James D. Richardson.

A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents Volume 3, part 2: Martin Van Buren online

. (page 24 of 44)
Online LibraryJames D. RichardsonA Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents Volume 3, part 2: Martin Van Buren → online text (page 24 of 44)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


the modifications offered by Her Majesty's Government, as communicated
to you in my note of the 10th of January last, and you invite me to a
conference for the purpose of negotiating a convention that shall
embrace the above object if I am duly empowered by my Government to
proceed to such negotiation.

I have the honor to state to you in reply that my actual instructions
were fulfilled by the delivery of the communication which I addressed to
you on the 10th of January, and that I am not at present provided with
full powers for negotiating the proposed convention. I will forthwith,
however, transmit to Her Majesty's Government the note which I have had
the honor to receive from you in order that such fresh instructions may
be furnished to me or such other steps taken as the present situation of
the question may appear to Her Majesty's Government to require.

I avail myself of this occasion to renew to you the assurance of my high
respect and consideration.

H.S. FOX.



DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

_Washington, May 8, 1838_.

His Excellency EDWARD KENT,

_Governor of Maine_.

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt on the 22d ultimo of
the communication addressed to this Department by your excellency on
the 28th of March last, transmitting a printed copy of your message of
the 14th of the same month to the legislature of Maine, together with
certain resolves passed by that body, in relation to the northeastern
boundary of the State.

Although the answer thus given to the application made to you, by
direction of the President, under date of the 1st of March last, to
ascertain the sense of the State of Maine in regard to a conventional
line of boundary may be regarded as conclusive, I still deem it proper,
with reference to your excellency's message, to mark a misconception
which appears to have existed on your part when communicating to the
legislature the letter and documents received from this Department. This
is done with the greater freedom since the frank and liberal manner in
which your excellency invited the attention of that body to the subject
is highly appreciated by the President. The question therein presented
for consideration was not, as your excellency supposed, whether the
State of Maine should "take the lead in abandoning the treaty and
volunteer propositions for a conventional line," but simply whether the
government of Maine would consent that the General Government should
entertain a direct negotiation with the British Government for a
conventional line of boundary on the northeastern frontier of the United
States. Had that consent been given it would have been reasonable to
expect the proposition of a line from Great Britain, as it was that
power which particularly desired the resort to that mode of settling the
controversy. It was also the intention of the President so to arrange
the negotiation that the approbation of Maine to the boundary line
agreed upon should have been secured. It was with this view that in the
application to the State of Maine for its assent to a negotiation for a
conventional line express reference was made to such conditions as she
might think proper to prescribe. To all such as were, in the opinion of
the President, required by a proper regard for the security of Maine and
consistent with the Constitution he would have yielded a ready assent.
Of that character was he disposed to regard a condition that in a
negotiation for the final establishment of a new line, with power on the
part of the negotiators to stipulate for the cession or exchange of
territory as the interests and convenience of the parties might be found
to require, the State of Maine should be represented by commissioners of
her own selection and that their previous assent should be requisite to
make any treaty containing such stipulation binding upon her.

These suggestions are not now made as matter of complaint at the
decision which the State of Maine has come to on a matter in which she
was at perfect liberty to pursue the course she has adopted, but in
justice to the views of the President in making the application.

I am instructed to announce to your excellency that by direction of the
President, upon due consideration of the result of the late application
of the General Government to the State of Maine on the subject of the
northeastern boundary and in accordance with the expressed wishes of
her legislature, I have informed Mr. Fox of the willingness of this
Government to enter into an arrangement with that of Great Britain for
the establishment of a joint commission of survey and exploration upon
the basis of the original American proposition and the modifications
offered by Her Majesty's Government, and to apprise you that Mr. Fox,
being at present unprovided with full powers for negotiating the
proposed convention, has transmitted my communication to his Government
in order that such fresh instructions may be furnished to him or such
other steps taken as may be deemed expedient on its part.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your excellency's obedient
servant,

JOHN FORSYTH.



WASHINGTON, _May 21, 1838_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States_:

The accompanying copy of a communication addressed by the Secretary of
War to the Cherokee delegation is submitted to Congress in order that
such measures may be adopted as are required to carry into effect the
benevolent intentions of the Government toward the Cherokee Nation, and
which it is hoped will induce them to remove peaceably and contentedly
to their new homes in the West.

M. VAN BUREN.



WASHINGTON, _May 24, 1838_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I herewith submit a report from the Secretary of the Treasury,
explanatory of the manner in which extracts from certain newspapers
relating to the introduction of foreign paupers into this country, and
the steps taken to prevent it, became connected with his communication
to me on that subject, accompanying my message of the 11th instant.
Sensible that those extracts are of a character which would, if
attention had been directed to them, have prevented their transmission
to the House, I request permission to withdraw them.

