
their faithful execution
If, alter affording this encouragement and
protection, and after all the persevering and
sincere efforts we have made, from the mo
ment Mexico'commenced the war, an 1 pron
to that time, to adjust our differences with
her, we shall ultimately fail, then We shall
have exhausted all honorable means in pur
suit of peace, and must continue to occupy
her country with our troops, taking the lull
measure of indemnity into our own hands,and
must enforce the terms which our honor de
To act otherwise, in the existing state of
things in Mexico, and to withdraw our army
without a peace, would not only leave all the
wrongs of which we complain unredressed,
but would be the signal for new and fierce
civil dissensions and new revolutions—all
alike hostile to peaceful relations with the
United States.
Besides, there is danger, if our troops were
withdrawn before a peace was concluded,
that the Mexican people, wearied with sue
cesssive revolutions, and deprived <*f [>rotec
tiou for their persons and property, nrght at
length be inclined to yield to foreign influen
ces, and to cast themselves into the arms of
some European monarch for protection from
the anarchy and suffering which would en
sue. This, for our own safety, and in pur
suanee of our established policy, we should
be compelled to resist. We could never con
sent that Mexico should be thus converted
into a monarchy governed by a foreign
Mexico is our near neighbor, arid her
boundaries are coterminous with our own,
through the whole extent across the North
American continent, from ocean to ocean.—
Both politically and commercially, we have
the deepest interest in her regeneration and
prosperity. Indeed, it is impossible that,
with any just regard to our own safety, we
can ever become indifferent to her fate.
It may be that the Mexican government and
people have misconstrued or misunderstood
our forbearance, and our objects, in desiring
to conclude an arr.icaole adjustment of the
existing differences between the two conn
tries. They may' have supposed that we
would submit to terms degrading to the na
tion; or they may have drawn false inferen
ces from the supposed division of opinion in
the United States on the subject of the war,
and may have calculated to gain much by
protracting it; and, indeed, that we might,
ultimately abandon it altogether, without
insisting on any indemnity, lerrorial or other
wise. Whatever may be the false impressions
under which they have acted, the adoption
and prosecution of the energetic policy pro
posed must soon undeceive them.
In the future prosecution of the war, the
enemy must be made to fe«l its pressure
more than they have heretofore done. At
its commencement, it was deemed proper to
conduct it in a spirit of forbearance and lib
erality. With this gjid in view, early meas
ures were adopted to conciliate, as tar as a
state of war would permit, the mass of the
Mexican population; to convince them that
the war was waged not against the peaceful
inhabitants of Mexico, but against their faith
less government, which had commenced hos
tdities; to remove from their minds the false
impressions which their designing and inter
ested rulers had artfully attempted to make,
that The war oh our part was one of conquest;
that it was a war against their religion and
their churches, which were to be desecrated
and overthrown/ and that their right* of per
son and private property would be violated.
To remove these false impressions, our com
mandersin the field were directed sciupulous
ly to respect their religion,their churches,- and
their church property’, which were in no man
ner violated; ‘hey were directed also to re
spect the rights of persons and property of all
who w ould not take up arms against us.
Assurances to this effect were given to the
Mexican people by Major Generrl Taylor, in
a proclamation issued in pursuance ofinstruc
tions.fisom the Secretary of War, in the
month of June, 1846, and again by Major
General Scott, who acted upon his own con
fictions of the propriety of issuing it in a
proclamation of the eleventh of May, 1847.
In this spirit of liberality and conciliation,
and with a view to prevent the body of the
Mexican population from taking up arms a
gainst us, was the war conducted on our part.
Provisions and other supplies furnished to
our army by Mexican ci'izens were paid for
at (fair and liberal prices agreed upon by the
parties. After the lapse of a few months, it
became apparent that these assurances, and
this mild treatment, had failed to produce
the desired effect upon the Mexican popula
tion. While the war had been conducted on
onr part according to the most humane and
liberal principles observed by civilized na
tions. it has been far different on the part ol
texico. Not appreciating our forbearance,
e Mexican people generally became ho?
tile to the United States, and availed them
selves of every opportunity to commit the
most savage excesses upon our troops.—
I.arge humberSof the population took up arm--,
and, engaging in guerilla warfare, lobbed
and. murdered in the most cruel manner indi
vidual soldiers, or small parties, whom acci
dent or other causes had separated from the
main body of our array; hands of guer.iileros
and robbers infested tile roads, harassed our
trains, and, whenever it was in their power,
cut off our supplies.
