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gestions were made for the repair or preservation of the national edifices at the seat of government, it appearing that much of the stone hitherto used is liable to disintegrate, by which the buildings are destined to an early decay, unless chemical science should suggest some means of preserving it, for which object a series of experiments

is recommended. In the notice of the patent office, it is stated that there is a large surplus fund, derived from the fees paid for patents, which the secretary suggests should be applied “to the encouragement of the inventive arts,” and “to reward successful inventors.'

The establishment of an agricultural bureau by Congress is recommended, on the plans adopted by the French and the Belgian governinents.

In the pension office it appears that the whole number of invalid pensions now on the list is 4,115. The number of claims for bounty land warrants filed, and to be filed, is 103,000.

It appears, by the report of the commissioner of the general land office, that the quantity of land sold in the first three quarters of 1848 was 1,418,240 acres, and in the first three quarters of 1849 it was 887,206 acres, showing a decrease of 561,034 acres. The amount located on bounty warrants, in the first three quarters of 1848, was 1,525,200 acres, and in the first three quarters of 1819, was 2,496,560 acres, showing an increase of 971,360 acres, from which if the decrease in the number of acres sold for cash be deducted, an increase of the joint sales and locations in three-fourths of the current years is 416,325, which is considered to mark the increase of agricultural migration. The whole number of claims for bounty lands, not yet satisfied, are estimated to require 9,631,200 acres; and as the bounty land warrants are received in the place of money in the ordinary sales of land, the receipts in cash, from the sales of the public lands, will be comparatively small, until the bounty warrants are exhausted. The secretary thinks they will be probably absorbed, at the farthest, in three years.

Details are given respecting the geological explorations and surveys of the public mineral lands in Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa. To extend the laws for the disposition of the public lands, to Oregon, California and New Mexico, it will be necessary to negotiate treaties with the Indian tribes claiming title to the land, to appoint a surveyorgeneral, and establish land offices in each territory, and create judicial commissions to examine and settle land titles in New Mexico and California.

On the subject of the gold mines in California, the report is very copious. It states that, under the laws of Spain, mines of the precious metal did not pass by a grant of the lands which contained them, but the same were reserved to the crown. It is believed that the same policy was adopted by Mexico after her independence,

which case these mines are now the property of the United States, though they may be on the lands formerly granted to individuals. By far the larger part, however, of those mines are on lands which have never been granted, and are, therefore, unquestionably the property of the United States. These are now exposed to the unmolested intrusion of all persons, foreigners as well as citizens, who make no remuneration for the large amount of gold they find. In order that “this rich deposit of mineral wealth should meet, in process of time, the heavy expenses incurred in its acquisition, the secretary recommends that those mineral lands be sold or leased, on condition that all the gold found on them shall be carried to the branch mint to be established in California, a portion of which shall be paid to the United States by way of rent or seignorage. For the lands which contain surface deposites of gold, he thinks leases will be preferable to sales. As the market price of gold bullion in California has been but sixteen dollars per ounce,

which is more than two dollars less than its real value, which he thinks is more than one-half of the amount that ought to be reserved as rent, the profit from coining, he supposes, would, to those who held bullion, induce them to carry it to the mint, and pay the rent to the public. The property of the United States in the mines of quicksilver, which are known to exist in California, is on the same footing as its property in the gold mines.

The importance of a direct communication overland between the Atlantic and Pacific is pointed out with great clearness and force by the secretary, and he suggests that the Indian tribes, through whose country the proposed rail-road would pass, should be paid an annual sum for the right of way. They should also be paid for the grass consumed and the game destroyed by the overland emigrants to California. If the annuities be paid them in useful articles, and implements of agriculture, they may be “turned from their roving habits and thirst for war, and gradually won over to habits of agriculture and civilization.” The attention of Congress is called to the Indian tribes in Florida, in Texas, New Mexico and California, where agents ought to be appointed. A favourable account is given of the progress made in civilization by the tribes permanently settled on our western borders. He recommends an increase of the sum annually appropriated for the civilization of the Indians, especially since we are now brought into contact with so many more than heretofore.

The report of the secretary of the navy gives a full detail of the several squadrons in active service both at home and abroad, noticing the ships composing each, and their operations during the past year. The principal facts then noticed are as follows: Contracts, as authorized by the acts of Congress, for three steam-ships, to carry the mail between Oregon and Panama, and for the five mail steamers between New York and Liverpool, had been duly made. Some other contracts for the transportation of the mail by sea, and for an iron war steamer, are also mentioned. The four first-class “sea-going steam-ships,” authorized by the act of Congress of March, 1847, are in progress.

VOL. III. —DEC., 1849. 22

They will add greatly to the efficiency of the navy, and a further addition to the naval steam force is strongly urged.

As the number of officers of the bigher ranks in the navy is greater than is necessary, a reduction is recommended, as well as a retired list of those who are disqualified for active service, by which change the other officers may be kept in active service, so necessary to give them the requisite experience and professional skill.

The attention of Congress is directed to the naval school at Annapolis, as of great value in preparing officers for the navy, but which, by some improvements that have been suggested, may be made much more efficient.

The total amount drawn from the treasury during the fiscal year, ending June 30, 1819, $18,167,906.56, from which, if a deduction be made for repayments, the sum of $16,898,512.97 is the expense of the navy and marine corps, together with all objects under the control of the naval department for the year.

Whenever the condition of the country, and the price of labour in California will justify it, the secretary recommends the establishment of a navy yard, and the construction of a dock on the Pacific for the repair and refitting of our public ships.

