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esuperintended by an officer of the Corps of Engieers, who has been ordered to Pittsburgh, to be in reainess for that service. Under the act of the 26th of May last, making approriations for deepening the channel leading into the arbor of Presqu’isle, in Pennsylvania, and for repairg Plymouth Beach, in Massachusetts, officers of the orps of Engineers were assigned to superintend the lfilment of those objects, but were prevented, by unaoidable circumstances, from entering upon their repective duties before the month of August. It was und, after collecting materials, and making other preminary arrangements at Presqu’isle,that the season had ivanced too far, and the weather had become too cold, authorize the commencement of the construction, the rst stage of which would be driving piles, an operation at would require exposure in the water. The contruction at Presqu’isle, therefore, will not be comleuced until the next spring, unless it should be found *be practicable to drive the piles through the ice in the moung winter. The success of a partial experiment otely made, has thoroughly satisfied the engineer having he superintendence of the work, of the feasibility and ficiency of the plan, to fulfil the purposes for which it intended. Therepair of Plymouth Beach, although commenced polate to admit of its being completed this season, has **n three-fourths finished, and has put the beach in a unition to afford very important, if not adequate pro*ction to the harbor, for the present. The Military Academy not only continues to sustain e high character for discipline and scientific attainwent which was exhibited in the last annual report, but as evidently improved in its general condition. At the * June examination, before a numerous and scientific oard of Visitors, a very favorable exhibition of the atonments of the cadets confirms this opinion. The umber of cadets now at the academy is two hundred * fifty four, and the number of those which were gra*ated and promoted into the army last year, is thirty* Notwithstanding the Military Academy progress**ith remarkable success under the present system *blished for its government by the War Department, * evident that the institution is susceptible of further "provements in its organization. These improvements *suggested themselves in the course of experience, "can be effected by legislative provision only. * subject has been particularly noticed by the of Visitors who examined the Military Academy, "melast. I take the liberty of presenting, here with, o of their report, marked A, with extracts from * Journal of proceedings, marked B, C, and D, and ove to refer you to them, and also to my report ot o accompanying documents on the same subject, *the 21st of February last, which has been publish. o: the state papers of the 1st session of the 18th ** in the 6th volume, article No. 111. "...he growing importance,as well as from the exten: is o: duties assigned to the Engineer Department, out that the number of officers attached to it is **te to the fulfilment of all that is required of it; o onsequence, the Department is under the .." of employing individuals in civil life, at a rate otion ar above that paid to the regular offio: Department. I therefore respectfully submit kid, ...” whether, under the increasing deo o ! * services of the Engineers, an augmenta. o o numbers would not at this time be expe. tion *. the score of economy and the faithful exot. #. e enlarged duties required of the Departo: whole number of the officers of the Corps ecote ** twenty-two, and of the Topographical En*"Ta small number, when compared with the
importance, extent, and variety of objects, committed to the direction of the Engineer Department. Respectfully submitted. ALEX. MACOMB, JMaj Gen. - Chief Engineer. The Hon. J. C. CALHoms, Secretary of War.
REPORT OF THE - ECRETARY OF THE NAVY, .Accompanying the President’s Message.
The Secretary of the JWavy to the President of the U.States.