M. VAN BUREN.



WASHINGTON, _May 30, 1838_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I herewith transmit to the House of Representatives a report from the
Secretary of State, in answer to their resolution of the 28th instant,
relative to the claim[34] in the case of the ship _Mary_ and cargo, of
Baltimore.

M. VAN BUREN.

[Footnote 34: Against the Government of Holland.]



WASHINGTON, _May 31, 1838_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the House of Representatives of the
28th instant, regarding the annexation of the Republic of Texas to the
United States, I transmit a report from the Secretary of State, to whom
the resolution was referred.

M. VAN BUREN.



WASHINGTON, _June 1, 1838_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

Negotiations have been opened with the Osage and Delaware Indians, in
compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 19th of January
last, for the relinquishment of certain school lands secured to them by
treaty. These relinquishments have been obtained on the terms authorized
by the resolution, and copies of them are herewith transmitted for the
information of the Senate.

M. VAN BUREN.



WASHINGTON, _June 4, 1838_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I transmit herewith to the House of Representatives a report from the
Secretary of State, with accompanying papers, relating to the claim of
the orphan children of Peter Shackerly,[35] in answer to their
resolution of the 28th ultimo.

M. VAN BUREN.

[Footnote 35: Killed on board of the United States ship _Chesapeake_
when attacked by the British ship of war _Leopard_, June 22, 1807.]



WASHINGTON, _June 6, 1838_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the 4th instant, calling for any
communication received from the governors of the States of Georgia,
North Carolina, Tennessee, and Alabama in reference to the proposed
modification of the Cherokee treaty of 1835, I herewith inclose a report
of the Secretary of War, accompanied by a copy of a letter addressed by
him to the governor of Georgia and of his reply thereto. As stated by
the Secretary, no communication on that subject has been received from
either of the other executives mentioned.

M. VAN BUREN.



WASHINGTON, _June 7, 1838_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I transmit to the House of Representatives an account against the
United States, presented by Heman Cady, of Plattsburg, in the State of
New York, for services alleged to have been rendered as deputy marshal
for the northern district of New York from the 20th December, 1837, to
the 9th February, 1838, by direction of the attorney and marshal of the
United States for that district, in endeavoring to prevent the arming
and enlisting of men for the invasion of Canada. I also transmit
certain documents which were exhibited in support of the said account.
I recommend to the consideration of Congress the expediency of an
appropriation for the payment of this claim and of some general
provision for the liquidation and payment of others which may be
expected to be presented hereafter for services of a similar character
rendered before and after the passage of the act of the 20th March last,
for preserving the neutrality of the United States on the northern
frontier, which act imposes important duties upon the marshals and other
civil officers, but omits to provide for their remuneration or for the
reimbursement of their expenses.

M. VAN BUREN.



WASHINGTON, _June 7, 1838_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

Having received satisfactory assurances from the Government of Ecuador
of its desire to negotiate a treaty of commerce on the most liberal
principles in place of the expired treaty made with the Republic of
Colombia, heretofore regulating our intercourse with Ecuador, it is my
design to give the requisite authority for that purpose to the chargé
d'affaires of the United States about to be appointed for Peru, with
instructions to stop in Ecuador on his way to Lima as the agent of the
United States to accomplish that object. The only additional charges to
be incurred will be the expense of his journey from Panama to Quito, and
from thence to the place of embarkation for Lima, to be paid out of the
foreign-intercourse fund. I make this communication to the Senate that
an opportunity may be afforded for the expression of an opinion, if
it shall be deemed necessary, on the exercise of such a power by the
Executive without applying to the Senate for its approbation and
consent. In debate it has been sometimes asserted that this power,
frequently exercised without question or complaint, and leading to
no practical evil, as no arrangement made under such circumstances
can be obligatory upon the United States without being submitted to
the approbation of the Senate, is an encroachment upon its rightful
authority. It appears to have been considered that the annual
appropriation of a gross sum for the expenses of foreign intercourse is
intended, among other objects, to provide for the cost of such agencies,
and that the authority granted is the same as that frequently given to
the Secretary of State to form treaties with the representatives or
agents of foreign governments, upon the granting of which the Senate
never have been consulted.

Desiring in this and in all other instances to act with the most
cautious respect to the claims of other branches of the Government,
I bring this subject to the notice of the Senate that if it shall be
deemed proper to raise any question it may be discussed and decided
before and not after the power shall have been exercised.

M. VAN BUREN.



WASHINGTON CITY, _June 11, 1838_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I submit herewith, for consideration and action, a communication from
the Secretary of War and the treaty with the Otoe, Missouria, and Omaha
Indians therein referred to.

