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part of the navigable tributary waters of the Mississippi and an extensive seacoast, could not long have remained in the hands of a foreign power without endangering the peace of our southwestern frontier. . Her products in the vicinity of the tributaries of the Mississippi must have sought a market through these streams, running into and through our territory; and the danger of irritation and collision of interests between Texas as a foreign State and ourselves would have been imminent, while the embarrassments in the commercial intercourse between them must have been constant and unavoidable. Had Texas fallen into the hands, or under the . influence and control of a strong maritime or military foreign power, as she might have done, these dangers would have been still greater. They have been avoided by her voluntary and peaceful annexation to the United States. Texas, from her position, was a natural and almost indispensable part of our territories. Fortunately, she has been restored to our country, and now constitutes one of the States of our confederacy, " upon an equal footing with the original States.” The salubrity of climate, the fertility of soil, peculiarly adapted to the production of some of our most valuable staple commodities, and her commercial advantages, must soon make her one of our most populous States.
New Mexico, though situated in the interior and without a seacoast, is known to contain much fertile land, to abound in rich mines of the precious metals, and to be capable of sustaining a large population. From its position, it is the intermediate and connecting territory between our settlements and our possessions in Texas, and those on the Pacific coast.
Upper California, irrespective of the vast mineral wealth recently developed there, holds at this day, in point of value and importance to the rest of the Union, the same relation that Louisiana did when that fine territory was acquired from France fortyfive years ago. Extending nearly ten degrees of latitude along the Pacific, and embracing the only safe and commodious harbors on that coast for many hundred miles, with a temperate climate and an extensive interior of fertile lands, it is scarcely possible to estimate its wealth until it shall be brought under the government of our laws, and its resources fully developed. From its position, it must command the rich commerce of China, of Asia, of the islands of the Pacific, of western Mexico, of Central América, the South American States, and of the Russian possessions bordering on that ocean. A great emporium will doubtless speedily arise on the Californian coast, which may be destined to rival in importance New Orleans itself. The depot of the vast commerce which must exist on the Pacific will probably be at some point on the bay of San Francisco, and will occupy the same relation to the whole western coast of that ocean as New Orleans does to the valley of the Mississippi and the gulf of Mexico. To this depot our numerous whale ships will resort with their cargoes,
to trade, refit, and obtain supplies. This of itself will largely contribute to build up a city, which would soon become the centre of a great
and rapidly increasing commerce. Situated on a safe harbor, sufficiently capacious for all the navies as well as the marine of the world, and convenient to excellent timber for ship building, owned by the United States, it must become our great western naval edepot.
It was known that mines of the precious metals existed to a considerable extent in California at the time of its acquisition. Recent discoveries render it probable that these mines are more extensive and valuable than was anticipated. The accounts of the abundance of gold in that territory are of such an extraordinary character as would scarcely command belief were they not corroborated by the authentic reports of officers in the public service, who have visited the mineral district, and derived the facts which they detail from personal observation. Reluctant to credit the reports in general circulation as to the quantity of gold, the officer commanding our forces in California visited the mineral district in July last, for the purpose of obtaining accurate information on the subject. His report to the War Department of the result of his examination, and the facts obtained on the spot, is herewith laid before Congress. When he visited the country, there were about four thousand persons engaged in collecting gold. There is every reason to believe that the number of persons so employed has since been augmented. The explorations already made warrant the belief that the supply is very large, and that gold is found at various places in an extensive district of country.
Information received from officers of the navy and other sources, though not so full and minute, confirm the accounts of the commander of our military force in California. It appears, also, from these reports, that mines of quicksilver are found in the vicinity of the gold region. One of them is now being worked, and is believed to be among the most productive in the world,
The effects produced by the discovery of these rich mineral de- ' posites, and the success which has attended the labors of those who have resorted to them, have produced a surprising change in the state of affairs in California. Labor commands a most exorbiant price, and all other pursuits but that of searching for the precious metals are abandoned. Nearly the whole of the male population of the country have gone to the gold districts. Ships arriving on the coast are deserted by their crews, and their vovages suspended for want of sailors. Our commanding officer there entertains apprehensions that soldiers cannot be kept in the public service without a large increase of pay. Desertions in his command have become frequent, and he recommends that those who shall withstand the strong temptation, and remain faithful, should be rewarded.
This abundance of gold, and the all-engrossing pursuit of it, have already caused in California an unprecedented rise in the price of all the necessaries of life.
That we may the more speedily and fully avail ourselves of the •undeveloped wealth of these mines, it is deemed of vast importance that a branch of the mint of the United States be authorized to be
established, at your present session, in California. Among other signal advantages which would result from such an establishment would be that of raising the gold to its par value in that territory. A branch mint of the United States at the great commercial depot on the west coast would convert into our own coin not only the gold derived from our own rich mines, but also the bullion and specie which our commerce may bring from the whole west coast of Central and South America. The west coast of America and the adjacent interior embrace the richest and best mines of Mexico, New Grenada, Central America, Chili, and Peru. The bullion and specie drawn from these countries, and especially from those of Western Mexico and Peru, to an amount in value of many millions of dollars, are now annually diverted and carried by the ships of Great Britain to her own ports, to be recoined or used to sustain her national bank, and thus contribute to increase her ability to command so much of the commerce of the world. If a branch mint be establisħed at the great commercial point upon that coast, a vast amount of bullion and specie would flow thither to be recoined, and pass thence to New Orleans, New York, and other Atlantic cities. The amount of our constitutional currency at home weuld be greatly increased, while its circulation abroad would be promoted. It is well known to our merchants trading to China and the west coast of America, that great inconvenience and loss are experienced from the fact that our coins are not current at their par value in those countries.