The Mexicans haviug thus shown them
selves to be wholly incapable of appreciating
our forbearance and liberality, it was deemed
proper to change the manner of conducting
the war, by making them feel its pressure ac
cording to the usages observed1 under similar
circumstances by all other civilized nations.
Accordingly, as early as the twenty second
of September, 184'6, instructions were given
by the Secretary of War to Maj. General
Taylor to “draw supplies” for our army
“from the enemy, without paying for them,
and to require contributions for its support,”
if ill that way he was satisfied he coiildwget
abundant supplies for his forces.” In di
recting the execution of these instructions,
much was necssarily left Jo the discretion of
I tlie commanding' officer, w ho w as best ac
[uaiuU-d with the circumstances by which
ne was surrounded, the wants of the army,
and the practicability of enforcing the rneas
Gen. Taj lor, on the twenty s'xth of Octo
i>er, 1846, replied, from Monterey, that “it
•could have been impossible hitherto, and is
o now, to sustain the army to anv extent !>\
iiirced contributions of money or supplies.”—
For the reasons assigned by him, he did not
adopt the policy of his instructions, but de
clai'i d his readiness to do so ‘-should the ar
I mv, in its future operations, reach a portion
of the country w hich may be made to supply
the troops with advantage.” lie continued
to pay for the articles of supply which were
drawn from the enemy’s country
similar instructions were issued to Major
General Scott on the third of April, 1847,
who replied, from Jalaps, on the twentieth
of May, 1817, that if it be expected that ‘‘the
army is to support itself hy forced contri
tuitions levied upon the country, we may ruin
and exasperate the inhabitants, and starve out
selves ” '1 lie same di- cfe'.ioii was given to
him that had been to Gen. Taylor in this re
spcct. Gen Scott, for the reasons assigned
hy him,' also continued to pay for the articles
of supply for the army which were drawn
from the eneinv.
After tlie army had reached the
heart of the most wealthy portion of
Mexico, it was supposed that the ob
stacles which had before that time pre
vented it would not be such as to ren
der impracticable the levy of forced
contributions for its support, and on
the first of S-epfember, and again
on the sixth of October, 1847, the or
der was repeated in despatches ad
dressed by the Secretary of War to
Gen. Scott, and his attention was a
gain called to the importance of ma
king the enemy bear the burdens of
the war by requiring them to furnish
the means of supporting our army;
and he was directed to adopt this pol
For the amouut of contributions
j which have been levied in this form,
j I refer you te the accomyanying re
i ports of the Secretary of War and the
| Secretary of the Navy, by which it np*
j pears that a sura exceeding half a
million of dollars has been collected,
j This amount would undoub'edly
| have been much larger, but for the
| difficulty of keeping open communica
| liens between the coast and the inte
j rior, so as to enable the owners of the
i merchandise imported, to transport
i and vend it to the inhabitants of the
country. It is confidently expected
that this difficulty will, to a great ex
tent, be soon removed by our increased
forces which have been sent to the
! field.
j Measures have recently been adop
j ted by which the internal as well as
j external revenues of Mexico, in all
places in our military occupation, will
; be seized and appropriated to the use
! of our army and navy.
The policy of levying upon the en
emy contributions in every form, con
; sisienlly. with ihe laws of nations,
which it may be practicable for our
military commanders to adopt, should,
in my judgment, be rigidly enforced,
| and orders to this effect have accord
ingly been given. By such a policy,
i at the same time that our treasury will
! be relieved from a liea’-y drain, the
! Mexican people will be made to feel
the burdens of the war, and, consulting
their own interests, may be induced
the more readily to require their rulers
to accede to a just peace.
