« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
indisputable title, and must consequently be exposed to the danger of strife and litigation in respect to the soil on which they dwell. An uncertainty respecting the security of land titles arrests all valuable improvement, because no prudent man will expend his means for this purpose while there is danger that another may deprive him of the fruit of his labors. It is fortunate, therefore, that Congress alone, under the constitution, possesses "the power to dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging to the United States." In the exercise of this power, the President is convinced that the emigrants will receive liberal donations of the public land.
Although Congress have not established a territorial government for the people of California, they have not been altogether unmindful of their interests. The benefit of our Post Office laws has been extended to them; and you will bear with you authority from the Postmaster General to provide for the conveyance of public information and private correspondence among themselves, and between them and the citizens of Oregon, and of our States east of the Rocky mountains. The monthly steamers on the line from Panama to Astoria have been required to stop and deliver and take mails at San Diego, San Francisco, and Monterey." Theşe steamers, connected by the isthmus of Panama with those on the Atlantic, between New York and Chagres, will keep up a regular communication with California, and afford facilities to all those who may desire to emigrate to that Territory.
The necessary appropriations have also been made by Congress to maintain troops in California to protect its inhabitants against all attacks from a civilized or savage foe; and it will afford the President peculiar pleasure to perform this duty promptly and effectively.
But, above all, the constitution of the United States, the safeguard of all our civil rights, was extended over California on the 30th May, 1848, the day on which our late treaty with Mexico was finally consummated. From that day its inhabitants became entitled to all the blessings and benefits resulting from the best form of civil government ever established amongst men. That they will prove worthy of this inestimable boon, no doubt is entertained.
Whilst the population of California will be composed chiefly of our own kindred, of a people speaking our own language, and educated for selfgovernment under our own institutions, a considerable portion of them were Mexican citizens before the late treaty of peace. These, our new citizens, ought to be, and, from the justice and generosity of the American character, the President is confident that they will be, treated with respect and kindness, and thus be made to feel that by changing their allegiance they have become more prosperous and happy.
Yours, very respectfully,
WILLIAM V. VORHIES, Esq.,
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, April 3, 1849.
SIR: The President, reposing full confidence in your integrity, abilities,
and prudence, has appointed you an agent for the purpose of conveying important instructions and despatches to our naval and military commanders in California. It is his desire that you should lose no time in repairing thither, by the best and most expeditious route, in the prosecution of the duties devolved upon you, which I shall proceed to explain in the following instructions.
The situation of the people of California and New Mexico has already, at this early period of his administration, attracted his attention. By the late treaty with Mexico, provision was made for the future admission of these Territories into the Union as States; and, in the mean time, the government of the United States is bound to protect she inhabitants residing in them in the free and entire enjoyment of their lives, liberty, and property, and in the exercise of their civil and religious rights. Owing to causes with which you are fully acquainted, the Congress of the United States failed to assist the Executive by the passage of a law establishing a government in either of the new Territories. You are aware, however, that an act was passed, at the last session, to extend the revenue laws of the United States over the territory and waters of Upper California. This act creates a collection district in California. And you also know that, by another previous act, certain mail facilities have been extended to the same Territory. Whatever can be done, by the aid of the constitution of the United States, the treaty with Mexico, and the enactments of Congress, to afford to the people of the Territories the benefits of civil government and the protection that is due them, will be anxiously considered and attempted by the Executive.
You have been selected by the President to convey to them these assurances, and especially the assurance of his firm determination, so far as his constitutional power extends, to omit nothing that may tend to promote and secure their peace and happiness. You are fully possessed of the President's views, and can, with propriety, suggest to the people of California the adoption of measures best calculated to give them effect. These measures must, of course, originate solely with themselves. Assure them of the sincere desire of the Executive of the United States to protect and defend them in the formation of any government, republican in its character, hereafter to be submitted to Congress, which shall be the result of their own deliberate choice. But let it be, at the same time, distinctly understood by them that the plan of such a government must originate with themselves, and without the interference of the Executive.
The laws of California and New Mexico, as they existed at the conclusion of the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, regulating the relations of the inhabitants with each other, will necessarily remain in force in those Territories. Their relations with their former government have been dissolved, and new relations created between them and the government of the United States; but the existing laws regulating the relations of the people with each other will continue until others, lawfully enacted, shall supersede them. Our naval and military commanders on those stations will be fully instructed to co-operate with the friends of order and good government, so far as their co-operation can be useful and proper.
An important part of your duty will be to acquire, and to transmit to this department, the best and fullest information in regard to the population, the productions, and the resources of the country; the extent and character of all grants of land made by Mexico prior to the late treaty; the quantity
and condition of the public domain, and especially of those portions ,which are rendered valuable by their metallic and mineral wealth; and the general fitness and capacity of these new acquisitions for the great purposes of agriculture, commerce, and manufactures. The development of the resources of this vast and interesting region, in all that concerns the interest and welfare of its present and future occupants, is a cherished object of this government; and all information which you can obtain in relation to these subjects will be most acceptable to this department.
It is desirable to know the numbers of the various Indian tribes which form a portion of the population of the Territories; their power, character, and modes of life; and the number of Mexicans held as captives there by any savage tribes, whose release and restoration to their own country this government is bound to exact by the 4th and 11th articles of the treaty: also, as nearly as may be, the number of Mexicans who, within the year after the exchange of the ratifications of the treaty, have withdrawn from the Territories; and the number of those who have declared their intention to preserve the character of citizens of the Mexican republic, agreeably to the 8th article of the treaty.
