Newspaper of Bedford Gazette, December 14, 1866, Page 1

Newspaper of Bedford Gazette dated December 14, 1866 Page 1
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PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE. Tranquil State of the Country. FELLOW CITIZENS OF TIIE SENATE A XD HorsF. OK REPRESENTATIVES Vfter a brief interval the Congress of he United States resumes its annual legislative labors. An all-wise and merciful Providence has abated the pestilence which visited our shores, leaving its calamitous tran s upon some portions of our country. Peace, order, tranquility and civil authority have been formally declare* 1 toexisf through out the whole of the United States. In all of the States civil authority has su persede*! the coercion of arms, ami the people, by their voluntary action, are maintaining their governments in iu.l activity and complete operation. Ihe enforcement of the laws is no .onger "obstructed in any State by combina tions too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proeoed in<rsand the animosities engendered bvAhe war are rapidly yielding to the | beneficent influences of our tree insii tutions, and to the kindly effects of un- ; restricted social and commercial inter-1 course. An entire restoration of fra- I ternal feeling must be the wish of every j ii-itriotic heart; and we will have ae-1 complislied our grandest national I achievement when, forgetting the sad ; events of the past, and remembering j pn'v their instructive lessons, we re gime our onward career as a free, pros perous and united people. Restoration of the State* South. In inv message ot tiie 4th of Decern- 1 her 186-5, Congress was informed of the j measures which had been instituted by i the Executive with a view to l he grad-1 ua l restoration of the States, in which ' tile insurrection occurred, to their rela-! jimis with the General Government.) Provisional Governors had been ap- ; i anted, Conventions called, Governors jy-teil. Legislatures assembled, mid - ators and Representatives chosen pi the Congress of the United States. I,carts had been opened for the enforce ment of laws long in abeyance. The blockade had been removed, custom houses re-established, and the Internal Revenue laws put in force, in order that the people might contribute to the national income. Postal operations had been renewed, and efforts were heing made to restore them to their former condition of efficiency. The State? themselves had been asked to take part in the high functions of amending the Constitution, and of thus j sanctioning the extinction of African slavery as one of the legitimate results of on r'i n terneci ne st ruggle. }Yhat tht Execufire Accomplished. Having progressed thus far, the Ex ecutive Department found that it had accomplished nearly all that was with in the scope of its Constitutional au thority. One thing, however, yet re mained to be done before the work of restoration could be completed, and that was the admission to Congress of val Senators and Representatives from the States whose people had re helled against the lawful authority of the General Government. This ques tion devolved upon the respective Houses, which, by the Constitution, are made the judges of the elections, returns and qualifications of their own members, and its consideration at once engaged the attention of Congress. Efforts (o Perfect ll< storation. In the meantime the Executive De partment—no other plan having been proposed by Congress—continued its efforts to perfect, as far as practicable, he restoration of the proper relations -tween the citizens of the respective sates, the States, and the Federal Gov ernment, extending, from time to time the public interests seemed to require, the judicial, revenue, and i'Ostdl systems of the country. With me advice ami consent of the Senate, the necessary officers were appointed, and appropriations made by Congress for the payment of their salaries. The proposition to amend the Federal Con stitution, so as to prevent the existence of slavery within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdic tion, was ratified by the requisite num ber of States, and on the 18th day of December, 1805, it was officially de clared to have become valid as a part of the Constitution of the United States. All ot the States in which the insur rection had existed promptly amended their < destitutions, so as to make them conform to the great change thus effect 'l in the organic law of the land ; de sired null and void all ordinances and twsof secession; repudiated all pre tended debts and obligations created >r the revolutionary purposes of the iH-urrection ; and proceeded in good nth to the enactment of measures for ne protection and amelioration of the jndition of the colored race. Uon however, yet hesitated to admit cyof these States to representation; sjid it was not until the close of the -bth month ol the session that an weption was made in favor of Ten nessee, by the admission of her Sena tors and Representatives. A Profound Regret. deem it a subject of profound regret J'WtJ ongro-, has thus far failed to ad • oi seat , loyal Senators and Repre sentatives from the other States, whose inhabitants, with those of Tennessee, "■''i engaged in the rebellion. Ten I nmr '' than one-fourth of the llu,ii '*T, remain without rep re- j ion; the scats of fifty members t 01 J'* , P res(, 'itntives and ; ' •■>.> members in the Senate are yet I 1 -jt.ii"t by their own consent, not: ■ V u . wof election, but by the re- j ■ U ot ( oi'grc-- to accept their ere-j ■ - us. i tn-ir admission, it is IM*-! OV,0 V ,! H 'htveaccomplished much j .I'our - ; b-newal and strengthening : iaov-,i . (mo Peop'<b nd re- j t in- *t ''ause o[ discontent on i u r o: tilf " inhabitants of those; u '°uld have accorded with | [m k ' 'v I'nnciptcs enunciated in the ' •I, ~"'''American Independence, ; ' ought to bear the burden 1 'ii and yet he denied the right •' 'presentation. wit*i, m!',"' 1 ' ' lav< ' heen in consonance provisions of the Con • l!ii it "each State shall have . ; ■M'Mi,. Representative," a nd "that , r its consent, shall be s j 'T'ial suffrage in the . 