Henry J. (Henry Jarvis) Raymond.

Lincoln, his life and time : being the life and public services of Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth president of the United States, together with his state papers, including his speeches, addresses, messages and proclamations and closing scenes connected with his life and death (Volume 1) online

. (page 22 of 42)
Online LibraryHenry J. (Henry Jarvis) RaymondLincoln, his life and time : being the life and public services of Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth president of the United States, together with his state papers, including his speeches, addresses, messages and proclamations and closing scenes connected with his life and death (Volume 1) → online text (page 22 of 42)
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gratitude to God for unusual good health and most abundant harvests.

You will noV be surprised to learn that, in the peculiar exigencies of the
times, our intercourse with foreign nations has been attended with profound
solicitude, chiefly turning upon our own domestic affairs.

A disloyal portion of the American people have, during the whole year,
been engaged in an attempt to divide and destroy the Union. A nation
whi:l endures factious domestic division is exposed to disrespect abroad
and one party, if not both, is sure, sooner or later, to invoke foreign inter

Nations thus tempted to interfere are not always able to resist the
counsels of seeming expediency and ungenerous ambition, although
measures adopted under such influences seldon fail to be unfortunate and
injurious to those adopting them.

The disloyal citizens of the United States who have offered the ruin of
our country, in return for the aid and comfort which they have invoked
abroad, have received less patronage and encouragement than they prob
ably expected. If it were just to suppose, as the insurgents have seemed


to assume, that foreign nations, in this case, discarding all moral, social,
and treaty obligations, would act solely and selfishly for the most speedy
restoration of commerce, including especially the acquisition of cotton,
those nations appear, as yet, not to have seen their way to their object
more directly, or clearly, through the destruction, than through the pres
ervation, of the Union. If we could dare to believe that foreign nations
v actuated by no higher principle than this, T am quite sure a sound ar-
uricnt could be made to show them that they can reach their aim mor
. - -iilily and easily by aiding to crush this rebellion, than by giving en
totiragement to it.

The principal lever relied on by the insurgents for exciting foreign
nations to hostility against us, as already intimated, is the embarrassment
of commerce. Those nations, however, not improbably, saw froin the
first, that it was the Union which made, as well our foreign as our do
mestic commerce. They can scarcely have failed to perceive that the effort
for disunion produced the existing difficulty ; and that one strong nation
promises more durable peace, and a more extensive, valuable, and reliable
commerce, than can the same nation broken into hostile fragments.

It is not my purpose to review our discussions with foreign states ;
because whatever might bo their wishes or dispositions, the integrity of
our country and the stability of our Government mainly depend, not upon
them, but on the loyalty, virtue, patriotism, and intelligence of the Amer
ican people. The correspondence itself, with the usual reservations, is
herewith submitted.

I venture to hope it will appear that we have practised prudence and
liberality towards foreign powers, averting causes of irritation ; and with
firmness maintaining our own rights and honor.

vSince, however, it is apparent that here, as in every other state, foreign
dangers necessarily attend domestic difficulties, I recommend that adequate
and ample measures be adopted for maintaining the public defences on
- 1- ry side. While, under this general recommendation, provision for defend-
: .; our sea-coast line readily occurs to the mind. I also, in the same con
nection, ask the attention of Congress to our great lakes and rivers. It is
VeHeved that some fortifications and depots of arms and munitions, with
harbor and navigation improvements, all at well-selected points upon
these, would be of great importance to the national defence and preserva
tion. I ask attention to the views of the Secretary of War, expressed in
his report, upon the same general subject.

I deem it of importance that the loyal regions of East Tennessee and
Western North Carolina should be connected with Kentucky and other
faithful parts of the Union by railroad. I therefore recommend, as a
military measure, that Congress provide for the construction of such road
as speedily as possible.

Kentucky will no doubt co-operate, and through her Legislature mak

of g Im0, The npr&r


connect with sonic existing railroad, and whether the route shall be from
Lexington or Nichohisville to the Cumberland Gap, or from Lebanon to
the Tennesee line, in the direction of Knoxville, or on some still different
line, can easily be determined. Kentucky and the General Government
co-operating, the work can be completed in a very short time, and when
done it will he not only of vast present usefulness, but also a valuable
permanent improvement worth its cost in all the future.

