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15th. The Secretary of the Treasury, Mr. Meredith, in relation to the alterations in the British Navigation Laws,-issued the following instructions to collectors of customs:
1st. In consequence of the alterations of the British Navigation Laws above referred to, British vessels from British or other foreign ports will, (under existing laws,) after the first of January next, be allowed to enter in our ports with cargoes of the growth, manufacture, or production of any part of the world.
2d. Such vessels and their cargoes will be admitted, from and after the date before mentioned, on the same terms as to duties, imposts, and charges, as vessels of the United States and their cargoes.
A Great Rail Road Convention was held at St. Louis, Mo., to take into consideration the propriety of constructing a rail road from the Mississippi Valley to the Pacific Ocean. The convention was organized by the appointment of the Hon. Stephen A. Douglass of Illinois, as President, and of Vice Presidents corresponding with the number of States represented in Convention. The States represented were Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsyl. vania, Tennessee, Michigan, Kentucky, New York, Wisconsin, Maryland, Virginia, Louisiana, New Jersey ; the number of delegates was very large—from Missouri alone there were 464. The first business transacted was the appointment of a committee, consisting of three members from each State, to report resolutions for adoption by the meeting.
A resolution was then introduced requesting Congress to act promptly in relation to the Pacific Rail Road; whereupon
Mr. Senator Benton rose and read a letter from Colonel FREMONT, stating that the Convention ought not to designate any road across the Rocky Mountains, as he believed the pass between the head of the Arkansas and the Rio del Norte to be the most practicable and nearest to the Pacific. Colonel FREMONT writes. “The road would enter the basin at the southern end of the Mormon settlements, and cross by way of Humbolt river. About midway of that river's course a large valley opens into it, and up this lies an excellent way to a low puss near the head of the lower Sacramento valley. Before reaching this pass, a way diverging to the north affords a very practicable valley road into Oregon, and, in my opinion, far the best by which you can reach that country.” Mr. Benton then addressed the Convention with great force and eloquence, on the importance of the road, and was repeatedly applauded. The Convention adjourned to meet in Philadelphia, in April, 1850.
16th. The Island of Tigre, in Honduras, which had been ceded to our government by Nicaragua, was seized by the British.
VOL. III.-DEC., 1849. 24
17th. An INCA OF PERU.–At a meeting of the American Ethnological Society, a communication was read, which was communicated by the President of the United Staies, and consisted of a letter to him from a Peruvian prince, a descendant of the Incas of Peru. His name is Doctor Don Justa Sahaurauria, a canon of the Cathedral of Cusco, and is now more than ninety years of age. He claims to be the lineal descendant, in the seventh degree, from Huana Caipae, the last reigning Inca, the father of Atahualpa, who was burnt by the conquerors of Peru. The gentleman (Mr. Arnold) who transmitted the letter to the President, describes him as a fine-looking man, with a physiognomy quite different from that of the Quicha Indians, (the race peopling that part of Peru,) having a high forehead, large, regular features and a fine eye.
The letter is addressed to “ the Most Excellent President of the United States of North America, from the Capital of the Sovereign Incas of Cusco, the 16th of August, 1848.” He thus commences: “A Peruvian prince, the seventh in descent from the Emperor of Huaynicapac, the most immediate branch from the sovereign Incas, places himself under the protection and auspices of your Excellency, entreating that you will have the goodness to receive his homage." He then refers to the ancient prophecies which predict the loss of the kingdom, and of the restoration of the Incas by a people who shall come from Inglaterra.
19th. Florida Indians.-Gen. Twiggs met Sam Jones, Billy Bowlegs, and sixty warriors in council. They had been waiting some nine days for him. They delivered up three of the murderers, the hands of another, whom they were obliged to kill in capturing, and the fifth, Billy Bowlegs' nephew, making his escape. Gen. Twiggs spoke to them of emigrating. They seemed to take it quite kindly, but requested sixty days to decide.
Salt Lake City. The latest accounts from the Mormon capital, at this date, state that much gold had been brought in from California.
All kinds of merchandise were scarce, and commanded high prices. There were only two small stores in the Valley, to supply a population of 15,000. Snow had fallen on all the mountains around the Valley, and at the South-west Pass it was four feet deep.
Rumours prevailed that Missouri emigrants had killed some squaws of the Snake tribe of Indians, and that they were consequently hostile to the whites, and were committing depredations wherever an opportunity offered. Subsequently they had one battle with another party of emigrants.
Popular Education.- A convention, composed of delegates from fifteen states, was held at this time, in Philadelphia, in relation to the organization and administration of a system of public instruction.
It was organized by the choice of the following officers:
Sol. Jenner, of New York. 23d. The Memphis Railroad Convention convened this day. Delegates were present from the States of Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, Texas, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New York, Virginia, South Carolina and Tennessee.
Professor W. F. Maury was chosen President. Vice Presidents -Messrs. Clay, of Ala.; Mason, Miss.; Willoughby Williams, Tenn.; R. A. Watson, S. C.; Jameson, Ga.; Col. Maunsel White, La.; Gov. Drew, Ark.; Ashbel Smith, Texas; Ashton Johnston, Missouri; Benj. Dray, Ky.; John J. Tresevant, Va.; J. H. Thompson, Pa.; and L. L. Robinson, of N. Y.
