James D. Richardson.

A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents Volume 5, part 1: Presidents Taylor and Fillmore online

. (page 18 of 22)
Online LibraryJames D. RichardsonA Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents Volume 5, part 1: Presidents Taylor and Fillmore → online text (page 18 of 22)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


interest, whether any convention or compact has been entered into on the
part of the United States and the Government of Great Britain whereby
the two Governments jointly recommend or advise the Republics of Costa
Rica and Nicaragua, or either of those Republics, and the Mosquito
Indians, inhabiting the Mosquito Coast, in Central America, on matters
affecting their several and respective boundaries, or whereby any
recommendation or advice is given to either of said Republics or said
Indians respecting the territorial rights thereafter to be enjoyed or
observed by them respectively, or in any other manner affecting or
regulating the relations hereafter to be maintained between said
Republics themselves, or either of them, and the said Indians concerning
their territorial boundaries or other matters thereto appertaining. And
if there be any such convention or compact, then that the President be
requested to communicate the same, or a copy thereof, to the Senate, and
to inform the Senate whether the same was made at the request or
invitation of either of said Republics or of said Indians, or with their
privity, approbation, or consent. And that the President be further
requested to communicate to the Senate copies of all correspondence
between the Executive and Great Britain, or with either of said
Republics of Central America, touching said convention, and of all
documents connected therewith. And if such convention or compact has
been made, that the President be further requested to inform the Senate
whether the same has been formally communicated to the respective
Governments of Nicaragua and Costa Rica and the Mosquito Indians on the
part of the Governments of Great Britain and the United States, and in
what form such communications have been made to them, and that he lay
before the Senate copies of any instructions that have been given to the
representatives or agents of the United States at Nicaragua and Costa
Rica touching such convention and the matters therein contained, with
copies of like instructions to any naval officer of the United States
relating to or in any manner concerning the said convention or its
communication to said Republics or said Indians.


On the same day I returned the following answer to that resolution:

I have received and taken into respectful consideration the resolution
of the Senate of yesterday, adopted in executive session, requesting
information in regard to supposed negotiations between the United States
and Great Britain and between the United States and the Republics of
Nicaragua and Costa Rica, respectively. Any information which may be in
the possession of the Executive on these subjects shall in due time be
laid before the Senate, but it is apprehended that it would not comport
with the public interests to communicate it under existing
circumstances.


Great was my surprise to observe this morning in one of the public
journals a statement of what purports to be a proposition, jointly
signed by Her Britannic Majesty's minister here and the Secretary of
State, for the adjustment of certain claims to territory between
Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and the Mosquito Indians. I have caused immediate
inquiry to be made into the origin of this highly improper publication,
and shall omit no proper or legal means for bringing it to light.
Whether it shall turn out to have been caused by unfaithfulness or
breach of duty in any officer of this Government, high or low, or by
a violation of diplomatic confidence, the appropriate remedy will be
immediately applied, as being due not only to this Government, but to
other governments. And I hold this communication to be especially proper
to be made immediately by me to the Senate, after what has transpired
on this subject, that the Senate may be perfectly assured that no
information asked by it has been withheld and at the same time permitted
to be published to the world.

This publication can not be considered otherwise than as a breach of
official duty by some officer of the Government or a gross violation of
the confidence necessary always to be reposed in the representatives of
other nations. An occurrence of this kind can not but weaken the faith
so desirable to be preserved between different governments and to injure
the negotiations now pending, and it merits the severest reprobation.

MILLARD FILLMORE.



WASHINGTON CITY, _July 2, 1852_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I herewith transmit, for the advice and consent of the Senate, a treaty
recently negotiated with the Chickasaw Nation of Indians.

The nature and objects of the treaty are fully explained by the report
of Mr. Harper, who negotiated it in behalf of the United States.

MILLARD FILLMORE.