1 • these provisions were in ' • t' H'cure to every State, and to ■-■■it'cl, ,♦" '• (v, ' r . v State, the right of .s.. " tu """ each House of Con- I ■ i and so important was it deemed • 'of the Constitution that - e.j 1 ', 1 - v ui I' lo States in the Senate ; prex-rved, that not even by ao si.'l ' to die Constitution can ■, without its consent, la 1 de t; „,: that branch of the Na legislature. hit' '"lurexx Rfrru-tory. • '' h has been assumed that •v.t-ic'v"e' v 01 , tfl ? ,S;a tes was tcrmi •iliit n - *" e r r lK ' l,ious of their in iiviri , a " die insurrection " invfiir!::' "i ' su PP r essed, they were . lard to be considered merely .."".I "T' -l territories. The Legi,la ::i , 'defther* :,M<l • ,u,licil '. l 'B'part "r win " v, '!"fiient have, how d-iii' r\ n distinctness and tmi ■ asm, ' l ' 11{ ' v refused to sanction "• 0 ,t„I 1 hicompatible With l!n Wltft republican system, n tht Jfrofessed objects of the BY MEYERS & MENGEL. war. Throughout the recent legisla tion of Congress, the undeniable fact makes itself apparent, that these ten political communities are nothing less than States of this Union. At the very commencement of the rebellion each House declared, with a unanimity as remarkable as it was significant, that the war was not "waged, upon our part, in any spirit of oppression, nor for any purpose of conquest or subjuga tion, nor purpose of overthrowing or interfering with the rights or establish ed institutions of those States, but to defend and maintain the supremacy of the Constitution and all laws made in pursuance e thereof, and to preserve the I nion with all the dignity, equality and rights of the several States unim paired; and that as soon as these ob jects " were "accomplished the war ought to cease." In some instances Senators were per mitted to continue their legislative functions, while in other instances Re presentatives were elected and admit ted to seats after their States had for mally declared their right to withdraw from the Union, and were endeavoring to maintain that right by foreeofarms. All of the States whose people were in insurrection, as States, were included in the apportionment of the direct tax of twenty millions of dollars annually laid upon the United States by the act approved sth of August, 1861. Con gress, by the act of March 4th, 1862, and by the apportionment of Repre sentatives thereunder, also recognized their presence as States in f he Union; and they have, for judicial purposes, been divided into districts as States alone can be divided. The same re cognition appears in the recent legisla tion in reference to Tennessee, which evidently rests upon the fact that the functions of the State were not destroy ed by the rebellion, but merely sus pended ; and that principle is, of course, applicable to those States wliieh, like Tennessee, attempted to renounce their places in the Union. Action of the Executive. The action of the Executive branch of the Government upon this subject has been equally definite and uniform, and the purpose of the war was specifi cally stated in the Proclamation issued by my predecessor on the 22d day of September, 1862. it was then solemn ly proclaimed and declared that "here after, as heretofore, the war will be prosecuted for the object of practically restoring the constitutional relations between the United States and each of the States, and the people thereof, in which States that relation is or may be suspended or disturbed." The recognition of the States by the Judicial Department of the Govern ment has also been clear and conclu sive, in all proceedings affecting them as States, had in the Supreme, Circuit and District Courts. Southern Congressmen In the admission of Senators and Re presentatives from any and all the States there can be no" just ground.of apprehension that persons who are dis loyal will be clothed with the powers of legislation ; for this could not hap pen when the Constitution and laws are enforced by a vigilant and faithful Congress. Each House is made the "jucW <>f the elections, returns, and qualifications of its own members," and may, with th econeurrenee of two thirds, expel a member." When a Senator or Representative presents his certificate of election, he may at once be admitted or rejected; or, should there be any question as to his eligi bility, bis credentials may be referred for investigation to the appropriate committee. If admitted to a seat, it must be upon evidence satisfactory to the House, of which he thus become a member, that he possesses the requisite constitutional and legal qualifications. If refused admission as a member for want of due allegiance to the Govern ment, and returned to his constituents, they are admonished that none hut persons loyal to the United States will be allowed a voice in the legislative councils of the nation, and the political power and moral influence of Congress are thus effectively exerb'd in the in terests of loyalty to the Government and fidelity to the Union. Upon this question, so vitally affecting the resto ration of the Union and the perma nency of our present form of govern ment, my convictions, heretofore ex pressed,'have Undergone no change; but, on the contrary, their correctness lias been confirmed by reflection and time. If the admission of loyal mem bers to seats in the respective Houses of Congress was wise and expedient a year ago, it is no less wise and expedi ent now. If tiii- anomalous condition j s right—if, in the exact condition of these States at the present