The value of stores and materials on hand at the navy yards for naval purposes, exclusive of sbips building in ordinary, undergoing repairs and in commission, navy yards and other public lands required for the purposes of the navy, with their improvements, is $9,853,921.27.”

The secretary of war states that the present strength of the army is less than the organizations provided by law. The deserticns have been unusually great in California. Out of 1,200 troops in that territory, two-fifths had deserted for the gold mines in the first eight months of the year. Some suggestions are made to check desertion, and encourage enlistment. An increase of the military force, suited to the great extension of our frontier, and its increased exposure to the incursions of predatory Indian tribes. Inconveniences are stated to have arisen from the multiplication of brevet commissions, which the secretary gests should be merely honorary distinctions, without an increase of pay, except in special cases. The inconvenience resulting from the anomalous position of officers holding staff commissions which confer rank,” is also pointed ont, and a remely suggested.

The adoption of some rule for retiring disabled officers, and the establishment of an asylum for veteran soldiers, are strongly recoinmended. The benefits of the military academy at West Point are warmly eulogized.

The outrages committed by the Indians in New Mexico in the course of the present year, are noticed, together with the regular troops, aided by volunteers, employed in suppressing them.

Details are given of the disturbances in Florida; of the regular force sent for the defence of the inhabitants; of the surrender of the Indian

murderers; of the continued efforts to remove the Indians still remaining in Florida to the west of the Mississippi; and of the further time asked by the Indians for deliberation on the subject of their removal.

The military operations for keeping the Indians within the limits of Texas in check, and the release of many citizens, both of Mexico and the United States, who had been made captives by the Indians, are also detailed.

Some progress has been made this year in the establishment of the line of military posts on the route to Oregon, which was required by the act of May, 1845, but which had been delayed by the Mexican war.

Aid was given by the Indian agents, and the subsistence department of the army, to the overland emigrants to California. The fortifications on the Pacific, which will be indicated by the engineers now employed there in examinations and surveys, are recomiended to the attention of Congress.

The anomalous condition of California had imposed on the army in that territory new and delicate functions, and among them that of collecting duties on imports until the arrival of the officers appointed by the treasury department. The military authorities there have aided the civil functionaries in preserving tranquillity. Its measures are submitted to the approbation of Congress-reference is made to the fuller details given by the several bureaus attached to the war department.

It appears by the report of the Postmaster-General, that the revenue of the post office for the last year amounted to $1,905,176, including $200,000 appropriated for mail services to the government. The expenses of the establishment, in the same time, were $4,449,049. Of the money received for postage, more than four-fifths was on letters, and less than one-fifth on pamphlets and newspapers.

There has been a great reduction in the expense of transporting the mail since 1845, the cost then being eight cents and one mill per mile; but under the operation of laws passed in 1815, the cost was reduced this year to five cents six mills per mile. The number of mail routes on the 1st of July last was 4,943, and their length was 167,703 miles.

The average annual increase of the postage is between nine and ten per cent., which is something more than three times the annual increase of the population. The excess may be referred partly to the increase of wealth, and partly to the advance of civilization.

As the postage received pays the whole expense of the mail service, it virtually pays the cost of all the letters and papers that are within the franking privilege. The postmaster-general thinks that if the public service justifies and requires this privilege, it should be paid for out of the public treasury, as other branches of the public service, so that the postage on letters may be reduced to the amount that is merely sufficient to defray the expense of the post office establishment. The matter now franked by the different departments, and by members of Congress, would, he computes, at the present rates of postage, annually pay nearly $1,400,000. But without interfering with the franking privilege, he considers that Congress may safely abolish the ten cent postage, so as to subject all letters to the uniforin rate of five cents, whatever may be the distance.

The railroad service now extends to 6,138 miles, and is constantly increasing. The cost of this mode of transportation is greater than any other, yet it may yield a greater return, as the mail is now annually transported by these routes 5,749,010 miles, out of the whole amount of 42,519,069 miles, or more than one-eighth, while the length of its routes, 6,123 miles, is not one twenty-seventh part of the length of all the routes-167,703 miles.

The mail is now carried, or soon will be, in steam ships between New York and Bremen, by way of Southampton; between Charleston and Havana; between New York and New Orleans; between Havana and Chagres; between Panama, and California, and Astoria; and between New York and Liverpool. Thirteen war steamers carry the mail on a part of these lines, the expense of which is greater than the postage received on them can support. The postmaster-general hopes, therefore, that their annual charge will not continue to be drawn from the treasury, as is now done.

The effect of the postal treaty concluded with Great Britain is, that letters on which the postage is pre-paid, pass through the mails of the two countries “in the same manner as if those countries were one." What one country receives for the other is at stated times accounted for and settled.

California has had, as yet, but to a small extent, the accommodation of post offices, in consequence of the high price of labour and rent. The great extension of business in this department requires an additional number of clerks. In 1837, the number of post offices was 11,767; it is now 17,161. The number of quarterly returns was then 48,000, it is now 73,000. The number of mail contractors was then 1,682; it is now 4,180. The length of the mail routes, which is now 167,863 miles, was then but 141,242 miles.

It appears from the official reports of the treasury department, that for the year ending June 30, 1819, the whole amount of imports from the United States was $147,857,439, and the exports, in the same time, were $132,666,955. The domestic produce consisted of The products of the sea,

$2,547,654 of the forest,

5,917,994 of agriculture,

111,079,358 of manufactures,

10,798,473 The residue of the exports consisted of foreign produce, or of articles not enumerated.

The whole tonnage of the United States, registered and enrolled, amounted, on the 30th of June last, to 3,334,015 tons.

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