Page images


Colonization Movements.

for the authority of the United States, and the rights of their moral and loyal citizens.

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

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





[ocr errors]

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

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

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

“The suspension of specie payments by the banks, soon after the commencement of your last session, made large issues of United States notes unavoidable. In no other way could the payment of the troops, and the satisfaction of other just demands, be so economically or so well provided for. The judicious legislation of Congress, securing the receivability of these notes for loans and internal duties, and


Specie Payments.

National Banks.

making them a legal tender for other debts, has made them a universal currency; and has satisfied, partially at least, and for the time, the long felt want of an uniform circulating medium, saving thereby to the people immense sums in discounts and exchanges.

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

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

“I know of none which promises so certain results, and is, at the same time, so unobjectionable, as the organization of banking associations, under a general Act of Congress, well guarded in its provisions. To such associations the Government might furnish circulating notes, on the security of the United States bonds deposited in the treasury. These notes, prepared under the supervision of proper officers, being uniform in appearance and security, and convertible always into coin, would at once protect labor against the evils of a vicious currency, and facilitate commerce by cheap and safe exchanges.

“A moderate reservation from the interest on the bonds would compensate the United States for the preparation and distribution of the notes, and a general supervision of the system, and would lighten the burden of that part of the public debt employed as securities. The public credit, more




over, would be greatly improved, and the negotiation of new loans greatly facilitated by the steady market demand for Government bonds which the adoption of the proposed system would create.

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

“The receipts into the treasury, from all sources, including loans, and balance from the preceding year, for the fiscal year ending on the 30th June, 1862, were $583,885,247 06, of which sum $49,056,397 62 were derived from customs; $1,795,331 73 from the direct tax; from public lands, $152,203 77; from miscellaneous sources, $931,787 64; from loans in all forms, $529,692,460 50. The remainder, $2,257,065 80, was the balance from last year.

The disbursements during the same period were for Congressional, Executive, and Judicial purposes, $5,939,009 29; for foreign intercourse, $1,339,710 35; for miscellaneous expenses, including the mints, loans, post office deficiencies, collection of revenue, and other like charges, $14,129,771 50; for expenses under the Interior Department, $3,102,985 52; under the War Department, $394,368,407 36; under the Navy Department, $42,674,569 69; for interest on public debt, $13,190,324 45; and for payment of public debt, in cluding reimbursement of temporary loan, and redemptions $96,096, 922 09; making an aggregate of $570,841,700 25, and leaving a balance in the treasury on the first day of July, 1862, of $13,043,546 81.

“ It should be observed that the sum of $96,096,922 09, expended for reimbursements and redemption of public debt, being included also in tho loans made, may be properly


Compensated Emancipation.


deducted, both from receipts and expenditures, leaving the actual receipts for the year, $487,788,324 97; and the expenditures, $474,744,778 16..

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

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

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

“In the inaugural address I briefly pointed out the total inadequacy of disunion, as a remedy for the differences between the people of the two sections. I did so in language which I can not improve, and which, therefore, I beg to repeat:

“One section of our country believes Slavery is right, and ought to be extended, wbile the other is wrong, and ought not to be extended. This is the only substantial dispute. The fugitive slave clause of the Constitution, and the law for the suppression of the foreign slave-trade, are each as well enforced, perhaps, as any law can ever be in a community where the moral sense of the people imperfectly supports the law itself. The great body of the people

« PreviousContinue »