Some treaties, designed chiefly for the interests of commerce, and having
no grave political importance, have been negotiated, and will be submitted
to the Senate for their consideration. Although we have failed to induce
gome of the commercial Powers to adopt a desirable melioration of the rigor
of maritime war, we have removed all obstructions from the way of this
humane reform, except such as are merely of temporary and accidental

I invite your attention to the correspondence between her Britannic
Majesty s Minister, accredited to this Government, and the Secretary of
State, relative to the detention of the British ship Perthshire in June last
by the United States steamer Massachusetts, for a supposed breach of the
blockade. As this detention was occasioned by an obvious misapprehen
sion of the facts, and as justice requires that we should commit no belliger
ent act not founded in strict right as sanctioned by public law, I recom
mend that an appropriation be made to satisfy the reasonable demand of
the owners of the vessel for her detention.

I repeat the recommendation of my predecessor in his annual message to
Congress in December last in regard to the disposition of the surplus
which will probably remain after satisfying the claims of American citizens
against China, pursuant to the awards of the commissioners under the act
of the 3d of March, 1859.

If, however, it should not be deemed advisable to carry that recom
mendation into effect, I would suggest that authority be given for invest
ing the principal over the proceeds of the surplus referred to in good se
curities, with a view to the satisfaction of such other just claim of our
aitizens against China as are not unlikely to arise hereafter in the cour^u
of our extensive trade with that empire.

By the act of the 5th of August last, Congress authorized the President
to instruct the commanders of suitable vessels to defend themselves against
and to capture pirates. This authority has been exercised in a single in
stance only.

For the more effectual protection of our extensive and valuable com
merce in the Eastern seas especially, it seems to me that it would also ba
advisable to authorize the commanders of sailing-vessels to recapture any
prizes which pirates may make of the United States vessels and their car
goes, and the Consular Courts established by lav/ in Eastern countries to
adjudicate the cases in the event that this should not be objected to by
the local authorities.


If any good reason exists why we should persevere longer in wilh
V aiding our recognition of the independence and sovereignty of Hayii
ft ad Liberia, I am unable to discern it. Unwilling, however, to inaugurate
novel policy in regard to them without the approbation of Congress, 1
sibinit to. your consideration the expediency of an appropriation for
naii.taining a Charge tf Affaires near each of those new states. It doea
not admit of doubt that important commercial advantages might be secured
by favorable treaties with them.

The operations of the Treasury during the period which has elapsed
*ince your adjournment have been conducted with signal success. The
itriotism of tho people has placed at the disposal of the Government the
srge means demanded by the public exigencies. Much of the national
loan has been taken by citizens of the industrial classes, whose confidence
in their country s faith, and zeal for their country s deliverance front its
present peril, have induced them to contribute to the support of the
Government the whole of their limited acquisitions. This fact imposes
peculiar obligations to economy in disbursement and energy in action.
The revenue from all sources, including loans for the financial year ending
on the 30th of June, 1861, was $86,835,900 27; and the expenditures for
the same period, including payments on account of the public debt, were
$84,578,034 47; leaving a balance in the treasury, on the 1st of July, of
$2,257,065 80 for the first quarter of the financial year ending on Sep
tember 30, 1861. The receipts from all sources, including the balance of
July 1, were $102,532,509 27, and tho expenses $98,239,733 09; leaving

* balance, on the 1st of October, 1861. of $4,292,776 18.

