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WASHINGTON, March 10, 1851. To the Senate of the United States:
I transmit herewith a report of the Secretary of State, with the accompanying documents, * in compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 8th instant.
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
A PROCLAMATION. Whereas there is reason to believe that a military expedition is about to be fitted out in the United States with intention to invade the island of Cuba, a colony of Spain, with which this country is at peace; and
Whereas it is believed that this expedition is instigated and set on foot chiefly by foreigners who dare to make our shores the scene of their guilty and hostile preparations against a friendly power and seek by falsehood and misrepresentation to seduce our own citizens, especially the young and inconsiderate, into their wicked schemes—an ungrateful return for the benefits conferred upon them by this people in permitting them to make our country an asylum from oppression and in flagrant abuse of the hospitality thus extended to them; and
Whereas such expeditions can only be regarded as adventures for plunder and robbery, and must meet the condemnation of the civilized world, whilst they are derogatory to the character of our country, in violation of the laws of nations, and expressly prohibited by our own. Our statutes declare “that if any person shall, within the territory or jurisdiction of the United States, begin or set on foot or provide or prepar the means for any military expedition or enterprise to be carried on from thence against the territory or dominions of any foreign prince or state or of any colony, district, or people with whom the United States are at peace, every person so offending shall be deemed guilty of a high misdemeanor and shall be fined not exceeding $3,000 and imprisoned not more than three years:”
Now, therefore, I have issued this my proclamation, warning all persons who shall connect themselves with any such enterprise or expedition in violation of our laws and national obligations that they will thereby subject themselves to the heavy penalties denounced against such offenses and will forfeit their claim to the protection of this Government or any interference on their behalf, no matter to what extremities they may be reduced in consequence of their illegal conduct. And therefore I exhort all good citizens, as they regard our national reputation, as they respect
*Correspondence with the United States minister at Constantinople respecting the liberation of Kossuth and his companions.
their own laws and the laws of nations, as they value the blessings of peace and the welfare of their country, to discountenance and by all lawful means prevent any such enterprise; and I call upon every officer of this Government, civil or military, to use all efforts in his power to arrest for trial and punishment every such offender against the laws of the country.
Given under my hand the 25th day of April, A. D. 1851, and the seventy-fifth of the Independence of the United States. [SEAL.]
MILLARD FILLMORE. By the President: W. S. DERRICK,
Acting Secretary of State.
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
A PROCLAMATION. Whereas there is reason to believe that a military expedition is about to be fitted out in the United States for the purpose of invading the Mexican Republic, with which this country is at peace; and
Whereas there is reason to apprehend that a portion of the people of this country, regardless of their duties as good citizens, are concerned in or may be seduced to take part in the same; and
Whereas such enterprises tend to degrade the character of the United States in the opinion of the civilized world and are expressly prohibited by law:
Now, therefore, I have issued this my proclamation, warning all persons who shall connect themselves with any such enterprise in violation of the laws and national obligations of the United States that they will thereby subject themselves to the heavy penalties denounced against such offenses; that if they should be captured within the jurisdiction of the Mexican authorities they must expect to be tried and punished according to the laws of Mexico and will have no right to claim the interposition of this Government in their behalf.
I therefore exhort all well-disposed citizens who have at heart the reputation of their country and are animated with a just regard for its laws, its peace, and its welfare to discountenance and by all lawful means prevent any such enterprise; and I call upon every officer of this Government, civil or military, to be vigilant in arresting for trial and punishment every such offender.
Given under my hand the 22d day of October, A. D. 1851, and the seventy-sixth of the Independence of the United States. By the President:
MILLARD FILLMORE. J. J. CRITENDEN,
Acting Secretary of State.
SECOND ANNUAL MESSAGE.
