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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

. (page 38 of 46)
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 38 of 46)
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ceitful speech they have striven to hinder it.

Still, let us not be over-sanguine of a speedy, final triumph. Let us be
quite sober. Let us diligently apply the means, never doubting that a
just God, in His own good time, will give us the rightful result.

Yours, very truly, A. LINCOLN.

The result of the canvass justified the confidence of the
friends of the Administration. Every State in which elec
tions were held, with the single exception of New Jersey,
voted to sustain the Government ; and in all the largest and
most important States the majorities were so large as to make
the result of more than ordinary significance. In Ohio, Val-
landigham, who had been put in nomination mainly on account
of the issue he had made with the Government in the matter
of his arrest, was defeated by a majority of nearly 100,000.
New York, which had elected Governor Seymour the year
before, and had been still further distinguished and disgraced
by the anti-draft riots of July, gave a majority of not far
from 30,000 for the Administration ; and Pennsylvania, in
spite of the personal participation of General McClellan in the
canvass against him, re-elected Gov. Curtin by about the same
majority. These results followed a very active and earnest
canvass, in which the opponents of the Administration put
forth their most vigorous efforts for its defeat. The ground
taken by its friends in every State was that which had been
held by the President from the beginning that the rebellion
must be suppressed and the Union preserved at whatever cost
that this could only be done by force, and that it w^s



THE ELECTIONS OF 1863. 415

not only the right but the duty of the Government to use all
the means at its command, not incompatible with the laws of
war and the usages of civilized nations, for the accomplish
ment of this result. They vindicated the action of the Gov
ernment in the matter of arbitrary arrests, and sustained
throughout the canvass, in every State, the policy of the Presi
dent in regard to slavery and in issuing the Proclamation of
Emancipation as a military measure, against the vehement and
earnest efforts of the Opposition. The result was, therefore,
justly claimed as a decided verdict of the people in support
of the Government. It was so regarded by all parties through
out the country, and its effect upon their action was of marked
importance. While it gave renewed vigor and courage to the
friends of the Administration everywhere, it developed the
division of sentiment in the ranks of the Opposition, which,
in its incipient stages, had largely contributed to their de
feat. The majority of that party were inclined to acquiesce
in the deliberate judgment of the country, that the rebellion
could be subdued only by successful war, and to sustain the
Government in whatever measures might be deemed necessary
for its effectual prosecution: but the resolute resistance
of some of its more conspicuous leaders has thus far withheld
them from open action in this direction.



416 PRESIDENT LINCOLN S ADMINISTRATION.



CHAPTER XI.

THE CONGRESS OF 1863-4. MESSAGE OF THE PRESIDENT.

ACTION OF THE SESSION.

CONGRESS met on Monday, December 7, 1863. The
House of Representatives was promptly organized by the
election of Hon. Schuylcr Colfax, a Republican from Indiana,
to be Speaker he receiving 101 votes out of 181, the whole
number cast. Mr. Cox, of Ohio, was the leading candidate of
the Democratic opposition, but he received only 51 votes, the
remaining 29 being divided among several Democratic mem
bers. In the Senate, the Senators from Western Virginia
were admitted to their seats by a vote of 36 to 5.

On the 9th, the President transmitted to both Houses the
following MESSAGE :

Fellow- Citizens of the Senate and House of Representatives :

Another year of health and of sufficiently abundant harvests has
passed. For these, and especially for the improved condition of our
national affairs, our renewed and profoundest gratitude to God is due.
"We remain in peace and friendship with foreign Powers. The efforts of
disloyal citizens of the United States to involve us in foreign wars to aid
an inexcusable insurrection have been unavailing. Her Britannic Majes
ty s Government, as was justly expected, have exercised their authority
to prevent the departure of new hostile expeditions from British ports.

The Emperor of France has, by a like proceeding, promptly vindicated
the neutrality which he proclaimed at the beginning of the contest.

