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Henry J. (Henry Jarvis) Raymond.

History of the administration of President Lincoln : including his speeches, letters, addresses, proclamations, and messages. With a preliminary sketch of his life online

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310 PRESIDENT LINCOLN S ADMINISTRATION.

merits whose protection is demanded by the claimants. There are,
moreover, many cases in which the United States, or their citizens,
suffer wrongs from the naval or military authorities of foreign nations,
which the Governments of these states are not at once prepared to
redress. I have proposed to some of the foreign states thus interested,
mutual conventions to examine and adjust such complaints. This propo
sition has been made especially to Great Britain, to France, to Spain,
and to Prussia. In each case it has been kindly received, but has not
yet been formally adopted.

I deem it my duty to recommend an appropriation in behalf of the
owners of the Norwegian bark Admiral P. Tordenskiold, which vessel
was in May, 1861, prevented by the commander of the blockading force
off Charleston from leaving that port with cargo, notwithstanding a
similar privilege had, shortly before, been granted to an English ves
sel. I have directed the Secretary of State to cause the papers in the
case to be communicated to the proper committees.

Applications have been made to me by many free Americans of
African descent to favor their emigration, with a view to such coloniza
tion as was contemplated in recent acts of Congress. Other parties,
at home and abroad some from interested motives, others upon patri
otic considerations, and still others influenced by philanthropic senti
ments have suggested similar measures ; while, on the other hand,
several of the Spanish- American Eepublics have protested against the
sending of such colonies to their respective territories. Under these
circumstances I have declined to move any such colony to any State
without first obtaining the consent of its Government, with an agree
ment on its part to receive and protect such emigrants in all the rights
of freemen ; and I have at the same time offered to the several States
situated within the tropics, or having colonies there, to negotiate with
them, subject to the advice and consent of the Senate, to favor the
voluntary emigration of persons of that class to their respective terri
tories, upon conditions which shall be equal, just and humane. Liberia
and Hayti are, as yet, the only countries to which colonists of African
descent from here could go with certainty of being received and adopted
as citizens ; and I regret to say such persons, contemplating colonization,
do not seem so willing to migrate to those countries as to some others,
nor so willing as I think their interest demands. I believe, however,
opinion among them in this respect is improving ; and that ere long
there will be an augmented and considerable migration to both these
countries from the United States.



311

The new commercial treaty between the United States and the Sultan
of Turkey has been carried into execution.

A commercial and consular treaty has been negotiated, subject to the
Senate s consent, with Liberia ; aud a similar negotiation is now pend
ing with the Republic of Hayti. A considerable improvement of the
national commerce is expected to result from these measures.

Our relations with Great Britain, France, Spam, Portugal, Russia,
Prussia, Denmark, Sweden, Austria, the Netherlands, Italy, Rome, and
the other European states remain undisturbed. Very favorable rela
tions also continue to be maintained with Turkey, Morocco, China,
and Japan.

During the last year there has not only been no change of our previ
ous relations with the Independent States of our own continent, but
more friendly sentiments than have heretofore existed are believed to .
be entertained by these neighbors, whose safety and progress are so
intimately connected with our own. This statement especially applies
to Mexico, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Honduras, Peru, and Chili.

The commission under the convention with the Republic of New
Granada closed its session without having audited and passed upon all
the claims which were submitted to it. A proposition is pending to
revive the convention, that it be able to do more complete justice. The
joint commission between the United States and the Republic of Costa
Rica has completed its labors and submitted its report.

I have favored the project for connecting the United States with
Europe by an Atlantic telegraph, and a similar project to extend the
telegraph from San Francisco to connect by a Pacific telegraph with
the line which is being extended across the Russian Empire.

The Territories of the United States, with unimportant exceptions,
have remained undisturbed by the civil war ; and they are exhibiting
such evidence of prosperity as justifies an expectation that some of
them will soon be in a condition to be organized as States, and be con
stitutionally admitted into the Federal Union.

