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power of their own, and will go nowhere unless forced by act of Congress. And if Congress do but pause for a moment in the policy of stern coercion; if it venture to try the experiment of leaving men to judge for themselves what institutions will best suit them; if it be not strained up to perpetual legislative exertion on this point-if Congress proceed thus to act in the very spirit of liberty, it is at once charged with aiming to extend slave labor into all the new Territories of the United States.

Of course these imputations on the intentions of Congress in this respect, conceived, as they were, in prejudice and disseminated in passion, are utterly destitute of any justification in the nature of things and contrary to all the fundamental doctrines and principles of civil liberty and self-government.

While, therefore, in general, the people of the Northern States have never at any time arrogated for the Federal Government the power to interfere directly with the domestic condition of persons in the Southern States, but, on the contrary, have disavowed all such intentions and have shrunk from conspicuous affiliation with those few who pursue their fanatical objects avowedly through the contemplated means of revolu tionary change of the Government and with acceptance of the necessary consequences—a civil and servile war-yet many citizens have suffered themselves to be drawn into one evanescent political issue of agitation after another, appertaining to the same set of opinions, and which subsided as rapidly as they arose when it came to be seen, as it uniformly did, that they were incompatible with the compacts of the Constitution and the existence of the Union. Thus when the acts of some of the States to nullify the existing extradition law imposed upon Congress the duty of passing a new one, the country was invited by agitators to enter into party organization for its repeal; but that agitation speedily ceased by reason of the impracticability of its object. So when the statute restriction upon the institutions of new States by a geographical line had been repealed, the country was urged to demand its restoration, and that project also died almost with its birth. Then followed the cry of alarm from the North against imputed Southern encroachments, which cry sprang in reality from the spirit of revolutionary attack on the domestic institutions of the South, and, after a troubled existence of a few months, has been rebuked by the voice of a patriotic people.

Of this last agitation, one lamentable feature was that it was carried on at the immediate expense of the peace and happiness of the people of the Territory of Kansas. That was made the battlefield, not so much of opposing factions or interests within itself as of the conflicting passions of the whole people of the United States. Revolutionary disorder in Kansas had its origin in projects of intervention deliberately arranged by certain members of that Congress which enacted the law for the organization of the Territory; and when propagandist colonization of Kansas had thus

been undertaken in one section of the Union for the systematic promotion of its peculiar views of policy there ensued as a matter of course a counteraction with opposite views in other sections of the Union.

In consequence of these and other incidents, many acts of disorder, it is undeniable, have been perpetrated in Kansas, to the occasional interruption rather than the permanent suspension of regular government. Aggressive and most reprehensible incursions into the Territory were undertaken both in the North and the South, and entered it on its northern border by the way of Iowa, as well as on the eastern by way of Missouri; and there has existed within it a state of insurrection against the constituted authorities, not without countenance from inconsiderate persons in each of the great sections of the Union. But the difficulties in that Territory have been extravagantly exaggerated for purposes of political agitation elsewhere. The number and gravity of the acts of violence have been magnified partly by statements entirely untrue and partly by reiterated accounts of the same rumors or facts. Thus the Territory has been seemingly filled with extreme violence, when the whole amount of such acts has not been greater than what occasionally passes before us in single cities to the regret of all good citizens, but without being regarded as of general or permanent political consequence.

Imputed irregularities in the elections had in Kansas, like occasional irregularities of the same description in the States, were beyond the sphere of action of the Executive. But incidents of actual violence or of organized obstruction of law, pertinaciously renewed from time to time, have been met as they occurred by such means as were available and as the circumstances required, and nothing of this character now remains to affect the general peace of the Union. The attempt of a part of the inhabitants of the Territory to erect a revolutionary government, though sedulously encouraged and supplied with pecuniary aid from active agents of disorder in some of the States, has completely failed. Bodies of armed men, foreign to the Territory, have been prevented from entering or compelled to leave it; predatory bands, engaged in acts of rapine under cover of the existing political disturbances, have been arrested or dispersed, and every well-disposed person is now enabled once more to devote himself in peace to the pursuits of prosperous industry, for the prosecution of which he undertook to participate in the settlement of the Territory.

It affords me unmingled satisfaction thus to announce the peaceful condition of things in Kansas, especially considering the means to which it was necessary to have recourse for the attainment of the end, namely, the employment of a part of the military force of the United States. The withdrawal of that force from its proper duty of defending the country against foreign foes or the savages of the frontier to employ it for the suppression of domestic insurrection is, when the exigency occurs, a matter of the most earnest solicitude. On this occasion of

imperative necessity it has been done with the best results, and my satisfaction in the attainment of such results by such means is greatly enhanced by the consideration that, through the wisdom and energy of the present executive of Kansas and the prudence, firmness, and vigilance of the military officers on duty there tranquillity has been restored without one drop of blood having been shed in its accomplishment by the forces of the United States.

The restoration of comparative tranquillity in that Territory furnishes the means of observing calmly and appreciating at their just value the events which have occurred there and the discussions of which the government of the Territory has been the subject.

We perceive that controversy concerning its future domestic institutions was inevitable; that no human prudence, no form of legislation, no wisdom on the part of Congress, could have prevented it.

It is idle to suppose that the particular provisions of their organic law were the cause of agitation. Those provisions were but the occasion, or the pretext, of an agitation which was inherent in the nature of things. Congress legislated upon the subject in such terms as were most consonant with the principle of popular sovereignty which underlies our Government. It could not have legislated otherwise without doing violence to another great principle of our institutions-the imprescriptible right of equality of the several States.