M. VAN BUREN.



WASHINGTON, _June 20, 1838_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I transmit, in compliance with a resolution of the House of
Representatives of the 11th instant, reports from the Secretaries
of State, Treasury, and War, with the documents referred to by them
respectively. It will be seen that the outrage committed on the
steamboat _Sir Robert Peel_, under the British flag, within the waters
of the United States, and on the steamboat _Telegraph_, under the
American flag, at Brockville, in Upper Canada, have not been followed
by any demand by either Government on the other for redress. These acts
have been so far treated on each side as criminal offenses committed
within the jurisdiction of tribunals competent to inquire into the facts
and to punish the persons concerned in them. Investigations have been
made, some of the individuals inculpated have been arrested, and
prosecutions are in progress, the result of which can not be doubted.
The excited state of public feeling on the borders of Canada on both
sides of the line has occasioned the most painful anxiety to this
Government. Every effort has been and will be made to prevent the
success of the design, apparently formed and in the course of execution
by Canadians who have found a refuge within the territory, aided by a
few reckless persons of our own country, to involve the nation in a war
with a neighboring and friendly power. Such design can not succeed while
the two Governments appreciate and confidently rely upon the good faith
of each other in the performance of their respective duties. With a
fixed determination to use all the means in my power to put a speedy
and satisfactory termination to these border troubles, I have the most
confident assurances of the cordial cooperation of the British
authorities, at home and in the North American possessions, in the
accomplishment of a purpose so sincerely and earnestly desired by the
Governments and people both of the United States and Great Britain.

M. VAN BUREN.



WASHINGTON, _June 28, 1838_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution passed by the House of Representatives
on the 23d instant, in respect to the new Treasury building, I submit
the inclosed report from the commissioners charged with a general
superintendence of the work, and which, with the documents annexed,
is believed to contain all the information desired.

M. VAN BUREN.



WASHINGTON, _June 28, 1838_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I nominate Lieutenant-Colonel Thayer, of the Corps of Engineers, for the
brevet of colonel in the Army, agreeably to the recommendation of the
Secretary of War.

M. VAN BUREN.



WAR DEPARTMENT, _June 28, 1838_.

The PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

SIR: In submitting the name of Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel S. Thayer,
of the Corps of Engineers, for the brevet of colonel for ten years'
faithful service in one grade it may be proper to state the
circumstances of his case.

When the law of 1812 regulating brevets was repealed by the act of June
30, 1834, all the officers of the Army who were known to be entitled to
the ordinary brevet promotion for ten years' faithful service in one
grade received on that day, by and with the advice and consent of the
Senate, the brevet promotion to which they were respectively entitled.
The regulation which governed the subject under the law had reference
only to service with regularly organized bodies of troops, and valid
claims arising under it were generally known and easily understood at
the Adjutant-General's Office. If incidental cases occurred for which
the written regulations could not provide the rule, although equally
valid, such, nevertheless, may not in every instance have been known at
the War Department until specially represented by the party interested.
The case of Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel Thayer happened to be one of those
incidental claims, and as soon as it was submitted for consideration its
validity was clearly seen and acknowledged. Had it been submitted to
the Department when the list was made out in June, 1834, it may not be
doubted that this highly meritorious and deserving officer would at the
time have received the brevet of colonel for "having served faithfully
as brevet lieutenant-colonel and performed the appropriate duties of
that grade for ten years," which, it may be seen, was due more than
_a year before the passage of the act repealing the law_.

In presenting now this deferred case for your favorable consideration
justice requires that I should advert to the valuable services
rendered to the Army and the country by Lieutenant-Colonel Thayer as
Superintendent of the Military Academy at West Point. In 1817 he found
that institution defective in all its branches, and without order; in
1833 he left it established upon a basis alike honorable to himself and
useful to the nation. These meritorious services constitute _another_
claim which entitles this officer to the notice of the Government, and
as they come fairly within one of the conditions of the law which yet
open the way to brevet promotion, the incentive it provides is fully
realized by the services that have been rendered.

I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,

J.R. POINSETT.



WASHINGTON, _July 2, 1838_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I herewith transmit to the House of Representatives a report[36] from
the Secretary of State, together with the documents therein referred to
in answer to their resolution of the 28th of May last.

M. VAN BUREN.

[Footnote 36: Transmitting reports of the commissioners appointed under
the sixth and seventh articles of the treaty of Ghent to ascertain and
fix the boundary between the United States and the British possessions
in North America, etc.]



WASHINGTON, _July 3, 1838_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I transmit a report from the War Department, in relation to the
investigations of the allegations of fraud committed on the Creek
Indians in the sales of their reservations authorized by the resolution
of that body of the 1st of July, 1836.

