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the acquisition of New Mexico and California, and the extension of our settlements into Utah and Oregon, have given increased interest and importance to our relations with the aboriginal race.

No material change has taken place within the last year in the condition and prospects of the Indian tribes who reside in the northwestern territory and west of the Mississippi river. We are at peace with all of them; and it will be a source of pleasure to you to learn that they are gradually advancing in civilization and the pursuits of social life.

Along the Mexican frontier, and in California and Oregon, there have been occasional manifestations of unfriendly feeling, and some depredations committed. I am satisfied, however, that they resulted more from the destitute and starving condition of the Indians than from any settled hostility toward the whites. As the settlements of our citizens progress towards them, the game, upon which they mainly rely for subsistence, is driven off or destroyed, and the only alternative left to them is starvation or plunder. It becomes us to consider, in view of this condition of things, whether justice and humanity, as well as an enlightened economy, do not require that, instead of seeking to punish them for offences which are the result of our own policy towards them, we should not provide for their immediate wants, and encourage them to engage in agriculture, and to rely on their labour, instead of the chase, for the means of support.

Various important Treaties have been negotiated with different tribes during the year, by which their title to large and valuable tracts of country has been extinguished; all of which will, at the proper time, be submitted to the Senate for ratification.

The joint commission under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo has been actively engaged in running and marking the boundary line between The United States and Mexico. It was stated in the last annual report of the Secretary of the Interior that the initial point on the Pacific, and the point of junction of the Gila with the Colorado river had been determined, and the intervening line, about 150 miles in length, run and marked by temporary monuments. Since that time a monument of marble has been erected at the initial point, and permanent landmarks of iron have been placed at suitable distances. along the line.

The initial point on the Rio Grande has also been fixed by the Commissioners at latitude 32° 22', and, at the date of the last communication, the survey of the line had been made thence westward about 150 miles, to the neighbourhood of the copper mines.

The commissioner on our part was at first organized on a scale which experience proved to be unwieldy and attended with unneOrders have, therefore, been issued for the reduction of the number of persons employed within the smallest limits [1850-51.]

cessary expense.


consistent with the safety of those engaged in the service, and the prompt and efficient execution of their important duties.

Returns have been received from all the officers engaged in taking the census in the States and Territories, except California. The Superintendent employed to make the enumeration in that State, has not yet made his full report, from causes, as he alleges, beyond his control. This failure is much to be regretted, as it has prevented the Secretary of the Interior from making the decennial apportionment of representatives among the States, as required by the Act approved May 23, 1850. It is hoped, however, that the returns will soon be received, and no time will then be lost in making the necessary apportionment, and in transmitting the certificates required by law.

The Superintendent of the seventh census is diligently employed, under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior, in classifying and arranging, in tabular form, all the statistical information derived from the returns of the Marshals, and it is believed that when the work shall be completed, it will exhibit a more perfect view of the population, wealth, occupations, and social condition of a great country, than has ever been presented to the world. The value of such a work, as the basis of enlightened legislation, can hardly be over-estimated; and I earnestly hope that Congress will lose no time in making the appropriations necessary to complete the classifications, and to publish the results in a style worthy of the subject, and of our national character.

The want of a uniform fee-bill, prescribing the compensation to be allowed district attorneys, clerks, marshals, and commissioners in civil and criminal cases, is the cause of much vexation, injustice, and complaint. I would recommend a thorough revision of the laws on the whole subject, and the adoption of a tariff of fees which, as far as practicable, should be uniform, and prescribe a specific compensation for every service which the officer may be required to perform. This subject will be fully presented in the report of the Secretary of the Interior.

In my last annual message I gave briefly my reasons for believing that you possessed the constitutional power to improve the harbours of our great lakes and sea-coast, and the navigation of our principal rivers, and recommended that appropriations should be made for completing such works as had already been commenced, and for commencing such others as might seem to the wisdom of Congress to be of public and general importance. Without repeating the reasons then urged, I deem it my duty again to call your attention to this important subject. The works on many of our harbours were left in an unfinished state, and, consequently, exposed to the action of the elements, which is fast destroying them. Great

numbers of lives and vast amounts of property are annually lost for want of safe and convenient harbours on the lakes. None but those who have been exposed to that dangerous navigation can fully appreciate the importance of this subject. The whole north-west appeals to you for relief, and I trust their appeal will receive due consideration at your hands.

The same is in a measure true in regard to some of the harbours and inlets on the sea coast.

The unobstructed navigation of our large rivers is of equal importance. Our settlements are now extending to the sources of the great rivers which empty into and form part of the Mississippi, and the value of the public lands in those regions would be greatly enhanced by freeing the navigation of those waters from obstructions. In view, therefore, of this great interest, I deem it my duty again to urge upon Congress to make such appropriations for these improve. ments as they may deem necessary.

The surveys of the delta of the Mississippi, with a view to the prevention of the overflows that have proved so disastrous to that region of country, have been nearly completed, and the reports thereof are now in course of preparation, and will shortly be laid before you.

