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From the State of Virginia.
William C. Rives,
William H. Roane.
From the State of South Carolina.
From the State of Georgia.
From the State of Kentucky.
From the State of Tennessee.
Oliver H. Smith,
John M. Robinson,
Richard M. Young.
From the Stale of Michigan.
The honorable William R. King, President pro tempore, resumed the chair.
Mr. Crittenden presented the credentials of the honorable Ephraim H. Foster, appointed a Senator by the Governor of the State of Tennessee, to fill the vacancy occasioned by the resignation of the honorable Felix Grundy; which were read.
The oath prescribed by law was administered to the honorable Ephraim H. Foster; and he took his seat in the Senate.
On motion by Mr. Morris, Ordered, That the Secretary acquaint the House of Representatives that a quorum of the Senate is assembled, and that the Senate is ready to proceed to business.
On motion by Mr. Wright, Resolved, That a committee be appointed to join such committee as may be appointed by the House of Representatives, to wait on the President of the United States, and inform him that quorums of the two llouses hare assembled, and that Congress are ready to receive any communications lie may be pleased to make.
On motion, It was agreed that the President pro tempore appoint the committee; and Mr. Wright and Mr. Young were appointed.
On motion by Mr. McKean, Resolved, That each Senator be supplied, during the present session, with three such newspapers, printed in any of the States, as he may choose ; provided the same be furnished at the usual rate for the annual charge for such newspapers; and provided that, if any Senator shall choose to take any newspaper other than daily papers, he shall be supplied with as many such papers as shall not exceed the price of three daily papers.
On motion by Mr. Morris, Ordered, That the hour of meeting he 12 o'clock, until otherwise directed ; and,
On motion by Mr. Morris, The Senate adjourned.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 4, 1838.
The honorable Clement C. Clay, from the State of Alabama, attended.
A message from the House of Representatives, by Mr. Hugh A. Garland. their clerk :
Mr. President: I am directed to inform the Senate that a quorum nf the House of Representatives has assembled, and that the House is ready to proceed to business.
The House of Representatives concur in the resolution for the appointment of a joint committee to wait on the President of the United States, and notify him that quorums of the two Houses have assembled, and that Corigress are ready to receive any communications which he may be pleased to make; and have appointed Mr. Cambreleng, Mr. Lincoln, and Mr. Connor, the committee on their part.
Mr. Rives presented the memorial of James Barron, a captain in the navy of the United States, praying the payment of a claim which he conceives to be unjustly withheld by the accounting departments of the Gov. ernment.
Ordered, That it lie on the table. Mr. Wright, from the committee appointed on the part of the Senate, jointly with the conmittee appointed on the part of the House of Representatives, to wait on the President of the United States, and inform him that quorums of the two Houses have assembled, and that Congress are reac v to receive any communications which he may be pleased to make, reported that they had performed the duty assigned them, and that the President replied that he would make a communication, in writing, to the two Houses, immediately.
The following message was received from the President of the United States, by Mr. Van Buren, his secretary :
Fillow-citizens of the Senate
and House of Representatives : I congratulate you on the favorable circumstances in the condition of our country, under which you reassemble for the performance of your official duties. Though the anticipations of an abundant harvest have not every where been realized, yet, on the whole, the labors of the husbandman are rewarded with a bountiful return; industry prospers in its various chanuels of business and enterprise; general health again prevails through our vast diversity of climate; nothing threatens, from abroad, the continuance of external peace; nor has any thing at home impaired the strength of those fraternal and domestic ties which constitute the only guaranty to the success and permanency of our happy Union, and which, formed in the hour of peril, have hitherto been honorably sustained throngh every vicissitude in our national affairs. These blessings, which evince the care and beneficence of Providence, call for our devout and servent gratitude.
We have not less reason to be grateful for other bounties bestowed by the same munificent hand, and more exclusively our own.
The present year closes the first half century of our federal institutions; and our system-differing from all others in the acknowledged, practical, and unlimited operation which it has for so long a period given to the sovereignty of the people-has now been fully tested by experience.
The constitution devised by our forefathers as the framework and bond of that system, then untried, has become a settled form of government; not only preserving and protecting the great principles upon which it was founded, but wonderfully promoting individual happiness and private inte. rests. 'l'hough subject to change and entire revocation, whenever deemed inadequate to all these purposes, yet such is the wisdom of its construction, and so stable has been the public sentiment, that it remains unaltered, except in matters of detail, comparatively unimportant. It has proved amply sufficient for the various emergencies incident to var condition as a nation. A formidable foreign war; agitating collisions between domestic and, in some respects, rival sovereiguties; temptations to interfere in the intestine commotions of neighboring countries; the dangerous influences that arise in periods of excessive prosperity; and the anti-republican tendencies of associated wealth-these, with other trials not less formidable, have all been encountered, and thus far successfully resisted.