WASHINGTON, _July 2, 1852_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

By an act of Congress approved on the 10th day of February, 1852, an
appropriation of $6,000 was made for the relief of _American citizens_
then lately imprisoned and pardoned by the Queen of Spain, intended
to provide for the return of such of the Cuban prisoners as were
citizens of the United States who had been transported to Spain and
there pardoned by the Spanish Government. It will be observed that no
provision was made for such foreigners or aliens as were engaged in the
Cuban expedition, and who had shared the fate of American citizens, for
whose relief the said act was intended to provide. I now transmit a
report from the First Comptroller, with accompanying papers, from which
it will be perceived that fifteen foreigners were connected with that
expedition, who were also pardoned by the Queen of Spain, and have been
transported to the United States under a contract made with our consul,
at an expense of $1,013.34, for the payment of which no provision
has been made by law. The consul having evidently acted with good
intentions, the claim is submitted for the consideration of Congress.

MILLARD FILLMORE.



WASHINGTON, _July 13, 1852_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives requesting
information relative to the policy of the Government in regard to the
island of Cuba, I transmit a report from the Department of State and
the documents by which it was accompanied.

MILLARD FILLMORE.



EXECUTIVE MANSION,

_Washington City, July 26, 1852_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In obedience to your resolution adopted in executive session June 11,
1852, I have the honor herewith to communicate a report[23] from the
Secretary of the Interior, containing the information called for by that
resolution.

MILLARD FILLMORE.

[Footnote 23: Relating to the boundary line between the United States
and Mexico.]



WASHINGTON, _July 27, 1852_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 19th instant,
requesting the correspondence between the Government of the United
States and that of the Mexican Republic respecting a right of way
across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, I transmit a report from the
Department of State and the documents by which it was accompanied.

MILLARD FILLMORE.



WASHINGTON, _July 29, 1852_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 27th instant,
I transmit the copy of the notes[24] of Mr. Luis de la Rosa and Mr.
J.M. Gonzales de la Vega, which it requests.

MILLARD FILLMORE.

[Footnote 24: Upon the subject of the American and Mexican boundary
commission.]



WASHINGTON, _July 31, 1852_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I communicate to the Senate herewith, for its constitutional action
thereon, nineteen treaties negotiated by commissioners on the part of
the United States with various tribes of Indians in the Territory of
Oregon, accompanied by a letter to me from the Secretary of the Interior
and certain documents having reference thereto.

MILLARD FILLMORE.



WASHINGTON, _August 2, 1852_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 23d ultimo, requesting
information in regard to the fisheries on the coasts of the British
possessions in North America, I transmit a report from the Acting
Secretary of State and the documents by which it was accompanied.
Commodore M.C. Perry, with the United States steam frigate _Mississippi_
under his command, has been dispatched to that quarter for the purpose
of protecting the rights of American fishermen under the convention of
1818.

MILLARD FILLMORE.



WASHINGTON, _August 9, 1852_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I transmit a report from the Acting Secretary of State and the documents
by which it was accompanied, in answer to a resolution of the House of
Representatives of the 22d ultimo, on the subject of the fisheries, and
state for the information of that House that the United States steam
frigate _Mississippi_ has been dispatched to the fishing grounds on the
coasts of the British possessions in North America for the purpose of
protecting the rights of American fishermen under the convention between
the United States and Great Britain of the 20th of October, 1818.

MILLARD FILLMORE.



WASHINGTON, _August 10, 1852_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit a copy of the certificate of the exchange of the
ratifications of the general convention of peace, amity, commerce, and
navigation between the United States and the Republic of San Salvador,
signed at Leon, in Nicaragua, on the 2d of January, 1850. It will be
seen that the exchange was not effected until the 2d of June last, but
that it was stipulated that the convention was not to be binding upon
either of the parties thereto until the Senate of the United States
should have duly sanctioned the exchange.

The Senate by its resolution of the 27th of September, 1850, authorized
the exchange to take place at any time prior to the 1st of April, 1851.