time, it is lawful to exclude them from represen tation, I do not see that the question will be changed by the efllux of time. Ten years hence, if these States remain as they are, the right of representation will he no stronger—the right of ex clusion will be no weaker. Demand for the Admission of " f ac/iU" Southerners. The Constitution of the United States makes it the duty of the President to recommend to the consideration of Con gre-s "such measures as he shall judge necessary or expedient." ! know of no measure more imperatively de manded by every consideration of na tional interest, sound policy and equal justice, than the admission of loyal members from the now unrepresented Stales. This would consummate the work of restoration, and exert a most salutary influence in the re-establish ment of peace, harmony and fraternal feeling. It would tend greatly to re new the confidence of the American people in the vigor and stability of their institutions, it would bind us more closely together as a nation, and enable us to show to the world the inherent and recuperative power of a Government founded upon the will of the people, and established upon the principles of liberty, justice and intel ''Thir increased strength and enhanced nrosnerity would irrcfragably demon strate the fallacy of the arguments mSnat free institutions drawn from S m-enTnu by the oniios of republican government. T e Emission of loyal members from the States now excluded from ( ingress, • al iyii g doubt ami apprehension l) > , Mtijtal, now awaiting an wonld tur . I v<strnPnt into the "J' 1 " ,r tricle ami industry. It ment of fertile "l"','•- ar his. t New BEDFORD, PA.. FRIDAY MORNING, DECEMBER 14. 1866 fields of enterprise would be opened to | our progressive people, and soon the | devastations of war would be repaired, j and all traces of our domestic diffcr , ences effaced from the minds of our ! countrymen. * A Word of Caution. In our efforts to preserve "the unity of the Government which constitutes us one people," by restoring the States to the.condition which they held prior to the Rebellion, we should' be cautious lest, having rescued our nation from perils of threatened disintegration, we resort to consolidation, and, in the end, absolute despotism, as a remedy for the recurrence of similar troubles. The war having terminated, and with it all occasion tor the exercise of power of doubtful constitutionality, we should hasten to bring legislation within the boundaries prescribed by the Constitu tion, and to return to the ancient land marks established by our fathers for the gu idanee of succeeding generations. "The Constitution which at any time exists, until changed by an explicit and authentic act of the people, is sacredly a? a whole obligatory upon all." "If," in the opinion of the people, the distri bution or modification of the constitu tional powers be, in any particular, wrong, let it be cor; eeted by an amend ment in the way in which " the Consti tution designates. But let there he no change by usurpation ; for it is the cus tomary weapon by which free Govern ments are destroyed." Washington spoke these words to his countrymen, when, followed by their love and grat itude, he voluntarily retired from the cares of public life. "To keep in all things wjfhin the pale of our constitu tional powers, and cherish the Federal Union astheonly rock of safety," were prescribed by Jefferson as rules of ac tion to endear to his "countrymen the true principles of their Constitution, and promote a union of sentiment and action equally auspicious to their hap piness and safety." Jackson held that the action of the General Government should always be strictly confined to the sphere of its appropriate duties, and justly and forcibly urged that our Government is not to be maintained nor our Union preserved "by invasions of the rights and powers of the sever al States. In thus attempting to make our General Government strong, we make it weak. Its true strength con sists in leaving individuals and States as much as possible to themselves; in making itself felt, not in its power but in its beneficence; not in its control, but in its protection; not in binding the States more closely to the centre, hut leaving each to move unobstructed in its proper constitutional orbit." These are the teachings of men whose deeds and services have made them illustrious, and who, long since with drawn from the scenes of life, have left to their country therich legacy of their example, their wisdom and their pa triotism. Drawing fresh inspiration from their lessons, let us emulate them in love of country and respect for the Constitution and the laws. Our Financial Status. The report of the Secretary of the Treasury affords much information re specting the revenue and commerce of the country. His views upon the cur rency, and' with reference to a proper adjustment of our revenue system, in ternal as well as impost, are commend ed to the careful consideration of Con gress In my last annual message I expressed my general views upon these subjects. I need now only call atten tion to the necessity of carrying into every department of the (Government a system of rigid accountability, thorough retrenchment,and wise econ omy. With noexoeptional nor unusu al expenditures, the oppressive burdens of taxation can be lessened by such a modification of our Revenue laws as will be consistent with the public faith, and the legitimate and necessary wants of the Government. The National Debt. The report presents a much more satisfactory condition of our finances than one year ago the most sanguine could have anticipated. During the fiscal pear ending the 30th June, ISG-~>, the la>t year of the war, the public debt was increased $941,002,#17, and on the 31st of October, 1865, it amounted to $2,740,354,750. On the 