Washington Bee, December 18, 1857

Washington Bee

December 18, 1857

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Issue date: Friday, December 18, 1857

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Washington Bee (Newspaper) - December 18, 1857, Washington, Indiana THE WASHINGTON I WOULD RATHER BE RIGHT THAN BE PRESIDENT—Henry Clay. VOL. Î.WASHINGTON, DAAaESS COUNTY, INDIANA, DECEMBER 18, 1857. NO. 20. THE WASHINGTON BEE. rDBLIBHED KVKKY rHIUiV MORNINO BT JAMES AVILKINS, EDITOR and PROPKIETOR. TKRSIS OF SUBSCRIPTIOSr. Une copy one year, in advance,................ Fiflcen copies’oue year, in advance,........... SI 50 , 20 UO PRESIDKHTT’S messagk. Feliov) Citizens of the Senate and House of Representatives: In obedience to the command of thn constitution, it has now become my duty “to give to Congre.ss information of the state of the Union, and recommend to their consideration such measures ” as I judge to be “neccssary aud expedient.” But first:, and above all, our thanks are due to Almiglitr God fur the numerous benefits ■which he ha» bestowed upon this peop e, and our united prayers ought to asceud to Him that He would continue to oless our great Republic in time to come as he has blessed it in time past. Siuce tlie adjournment of the last Congress piir constituents have enjoytd an unusal degree of health. The eai-tli has vielded her fruits «ou« dantly, and has bountifully rewarded tlie toil of the husbandman. Our great staples have commanded high prices, and, up to within a brief period, our manufacturing,mineral, and mechanical occupations have largely partaken of the general prosperity. We have posses.sed tlie elements of material wrealth in Mch abundance, and yet, notwithstanding all tliese advantages, our country, in its mouetary interests, is at the present moment in a deplorable condition. In the midst of unsurpassed plenty in all tiie productions of agriculture and in all the elements of national wealth,_we find our rnanufac tures suspended, our public works retarded, our private enterprises of different kinusabandoiied, and thousands of useful laborers thrown out cf employment and reduced to -want. The revenue of the government, which is chiefly derived from duties on imports from abroad, has heen greatly reduced, whilst the appropriations made by Congress at its last session for the cur-■ xent fiscal year are very large in amount. Under the circumstances, a loan ni.ay be re-■quired before the close of your present session ; but this, although tobe deeply regretted, would prove to be only a slight misfortune wlien compared ^th the suffering and distress prevailing sraiong the people. With this the goveriiment <5annot fail deeply to sympathize, though it may be without the, power to extend relief. It is our duty to inquire what has prodnced :8uoh unfortunate results, and whether their recurrence can be prevented ? In all former revulsions,. the blame might have been fairly attributed to a variety of co-operating cau.ses; but not so upon the present occasisn. Itis apparent that our existing misfortu'jes have proceeded solely from our extravagant and vicious system ■of paper currency and banking credits, exciting the people to wild speculations and gambling in sjtocks. These revulsions must continue to re cur at successive intervals so long as tlie amount of the paper currency and bank loans and dis counts of the country .shall be left to the disere-tion ofgfourteen hundred irresponsible banking institutions, which, from the very law of thoir uature, will consult tlie interests of their stockholders, rather than the public welfare. Tlie friends of tlie constitution, when they gave to Congress the power “ to coin money, jind to regulate the value thereof,” and prohibited the States from coining money, emitting bills ■of credit, or making anydiing but gold and .-.il-vercoin a tender in payment of- debts, supposed they had protected the people against the evils ■of an excessive and irredeemable paper currency. They are not responsible for tiie existing anomaly that, a government endowed with the sovereign attributes of coining money aud regulating the value thereof should have iio power to prevent others from driving this coin out of the country and filling up the channels of circulation with paper, which docs uot represent gold and silver. It is one of the highest and most responsible Julies of the government to insure the people a seundcirculating medium, the amount of whicli ought to be adapted with the utmost possible ■wisdom and skill to the Van.s of internal trade aud foreign exchanges. If this be cither greatly above or greatlv below the proper st<;ndard, llio marketable value of every man’s property is iucreased or fliminished in the same proportion, and injustice to individuals as well as incalculable evils to the community are the conse-•quence. Unfortunately, under the construction of the federal constitution which has now prevailed too long to be changed, this imponant aud -delicate duty has been dissevered, from the coining power, and virtually transferred to mom than fourteen hundred State banks, acting independently of each other, aud regu-latis^ their paper issues almost exclusively by ft regard to the interests of their stockhold-■ers. Exercising the .sovereign power of provi-•ding a paper currency instead of coin for the country, the first duty ■which these banks owe to the public is to keep in their vaults a sufficient amount of gold and silver to insure the convertability of their notes into coin at all times and under all circumstances. Jfo bank ought ever to be chartered without such restrictions on its business as to secure this result. All other restrictions are comparatively vain. This is the only true touchstone, the only ef-£cient regulator of a paper currency—the only «ne which can guard the public against overissues and bank suspensions. As a collateral and eventual security it is doubtless wise, and in all cases ought to be required, that banks £hall hold an amount of United States or State securities equal to their notes in circulation and pledged for their redemption, This, however, furnishes no adequate security againirt over-is-sues: on the contrary, it may be perverted to inflate the currency. Indeed, it is possible by this means to convert all the debts of the United States into bank notes, without reference to.the specie required to redeem tliem. However valuable these securities may be in themselves, they cannot be converted into gold and silver at the moment of pressure, as our ex* perience teaches, in sufficient time to prevent bank suspensions and the depreciation of bank notes. In England, which is to a considerable extent a paper money country, though vastly behind our own in this respect, it was deemed ad-vis«ble, anterior to the act of Parliament'of 1844, which wisely separated the issue of notes from the banking department, for the Bank of England always to keep on hand gold and silver equal to one-third of its combined circulation and deposits. If this proportion was no mere thain sufficient to secure the convertability of its notes, with the -whole of Great Britain, and to some extent tlie continent of Europe as a field for its circulation, Tendering it almost impossible that a sudden and immediate run lo a dangerous amount should toe made upon it, the same proportion would certainly be insuflScieut under our banking system. £ach of