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State; but I did not anticipate, suggest, or authorize the establishment of any such government without the assent of Congress; nor did I authorize any government agent or officer to interfere with or exercise any influence or control over the election of delegates, or over any convention, in making or modifying their domestic institations or any of the provisions of their proposed constitution. On the contrary, the instructions given by my orders were, that all measures of domestic policy adopted by the people of California must originate solely with themselves; that while the Executive of the United States was desirous to protect them in the formation of any government republican in its character, to be, at the proper time, submitted to Congress, yet it was to be distinctly understood that the plan of such a government must, at the same time, be the result of their own deliberate choice, and originate with themselves, without the interference of the Ex. ecutive.
I am unable to give any information as to laws passed by any supposed government in California, or of any census taken in either of the Territories mentioned in the resolution, as I have no information on those subjects.
As already stated, I have not disturbed the arrangements which I found had existed under my predecessor.
In advising an early application by the people of these Territories for admission as States, I was actuated principally by an earnest desire to afford to the wisdom and patriotism of Congress the opportunity of avoiding occasions of bitter and angry dissensions among the people of the United States.
Under the constitution, every State has the right of establishing, and, from time to time, altering its municipal laws and domestic institutions, independently of every other State and of the general government; subject only to the prohibitions and guaranties expressly set forth in the constitution of the United States. The subjects thus left exclusively to the respective States were not designed or expected to become topics of national agitation. Still, as, under the constitution, Congress has power to make all needful rules and regulations respecting the Territories of the United States, every new acquisition of territory has led to discussions on the question whether the system of involuntary servitude which prevails in many of the States should or should not be prohibited in that Territory. The periods of excitement from this cause which have heretofore occurred have been safely passed; but during the interval, of whatever length, which may elapse before the admission of the Territories ceded by Mexico as States, it appears probable that similar excitement will prevail to an undue extent.
Under these circumstances, I thought, and still think, that it was my duty to endeavor to put it in the power of Congress, by the admission of California and New Mexico as States, to remove all occasion for the unnecessary agitation of the public mind.
It is understood that the people of the western part of California have formed a plan of a State constitution, and will soon submit the same to the judgment of Congress, and apply for admission as a State. This course on their part, though in accordance with, was not adopted exclusively in consequence of, any expression of my wishes, inasmach as measures tending to this end had been promoted by the officers sent there by my predecessor, and were already in active progress of execution before any communication from me reached California. If the proposed constitution sball, when submitted to Congress, be found to be in compliance with the requisitions of the constitution of the United States, I earnestly recommend that it may receive the sanction of Congress.
The part of California not included in the proposed State of that name is believed to be uninhabited, except in a settlement of our countrymen in the vicinity of Salt Lake.
A claim has been advanced by the State of Texas to a very large portion of the most populous district of the Territory commonly designated by the name of New Mexico. If the people of New Mexico had formed a plan of a State government for that Territory as ceded by the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, and had been admitted by Congress as a State, our constitution would have afforded the means of obtaining an adjustment of the question of boundary with Texas by a judicial decision. At present, however, no judicial tribunal has the power of deciding that question, and it remains for Congress to devise some mode for its adjustment. Meanwhile, I submit to Congress the question whether it would be expedient, before such adjustment, to establish a territorial government, which, by including the district so claimed, would practically decide the question adversely to the State of Texas, or, by excluding it, would decide it in her favor. In my opinion, such a course would not be expedient, especially as the people of this 'Territory still enjoy the benefit and protection of their municipal laws, originally derived from Mexico, and have a military force stationed there to protect them against the Indians. It is undoubtedly true that the property, lives, liberties, and religion of the people of New Mexico are better protected than they ever were before the treaty of cession.
Should Congress, when California shall present herself for incorporation into the Union, annex a condition to her admission as a State affecting her domestic institutions, contrary to the wishes of her people, and even compel her, temporarily, to comply with it, yet the State could change her constitution, at any time after admission, when to her it should seem expedient. Any attempt to deny to the people of the State the right of selfgovernment, in a matter which peculiarly affects themselves, will infallibly be regarded by them as an invasion of their rights; and, upon the principles laid down in our own Declaration of Independence, they will certainly be sustained by the great mass of the American people. To assert that they are a conquered people, and must, as a State, submit to the will of their conquerors in this regard, will meet with no cordial response among American freemen. Great numbers of them are native citizens of the United States, not inferior to the rest of our countrymen in intelligence and patriotism; and no language of menace, to restrain them in the exercise of an undoubted right, guarantied to them by the treaty of cession itself, shall ever be uttered by me, or encouraged and sustained by persons acting under my authority. It is to be expected that, in the residue of the territory ceded to us by Mexico, the people residing there will, at the time of their incorporation into the Union as a State, settle all questions of domestic policy to suit themselves. No material inconvenience will result from the want, for a short period, of a government established by Congress over that part of the territory which lies eastward of the new State of California; and the reasons for my opinion that New Mexico will, at no very distant period, ask for admission into the Union, are founded on un
official information, which, I suppose, is common to all who have cared to make inquiries on that subject.