Estimates for tho remaining three-quarters of the year and for the
financial year of 1863, together with his views of the ways and means for
meeting the demands contemplated by them, will be submitted to Congress
by the Secretary of the Treasury. It is gratifying to know that the
expenses made necessary by the rebellion are not beyond the resources of
the loyal people, and to believe that the same patriotism which has thus
far sustained the Government will continue to sustain it till peace and
union shall again bless the land. I respectfully refer to the report of the
eoretary of War for information respecting the numerical strength of th
iy, and for recommendations having in view an increase of its efficiency,
-i the well-being of the various branches of the service intrusted ta his
core. It is gratifying to know that the patriotism of the people has proved
equal to the occasion, and that the number of troops tendered greatly
exceed the force which Congress authorized me to call into the field. I
refer with pleasure to those portions of his report which make allusion to
the creditable degree of discipline already attained by our troops, and to
the excellent sanitary condition of the entire army. The recommendation
of the Secretary for an organization of the militia upon a uniform basis is

* subject of vital importance to the future safety of the country, and in
eoimnended to the serious attention of Congress. The large addition to


the regular army, in connection with the defection that has so considera
My diminished the number of its oilieers, gives peculiar importance to his
recommendation for increasing the corps of cadets to the greatest capacity
or the Military Academy.

By mere omission, I presume. Congress has failed to provide chaplains
for the hospitals occupied by the volunteers. This subject was brought to
my notice, and I was induced to draw up the form of a letter, one ^opy
of which, properly addressed, has been delivered to each of the persons,
and at the dates respectively named and stated in a schedule, containing,
also, the form of the letter marked A, and herewith transmitted. Tlic*e
gentlemen, I understand, entered upon the duties designated at the times
respectively stated in the schedule, and have labored faithfully therein
i-.ver since. I therefore recommend that they be compensated at the same
rate as chaplains in the army. I further suggest that general provision be
made for chaplains to serve at hospitals, as well as with regiments.

The report of the Secretary of the Navy presents, in detail, the opera
tions of that branch of the service, the activity and energy which have
characterized its administration, and the results of measures to increase
its efficiency and power. Such have been the additions, by construction
and purchase, that it may almost be said a navy has been created and
brought into service since our difficulties commenced.

Besides blockading our extensive coast, squadrons larger than ever
before assembled under our flag have been put afloat, and performed deeds
which have increased our naval renown.

I would invite special attention to the recommendation of the Secretary
for a more perfect organization of the navy, by introducing additional
grades in the service.

The present organization is defective and unsatisfactory, and the sug
gestions submitted by the department will, it is believed, if adopted, ob-
nate the difficulties alluded to, promote harmony, and increase the effi
ciency of the navy.

There are three vacancies on the bench of the Supreme Court two bj
the decease of Justices Daniel and McLean, and one by the resignation of
Justice Campbell. I have so far forborne making nominations to fill these
vacancies for reasons which I will now state. Two of the outgoing judges
resided within the States now overrun by revolt ; so that if successors
were appointed in the same localities, they could not now serve upon their
circuits; and many of the most competent men there probably would not
take the personal hazard of accepting to serve, even here, upon the su
preme bench. I have been unwilling to throw all the appointments
northward, thus disabling myself from doing justice to the South on the
return of peace ; although I may remark, that to transfer to the North
one which has heretofore been in the South, would not, with reference to
territory and population, be unjust.

During the long and brilliant judicial career of Judge McLean, his cir-


cnit grew into an empire altogether too large for any one judge to give
the courts therein more than a nominal attendance rising in population
from one million four hundred and seventy thousand and eighteen, in 1830,
to six million one hundred and fifty-one thousand four hundred and five,
in 1860.

Besides this, the country generally has outgrown our present judicial
pystero. If uniformity was at all intended, the system requires that all
the States shall be accommodated with Circuit Courts, attended by su
preme judges, while, in fact, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas, Florida,
Texas, California, and Oregon, have never had any such courts. Nor can
this well oe remedied without a change of the system ; because the add
ing of judges to the Supreme Court, enough for the accommodation of all
parts of the country with Circuit Courts, would create a court altogether
too numerous for a judicial body of any sort. And the evil, if it be one,
will increase as new States come into the Union. Circuit Courts are use
ful, or they are not useful. If useful, no State should be denied them ; if
not useful, no State should have them. Let them be provided for all, or
abolished as to all.