our fourteen hundred banks has but a limited circumference for its circulation, and in the course of a very few days the depositors and note holders might demand from such a bank a sufficient amount in specie to compel it to suspend, even although it had coin in its vaults equal to one-third of its immediate liabilities. And yet, I am not aware, with the exception of the banks of Louisiana, that any State bank throughout the Union has been required by the charter to keep this or any other proportion of gold and silver compared with the amount of Its combined circulation and deposits. What •has been the consequence ? In a recent report made by the Treasury Department on the condition of the banks throughout the different States, according to the returns dated nearest to January, 1857, the aggregate amount of actual fip^ie in their vaults is $58,-369,838, of their cir-lation $214,778,822, and of their deposits $230,-351,352. Thus it appears that these banks in the aggregate have considerably less than one dollar in seven of gold and silver compared ■with their circulation and deposits. It was palpable, therefore, that the very first pressure must drive them to suspension, and deprive the people of a convertable currency with all its disastrous consequences. It is truly wonderful that they should have so long continued to preserve their credit, when a demand for ilie payment of one-seventli of their immediate liabilities would have driven them into insolvency. iind this is the Condition of the banks, not-witlistanding that four hundied millions of gold from California have flowed in upon us williin the last eight years; and tlie tide still continues to flow. Indeed, such has been the extravagance of bank credits that the banks now hold a con-sidei-ably less araoiint of specie, either in proportion to their capital or to their circulation and deposits combined, th.m they did before the discovery of gold in Califoniia. Whilst in the year 1848 their specie, in proportion to tlieir capital, was more than^qual to one dollar for four and a half; in 1857 it does not amount to one dollar for 'every six dollars and thirty cents of their capital. In the'year 1848 the specie was equal, within a very small fraction to one dollar in five of their circulation and deposits. From tliis statement it is easy to account for our financial history for tiie last forty years. It has been a history of extravagant expansions in the business of the country, followed by ruinous contractions. At successive intervals the best and most enterprising men have been tempted to their ruin by excessive bank loans of mere paper credit, exciting them to extravagant importations of foreign goods, ■n’ild speculations, and ruinous and demoralizing stock gambling. Wiieii the crisis arrives, as arrive it must, the banks can e.vtend no relief to the people. In a vain struggle to redeem their liabilities in specie they are compelled to contract their loans and their issues ; and at last, in the hour of their distress, when their assistance is most needed, they and their debtors together sink into insolvency. It is this paper .system of extravagant expansion, raising the nominal price of every article far beyond its real value, when compared with the cost of similar articles in cijuntries whose circulation is wisely regulated, 'which has prevented us from competing in our own markets witli foreign manufacturers, has produced extravagant importations, and has counteracted the e&ct of the large incidental protection afforded to our domestic manufactures by the present revenue tariff. But for tliis tlie branches of our manufactures composed of raw materials, the production of our own country—.such as cotton, iron, and woolen fabrics—would not only liave acquired almost exclusive possession of the home market, but would have created for themselves a foreign market throughout the world. Deplorable, however, as may be our present financial condition, -we may yet indulge in bright hopes for the future. No other nation has ever existed which could have endured such violent expansions and contractions of paper credit without lasting injury; yet the buoyancy of youth, the energies of our population, and the spirit which rever quails before difficulties, will enable us soon to recover from our present financial embarrassment, and may even occasion us speedily to forget the lessons ■which they have taught. I'’, in the meantime, isthedi.tyof the government, by all proper means within its power, to aid iu alleviating the sufferings of the people occasioned by the suspension cf the baiilis, and to.provide again.st the recurrence of the same calamity. Unfortunately, in either aspect of the case, it can do but little. Thanks to the independent treasury, the government has not suspended payment, as it was compelled to do by tlie failure of the banks in 1837. It, will continue to di-cliarge its liabilities to the people in gold and silver. Its disbursements iu coin will pass into circulation, and niateri:dly assist in restoring a sound currency. From its higli credit, .should we be compelled to.make a temporary loan, it can be effected oil .idvautageous terms. . This, however, shall, if possible, be avoided; but, if not, then the amount shall be limited to the lowest practicable sum. I have, therefore, determined that, whilst no useful government -works already in progress shall be suspended, liew works, not already commenced, will be postponed, if this can be done -without injury to the country, Those ncc-esiary for its defense shall proceed a^ though there had been no crisis in our monetary affairs. But the Federal Government cannot do much to provide against a recurrence of existing evils. Even if insurmountable constitutional objections did not exist against the creation of a National Bank, this would furnish no adequate preventive security. The history of tlie last 13ank of the United States abundantly proves the truth of this assertion. Such a bank could not, if it would regulate the issues and credits of fourteen hundred S.ate banks in such a manner as to prevent the ruinous e.xpansions and contractions in our cuiTency which afflicted us throughout tlie existence of the late bank, or secure us agaiiist-future suspensions. , In 1825 an effort was made by the Bank of England to curtail the issues of the country banks ujder the most favoi able circumstances. The paper currency had been expanded to a ruinous extent, and the bank put forth all its power to contract it in o' der to reduce prices and restore the equilibrium of foreign exchanges. It accordingly commenced a system of cuitailment of its loans and issues, in the vain hope that the joint stock and private banks of the kingdom would be compelled to follow its example. It found, however, that as it contracted they expanded, and at the end of the process, to employ the language of a very hi^h official authority, “whatever reduction of the paper circulation was effected by tlie iiank of England (iu 1625) was more than made up by the issues of the country banks.” But the Bank of the United States would not, if it could, restrain the issues and loans of the St-ate banks, because its duty as a regulator of the currency must often be in direct conflict wilh the immediate interests of its stockholders. If we expect one agent to restrain or control another, tlieir intei'ests must, at least iu some de gree, be antagonistic. But the directors of a Bank of the United States would feel the same interest and the .'