31st day of October, 1806, it had been reduced to $2,551,310,000, the diminution, during a period of fourteen months, commen cing Sept. 1, 1865, and ending October 31, 18(56, having been $200,370,505. In the last annual report on the state of the finances, it was estimated that (lu ring the three quarters of the fiscal year ending the 30th of June last, the debt would be increased $112,194,917. Du ring that period, however, it was redu ced $31,105,387, the receipts of the year having been $89,905,005 more, and the expenditures $200,529,235 less than the estimates. Nothing could more clear ly indicate than these statements the extent and availability of the national resources, and the rapidity and safety with which, under our form of Gov ernment, great military and naval es tablishments can he disbanded, and ex penses reduced from a war to a peace footing. Receipts For The Fiscal Year. During the tiscai year ending t he 30th of June, 18Gt>, tlie receipts were $558,- 032,(520, and the expenditures $320,- 750,040, leaving an available surplus of $>7,231,030. it is estimated that the re ceipts for the fiscal year ending tint 30th of June, 1807, will be $475,001,330, and that the expenditures will reach the sum of $310,428,078, leaving in the Treasury a surplus $153,033,308. For the fiscal year ending June 30, 1808, it is estimated that the receipts will a mount to 3430,000,000, and that the ex penditures will lie $350,217,041 -show ing an excess of $85,702,35!> in favor of the Government. These estimated re ceipts may be diminished by *a reduc tion of excise and import duties; but after all necessary reductionsshall have been made, the revenue of the present and of following years will be doubt less, sufficient to cover all legitimate charges upon the Treasury, and leave a large annual surplus to be applied to the payment of the principal of the debt. There seems now to be no good reason why taxes may not be reduced as the country advances in population and wealth, and yet the debt be extin guished within the next quarter of a century. Secretary Stanton's Report. The report of the Secretary of War furnishes valuable and important in formation in reference to the operations of hisdepartmentduririg the past year. Few volunteers now remain in the ser vice, and they are being discharged as rapidly as they can be replaced by reg ular troops. The army lias been promptly paid, carefully provided with medical treatment, wert sheltered and subsisted, and is to he furnished with breech-loading small arms. The mil itary strength of the nation has been unimpaired by the discharge of volun teers, the disposition of unserviceable or perishable stores, ami the retrench ment of expenditures. Sufficient war material to meet any emergency has been retained, and. from the disband ed volunteers standing ready to respond to the national call, large armies can be rapidly organized, equipped and con centrated. _ Fortifications on the coast and fron tier have received, 01* are being prepa red for more powerful armaments; lake surveys and harbor and river im provements are in course otj energetic prosecution. Preparations have been made for the payment of the addition al bounties authorized during the re cent session of Congress, under such regulations as will protect the Govern ment from fraud, and secure to the honorably discharged soldier the well earned reward of his faithfulness and gallantry. More than six thousand maimed soldiers have received artifi cial limbs or other surgical apparatus; and forty-one national cemeteries, con taining the remains of 1JJ4.526 Union soldiers, have already been established. The total estimate of military appro priations is 205,669. Secretary 1J ettes on the Navy. It is stated in the report of the Sec retary of the Navy that the Naval force at this time consists of two hundred and seventy-eight vessels, armed with two thousand three hundred and fifty one guns. Of these, one hundred and fifteen vessels, carrying one thousand and twenty-nine guns, are in commis sion, distributed chiefly among seven squadrons. The number of men in the service is thirteen thousand six hund red. Great activity and vigilance have been displayed by all the squadrons, and their movements have been judi ciously and efficiently arranged in such manner as would best promote Amer ican commerce, and protect the rights and interests of our countrymen abroad. The vessels unemployed are undergo ing repairs, or are laid up until their services may be required. The Leayue Island I von-Clad Navy Most of the iron-clad fleet is at League Island, in the vicinity of Philadelphia, a place which, until decisive action was taken by Congress, was selected by the Secretary of the Navy as the most eli gible location for that class of vessels. It is important that a suitable public station should be provided for the iron clad fleet. It is intended that these vessels shall be in proper condition for any emergency, and it is desirable that the bill accepting League Island for naval purposes, which passed the House of Representatives at its last session, should receive final action at an early period, in order that there may be a suitable public station for this class of vessels, as well as a navy yard of area sufficient for the wants of the service, on the Delaware river. The Naval Pension fund amounts to $11,750,000, having been increased $2,750,000 during the year. The expenditures of the De partment for the fiscal year ending 30th June last, were $43,324,520., and the es timates for the coming year amount to $23,508,436. Attention is invited to the condition of our seamen, and the im portance of legislative measures for their relief and improvement. The suggestions in behalf of this deserving class of our fellow citizens are earnest ly recommended to the favorable at

