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United States to the treaty con " The only question of any imcluded at London on the 17th of portance which still remains open October, 1856, between the two is the disputed title between the Governments. It will be recol. two Governments to the Island of lected that this treaty was rejected San Juan, in the vicinity of Washby the British Government because ington territory. As this question of its objection to the just and im- is still under negotiation, it is not portant amendment of the Senate deemed advisable at the present to the article relating to Ruatan moment to make any other allusion and the other islands in the Bay to the subject. of Honduras.
“The recent visit of the Prince " It must be a source of sincere of Wales, in a private character, satisfaction to all classes of our to the people of this country, has fellow-citizens, and especially to proved to be a most auspicious those engaged in foreign com event. In its consequences it merce, that the claim on the part cannot fail to increase the kindred of Great Britain, forcibly to visit and kindly feelings which I trust and search American merchant may ever actuate the Government vessels on the high seas in time and people of both countries in of peace, has been abandoned. their political and social interThis was by far the most danger- course with each other. ous question to the peace of the “Kansas.--At the period of my two countries which has existed inauguration I was confronted in since the war of 1812. While it Kansas by a revolutionary Governremained open they might at any ment existing under what is called moment have been precipitated the Topeka constitution. Its avowinto a war. This was rendered ed object was to subdue the terrimanifest by the exasperated state torial Government by force, and of public feeling throughout our to inaugurate what was called the entire country, produced by the Topeka Government in its stead. forcible search of American mer- To accomplish this object an exchant vessels by British cruisers tensive military organization was on the coast of Cuba in the spring formed, and its command intrusted of 1858. The American people to the most violent revolutionary hailed with general acclaim the leaders. Under these circumorders of the Secretary of the stances, it became my imperative Navy to our naval force in the duty to exert the whole constituGulf of Mexico “to protect all tional power of the Executive to vessels of the United States on prevent the flames of civil war the high seas from search or de. from again raging in Kansas, tention by the vessels of war of which, in the excited state of the any other nation. These orders public mind, both North and might have produced an immediate South, might have extended into collision between the naval forces the neighbouring States. of the two countries. This was “ The hostile parties in Kansas most fortunately prevented by an had been inflamed against each appeal to the justice of Great other, by emissaries both from the Britain and to the law of nations North and the South, to a degree as expounded by her own eminent of malignity without parallel in jurists.
our history. To prevent actual
collision, and to assist the civil request that I should present it to magistrates in enforcing the laws, Congress, This I could not have a strong detachment of the army refused to do without violating my was stationed in the Territory, clearest and strongest conviction ready to aid the marshal and his of duty. The Constitution, and deputies when lawfully called all the proceedings which preceded upon, as a posse comitatus, in the and followed its formation, were execution of civil and criminal fair and regular on their face. I process.
then believed, and experience has “ Still, the troubles in Kansas proved, that the interests of the could not have been permanently people of Kansas would have been settled without an election by the best consulted by its admission as people. The ballot-box is the a State into the Union, especially surest arbiter of disputes among as the majority, within a brief freemen. Under this conviction, period, could have amended the every proper effort was employed Constitution according to their to induce the hostile parties to will and pleasure. If fraud existed vote at the election of delegates in all or any of these proceedings, to frame a State Constitution, and it was not for the President, but afterwards at the election to de- for Congress, to investigate and cide whether Kansas should be a determine the question of fraud, slave or a free State. The in- and what ought to be its conse, surgent party refused to vote at quences. If, at the two first eleceither, lest this might be con. tions, the majority refused to vote, sidered a recognition on their it cannot be pretended that this part of the Territorial Govern, refusal to exercise the elective ment established by Congress. A franchise could invalidate an elecbetter spirit, however, seemed soon tion fairly held under lawful auafter to prevail, and the two par- thority, even if they had not subties met face to face at the third sequently voted at the third elecelection, held on the first Monday tion. It is true that the whole of January, 1858, for members of Constitution had not been subthe Legislature and State officers mitted to the people, as I always under the Lecompton Constitution. desired, but the precedents are The result was the triumph of the numerous of the admission of anti-slaveryparty at the polls. States into the Union without This decision of the ballot-box such submission, proved clearly that this party were “ It would not comport with my in the majority, and removed the present purpose to review the prodanger of civil war. From that ceedings of Congress upon the time we have heard little or no. Lecompton Constitution. It is thing of the Topeka Government, sufficient to observe that their and all serious danger of revolu: final action has removed the last tionary troubles in Kansas was vestige of serious revolutionary then at an end.