Navy DEPARTME-T, Dec. 1, 1824. Sin: I have the honor to present to you the following report, exhibiting the administration of this Department during the present year. There are now in commission for the sea service, the vessels named in paper A, subjoined to this report. Nothing, worthy of particular observation, has occurred with our squadron in the Mediterranean. It has been maintained at the extent which was proposed in the report of last year, and has afforded the necessary protection to our commerce there. The unfriendly relations, however, which exist between Algiers and some of the governments of Europe, and the effects not unlikely to be felt, upon our political and commercial interests in that quarter, with other important considerations, have been supposed to render it expedient to augment our force. With this view, the North Carolina has been prepared, and will sail in a few days. The squadron will then consist of the ship of the line North Carolina, frigate Constitution, corvette Cyane, the sloops of war Erie and Ontario, and schooner Nonsuch ; and will be under the command of Commodore Rodgers, who has been, for several years past, the President of the Board of Navy Commissioners, and whose high qualifications are so well known and justly estimated by the nation. Our naval force in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico has continued under the command of Commodore Porter. By direction of the Department, he has, from time to time, despatched one of the vessels of his squadron to the Coast of Africa, to touch at Cape Mesurado, minister to the wants of the agency there, and return by the usual track of the slave ships. None of these, or any other of our public ships, have found vessels engaged in the slave trade, under the flag of the United States, and in such circumstances as to Justify their being seized and sent in for adjudication: and, although it is known that the trade still exists, to a most lamentable extent, yet, as it is seldom, if ever, carried on under our own flag, it is impossible, with the existing regulations and instructions, to afford very efficient aid in exterminating it. That object can only be accomplished by the combined efforts of the maritime nations,each yielding to the others the facilities necessary to detect the traffic under its own flag. The agency for recaptured Africans has been maintained, in the same manner as in the last year. The eleven negroes which were taken from Captain Chase, at Baltimore, and sent to the agency, were restored to their homes, under circumstances very gratifying to humanity, and calculated to produce a good effect upon their several tribes. The near relations of some of them were on the shore when they arrived, manifested much sensibility at their unexpected return, and furnished safe means of restoring them to their families. The agent, Dr. Ayres, was compelled, by enfeebled health, to return to the United States, and left Mr. Ashmun as acting agent. He, likewise, was obliged, by the same cause, to be absent for a time; inconveniences necessarily resulted, and it was thought expedient to send the Rev. Mr. Gurley to examine into the situation of the agency, with directions to make certain arrangements, should circumstances require them. His report, marked
B, with other papers, will be annexed, should his health enable him to make it in time, and will show the condition and prospects of the agency. The principal disti culties which have been encountered there, have arisen from the want of a fit position and suitable accommoda. tions for the agent, and the recaptured Africans, on their arrival on the coast. These difficulties have been, in a great degree, overcome, and will, with the expense, be regularly diminished, as the establishment made by the Colonization Society increases, and is rendered more permanent and well regulated, furnishing facilities for all the objects for which the agency was created The expenditures during the year, so far as they are yet known, of the appropriation for the prohibition of the slave trade, has amounted to $15,326 02, and there remains of that fund a balance of $47,391 39. The manner in which the force assigned to the protection of our commerce, and the suppression of piracy in the West Indies, has been employed, will be seen by the annexed letters and reports of Commodore Porter, marked C. The activity, zeal, and enterprize of our of. ficers, have continued to command approbation. All the vessels have been kept uniformly and busily em. ployed, where the danger was believed to be the greatest, except for short periods, when the Commander supposed it necessary that they should return to the United States, to receive provisions, i.epairs, and men, and for other objects essential to their health, comfort, and efficiency. No complaints have reached this Department, of injury from privateers of Porto Rico, or other Spanish possessions, nor have our cruisers found any violating our rights. A few small piratical vessels, and some boats, have been taken, and establishments broken up, and much salutary protection afforded to our commerce. The force employed, however, has been too small, constantly to watch every part of a coast, so extensive as that of the islands and shores of the Gulf of Mexico, and some piratical depredations have therefore been committed; but they are of a character, though, perhaps, not less bloody and fatal to the sufferers, yet differing, widely from those which first excited the sympathy of the public, and exertions of the Government. There are few, if any, piratical vessels of a arge size in the neighborhood of Cuba, and none are now seen at a distance from the land; but the pirates conceal themselves, with their boats, in small creeks, bays, and inlets, and finding vessels becalmed, or in a defenceless situation, assail and destroy them. When discovered, they readily and safely retreat into the country, where our forces cannot fol. low, and, by the plunder which they have obtained, and which they sell at prices low and tempting to the population, and by the apprehensions which they are able to create in those who would otherwise give information, they remain secure, and mingle, at pleasure, in the business of the towns, and transactions of society, and acquire all the information necessary to accomplish their purposes. Against such a system, no naval force, within the control of this Department, can afford complete'se. curity, unless aided by the cordial, unwavering, and energetic co-operation of the local governments; a cooperation which would render their lurking places on land unsafe, and make ptunishment the certain consequence of detection. Unless this co-operation be obtained, additional means ought to be entrusted to the Executive, to be used in such manner as experience may dictate. The health of the squadron, and of Thompson's Island, has been much better than during the last season; yet many of our officers, and among them Commodore Porter, have suffered severely from disease, and several have died ; most of the latter have fallen victims to the necessity, real or imagined, of visiting unhealthy places upon shore, which they were warmed as much as possible to void, and which a sense of duty, no doubt, induced them to visit. A list of those who have died during the *