•ame inclination with the direct ors of the State banks to expand the currency, to aecommodate their favorites and friends with loans, and to declare large dividends. Such has been our experience in regard to the last bank. After all, we must naainly rely upon the patriotism and wisdom of the States for the prevention aud redress of the evil. If they will afford us a real specie basis for our paper cireula tion by increasing the denomination of bank notes, first to t'wenty, and afterwards to fifty dollars; if they will require that the banks shall at all times keep on hand at least one dollar of gold and silver for every three dollars of their circulation and deposits; and if they will provide by a self-executing enactment, whicli nothing can arrest, that the moment they suspend they shall go into liquidation, I believe that such provisions, with a weekly publication by each bank of a statement of its condition, would go far to secure us against future suspensions of specie payments. Congress, in my opinion, possesses the power to pass a uniform banknipt law applicable to all banking institutions throughout the United States, and I strongly recommend its exercise. This would make it the irreversible organic lair of each bank’s existence, that a suspension of specie payments shall produce its civil death. The iu.stii.et of self-pieservation would then compel it to perform its duties in such a manner as to escape tlie penalty aud preserve its life. The existence of banks and the circulation of bank paper are so identified with the habits of our people, that they cannot at this day be suddenly abolished without much immediate injury to the country. If we could confine them to currency aud confine them to the functions of banks of deposit and discount. Our relations with foreign governments are, upon the i.Vhole, in a satisfactory condition. The diplomatic difficulties which existed between the governments ot the United States and that of Great Britain at the adjournment of the last Congress have been happily terminated by the appointment of a British Minister to this country , who has been cordially received. Whilst it is greatly to the interest, as I am convinced it is the sincere desire, of the governments and the people of the two countries to be on terms of intimate frienilship with each other, it has been our misfortune almost always to have had some irritating, if not dangerous, outstanding question with Great Britain. Since the origin of the government, we have been employed in negotiating treaties with that power, and afterwards in discussing their true intent and meaning. In this respect the convention of April 19, 1850, commonly called the Clayton and Bulwer treaty, has been the most unfortunate of all; because the twogo-i'ernmeuts place directly opposite and contradictory, constructions upon its first and most important article. Whil.st, in the United State.', we believed that this treaty would place both powers on an exact equality by the stipulation that neither will ever “occupy, orfortifv, or colonize, or assume, or exercise any dominion,” over any part of Central America, it is contended by the British government that the true construction of this language has left them in the rightful possession of all that portion of Central America which was in their occupancy at the date of the treaty; in fact, that the treaty is a virtual recognition on the part of the United States of the right of Great Britain, either as owner or protector, to the whole extensive coast of Central Anieric.T, sweeping round from the Rio Hondo to the port and harbor of San Juan del Nicaragua, together with the adjacent Bay Islands, except tlie coni- Earatively small portion of this between the arston and Cape Honduras. According to their construction, the treaty does no more than simply prohibit them from extending their possessions in Central America beyond the present limits. It is not too much to assert that if in the United States the treaty had been considered susceptible of such a construction, it never would have been negotiated under the authority of the Pi-esident, nor -would it have received the approbation of the Senate. The universal conviction in the United Stales was, that when our government consented to violate its traditional and time honored policy, and to stipulate wilh a foreign government never to occupy or acqurie territory in the Central American portion of our own continent the consideration for this sacrifice was that Great Britain should, in this respect at least, be placed in the same position with ourselves. Whilst we have no right to doubt the sincerity of the British government in their construction of the treaty, it i.= at the same time my deliberate conviction that this coustruction is in opposition both to its letter aud its spirit. Under the late administration negotiations were instituted between the two governments for the purpo,se, if possible, of removing these difficulties; and a treaty having this laudable object in view was signed at Loudon on tlie 17th of October, 1856, and was si:bmitted by the President to the Senate on the following lOth of December. Whetlier this treaty, either in its original or amended form, would have accomplished the object intended without giving birth to new and embarrassing complications between the two governments, may perhaps be well questioned. Certain it i.s, however, it was rendered much less objectionable by the difterent amendments made to it by the Senate. The treaty, as amended, was ratified by me on the 12th of March, 18.57, and was transmitted to London for ratification by the British government. That government ex-pres.sed its willingness to concur iu all the amendments made by the Senate with the single exception of the clause relating to Ruatan and the other islands in the Bay of Honduras. The article iu the original treaty, as submitted to the Senate, after reciting that these islands aud their inhabitants “having been by a convention bearing date the 27th day of Au.gust, 185G, bet-v*een her Britannic Majesty and the Republic of Honduras, constituted aud declared a free territoiy under the sovereignty of the said Republic of Honduras,” stipulated that the two contracting powers do hereby mutually engage to rccognize aud respect in all future time the independence and rights of the said free territory as a part of the Republic of Hondurr.s.” Upon an examination of this convention between Great Britain and Honduras of the 27tli August, 1856, it was found that, -whilst'declar-ing the Bay Islands to be "a/ree territory un der the sovereignty of the republic of Honduras,” it deprived that republic of rights without which Its sovereignty over them could scarcely be said to exist. It divided them from the re mainder of Honduras, and gave to their inhabitants a separate government of their own, with legislative, executive, and judicial officers elected by themselves. It deprived the government of Honduras of the taxing power in every form, and exempted the people of the island from the performance of military duty, except for their owu exclusive defense. It also prohibited that republic from erecting fortifications upon them for their pro tection—thus leaving them open to invasion from any quarter; and, finally, it provided that “slavery shall not at