Questions of great intricacy and importance have arisen out of the
blockade, and other belligerent operations between the Government and
several of the maritime Powers, but they have been discussed, and, as
far as was possible, accommodated in a spirit of frankness, justice, and
mutual good- will.

It is especially gratifying that our prize Courts, by the impartiality of



THE PRESIDENT S MESSAGE. 41*7

their adjudications, have commanded the respect and confidence of
maritime Powers.

The supplemental treaty between tho United States and Great Britain
for the suppression of the African Slave trade, made on the 17th day cf
February last, has been duly ratified and carried into execution. It is
believed that so far as American ports and American citizens are con
cerned, that inhuman and odious traffic has been brought to an end.

I have thought it proper, subject to the approval of the Senate, to
concur with the interested commercial Powers, in an arrangement for
the liquidation of the Scheldt dues, upon the principles which have been
heretofore adopted in regard to the imposts upon navigation in the waters
of Denmark.

The long-pen dfng controversy between this Government and that of
Chili, touching the seizure at Sitana, in Peru, by Chilian officers, of a
large amount in treasure, belonging to citizens of the United States, has
been brought to a close by the award of His Majesty the King of the
Belgians, to whose arbitration the question was referred by the parties.

The subject w r as thoroughly and patiently examined by that justly
respected magistrate, and although the sum awarded to the claimants
may not have been as large as they expected, there is no reason to dis
trust the wisdom of His Majesty s decision. That decision was promptly
complied with by Chili when intelligence in regard to it reached that
country.

The Joint Commission under the act of the last session for carrying
into effect the Convention with Peru on the subject of claims, has been
organized at Lima, and is engaged in the business intrusted to it.

Difficulties concerning interoceanic transit through Nicaragua, are in
course of amicable adjustment.

In conformity with principles set forth in my last Annual Message, I
have received a representative from the United States of Colombia, and
have accredited a Minister to that Eepublic.

Incidents occurring in the progress of our civil war have forced upon
my attention the uncertain state of international questions touching the
rights of foreigners in this country and of United States citizens abroad.

In regard to some Governments, these rights are at least partially de
fined by treaties. In no instance, however, is it expressly stipulated
that in the event of civil war a foreigner residing in this country, within
the lines of the insurgents, is to be exempted from the rule which
classes him as a belligerent, in whose behalf the Government of his
country cannot expect any privileges or immunities distinct from that
18*



418

character. I regret to say, however, that such claims have been put
forward, and, in some instances, in behalf of foreigners who have lived
in the United States the greater part of their lives.

There is reason to believe that many persons born in foreign coun
tries, who have declared their intention to become citizens, or who have
been fully naturalized, have evaded the military duty required of them
by denying the fact, and thereby throwing upon the Government the
burden of proof. It has been found difficult or impracticable to obtain
this proof, from the want of guides to the proper sources of information.
These might be supplied by requiring Clerks of Courts, where declaration
of intention may be made, or naturalizations effected, to send periodically
lists of the names of the persons naturalized or declaring their inten
tion to become citizens, to the Secretary of the Interior, in whose De-
. partment those names might be arranged and printed for general informa
tion. There is also reason to believe that foreigners frequently become
citizens of the United States for the sole purpose of evading duties im
posed by the laws of their native countries, to which, on becoming natural
ized here, they at once repair, and though never returning to the United
States, they still claim the interposition of this Government as citizens.

Many altercations and great prejudices have heretofore arisen out of
this abuse. It is, therefore, submitted to your serious consideration. It
might be advisable to fix a limit beyond which no citizen of the United
States residing abroad may claim the interposition of his Government.

The right of suffrage has often been assumed and exercised by aliens
under pretences of naturalization, which they have disavowed when
drafted into the military service.

Satisfactory arrangements have been made with the Emperor of
Russia, which, it is believed, will result in effecting a continuous line of
telegraph through that Empire from our Pacific coast.

I recommend to your favorable consideration the subject of an inter
national telegraph across the Atlantic Ocean, and also of a telegraph be
tween this Capital and the national forts aloug the Atlantic seaboard and
the Gulf of Mexico. Such communications, established with any reason
able outlay, would be economical as well as effective aids to the diplo
matic, military, and naval service.

