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The former organization of the vessels employed in active service on the ocean, into 6 separate squadrons, has still been continued.

The home squadron, yet under the command of Commodore Parker, consists of the steam-frigate Saranac, Commander Prendergast, bearing the broad pennant of the Commodore; the sloop-of-war Albany, Commander Platt; the sloop Decatur, Commander Green; the sloop Cyane, Commander Paine; and the steamer Vixen, Lieutenant-Commanding Smith. The vessels of this squadron have been engaged in cruising among the West India Islands, and along the coast of the Carribean sea and of the Gulf of Mexico.

The commander of this squadron having been ordered to the north on special service, was not in position to prevent the late illegal and disastrous expedition from the port of New Orleans against the Island of Cuba; but, hastening thither under the orders of the Department, he was commendably active in preventing any repetition of the offence, whilst at the same time affording protection to American interests in that quarter, and giving assurance that The United States would in good faith observe their Treaty obligations and the law of nations.

Commander Platt, commanding the Albany, which happened to be in the port of Havana when the expedition landed, deserves, also, the commendation of the Department for the propriety and delicacy with which he acquitted himself in the trying duties of his command; for his vigilance and industry in procuring and transmitting early and correct information of the progress of events in the island; and his humanity in visiting and interceding for the deluded persons, who, in violation of the laws of their country, had been induced to embark in an adventure of such serious consequence. These occurrences at the south detained the vessels of this squadron from a cruise to its northern limits, which was commenced and proceeded in, as far as Havana, when the invasion of Cuba took place.

The Mediterranean squadron, Commodore Morgan commanding, consisted of the flag-ship, the razee Independence, Captain Jamesson; the steam-frigate Mississippi, Captain Long; and the frigate Cumberland, Captain Latimer.

In June the latter vessel returned, by order of the Department, to The United States, and upon her arrival the officers were detached, and the crew discharged. Since that time the Independence, with the Commander-in-Chief on board, has visited Trieste, and other ports within his command, and the Mississippi has been generally employed in active cruising.

In compliance with a resolution of Congress to that effect, orders were in due season sent to the commander of the squadron, directing this vessel to be held in readiness to proceed to the coast of Turkey, and receive on board the distinguished Hungarian, Governor Kos

suth, and his associates in exile, and convey them to The United States so soon as information should be received from the American Minister at Constantinople that they had obtained the Sultan's permission to embark. She accordingly took on board at the Dardanelles, in September, the illustrious exile and his family and party, in number 60 persons, and brought them, on the homeward voyage, to Gibraltar. Here Governor Kossuth, having determined to visit England, took passage in a mail steamer for that country, intending to come thence, by a like conveyance, to The United States; and the Mississippi sailed, with the remainder of her passengers, direct to New York, where she arrived early in November.

The Independence being the only vessel remaining in the Mediterranean, and from her large draught unsuited for winter cruising in that sea, this consideration, together with the fact that the enlistment of her crew and the term of the Commander of the squadron will expire in the ensuing spring, induced the Department to recall her also; and orders to that effect were despatched in October.

The new steam-frigate San Jacinto, destined for the squadron on the coast of Brazil, is preparing with all practicable expedition for sea, and will sail in a few days for the Mediterranean to watch over our interests in that quarter, until the arrival of a new squadron early in the spring.

The squadron on the coast of Africa continued under the command of Commodore Gregory until the month of May, when, after an energetic and efficient service on that station, he was relieved, and it was transferred to Commodore Lavalette.

The squadron comprises the sloop-of-war Germantown, the flagship of the squadron, Commander Nicholas; the sloop Dale, Commander Pearson; the sloop John Adams, Commander Barron; the brig Perry, Lieutenant Commanding Foote; the brig Porpoise, Lieutenant-Commanding Lardner.

These vessels have been assiduously employed in the duties of their cruize; and the observation of another year justifies the conclusion expressed in my last annual report, that the vigilance and activity of this squadron, together with that of Great Britain, have suppressed the slave-trade on the west coast of Africa, and that it is now carried on only on the south coast, more than 1000 miles distant from the station at the Cape de Verd Islands, established and maintained since the conclusion of the Treaty of Washington, in the year 1842.

This result has led to the consideration of the expediency of removing the depôt of supplies for the squadron down the coast, to St. Paul de Loando, or other point on the southern coast; but since the inhibition by Brazil of the African slave-trade among her sub

jects, it is doubtful whether it is necessary to continue this squadron as a permanent force, anywhere along the African shore; and it is accordingly proposed that notice be given to the British Government of the termination, on our part, of the VIIIth Article of the Treaty above mentioned, as therein provided. It is believed that Brazil and the Spanish West India Islands are the only countries to which slaves have been imported, in any considerable numbers, for many years past; and by strengthening the squadron on the coast of Brazil, and requiring of its vessels periodical visits to the coast of Africa, the traffic can probably be more effectually checked, than by keeping up the squadron on the African coast; while in regard to the Spanish West Indies, the vessels of the home squadron will suffice to prevent the use of our flag for its protection among them.

The climate of the African shores is notoriously insalubrious, and the health and comfort of the officers and crews would be greatly promoted by the change proposed.

The squadron on the coast of Brazil, Commodore McKeever still being in command, consists of the frigate Congress, the flag-ship of the squadron, Captain McIntosh; the sloop-of-war Jamestown, Captain Downing; the brig Bainbridge, Lieutenant Commanding Manning; and the store-ship Relief, Lieutenant Commanding Thatcher. Orders, however, have been despatched, directing the Bainbridge to relieve the brig Perry in the African squadron, which, owing to the approaching termination of the enlistment of her crew, has been ordered to return to The United States.