It was reserved for the American Union to test the advantages of a Government entirely dependant on the continual exercise of the popular will; and our experience has shown that it is as beneficent in practice as it is just in theory. Each successive change made in our local institutions has contributed to extend the right of suffrage, has increased the direct influence of the mass of the community, yiven greater freedom to individual exertion, and restricted, more and more, the powers of Government; yet the intelligence, prudence, and patriotism of the people have kept pace with this augmented responsibility. In no country has education been so widely diffused. Domestic peace has nowhere so largely reigued. The close bonds of social intercourse have in no instance prevailed with such Harmony over a space so vast. All forms of religion have united, for the first time, to diffuse charity and piety, because, for the first time in the history of nations, all have been totally untrammelled, and absolutely free. The deepest recesses of the wilderness have been penetrated; yet, instead of the
rudeness in the social condition consequent upon such adventures elsewhere, numerous communities have sprung up, already unrivalled in prosperity, general intelligence, internal tranquillity, and the wisdom of their political institutions. Internal improvement, the fruit of individual enterprise, fostered by the protection of the States, has added new links to the confederation, and fresh rewards to provident industry. Doubtful questions of domestic policy have been quieily settled by mutual forbearance; and agriculture, commerce, and manufactures, minister to each other. Taxation and public debt, the burdens which bear so heavily upon all other countries, have pressed with comparative lightness upon us. Without one entangling alliance, our friendship is prized by every nation ; and the rights of our citizens are every where respected, because they are known to be guarded by a united, sensitive, and watchful people.
To this practical operation of our institutions, so evident and successful, we owe that increased attachment to them which is among the most cheering exhibitions of popular sentiment, and will prove their best security, in time to come, against foreign or domestic assault.
This review of the results of our institutions, for half a century, without exciting a spirit of vain exultation, should serve to impress upon us the great principles from which they have sprung; constant and direct supervision by the people over every public measure; strict forbearance on the part of the Government from exercising any doubtful or disputed powers; and a cautious abstinence from all interference with concerns which properly belong, and are best left to State regulations and individual enterprise.
Full information of the stata of our foreign affairs having been recently, on different occasions, submitted to Congress, I deem it necessary, now to bring to your notice only such events as have subsequently occurred, or are of such importance as to require particular attention.
The most amicable dispositions continue to be exhibited by all the nations with whom the Government and citizens of the United States have an habitual intercourse. At the date of my last annual message, Mexico was the only nation which could not be included in so gratifying a refer. ence to our foreign relations.
I am happy to be now able to inform you that an advance has been made towards the adjustment of our difficulties with that Republic, and the resforation of the customary good feeling between the two nations. This important change has been effected by conciliatory negotiations, that have resulted in the conclusion of a treaty between the two Governments, which, when ratified, will refer to the arbitrament of a friendly power all the subjects of controversy between us growing out of injuries to individuals. There is, at present, also, reason to believe that an equitable settlement of all disputed points will be attained without further difficulty or unnecessary delay, and thus authorize the free resumption of diplomatic intercourse with our sister Republic.
With respect to the northeastern boundary of the United States, no official correspondence between this Government and that of Great Britain has passed since that communicated to Congress towards the close of their last session. The offer to negotiate a convention for the appointment of a joint commission of survey and exploration, I am, however, assured will be met by Her Majesty's Government in a conciliatory and friendly spirit, and instructions to enable the British Minister here to conclude such an arrangement will be transmitted to him without needless delay. It is hoped and expected that these instructions will be of a liberal character, and that this negotiation, if successful, will prove to be an important step towards the satisfactory and final adjustment of the controversy.
I had hoped that the respect for the laws and regard for the peace and honor of their own country, which has ever characterized the citizens of the United States, would have prevented any portion of them from using any means to promote insurrection in the territory of a power with which we are at peace, and with which the United States are desirous of maintaining the most friendly relations. I regret deeply, however, to be obliged to inform you that this has not been the case. Information has been given to me, derived from official and other sources, that many citizens of the United States have associated together to make hostile incursions from our territory into Canada, and to aid and abet insurrection there, in violation of the obligations and laws of the United States, and in open disregard of their own duties as citizens. This information has been in part confirmed, by a hostile invasion actually made by citizens of the United States, in conjuaction with Canadians and others, and accompanied by a forcible seizure of the property of our citizens, and an application thereof to the prosecution of miltary operations against the authorities and people of Canada.
The results of these criminal assaults upon the peace and order of a neighboring country have been, as was to be expected, fatally destructive to the misguided or deluded persons engaged in them, and highly injurious to those in whose behalf they are professed to have been undertaken. The authorities in Canada, fron intelligence received of such intended movements among our citizens, have felt themselves obliged to take precantionary measures against them; have actually embodied the militia, and assumed an attitude to repel the invasion to which they believed the Colonies were exposed from the United States. A state of feeling on both sides of the frontier has thus been produced, which called for prompt and vigorous interference. If an insurrection existed in Canada, the amicable dispositions of the United States towards Great Britain, as well as their duty to themselves, would lead them to maintain a strict neutrality, and to restrain their citizens from all violations of the laws which have been passed for its enforcement. But this Government recognizes a still higher obligation to repress all attempts on the part of its citizens to disturb ihe peace of a country where order prevails, or has been re-established. Depredations by our citizens upon nations at peace with the United States, or combinations for committing them, have at all times been regarded by the American Government and people with the greatest abhorrence. Military incursions by our citizens into countries so situated, and the commission of acts of violence on the members thereof, in order to effect a change in its government, or under any pretext whatever, have, from the commencement of our Government, been held equally criminal on the part of those engaged in them, and as much deserving of punishment as would be the disturbance of the public peace by the perpetration of similar acts within our own territory.
By no country or persons have these invaluable principles of international law-principles, the strict observance of which is so indispensable to the preservation of social order in the world--been more carnestly cherished or sacredly respected than by those great and good men who first