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ourselves against designs inimical to our form of government. United States desire to act in the future as they have ever acted heretofore; they never will be driven from that course but by the aggression of European powers, and we rely on the wisdom and justice of those powers to respect the system of noninterference which has so long been sanctioned by time, and which by its good results has approved itself to both continents.

The correspondence between the United States and France in reference to questions which have become subjects of discussion between the two Governments will at a proper time be laid before Congress.

When, on the organization of our Government under the Constitution, the President of the United States delivered his inaugural address to the two Houses of Congress, he said to them, and through them to the country and to mankind, that—

The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty and the destiny of the republican model of government are justly considered, perhaps, as deeply, as finally, staked on the experiment intrusted to the hands of the American people.

And the House of Representatives answered Washington by the voice of Madison:

We adore the Invisible Hand which has led the American people, through so many difficulties, to cherish a conscious responsibility for the destiny of republican liberty.

More than seventy-six years have glided away since these words were spoken; the United States have passed through severer trials than were foreseen; and now, at this new epoch in our existence as one nation, with our Union purified by sorrows and strengthened by conflict and established by the virtue of the people, the greatness of the occasion invites us once more to repeat with solemnity the pledges of our fathers to hold ourselves answerable before our fellow-men for the success of the republican form of government. Experience has proved its sufficiency in peace and in war; it has vindicated its authority through dangers and afflictions, and sudden and terrible emergencies, which would have crushed any system that had been less firmly fixed in the hearts of the people. At the inauguration of Washington the foreign relations of the country were few and its trade was repressed by hostile regulations; now all the civilized nations of the globe welcome our commerce, and their governments profess toward us amity. Then our country felt its way hesitatingly along an untried path, with States so little bound together by rapid means of communication as to be hardly known to one another, and with historic traditions extending over very few years; now intercourse between the States is swift and intimate; the experience of centuries has been crowded into a few generations, and has created an intense, indestructible nationality. Then our jurisdiction did not reach beyond the inconvenient boundaries of the territory which had achieved independence; now, through cessions of lands, first colonized by Spain and France, the country


has acquired a more complex character, and has for its natural limits the chain of lakes, the Gulf of Mexico, and on the east and the west the two great oceans. Other nations were wasted by civil wars for ages before they could establish for themselves the necessary degree of unity; the latent conviction that our form of government is the best ever known to the world has enabled us to emerge from civil war within four years with a complete vindication of the constitutional authority of the General Government and with our local liberties and State institutions unimpaired.

The throngs of emigrants that crowd to our shores are witnesses of the confidence of all peoples in our permanence. Here is the great land of free labor, where industry is blessed with unexampled rewards and the bread of the workingman is sweetened by the consciousness that the cause of the country "is his own cause, his own safety, his own dignity." Here everyone enjoys the free use of his faculties and the choice of activity as a natural right. Here, under the combined influence of a fruitful soil, genial climes, and happy institutions, population has increased fifteenfold within a century. Here, through the easy development of boundless resources, wealth has increased with twofold greater rapidity than numbers, so that we have become secure against the financial vicissitudes of other countries and, alike in business and in opinion, are self-centered and truly independent. Here more and more care is given to provide education for everyone born on our soil. Here religion, released from political connection with the civil government, refuses to subserve the craft of statesmen, and becomes in its independence the spiritual life of the people. Here toleration is extended to every opinion, in the quiet certainty that truth needs only a fair field to secure the victory. Here the human mind goes forth unshackled in the pursuit of science, to collect stores of knowledge and acquire an ever-increasing mastery over the forces of nature. Here the national domain is offered and held in millions of separate freeholds, so that our fellow-citizens, beyond the occupants of any other part of the earth, constitute in reality a people. Here exists the democratic form of government; and that form of government, by the confession of European statesmen, "gives a power of which no other form is capable, because it incorporates every man with the state and arouses everything that belongs to the soul."

Where in past history does a parallel exist to the public happiness which is within the reach of the people of the United States? Where in any part of the globe can institutions be found so suited to their habits or so entitled to their love as their own free Constitution? Every one of them, then, in whatever part of the land he has his home, must wish its perpetuity. Who of them will not now acknowledge, in the words of Washington, that "every step by which the people of the United States have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency"? Who will not join with me in the prayer that the Invisible Hand which has led

us through the clouds that gloomed around our path will so guide us onward to a perfect restoration of fraternal affection that we of this day may be able to transmit our great inheritance of State governments in all their rights, of the General Government in its whole constitutional vigor, to our posterity, and they to theirs through countless generations? ANDREW JOHNSON.


WASHINGTON, December 11, 1865.