The general duties assigned to this squadron, in giving protection to our commerce and interests between the mouth of the Amazon river and Cape Horn; in preventing the use of the American flag to cover the African Slave Trade, and in enforcing our neutral rights and relations in the state of hostilities which have long prevailed between the Argentine Republic and the Banda Oriental, and more recently between the former and Brazil, appear to have been zealously and faithfully performed, and the reports of its commander are quite satisfactory.

The Pacific squadron, Commodore McCauley commanding, consists of his flag-ship the frigate Raritan, Commander McKean; the frigate St. Lawrence, Captain Dulaney; the sloops-of-war St. Mary's, Commander Magrudor; Vandalia, Commander Gardner; Falmouth, Commander Pearson; Vincennes, Commander Hudson; Portsmouth, Commander Dornin; Warren, unseaworthy and used as a store-ship; the steamer Massachusetts, Lieutenant Commanding Knox; the store-ship Lexington, Lieutenant Commanding Radford; and the store-ship Southampton, Lieutenant Commanding Turner.

The frigate Savannah, Captain Page, recently returned from this station in consequence of the expiration of the time of service of her

crew, and the Falmouth is supposed to be likewise on her homeward voyage. These will be replaced, respectively, by the frigate St. Lawrence and the sloop-of-war Portsmouth, about to proceed to the Pacific.

The several vessels of this squadron have been constantly and usefully employed in appropriate service. The flag-ship and the Vincennes have visited the principal ports on the American coast from Oregon to Chili. The Vandalia has made several visits to the Sandwich Islands, at periods when the presence of a man-of-war was highly essential to our interests in that kingdom, and the Falmouth and St. Mary's, in addition to touching at ports on the main land and the Sandwich Islands, have extended their cruising to the Society, Marquesas and Fejee Islands.

The necessity of maintaining at all times an effective fleet in that ocean, and of adapting our naval laws and system to the new requirements of the service, in consequence of our settlements in California and Oregon, was urged in my last annual communication, and cannot too early engage the attention of Congress.

The squadron for the East India and China seas, Commodore Aulick commanding, comprehends his flag-ship the steam-frigate Susquehanna; the sloops-of-war Plymouth, Commander Kelly; Saragota, Commander Walker; and Marion, Commander Glendy. The two vessels last named are on their station; the two former are on the voyage out. The Marion will be relieved on their arrival, and return home by way of the Cape of Good Hope, bringing, it is expected, valuable varieties of the seed or root of the sugar-cane, and also of the tea plant, collected under the orders of the department for distribution in the sections of our country adapted to their The Dolphin, Lieutenant Commanding T. J. Page, which had been attached to this squadron, returned to The United States by way of Cape Horn in the month of June.

The Susquehanna, which is one of the new war-steamers built under the provisions of the Act of Congress of the 3rd of March, 1847, sailed from Norfolk in June last, by way of Rio de Janeiro, conveying to that place his Excellency M. Macedo, late Minister of the Emperor of Brazil to this country; the Honourable R. C. Schenck, United States Minister Plenipotentiary to Brazil; and the Honourable J. S. Pendleton, Chargé d'Affaires to the Argentine Republic. She arrived at Rio de Janeiro with some derangements in her machinery and equipments, but these were repaired without much delay; and when last heard from she was about to depart, by way of the Cape of Good Hope, for her ultimate destination.

A favourable impression for our interests and commerce is expected to be created in the peculiar countries of the East, by the

addition of this new and well-appointed steam-frigate to our squadron in that region.

The steamer Michigan, Commander Bullus, has continued to cruise on the upper lakes for the protection and assistance of our trading vessels on those waters, and has on several occasions furnished important assistance to the civil officers in arresting and bringing to justice combinations of persons charged with offences against the laws of The United States.

In this review of the sea service of our cruisers, I have the satisfaction to announce, that in all quarters of the globe their reception and treatment have been not only respectful, but cordial; and that not merely the interests of commerce, but international peace and friendship, are likely to be promoted by these visits of our armed vessels, and the display of our flag on foreign shores.

The expedition under Lieutenant Commanding De Haven, to the Arctic Seas, in search of the British Commander Sir John Franklin and his companions, returned to the port of New York in October, having discovered only supposed traces of the objects of which it was in quest, and leaving in entire uncertainty their actual fate. The vessels of the expedition proceeded in the direction where, in the opinion of the best informed officers, the missing navigators are to be sought, and on which the traces in question were found. Though failing in the main object of their search, Lieutenant De Haven and his officers verified, by their explorations, many facts before unknown to science, but indicated in the course of the investigations carried on at the naval observatory, concerning the winds and currents of the ocean, and to which reference was made in the instructions for the expedition.

In this expedition, the officers and men were all volunteers. In its prosecution they encountered the greatest dangers and hardships. To mention a single example, their vessels were caught by the ice and frozen up in the open sea. In this perilous situation they were confined for 9 months, and drifted to and fro in the ice for more than 1000 miles. By the skill of the officers, and the mercy of a superintending Providence, they were released from this cold imprisonment and restored to their country and friends,-not a man having been lost in the expedition. They have received no other pay than would have been their due on a cruise to Naples or the Levant, and I respectfully suggest that they be allowed the same pay and emoluments that were granted to those in like positions in the late exploring expedition to the South Seas.

Mr. Henry Grinnell, the owner of the vessels employed by Lieutenant De Haven, has generously offered them for another cruise in search of Sir John Franklin, should Congress think proper to authorize a second expedition.

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