After the adj,o urnment of the last
icy, unless, by doing so, there was
danger of depriving the army of the
necessary supplies. Copies of these
despatches were forwarded to General
Taylor for his government.
! On the thirty-first of March last, I
caused an order to be issued to our
military and naval commanders to levy
and collect a military contribution up
on all vessels and merchandise which
might enter any one of the ports of
Mexico in our military occupation,
and to apply such contribution towards
defraying the expenses of the war.—
By virtue of the right of conquest and
the laws of war, the conquerer,
j consulting his own safety or
convenience, may either exclude for
! eign commerce altogether from such
ports, or permit it upon such terms
! and conditions as he may prescribe.—
Before the principal ports of Mexico
I were blockaded by our navy, the rev
enue derived from the impost duties,
| under the laws of Mexico, was paid
j into the Mexican treasury. After
these ports had fallen into our military
posession, the blockade was raised,
and commerce with them permitted
upon prescribed tprms and conditions.
'They were opened to the trade of all
nations upon the payment of duties
more moderate in their amount than
those which had been previously lev
: ied by Mexico; and the revenue which
was formerly paid into the Mexi
can treasury, was directed to be col
lected by our military and naval offi
I cers, and applied to the use of our ar
i my and navy. Care was taken that
the officers, soldiers, and sailors of our
: army and navy should be exempted
, from the operations of the order; and
as the merchandise imported upon
which the order operated must be con
sumed by Mexican citizens, the con
j tributions exacted were, in effect, the
1 seizure of the public revenues of Mex
i ico, and the application of them to our
j own use. In directing this measure,
; the object was to compel the enemy to
1 contribute, as Air as practicable towards
j the expenses of the war.
session of Congress, events transpired
in the prosecution of the war which, in
my judgment,required a greater number
of troops in the field than had been an
tiripated. The strength of the arm)
was accordingly increase?], by “ac
cepting” the services of all the volun
teer forces authorized by the- act of tin
thirteenth of May, 1846, w ithout put- j
ting a construction on that act, the cor- J
redness of which was seriously ques
tioned! The volunteer forces row in
the field, with those which had been
“accepted,” to “serve for twelve
months,” and were discharged at the
end of their term of service, exhaust
the fifty thousand men authorised by
that act. Had it been clear that a
proper construction of the net warrant
ed it, the services of an additional
number would have been called for
and accepted; but doubts existing
upon this point, the power was not
It is deemed important that Con
gress should, at an early period of
their session, confer the authority to
raise an additional regular force to
serve during the war with Mexico,
and to be discharged upon the conclu
sion and ratification of a treaty ofpeace.
I invite the attention of Congress to
the views presented by the Secretary
of War in his report upon this sub
I recommend, also, (hat authority
be given by law to call for and accept
the services of an additional number of
volunteers, to be exercised at such
time and to such extent as the emer
geneies of the service may require.
In prosecuting the war with Mexico,
whilst the utmost care has been taken
to avoid every just cause of complaint
on the part of neutral nations, and
none has been given, liberal privileges!
have been granted to their commerce;
in the ports of the enemy in our mili
tary occupation.
The difficulty with the Brazilian
government, which at one time threat
ened to interrupt the friendly relations
between the two countries, will, I
trust, be speedily adjusted. I have re
ceived information that an envoy ex
traordinary and minister plenipotentia
ry to the United States will shortly be
appointed by his Imperial Majesty,
land it is hoped that he will come in
structed and prepared to adjust all re
I maining differences between the two
[governments in a manner acceptable
and honorable to both. In the mean
time, I have every reason to believe
that nothing will occur to interrupt our
amicable relations with Brazil.
It has been my constant effort to
maintain and cultivate the most inti
mate relations of friendship with ail
> the independent Powers of South A
meriea; and this policy has been at
i tended with the happiest results. It is
i true, that the settlement and payment
; of many j^ist claims of American citi
J izens against these nations have been
i long delayed. The peculiar position
I in which they have been placed, and
the desire on the part of my predeces
sors, as well as myself, to grant them
he utmost indulgence, have hitherto
prevented these claims from being urg
ed in a manner demanded by strict
justice. The time has arrived when
they ought to be finally adjusted and
liquidated, and efforts are now making
for that purpose.