It is not credited by this government that any attempt will be made to alienate either of these portions of the Territories of the United States, or to establish an independent government within their limits. But should the existence of any such project be detected, you will not fail to bring it to the immediate notice of your government, that proper measures for the protection of the interests of the people of the United States may be promptly adopted.
You are fully authorized to confer with our military and naval commanders within these Territories, who will be instructed to assist you in the accomplishment of the objects of your mission.
Your compensation will be at the rate of eight dollars per diem, from the time of your departure on the business of your mission until your return home; and you will be allowed your travelling and other expenses during your absence, for which you will be careful to take vouchers in all cases where they can be obtained.
The sum of one thousand dollars is advanced to you on account.
JOHN M. CLAYTON..
Hon. THOMAS BUTLER KING,
Appointed agent of the United States to California.
DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY.
TREASURY DEPARTMENT, January 21, 1850.
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 31st ultimo, and referred by you to this department, requesting the President of the United States to communicate certain information in reference to the appointment of a civil and military governor for the Territory of California, and the organization of a government for said Territory.
In answer thereto, I herewith transmit all the information in this department called for by said resolution.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Secretary of the Treasury.
To the PRESIDENT.
TREASURY DEPARTMENT, April 2, 1849.
SIR: This will be handed to you by the Hon. T. Butler King, if there should be in his opinion occasion for so doing. The object of this letter is to impress upon you the desire of the President that you should, in all matters connected with Mr. King's mission, aid and assist him in carrying out the views of the government as expressed in his instructions from the Department of State, and that you should be guided by his advice and counsel in the conduct of all proper measures within the scope of those instructions.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAMES COLLIER, Esq.,
Secretary of the Treasury.
Collector of the Customs, San Francisco.
WASHINGTON CITY, March 29, 1849.
SIR Myself and associate will build ten fire-proof stores at San Francisco, California; rent them for a period of fifteen years, at an annual rent of seven thousand dollars per store, payable quarterly. The stores to be four stories high, twenty-five feet wide, and one hundred long, to be built entirely of brick and iron, and in the strongest and most approved manner; the stores to be received as finished; and all to be completed within two years from the date of the contract.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
DANL. SAFFARRANS. Hon. W. M. MEREDITH, Secretary of the Treasury.
TREASURY DEPARTMENT, April 3, 1849.
SIR: In view of your departure for California, to enter upon your duties, in pursuance of your commission as collector of the customs for
the district of Upper California and inspector of the revenue for the port of San Francisco, it is deemed expedient and proper to furnish you with the following preliminary instructions for your information and government: When you shall have executed your official bond as collector, and the same shall have been accepted and approved by the First Comptroller of the Treasury, your compensation, as fixed by the fourth section of the act of 3d of March, 1849, entitled "An act to extend the revenue laws of the United States over the territory and waters of Upper California, and to create a collection district therein," will commence on the date of the approval of your bond. Your compensation, as provided by the act referred to, is "fifteen hundred dollars per annum, and the fees and commissions allowed by law." The official fees are enumerated in the second section of the compensation act of 2d March, 1799-see Compilation of Revenue Laws, by Gordon, page 136-and those specified in the thirty-fourth section of the coasting act of the 20th February, 1793-same book, page 39. You will also be entitled to receive a commission of three per centum, as authorized by the second section of the compensation act before mentioned, on all moneys received on account of duties accruing on all goods, wares, and merchandise imported into the district of Upper California, and duly accounted for by authorized disbursements or deposites; and out of the emoluments that would accrue to you as aforesaid in your capacity of collector, you cannot be allowed to retain more than at the maximum rate of three thousand dollars per annum, to be computed from the beginning of your official year, as prescribed by the tenth section of the act "further to establish the compensation of officers of the customs," &c., approved 7th May, 1822; nor out of the emoluments that shall accrue to you for services performed in other capacities than collector, can you receive more than at the maximum rate of four hundred dollars per annum. The compensations of the deputy collectors authorized by the act in question to be stationed at the ports of delivery-to wit: San Diego, Monterey, and at a point to be selected by the department near the junction of the rivers Gila and Colorado, at the head of the gulf of California-are fixed by the act at one thousand dollars each per annum, "and the fees and commissions allowed by law."
As vessels and cargoes arriving from foreign ports cannot, under existing provisions of law, enter and land cargo and pay or secure the duties at any other place than at a port of entry, and the ports before designated being ports of delivery merely, po duties can legally be paid or secured at. either of said ports. All vessels from foreign ports must enter and the duties be paid or secured at San Francisco, the port of entry for the district. On this being done, the vessel may proceed with her cargo, or any portion thereof, and land the same at either of the ports of delivery mentioned, on due compliance being had with the requirements of law, as prescribed in the general collection act of 2d March, 1799. The fees accruing to the deputy collectors for services enjoined by law upon them in such cases will be found specified in the compensation acts before: mentioned. As no moneys can, for the reasons before stated, be received by these deputies on account of duties on imported merchandise, no commissions can accrue to them in the capacity of deputy collectors. Commissions, however, may accrue to them, at the rate of two and a half per 'centum, as agents for the disbursements of moneys placed in their hands for the relief of sick and disabled seamen, under the marine hospital laws,