any time hereafter be per- norant of the “provisions and conditions” which might be contained in a future convention between the same parties, to sanction them in advance. The fact is, that when two nations like Great Britain and the.United States, mutually desirous as they are, and I trnst ever may be, of maintaining the most friendly relations w'ith each other, have unfortunately concluded a treaty which they understand in senses directly opposite, the wisest course is to abrogate such a treaty by m>itual consent, and to commence anew. Had this been done promptly, all difficulties in Ceii-^ral America would most probably, ere this, liave been adjusted \o tlie satisfaction of both parties. The time spent in discussing the meaning of the Clay ton and Bul^wer treaty would have been devoted to this praiseworthy purpose, and the task would have been the more easily accomplished, because the interest of the two countries in Central America is identical, being confined to securing safe transits over all the routes across the Isthmus. Whilst entertaining these sentiments, I shall nevertheless not refuse to contribute to any reasonable adjustment of the Central American questions which is not practically inconsistent wilh the American inteipretation of the treaty Overtures for this purpose have been recently made by the British Government in a friendly spirit, which I cordially reciprocate; but whether this renewed effort will result iu success, I am not yet prepared to express an oi^inon. A brief period will determine. With Fjancc our ancient relations of friendship still continue to exist. The French government have in several recent instances which need not be enuumerated, evinced a spirit of good will and kindness towards our country which I heartily reciprocate. It is, notwithstanding, much to be regretted that two nations whose productions are of such a character as to invite the most extensive exchanges and freest commercial intercourse, should continue to enforce ancient and obsolete restrictions of trade against each other. Our commi roial ti’ca'y with France is in this respect an exception from our treaties with all other commercial nations. It jealously levies discrimi .a'iug duti-s lo‘h on tonnage and on articles, the growth, produce, or manufacture of the one country, ■when arriving in vessels belonging to the other. Mòre than forty years ago, on the ?d of March, 1815, Congress passed .-in ait offering to all nations to admit their vessels laden -with their national productions into the ports of the United States upon the same terms with our own vessels, provided they would reciprocate to us similar advantages. This act confined the reciprocity to the productions of the ^respective forsign nations ■who might enter into the proposed arrangement with the United Stales. Thj act of May 24, 1828, removed this restriction, and offered a similar reciprocity to all such vessels without reference to the origin o' their err goes. Upon these principles, our commercial treaties and arangements have been founded, except with France; and let us hope that this exci^ption may liot long exist. Our relations ■with Russia remain as they have ever been—on the most friendly footing. The present Emperor, as w'ell as his* predecessors have never failed, when the occasion offered, to manifest their good will to our country; and their friendship has always been highly appreciated by the governmenti and people of the United States. With all other European, 'governments, except that of Spain, our relations are as peaceful as we could desire. I regret to say that no progress whatever has been made, since the ad journmeiit of Congress, toward the settlomont of any of the numerous claims of our citizens against the Spanish government. Besides, the outrage committed on our flag by the Spanigli war frigate Ferrolai.a o:i the high seas, off the coast of Cuba, in Ma ch, 18r5, by firing into the American mail-steanier El Dorado, ai d detaining and searching her, remains unacknowledged and unredressed. The general tone and temper of the Spanish government toward tìiàt of the United States |is mucli to 1 e regretted. Our present envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to madrid has asked to be recalled; and it is my purpose to send out a new minister to Spain, -with special instructions on all-questions pending between the two governments, aud with a determination to have tliem speedily and amicably adjusted, if this be possible, In the mean time, whenever our minister urges the just claims of our citizens on the notice of the Spanish government, he is met-with the objection that Congress his never made the appropriation recommended by President Polk in his annual message of December 1847, “to be paid to the Spanish government for the purpose of distribution among the claimants in the Amistad case.” A similar recommendation was made by his immediate predecessor in his message of December, 1853; and entirely concurring with both in the opinion this indemnity is justly due uncier the republics on our own continent, as well as of the empire of Brazil. Our difficulties with New Grenada!, ■which a .sliort time since bore so threatening an aspect, are, it is to bo hoped, in a fair train of settlement in a manner just aud honorable to both parties. The Isthmus of Central America, including that of Panama, is the great highway between the Atlantic and Pacific, over ■which a large portion of the commerce of the world is destined to pass. The United States are more deeply interested than any other nation in preserving the freedom aud security of all communications across the Isthmus. It is our duty, therefore, to take care that they shall not be interrupted, either by invasion from our owu country or by wars between the independent States of Central America. Under our treaty wish New Grenada, of the 12th December, 1846, we are bound to guaranty the neutrality of the Isthmus of Panama, through which tlie Panama I'ailroad passes, as well as the riglits of sovereignty and property which New Grenada has and possesses over the said territory, Tliis obligation is founded upon equivalents granted by the treaty to the government and people of the United States. Under these circumstances, I recommend to Congress the passage of an act authorizing the President, in case of necessity, to employ the land and naval forces of the United Stales to carry into effect this guaranty of neutralitj' and protection. 