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and territories to be respected, not only by our citizens, but by foreigners who have resorted to the United States for the purpose of organizing hostile expeditions against some of the States of that republic. The defenceless condition in which its frontiers have been left has stimulated lawless adventurers to embark in these enterprises, and greatly increased the difficulty of enforcing our obligations of neutrality. Regarding it as my solemn duty to fulfil, efficiently, these obligations, not only towards Mexico, but other foreign nations, I have exerted all the powers with which I am invested to defeat such proceedings, and bring to punishment those who, by taking a part therein, violated our laws. The energy and activity of our civil and military authorities have frustrated the designs of those who meditated expeditions of this character, except in two instances. One of these, composed of foreigners, was at first countenanced and aided by the Mexican government itself, it having been deceived as to their real object. The other, small in number, eluded the vigilance of the magistrates at San Francisco, and succeeded in reaching the Mexican territories; but the effective measures taken by this
} government compelled the abandonment of the undertaking.
The commission to establish the new line between the United States and Mexico, according to the provisions of the treaty of the 30th of December last, has been organized, and the work is already commenced.
Our treaties with the Argentine Confederation, and with the republics of Uruguay and Paraguay, secure to us the free navigation of the river La Plata, and some of its larger tributaries; but the same success has not attended our endeavors to open the Amazon. The reasons in favor of the free use of that river I had occasion to present fully, in a former message; and, considering the cordial relations which have long existed between this government and Brazil, it may be expected that pending negotiations will eventually reach a favorable result.
Convenient means of transit between the several parts of a country are not only desirable for the objects of commercial and personal communication, but essential to its existence under one government. Separated as are the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the United States by the whole breadth of the continent, still the inhabitants of each are closely bound together by community of origin and institutions, and by strong attachment to the Union. Hence the constant and increasing intercourse, and vast interchange of commercial productions, between these remote divisions of the Republic. At the present time, the most practicable and only commodious routes for communication between them are by the way of the Isthmus of Central America. It is the duty of the government to secure these avenues against all danger of interruption.
In relation to Central America, perplexing questions existed between the United States and Great Britain at the time of the cession of California. These, as well as questions which subsequently arose concerning inter-oceanic communication across the Isthmus, were, as it was supposed, adjusted by the treaty of April 19, 1850: but, unfortunately, they have been re-opened by serious misunderstanding as to the import of some of its provisions, a re-adjustment of which is now
December 4, 1854.—Read, and ordered to be printed with the accompanying documents,
and that 10,000 extra copies be printed for the use of the Senate.
Fellow-citizens of the Senate
and of the House of Representatives : The past has been an eventful year, and will be hereafter referred to as a marked epoch in the history of the world. While we have been happily preserved from the calamities of war, our domestic progperity has not been entirely uninterrupted. The crops in portions of the country have been nearly cut off. Disease has prevailed to a greater extent than usual, and the sacrifice of human life, through casualties by sea and land, is without parallel. But the pestilence has swept by, and restored salubrity invites the absent to their homes, and the return of business to its ordinary channels. If the earth has rewarded the labor of the husbandman less bountifully than in preceding seasons, it has left him with abundance for domestic wants, and a large surplus for exportation. In the present, therefore, as in the past, we find ample grounds for reverent thankfulness to the God of Grace and Providence, for His protecting care and merciful dealings with us as a people.
Although our attention has been arrested by painful interest in passing events, yet our country feels no more than the slight vibrations of the convulsions which have shaken Europe. As individuals, we cannot repress sympathy with human suffering, nor regret for the causes which produce it. As a nation, we are reminded, that whatever interrupts the peace, or checks the prasperity, of any part of Christendom, tends, more or less, to involve
The condition of states is not unlike that of individuals : they are mutually dependent upon each other. Amicable relations between them, and reciprocal good will, are essential for the promotion of whatever is desirable in their moral, social, and political condition. Hence, it has been my earnest endeavor to maintain peace and friendly intercourse with all nations.
The wise theory of this government, so early adopted and steadily pursued, of avoiding all entangling alliances, has hitherto exempted it from many complications, in which it would otherwise have become involved. Notwithstanding this our clearly defined and wellsustained course of action, and our geographical position so remote from Europe, increasing disposition has been manifested, by some of its governments, to supervise, and, in certain respects, to direct, our foreign policy. In plans for adjusting the balance of power among themselves, they have assumed to take us into account, and would constrain us to conform our conduct to their views. One or another of the powers of Europe has, from time to time, undertaken to enforce arbitrary regulations, contrary in many respects to established prin ciples of international law. That law the United States have, in their foreign intercourse, uniformly respected and observed, and they cannot recognise any such interpolations therein as the temporary