The immense mineral resources of some of those Territories ought
to be developed as rapidly as possible. Every step in that direction
would have a tendency to improve the revenues of the Government
and dimmish the burdens of the people. It is worthy of your serious
consideration whether some extraordinary measures to promote that
end cannot be adopted. The means which suggests itself as most
likely to be effective, is a scientific exploration of the mineral regions
in those Territories, with a view to the publication of its results at



312 PRESIDENT LINCOLN S ADMINISTRATION.

home and in foreign countries results which cannot fail to be auspi
cious.

The condition of the finances will claim your most diligent considera
tion. The vast expenditures incident to the military and naval opera
tions required for the suppression of the rebellion have been hitherto
met with a promptitude and certainty unusual in similar circumstances :
and the public credit has been fully maintained. The continuance of
the war, however, and the increased disbursements made necessary by
the augmented forces now in the field, demand your best reflections as
to the best modes of providing the necessary revenue, without injury
to business, and with the least possible burdens upon labor.

The suspension of specie payments by the Banks, soon after tho
commencement of your last session, made large issues of United States
notes unavoidable. In no other way could the payment of the troops
and the satisfaction of other just demands, be so economically or so
well provided for. The judicious legislation of Congress, securing the
receivability of these notes for loans and internal duties, and making
them a legal tender for other debts, has made them a universal cur
rency, and has satisfied, partially at least, and for the time, the long felt
want of an uniform circulating medium, saving thereby to the people
immense sums in discounts and exchanges.

A return to specie payments, however, at the earliest period com
patible with due regard to all interests concerned, should ever be kept
in view. Fluctuations iu the value of currency are always injurious,
and to reduce these fluctuations to the lowest possible point will always
be a leading purpose in wise legislation. Convertibility, prompt and
certain convertibility into coin, is generally acknowledged to be the
best and surest safeguard against them ; and it is extremely doubtful
whether a circulation of United States notes, payable in coin, and suf
ficiently large for the wants of the people, can be permanently, use
fully, and safely maintained.

Is there, then, any other mode in which the necessary provision for
the public wants can be made, and the great advantages of a safe and
uniform currency secured ?

I know of none which promises so certain results, and is, at the same
time, so unobjectionable as the organization of banking associations,
under a general act of Congress, well guarded in its provisions. To
such associations the Government might furnish circulating notes, on
the security of United States bonds deposited in the Treasury. These
notes, prepared under the supervision of proper officers, being uniform



THE PRESIDENT S MESSAGE. 313

in appearance and security, and convertible always into coin, would at
once protect labor against the evils of a vicious currency, and facilitate
commerce by cheap and safe exchanges.

A moderate reservation from the interest on the bonds would com
pensate the United States for the preparation and distribution of the
notes, and a general supervision of the system, and would lighten the
burden of that part of the public debt employed as securities. The
public credit, moreover, would be greatly improved, and the negotiation
of new loans greatly facilitated by the steady market demand for Gov
ernment bonds which the adoption of the proposed system would create.

It is an additional recommendation of the measure, of considerable
weight, in my judgment, that it would reconcile as far as possible all
existing interests, by the opportunity offered to existing institutions to
reorganize under the act, substituting only the secured uniform national
circulation for the local and various circulation, secured and unsecured,
now issued by them.

The receipts into the Treasury, from all sources, including loans, and
balance from the preceding year, for the fiscal year ending on the 30th
of June, 1862, were $583,885,247 60, of which sum $49,056,397 62
were derived from customs ; $1,795,331 73 from the direct tar; from
public lands, $152,203 77; from miscellaneous sources, $931,787 64;
from loans in all forms, $529,692,460 50. The remainder, $2,257,065 80,
was the balance from last year.