We perceive also that sectional interests and party passions have been the great impediment to the salutary operation of the organic principles adopted and the chief cause of the successive disturbances in Kansas. The assumption that because in the organization of the Territories of Nebraska and Kansas Congress abstained from imposing restraints upon them to which certain other Territories had been subject, therefore disorders occurred in the latter Territory, is emphatically contradicted by the fact that none have occurred in the former. Those disorders were not the consequence, in Kansas, of the freedom of self-government conceded to that Territory by Congress, but of unjust interference on the part of persons not inhabitants of the Territory. Such interference, wherever it has exhibited itself by acts of insurrectionary character or of obstruction to process of law, has been repelled or suppressed by all the means which the Constitution and the laws place in the hands of the Executive.

In those parts of the United States where, by reason of the inflamed state of the public mind, false rumors and misrepresentations have the greatest currency it has been assumed that it was the duty of the Executive not only to suppress insurrectionary movements in Kansas, but also to see to the regularity of local elections. It needs little argument to show that the President has no such power. All government in the United States rests substantially upon popular election. The freedom of elections is liable to be impaired by the intrusion of unlawful votes

or the exclusion of lawful ones, by improper influences, by violence, or by fraud. But the people of the United States are themselves the allsufficient guardians of their own rights, and to suppose that they will not remedy in due season any such incidents of civil freedom is to suppose them to have ceased to be capable of self-government. The President of the United States has not power to interpose in elections, to see to their freedom, to canvass their votes, or to pass upon their legality in the Territories any more than in the States. If he had such power the Government might be republican in form, but it would be a monarchy in fact; and if he had undertaken to exercise it in the case of Kansas he would have been justly subject to the charge of usurpation and of violation of the dearest rights of the people of the United States.

Unwise laws, equally with irregularities at elections, are in periods of great excitement the occasional incidents of even the freest and best political institutions; but all experience demonstrates that in a country like cars, where the right of self-constitution exists in the completest form, the attempt to remedy unwise legislation by resort to revolution is totally out of place, inasmuch as existing legal institutions afford more prompt and efficacious means for the redress of wrong.

I confidently trust that now, when the peaceful condition of Kansas affords opportunity for calm reflection and wise legislation, either the legislative assembly of the Territory or Congress will see that no act shall remain on its statute book violative of the provisions of the Constitution or subversive of the great objects for which Chat was ordained and established, and will take all other necessary steps to assure to its inhabitants the enjoyment, without obstruction or abridgment, of all the constitutional rights, privileges, and immunities of citizens of the United States, as contemplated by the organic law of the Territory.

Full information in relation to recent events in this Territory will be found in the documents communicated herewith from the Departments of State and War.

I refer you to the report of the Secretary of the Treasury for particular information concerning the financial condition of the Government and the various branches of the public service connected with the Treasury Department.

During the last fiscal year the receipts from customs were for the first time more than $64,000,000, and from all sources $73,918, 141, which, with the balance on hand up to the 1st of July, 1855, made the total resources of the year amount to $92,850, 117. The expenditures, including $3,000,000 in execution of the treaty with Mexico and excluding sums paid on account of the public debt, amounted to $60, 172,401, and including the latter to $72,948,792, the payment on this account having amounted to $12,776,390.

On the 4th of March, 1853, the amount of the public debt was $69,129,937. There was a subsequent increase of $2,750,000 for the debt of

Texas, making a total of $71,879,937. Of this the sum of $45,525,319, including premium, has been discharged, reducing the debt to $30,963,909, all which might be paid within a year without embarrassing the public service, but being not yet due and only redeemable at the option of the holder, can not be pressed to payment by the Government.

On examining the expenditures of the last five years it will be seen that the average, deducting payments on account of the public debt and $10,000,000 paid by treaty to Mexico, has been but about $48,000,000. It is believed that under an economical administration of the Government the average expenditure for the ensuing five years will not exceed that sum, unless extraordinary occasion for its increase should occur. The acts granting bounty lands will soon have been executed, while the extension of our frontier settlements will cause a continued demand for lands and augmented receipts, probably, from that source. These considerations will justify a reduction of the revenue from customs so as not to exceed forty-eight or fifty million dollars. I think the exigency for such reduction is imperative, and again urge it upon the consideration of Congress.

The amount of reduction, as well as the manner of effecting it, are questions of great and general interest, it being essential to industrial enterprise and the public prosperity, as well as the dictate of obvious justice, that the burden of taxation be made to rest as equally as possible upon all classes and all sections and interests of the country.

I have heretofore recommended to your consideration the revision of the revenue laws, prepared under the direction of the Secretary of the Treasury, and also legislation upon some special questions affecting the business of that Department, more especially the enactment of a law to punish the abstraction of official books or papers from the files of the Government and requiring all such books and papers and all other public property to be turned over by the outgoing officer to his successor; of a law requiring disbursing officers to deposit all public money in the vaults of the Treasury or in other legal depositories, where the same are conveniently accessible, and a law to extend existing penal provisions to all persons who may become possessed of public money by deposit or otherwise and who shall refuse or neglect on due demand to pay the same into the Treasury. I invite your attention anew to each of these objects.

The Army during the past year has been so constantly employed against hostile Indians in various quarters that it can scarcely be said, with propriety of language, to have been a peace establishment. Its duties have been satisfactorily performed, and we have reason to expect as a result of the year's operations greater security to the frontier inhabitants than has been hitherto enjoyed. Extensive combinations among the hostile Indians of the Territories of Washington and Oregon at one time threatened the devastation of the newly formed settlements of that

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