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answerable reason for adopting mature legislation, to fasten on the specific instead of ad valorem duties country a system, founded in error, in all cases where the nature of the which may place the whole subject commodity does not forbid it. A beyond the future control of Constriking illustration of these frauds gress. will be exhibited in the report of “ The agricultural lands should, the Secretary of the Treasury, however, be surveyed and brought showing the Custom-house valua- into market with as little delay as tion of articles imported under a possible, that the titles may become former law subject to specific duties, settled, and the inhabitants stimuwhen there was no inducement to lated to make permanent improveundervaluation, and the Custom- ments, and enter on the ordinary house valuations of the same arti- pursuits of life. To effect these cles, under the present system of ad objects, it is desirable that the valorem duties, so greatly reduced necessary provision be made by law as to leave no doubt of the existence for the establishment of land offices of the most flagrant abuses under in California and Oregon, and for the existing laws. This practical the efficient prosecution of the evasion of the present law, com- surveys at an early day. bined with the languishing condition " Agriculture may justly be reof some of the great interests of the garded as the great interest of our country, caused by overimportations people. Four-fifths of our active and consequent depressed prices, population are employed in the and with the failure in obtaining a cultivation of the soil, and the rapid foreign market for our increasing expansion of our settlements over surplus of breadstuffs and provision, new territory is daily adding to the has induced me again to recommend number of those engaged in that a modification of the existing tariff. vocation. Justice and sound policy,
“ The proper disposal of the mi- therefore, alike require that the neral lands of California is a subject Government should use all the surrounded by great difficulties. means authorized by the ConstituIn my last annual message I tion to promote the interests and recommended the survey and sale welfare of that important class of of them in small parcels, under our fellow-citizens. And yet it is such restrictions as would effectu- a singular fact that, while the ally guard against monopoly and manufacturing and commercial inspeculation. But, upon further in- terests have engaged the attention formation, and in deference to the of Congress during a large portion opinions of persons familiar with of every session, and our statutes the subject, I am inclined to change abound in provisions for their prothat recommendation, and to advise tection and encouragement, little that they be permitted to remain, has yet been done directly for the as at present, a common field, open advancement of agriculture. It is to the enterprise and industry of time that this reproach to our all our citizens, until further expe. legislation should be removed; and rience shall have developed the best I sincerely hope that the present policy to be ultimately adopted in Congress will not close their labours regard to them. It is safer to suffer without adopting efficient means the inconveniences that now exist to supply the omissions of those for a short period than, by pre- who have preceded them.
An agricultural bureau, charged “The expedition commanded by with the duty of collecting and Lieutenant De Haven, dispatched disseminating correct information in search of the British as to the best modes of cultivation, mander, Sir John Franklin, and and of the most effectual means of his companions in the Arctic Seas, preserving and restoring the fertility returned to New York in the month of the soil, and of procuring and of October, after having undergone distributing seeds and plants and great peril and suffering from an other vegetable productions, with unknown and dangerous navigation instructions in regard to the soil, and the rigours of a northern cliclimate, and treatment best adapted mate, without any satisfactory into their growth, could not fail to be, formation of the objects of their in the language of Washington, in search, but with new contributions his last annual message to Congress, to science and navigation from the “a very cheap instrument of im- unfrequented polar regions. The mense national benefit.'
officers and men of the expedition, “ The appropriations for the sup- having been all volunteers for this port of the army during the current service, and having so conducted it. fiscal year ending the 30th of June as to meet the entire approbation next were reduced far below the of the Government, it is suggested, estimate submitted by the depart as an act of grace and generosity,
The consequence of this that the same allowances or extra reduction is a considerable defi- pay and emoluments be extended to ciency, to which I invite your at
them that were made to the officers tention.
and men of like rating in the late " The expenditures of that depart- exploring expedition to the South ment, for the year ending the 30th Seas. of June last, were 9,060,268 dollars “ I earnestly recommend to your 586. The estimates for the year attention the necessity of reorgancommencing the 1st of July next, izing the naval establishment, apand ending on the 30th of June, portioning and fixing the number 1853, are 7,898,775 dollars 83c., of officers in each grade, providing showing a reduction of 1,161,492 some mode of promotion to the dollars 75c.