tention of Congn \SS. Poxtnuider General RxindalPs Report. The report of the Postmaster Gener al presents a most satisfactory condi tion of the postal service, and submits recommendations- which deserve the consideration of Congress. The reve nues of the Department for the year ending June 30, 1860, were $14,380,980, and the expenditures $15,352,079, show ing an excess of the latter of $965,093. In anticipation of this deficiency, how ever, a special appropriation was made by Congress in the act approved July 28,1806. Including the standing ap propriation of §700,000 for free mail matter, as a legitimate portion of the revenues yet remaining unexpended, the actual deficiency for the past year is only $205,093—a sum within $51,141 of the amount estimated in the annual report of 1804. The decrease of reve nue compared with the previous year was one and one-fifth per cent., and the increase of expenditures, owing prin cipally to the enlargement of the mail service in the South was twelve per cent. On the 30th of June last there were in operation six thousand ninehundred and thirty nail routes, with an aggre gate length of one hundred and eighty 1 housand nine hundred and twenty-one miles, an aggregate annual transporta tion of severity-one millionseight hun dred and thirty-seven thousand nine hundred and fourteen miles, and an aggregate annualeost, including all ex penditures, of $8,410,184. The length of railroad routes is thirty-two thou sand and ninety-two miles,and the an nual transportation thirty millions six hundred and nine thousand four hun dred and sixty-seven miles. The length of steamboat routes is fourteen thou sand three hundred and lortv-six miles, and the annual transportation three million four hundred and eleven thou sand nine hundred and sixty-two miles. The mail service is rapidly increasing throughout the country, and its steady extension in the Southern States indi cates their constantly improving condi tion. The growing importance of the foreign service also merits attention, j The Post Office Department of Great Britain and our own agreed upon a preliminary basis fora new Postal Con vention, which it is believed, will prove eminently beneficial to the commercial interestsof the United States, inasmuch as it contemplates a reduction of the international letter postage to one-half the existing rates; a reduction of post age with all other countries toand from which correspondence is transmitted in the British mail, or in closed mails, through the United Kingdom; the es tablishment of uniform and reasonable charges for the sea and territorial trans it of correspondence in closed mails; and an allowance to each Post Office Department of the right to use all mail communications established under the authority of theothoafor the despatch of correspondence, either in open or closed mails, on the same terms as those applicable to the inhabitants of the country providing the means of transmission. <V< rrc/ary Hroicniiif/'s Exhibit Jor the Interior. The report of the Secretary of the In terior exhibits the condition of those branches of the public service which are committed to his supervision. 1 lu ring the last fiscal year, four million -ix hundred and twenty-nine thousand ' three hundred and twelveacresof pid>- lie land were'disposed of, one million ; eight hundred and ninety-two thou- j sand five hundred and sixteen acres of which were entered under the Homc j stead act. The policy originally adopt- i | ed relative to the public lands has un j dergone essential modifications. In mediate revenue, and not their rapid ; settlement, was the cardinal feature of our land system. Long experience and earnest discussion has resulted in the ! i conviction that the early development of our agricultural resources, and the diffusion of an energetic population over our vast territory, are objects of far greater importance to the national growth and prosperity than the pro-: ceeds of the sale of the land to the j highest bidder in open market. The pre-emption laws confer upon j the pioneer who complies with the terms they impose the privilege of pur- j chasing a limited portion of "unoifered lands" at the minimum price. The! Homestead enactments relieve the set- j tier from the payment of purchase : money, and secure him a permanent home, upon the condition of residence j for a term of years. This liberal policy! invites emigration from the old, and j from the more crowded portions of the ; new world. Its propitious results are ! undoubted, and will be more signally J manifested when time shall have given to it a wider development. Congress has made liberal grants of public land to corporations, in aid of the construc tion of railroads and other internal im- j provements. Should this policy here- j after prevail, more stringent provisions j will be required to secure a faithful ap- j plication of the fund. The title to the , lands should not pass, by patent or j otherwise, but remain in the Govern- j ment and subject to its control until j some portion of the road has been ac- i tually built. Portions of them might j then, from time to time, be conveyed : to the corporation, but never in a great- , er ratio to the whole quantity embra ced by the grant than the completed parts bear to the entire length of the projected improvement. This restric- j tion would not operate to the prejudice of any undertaking conceived in good , faith and executed with reasonable en ergy, as it is the settled practice to withdraw from market the lands fail ing within the operation of such grants and thus to exclude the inception of a , subsequent adverse right. A breach of the conditions which Congress may deem propor~to impose should work a forfeiture of claim to the lands so with drawn but unconveyed, and of title to the lands conveyed which remain un sold. The Pacific