The disbursements during the same period were for Congressional,
Executive, and Judicial purposes, $5,939,009 29; for foreign intercourse,
$1,339,710 35; for miscellaneous expenses, including the mints, loans,
post-office deficiencies, collection of revenue, and other like charges,
$14,129,771 50; for expenses under the Interior Department, $3,102,-
S85 52 under the War Department, $394,368,407 36 ; under the Navy
Department, $42,674,569 69; for interest on public debt, $13,190,324
45 ; and for payment of public debt, including reimbursement of
temporary loan, and redemptions, $96,096,922 09; making an aggre
gate of $570,841,700 25, and leaving a balance in the Treasury on the
1st day of July, 1862, of 13,043,546 81.

It should be observed that the sum of $96,096,922 09, expended for
reimbursements and redemption of public debt, being included also in
the loans made, may be properly deducted, both from receipts and ex
penditures, leaving the actual receipts for the year $487,788,324 97,
and the expenditures, $474.744.778 16.

Other information on the subject of the finances will be found in the
14



314

report of the Secretary of the Treasury, to whose statements and views
I invite your most candid and considerate attention.

The reports of the Secretaries of War and of the Navy are herewith
transmitted. These reports, though lengthy, are scarcely more than
brief abstracts of the very numerous and extensive transactions and op
erations conducted through those Departments. Nor could I give a sum
mary of them here, upon any principle which would admit of its being
much shorter than the reports themselves. I therefore content myself
with laying the reports before you, and asking your attention to them.

It gives me pleasure to report a decided improvement in the financial
condition of the Post-Office Department, as compared with several pre
ceding years. The receipts for the fiscal year 1861 amounted to
$8,349,296, 40, which embraced the revenue from all the States of the
Union for three quarters of that year. Notwithstanding the cessation
of revenue from the so-called seceded States during the last fiscal year,
the increase of the correspondence of the loyal States has been suf
ficient to produce a revenue during the same year of $8,299,820 90,
being only $50,000 less than was derived from all the States of the
Union during the previous year. The expenditures show a still more
favorable result. The amount expended in 1861 was $13,606,759 11.
For the last year the amount has been reduced to $11,125,364 13,
showing a decrease of about $2,481,000 in the expenditures as com
pared with the preceding year, and about $3,750,000 as compared with
the fiscal year 1860. The deficiency in the Department for the previ
ous year was $4,551,966 98. For the last fiscal year it was reduced to
$2,112,814 57. These favorable results are in part owing to the cessa
tion of mail service in the insurrectionary States, and in part to a care
ful review of all expenditures in that department in the interest of
economy. The efficiency of the postal service, it is believed, has also
been much improved. The Postmaster-General has also opened a cor
respondence, through the Department of State, with foreign Govern
ments, proposing a convention of postal representatives for the purpose
of simplifying the rates of foreign postage, and to expedite the foreign
mails. This proposition, equally important to our adopted citizens and
to the commercial interests of this country, has been favorably enter
tained and agreed to by all the Governments from whom replies have
been received.

I aak the attention of Congress to the suggestions of the Postmaster-
General in his report respecting the further legislation required, in his
opinion, for the benefit of the postal service.



THE PRESIDENT S MESSAGE. 315

The Secretary of the Interior reports as follows IL regard to the
public lands :

The public lands have ceased to be a source of revfuue. From the
1st July, 1861, to tae 80th September, 1862, the entire cash receipts from
the sale of lands were 137,476 26 a sum much less than the expenses
of our land system during the same period. The homestead law, which
will take elfect on the 1st of January next, offers such inducements to
settlers that sales for cash cannot be expected, to an extent sufficient to
meet the expense of the General Land Office, and the cost of surveying
and bringing the land into market.

The discrepancy between the sum here stated as arising from the
sales of the public lands, and the sum derived from the same source as
reported from the Treasury Department, arises, as I understand, from
the fact that the periods of time, though apparently, were not really
coincident at the beginning- point the Treasury report including a con
siderable sum now which had previously been reported from the In
terior sufficiently large to greatly overreach the sum de lived from the
three mouths now reported upon by the Interior, and not by the
Treasury.