Three modifications occur to me, either of which, I think, would be au
improvement upon our present system. Let the Supreme Court be of
convenient number in every event. Then, first, let the whole country ba
divided into circuits of convenient size, the supreme judges to serve in a
number of them corresponding to thtiv own number, and independent
circuit judges be provided for all the rest. Or, secondly, let the supreme
judges be relieved from circuit duties, and circuit judges provided f r all
the circuits. Or, thirdly, dispense with circuit courts altogether, leaving
the judicial functions wholly to the cfntriot courts and an independent
Supreme Court.

I respectfully recommend to the consideration of Congress the present
condition of the statute laws, with the hope that Congress will be able
to find an easy remedy for many of the inconveniences and evils which
constantly embarrass those engaged in the practical administration of
their.. Since the organization of the Government, Congress has enacted
gome fire thousand acts and joint resolutions, which fill more than six
thousand closely-printed pages, and are scattered through many volumes.
Many of these acts have beer, drawn in haste and without sufficient cau
tion, so that their provisions are often obscure in themselves, or in con
flict with each other, or at least- so doubtful as to render it very difficult
for even the best-informed persons to ascertain precisely what the statute
law really is.

It seems to me very important that the statute laws should be made as
plain and intelligible as possible, and bo reduced to as small a compass as
may consist with the fulness and precision of the will of the legislators
and the perspicuity of its language. This, we J done, would, I think,
greatly facilitate the labors of those whose duty it is to assist in the ad


ministration of the laws, and would be a lasting benefit to the people, by
placing before them, in a more accessible and intelligible form, the laws
which so deeply concern their interests and their duties.

I am informed by some whose opinions I respect, that all the acts of
Congress now in force, and of a permanent and general nature, might be
revised and rewritten, so as to be embraced in one volume (or, at most,
two volumes) of ordinary and convenient size. And 1 respectfully recorr .
mend to Congress to consider of the subject, and, if my suggestion be n I
proved, to devise such plan as to their wisdom shall seem most proper ft "
the attainment of the end proposed.

One of the unavoidable consequences of the present insurrection is the
entire suppression, in many places, of all the ordinary means of admin
istering civil justice by the officers, and in the forms of existing law. This
i* the case, in whole or in part, in all the insurgent States ; and as our
t rmies advance upon and take possession of parts of those States, the
y ractical evil becomes more apparent. There are no courts nor officers to
whom the citizens of other States may apply for the enforcement of their
lawful claims against citizens of the insurgent States ; and there is a vast
amount of debt constituting such claims. Some have estimated it as high
as two hundred million dollars, due, in large part, from insurgents in open
rebellion to loyal citizens who are, even now, making great sacrifices in
the discharge of their patriotic duty to support the Government.

Under these circumstances, I have been urgently solicited to establish,
by military power, courts to administer summary justice in such cases. I
have thus far declined to do it, not because I had any doubt that the end
proposed the collection of the debts was just and right in itself, but
because I have been unwilling to go beyond the pressure of necessity in
the unusual exercise of power. But the powers of Congress, I suppose,
are equal to the anomalous occasion, and therefore I refer the whole mat
ter to Congress, with the hope that a plan may be devised for the admin
istration of justice in all such parts of the insurgent States and Territories
as n.1 / ta under the control of this Government, whether by a voluntary
return \o allegiance and order, or by the power of our arms; this, how-
erer, net to be a permanent institution, but a temporary substitute, and
to ceae as soon as the ordinary courts can be re-established in peace.

It is important that some more convenient means should be provided,
if possible, for the adjustment of claims against the Government, espe
cially in view of their increased number by reason of the war. It is as
much the duty of Government to render prompt justice against itself, in
favor of citizens, as it is to administer the same between private indi
viduals. The investigation and adjudication of claims, in their nature,
belong to the judicial department ; besides, it is apparent that the atten
tion of Congress will be more than usually engaged, for some time to
come, with great national questions. It was intended, by the organiza
tion of the Court of Claims, mainly to remove this branch of businetn


from the halls of Congress; but while the court has proved to be an ef
fective and valuable means of investigation, it in great degree fails to effect
the object of its creation, for want of power to make its judgments final.