Railroad. Operations on the several linos of the ! Pacific Railroad have been prosecuted < with unexampled vigor and success. Should no unforeseen causes of delay occur, it is confidently anticipated that this great thoroughfare willbe com pleted before the expiration of the period designated by Congress. Payment of Pensions. During the last fiscal year the amount paid to pensioners, including the ex penses of disbursement, was thirteen ' million four hundred and fifty-nine \ thousand nine hundred and ninety-six ' dollars; and fifty thousand one Jiun- 1 dred and seventy-seven names were - added to the pension rolls. The entire 1 number of pensioners, June 30, 186(5, ' was one hundred and twenty-six thou- . sand seven hundred and twenty-two. This fact furnishes melancholy and striking proof of the sacrifices made to ] vindicate the constitutional authority ] of tiie Federal Government, and to < maintain inviolate the integrity of the i Union. They impose upon us corres- ! ponding obligations. It is estimated > that thirty-three million dollars will 1 he required to meet the exigencies of : this branch of the service during the i next fiscal year. s Treaties icith the Indians. Treaties have been concluded with ' the Indians who enticed into armed 1 opposition to our Government at the -! outbreak of the rebellion, have uncoil- ■ ditioually submitted to our authority, and manifested an earnest desire for a 1 renewal of friendly relations. ! The Patent Office. During the year ending September ' 30, 1866, eight thousand seven hundred ' and sixteen patents for useful inven- ' tions and designs were issued, and at , that date the balance in the Treasury . to the credit of the Patent fund was two hundred and twenty-eight thousand The Mississippi Levees. As a subject upon which depends an immense amount of the production and commerce of the country, I reeom- 1 mend to Congress such legislation as 1 may be necessary for the preservation ' of the levees of the Mississippi river. _ It is a matter of national importance : that early steps should be taken not \ only to add to the efficiency of these . barriers against destructive inunda- J tions, but for the removal of all oh- ' structions to the free and safe naviga- \ tion of that great channel of trade and > [ commerce. 1 lep reset on for the DMrlef of Colum- The District of Columbia,iindor exist ing laws, is not entitled to that repre sentation in the National Councils which, from our earliest history, has been uniformly accorded to each Terri tory established from time to time with in our limits, it maintains peculiar re lations to Congress, to whom the Con stitution has granted the power ofexer cising exclusive legislation over the seat of Government. Our fellow citi zens residing in the District, whose in terests are thus confided to the special guardianship of Congress, exceed in number the population of several ofour territories, and no just reason is per ceived why a delegate of their choice should not he admitted to a seat in the House of Representatives. No mode seems so appropriate and effectual of enabling them to make known their peculiar condition and wants, and of se curing the local legislation adapted to them. T therefore recommend the i<as sage of a law authorizing t he electors o" the District of Columbia to choose a delegate, to be allowed the same rights and privileges as a delegate represent ing a territory. The increasing enter priseand rapid progress of improvement in the District are highly gratifying, and i trust-that the efforts of the muni cipal authorities to promote the pros perity of the National metropolis will receive the efficient audgenerouseo-op eration of Congress. Agriculture. The report of the Commissioner of Agriculture reviews the operations of his department during the past year, and asks the aid of Congress in its eff orts to encourage those States which scourged by war, are now earnestly en- VOL 61.—WHOLE No. 5.376. gaged in the reorganization of domestic industry. ('ausefor Congratulation. It is a subject of congratulation that no foreign combinations against our do mestic peace and safety, or our legiti -1 influence among the nations, have been formed or at tempted. Whilesentiments of reconciliation, loyalty and patriotism have increased at home, a more just consideration of our national character and rights has been manifested by for eign nations. The Atlantic Telegraph. The ent ire success of the Atlantic Tel egraph between the coast of Ireland and the Province of Newfoundland, is an achievement which has been justly cel ebrated in both hemispheres as the op ening of an era in the progress of civili zation. There is reason to expect that equal success will attend, and even greater results follow, the enterprise for connecting the two Continents through the Pacific* ocean by the pro jected lineof telegraph between Kamts chutka and the Russian Possessions in America. Emigration of Foreign Convicts. The resolution of < .'engross protesting against pardons by foreign Govern ments of persons convicted of infamous offenses, on condition of emigration to our country, has been communicated to the States with which we maintain in tercourse, and the practice, so justly the subject of complaint on our part, has not been renewed. Congress and the Emperor of Russia. The congratulations of Congress to tlx* Emperor of Russia, upon his escape from attempted assassination, have been presented to that humane and en lightened ruler, and received by him with expressions of grateful apprecia tion. Emigration of Freedmen to Foreign Lands. The Executive, warned of an attempt by Spanish-Americanadventiires to in duce the emigration of freedmen of the United States to a foreign country, pro tested against the project as one which, if consummated, would reduce them to a bondage even