The Consular system of the United States, under the enactments of
the last Congress, begins to be self-sustaining, and there is reason to
hope that it may become entirely so with the increase of trade, which
will ensue whenever peace is restored.

Our Ministers abroad have been faithful in defending American



419

rights. In protecting commercial interests, our Consuls have necessarily
had to encounter increased labors and responsibilities growing out of the
war. These they have, for the most part, met and discharged with zeal
and efficiency. This acknowledgment justly includes those Consuls
who, residing in Morocco, Egypt, Turkey, Japan, China, and other
Oriental countries, are charged with complex functions and extraordi
nary powers.

The condition of the several organized territories is generally satis
factory, although Indian disturbances in New Mexico have not beeii
entirely suppressed.

The mineral resources of Colorado, Nevada, Idaho, New Mexico, and
Arizona, are proving far richer than has been heretofore understood. I
lay before you a communication on this subject from the Governor of
New Mexico. I again submit to your consideration the expediency of
establishing a system for the encouragement of emigration. Although
this source of national wealth and strength is again ilowing with greater
freedom than for several years before the insurrection occurred, there
is still a great deficiency of laborers in every field of industry, especially
in agriculture and in our mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious
metals. While the demand for labor is thus increased here, tens of thou
sands of persons, destitute of remunerative occupation, are thronging our
foreign consulates, and offering to emigrate to the United States, if essen
tial, but very cheap, assistance can be afforded them. It is easy to see
that under the sharp discipline of civil war the nation is beginning a new
life. This noble effort demands the aid, and ought to receive the
attention and support of the Government.

Injuries unforeseen by the Government, and unintended, may in some
cases have been inflicted on the subjects or citizens of foreign countries,
both at sea and on land, by persons in the service of the United States.
As this Government expects redress from other Powers when similar
injuries are inflicted by persons in their service upon citizens of the
United States, we must be prepared to do justice to foreigners. If the
existing judicial tribunals are inadequate to this purpose, a special Court
may be authorized, with power to hear and decide such claims of the
character referred to as may have arisen under treaties and the public
law. Conventions for adjusting the claims by joint commission have
been proposed to some Governments, but no definite answer to the prop
osition has yet been received from any.

In the course of *he session I shall probably have occasion to request
you to provide indemnification to claimants where decrees of restitution



420 PRESIDENT LINCOLN .; ADHIlNlSTKATION.

have been rendered, and damages awarded by Admiralty Courts, and
in other cases, where this Government may be acknowledged to be
liable in principle, and where the amount of that liability has been
ascertained by an informal arbitration, the proper officers of the Treas
ury have deemed themselves required by the law of the United States
upon the subject., to demand a tax upon the incomes of foreign Con-
buls in this country. While such a demand may not, in strictness, be
in derogation of public law, or perhaps of any existing treaty between
the United States and a foreign country, the expediency of so far modi
fying the act as to exempt from tax the income of such consuls as are
not citizens of the United States, derived from the emoluments of their
oliice, or from property not situate in the United States, is submitted to
your serious consideration. I make this suggestion upon the ground
that a. comity which ought to be reciprocated exempts our Consuls in all
other countries from taxation to the extent thus indicated. The United
States, I think, ought not to be exceptionably illiberal to international
trade and commerce.

The operations of the Treasury during the last year have been suc
cessfully conducted. The enactment by Congress of a National Banking
Law has proved a valuable support of the public credit, and the general
legislation in relation to loans has fully answered the expectation of its
favorers. Some amendments may be required to perfect existing laws,
but no change in their principles or general scope is believed to be
needed. Since these measures have been in operation, ah 1 demands on
the Treasury, including the pay of the Army and Navy, have been
promptly met and fully satislied. No considerable body of troops, it is
believed, were ever more amply provided and more liberally and
punctually paid ; and, it may be added, that by no people were the
burdens incident to a great war more cheerfully borne.