It is proper to inform you that the
government of Peru has in good faith
[ paid the first two instalments of the in
demnity of thirty thousand dollars
each, and the greater portion of the in
terest due thereon, in execution of the
convention between that government
j and the United States, the ratifications
! of which were exchanged at Lima on
the thirty-first of October, 1846.—
! The Attorney General of the United
! States, early in August last, eomple
; ted the adjudication of the claims un
I der this convention, and made his re
i prjrt thereon, in pursuance of the act
j of the eighth of August, 1846. The
1 sumsto which the claimants are respecl
| ively entitled , will be paid on demand
' at the treasury.
i I invite the early attention of Con
| press to the present condition of our
! citizens in China. Under our treaty
J with that power, American citizens
| are withdrawn from the jurisdiction,
; whether civil or criminal, of the Chi
i nese government, and placed under
| that of our public functionaries in that
I country. By these alone can our citi
| zens be tried and punished for the
commission of any crime; by these
alone can questions be decided between
them, involving'the rights of person
and property; and by these alone can j
contracts be enforced, into which they
may have entered with the citizens or I
subjects of foreign powers. The
merchant vessels of the United States
lying in the waters of the five ports of
China open to foreign commerce are
unrler the exclusive jurisdiction of offi
cers of their own government. Until
Congress shall establish competent tri
bunals to tiy and punish crimes, and
to exercise jurisdiction in civil ca
ses in China, American citizens there
are subject to no law whatever.—
Crimes raay*becommitted with,impu
nity, and debts may be contracted
without any means to enforce their
payment. Inconveniences have alrea-'
ijy resulted from the omission of Con
gress to legislate upon the subject,
md still greater are apprehended.—
The British authorities in China have
ilready complained ‘hat this govern
ment has not provided for the punish
ment of crimes, or the enforcement of
contracts against American citizens in
that country', whilst their govern
ment has established tribunals by
which an American citizen can recov
er debts due from Biitish subjects.
Accustomed as the Chinese are to
summary justice, they could not be]
made to comprehend why criminals
who are citizens of the Uniied States
should escape with impunity, in viola
tion oftreaty obligations, whilst tire
punishment of a Chinese, who had
committed any crime against an Amer
ican citizen, would be rigorously ex
acted. Indeed, the consequences
might be fatal to American citizens in
China, should a flagrant crime be com
mitted by any one of them upon a Chi
nese, ami should trial and punishment
not follow according to the requisi
tions of the treaty. This might dis
turb, if not destroy, our friendly rela
tions with that empire, and cause an
interruption of our valuable com
Our treaties will) the Sublime Porte,
Tripoli, Tunis, Morocco, and Muscat,
also require the legislation of Congress
to carry them into execution, though
the necessity for immediate action
may not be so urgent as in regard to
The Secretary of Stale has submit
ted an estimate to defray the expense
of opening diplomatic relations with
the Papal States. The interesting po
litical events now in progresss in these
States, as well as a just regard to our
commercial interests, have in my opin
ion, rendered such a measure highly
Estimates have also been submitted
for the outfits and salaries of charges
d’affaires to the republics of Bolivia,
Guatemala, and Ecuador. The mani
fest importance of cultivating the most
friendly relations with all the indepen
dent States upon this continent has in
duced me to recommend appropria
tions necessary for the maintainance
of these missions.
I recommend to Congress that an
appropriation be made, to be paid to
the Spanish government for the pur
pose of distribution among the claim
ants in “the Amistad case.” I enter
tain the conviction that this is due to
Spain under the treaty of the twentieth
of October, 1795; and, moreover, that,
from the earnest manner in which the
claim continues to be urged, so long
as it shall remain unsettled, it will be a
source of irritation and discord be
tween the two countries, which may
prove highly prejudicial to the interests
of the United Statps. Good policy,no
less than a faithful compliance with
our treaty obligation*, requires that
the inconsiderable appropriation de
manded should be made.