more oppressive than that from which they have just been reliev ed. Assurance has been received from the Government of the State in which the plan was matured, that the proceed ing will meet neither its encouragement nor approval. It is a question worthy of your consideration, whetherouriaws upon this subject are adequate to the prevention or punishment of the crime thus meditated. Our Relations with France, and Mexico. In the month of April last, as Cong ress is aware, a friendly arrangement was made between the Emperor of France and the President of the United States for the withdrawal fiom Mexico of the French expeditionary military forces. This withdrawal was to he ef fected in three detachments, the first of which it was understood, would leave Mexico in November, now past, the second in March next, and the third and last in November, 18(57. Immedi ately upon the completion of the evacu ation, the French Government was to assume the same attitude of non-inter vention in regard to Mexico, as is held by the Government of the United States. Repeated assurances have been given by the Emperor, since that agree ment, he would complete the promised evacuation within the period mention ed. or sooner. JTinisfer Campbell and Lieutenant- Gener al Sherman. It was reasonably expected that the proceeding thus contemplated would ]>roduce a crisis of great political inter est in the Republic of Mexico. The newly appointed Minister of the United States, Mr. Campbell, was, therefore, sent forward, on the lltth day of Novem ber last, to assume his proper functions as Minister Plenipotentiary of the Uni ted States to that Republic, it was al so thought expedient that he should be attended in the vicinity of Mexico by the Lieutenant-Ueneral of the army of the United States, with the view ofob taining such information as might be important to determine the course to he pursued by the United States in re-es tablishing and maintaining; necessary and proper intercourse with the Repub lic of Mexico. Deeply interested in the cause of liberty and humanity, it seem ed an obvious duty on our part to exer cise whatever influence we possessed for the restoration and permanent es tablishment in that country of a domes tie and republican form government. Napoleon Goes back on His word. Such was the condition of affairs in regard to Mexico, when on the 22(1 of November last, official information was received from Paris that the Emperor of France had some time before decid ed not to withdraw a detachment of his forces in the month of November past, according to engagement, but that this decision was made with the purpose of withdrawing the whole of those forces in the ensuing spring. Of this deter mination, however, the United States had not received any notice or intima tion ; and, so soon as the information was received by the Government, care was taken to make known its dissent to the Emperor of France. I cannot forego the hope that France will re-consider the subject, and adopt some resolution in regard to the evacu ation of Mexico which will conform as nearly as practicable with the existing engagement, and thus meet the justex pectations of the United States. The papers relating to the subject will be laid before you. It is believed that with the evacuation of Mexico by the expe ditionary forces, no subject for serious differences, between France and the United States would remain. The ex pressions of the Emperor and people of France warrant a hope that the tradi tionary friendship between the two countries might, in that case, be renewed and permanently restored. Adjustment of Claims for hlemnUy. A claim of a citizen of the United States for ideinnit.v for spoliations com mitted on the high seas by the French authorities, in the exercise of a bellig erent power against Mexico, lias been met by the Governmentof France with a proposition to defer settlement until a mutual convention for the adjustment of all claim- of citizens and subjects of both countries, arising out ofthe recent wars on this continent shall be agreed upon by the twocountries. The sugges tion is not deemed unreasonable, but-it belongs to < 'ongress to direct the man ner in which claims for indemnity by foreigners, as well as by citizens of the United States, arising out of the bite civil war, shall be adjudicated and de termined. I have no doubt that the sub ject of all such claims will engage your attention at a convenient and proper time. • The United States and Great Britain. It is a matter of great regret that no considerable advance has been made to wards an adjustment of the differences between the United States and Great Britain, arising out of the depredations upon our national commerce and ot her trespasses committed during our civn war by British subjects, in violation of international law and treaty obliga tions. The delay, however, may be be lieved to have resulted in no small de gree from thedome-t icsituation of Great Britain. An entire change of ministry occurred in that country during the last session of Parliament. The attention of tli' new ministry was called to the.sub ject at an early day, and tliere is some reason to expect that it will now be con sidered ina tM'coming and friendly spir it. The importance of an early disposi tion of the cjuestion cannot be exagger ated. Whatever might be the wishes of the two Governments, it is manifest that good will and friend-hip between the twoeonntrie-cannot be established until a reciprocity, in the practice of good faith and neutrality, shall lie res tored between the respective nations. Tin Fenian Affair of W June On the 6th of June last, in violation of our Neutrality laws, a military expe dition and enterprise against British North American Colonies was projected and attempted to IK* carried on within the territory and jurisdiction of