The Convention was ably addressed by Professor Maury. We have noticed elsewhere, with some particularity, the proceedings of this convention, and of that held at St. Louis for a similar object.
We subjoin the resolutions on the subject of this great railroad project, passed by the Nlinois legislature:
Resolved by the Senate, the House of Representatives concurring herein, That we cordially approve of the general proposition of connecting the navigable waters flowing into the Atlantic and those of the Pacific, by means of a national railroad.
Resolved, That Congress should encourage the construction of three branch roads, from such a point as shall be selected as the eastern terminus of said national road, one to Chicago, one to St. Louis, and one to the mouth of the Ohio river or to Memphis, by making liberal grants of land on the lines to the States respectively through which the same shall pass, to be applied by the Legislature of the respective States to the construction of said branch roads, and to no other objects or purposes whatever.
Resilved, That our Senators in Congress be instructed, and our Representatives requested, to harmonize their action with the principles set forth in the foregoing resolution.
24th. The Pawnee Indians were defeated by the U. S. dragoons under Lieut. Ogle, near Fort Kearney,
Hon. Abbott Lawrence, the American Minister, was received by the Queen of England.
25th. The Great Anglo-Saxon Jubilee, commemorative of the birth of Alfred the Great, was celebrated in England.
The Trial of G. F. Manning and his Wife, in England, for the murder of Patrick O'Connor, which had very much excited the public mind, was brought to a close by the conviction of the accused. The evidence disclosed a most deliberate and revolting murder, committed for the purpose of obtaining the property of ihe unsuspecting victim, with whom the wife was on terms of intimacy. Her behaviour at the trial was bold and defiant in the extreme. They were both executed.
Gen. Klapka, of Comorn, with other distinguished Hungarians, arrived in England from Hamburgh.
29th. Murder at St. Louis-An awful tragedy took place at Barnum's Hotel, in the city of St. Louis.
Some days previous, two young French gentlemen, calling themselves Count Gonzales de Montesqui and Count Raymond de Montesqui, arrived in that city from Chicago, and took apartments at Barnum's Hotel, representing that they were on a hunting excursion through the Western country.
Nothing particular was observed in their manners until the night of the murder, when, about 11 o'clock, as Mr. Barnum, the nephew of the proprietor of the hotel, and J. J. Macomber, the steward of the house, were retiring to their chamber, one of the Frenchmen came to the window on the gallery at the head of the stairs, and tapped Jightly. Mr. Barnum pushed the curtain aside for the purpose of seeing who was on the outside, when the Frenchman fired a gun, a ball from which passed through Mr. Barnum, who is since dead, and two buckshot lodged in the arm of Mr. Macomber.
The report of firearms alarmed the lodgers of the house, and Mr. Albert Jones, a coachmaker in Third street, who roomed adjoining, rushed to the door, where he received a shot through the head, and fell dead. Two gentlemen, who had by this time reached the gallery, were struck with buckshot.
Both the Frenchmen were arrested. Their trunks were opened, and letters found in them proving them to be Parisians of wealth and family. Splendid equipments and $1,500 in German gold coin were found in their trunks.
It is said that one of the brothers is insane. They have since been indicted for the murder, and a relative or friend of high standing, has arrived from France, sent out by their family to attend to their case, bringing letters from Mr. Rives, the American minister at Paris.
The trial is expected to develop the causes which led to the commission of this bloody deed.
30th.—The French Ministry resigued, and a new cabinet was selected by the President. (See History.)
31sl.- At a meeting of the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York, Hon. Garrit Y. Lansing was elected Chancellor of the University.
NOVEMBER, 1849. Nov. Ist. Trude to the Pacific. The trade between the Atlantic cities and the Pacific has increased to such an extent that but few persons are likely to form a just conception of its amount. The Baltimore American contains a list of sixty-five vessels which have departed from the United States for California during the last month, (October.) The list comprises 19 ships, 16 barques, 17 brigs, and 13 schooners—all of them, except four, having sailed from cities eastward of that place. The American says:
“The greater proportion are ships of the largest class, but even by putting the average tonnage down at 300 tons, we have an aggregate tonnage of 19,500 tons, leaving the Atlantic ports in the short
space of one month for our distant possessions in the Pacific. It may be safely estimated that during the month of October at least .twenty-three hundred persons have left the United States by sea, bound to California.”
The Boston shipping list gives the total number of vessels that have left the United States for California since the beginning of the gold excitement, at five hundred and seventy-three, as follows: ships 189, barques 175, brigs 119, schooners 83, and steamers 7. Of this number there had arrived at California, at the latest date, one hundred and sixty-seven, viz., ships 55, barques 45, brigs 35, schooners 28, and steamers 4.
E.xplorutions in Africa. The French surpass all other nations in the grandeur of their exploring expeditions to various parts of the world. It is now announced that the Academy of Sciences, and the Geographical society of France, have projected an expedition on a grand scale for penetrating the interior of Africa to Timbuctoo. It is to be conducted by scientific men, and will have in view the twofold purpose of extending our knowledge of this portion of the continent, and of opening new channels for French trade and commerce. It is a singular fact that, notwithstanding the several attempts by Mungo Park, Clapperton, Denham, Oudney, Lander, and Laird, for the exploration of that portion of Africa which lies be