1 also recommend similar legislation for the security of any other route across the I.sthnius iu which we may acquire an interest by treaty. With the independent republics on this continent it is bolli our duty and interest to cultivate the most friendly relations. We can never feel indifferent to their fate, and must always rejoice iu their prosperity. Unfortunately, both for them and for us, our example and advice have lost much of their influence in consequence of the lawless expeditions which have been fitted out against some of them within the limits of our country. Nothing is better calculated to retard our steady material progress, or impair our charactei' as a nation, than the t leration of such enterprises, in violation of Uiis law of nations. It is one of the first and highest duties of any independent State, in its relations with the members of the groat family of nations, to restrain the people from acts of hostile aggression against their citizens or subjects. The most eminent writers on public law do not hesitate to denounce such hostile acts as robbery and mur der. Weak and feeble States, like those of Central America, may not feel themselves able to assert aud vindicate their rights. The case would be far different if expeditious were set on foot ■within ourown territories to make private war against a powerful nation. If such expeditions ■were fitted out from abroad against any portion of our own countiy, to burn down cities, murdar and plunder our people, and usurp our government, we .should call any power on earth to the strictest account for uot preventirg such enormities. Ever since the administration of General AYashington, acts of Congress have been in forcc to punish severely the crime of setting on foot a military expedition within the limits of the United States, to proceed front thence against a nation or stale with whom ■we are at peace. The present neutrality act of April S6, 1818, is but little more than a collection of pre-existing laws. Under this act the President is empow- establish a -overumeut of their own, under the [ter. Besides, there was no question then before nnnsHt.itinn Tl.« T.„v=«nc , Cougrcss, Hor indeed has there since been any so-called Toooun    ^ the country, except that ■svhich relates to the “domestie institution” of slavery^ The convention, after an augry and excited debate, finally determined by a majority of only two, to submit the question of slavery to the people, though at the last foUy-three of the fifty delegates present affixed their signatures to the constitution, A large majority of the convention were in favor of establishing slavery iu Kansas. They accordingly inserted an article in the Constitution for this purpose, similar in form te those -which had^beeu adopted by other Territorial conver-tions. In the schedule, however, pioviding for the transition from a Territorial to a State gov-eminent, llie question has been fairly and ex-plicilly' feferred to the people whether they -will have M constitution “with or wiAoat alaveiy.'’ It declai'es that, before the constitution adopted by the convention “shall be sent to Congress for admis ion into the Union, as a State,” an election shsU be held to decide this question, at 'which all the white male inhabitants of the Territory ab»)y:e..th^e*^e‘ of twenty-one are entitled to vote, ^hey areto vote by ballot; aud “the ballots cast at said election shall be indorsed “constitution with slavery,” and “consiitution ■with no slavery.’ ’* If there be a majority in favor of the “constitution witii slavery,” then it is to be transmitted to Congress by tiie President of the convention ill its original form. If, on the contrarv. t.lipv« .shall be a majo with no slaver their appropriate sphere, and prevent them from administering toe th spirit of wild aud reckless speculation by extravagant loans and issues, they might be continued wilh advantage to the public But this I say, after long and much reflection, if experience shall prove it to be impossible to enjoy the facilities w’hich well-regulated banks mighi. afford, without at the same time suffering the calamities which the excesses of the banks have hitherto inflicted upon the country, it would then be far the lesser evil to deprive j them altogether of the power to issue a paper mitted "toexist therein.” Had Honduras ratified this Convention, she would have ratified the establishment of a State substantially independent within her own limits, and a Stale at all times subject to British influence and control. Moreover, had |llie United States ratified the treaty with Great Britain in its original form, we should have been bound “to recognize and respect, in all future time” these stipulations to the prejudice of Honduras, Being in di'"ect opposition to the spirit and meaning of the Clayton and Bulwer treaty as understood in the United States, the Senate rejected the entire clause, and substilnted in its stead a simple recognition of the sovereign right of Honduras to these islands in the following language; “The two contracting parties do hereby mutually engage to recognize and re spect the islan Is of Ruatan, Boraco, Utila, Bar baretta, Helena, and Morat, situate iu the Bay of Honduras, and off the coast of the Republic of Honduras, as under the sovereignty' and as part of the said Republic of Honduras.” Great Britain rejected this amendment, assigning as the only reason, that the ratifications of the convention of the 27th August, 1856, between her and Honduras, had not been “exchanged owing to the hesitation of that, government.” Had this been done, it is stated that "Her majesty’s government would have had little difficulty in agreeing to the modifications proposed bj' the Senate, which then would have had in effect the same signification as the “original wording.” Whether this would have been the effect; whether the mere circumstance of the exchange of the ratifications oi the Brit-i.sh convention ■with Honduras prior iu point of time to the ratification of our treaty with Great Britain ■would in, “effect,’’ have had “the same signification as the original Wording,” and thus nullified the amendment of the Senate, may well be-doubted. It is, perhaps, fortunate that the question has never arisen. The British government immediately after rejecting the treaty as amended, proposed to enter into a new treaty with the United States similar in all respects to the treaty which tli«y had just refused to ratify, if the United States would consent to add to the Senate’s clear aud unqualified recognition of the sovereignty of Honduras over the Bay Islands the following conditional stipulation; “Whenever and so soon as the Republic of Honduras shall have concluded and ratified a treaty witli Great Britain, by which Great Britain shall have ceded, and the Republic of Honduras have accepted the said islands subject to the provisions and conditions contained in such treaty.” This proposition was of course rejected.— After tlie Senate had refused to recognize the British convention with Honduras of the 27th . August, 1856, with full knowledge of its con-I tents, it was impossible for me, necessarily ig- that this indemnity is justly due under tl treaty with Spain on the 27th October, 1795, earnestly recommend an appropriation to the favorabie consideration of Congress. A treaty of friendship and commerce ■was concluded at Constantinople on the 13th December, 1856, between the United States and Pers'a, the ratifications of which were exchanged at Constantinople, on the 13th of June, 1857, and the treaty was proclaimed ^ the President on the I8th of August, 1857. ihis treaty, it is believed, will prove beneficial to American Commerce. The Shah has manifested an earnest disposition to cultivate friendly relations ■with our country, and has expressed a strong ■ivish that we should be represented at Teheran by a Minister Plenipotentiary ; and I recommend that an appropriation be made for tliis purpose. Recent occurrences in China have been unfavorable to a revision of the treaty with that empire of the 3d J uly, 1844, with a view to the security and extension of our commerce. The 34th article of this treaty stipulatsd for a revision of it, in case experience should prove this to be requisite; “in which case the two govern ments will, at tlie expiration of twelve years from the date of said convention, treat