Mr. Kerr, the chargé d'affaires of the United States to Nicaragua,
however, who was authorized to make the exchange on the part of this
Government, was unavoidably detained in that Republic, in consequence of
which the exchange could not be effected within the period referred to.

The expediency of sanctioning the exchange which has been made by
Mr. Kerr, and of authorizing the convention to go into effect, is
accordingly submitted to the consideration of the Senate.

MILLARD FILLMORE.



WASHINGTON, _August 12, 1852_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In answer to the resolution of the Senate dated the 20th ultimo,
requesting information in regard to controversies between the consul of
the United States at Acapulco and the Mexican authorities, I transmit
a report from the Secretary of State and the documents by which it was
accompanied.

MILLARD FILLMORE.



WASHINGTON, _August 13, 1852_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit a report from the Secretary of State upon the subject of the
relations between the United States and the Republics of Nicaragua and
Costa Rica, in Central America, which has been delayed longer than I
desired in consequence of the ill health of the Secretary of State.

MILLARD FILLMORE.



WASHINGTON, _August 14, 1852_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I have received a resolution from your honorable body of the 6th
instant, appearing to have been adopted in open legislative session,
requesting me "to inform the Senate, if not incompatible with the public
interests, whether any propositions have been made by the King of the
Sandwich Islands to transfer the sovereignty of these islands to the
United States, and to communicate to the Senate all the official
information on that subject in my possession;" in reply to which I have
to state that on or about the 12th day of June last I received a similar
resolution from the Senate adopted in executive or secret session, to
which I returned an answer stating that in my opinion a communication of
the information requested at that juncture would not comport with the
public interest. Nothing has since transpired to change my views on that
subject, and I therefore feel constrained again to decline giving the
information asked.

MILLARD FILLMORE.



WASHINGTON, _August 21, 1852_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 9th instant, requesting
information touching the Lobos Islands, I transmit a report from the
Secretary of State and the documents by which it was accompanied. The
instructions to the squadron of the United States called for by the
resolution will be communicated on an early future occasion.

MILLARD FILLMORE.



WASHINGTON, _August 27, 1852_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 14th ultimo, requesting
a copy of the correspondence of Mr. R.M. Walsh while he was employed
as a special agent of this Government in the island of St. Domingo,
I transmit a report from the Secretary of State and the documents by
which it was accompanied.

MILLARD FILLMORE.



WASHINGTON, _August 27, 1852_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit a further report from the Secretary of State relative to the
Lobos Islands. This report is accompanied by a copy of the orders of the
Navy Department to Commodore McCauley, requested by the resolution of
the Senate of the 9th instant.

MILLARD FILLMORE.



WASHINGTON, _August 27, 1852_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

As it is not deemed advisable that the instruction to Mr. R.M. Walsh,[25]
a copy of which is herewith transmitted, should be published at this
time, I communicate it confidentially to the Senate in executive
session.

MILLARD FILLMORE.

[Footnote 25: Special agent of the United States in the island of St.
Domingo.]



WASHINGTON, _August 27, 1852_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for its consideration with a view to
ratification, a supplementary convention relative to commerce and
navigation between the United States and the Netherlands, signed
in this city on the 26th instant.

MILLARD FILLMORE.



WASHINGTON, _August 27, 1852_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for its consideration with a view to
ratification, a convention between the United States and Belgium for
regulating the right of inheriting and acquiring property, signed in
this city on the 25th instant.

MILLARD FILLMORE.



WASHINGTON, _August 31, 1852_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 21st instant,
requesting information in respect to foreign postal arrangements, and
especially cheap ocean postage, I transmit a report of the Secretary
of State and the documents by which it was accompanied.

MILLARD FILLMORE.




EXECUTIVE ORDERS.



WASHINGTON CITY,

_May 17, 1852_.

The SECRETARY OF WAR.