The Indian tribes upon our frontiers have, during the past year,
manifested a spint of insubordination, and, at several points, have
engaged in open hostilities against the white settlements in their
vicinity. The tribes occupying the Indian country south of Kansas
renounced their allegiance to the United States, and entered into
treaties with the insurgents. Those who remained loyal to the United
States were driven from the country. The chief of the Cherokees has
visited this city for the purpose of restoring the former relations of the
tribe with the United States. He alleges that they were constrained,
by superior force, to enter into treaties with the insurgents, and that
the United States neglected to furnish the protection which their treaty
stipulations required.

In the month of August last, the Sioux Indians in Minnesota, attacked
the settlement in their vicinity with extreme ferocity, killing, in
discriminately, men, women, and children. This attack was wholly
unexpected, and therefore no means of defence had been provided. It
is estimated that not less than eight hundred persons were killed by
the Indians, and a large amount of property was destroyed. How this
outbreak was induced is not definitely known, and suspicions, which
may be unjust, need not to be stated. Information was received by the
Indian Bureau, from different sources, about the time hostilities were
commenced, that a simultaneous attack was to be made upon the white



816 PRESIDENT LINCOLN S ADMINISTRATION.

settlements by all the tribes between the Mississippi River and tho
Rocky Mountains. The State of Minnesota has suffered great injury
from this Indian war. A large portion of her territory has been de
populated, and a severe loss has been sustained by the destruction of
property. The people of that State manifest much anxiety for the re
moval of the tribes beyond the limits of the State as a guarantee against
future hostilities. The Commissioner of Indian Affairs will furnish full
details. I submit for your especial consideration whether our Indian
system shall not be remodelled. Many wise and good men have im
pressed me with the belief that this can be profitably done.

I submit a statement of the proceedings of commissioners, which
shows the progress that has been made in the enterprise of construct
ing the Pacific railroad. And this suggests the earliest completion of
this road, and also the favorable action of Congress upon the projects
now pending before them for enlarging the capacities of the great
canals in New York and Illinois, as being of vital and rapidly increas
ing importance to the whole nation, and especially to the vast interior
region hereinafter to be noticed at some greater length. I purpose
having prepared and laid before you at an early day some interesting
and valuable statistical information upon this subject. The military
and commercial importance of enlarging the Illinois and Michigan
canal, and improving the Illinois river, is presented in the report of
Col. Webster to the Secretary of "War, and now transmitted to Con
gress. I respectfully ask attention to it.

To carry out the provisions of the act of Congress of the 15th of
May last, I have caused the Department of Agriculture of the United
States to be organized.

. The Commissioner informs me that within the period of a few months
this department has established an extensive system of correspondence
and exchanges, both at home and abroad, which promises to effect
highly beneficial results in the development of a correct knowledge of
recent improvements in agriculture, in the introduction of new products,
and in the collection of the agricultural statistics of the different States.
Also, that it will soon be prepared to distribute largely seeds, cereals,
plants and cuttings, and has already published and liberally diffused
much valuable information in anticipation of a more elaborate report,
which will in due time be furnished, embracing some valuable tests in
chemical science now in progress in the laboratory.

The creation of this department was for the more immediate benefit
of a large class of our most valuable fellow-citizens ; and I trust that



THE PRESIDENT S MESSAGE. 317

*;he liberal basis upon which it has been organized will not only meet
your approbation, but that it will realize, at no distant day, all the
fondest anticipations of its most sanguine friends, and become the fruit
ful source of advantage to all our people.

On the 22d day of September last, a proclamation was issued by tho
Executive, a copy of which is herewith submitted.

In accordance with the purpose expressed in the second paragraph
of that paper, I now respectfully call your attention to what may be
called " compensated emancipation."

A nation may be said to consist of its territory, its people, and its
laws. The territory is the only part which is of certain durability.
" One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh, but the
earth abideth forever." It is of the first importance to duly consider
and estimate this ever-enduring part. That portion of the earth s sur
face which is owned and inhabited by the people of the United States,
is well adapted to the home of one national family ; and it is not well
adapted for two or more. Its vast extent, and its variety of climate and
productions, are of advantage in this age for one people, whatever they
might have been in former ages. Steam, telegraphs, and intelligence
have brought these to be an advantageous combination for one united
people.