A detailed statement of the condi
tion of the finances will be presented
in the annual report of the Secretary
of the Treasury. The imports for the
last fiscal-year, ending on the thirtieth
of June, 1847, were of the value of
one hundred and forty-sx million five
hundred and forty-five thousand six
hundred and thirty-eight dollars; of
I which the amount exported was eight
million eleven thousand one hundred
! and fifty-eight dollars,leaving one hun
' tired and thirty-eight million five hun
dred and thirty-four thousand four hun
! dred and eighty dollars in the country
j for domestic use. The- value of the
| exports for the same period was one
| hundred arjd fifty-eight million six
hundred and forty-eight thousand six
j hundred and twenty-two dollars; of
which one hundred and fifty million
six hundred and thirty-seven thousand
four hundred and sixty-four dollars
[consisted of domestic productions, and
eight milllion eleven thousand one
hundred and fifty-eight dollars of for
eign articles.
The receipts into the treasury for
the same peried amounted to twenty
six million three hundred and forty-six
thousand seven hundred and ninety
dollars and thirty-seven cents,of which
there was derived from customs twen
ty-three million seven hundred and for
ty-seven thousand eight hundred and
sixty-four dollars and sixty-six cents;
from sales of public lands, two million
four hundred and ninety-eight thou
sand three hundred and thirty-five dol
lars and twenty cents; and from inci
dental and miscellaneous sources, one
hundred thousand five hundred and
seventy dollars and fifty-one cents.—
The last fiscal year during which this
amount was received embraced five
months under the operation of the tar
iff act of 1842, and seven months du
ring which the tariff act of 1846 was
in force. During the five months un
der the act of 1842, the amount receiv
ed from customs was seven million
eight hundred and forty-two thousand
three hundred and sixty dollars and
ninety cents, and during the seven
months under the act of 1846, the
amount received was fifteen million
nine hundred and five thousand five
hundred and fifty-seven dollars and
seventy-six cents.
The net: revenue from customs du
ring the year ending on the fust of De
cember, 1846, betng|the last year un
ler the tlie operation of the tariff act ot
„1,§42, was twenty two million nine
Hundred and seventy-one thousand four,
hundred and three dollars and ten
cents' and tire nett revenue from cus
toms during 1 lie year ending on the
first o‘f December, 1847, bring the first
year under the operation of the tariff
act of 1846, was about thirty one mil
ion fne hundred thousand dollars; be
?:fig an increase of revenue for llie fust
year under the tariff of 1846, of morp
than eight million five hundred thou
sand dollars over that of the last year
under the tariff’of 1842.
The expenditures during the fisea!
year ending on the thirtieth of June
last, were fifty-nine million four hun
dred and fifty-one thousand one hun
dred and seventy-seven dollars and
sixty-five cents; of which three million
five hundred and twenty-two thousand
and eighty-two dollars and thirty-sev
en cents was on account of payment
of principal and interest of the public
debt, including treasury notes redeem
ed and not funded. The expendi
tures, exclusive of payment of public
debt, were fifty-five million nine hun
dred and twenty-nine thousand and
j ninety-five dollars and twenty eight
| It is estimated that the receipts into
the treasury for the fiscaal year ending
on the thirtieth of June, 1848, inclu
ding the balance in the Treasury on
the first of July last, will amount to
forty-two million eight hundred and
eighty-six thousand five hundred and
forty-five dollars and eighty cents, of
which thirty-one million, it is estima
ted, will be derived from cu*toms;three
million five hundred thousand from the
sale of the public lands; four hundred
thousand from incidental sources, in
cluding sales made by the Solicitor of
the Treasury; and six million two
hundred and eighty-five thousand two
hundred and ninety-four dolllars and
! fifty-five cents from loans already au
thorized by law, which, together with
the balance in the treasury on the
first of July last, make the sum estima
The expenditures for the same peri
od, if peace with Mexico shall not be
concluded, and the army shall be in
creased as is proposed, will amount, in
cluding the necessary payments on ac
count of principal and interest of the
public debt and treasury notes, to fifty
eight million six hundred and fifteen
thousand six hundred and sixty
dollnrs and seven cents.