higher grades of the navy, having “ The report of the Secretary of reference to merit and capacity the Navy will exhibit the condition rather than seniority or date of of the public service under the entry into the service, and for resupervision of that department. tiring from the effective list, upon Our naval force afloat under the reduced pay, those who may be inpresent year has been actively and competent to the performance of usefully employed in giving pro- active duty. As a measure of ecotection to our widely-extended and nomy as well as of efficiency in increasing commerce and interests this arm of the service, the proin the various quarters of the globe, vision last mentioned is eminently and our flag has everywhere af- worthy of your consideration. forded the security and received " The advantages of science in the respect inspired by the justice nautical affairs have rarely been and liberality of our intercourse more strikingly illustrated than in and the dignity and power of the the fact stated in the report of the nation.
navy department, that, by means of
the wind and current charts, pro- “The gross revenues of the dejected and prepared by Lieutenant partment for the fiscal year, inMaury, the superintendent of the cluding the appropriations for the naval observatory, the passage from franked matter of Congress, of the the Atlantic to the Pacific ports of departments, and officers of Governour country has been shortened by ment, and excluding the foreign about 40 days.
postages, collected for and payable • The estimates for the support to the British post office, amounted of the navy and marine corps the to 6,727,866 dollars 78c. ensuing fiscal year will be found to “ The expenditures for the same be 5,856,472 dollars 19c., the esti- period (excluding 20,599 dollars mates for the current year being 49c. paid under an award of the 5,900,621 dollars.
auditor, in pursuance of a resolu" The report of the Postmaster- tion of the last Congress, for mail General, herewith communicated, service on the Ohio and Missispresents an interesting view of the sippi rivers in 1832 and 1833, and progress, operations, and condi- the amount paid to the British tion of his department.
post office for foreign postages col“At the close of the last fiscal lected for and payable to that office) year the length of mail routes amounted to 6,024,556 dollars, within the United States 79c.; leaving a balance of revenue 196,290 miles, the annual trans- over the proper expenditures of the portation thereon 53,272,252 miles, year of 703,299 dollars 99c. and the annual cost of such trans- The receipts for postages durportation 3,421,754 dollars. ing the year (excluding the foreign
“ The length of the foreign postages collected for and payable mail routes is estimated at 18,349 to the British post office) amounted miles, and the annual transporta- to 6,345,747 dollars 21c., being tion thereon at 615,206 miles. an increase of 997,610 dollars The annual cost of this service 79c. over the like receipts for the is 1,472,187 dollars, of which preceding year. 448,937 dollars is paid by the post- The public statutes of the office department, and 1,023,250 United States have now been acdollars is paid through the navy cumulating for more than 60 years, department.
and, interspersed with private acts, “ The annual transportation are scattered through numerous within the United States (ex- volumes, and, from the cost of the cluding the service in California whole, have become almost inacand Oregon, which is now, for the cessible to the great mass of the first time, reported, and embraced community. They also exhibit in the tabular statements of the de- much of the incongruity and impartment) exceeds that of the pre- perfection of hasty legislation. As ceding year 5,162,855 miles, at an it seems to be generally conceded increased cost of 547,110 dollars. that there is no common law' of
The whole number of post the United States to supply the offices in the United States on the defects of their legislation, it is 30th day of June last was 19,796. most important that that legislaThere were 1698 post offices esta- tion should be as perfect as posblished, and 256 discontinued sible, defining every power induring the year.
tended to be conferred, every crime
intended to be made punishable, appointment of a commission to and prescribing the punishment to revise the public statutes of the be inflicted. In addition to some United States, arranging them in particular cases spoken of more at order, supplying deficiencies, corlength, the whole criminal code is recting incongruities, simplifying now lamentably defective. Some their language, and reporting them offences are imperfectly described, to Congress for its action. and others are entirely omitted ; " It is deeply to be regretted so that flagrant crimes may be com- that, in several instances, officers mitted with impunity. The scale of the Government in attempting of punishment is not in all cases to execute the law for the return graduated according to the degree of fugitives from labour, have been and nature of the offence, and is openly resisted, and their efforts often rendered more unequal by the frustrated and defeated by lawless different modes of imprisonment and violent mobs; that in one case or peuitentiary confinement in the such resistance resulted in the different States.