amicably concerning the same, by means of suitable persons appointed to conduct such negotiations.” These twelve years expired on the 3d of July, 1855 ; but long before that period it was ascertained that important changes in the treaty were necessary; and several fruitless attempts we^e made by the Commissioners of the United States to effect these’changes. Another effort was about to be made for the same puipose by our commissioners, in conjunction with the ministers of England and France, but this was suspended by the occurrence of hostilities iu the Canton river between Great Britain and the Chinese Empire. The hostilities have necessarily interrupted the trade of all nations with Canton, -which is in a state of blockade, and have occasioned a serious loss of life and property,. Meanwhile, the insurrectioii within the Empire, against the existing imperial dynasty, still continues, and it is difficult to auticipate what will be the result. Under these circumstances, I have deemed it advisable to appoint a distinguished citizen of Pennsylvania Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to proceed to China and avail himself of any opportunities wliich may offer, to efiect changes in the existing treaty favorable to American commerce. He left the United States for the place of his destination in July last, in the war steamer Minnesota.— S. ecial Ministers to China have also been appointed by thegovernnients of Great Britain and France. Whilst our Minister here has been instructed to occupy a neutral position in reference to the existing hostilities at Canton, he will cordially co-operate with the British and French Ministers in all peaceful measures to secure by treaty stipulations those just concessions to commerce which the nations of the world have a right to expect, aud which China cannot long be permitted to withhold. From assurances received, I entertain no doubt that the three ministers wdl act in harmonious concert to obtain similar commercial treaties for each of the powers they represent. We cannot fail to feel a deep interest in all that concerns the welfare of tlie independent ered to employ the land and naval forces and the militia “for the purpose of preventing the carrying on of any such expedition or enterprise from the territories and jurisdiction of the United States,” and the collectors of customs are authorized aud required to detain any vessel in port when tliere is reason to believe she is about to take part in such lawless enterprises. When it was first rendered- probable tiiat an attempt would be’ made to get up another unlawful expedition against Nicaragua, the Secre retaiy of State issued instructions to the marshals and district attorneys, which were directed by the Secretaries of War and the Navy to the appropriate array and navy officers, requiring them to be vigilant, and to use their best exertions in carrying into effect the provisions of 1818. Notwithstanding these precautions, the e^speditioii has escaped from our shores.— Such enterprises can do ho good to the countiy, but have already inflicted much injury both on its interests aiidi character. They have prevented peaceable emigration from the United States to the States of Central America, which could not fail to be highly beneficial to all parties concerned. In a pecuniary point of view alone, our citizens have sustained heavy losses from the seizure and closing of the transit route by the San Juan between, tlie two oceaus. The leader of the recent expedition was arrested at New Orleans, but was discharged on giving bail for his appearance in the insufficient sum of $2,000. I commend the whole subject to the serious attention of Congress, believing that our duty and our interest, as well as our national character, require that we should adopt such measures as will be affectual in restraining onr citizens from committing such outrages. I regret to iu .brm you that the President of Paraguay has refused to ratify the treaty between the United Slates and that State as amended by the Senate, the signature of which was mentioned in the message of my predecessor lo Congress at the opening of its session in December, 1853. The reason assigned for tlieir refusal will appear in the correspondence here with submittecl. It being desirous to ascertan the fitness of the river La Plata and its tributaries for navigation W steam, the United States steamer Water Witch was sent thither for that purpose in 1853. This enterprise .vas successfully carried on until February, 1855, when, whilst in the peaceful prosecution of her voyage up the Parana river, the steamer was fired upon from a Paraguayan fort. The fire ■was returned; but as the Water Witch was of small force, and uot designed for offensive operations, she retired from the conflict. The pretext upon which the attack was made was a decree of the President of Paraguay, of October, 1854, prohibiting foreign vessels of war from navigating the rivers of that State.-— As Paraguay, however, was the owner of but one bank of the river of that name, tho other belonging to Corientes, a State of tjie Argentine Confederation, the right of its government to expect that such a decree would be obeyed cannot be ackuowledged. But the Water Witch was not, properly speaking, a vessel-of-war.— She was a small steamer engaged in a scientific enterprise intended for the auvautage of commercial States generally. Under these circum stances, I am constrained to consider the attack upon her as unjustifiable, and as calling for satisfaction from the Parag^jayan government. Citizens of the United States, also, who were established iu business in Paraguay, have had their property seized and taken from them, and have otherwise been treated by the authorities in an insulting and arbitrary manner ■which requires redress. A demand for these purposes will be made in a firm but coi-ciliatory spirit. This will the more probably be granted if the Executive shall have authority to use other means in the event of a refusal. This is accordingly recommended. Itis unnecessary to stale in detail the alarm ing condition of the Territory of Kansas at tlie time of my inauguration. The opposing parties then stood iu hostile array against each other, and any accident might have relighted the flames of civil war. Besides, at this critical moment, Kansas was left without a Governor, by the resignation of Governor Geaiy. On the l9th of February previous, the Territorial Legislature had passed a law providing for the election of delegates on the third Monday of June, to a convention to meet on the first Monday of Septeniber, for the purpose of framing a constitution preparatory to admission into the Uuiori. This law was iu the main fair and jnst; and it is to be regretted that all the qualified electors had not registered themselves and voted under its provisions. At the time of tlie election for delegates, an extensive organization existed in the Territory, whose avowed object it was, if need be, to put down the lawful government by force, and to so-called Topeka constitution. The persons attached to this revolutionary organization abstained from taking any part in the election. The act of the territorial legislature had omitted to provide for submitting to the people the constitutiim which might be fratned by the convention; and in the excited state of public feeling throughout Kansas an apprehension extensively prevailed that a design existed to force upon them a Constitution in relation to slavery against their will. In this emergency it became my duty, as ic was my unquestionable riglit, ha%^ing in view the union of all good citizens in support of tho territorial laws, to express an an opinion on the true construction of the provisions concerning slavery, contained in the organic aet of Congress of tlie 30th May, 1854.