On the first of the present month, the a
monnt of the public debt actually incurred,
including tressu-y notes, was forty-five mil
lion six hundred and fiftysnine thousand six
hundred Mid fifty-nine dollars and forty
cents. The public debt due on the fourth ol
March, 1846, including treasury notes, was
seventeen million seven hundred and eighty
eight thousand seven hundred and ninetynine
dollars and sixty two cents, and consequently
the addition made to the public debt since that
lime, is twenty seven millinn eight hundred
and seventy thousand eight hundred and fifty
nine dollars and seventy-eight cents.
Of the loan of twenty-three millions, au
thorized by the act of the twenty eighth ol
January, 1847, the sum of three millions was
paid out to the public creditors, or exchang
ed at par for specie; the remaining eighteen
millions was offered for specie to the highest
bidder not below par, by an advertisement is
sued by the Secretary, of the Treasury, and
published from the ninth of February until
the tenth of April, 1847, when it was award
ed to the several highest bidders,at premiums
varying from one-eigth of one per cent, to two
per cent, above par. The premium has been
paid into the treasury, and the sums awarded
deposited in specie in the treasury as last
as it was required by the wants of the gov
To meet the expenditures for the remaind
er of the present and for the next fiscal year,
ending on the thirteenth of June, 1849, a fur
ther loan, in aid of the ordinary revenues of
the government, will he necessary, lle
taining a sufficient surplus in the treasury,
the loan required for the remainder of the
present fiscal year will be about eighteen
million five hundred thousand dollars. If the
duty on tea and coffee be imposed, and the
graduation of the price of the public lands
shall he made at an early period of your ses
sion, as recommended, the loan for the pres
ent fiscal year may be reduced to seventeen
millions of dollars. The loan may he further
reduced by whatever amount of expenditures
can be saved by military contributions col
lected m Mexico. The most vigorous meas
ures fdr*the augmentation of these contribu
tions have been directed, and a very consul
erable sum is expected from that source.—
Its amount cannot, however, be calculated
with any certainty. It is recommended that the
loan to be made he authorized upon the same
terms, and for the same time, as that which
was authorized under the provision of the
act of the twenty-eighth of January, 1847.
Should the war with Mexico he continued
until the thirteenth of June, 1849. it is esti
mated that a further loan of twenty million
five hundred thousand dollars will he required
for the fiscal year ending on that day, in case
no duty be imposed on ter. and coffee, and
the publiclandsbenot reduced and graduated
in price, and no military contributions shall
be collected in Mexico If the duty on tea
and coffee he imposed, and the lands be
reduced and graduated in price, as propos
ed, the loan may be reduced to seventeen
millions ofdollars.and will be subject to be still
further reduced by the amount of the milita.iv
contributions which may be collected in Mex
ico. Ii is not proposed, however, at present,
to ask f.ongress for authojity to negotiate
tins loan for the next fiscal year, as it is hop
ed that the loan asked for the remainder of
the present fiscal year aided by military con
tribution which may be collected in Mexico,
may be sufficient. If contrary to my expec
tation, there should be a necessity for it, the
fact'will be communicated to Congerss in I
time for their action duping the present ses- I
jion. In no event will a sum exceeding six j
millions of dollars of this amount be needed
before the meeting of the session of Coh
t;ies« in December; 1846.
The act of the thirtieth of .Jtily, 1846, “rfr
.hieing the duties on itnports, ” has been in
force since the first of December lust-,- anti I
m gratified to state, that all the beneficial
fleets which were anticipated from its ope
•ation have been fully real.zed. The public
' evenue derived from customs during the
year ending on the first of December, 1847,
exceeds bv more than eight millions of dcjH
lars the amount received in the preceding
year tinder-the operation of the act of 1842,
which was superseded and repealed bv it.—
Its edi cts are visible in the gieat and almost
unexampled prosperity which prevails ill ev»
erv brail 'll of busine s.