The receipts during the year, from all sources, including loans
and the balance in ihe Treasury at its commencement, were $901,125,-
674 86, and the aggregate disbursements $895,796,630 65, leaving a
balance on the 1st of July, 1863, of $5,329,044 21. Of the receipts,
there were derived from Customs $69,059,642 40; from Internal Re
venue, $37,640,787 95; from direct tax, $1,485,103 61; from lands,
$167,617 17; from miscellaneous sources, $, 5,046,615 35; and from
loans, $776,682,361 57, making the aggregate $901,125,674 86. Of
the disbursements there were for the civil service $23,253,922 08;
for pensions and Indians, $4,216,520 79; for interest on public debt,
$24,729,846 51; for the War Department, $509,298,600 83; for the



THE PRESIDENT S MESSAGE. 421

Navy Department, $63,211,105 27 ; for payment of funded and tempo
rary debt, $181,036,635 07, making the aggregate $895,796,630 65,
and leaving the balance of $5,329,044 21.

But the payment of the funded and temporary debt, having been
made from moneys borrowed during the j ear, must be regarded as
merely nominal payments, and the moneys borrowed to make them as
merely nominal receipts; and then* amount, $181,086,535 07, should
therefore be deducted both from receipts and disbursements. This being-
done, there remains, as actual receipts, $720,039,039 79, and the actual
disbursements $714.709,995 58, leaving the balance as already stated.

The actual receipts and disbursements for the first quarter, and the
estimated receipts and disbursements for the remaining three quarters
of the current fiscal year, 1864, will be shown in detail by the report of
the Secretary of the Treasury, to which I invite your attention.

It is sufficient to say here, that it is not believed that actual results
will exhibit a state of the finances less favorable to the country than the
estimates of that officer heretofore submitted, while it is confidently ex
pected that, at the close of the year, both disbursements and- debt will
be found very considerably less than has been anticipated.

The report of the Secretary of War is a document of great interest.
It consists of:

First. The military operations of the year detailed in the report of
the General-in-Cliief.

Second. The organization of colored persons into the war service.

Third. The exchange of prisoners fully set forth in the letter of
General Hitchcock.

Fourth. The operations under the act for enrolling and calling out the
National forces, detailed in the report of the Provost-Marshal General.

Fifth. The organization of the Invalid Corps. And

Sixth. The operations of the several departments of the Quarter
master-General, Commissary-General, Paymaster-General, Chief of En
gineers, Chief of Ordnance, and Surgeon-General. It has appeared im
possible to make a valuable summary of this report, except such as
would be too extended for this place, and hence I content myself by
asking your careful attention to the report itself. The duties devolving
on the naval branch of the service during the year, and throughout the
whole of this unhappy contest, hnve been discharged with fidelity and
eminent success. The extensive blockade has been constantly increas
ing in efficiency, as the navy has expanded, yet on so long a line it
has, so far, been impossible entirely to suppress illicit trade. From



422



returns received at the Navy Department, it appears that more than
one thousand vessels have been captured since the blockade was in
stituted, and that the value of prizes already sent in for adjudica
tion, amount to over thirteen millions of dollars.

The naval force of the United States consists at this time of five hun
dred and eighty-eight vessels completed and in the course of comple
tion, and of these seventy-five are iron-clad or armored steamers. The
events of the war give an increased interest and importance to the
navy, which will probably extend beyond the war itself. The armored
vessels in our navy, completed and in service, or which are under con
tract and approaching completion, are believed to exceed in number
those of any other Power ; but while these may be relied upon for har
bor defence and coast service, others of greater strength and capacity
will be necessary for cruising purposes, and to maintain our rightful
position on the ocean.

The change that has taken place in naval vessels and naval warfare
since the introduction of steam as a motive power for ships of war, de
mands either a corresponding change in some of our existing Navy-
yards, or the establishment of new ones, for the construction and
necessary repair of modern naval vessels. No inconsiderable embar
rassment, delay, and public injury, have been experienced from the
want of such governmental establishments.