the Uni ted States. In obedience to the obliga tion imposed upon the Executive by the Constitution, to see that the laws are faithfully executed, all citizens were warned, bv proclamation, against tak ing part in or aiding such unlawful proceedings, and the proper civil, mili tary, and naval officers were directed to take all necessary measures for the en forcement of the laws. The expedition failed, but it has not been without its painful consequences. Some of our citi zens, who, it was alleged, were engaged iii the expedition, were captured, and have been brought to trial as for a cap ital offense, in the province of Canada. Judgment and sentence of death have been prononunced against some, while others have been acquitted. Fully be lieving in the maxim of government, that severity of civil punishment for misguided persons who have engaged in revolutionary attempts which have disastrously failed, is unsound and un wise, such representations have been made to the British Government in be half of the convicted persons, as being sustained by an enlightened and Jiu inaue judgment, will, it is hoped, induce in their cases an exercise of clemency, and a judicious amnesty to all who were engaged in the movement. Counsel has been employed by the Government to defend citizens of the United States on trial for capital offenses in Caijada; and adiscontinuanceof the prosecutions which were instituted in the courts of the United States against those who took part in thcexpedition lias been di rected. llow the President Views the Subject. I have regarded theexpeditionasnot only political in its nature, hut as also in a great measure foreign from the 1 ni ted States in its causes, character and objects. The attempt was understood to be made in sympathy with an insur gent party in Ireland, and, by striking at a British province on this Continent, was designed to aid in obtaining redress for political grievances which, it was assumed, the people of I reland had suff ered at the handsofthe British Govern ment during a period of several centu ries. The persons engaged in it were chiefly natives of that country, some of whom had, while others had not be come citizens of the United States un der our general laws of naturalization. Complaints of misgovernment in Ire land continually engage the attention of the British nation, and so great an agitation is now prevailing in Ireland that the British Government have deem ed it necessary to suspend the writ of habeas corpus in that country. These circumstances must necessarily modify the opinion which we might otherwise have entertained in regard to an expe dition expressly prohibited by ourNeu tralitv laws. So long as those laws re main uponourstatueuooks, they should be faithfully executed, and if they ope rate harshly, unjustly or oppressively, ("ongress alone can apply the remedy, by their modification or repeal. A Representation Wanted for Greece. Political and commercial interests of the United States are not unlikely to be affected in some degree by events which are transpiring in the Eastern regions of Europe, and the time seems to have come when our Government ought to have a proper diplomatic rep resentation in Greece. The Right of Self-Expatriation. This Goveenment has claimed for all persons not convicted, or accused, or suspected of crime, an absolute politi cal right of self-expatriation, and a choice of new national allegiance. Most of the European State.-, have dis sented from this principle, and have claimed a right to hold such of their subjects as have emigrated to and been naturalized in the United States, and afterwards returned on transient visits to their native countries, to the per formance of military service in like manner as resident subjects. Complaints arising from the claim in this respect made by foreign States, have heretofore been matters of contro versy between the United States and some of the European powers, and the irritation consequent upon the failure to settle this question increased during the war in which Prussia, Italy ana Austria were recently engaged. While Great Britain lias never acknowledged the right of expatriation, she has not practically insisted upon it. France has been equally forbearing; and Prus sia has proposed a compromise, which, although evincing increased liberality, has not been accepted by the United States. Peace is now prevailing every where in Europe, and tin* present seems to be a favorable time for an assertion bv Congress of the principle, so long maintained by the Executive Depart ment, that naturalization by one State fully exempts the native born subject of any other State from the perform ance of military service under any for eign Government, as long as he does not voluntarily renounce its rights and benefits. .1 Trying Ordeal. In the performance of a duty impos ed upon me by the Constitution, 1 have thus'submitted to the Representatives of the States and of the people such in formation of our domestic and foreign a (fairs as the public interests seem to require. Our Government is now un dergoing its most trying ordeal, and my earnest prayer is, that the peril may be successfully and finally passed with out impairing its original strength and symmetry. The interests of the nation are best to be promoted by the revival of fraternal relations, the complete ob literation of our past differences and the reinauguration of all the pur suits of peace. I firecting our efforts to the early accomplishment of these great ends, let us endeavor to preserve harmony between the co-ordinate de partments of the Government, that each in it- proper sphere may cordially co-operate with the other in securing the maintenance of the Constitution, the preservation of the Union and the y perpetuity of our free institutions. ANDREW JOHNSON. , WASHINGTON, Dee. 3, istiti.