Seeing, then, that the question which now excites such painful sensations in the country will, in the end, certainly be settled by the silent effect of causes independent of the action of Congress, I again submit to your wisdom the policy recommended in my annual message, of awaiting the salutary operation of those causes, believing that we shall thus avoid the creation of geographical parties, and secure the harmony of feeling so necessary to the beneficial action of our political system. Connected as the Union is with the remembrance of past happiness, the sense of present blessings, and the hope of future peace and prosperity, every dictate of wisdom, every feeling of duty, and every emotion of patriotism, tend to inspire fidelity and devotion to it, and admonish us cautiously to avoid any unnecessary controversy which can either endanger it or impair its strength, the chief element of which is to be found in the regard and affection of the people for each other.
Z. TAYLOR. WASHINGTON City, D. C., January 21, 1850. ,
DEPARTMENT OF STATE.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington 9 January 7, 1850. The Secretary of State, to whom has been referred a resolution of the House of Representatives of the 31st ultimo, requesting the President of the United States to communicate to that body, as early as he conveniently can, “whether, since the last session of Congress, any person has been by him appointed either a civil or military governor of California and New Mexico: if any military or civil governor has been appointed there, and their compensation: if a military and civil governor has been united in one person, whether any additional compensation has been given for said duties, and the amount of the same. Also, that he be requested to communicate to this House whether any agent or agents, or other persons, have been appointed by the President or any of the departments of this government, and sent to California or New Mexico, or recognised in said Territories by this government, authorized to organize the people of California or New Mexico into a government, or to aid or advise them in such organization; or whether such agent, civil or military governor, was instructed or directed to aid, preside over, or be present at, the assembly of a body of person's called a convention, in California, to control, aid, advise, direct, or participate in any manner in the deliberations of that body of persons: if any, the names of such agent or agents, and their compensation. Also, that the President be requested to inform this House whether the Executive or either of the departments have sent any agent or agents, on the part of this government, to California or New Mexico, to aid or advise the people of those Territories as to the formation of a government for themselves; and, if such agent or agents have been sent, who they are, and their compensation. Also, that the President be respectfully requested to communicate to this House all the instructions given to such governor, civil or military, in California or New Mexico, or to any officers of the army of the United States, or any other persons who may have been sent by this government to New Mexico or California, and the proclamations and communications by them made to the people of said Territories, as well as the entire correspondence of such agents or governor with this government. And, also, whether any person or persons have been authorized by this government or any of its departments to appoint and ,direct the elections in said Territories, and determine the qualifications of the voters at the same; and whether any laws have been created by any supposed government in California: and, if so, what laws. And that the President be requested to communicate to this House all correspondence held by this government with any persons in California and New Mexico relative to the formation of a government for the said Territories by the inhabitants thereof; and whether any census of the citi. zens of said Territories has been made; and that the same, if made, be communicated to this House., Also, all similar instructions that were given to similar officers or agents by the late Executive, and all similar
information of which the Department of State had possession, and similar matters, at the expiration of the term of office of the late President,”!has the honor to report to the President the accompanying papers, on file in his department, embraced by the resolution. Copies of so much of the correspondence of this department during the last administration with officers and agents in California, after the treaty of Guadalupe, as was deemed proper or useful to be communicated to Congress, will be found among the papers accompanying the message of President Polk of December 5, 1848, from page 45 to page 69, inclusive. (See volume 1 Executive Documents, 2d session 30th Congress.) Prior to that period, T. 0. Larkin, esq., was appointed confidential agent of the department in California, and received for his services the sum of $6,107. The sum of $1,000 has been paid to Mr. King.
The Secretary of State has the honor to add, that no official report has yet been received at this department from Mr. King, who, on the 3d day of April last, was appointed bearer of despatches to California and agent to collect information necessary to the proper execution of the treaty with Mexico, as well as to communicate information to the people of that Territory, as is fully stated in the copy of his instructions herewith sent. Private advices from California have informed us that he was confined by severe illness, not long after his arrival at San Francisco, but that he had recovered; and his arrival in the United States may, therefore, soon be expected. A report will then, doubtless, be made by him, in obedience to his instructions. Respectfully submitted.
JOHN M. CLAYTON. To the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, October 7, 1848. Sir: Previous to your departure for California, the President has instructed me to make known, through your agency, to the citizens of the United States inhabiting that Territory, his views respecting their present condition and future prospects. He deems it proper to employ you for this purpose, because the Postmaster General has appointed you an agent, under the "Act to establish certain post routes,” approved August 14, 1848, “ to make arrangements for the establishment of post offices, and for the transmission, receipt, and conveyance of letters in Oregon and California.”
The President congratulates the citizens of California on the annexation of their fine province to the United States. On the 30th of May, 1848, the day on which the ratifications of our late treaty with Mexico were exchanged, California finally became an integral portion of this great and glorious republic; and the act of Congress to which I have already referred, in express terms recognises it to be “ within the territory of the United States.
May this union be perpetual!
The people of California may feel the firmest conviction that the gov. ernment and people of the United States will never abandon them or prove unmindful of their prosperity. Their fåte and their fortunes are now in