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The President's Message

The President's Message image
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jMicíjiflon JtfjjHS. -- ... - i ' ashington, Mav -7. Tlio Speaker laid befora tho House thu iollowintr racss'go of iho President : Ti the St'-aaK' andllowse : The insunvcim whiuli is yct oxist in tho Uuitad Otates and aitntd at tfo authoTÏfy of the Fedeial co:istitut and 1'nion, was deliberateiy prepared, during the winter of 1800 and ISG1, and B88Uined p.n open organizatio'i in ilu forra f a treanonable provfeionul govurnmeut at Montgoroery, Aiabauia, on tho ISihday of Fobruary, 1861. On the 12th day of April, 1861, tho insurgeants comitieJ the ñugránt act. of c vil war by the bomhardment and capturo of Fort Sumpter, Whïch out off the hopo oí iminediatu couciliation. Itnrtiedjately afterwarija all theröads and avenues to thia city were ub.-Mniotcd, and Üio capital was [uit into a ■ diiton of riege. Tho mails in every tlirectiou were stopped, and the lines of telegraph cut oll by the insurgcnt?, and tlic military and naval forccs wi.irh luul Loen ealled out by the eovernïiicut lor tho dufenso of Washington were previented from roacliing the city by organizod and combined trcasonable resistanee in the btate of Maryland. There was no adeijuate and effective organ.zatioD for the public defense. Congress bad ïndoünitely adjourned. Thcre was no time to coaveue the ui. It becamo nccessary forme to choose whethor,using only the existing ïncans, agencies aud processes which üosgress had provided, I should let the government fall iuto ruin, or whether, availing myself of the broader powers conferrtd by tho constitution in case of insurrection, I should make an effort to save it with all ita blessiugs for the prescut age aud for poskrity. I th?ronpou suiuiioncd rny constitutiona! advisers, ;l;c lieads of all the dcpattuieüts, to meet ou Sunday, the 20th day of April, 1SG1. at the office ol the Navy Department, and then and there, with tbüir unauhiious coacurrence, I diructed that an armd revenue cutter should proceed to soa to aftord protection to the commercial marino, cspecially to California treasure ships hen on thoir wy to tl) is cast. I also directed the commandant of the uav-y-yard at Boston to purobase or charter and arm as quickly as possible five steamships, for purposes of public defense. I directed tho commaudment of the navy-yard at Philadelphia to purchase or charter an equal number for tho same purpose. I directed the cummandant at New York to purchase or charter and arm an equal nutnber, I directed Gommander Grills to arm and put to sea two other vessds. Similar directions were given to Commodore Dupont, with a view to the opening of passages by water to and from the capital. I directed the several officers to take the advice and.obtaiu the aid and efficiënt services in the matter of bis Excelleucy Edwin D. Morga the Governor of New York, or in lm absence, Geo. D. Morgan, Wm. Evarts. II. M. Blatchford, and Moses II. Grinneü, who were, by my direction, especial'y empowered by the of the Navy to act for his department iu that crisis in matters pertaining to the forwarding of troops and suppliob for tho public de'ense. On the eame occasion I dirceted that Oovernor Morgan and Alexundor Cummings, of the city of New York, should be authorized by the Secretary of War, Simon Cameron, to make all the neeessary arrangement for tho transportaron of troops and munitions of war in aid and assistauce of the ofBcers of the United States, until commuoicatioa by mail and telegrapli should be eompletely re-established between tbc cities of Washington and JNrew York. Xo secunty was reijuired to be given by thoin, and either of them was authorizcd to act ia case of inability to consult with the other. On tlio same occasion I nutliorized and directed the Secretarv of the Trea.sury to advance, without requ,iring secunty, two millions cf dollars of public mouey to Jolin A. Dix, Georgo üpdyke and Kichard M, Blabobford, of New York, to be used by them in meeting such requisitions as should be direetly consequent upon the military and naval measures for the defense and support of the governmeut, and requiring tliem to act only ■without compensation, and to report thcir transactions whea du'y called upou. The sevoral departments of the government at that time contained so large a number of disloyal persons that it would have been impossible to provide safely through official agcuts only for the performance of the duties thus confided to citizens favorably known for their ability, loyaltv and patriotism. The several orders issued upon theso occurrences were transmitted by private luessengers, who pursued a eireuitous way to the seaboard citie.s iuland across the States of Pennsylvania and Ohio and the northern lakee, I bclieve that by these and otho.r similar measures takeu without authority of law, the goveruinent was saved froui overthrow. I am not aware that a dollar of the public funds thus conlided without authority of law to unoflicial persons was either lost or wasted, although approhensions of suoh misdirectious oceurred to me as objections to theso extraordiuary proceedings, and were necessarily overruled. I recall these transastioüs now because ni}7 attention bas been directed to a resolution which was passed by the House of Regresen tatives on the 30th of last month, which is in these words : li Reiohed, That Simon Canicron, late Secretary of War, by iuvesting Alexandor Outnmings with large sums of public nioney and authority to purchaso military supplies without roquiring of him any guarantce for tlio faithful performauce of his duties, when the services of competent public oflicers were available, and by involviug the government in a vast nutnber of contracts with perrons not leyitimately cmployed in the busiuess pertaining to the subject matter of such contracts, ly iu tlie purchase of arms for future delivery, Las adopted a policyhighly injuri ous to the public service and desei-ves tho teDsuro of the House." Oongress will see that I should bo Wantihg cqually in candor and justice if I should loave the censure expressed iu this resolution to rest cxclusively or chiefly on Mr. Caiuerou. The same sentiment is unanimously eutertaiued by iieads of departments who participatcd in the proceedings wbioh tho House of Representativos have ceusured. It is due to Mr. Camerún to say that, although he fully approved tho proceedings, they werc iiot approved or suggested by hiuiself, and fchat notouly tho President, but all the other bqada of dopartments were at luast equaíly rcíponsibio with him for wliatüvc.r eiTOi-, wrong or fault was coinmitted in the nremises.


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