The protection of our south-western frontier, and of the adjacent Mexican States, against the Indian tribes within our border, has claimed my earnest and constant attention. Congress having failed, at the last session, to adopt my recommendation that an additional regiment of mounted men, specially adapted to that service, should be raised, all that remained to be done was to make the best use of the means at my disposal. Accordingly, all the troops adapted to that service that could properly be spared from other quarters have been concentrated on that frontier, and officers of high reputation selected to command them. A new arrangement of the military posts has also been made, whereby the troops are brought nearer to the Mexican frontier and to the tribes they are intended to


Sufficient time has not yet elapsed to realize all the benefits that are expected to result from these arrangements, but I have every reason to hope that they will effectually check their marauding expeditions. The nature of the country, which furnishes little for the support of an army, and abounds in places of refuge and concealment, is remarkably well adapted to this predatory warfare; and we can scarcely hope that any military force, combined with the greatest vigilance, can entirely suppress it.

By the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo we are bound to protect the territory of Mexico against the incursions of the savage tribes within our border, "with equal diligence and energy," as if the same

were made within our territory or against our citizens. I have endeavoured to comply, as far as possible, with this provision of the Treaty. Orders have been given to the officers commanding on that frontier to consider the Mexican territory and its inhabitants as equally with our own entitled to their protection; and to make all their plans and arrangements with a view to the attainment of this object. Instructions have also been given to the Indian Commissioners and Agents among these tribes, in all Treaties, to make the clauses designed for the protection of our own citizens apply also to those of Mexico. I have no reason to doubt that these instructions have been fully carried into effect. Nevertheless, it is probable that in spite of all our efforts, some of the neighbouring States of Mexico may have suffered, as our own have, from depredations by the Indians.


To the difficulties of defending our own territory, as abovementioned, are superadded, in defending that of Mexico, those that arise from its remoteness, from the fact that we have no right to station our troops within her limits, and that there is no efficient military force on the Mexican side to co-operate with our own. long as this shall continue to be the case, the number and activity of our troops will rather increase than diminish the evil, as the Indians will naturally turn towards that country where they encounter the least resistance. Yet these troops are necessary to subdue them, and to compel them to make and observe Treaties. Until this shall have been done, neither country will enjoy any security from their attacks.

The Indians in California, who had previously appeared of a peaceable character, and disposed to cultivate the friendship of the whites, have recently committed several acts of hostility. As a large portion of the reinforcements sent to the Mexican frontier were drawn from the Pacific, the military force now stationed there is considered entirely inadequate to its defence. It cannot be increased, however, without an increase of the army; and I again recommend that measure as indispensable to the protection of the frontier.

I invite your attention to the suggestions on this subject, and on others connected with his department, in the report of the Secretary of War.

The appropriations for the support of the army, during the current fiscal year ending 30th June next, were reduced far below the estimate submitted by the department. The consequence of this reduction is a considerable deficiency, to which I invite your early attention.

The expenditures of that department, for the year ending 30th June last, were 9,060,268 dollars. The estimates for the year com

mencing 1st July next, and ending June 30, 1853, are 7,898,775 dollars, showing a reduction of 1,161,492 dollars.

The Board of Commissioners, to whom the management of the affairs of the Military Asylum, created by the Act of 3rd March last, was entrusted, have selected a site for the establishment of an asylum in the vicinity of this city, which has been approved by me, subject to the production of a satisfactory title.

The report of the Secretary of the Navy will exhibit the condition of the public service under the supervision of that Department. Our naval force afloat during the present year, has been actively and usefully employed in giving protection to our widely-extended and increasing commerce and interests in the various quarters of the globe, and our flag has everywhere afforded the security and received the respect inspired by the justice and liberality of our intercourse, and the dignity and power of the nation.

The expedition commanded by Lieutenant De Haven, despatched in search of the British commander, Sir John Franklin, and his companions in the Arctic seas, returned to New York in the month of October, after having undergone great peril and suffering from an unknown and dangerous navigation and the rigours of a northern climate, without any satisfactory information of the objects of their search, but with new contributions to science and navigation from the unfrequented polar regions. The officers and men of the expedition having been all volunteers for this service, and having so conducted it as to meet the entire approbation of the Government, it is suggested, as an act of grace and generosity, that the same allowances of extra pay and emoluments be extended to them that were made to the officers and men of like rating in the late exploring expedition to the South Seas.

I earnestly recommend to your attention the necessity of reorganizing the naval establishment, apportioning and fixing the number of officers in each grade, providing some mode of promotion to the higher grades of the Navy, having reference to merit and capacity, rather than seniority or date of entry into the service, and for retiring from the effective list upon reduced pay those who may be incompetent to the performance of active duty. As a measure of economy, as well as of efficiency in this arm of the service, the provision last mentioned is eminently worthy of your consideration.

The determination of the questions of relative rank between the sea officers and civil officers of the navy, and between officers of the army and navy, in the various grades of each, will also merit your attention. The failure to provide any substitute, when corporal punishment was abolished for offences in the navy, has occasioned the convening of numerous courts-martial upon the arrival of vessels in port, and it is believed to have had an injurious effect upon the

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