yo on that and other stations, will be annexed, ma ed D. Some improvements have been made, and others proposed, at Thompson's Island, by cutting the timber clearing and draining the ground, and building store houses, and, if the means are afforded, it is confident believed that it will be made both comparatively too fortable and healthy, before the next summer and in A balance of $28,784 69 still remains of the approps tion of December, 1822, “authorizing an additional may al force for the suppression of piracy,” but claims ex against it, to a large amount, which have not yet presented. Two of the small schooners, the Greyhound and Jackall, purchased under the authority of that act, ho been found “so much out of repair, that it was not the interest of the United States to repair them,” a were disposed of; and one other, the Wild Cat, it feared, is lost, with her officers and crew, in a pass from Havana to Key West. The force on that station has been, in this way, so what reduced, and it has been considered expedien augment it, by the addition of the frigate Constella which will be ready to join it as soon as men can be listed for the purpose. One of the sloops of war, in the Mediterranean, will, probably, be ordered the in the spring, should circumstances permit. the surveys directed by the act, entitled “Anato thorizing an examination and survey of the harbo Charleston, in South Carolina, of St. Mary's, in Geo. and of the coast of Florida,and for other purposes,” a not yet been completed. Competent naval officers have been ordered upon service. It was thought useful to unite with them, in part of the examinations, one or more of the Corps Engineers, which could not be effected. On application to the War Department, it was fo that all the officers of that corps were so engaged. “ prevent the Secretary from detailing even one for " service. It is hoped, however, that such informat has, in the mean time, been procured, respecting" places named, except St. Mary's, as will accomplish purpose for which the law was passed, should Congo act upon the subject at this session. Should it be so posed, however, to fix upon a site for a Naval Dep" the Gulf of viexico, I would respectfully suggestuo priety of entrusting the selection and purchase two Department, after further and satisfactory survey** have been made. Commodore stewart, in the Franklin, arrived.” York in the month of August, having left Commo Hull, with the frigate United States, the sloop of . Peacock, and the schooner Dolphin, in the ". It is hoped that this force will be able to preve" predations on our important commerce in that, **** secure respect for our flag. Our commerce, h" has increased so rapidly there, and is scattered over large a space, that an addition of one or more." would be made, if they were within the control"" Department. * This addition will become indispensable, should : Government be disposed to make permanent Po for the protection of our commerce, and other.”. in the neighborhood of columbia river, and onto." west coast. Constant experience shews the imports” of such augmentation of the number of our * * will enable the Government to add to the fore: ". the Atlantic and Pacific, inconveniences are * * losses are sustained, by our citizens in bot" o: which might be prevented, were the means for t protection enlarged. inns ha In the course of the year, several regulation. o been adopted to promote efficiency and so. medical and other departments of the servico" o good is anticipated from them. it is impossible
ver, to do all which is desired without the aid of Lon-
• 3,064 28 Making an increase for this quarter, of three thousand and sixty four dollars and twenty-eight cents. The total increase of receipts for the three quarters specified, is $42,767, 14 The accounts rendered for the quarter ending on the 30th of September last, have not been all examined, but it is calculated that the receipts will exceed, by fifteen thousand dollars, the receipts of the corresponding quarter of the previous year, which will make an augmentation of receipts, for the four quarters, of about fifty-seven thousand seven hundred and sixty-seven dollars. The total amount of receipts for postage for the three quarters above stated, is $878,866 33 During the same time, the expenditures of the Department were
Leaving the sum of ten thousand seven hundred and forty-four dollars and eighty-three cents, more than the expenditures for the three quarters. Contracts were made in September, 1823, to transport the mail, in the present year, two hundred and thirty-five thousand three hundred and saventy-eight miles more than it was transported in the year 1823. One hundred and twenty-five thousand and thirty-four miles of this distance, it will be conveyed in stages. There has also been given, on many routes, within the same time, greater expedition to the conveyance of the mail, for which an adequate compensation is paid. In making the mail contracts, in September last, for New England and New York, there was but little reduction of expenditure, but many important accommodations were given, by making provision for an increased transportation of the mail. Under these co tracts, the mail will be conveyed two hundred and fifty-nine thousand seven hundred and forty miles per annum more than it has ever before been transpored, by contract, in the same sections of country. It will be conveyed in stages, the whole of this distance, except ten thousand five hundred and four miles. Since the first of July, 1823, the transportation of the mail has been increased four hundred and ninety-five thousand one hundred and eighteen miles per annum.
Of this distance, it will be conveyed in stages three hun
18th Congress, 2d SEs-ion.