— Congress declared it to be “the true intent and meaning of this act not to legislate slavery into any Territory or State, nor to exclude it there from, but to leave the people thereof perfectly free to form and regulate their domestic institutions in their own way.” Under it, Kansas, “when admitted as a State,” was to “be received into the Unicn, with or without slavery, as their constitution may prescribe at the time of their administration.”    • ^ Did Congress mean'by this language that the, delegate.* elected to frame a constitution should have autho.iity finally to decide the question of slavery, or did they intend by leaving it to the people that the people of Kansas themselves should decide this question by a dircct vote ’— On this subject I confess I had never entertained a serious doubt, and, therefore, in my instructions to Governor Walker of tho 28th March last, I merely said that when “a constitution shall be submitted to the people of the Territory, they must be protected in the exercise of their right of voting for or against that instrument, and the fair expression of the popular will must not be interrupted by fraud or violence.” • In expressing their opinion it was far from my intention to inierfere with the^decision of the people of Kansas, either for or against slavery. From this I have always carefully abstained.— Intrusted with the duty of taking “c.ire that the laws be faithfully executed,” my only desire was that the people of Kansas sliould furnish to Congress tlio evidence required by the organic act, whether for or against slavery; and in this manner smooth their passage into the Union.— In emerging from the condition of territorial dependence into that of a sovereign State, it was their duty, in my opinion, to make known their will by the votes of the majority, on the direct question whether this important domestic institution should, or should not coniimie to exist.— Indeed, this was the only possible mode in which their will could be aulhentically ascer-taint'd. The election of delegates to a convention must necessarily take place in separate districts.— From this cause it may readily happen, as has often been the casp, that a majority of the people of a State or Territory are on one side of a question, whilst a majority of the representatives from the several districts into- which it is divided may be upon the other side. This arises from the fact that in some districts delegates may be elected by small majorities, whilst in others those of different seutiments may receive majorities sufficiently, great not only to overcome the votes given for the former, but to leave a large majority of the whole people in di rect opposition to a majority of the delegates.— Besides, our history proves that influences may bebrourht to bear on the representative Sufti-ciently powerful to induce him to disregard the will of his constituents. The truth is, that no other aullientic and satisfactory mode exists of ascertaining the will of a majority of the people of any State or Territory on an important exciting question like that of slavery in Kansas, except by leaving it to a direct vote. How wise, then, was it for Congress to pass over all subordinate aud intermediate agencies and proceed directly to the source of all legitimate power under our institutions ! How vain would any other principle prove in actice! This may be illustrated by the case of Kansas. Should she be admitte'd into the Union, with a Constitution either maintaining or abolishing slavery, against the sontiment of the people, this could have no other effect than to continue aud to exasperate the exciting agitation during the brief period re(juiri-d to make the Constitution conform to the irresistable will of the majority. Tho'friends and supporters 0.' the Nebraska and Kansas act, when struggling on a recent occasion to uustain its wise provisions before the contrary, there shaU be a majority in favor of the “constitution with no slavery,” “then the article providing for slavery shall be stricken from the constitution by the President of this convention;”' and it is expressly declared that “no slavery shall exist ill the State of Kansas, except that th& right of property in slaves now iu the Territoiy shall in no manner be interfered with;’’ and in that event it is made his duty to have the constitution thus ratified transmitted to the Congress of tlie United States for the admission of the State into the Union. . At this election every citizen will have an opr portunity of expresstng. his opinion by his vote “whether Kansas shall be received into theUa-ion wilh or' without slavery,” and thus the exciting question may be peacefully settled in the very mode required by the organic law. The -clcction will beheld under legitimate authority, and if anv iwrtion nf tlio    ’■ great tribunal of the American people, never differed about its true meaning on this subject. Everywhere throughout the Union they publicly pledged tiieir faith and their honor, that they would cheerfully submit the question of slavery to the decision of the bona fide people of Kansas, without auy restriction or qualification whatever. All were cordially united upon the great doctrine of popular sovereignty, which is the vital principle of our free institutions. Had it then been insinuated from any quarter that it would be a sufficient compliance with the requisitions for the organic law for the members of a convention, thereafter to be elected, to withhold the question of slaveiy from the people, and to substitute their own will for that of a legally ascertained majority of ail their constituents, this would have been instantly rejected. Everywhere they remained true to the resolution adopted on a celebrated occasion recognizing "the right of the people of all the territories— including Kansas and Nebraska—acting through the legally and fairly-expressed will of a ma-■'Drity of actual residents, aud whenever a num-ler of their inhabitant.s justified it, to form a constitution, wiHi or without slavery, and be admitted into the Union upon terms of perfect equality with other States.” The convention to frame a constitution for Kansas met on the first Monday of September last. They were called together by virtue of an act; of the territorial Legislature, whose lawful existence had been recognized by Congress in diflereut forms and by different enactments A large proportion of the citizens of Kansas did not think proper lo register their names and to vote at the election, for delegates; but an opportunity to do this having been fairly afforded, their refusal to avail themselves of. their right could in no manner affect the legality of the convention. This convention proceeded to frame a constitution for Kansas, and finally adjourned on tlie 7th day of November. But little difficulty occurred in the convention, except on the subject cf slavery. The truth is, that ihe general provisions of our recent State constitutions are so- similar—and, 1 may add, so