troubles. The desperate band " The Lecompton Constitution, recently assembled, under a notowhich had been thus recognized rious outlaw, in the southern porat this State election by the votes tion of the Territory, to resist the of both political parties in Kansas, execution of the laws and to plunwas transmitted to me with the der peaceful citizens, will, I doubt
not, be speedily subdued and Christian and patriot that such exbrought to justice.
peditions may never again receive “ Had I treated the Lecompton countenance in our country or deConstitution as a nullity and re- part from our shores. fused to transmit it to Congress, “CONCLUSION.— When I entered it is not difficult to imagine, while upon the duties of the Presidenrecalling the position of the coun- tial office the aspect neither of our try at that moment, what would foreign nor domestic affairs was at have been the disastrous conse- all satisfactory. We were involved quences, both in and out of the in dangerous complications with Territory, from such a dereliction several nations, and two .of our of duty on the part of the Execu- territories were in a state of revotive.
lution against the Government. AFRICAN SLAVE 'TRADE.—It is A restoration of the African slave with great satisfaction I communi- trade had numerous and powerful cate the fact that since the date of advocates. Unlawful military exmy last annual Message not a sin- peditions were countenanced by gle slave has been imported into many of our citizens, and were the United States in violation of suffered, in defiance of the efforts the laws prohibiting the African of the Government, to escape slave trade. This statement is from our shores for the purpose founded upon a thorough examina- of making war upon the unoffendtion and investigation of the sub- ing people of neighbouring repubject. Indeed, the spirit which lics, with whom we were at peace. prevailed some time since among In addition to these and other diffia portion of our fellow-citizens in culties we experienced a revulsion favour of this trade seems to have in monetary affairs, soon after my entirely subsided.
advent to power, of unexampled “ FILIBUSTERING.-I also con- severity and of ruinous consegratulate you upon the public sen- quences to all the great interests timent which now exists against of the country.
When we take a the crime of setting on foot mili- retrospect of what was then our tary expeditions within the limits condition, and contrast this with of the United States, to proceed its material prosperity at the time thence and make war upon the of the late Presidential election, people of unoffending States with we have abundant reason to return whom we are at peace. In this our grateful thanks to that merci. respect a happy change has been ful - Providence which has never effected since the commencement forsaken us as a nation in all our of my administration. It surely past trials. ought to be the prayer of every
“ JAMES BUCHANAN."
RECKS IN 1859. - The Re- the total wrecks were 27, and the
port of the Board of Trade casualties 27; but only 51 lives of the wrecks and casualties were lost. Two other great cataswhich occurred on the coasts of trophes, besides that of the Royal the United Kingdom in 1859 is a Charter, marked the year, the loss sad record of disaster. The num of the Pomona, on the 28th April, ber of ships and lives lost during on the Blackwater Bank, when, of that year are greatly in excess of 448 persons on board, 24 only those recorded in any previous were saved ; and the destruction of year. Of casualties there were the Blervie Castle, and the 56 per1416 in 1859, against 1170 in sons on board, on or about the 20th 1858. But this, bad as it is, is December. The causes and cirmerciful in comparison with the cumstances of this disaster are loss of lives : no fewer than 1645 totally unknown, and it became persons perished, the number in known only by the discovery of a the previous year being 340. The large part of her side drifting on year throughout its course marked by a succession of gales, Among other wrecks, those nosome as violent as any that have ticeable for loss of life are those been recorded. The storms of of the Czar steamer, 13 persons February caused numerous casu- drowned ; the Australia, 24; the alties, but the terrible storms of Cuba, 12; the Favorite, 36 ; the the 25th and 26th October, and Charles Holmes, 25; the Capital, the three days' tempest of October 10; the Iron Age, 11; a ship un31, November 1 and 2, made a known, off Trevose Head, 16; a shocking addition to the lists. In barque unknown, foundered near the former gales there were no Padstow, 18; a brig unknown, fewer than 133 total wrecks, and also near Padstow; the Wanderer, 90 casualties. On the morning of 11; the Tyrol, 19; the Eagle, 11; the 26th, the Royal Charter and the Miribita, 12; the Canton, 15. 446 of her crew and passengers pe
The loss of property in ships rished; 798 persons were swallowed wrecked or injured is estimated at up in the waves within these forty- 870,0001. ; in cargoes at 893,0001. eight hours. In the latter storm a total of nearly two millions. VOL. CII.