To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States:

I transmit a report of this date from the Secretary of State, and the papers referred to therein, concerning the Universal Exposition to be held at Paris in the year 1867, in which the United States have been invited by the Government of France to take part. I commend the subject to your early and favorable consideration.


WASHINGTON, December 13, 1865.

To the Senate of the United States:

In answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 11th instant, requesting information on the subject of a decree of the so-called Emperor of Mexico of the 3d of October last, I transmit a report from the Secretary of State and the documents by which it was accompanied.


WASHINGTON, December 14, 1865.

To the House of Representatives:

In answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 11th instant, requesting information relative to a so-called decree concerning the reestablishment of slavery or peonage in the Republic of Mexico, I transmit a report from the Secretary of State and the documents by which it was accompanied. ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, D. C., December 18, 1865.

To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States:

In compliance with the requirements of the third section of the act approved March 3, 1865, I transmit herewith a communication from the Secretary of War, with the accompanying report and estimates of the Commissioner of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands. ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, December 18, 1865.

To the Senate of the United States:

In reply to the resolution adopted by the Senate on the 12th instant, I have the honor to state that the rebellion waged by a portion of the people against the properly constituted authority of the Government of the United States has been suppressed; that the United States are in possession of every State in which the insurrection existed, and that, as far as it could be done, the courts of the United States have been restored, postoffices reestablished, and steps taken to put into effective operation the revenue laws of the country.

As the result of the measures instituted by the Executive with the view of inducing a resumption of the functions of the States comprehended in the inquiry of the Senate, the people of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Tennessee have reorganized their respective State governments, and "are yielding obedience to the laws and Government of the United States" with more willingness and greater promptitude than under the circumstances could reasonably have been anticipated. The proposed amendment to the Constitution, providing for the abolition of slavery forever within the limits of the country, has been ratified by each one of those States, with the exception of Mississippi, from which no official information has been received, and in nearly all of them measures have been adopted or are now pending to confer upon freedmen the privileges which are essential to their comfort, protection, and security. In Florida and Texas the people are making commendable progress in restoring their State governments, and no doubt is entertained that they will at an early period be in a condition to resume all of their practical relations with the General Government. In "

that portion of the Union lately in rebellion" the aspect of affairs is more promising than, in view of all the circumstances, could well have been expected. The people throughout the entire South evince a laudable desire to renew their allegiance to the Government and to repair the devastations of war by a prompt and cheerful return to peaceful pursuits, and abiding faith is entertained that their actions will conform to their professions, and that in acknowledging the supremacy of the Constitution and laws of the United States their loyalty will be unreservedly given to the Government, whose leniency they can not fail to appreciate and whose fostering care will soon restore them to a condition of prosperity. It is true that in some of the States the demoralizing effects of the war are to be seen in occasional disorders; but these are local in character, not frequent in occurrence, and are rapidly disappearing as the authority of civil law is extended and sustained. Perplexing questions are naturally to be expected from the great and sudden change in the relations between the two races; but systems are gradually developing themselves under which the freedman will receive the protection

to which he is justly entitled, and, by means of his labor, make himself a useful and independent member in the community in which he has a home.

From all the information in my possession and from that which I have recently derived from the most reliable authority I am induced to cherish the belief that sectional animosity is surely and rapidly merging itself into a spirit of nationality, and that representation, connected with a properly adjusted system of taxation, will result in a harmonious restoration of the relation of the States to the National Union.

The report of Carl Schurz is herewith transmitted, as requested by the Senate. No reports from the Hon. John Covode have been received by the President. The attention of the Senate is invited to the accompanying report from Lieutenant-General Grant, who recently made a tour of inspection through several of the States whose inhabitants participated in the rebellion. ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, December 20, 1865.

To the Senate of the United States:

In reply to the resolution of the Senate of the 19th instant, requesting that the President, if not inconsistent with the public service, communicate to the Senate the "report of General Howard of his observations of the condition of the seceded States and the operation of the Freedmen's Bureau therein," I have to state that the report of the Commissioner of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands was yesterday transmitted to both Houses of Congress, as required by the third section of the act approved March 3, 1865.


WASHINGTON, December 21, 1865.

To the Senate:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 11th instant, respecting the occupation by the French troops of the Republic of Mexico and the establishment of a monarchy there, I transmit a report from the Secretary of State and the documents by which it was accompanied. ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, January 5, 1866.

To the Senate of the United States:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 19th ultimo, requesting information in regard to any plans to induce the immigration of dissatisfied citizens of the United States into Mexico, their organization there with the view to create disturbances in the United States, and especially in regard to the plans of Dr. William M. Gwin and M. F. Maury, and to the action taken by the Government of the United States

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