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SEN. AND H. OF REPS.]
Documents accompanying the President's Message.
[21ST CONG. 1st Sess.
April, 1818, is, "there shall be a Surgeon General, with ing items of account disallowed or suspended, as by dif ferent disbursing officers different opinions and conclusions, as to existing laws, are entertained, has not failed to introduce difficulties to the Government, and oftentimes embarrassment to the officers. By attaching to each grade, from the Major General, a salary certain and specific, dependent upon no contingency, happier results would be attained, and greater satisfaction produced to those who are interested. The only contingencies of payment authorized might be for stationery and postage; and for transportation, when proceeding under special orders from one post to another, with the authority which already pertains to the Department, of assigning, at particular posts, an allowance of increased ratione, thereby to equalize, in some degree, the expenses of living; it being an
a salary of two thousand five hundred dollars per annum;" evidently intending to render this a salary officer, with a fixed and certain compensation. The act of the 30th of March, 1814, provides, "that the Physician and Surgeon General of the army, be entitled to two rations per day, and forage for two horses." At this time the compensation given, was also twenty-five hundred dollars a year, The subsequent act, however, of 1818, fixing and regulating the peace establishment, says nothing of perquisites or emoluments; and is hence to be considered as a revocation of previous enactments upon the same subject. There is nothing which, by a fair construction of the law, would give the Surgeon General an allowance for fuel and quarters, which it is believed would not equally apply to the Paymaster General, to whom it has been re-item greater at some places than at others, and which, fused. The words of the law are, as to both, the same. on principles of justice, should be placed upon some ground The compensation to the Paymaster General, as fix of equality. A tabular statement from the Paymaster ed by the act of the 24th of April, 1816, is as follows: General, is annexed, showing the amount of pay, brevet The Pay Department shall consist of one Paymaster pay, and emoluments, that are annually received by officers General of the army, with the annual salary of two thou- in their respective grades, as information and data by sand five hundred dollars." The allowance ought to be which to regulate the allowance of salary, should it be conextended to both, or else withheld from both. It is diffi-sidered expedient. cult to conceive how, upon any proper ground, a differ ence or distinction in those cases can be made; inasmuch as the laws couferring their pay are, in substance, and almost in expression, identical.
Another course, which, for a time past, has been pursued, arises under a regulation declaring certain bureaus connected with the War Department to be military posts; the effect of which has been to increase the number of admitted rations, and, of consequence, the amount of pay. By the regulation of 1825, it is provided “that double rations shall be allowed to the commanders of departments, and of such posts and arsenals as the War Department shall authorize."
From the report of the head of the Engineer Corps, it will be perceived that some amendments and changes are proposed. I beg leave to say, that, as regards the objects of national defence, the suggestions offered are worthy of high consideration. In improving the navigation of our rivers, bays, and harbors, constructing roads, and, above all, erecting those important fortifications which are to constitute the future defences of the country, this corps forms an essential reliance. Intelligent and skilful, these branches of service have been confided to them, and the fidelity of execution every where displayed is a manifestation of their worth and value to the country; added to which every thing of safety and strict It is not presumable, that places where mere civil du accountability for funds placed in their hands, is constantties are required to be performed, merit to be denomi-ly regarded to the entire satisfaction of the Department. nated military posts; or were so intended by the law. A The same remark, however, and in equal justice, is ap different opinion and construction, however, have prevail- plicable to all the disbursing officers connected with the ed, and the definition "post" has been extended to the War Department. If it be the pleasure of Congress that several bureau officers connected with the War Depart- the important internal improvements of the country shall ment, and double rations attached and commuted for. continue, and a desire correspondently is possessed that The construction thus given has not been altered: it is those authorized works shall progress creditably to the still retained; not from a belief that it was strictly cor- spirit that projects them, there is no plan to be suggested rect, but that, having been heretofore acted upon and preferable to an enlargement of this corps, to the extent sanctioned, it was preferred to be left for the determina- that the entire reliance of the Government for all such obtion of Congress, that, by some further act of legislation, jects may be on their exertions. At present, the number it might better be defined, what, for the future, should authorized is altogether insufficient to the objects requirbe considered a proper definition of the term; or by being attention, to say nothing of the numerous and frequent ing passed over in silence, to suffer the present understanding to prevail. The regulation adopted is not conceived to be in conformity with the acts of Congress upon this subject. These speak of an increased admission of rations to officers when " commanding" evidently intending such allowance, when they should be in the exercise of a military, not a civil trust. If, then, the law does not authorize it, the regulation of the Department certainly ought not: for, although authority is conceded to the Secretary of War, with the President's approbation, to adopt for the Army, rules and regulations, it should not be intended as a privilege to exercise legisla tive power. Such adopted regulations must be in conformity, not in opposition, to existing laws.