death of an estimable citizen, and Many laws of a permanent in others serious injury ensued character have been introduced into to those officers and to individuals appropriation bills, and it is often who were using their endeavours difficult to determine whether the to sustain the laws. Prosecutions particular clause expires with the have been instituted against the temporary Act of which it is a part, alleged offenders, so far as they or continues in force. It has also could be identified, and are still frequently happened that enact- pending. I have regarded it as my ments and provisions of law have duty in these cases to give all aid been introduced into bills, with legally in my power to the enforcethe title or general subject of which ment of the laws, and I shall contithey have little or no connection or nue to do so wherever and whenever relation. In this mode of legis- their execution may be resisted. lation so many enactments have " The Act of Congress for the beeu heaped upon each other, and return of fugitives from labour is often with but little consideration, one required and demanded by the that in many instances it is diffi- express words of the Constitution. cult to search out and determine “ The Constitution declares, what is the law.
That no person held to service or “ The Government of the United labour in one State, under the laws States is emphatically a Govern- thereof, escaping into another, ment of written laws. The sta- shall, in consequence of any law or tutes should, therefore, as far as regulation therein, be discharged practicable, not only be made ac- from such service or labour, but cessible to all, but be expressed in shall be delivered up on claim of language so plain and simple as to the party to whom such service or be understood by all, and arranged labour may be due.' This constiin such method as to give perspi- tutional provision is equally oblicuity to every subject. Many of gatory upon the legislative, the the States have revised their pub- executive, and judicial departments lic acts with great and manifest of the Government, and upon every benefit; and I recommend that citizen of the United States. provision be made by law for the “ Some objections have been urged against the details of the blished by those measures until time Act for the return of fugitives from and experience should demonstrate labour; but it is worthy of remark the necessity of further legislation that the main opposition is aimed to guard against evasion or abuse. against the Constitution itself, and I was not induced to make this proceeds from persons and classes recommendation because I thought of persons, many of whom declare those measures perfect, for no their wish to see that Constitution human legislation can be perfect. overturned. They avow their hos- Wide differences and jarring opitility to any law which shall give nions can only be reconciled by full and practical effect to this re- yielding something on all sides, quirement of the Constitution. For- and this result had been reached tunately, the number of these per- after an angry conflict of many sons is comparatively small, and is months, in which one part of the believed to be daily diminishing: country was arrayed against anbut the issue which they present other, and violent convulsions is one which involves the supre- seemed to be imminent. Looking macy and even the existence of at the interests of the whole counthe Constitution.
try, I felt it to be my duty to seize “ Cases have heretofore arisen upon this compromise as the best in which individuals have denied that could be obtained amid conthe binding authority of Acts of flicting interests, and to insist upon Congress, and even States have it as a final settlement, to be adproposed to nullify such Acts, upon hered to by all who value the peace the ground that the Constitution and welfare of the country. A was the supreme law of the land, year has now elapsed since that and that those Acts of Congress recommendation was made. Το were repugnant to the instrument; th recommendation I still adhere, but nullification is now aimed, not and I congratulate you and the so much against particular laws as country upon the general acquiesbeing inconsistent with the Con- cence in these measures of peace stitution, as against the Constitu- which has been exhibited in all tion itself; and it is not to be dis- parts of the Republic. And not guised, that a spirit exists and bas only is there this general acquiesbeen actively at work to rend cence in these measures, but the asunder this union, which is our spirit of conciliation which has cherished inheritance from our re- been manifested in regard to them, volutionary fathers.
in all parts of the country, has re" In my last annual message I moved doubts and uncertainties in stated that I considered the series the minds of thousands of good of measures which had been adopt- men concerning the durability of ed at the previous session, in refer- our popular institutions, and given ence to the agitation growing out renewed assurance that our liberty of the territorial and slavery ques- and our union may subsist together tions, as a final settlement in prin- for the benefit of this and all succiple and substance of the danger. ceeding generations. ous and exciting subject which they
“ MILLARD FILLMORE. embraced; and I recommend ad- Washington, Dec. 2." herence to the adjustment esta