The necessity of such a Navy-yard, so furnished, at some suitable
place upon the Atlantic seaboard, has, on repeated occasions, been
brought to the attention of Congress by the Navy Department, and is
again presented in the report of the Secretary, which accompanies this
communication. I think it my duty to invite your special attention to
this subject, and also to that of establishing a yard and depot for naval
purposes upon one of the Western rivers. A naval force has been
created on these interior waters, and under many disadvantages, within
a little more than two years, exceeding in number the whole naval force
of the country at the commencement of the present Administration.
Satisfactory and important as have been the performances of the
heroic men of the navy at this interesting period, they are scarcely
more wonderful than the success of our mechanics and artisans in
the production of war-vessels, which has created a new form of naval
power.

Our country has advantages superior to any other nation in our re
sources of iron and timber, with inexhaustible quantities of fuel in the im
mediate vicinity of both, and all available and in close proximity to navi-



THE PRESIDENT S MESSAGE. 423

gable waters. "Without the advantage of public works, the resources of
the nation have been developed, and its power displayed, in the construc
tion of a navy of such magnitude, which has at the very period of its cre
ation rendered signal service to the Union.

The increase of the number of seamen in the public service from
7,500 men in the Spring of 1861, to about 34,000 at the present time,
has been accomplished without special legislation or extraordinary
bounties to promote that increase. It has been found, however, that the
operation of the draft, with the high bounties paid for army recruits, is
beginning to affect injuriously the naval service, and will, if not cor
rected, be likely to impair its efficiency by detaching seamen from their
proper vocation, and inducing them to enter the army. I therefore re
spectfully suggest that Congress might aid both the army and naval
service by a definite provision on this subject, which would at the same
time be equitable to the communities more especially interested.

I commend to your consideration the suggestions of the Secretary of
the Navy, in regard to the policy of fostering and training seamen, and
also the education of officers and engineers for the naval service. The
Naval Academy is rendering signal service in preparing Midshipmen for
the highly responsible duties which in after life they will be required to
perform. In order that the country should not be deprived of the
proper quota of educated officers, for which legal provision has been
made at the naval school, the vacancies caused by the neglect or
omission to make nominations from the States in insurrection, have been
filled by the Secretary of the Navy. The school is now more full and
complete than at any former period, and in every respect entitled to the
favorable consideration of Congress.

During the last fiscal year the financial condition of the Post-office
Department has been one of increasing prosperity, and I am gratified in
being able to state that the actual postal revenue has nearly equalled
the entire expenditures, the latter amounting to $11,314,206 84, and
the former to $11,163,789 59, leaving a deficiency of but $150,417 25.
In 18 GO, the year immediately preceding the rebellion, the deficiency
amounted to $5,656,705 49, the postal receipts for that year being
$2,647,225 19 less than those of 1863. The decrease since 1860 in the
annual amount of transportation has been only about 25 per cent. ; but
the annual expenditure on account of the same has been reduced 35 per
cent. It is manifest, therefore, that the Post-office Department may
become self-sustaining in a few years, even with the restoration of the
whole service.



424

The international conference of postal delegates from the principal
countries of Europe and America, which was called at the suggestion of
the Postmaster-General, met at Paris on the llth of May last, and con
cluded its deliberations on the 8th of June. The principles established
by the conference as best adapted to facilitate postal intercourse between
nations, and as the basis of future postal conventions, inaugurates a
general system of uniform international charges at reduced rates of
postage, and cannot fail to produce beneficial results. I refer you to
the Report of the Secretary of the Interior, which is herewith laid
before you, for useful and varied information in relation to Public
Lands, Indian Affairs, Patents, Pensions, and other matters of the public
concern pertaining to his department.

The quantity of land disposed of during the last and the first quarter
of the present fiscal years, was three millions, eight hundred and forty-
one thousand, five hundred and forty-nine acres, of which one hundred
and sixty-one thousand, nine hundred and eleven acres were sold for



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 38 of 46)