To guard against all unforeseen contingencies as to the pay of officers, I would suggest, if it would not be preferable to regulate the compensation of the Army on some fixed and certain basis, so that all should be. come salary officers. The facilities which such a course would afford to the accounting officers of the Treasury would be great, while an essential benefit would result to the officers themselves. To them it would prove more satisfactory. The practice, so prevalent, of hav
applications from the States to be afforded the benefit of their services, and which the Department, owing to the paucity of their numbers, in repeated instances, have been constrained to refuse, when every disposition was felt to accord to their request.
This report minutely presents the state, condition, and progress, of the different fortifications which have been projected in Congress. By some error of estimate and fact, the appropriation of last year, for the completion of Fort Jackson, on the Mississippi River, has fallen short of the object; and inconveniences will be felt unless an early appropriatiou can be procured. Discovering that the funds would prove insufficient, it was suggested to the Department, and brought to your consideration, if a portion of the unexpended amount set apart " for the repairs and contingencies of fortifications," might not be transferred to the head of "fortifications" generally. This, however, was refused, on the ground of authority wanted. It is now submitted for the purpose of receiving an early appropriation, that, before the sickly season on the Mississippi commences, the work may be in progress; otherwise, it must stand deferred, and be greatly retarded for another year.
21ST CONG. 1ST SESS.]
Documents accompanying the President's Message.
[SEN. AND H. OF REPS.
found requisite, and war within that period take place, a consequence would be, that some of our forts, built up at great expense, would be destroyed, because incapable of self-defence; or else, by being retained and armed, be used by the enemy as annoyance and injury to ourselves. A measure involving such important considerations should not be protracted in its execution: it carries with it, in forebod ing anticipation, too much of probable evil consequence, This subject derives additional interest from the consideration that guns and carriages require time in preparation; they are things that cannot be hastily arranged, and which to defer might prove prejudicial.
The communication of the Board of Visitors, which accompanies the report of the head of the Engineer Corps, will show the condition and state of the Military Acade my. Towards this Institution, prejudices, in some portions of the country, have been entertained, attributable, perhaps, to the circumstance that its advantages are not fully considered, nor its benefits duly appreciated. We are becoming a numerous and strong People, forming and extending our commercial connexions throughout the civilized world. From the experience afforded by other nations in times past, we are warned to the belief that jealousies, and disagreements, and contests, are to be expected to come upon us. Prudence to avoid, and pre- At the different arsenals and magazines an abundant paration to meet, such a state of things, when rendered supply of powder is in store. Considering its liability to unavoidable, are demanded by a proper regard to our safe-injury, rather than keep up the supply, it would be prety and our institutions. Men can no more become sol- ferable to procure the materials of which it is composed, diers intuitively and by instinct than they can attain to a ready to be manufactured when circumstances shall make knowledge of any other profession in life. Information it necessary. These articles are now remarkably cheap, must prepare, and experience qualify, in all situations. At and are easily preserved from deterioration. Recollec this Institution, the genius of the young men of the coun- tion retains the fact, that, during the last war, the average try will dawn and ripen, and the value of their services price of saltpetre was about forty cents, and brimstone be found in moments of greatest peril. But, besides this eight. Involved in another contest, the same state of high and estimable consideration, it may be looked to as things might be presented. while, at present, those ar one of the strong bonds of our union. Two hundred and ticles can be procured at one-eighth the prices which, of sixty young men associated for a time, with all those at- necessity, had then to be given. Being susceptible of tachments created which early friendships inspire, cannot ready preservation, it would prove a matter of economy fail to secure, for the future, increased strength and dura- to forbear any further purchase of powder, contenting bility to the Government. Here education, and good con- ourselves merely with obtaining an adequate supply of duct, and military discipline, are regarded; and while the ingredients, whenever it could be procured at fair prices. mind is led forward and trained to useful thought, all those The materials thus preserved and in readiness could, at high feelings which constitute an honorable seuse of pro- short notice, be manufactured whenever occasion should priety, are cherished and regarded. At no period has make it necessary. the institution been in a more flourishing condition. Col. Thayer, the efficient Superintendent, aided by professors of liberal endowments, zealous in the performance of the high trusts confided to them, are pressing it forward to a state of advancement, of which presently the country will have cause to be proud. Some additional improvements, suggested as necessary by the Superintendent, and which will involve but a slight increase of expense, are desirable, and will prove beneficial. The necessary explanations as to what is proposed, will be found to accompany the ap plication.