The powers of Europe, far removed from the west coast of America by the Atlantic ocean which intervenes, and by a tedious and dangerous navigation around the southern cape of the continent of America, can never successfully compete with the United States in the rich and extensive commerce which is opened to us at so much less cost by the acquisition of California.
The vast importance and commercial advantages of California have heretofore remained undeveloped by the government of the country of which it constituted a part. Now that this fine province is a part of our country, all the States of the Union, some more immediately and directly than others, are deeply interested in the speedy development of its wealth and resources. No section of our country is more interested, or will be more benefitted, than the commercial, navigating, and manufacturing interests of the eastern States. Our planting and farming interests in every part of the Union will be greatly benefitted by it. As our commerce and navigation are enlarged and extended, our exports of agricultural products and of manufactures will be increased; and in the new markets thus opened they cannot fail to, command remunerating and profitable prioes.
The acquisition of California and New Mexico, the settlement of the Oregon boundary, and the annexation of Texas, extending to the Rio Grande, are results which, combined, are of greater consequence, and will add more to the strength and wealth of the nation, than any which have preceded them since the adoption of the constitution.
But to effect these great results, not only California, but New Mexico, must be brought under the control of regularly organized governments. The existing condition of California, and of that part of New Mexico' lying west of the Rio Grande, and without the limits of Texas, imperiously demand that Congress should, at its present session, organize territorial governments over them.
Upon the exchange of ratifications of the treaty of peace with Mexico on the thirtieth of May last, the temporary governments which had been established over New Mexico and California by our military and naval commanders, by virtue of the rights of war, ceased to derive any obligatory force from that source of authority; and having been ceded to the United States, all government and control over them under the authority of Mexico had ceased to exist. Impressed with the necessity of establishing territorial governments over them, I recommended the subject to the favorable consideration of Congress in my message communicating the ratified treaty of peace, on the sixth of July last, and invoked their action at that session. Congress 'adjourned without making any provision for their government. The inhabitants, by the transfer of their country, had become entitled to the benefits of our laws and constitution, and yet were left without any regularly organized government. Since that time, the very limited power possessed by the Executive has been exercised to preserve and protect them from the inevitable consequences of a state of anarchy. The only government which remained was that established by the military authority during the war. Regarding this to be a de facto government, and that by the presumed consent of the inhabitants it might be continued temporarily, they were advised to conform and submit to it for the short intervening period before Congress would again assemble and could legislate on the subject. The views entertained by the Executive on this point are contained, i in a communication of the Secretary of State, dated the seventh of October last, which was forwarded for publication to California and New Mexico, a copy of which is herewith transmitted. · The small military force of the regular army, which was serving within the limits of the acquired territories at the close of the war, was retained in them, and additional forces have been ordered, there for the proteotion of the inhabitants, and to preserve and secure the rights and interests of the United States.
No revenue has been or could be collected åt the ports in California, because Congress failed to authorize the establishment of custom-houses, or the appointment of officers for that purpose.
The Secretary of the Treasury, by a circular letter addressed to collectors of the customs, on the seventh day of October last, a copy of which is herewith transmitted, exercised all the power with which he was invested by law.
In pursuance of the act of the fourteenth of August last, extending.the benefit of our post office laws to the people of California, the Postmaster General has appointed two agents, who have proceeded, the one to California, and the other to Oregon, with au
thority to make the necessary arrangements for carrying its provisions into effect.
The monthly line of mail steamers from Panama tq Astoria has been required to “stop and deliver and take mails at San Diego, Monterey, and San Francisco." These mail steamers, connected by the isthmus of Panama with the line of mail steamers on the Atlantic, between New York and Chagres, will establish a regular mail communication with California.
It is our solemn duty to provide, with the least practicable delay, for New Mexico and California, regularly organized territorial
governments. The causes of the failure to do this at the last session of Congress are well known, and deeply to be regretted. With the opening prospects of increased prosperity and national greatness which the acquisition of these rich and extensive' territorial possessions affords, how irrational it would be to forego or to reject these advantages, by the agitation of a domestic question which is coeval with the existence of our government itself, and to endanger by internal strifes, geographical divisions, and heated contests for political power, or for any other cause, the harmony of the glorious Union of our confederated States; that Union which binds us together as one people, and which for sixty years has been our shield and protection against every danger. In the eyes of the world, and of posterity, how trivial and insignificant will be all our internal divisions and struggles compared with the preservation of this Union of the States in all its vigor and with all its countless blessings! No patriot would foment and excite geographical and sectional divisions. No lover of his country would deliberately calculate the value of the Union. Future generations would look in amazement upon the folly of such a course. Other nations at the present day would look upon it with astonishment; and such of them as desire to maintain and perpetuate thrones and monarchical or aristocratical .principles, will view it with exultation and delight, because in it they will see the elements of faction, which they hope must ultimately overturn our system. Ours is the great example of a prosperous and free self-governed republic, commanding the admiration and the imitation of all the lovers of freedom throughout the world. How solemn, therefore, is the duty, how impressive the call upon us and upon all parts of our country, to cultivate a patriotic spirit of harmony, of good fellowship, of compromise and mutual concession, in the administration of the incomparable system of government formed by our fathers in the midst of almost insuperable difficulties, and transmitted to us, with the injunction that we should enjoy its blessings and hand it down unimpaired to those who may come after us!
In view of the high and responsible duties which we owe to ourselves and to mankind, I trust you may be able, at your present session, to approach thə adjustment of the only domestic question which seriously threatens, or probably ever can threaten, to disturb the harmony and successful operations of our system.
The immensely valuable possessions of New Mexico and California are already inhabited by 4 considerable population. At