Report Post Master-General–Post Road to New Orleans.
dred and seventy-four thousand two hundred and seventy miles. This transportation, computed at the lowest price for which similar service is performed, will amount to the sum of thirty thousand dollars annually. When to this sum is added the deficiency of receipts to meet the expenditures for the year ending on the 1st April, 1823, and the probable excess of receipts for the present year, above the expenditures, the improvement of the operations of the department will appear. For the above service, Deficiency of receipts to meet the expenditures for the year ending on the 1st
April, 1823, 55,540 39 Probable amount of receipts for postage
the present year, above the current ex
penses, 15,000 00
100,540 39 From this statement, it appears that the condition o the department has been improved, in comparison with the year ending on the first of April, 1823, by a reduction of expenditure and increase of receipts, one hundred thousand five hundred and forty dollars and thirtynine cents per annum. The advantages from the arrangement adopted respecting newspaper postage have not been fully developed, but it has been ascertained, that the receipts from that item have been increased at the rate of about twenty-five thousand dollars per annum. Unremitte‘l exertions have been made to collect the balances due to the department. Within the past year, many suits have been brought and judgment obtained. In many cases, where judgments have been obtained on accounts of long standing, the delinquent Postmasters and their sureties have been found insolvent, and the costs of suit have been consequently paid by the department. To avoid, as far as possible, a useless expenditure of this kind, the Attorney of the United States is now requested, when an account of some years standing is sent to him for collection, not to commence suit, if, on inquiry, he shall find that the principal and his surety are insolvent. To issue process in such a case, would subject the department to a bill of costs, without answer. ing any valuable object to the public. In a short time, all demands against delinquent Postmasters will be in suit, where there exists any probability that more than the costs can be collected. The improvement which has been made in the reve nue of this department, for the past year, authorizes the opinion that it will be able to meet an increased expenditure, by affording additional mail accommodations on established routes, or by transporting the mail on new routes, which Congress may think proper to establish. There are many routes, now in operation, which require a greater expenditure than any advantage arising to the public would seem to justify. If these were discontinued, and other routes of more general utility established, the public convenience would be greatly, promoted, without adding to the expenditure of the department. A judicious revision of the mail routes, and of the law regulating the Post Office Department, will enable it, in a very short time, not only to send the mail into every populous neighborhood of the Union, but to give every accommodation which may be desirable to the important commercial posts. The money lately appropriated by Congress to repair so much of the mail route, from Nashville in Tennessee, to New Orleans, as passes through the Indian country, and which was placed by your direction at the diposition of this department, has been applied to the object intended, except five hundred and ninety dollars and six cents. As a small sum of money was to be expended in repairing a road of great length, and as the public interest required that the repairs should be made the whole
extent, so as to remove all obstructions to the transport. ation of the mail, it was deemed important, before the commencement of the work, to ascertain the nature and extent of those obstructions. This was done by the person appointed to make the repairs; and in making them, streams of water, which were occasionally render ed impassable to the mail, by high water, were brid and swamps, which were also sometimes impassable, were cause-wayed. The work, it is believed, has bee faithfully executed, and at such places on the routes most required it.
After the work was done, the money was paid, on the valuation of two practical men, who were recomme ed to the department as well qualified for that purpose. They were instructed to examine minutely the manne in which the work had been performed, with a view to its permanency and the object designed, and to repor what sum would be a reasonable compensation for it.
The balance of the appropriation which remains to expended, will be applied in making some addition repairs during the present winter.
i have the honor to be, most respectfully, your ow dient servant,
JOHN M'LEAN The President of the U. States.
REPORT OF THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, On the subject of the most practicable Post Rou!! from New Orleans to Washington City.