The Quartermaster General's report to me will be found to explain fully the business under his supervision. For reasons sufficiently explained, the disbursements by him have exceeded the appropriation made for the service of the year. The causes which occasioned this condition of things, were, that a portion of the funds intended for 1829, had, necessarily, to be applied to arrearages of expenditure incurred in the preceding year of 1828, for which no estimate had been submitted and no provision made. It became necessary, therefore, to provide means from some other legal source; accordingly, a transfer of A reference to the report of the chief of the Ordnance fifty thousand dollars from the Subsistence to the Quarwill show the particular details of operation in that branch termaster was made, agreeably to the provisions of the act of the service it merits attention. It has been frequent of May, 1820. By the act of March, 1809, it is required ly observed that the best way to avoid war is to be in pre- that a special account of moneys transferred, and of their paration. In this point of view it is desirable that the application, shall be laid before Congress in the first week appropriations to be made for clothing our fortifications of their session. To do this, from the recent date of the should correspond with the probable periods of their transaction, will be impracticable. All that at present completion. It would, indeed, be a mortifying result, if, can be communicated is, that a portion of the transferred after the labor and cost which have been encountered for fuud has been placed in the bands of the Assistant their completion, it should rest in the power of an enemy, Quartermasters; though to what particular objects its apat the onset of war, to seize or destroy them, because the plication may be made can only be known when a settlemeans had not been placed in readiness for their de- ment of expenditures in the present quarter shall take fence. place. The deficiency thus incurred admonishes that an From the report it will be perceived, that, at the pre-enlarged appropriation for this branch of the public service sent annual rate of appropriation, to wit, $100,000, six will be required for the year 1880. Indeed, such is the teen or twenty years will have passed before a proper sup-character of this service, dependent on so many circumply of arms for those fortifications now in progress can be stances, and on such various contingencies, that estimates obtained for their defence. As regards this subject, the in anticipation of the year cannot be rendered with precise course most advisable to be pursued would be, that the accuracy. armament preparation should progress correspondently
The present condition of the Breakwater at the mouth with the works themselves; not that they should be of the Delaware, the Quartermaster General's report will mounted, and, by exposure to the weather, become de- explain. A desire was entertained, and a confidence recayed and useless, but that the guns, being at their po-posed, that, ere the close of the season, this important and sitions, and the carriages in readiness, on the apprehension of war, suitable preparation for resistance might, at all defensible "points," appear, meeting the objects for which those fortifications were designed, and yielding protection to the assailable parts of the Union. If, in the slow and gradual preparation for a necessary and adequate armament, at present pursued, sixteen years shall be
valuable work, so essential and so necessary to the commerce of the country, would have been in a more rapid state of advancement. The contractors, however, have fall. en considerably short even of their own expectations. Difficulties at the onset, which they had not foreseen and which it was not in their power, as they allege, to remedy, have retarded their progress so considerably, that not more
SEN. AND H. OF REPS.]
Documents accompanying the President's Message.
than a fifth of the quantity of stone contracted for has been delivered in the present year.
[21ST CONG. 1ST SESS.