excellent—that the difference between them is uot essential. Under the earlier practice of tlie government, no constitution framed by the convention of a Territory preparatory to its adrnission into the Union as a Slate had been submitted to the people. I trust, however, tlie example set by tlie Ia,sl Congress, requiring that the constitution of Minnesota “should be subject to the .npproval and ratification of the people of the proposed State,” may be followed on future occasions. I took it for granted that the convention of Kansas would act in accordance, with this exam- gle, founded, as it is, on correct principles; and enee my instructions to Governor Walker, in favor of submitting the constitution to the peo pie, were oxprcssed iu general aud unqualified terms. In the KansaS'Nebraska act, however, this requirement, as applicable to the whole Constitution, had not been inserted, and the convention were not bound by its terms to submit any other portion or the instrument to an election, except that which relates to the domestic insti tution of slavery. This will be rendered clear by a simple reference to its language. It was “not to legislate slaveiy into any Territoiy or State, nor to exclude it therefrom, but to leave the people theieof perfectly free to form and regulate their domestic institutions in their own way.” According to tlie plain construction of the sentence, the words “domestic institutions” have a dircct as they hiive an appropriate reference to slavery, “Dome.stic in-stitutious” are limited to the family. The le-lation between master aud slave and a few others arc “domestic institutioas, and arc entiely distinct from institutions of a political charac- nL    ^    and the question can never be more clearly or di.stincUy presented to is at the present momS.--H    be rejected, she may be involved for years in domestic discord, and possibly in cml war. before she can again-make np the issue now so fortunately tendered, an^ attained. Kansas h^ for some yeai-s occupied too much «Í, t°i    fIt is lugh time this ^lould be directed to far more important oWeets. y en once admitted into the tfnion, whether hPi    -f    tl>e excitement beyond J-U    away.^and K    time bfe left, as she ought to have been long since, to manage her own affiiirs in her own way. If her crastitu-tioa on the subject of slavery, or any other sub-iect, be displeasing to majority of the people, ho human power can prevent them from chSnging it witlim a brief period. Under these circumstances, it may well ha questioned whether the peace and quzet of the whole countiy are Dot of greater importance than the mere temporary tri-umph of either Of the political parties in Kansas. bhould the constitution without slavery be' adopted by the votes of the majority, the rights ot property in slaves now in the Territoryare reserved. The number of these is very small* butif it were greater the provision would be equally just and reasonable. These slaves are brought into the 'J’erritoiy under the Constitution of the United States, ànd are now the property of their masters,    •    i r The point has at length been finally decided by the highest judicial tribunal of the country and this upon the plain principle that when confederacy of sovereign States acquire à new territory at their joint expense, both equality and justice demand that tlie citizensiof ime and all ot them shall have the right to take into it whatever is recognized as property by the common constitution. To have summarily confiscated the property in slaves already in the Ter-ritory, avouIcI have .been au aet of gross inìus** Uce, and contrary to the practice of tlie older States of the union •which have abolished slavery.    , • A territorial government was established for Utah by act of Congress approved the 9th Sep-tcniber, 1850, aud the Constitution and laws of the United States were thereby extended over it “so far as the same or any provisions thereof, -may be applicable.” This act provided for the“ appointment by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, of a Governor, who was to bo ex-officio superintendent of Indian affairs, a secretary, three judges of the Supreme Court, a marshal, and a district attorney, Subsequent acts provided for the appoint-lueiifc of the officers necessary to extend our land and our Indian system over the Territory._ Brigham Young w..s appointed the first Governor on the 2i)th of September, 185Ü, and ha.9 held the office ever since. Whilst Governor Young has been both Governor and Siiperintend-ent of Indian affairs throughout this period, he has been at the same time the head of the church called the Latter-Day Saint«, and professes to govern its members and dispose of their property by ^direct inspiration and authority from thè Almighty. His power has been, therefore, absolute over both church and state. The people of Utah, almost exclusively, ber long to tliis church, and believing with a fanatical spirit that he is Governor of thé Territory by Divine appointment, they obey his commands as if these were direct revelations from Heaven. If, therefore, he chooses that his government shall come into collision with the government of the United States, the members of the Mormon church will yield implicit obedience to his will. Unfortunately, existing facts leave but littlé doubt; that such is his determination. Without entering upon a minute history of occurrences, it is sufficient to say that all the officers 6f th# United States, judicial aud executive, ■with the single exception of two Indian agents, have found it necessary for their own personal safety to withdraw from the Territory,, and there no longer remains any government iu Utah but the despotism of Brigham Young. This being the 'condition of affairs in the Territory, I could not mistake the path of duty. As Chief Executive Magistrate, 1 was bound to restore the supremacy of the constitution and laws within its'lim-its. In order to affect this purpose, I appointed a new Governor and other federal officers for Utah, and senr, with theim a military force for their protection, and to aid as a posse comitatua in case of need, in the execution of the laws. With the religious opinions of the Mormons, as long as they remained mere opinion, however deplorable in themselves and revolting to the moral and religious sentiments of all' Christen-endom, I had no right to interfere. Actions alone, when in violation of the Constitution and laws of die United States, become the legitimate subjects for the jurisdiction of the civil magistrate. My instructions to Governor Cum-miiig have therefore been framed in strict accordance with these principles. At their date a hope was indulged that no necessity might ex- >r employing the military in restoring and tainiug the authority of Uie law; but this ist' for emj maintaining    .    —, _________ hope has now vanished. Gbvenior Young has, by proclamation, declared his determination to-maintain liis power by force, and has already committed acts of hostility against the United States.. Unless he should retrace his steps, thé' Territory of Utah will be in a state of open rebellion. He has committed these acts ot hostility notwithstanding Major Van Vliet, an officer of the army, sent to Utdi by the commanding general to purchase provisions for the troops, had given him tlie stronger aswirsaces of the peaceful intentions of th© Goveniiueiit> and that ;