Post-OFFICE DEPARTMENT, 15th December, 1824. sm . In obedience to a resolution of the Senate" United States, adopted at their last session, requo; the postmaster General to report to the “Senate, so present session, the most practicable post route from New Orleans to Washington City,” I have the honor" state, that the route on which the mail has been to ported, for several years past, from this City to Now". ieans, is by the way of Fredericksburg and Abing in, in Virginia; Knoxville and McMinville, in, Tenneso huntsville, Rushville, and Pikeville, in Alabao," lumbus, Jackson, fort Gibson, washington, N* and woodville, in Mississippi; thence, by St, *. ville and Baton Rouge, to New Orleans. This "": is estimated to be 1,380 miles, and requires a tra" 24 days. bus, in The military road, as it is called, from colum o Mississippi, to Madisonville, in Louisiana, is on". o direct line from the former to New Orleans, and " nearer then the road by the way of Washing" * Natchez But this road is represented to be.” o: out of repair, as to render the regular . the mailupon it impracticable. The bridges." i. co ways have fallen into decay and, in many *...* tire space, opened . road, has become filled." oung growths of timber. is ope y §: years since, a contract was made. by o: partment, to transport the mail to New ol. this City, by Salisbury, in North Carolina; so in South Carolina; Athens and Fort Hawkins. " bring gia; and Fort Stoddart, in Alabama, the dio. computed at 1260 miles. But there were * o, structions on this route, arising from stre” . to per and other causes, that it was found impracticab e form the contract, and it was abandoned. ssee, by There is a mail route from Knoxville, in To. ić the way of Kingston, in the same state; *...o. Cahawba, and St. Stephen's, in Alabama.” New to that which makes the distance from wo". route place, 1,222 miles. But the obstruction” ute by are known to be nearly as great as on the route 9 way of Athens and Fort Hawkins. . . h The post route to New Orleans, wo the capitals of the Southern states, is est”
miles. This distance might be reduced to 1,100 miles, if nogreater deviations,from a direct line,were made,than would be necessary to obtain good ground for a road,and to pass through Richmond, Raleigh, Columbia, and Mil ledgeville; and thence by Coweta and St. Stephen's to New Orleans. A part of the Alabama and Mississippi mail, and the mail from the south to New Orleans, is transported on this route. But, in the winter and spring seasons of the year, the numerous streams of water over which there are neither bridges nor ferries, present insurmountable obstacles to the regular and rapid transmission of the mail on this route. On a direct line from Washington to New Orleans, the distance is 960 miles. This line passes near Warrenton, Charlottesville, Lexington, Big Lick, Grayson Court House, in Virginia; Ashville, in North Carolina; thence, through the Indian country by Cahawba and St. Stephens, in Alabama, to Pearlton, near Lake Borgne ; thence to New Orleans. The northwestern part of North Carolina, throug which this line passes, is so mountainous as to render a deviation to the south or north, in constructing a road, indispensable. A deviation to the north, so as to avoid the mountains, will pass by or near Fotheringay, Wythe Court-house, Christiansburg, and Abingdon, in Virginia; Knoxville, in Tennessee; thence, through the Tennessee Valley, by Cahawba, to New Orleans, on nearly a strait direction. This route is estimated at 1,056 miles, including ten per cent. for the variation from a straight line, from Washington to Knoxville; thence to New Orleans; and is believed to be the nearest direction practi. cable for a post road from Washington to New Orleans. The variation, so as to pass by Knoxville, would not increase the distance more than six miles. A deviation to the south, so as to avoid the principal mountains, would pass near Salem, in North Carolina, Greenville, in South Carolina, and Athens, in Georgia. This route would not vary, at any one point, more than 60 miles from a direct line, and would not increase the distance, by a line passing through the above places, more than seven miles. . The route by the way of Warrenton, Abingdon, and Knoxville, affords great facilities for the construction of a mail road. Through Virginia and Tennessee, the materials are abundant for the formation of a turnpike; and through the states of Alabama and Mississippi, it is believed, from information which has been obtained, that in so part of the Union can an artificial road of the same length, be constructed at less expense. On this part of the route, the general face of the country is level, and the soil well adapted to the formation of a solid road. Some information has been communicated to this Department on this subject, but it does not come strictly within the scope of the resolution. If a substantial road were made, in this direction, to New Orleans, the mail could be transported to that place, from this city, in eleven days. If the road were to pass through the capitals of Virginia, North varolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, it could be conveyed in less than twelve days. The route on which the mail is now transported to New Orleans, although more circuitous than some others, in the present condition of the roads, is the safest and best. There are many obstructions on it, but they are less numerous than on any other. Greater celerity and safety are given to the mail on this route, than could be given to it on any other, to New Orleans, and it passes through, and supplies, many important towns and villages, and thickly settled parts of the country. In the winter and spring seasons of the year, the mail on this route, as on all others in the same parts of the country, is sometimes entirely obstructed by high waters; and, when this is not the case, it is frequently much injured by the mail horses swimming creeks and through swamps of considerable extent. The friction from the movement of the mail horses, is certain to des
troy all newspapers that become wet, and not unfrequently, letters are much obliterated. When the mail is a considerable time immersed in water, as has often been the case on this route, it is impossible to secure it perfectly from injury. The Department now pays at the rate of fifty-two dollars and seventy-six cents a mile for the transportation of the mail three trips in each week, to New Orleans. On a good turnpike road, it could be conveyed in a stage as often, and in less than half the time, at the same expense. And what is a most important consideration, the utmost security would be given to the mail by such a transportation, and a very considerable increase to the receipts of the department. I have the honor to be, respectfully, your obedient servant, JOHN McLEAN. Hon. John GAILLARD.