to prevent them for the future, legislative authority should be extended, that, under an exercise of proper discretion, such cases may, in disregard of the amount in contest, be submitted to the Attorney General, to be brought be fore the Supreme Court for decision, if he shall conceive that there is error in the decision and proceedings,
The difficulty of presenting accurate and certain estimates, is alike applicable to a proper execution of the duties of the Commissary General of Subsistence. For that service they are to be made in reference to contracts previously entered into. These, however, fail occasionally There is another subject, heretofore stated to you, to be executed, and then it devolves upon him to pur- which it may be proper to suggest for the information of chase, whereby increased prices and enlarged expendi Congress, that such measures as shall be considered advisetures are incurred. In this service there are peculiar able, may be adopted. A long time ago, at an early pehardships, frequently resulting to citizens, which are with-riod of our history, the Seneca tribe of Indians, situated out any adequate remedy, because no sufficient discre- in the State of New York, placed in the hands of the Pretion to afford relief is any where given. The proposals sident of the United States, in trust $100,000, That made, and contracts entered into, are always in reference trust, through the several Chief Magistrates of this coun to the probable prices of provisions in the market; and, try, has been executed for the benefit of the tribe, by be the better to understand this, they are usually made early ing from time to time vested in stocks. In 1826, it was in autumn. Nevertheless, provisions, and especially flour, invested in the three per cent. funds, amounting to are often subject to sudden and considerable apprecia- $112,853 78, which yields an annual interest of $3,385 tion, thereby inducing pecuniary losses, and not unfre- 60 cents. On applying, as your Attorney in fact, for the quently ruin the contractor. The Government should dividend, I learned that the proceeds of the stock had not so severely exact upon an unfortunate contract made heretofore passed to the credit of the Indian appropriation with a citizen, as to compel him to ruin, when accidental fund; and that, from the same fund, the sum of six thou cause, and not misconduct, has occasioned the failure, but should repose a discret on somewhere, by which relief might be afforded in cases of such peculiar and serious hardship.
sand dollars had been paid annually to the Senecas. Not feeling myself at liberty thus to act, or to do more than receive and pay over the actual dividend arising on the stock, I forbore to do so until you were consulted. Your A suggestion from the Surgeon General of the army is, opinion being ascertained, I received and forwarded to that the medical staff does not contain a sufficient number the agent the actual amount of the dividend, with instrucof surgeons and assistants to perform properly the neces- tions to make to the Indians the necessary explanations sary and required trusts; and an enlargement of the corps on account of this diminution. It is difficult to impress is suggested. Although there are fifty-two, yet, from oc- them with a correct conception of this matter. They caucasional furloughs, sickness, and other causes, it often hap not bring themselves to understand wherefore they should pens that, for the supply of a post, a citizen surgeon has now receive less for their money than has formerly been to be employed, producing an annual charge upon the the case. Of dividends and Government stocks they Government of 8 or $10,000. The proposed enlargement know nothing. It is for Congress, then, to determine if, would not entirely, yet would in some degree, prevent as heretofore, the six thousand dollars shall continue to this. Recruiting rendezvous, and sickness to officers, when be paid, or that amount only which is the dividend resultnot in reach of an army surgeon, will, under any state of ing from the principal vested in trust for their benefit things, occasion some expenditure of this description. Al If the former course be concluded upon, the sum of ready the posts are numerous, and, possibly others may $2,614 40 will be necessary to be appropriated for the require to be established for protection to the frontiers next year, and a like sum on account of the deficiency of and security of the revenue. The custom-house receipts the last. at Key West, and, the inability of the inhabitants to The communication from the Pension Office presents protect it from some piratical assault, may suggest to the number of Revolutionary and Invalid Pensioners, and Congress the propriety of placing a military defence the deaths which have occurred with each during the there. On the Calcasu river, too, near the Sabine, an- year. Of the former the number is 12.201, of which four other post recently has been directed, to prevent, in this hundred and one have died; and 3,794 of the latter, of wilderness region, illegal importations, which, in that direc- which forty-one have died; being one out of thirty of the tion, are anticipated and feared. Other causes may arise former, and one out of ninety of the latter. The amount to make it necessary for more posts to be created, and appropriated for revolutionary purposes, in the present hence to afford employment to a greater number of as-year, has fallen considerably short of the demands upon sistants and surgeous. the Government. For the present it is estimated at $50.000, though, most likely, it will exceed that amount. A deficiency appearing at the payments in September last, the President of the United States' Bank, Mr. Biddle, voluntarily came forward and tendered any advance necessary to meet the deficiency, and thereby enabled the Government to fulfil their engagements to those claims ants of the Revolution. Soon as the precise amount thus voluntarily advanced from the Bank can be ascertained, through a report of the particular deficit at different agencies, a statement will be submitted, that it may be repaid through an early appropriation. It will be necessary, the fund being completely exhausted, to appropriate generally, for this object, at some early period of the session, that remittances may be made to distant parts before March next, and disappointments to the pensioner on the Government thereby guarded against.