Fully aware of the delicacy, not to say the danger, of the subject, I com
mend to your careful consideration whether this power of making judg
ments final may not properly be given to the court, reserving the right
of appeal on questions of law to the Supreme Court, with such other
provisions as experience may have shown to be necessary.

I ask attention to the report of the Postmaster-General, tue folio win
being A summary statement of the condition of the department :

The revenue from all sources during the fiscal year ending June 80,
1861, including the annual permanent appropriation of seven hundred
thousand dollars for the transportation of "free mail matter," was nine
million forty-nine thousand two hundred and ninety-six dollars and forty
cents, being about two per cent, less than the revenue for 1860.

The expenditures were thirteen million six hundred and six thousand
seven hundred and fifty-nine dollars and eleven cents, showing a decrease
of more than eight per cent, as compared with those of the previous year,
and leaving an excess of expenditure over the revenue for the last fiscal
year of four million five hundred and fifty-seven thousand tour hundred
and sixty-two dollars and seventy-one cents.

The gross revenue for the year ending June 30, 1863, is estimated at an
increase of four per cent, on that of 1861, making eight million six hun
dred and eighty-three thousand dollars, to which should be added the
earnings of the department in carrying free matter, viz., seven hundred
thousand dollars, making nine million three hundred and eighty-three
thousand dollars.

The total expenditures for 1863 are estimated at twelve million live
hundred and twenty-eight thousand dollars, leaving an estimated defi
ciency of three million one hundred and forty-five thousand dollars to be
ripplied from the Treasury, in addition to the permanent appropriation.

The present insurrection shows, [ think, that the extension of this dss
trict across the Potomac River, at the time of establishing the Capital
tore, was eminently wise, and consequently that tlie relinqiiishment of
tnat portion of it which lies within the State of Virginia was unwise and
dangerous. I submit for your consideration the expediency of regaining
tfcat part of the district, and the restoration of the original boundaries
thereof, through negotiations with the State of Virginia.

The report of tiie Secretary of the Interior, with the accompanying
documents, exhibits the condition of the several branches of the public
business pertaining to that department. The depressing influences pf the
insurrection have been especially felt in the operations of the Patent and
General Land Offices. The cash receipts from the sales of public lands
during the past year have exceeded the expenses of our land system only
about two hundred thousand dollars. The sales have hep entirely -


ponded in the Southern States, while the interruptions to the business of
the country, and the diversion of large numbers of men from labor to
military service, have obstructed settlements in the new States and Terri
tories of the Northwest.

The receipts of the Patent Office have declined in nine months about
one hundred thousand dollars, rendering a large reduction of the force
employed necessary to make it self-sustaining.

The demands upon the Pension Office will be largely increased by the
Insurrection. Numerous applications for pensions, based upon the casual
ties of the existing war, have already been made. There is reason to
believe that many who are now upon the pension rolls, and in, receipt of
the bounty of the Government, are in the ranks of the insurgent army, or
giving them aid and comfort. The Secretary of the Interior has directed
a suspension of the payment of the pensions of such persons upon proof
of their disloyalty. I recommend that Congress authorize that officer to
cause i)fi* names of such persons to be stricken from the pension rolls.

The relations of the Government with the Indian tribes have been
greatly disturbed by the insurrection, especially in the southern suporin-
tendency and in that of New Mexico. The Indian country south of Kansas
is in the possession of insurgents from Texas and Arkansas. The agenta
of the United States appointed since the 4th of March for this superin
tendency have been unable to reach their posts, while the most of those
who were in office before that time have espoused the insurrectionary
cause, and assume to exercise the powers of agents by virtue of commis
sions from the insurrectionists. It has been stated in the public press that

Online LibraryHenry J. (Henry Jarvis) RaymondLincoln, his life and time : being the life and public services of Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth president of the United States, together with his state papers, including his speeches, addresses, messages and proclamations and closing scenes connected with his life and death (Volume 1) → online text (page 22 of 42)