MY DEAR SIR: I have just issued an authority to Hugh Maxwell, collector
at New York, under the eighth section of the act of April 20, 1818,
to arrest any unlawful expedition that may be attempted to be fitted
out within his district, and I have given him power to call upon
any military and naval officers that may be there to aid him in the
execution of this duty; and I will thank you to issue the necessary
instructions to the proper military officer in that district.

I am, your obedient servant,

MILLARD FILLMORE.



WASHINGTON CITY,

_Tuesday, June 29, 1852 - 12.30 o'clock p.m._

SIR:[26] The tolling bells announce the death of the Hon. Henry Clay.
Though this event has been long anticipated, yet the painful bereavement
could never be fully realized. I am sure all hearts are too sad at this
moment to attend to business, and I therefore respectfully suggest that
your Department be closed for the remainder of the day.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

MILLARD FILLMORE.

[Footnote 26: Addressed to the heads of the several Executive
Departments.]



WASHINGTON, _September 13, 1852_.

General Jos. G. TOTTEN.

SIR: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your favor of the 11th instant
and to say that I shall be pleased if you will cause the necessary
surveys, projects, and estimates for determining the best means of
affording the cities of Washington and Georgetown an unfailing and
abundant supply of good and wholesome water to be made as soon as
possible.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

MILLARD FILLMORE.



[From the Daily National Intelligencer, October 26, 1852.]

EXECUTIVE MANSION,

_Washington, Monday Morning, October 25, 1852_.

The ACTING SECRETARY OF STATE and the SECRETARIES OF THE TREASURY,
INTERIOR, WAR, NAVY, the ATTORNEY-GENERAL and POSTMASTER-GENERAL.

GENTLEMEN: The painful intelligence received yesterday enforces upon me
the sad duty of announcing to the Executive Departments the death of the
Secretary of State. Daniel Webster died at Marshfield, in Massachusetts,
on Sunday, the 24th of October, between 2 and 3 o'clock in the morning.

Whilst this irreparable loss brings its natural sorrow to every American
heart and will be heard far beyond our borders with mournful respect
wherever civilization has nurtured men who find in transcendent
intellect and faithful, patriotic service a theme for praise, it
will visit with still more poignant emotion his colleagues in the
Administration, with whom his relations have been so intimate and
so cordial.

The fame of our illustrious statesman belongs to his country, the
admiration of it to the world. The record of his wisdom will inform
future generations not less than its utterance has enlightened the
present. He has bequeathed to posterity the richest fruits of the
experience and judgment of a great mind conversant with the greatest
national concerns. In these his memory will endure as long as our
country shall continue to be the home and guardian of freemen.

The people will share with the Executive Departments in the common
grief which bewails his departure from amongst us.

In the expression of individual regret at this afflicting event the
Executive Departments of the Government will be careful to manifest
every observance of honor which custom has established as appropriate
to the memory of one so eminent as a public functionary and so
distinguished as a citizen.

The Acting Secretary of State will communicate this sad intelligence to
the diplomatic corps near this Government and, through our ministers
abroad, to foreign governments.

The members of the Cabinet are requested, as a further testimony of
respect for the deceased, to wear the usual badges of mourning for
thirty days.

I am, gentlemen, your obedient servant,

MILLARD FILLMORE.




THIRD ANNUAL MESSAGE.


WASHINGTON, _December 6, 1852_.

_Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and of the House of Representatives_:

The brief space which has elapsed since the close of your last session
has been marked by no extraordinary political event. The quadrennial
election of Chief Magistrate has passed off with less than the usual
excitement. However individuals and parties may have been disappointed
in the result, it is, nevertheless, a subject of national congratulation
that the choice has been effected by the independent suffrages of a free
people, undisturbed by those influences which in other countries have
too often affected the purity of popular elections.

Our grateful thanks are due to an all-merciful Providence, not only
for staying the pestilence which in different forms has desolated some
of our cities, but for crowning the labors of the husbandman with an
abundant harvest and the nation generally with the blessings of peace
and prosperity.