Connected with the army there is a subject which merits some consideration. Our officers on distant service, particularly those on our Indian frontiers, are often called upon to execute trusts, arising under general acts of Congress, and sometimes by especial orders directed to them. For supposed infractions of the laws, suits and exemplary damages are oftentimes the consequence. It is generally understood that the damages to be assessed, are not to be paid by the officer, but by the Government. As a suitable remedy for the evil, might it not be advise able to extend the authority of judicial interference in all cases where the interest of the United States may appear to be involved, that, under proper restrictions, they may be brought for consideration before the Supreme Court, without regard to the amount in controversy i The effect would be to prevent those frequent suits with which our officers are annoyed. If an intrusion is made upon Indian territory, a supposed trespass committed, or the United States found in possession of lands adversely claimed, no matter how, damages seldom fail to attend the prosecution. Instances of the kind have recently occurred, and,
A regulation was found to have been adopted in the War Department, which conceded the right of being entered as a revolutionary pensioner, in all cases where the applicant should show that he was worth less than $960. This promised greatly to swell the list. Having been
21ST CONG. 1ST SESS.]
Documents accompanying the President's Message.
[SEN. AND H. Of Reps.
adopted late in December, 1828, information of it was obtaining circulation and currency through the States, to this Department, to supply a portion of the troops, staand applicatious were fast presenting themselves, In March, that regulation was revoked, upon two grounds: first, that the appropriation for the payment of pensioners would be insufficient for those who, previously to that or der, had been admitted; and, secondly, that the regulation appeared to be of a character which none but Con gress had a right to make.
I would suggest the propriety of granting a discretion tioned along our Western borders with horses, that, being well equipped, they might act with more efficiency. Mounted men would afford a securer protection, and give rise to a more salutary effect upon marauding parties of Indians, and towards the tribes themselves. Garrisons can produce little else than a moral effect: for, being stationary, they cannot easily restrain lawless parties from misThe laws respecting invalid pensions require revision. chievous acts. Familiarly acquainted through the forest, As they now stand, and under the constructions given to and active in retreat, they find little difficulty in practising, them, he who at any time has been in the army, and can when disposed, their outrages, and avoiding pursuit afobtain a certificate that his ill health, or state of infirmity, terwards. A knowledge from circumstances before them, is consequent upon some sickness or accident, happen- that they could be overtaken, would stay them from ag ing to him while in service, or on duty, no matter of howgression more effectually, and at the same time create but remote a date, is entitled to a pension. Men, at distant a slight addition to the expenditure of the Army-a matperiods from the expiration of their service, become ter scarcely worthy to be considered, in reference to the blind, and it is reported that, in consequence of being benefits most likely to be produced to our frontier and its stationed at some particular place injurious to vision, the inhabitants. ill effect has been produced; they sink into consumption, As regards the Indian tribes within our limits, it is imand it is traced to a cold caught while in service; in such portant to them and ourselves that some definitive plan cases, the recognized precedents go to establish the right should be adopted to maintain them as a People, with all of the party to be placed on the list of pensioners. If this those principles of courtesy and justice suitable to their shall continue to be the interpretation given to the laws condition, and which may be in our power to extend. Exupon this subject, the list of invalid pensioners must con- perience proves, that within the States they cannot remain, tinue greatly to increase. Whenever a soldier is dis- Serious difficulties have threatened to arise out of this subabled by wounds received in battle, or through an acci-ject, and greater ones may in future be anticipated. The dental injury occurring while actually in the discharge of States will not consent for their limits to be occupied by a his duty, a just claim arises that his country will support People possessed of savage habits, and who claim to exerhim; but those consequent disabilities, which are carried cise the rights of government, independent of any control back to probable, and uncertain, and remote causes, but their own. should not be considered within the provision and authority of the law, nor are believed to have been so in tended.
A country beyond the Mississippi, better adapted to their habits and pursuits, and where they will be entirely free from all State interference, is the place they should retire to; not through any compulsion to be exercised, but by a course which shall satisfy them clearly that it is for their interest they should do so, and that their happiness requires it.