In the Inaugural Address I briefly pointed out the total inadequacy
of disunion as a remedy for tho differences between the people of the
two sections. I did so in language which I cannot improve, and which,
therefore, I beg to repeat :

" One section of our country believes slavery is right, and ought to
be extended, while the other believes it is wrong, and ought not to be
extended. This is the only substantial dispute. The fugitive slave
clause of the Constitution, and the law for the suppression of the foreign
slave-trade, are each as well enforced, perhaps, as any law can ever be
in a community where the moral sense of the people imperfectly sup
ports the law itself. The great body of the people abide by the dry
legal obligation in both cases, and a* few break over in each. This, I
think, cannot be perfectly cured ; and it would be worse, in both cases,
after the separation of the sections than before. The foreign slave-
trade, now imperfectly suppressed, would be ultimately revived without
restriction in one section ; while fugitive slaves, now only partially
surrendered, would not be surrendered at all by the other.

" Physically speaking, we cannot separate. We cannot remove our
respective sections from each other, nor build an impassable wall be
tween them. A husband and wife may be divorced, and go out of the
presence and beyond the reach of each other ; but the different parts
of our country cannot do this. They cannot but remain face to face ;



318 PRESIDENT LINCOLN S ADMINISTRATION.

and intercourse, cither amicable or hostile, must continue between
them. Is it possible, then, to make that intercourse more advantageous
or more satisfactory after separation than before ? Can aliens make
treaties easier than friends can make laws ? Can treaties be more faith
fully enforced between aliens than laws can among friends ? Suppose
you go to war, you cannot light always ; and when, after much loss on
both sides, and no gain on either, you cease fighting, the identical old
questions, as to terms of intercourse, are again upon you."

There is no line, straight or crooked, suitable for a national boundary,
upon which to divide. Trace through, from east to west, upon the
line between the free and slave country, and we shall find a little
more than one-third of its length are rivers, easy to be crossed, and
populated, or soon to be populated, thickly upon both sides; while
nearly all its remaining length are merely surveyors lines, over which
people may walk back and forth without any consciousness of their
presence. No part of this line can be made any more difficult to pass
by writing it down on paper or parchment as a national boundary. The
fact of separation, if it comes, gives up, on the part of the seceding sec
tion, the fugitive slave clause, along with all other constitutional obliga
tions upon the section seceded from, while I should expect no treaty
stipulation would ever be made to take its place.

But there is another difficulty. The great interior region, bounded
east by the Alleghanies, north by the British domiuions, west by the
Rocky Mountains, and south by the line along which the culture of
corn and cotton meets, and which includes part of Virginia, part of Ten
nessee, all of Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois,
Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Minnesota, and the Territories of Dakota, Ne
braska, and part of Colorado, already has above ten millions of people,
and will have fifty millions within fifty years if not prevented by any
political folly or mistake. It contains more than one-third of the coun
try owned by the United States certainly more than one million of
square miles. Once half as populous as Massachusetts alreadj - is, it
would have more than seventy-five millions of people. A glance at the
map shows that, territorially speaking, it is the great body of the Re
public. The other parts are but marginal borders to it, the magnificent
region sloping west from the Rocky Mountains to tho Pacific being the
deepest, and also the richest in undeveloped resources. In the produc
tion of provisions, grains, grasses, and all which proceed from them,
this great interior region is naturally one of the most important of the
world. Ascertain from the statistics the small proportion of the region
which has as yet been brought into cultivation, and also tho large and



THE PRESIDENT S MESSAGE. 319

rapidly increasing amount of its products, and we shall be overwhelmed
with the magnitude of the prospect presented. And yet this region has
no sencoast touches no ocean anywhere. As part of one nation, its



Online LibraryHenry J. (Henry Jarvis) RaymondHistory of the administration of President Lincoln : including his speeches, letters, addresses, proclamations, and messages. With a preliminary sketch of his life → online text (page 28 of 46)