While the repeal of the prohibitory and re
strictive duties of, the act of 1842, and the
substitution in their place of reasonable reve
nue rates levied rtn articles imported ac*
cording to their actual value, lias increased
the revenue and augmented our foreign trade,
all the great interests of the country have
been advanced and promoted.
The great and important interests of agri
culture, which has been not only loo much
neglected, but actually taxed under the pro
tective policy for the benefit of other inter
ests, have been relieved of the burdens which
that policy imposed on them; and our far
mers and planters under a more just and
liberal commercial policy, are finding newt
ar.d profitable markets abroad for their atig
inented products.
Our commerce is rapidly increasing, and is
extending more w idely the circle of
tional exchanges. Great as has lf&1 Vj?,
increase |of onr imports during the pa's. y
our exports of domestic products sold fn for
eign mat kets have been still greater.
Our navigat'nn interest is eminently pros
perous The number of vessels built in the
United States lias been greater than any pr;'
ceding period of equal length. Large profits
have been derived by those wdio have con
structed as well as by those w bo bavei naviga
ted them. Should the ratio of increase in
the number of our merchant vessels be pro
gressive, and be as great for the future as
during the past year, the time is not di»<
taut w hen our tonnage and commercial mia
fine will be larger Ilian that of any other
nation in the world.
Whilst the interests of agriculture,
of commerce, and of navigation have
been enlarged and invigorated, it is
highly gratifying to observe that our
manufactures are also in a prosperous
condition. None of the ruinous ef
tects upon this interest, which were ap
prehended by some, as the result of
the operation of the revenue system es
tablished by the act of 1S46, have been
expeiienced. On the contrary, the
number of manufactories, & the amount
of capital invested in them, is steadily
and rapidly increasing, affording grati
fying proofs that American enterprise
and skill employed in this branrh of
domestic industry,with no other advan
tages than those fairly and incidental
ly accruing from a just system of reve
nue duties, are abundantly able to meet
successfully all competition from
abroad, and sfill derive fair and remu
nerating profits.
While capital invested in manufac
tures is yielding adequate and fair prof
its under the new s) stem, the wages
of labor, whether employed in manu
factures, agriculture,commerre, or nav
igation, have been augmented. The
toiling millions, whose daily labor fur
nishes the supp'y of food and raiment,
and all the necessaries and comforts of
life, are receiving higher wages, and
more steady and permanent employ
ment than in any other country, or at
any previous period of our own history.
So successful have bepn all branches
of our industry, that a foreign war,
which generallly diminishes the resour
ces of a nation, has in no essential
degree retarded our onward progress,
or checked our general prosperity.
With such gratifying evidences of
prosperity, and of the successful oper
ation of the revenue act of 1S46, eve
ry consideration of public policy re
commends that it shall remain un
changed. It is hoped that the sys
tem of impost duties which it establish
ed may be regarded as the permanent
policy of the country, and that the great «
interests affected by it may not again
be subject to be injuriously disturbed,
as they have heretofore been, by fre
quent and sometimes sudden changes.
For the purpose of increasing the
ri venue,and without changing or modi
fying the rates imposed by the act of
1846 on the datiable articles embraced
by its provisions, I again recommend
to your favorable consideration the *»
pediency of levying a revenue duty X*
tea and coffee. The policy which ey*
empted these articles from dpty during
peace, and when the revenue to be de
rived from them was not needed, cea
ses to exist when the country is enga
ged in war, and requires the use of alT
its available resources. It is a tsx
whieli will be so generally diffused a
| mong the people, that it would be felt
oppressively by none, and be complain
ed of by none. It is believed that there
are not, in the list of imported articles,
any which are more properly the sub
ject of war duties, than tea and coffee.
It is estimated that three millions-of
dollars would be derived annually by a
moderate duty imposed on these arti
Should Congress avail itself of this
additional source of revenue, not only
would the amount of the public loan
rendered necessary by the war with
Mexico be diminished to that extent,
but the public credit, and the public
confidence in the ability and determina
tion of the government to meet all its
engagements promptly, would be more
firmly established, and the reduced a
mount of the loan which it may be ne
[Concluded on 2d Page.]

xml | txt