During the summer, two Western Military Posts, which had previously been established, were abandoned. The troops at Cantonment Towson were instructed to retire upon Fort Jesup. The reasons which induced this mea sure were, that being above the Raft on Red River, and No better plan can be thought of, than that the United not conveniently to be approached by water communica. States shall put in operation such a system of Indian protion, in the supplies to be delivered, considerable ex-tection and government, West of the Mississippi, as that a pense was created to the Government. This, certainly, confidence may be reposed, that they are indeed our foswas not a matter of consideration, when the safety of the tered children, and the Government not only so disposed to frontiers was to be affected. Upon this head, however, consider, but practically to evince their good feelings tonothing of apprehension was entertained, and the result, wards them. At present an objection arises with the weaksince its reduction, has fortified the truth of the anticipa- er tribes. They are indisposed to emigrate, from an aption. The established posts, at Cantonments Jesup and prehension that powerful and stronger neighbors may op Gibson, it is believed, will afford an ample guarantee for press them, and that no surer protection can be obtained the pacific deportment of the Indians in that direction. from the United States, in the West, than is possessed alCantonment Leavenworth, situated at the mouth of ready where they reside. To remove such apprehensions Little La Platte, was also reduced. The experience of will be of importance. several years had taught, that health to the garrison could I beg leave to suggest for your consideration, if an In. not be maintained. It was accordingly removed to Jef- dian Territory, without the range of the Western States ferson barracks, and some of the healthy companies of the and Territories, might not be advantageously created; 6th regiment ordered thence to the Santa Fe road, to and to give efficiency, and to inspire confidence, milita give protection to our Western traders, with directions to ry posts, under some able and discreet officer of the retire in the Autumn, and take up their Winter's resi- Army, to be designated at some central and convenient dence at this post, where, in the Spring, they will again point. Intrusions from the whites might thus be restrainbe in readiness to proceed upon their western line of ed, and the Indians maintained in quiet with each other. march, to afford protection to the traders with Mexico. Laws for their general government, and to preserve peace Thus acting, there will be a greater security for health, amongst the tribes, to be the act of the United States, with while a better effect will be produced upon the Indians, a right to the Indians, in Council, to make their own munithan from their remaining stationary at any point. This cipal regulations. overland trade, carrying with it many articles the product of our country, and bringing back in exchange the gold and silver of Mexico, promises to be valuable, and merits some attention on the part of the Government. The confidence inspired by the furnished escort, induces a belief that the trade will prove beneficial. It is shown, by recent information received, that the return of those traders to the United States will bring in exchange, in the present year, for what was taken out, at least $200,000 in specie.
The displeasure of Individual chiefs, and the exciting their young men to maraud on neighboring tribes, to be provided against by prohibiting any war to be commenced unless it should be declared in general council, and with the knowledge, and in the presence of the Governor, or his authorized agent.
Those Indian differences usually find their origin in light and trifling matters, which timely remedies could, in many instances, prevent, but which, if neglected, often produce considerable difficulty, and to us, expense in re
SEN, AND H. OF REPS.]
Documents accompanying the President's Message.
storing tranquillity. Accident or design may bring about a conceived or real wrong; retaliation is the consequence, which, being again imitated by an adverse party, presently ripens into matters of serious consequence. As moral influences can be productive of little benefit to minds not cultivated, it will be prudent and necessary to arrange to the best advantage the physical force of the country. Justice to the inhabitants of our frontiers, and humanity to the Indians, will be more certainly attained, by creating a sure impression that every outrage will promptly receive a proper requital. That interference, and that assertion of authority, which this, as an independent country, bas a right to exercise over dependent tribes within her limits, maintained steadily, and with strict regard to justice, may effect for this unfortunate race of people all that philanthropy can suggest, or good men desire.
[21ST CONG. 1ST SESS.
It is to be regretted that instances of insubordination have been manifested among the officers of this squadron, Courts Martial have been necessarily resorted to, and some of the refractory have been sentenced to temporary, and others to permanent dismissal from the service. It is gratifying, on the other hand, to know, from authority entitled to confidence, that the general conduct of the of ficers of this squadron has been such as to preserve, among the States and Sovereignties on the Barbary coast, the favorable opinion of the American character, which had been earned by the gallantry and honorable deportment of their predecessors.
The Naval force under the command of Commodore Ridgely, and ordered to cruise on the West India station, consisted, in the early part of the year, of the sloops Falmouth, Hornet, Erie, and Natchez, and the schooners Grampus and Shark.