M. VAN BUREN.



WASHINGTON, _July 4, 1838_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In further compliance with the resolution of the House of
Representatives of the 21st of March last, requesting papers on
the subject of the relations between the United States and Mexico, I
transmit a report from the Secretary of State, to whom the resolution
was referred, supplementary to the report of that officer communicated
with my message to the House of Representatives of the 27th of April
last.

M. VAN BUREN.



WASHINGTON, _July 7, 1838_.

The PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE.

SIR: In conformity with the resolution of the Senate, I transmit
herewith the report of Major-General Jesup,[27] together with a letter
from the Secretary of War.

M. VAN BUREN.

[Footnote 37: Relating to operations while commanding the army in
Florida.]




PROCLAMATIONS.


[From Statutes at Large (Little, Brown & Co.), Vol XI, p. 784.]

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.


Whereas information having been received of a dangerous excitement on
the northern frontier of the United States in consequence of the civil
war begun in Canada, and instructions having been given to the United
States officers on that frontier and applications having been made
to the governors of the adjoining States to prevent any unlawful
interference on the part of our citizens in the contest unfortunately
commenced in the British Provinces, additional information has just been
received that, notwithstanding the proclamations of the governors of
the States of New York and Vermont exhorting their citizens to refrain
from any unlawful acts within the territory of the United States, and
notwithstanding the presence of the civil officers of the United States,
who by my directions have visited the scenes of commotion with a view
of impressing the citizens with a proper sense of their duty, the
excitement, instead of being appeased, is every day increasing in
degree; that arms and munitions of war and other supplies have been
procured by the insurgents in the United States; that a military force,
consisting in part, at least, of citizens of the United States, had been
actually organized, had congregated at Navy Island, and were still in
arms under the command of a citizen of the United States, and that they
were constantly receiving accessions and aid:

Now, therefore, to the end that the authority of the laws may be
maintained and the faith of treaties observed, I, Martin Van Buren,
do most earnestly exhort all citizens of the United States who have thus
violated their duties to return peaceably to their respective homes; and
I hereby warn them that any persons who shall compromit the neutrality
of this Government by interfering in an unlawful manner with the affairs
of the neighboring British Provinces will render themselves liable to
arrest and punishment under the laws of the United States, which will
be rigidly enforced; and, also, that they will receive no aid or
countenance from their Government, into whatever difficulties they
may be thrown by the violation of the laws of their country and the
territory of a neighboring and friendly nation.

[SEAL.]

Given under my hand, at the city of Washington, the 5th day of January,
A.D. 1838, and the sixty-second of the Independence of the United
States.

M. VAN BUREN.

By the President:
JOHN FORSYTH,
_Secretary of State_.



[From Statutes at Large (Little, Brown & Co.), Vol. XI, p. 785.]

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.


Whereas there is too much reason to believe that citizens of the United
States, in disregard to the solemn warning heretofore given to them by
the proclamations issued by the Executive of the General Government and
by some of the governors of the States, have combined to disturb the
peace of the dominions of a neighboring and friendly nation; and

Whereas information has been given to me, derived from official and
other sources, that many citizens in different parts of the United
States are associated or associating for the same purpose; and

Whereas disturbances have actually broken out anew in different parts of
the two Canadas; and

Whereas a hostile invasion has been made by citizens of the United
States, in conjunction with Canadians and others, who, after forcibly
seizing upon the property of their peaceful neighbor for the purpose
of effecting their unlawful designs, are now in arms against the
authorities of Canada, in perfect disregard of their obligations as
American citizens and of the obligations of the Government of their
country to foreign nations:

Now, therefore, I have thought it necessary and proper to issue this
proclamation, calling upon every citizen of the United States neither to
give countenance nor encouragement of any kind to those who have thus
forfeited their claim to the protection of their country; upon those
misguided or deluded persons who are engaged in them to abandon projects
dangerous to their own country, fatal to those whom they profess a
desire to relieve, impracticable of execution without foreign aid, which
they can not rationally expect to obtain, and giving rise to imputations
(however unfounded) upon the honor and good faith of their own
Government; upon every officer, civil or military, and upon every
citizen, by the veneration due by all freemen to the laws which they
have assisted to enact for their own government, by his regard for the
honor and reputation of his country, by his love of order and respect
for the sacred code of laws by which national intercourse is regulated,
to use every effort in his power to arrest for trial and punishment
every offender against the laws providing for the performance of our
obligations to the other powers of the world. And I hereby warn all
those who have engaged in these criminal enterprises, if persisted in,
that, whatever may be the condition to which they may be reduced, they
must not expect the interference of this Government in any form on their
behalf, but will be left, reproached by every virtuous fellow-citizen,



Online LibraryJames D. RichardsonA Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents Volume 3, part 2: Martin Van Buren → online text (page 24 of 44)