WASHINGTON, December 2, 1851. Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and of the House of Representatives:
I congratulate you and our common constituency upon the favorable auspices under which you meet for your first session. Our country is at peace with all the world. The agitation which for a time threatened to disturb the fraternal relations which make us one people is fast subsiding, and a year of general prosperity and health has crowned the nation with unusual blessings. None can look back to the dangers which are passed or forward to the bright prospect before us without feeling a thrill of gratification, at the same time that he must be impressed with a grateful sense of our profound obligations to a beneficent Providence, whose paternal care is so manifest in the happiness of this highly favored land.
Since the close of the last Congress certain Cubans and other foreigners resident in the United States, who were more or less concerned in the previous invasion of Cuba, instead of being discouraged by its failure have again abused the hospitality of this country by making it the scene of the equipment of another military expedition against that possession of Her Catholic Majesty, in which they were countenanced, aided, and joined by citizens of the United States. On receiving intelligence that such designs were entertained, I lost no time in issuing such instructions to the proper officers of the United States as seemed to be called for by the occasion. By the proclamation a copy of which is herewith submitted I also warned those who might be in danger of being inveigled into this scheme of its unlawful character and of the penalties which they would incur. For some time there was reason to hope that these measures had sufficed to prevent any such attempt. This hope, however, proved to be delusive. Very early in the morning of the 3d of August a steamer called the Pampero departed from New Orleans for Cuba, having on board upward of 400 armed men with evident intentions to make war upon the authorities of the island. This expedition was set on foot in palpable violation of the laws of the United States. Its leader was a Spaniard, and several of the chief officers and some others engaged in it were foreigners. The persons composing it, however, were mostly citizens of the United States.
Before the expedition set out, and probably before it was organized, a slight insurrectionary movement, which appears to have been soon suppressed, had taken place in the eastern quarter of Cuba. The importance of this movement was, unfortunately, so much exaggerated in the accounts of it published in this .country that these adventurers seem to have been led to believe that the Creole population of the island not
only desired to throw off the authority of the mother country, but had resolved upon that step and had begun a well-concerted enterprise for effecting it. The persons engaged in the expedition were generally young and ill informed. The steamer in which they embarked left New Orleans stealthily and without a clearance. After touching at Key West, she proceeded to the coast of Cuba, and on the night between the 11th and 12th of August landed the persons on board at Playtas, within about 20 leagues of Havana.
The main body of them proceeded to and took possession of an inland village 6 leagues distant, leaving others to follow in charge of the baggage as soon as the means of transportation could be obtained. The latter, having taken up their line of march to connect themselves with the main body, and having proceeded about 4 leagues into the country, were attacked on the morning of the 13th by a body of Spanish troops, and a bloody conflict ensued, after which they retreated to the place of disembarkation, where about 50 of them obtained boats and reembarked therein. They were, however, intercepted among the keys near the shore by a Spanish steamer cruising on the coast, captured and carried to Havana, and after being examined before a military court were sentenced to be publicly executed, and the sentence was carried into effect on the 16th of August.
On receiving information of what had occurred Commodore Foxhall A. Parker was instructed to proceed in the steam frigate Saranac to Havana and inquire into the charges against the persons executed, the circumstances under which they were taken, and whatsoever referred to their trial and sentence. Copies of the instructions from the Department of State to him and of his letters to that Department are herewith submitted.
According to the record of the examination, the prisoners all admitted the offenses charged against them, of being hostile invaders of the island. At the time of their trial and execution the main body of the invaders was still in the field making war upon the Spanish authorities and Spanish subjects. After the lapse of some days, being overcome by the Spanish troops, they dispersed on the 24th of August. Lopez, their leader, was captured some days after, and executed on the ist of September. Many of his remaining followers were killed or died of hunger and fatigue, and the rest were made prisoners. Of these none appear to have been tried or executed. Several of them were pardoned upon application of their friends and others, and the rest, about 160 in number, were sent to Spain. Of the final disposition made of these we have no official information.
Such is the melancholy result of this illegal and ill-fated expedition. Thus thoughtless young men have been induced by false and fraudulent representations to violate the law of their country through rash and unfounded expectations of assisting to accomplish political revolutions in