Nothing promises security to these people so effectually as their emigration. Within the States to the South, Several acts of piracy having been reported to have computing the four tribes-Creeks, Cherokees, Chicka- been committed in the month of February last, the Natchez, saws, and Choctaws-their numbers will fall little short of which had returned to the United States for repairs, was seventy-five thousand. Removing them in small detached ordered to rejoin the squadron. After cruising a few parties, as heretofore has been the case, renders the opera- weeks, and there being no reason to apprehend a recurs tion a matter of greater expense than is seemingly neces-rence of these depredations, she again returned to the sary. If the expediency of inducing them to a change of United States, and has since sailed to Colombia, taking homes, and to place them without the range of the States, out Mr. Moore, the United States' Minister to that Governshall be determined on, a large appropriation will be ment, whence she was ordered to proceed to Rio Janeiro, wanted for the object, to be placed at the disposition of the to convey to the United States Commodore Creighton, Executive; and then a hope may be cherished that this whose command had been transferred to Commodore desirable object may be attained. But, with partial ap- Cassin. This vessel was also required to afford a passage propriations, and partial ends accomplished, it must re- to Mr. Harrison, the late Minister to Colombia, on his require a tedious time to bring about the final result, and turn to the United States. will involve an increased expenditure to the public.
For the details of operations connected with the Indian Department, during the present year, I beg leave to refer to the report from the officer of Indian Affairs, which ac companies this communication.
JOHN H. EATON.
The recent invasion of the maritime frontier of the Mexican States, by the forces of Spain, having led to ap prehensions that our commerce, in that quarter, might suffer by the encroachments which belligerents are so ready to make on neutral unprotected rights, the Peacock was equipped, and, taking out Commodore Elliott, to relieve Commodore Ridgely, was ordered to repair to the scene of these renewed hostilities. The Erie, which had also
REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY. returned for repairs, sailed soon after to rejoin this squad
To the President of the United States:
The Naval force of the United States, which has been kept in active service during the present year, has been composed of the different squadrons employed in cruising on the stations heretofore assigned them.
It is due to the late Commander, Commodore Ridgely, to say, that, as far as the means had been afforded him, he has kept his little squadron employed with vigilance and activity; and, on a late occasion, this has been gallantly demonstrated at Tampico, in the firm and prompt course pursued by Master Commandant Norris, in the rescue of the property of one of our countrymen from the grasp of unjust power.
For the last few months, except in the case just referred to, no information has been given to this Department, of any new act of piracy or aggression on the commercial rights of the nation; but there can be no doubt, that a relaxation in the policy lately pursued, would be followed by an immediate repetition of these depredations.
The squadron in the Mediterranean has been continued in that service, with the exception of the Delaware 74 gun ship, and the schooner Porpoise, which have been withdrawn, the latter having been represented by the commanding officer to require extensive repairs. The return The squadron on the coast of Brazil and Buenos Ayres of the Delaware was decided on under a belief that has been maintained to its usual extent, and has been vathe present state of our political and commercial relations ried only by the interchange of relief ships for those which in the Mediterranean did not require the employment of had performed the ordinary routine of duty. The presence a ship of this class in that sea; that all the necessary pro- of this squadron, small as it has been, has probably obtection could be given to our commerce by frigates and tained, for the commercial interests of our country, a sesmaller vessels; that these promised to be more efficient curity which would not have been granted to defenceless in the pursuit and capture of such vessels as might be ex-merchantmen. Peace having taken place between these pected to assail it, and were less liable to suffer from the two nations, nothing is to be dreaded by our merchant dangers of the Mediterranean navigation. The Constella- ships from an interference with belligerent privileges. tion frigate and the sloop Ontario were accordingly or- Yet many reasons forbid the diminution of our naval force dered to join the squadron; the former conveying to England and France the newly appointed Ministers to those countries. Information has been received of the fa vorable execution of these duties. Our Ministers have been landed at their respective points of destination, and these vessels, it is presumed, have, before this, assumed their stations in the Mediterranean squadron, diviv edel, would no
on these coasts. The annually increasing commercial intercourse between the United States and these countries, calls upon the Government to be prepared to multiply the means of its protection. Many complaints have been made by certain officers of this squadron against each other, of oppression on the one side, and of insubordination and neglect of duty on the other. The parties charg