Within a few weeks the public mind has been deeply affected by the
death of Daniel Webster, filling at his decease the office of Secretary
of State. His associates in the executive government have sincerely
sympathized with his family and the public generally on this mournful
occasion. His commanding talents, his great political and professional
eminence, his well-tried patriotism, and his long and faithful services
in the most important public trusts have caused his death to be lamented
throughout the country and have earned for him a lasting place in our
history.

In the course of the last summer considerable anxiety was caused for
a short time by an official intimation from the Government of Great
Britain that orders had been given for the protection of the fisheries
upon the coasts of the British Provinces in North America against the
alleged encroachments of the fishing vessels of the United States and
France. The shortness of this notice and the season of the year seemed
to make it a matter of urgent importance. It was at first apprehended
that an increased naval force had been ordered to the fishing grounds
to carry into effect the British interpretation of those provisions in
the convention of 1818 in reference to the true intent of which the two
Governments differ. It was soon discovered that such was not the design
of Great Britain, and satisfactory explanations of the real objects of
the measure have been given both here and in London.

The unadjusted difference, however, between the two Governments as to
the interpretation of the first article of the convention of 1818 is
still a matter of importance. American fishing vessels, within nine or
ten years, have been excluded from waters to which they had free access
for twenty-five years after the negotiation of the treaty. In 1845 this
exclusion was relaxed so far as concerns the Bay of Fundy, but the just
and liberal intention of the home Government, in compliance with what
we think the true construction of the convention, to open all the
other outer bays to our fishermen was abandoned in consequence of the
opposition of the colonies. Notwithstanding this, the United States
have, since the Bay of Fundy was reopened to our fishermen in 1845,
pursued the most liberal course toward the colonial fishing interests.
By the revenue law of 1846 the duties on colonial fish entering our
ports were very greatly reduced, and by the warehousing act it is
allowed to be entered in bond without payment of duty. In this way
colonial fish has acquired the monopoly of the export trade in our
market and is entering to some extent into the home consumption. These
facts were among those which increased the sensibility of our fishing
interest at the movement in question.

These circumstances and the incidents above alluded to have led me to
think the moment favorable for a reconsideration of the entire subject
of the fisheries on the coasts of the British Provinces, with a view to
place them upon a more liberal footing of reciprocal privilege. A
willingness to meet us in some arrangement of this kind is understood to
exist on the part of Great Britain, with a desire on her part to include
in one comprehensive settlement as well this subject as the commercial
intercourse between the United States and the British Provinces. I have
thought that, whatever arrangements may be made on these two subjects,
it is expedient that they should be embraced in separate conventions.
The illness and death of the late Secretary of State prevented the
commencement of the contemplated negotiation. Pains have been taken to
collect the information required for the details of such an arrangement.
The subject is attended with considerable difficulty. If it is found
practicable to come to an agreement mutually acceptable to the two
parties, conventions may be concluded in the course of the present
winter. The control of Congress over all the provisions of such an
arrangement affecting the revenue will of course be reserved.

The affairs of Cuba formed a prominent topic in my last annual message.
They remain in an uneasy condition, and a feeling of alarm and
irritation on the part of the Cuban authorities appears to exist. This
feeling has interfered with the regular commercial intercourse between
the United States and the island and led to some acts of which we have
a right to complain. But the Captain-General of Cuba is clothed with no
power to treat with foreign governments, nor is he in any degree under
the control of the Spanish minister at Washington. Any communication
which he may hold with an agent of a foreign power is informal and
matter of courtesy. Anxious to put an end to the existing inconveniences
(which seemed to rest on a misconception), I directed the newly


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 18 20 21 22

Online LibraryJames D. RichardsonA Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents Volume 5, part 1: Presidents Taylor and Fillmore → online text (page 18 of 22)