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Copyright, 1897





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The Patent Office

Frontispiece Zachary Taylor (portrait)

2540B (Sketch of his home on tissue) Margaret Smith Taylor (portrait).

2540C Facsimile—Signature of President Taylor on a State Document 2548 Facsimile-Final Page of Clayton-Bulwer Treaty

2549 The Darien Expedition

2580 Millard Fillmore (portrait)

2598B (Sketch of his Buffalo home on tissuc) Abigail Fillmore (portrait) Facsimile - Proclamation Against Resistance to Federal Authority

2638 Facsimile-Fillmore's Fugitive Slave Proclamation

2639 Early Attempts at an Isthmian Canal

2670 Franklin Pierce (portrait)

2727B (Sketch of his New Hampshire home on tissue) Jane Appleton Pierce (portrait)

27270 Scenes Typical of Our Northernmost Territory, Alaska 2791 Facsimile—Pierce's Proclamation Against Cuban Filibustering 2823 Mormon Temple and Tabernacle – Young's Mill — Mormon Family

2887 Cartoon-Brigham Young Mustering Army


ing a law, but the short period of the session which remained afforded
me no sufficient opportunity to prepare my objections and communicate
them with the bill to the House of Representatives, in which it origi-
nated. For this reason the bill was retained, and I deem it proper now
to state my objections to it.

Although from the title of the bill it would seem that its main object
was to make provision for continuing certain works already commenced
in the Territory of Wisconsin, it appears on examination of its provi-
sions that it contains only a single appropriation of $6,000 to be applied
within that Territory, while it appropriates more than half a million of
dollars for the improvement of numerous harbors and rivers lying within
the limits and jurisdiction of several of the States of the Union.

At the preceding session of Congress it became my duty to return
with my objections to the House in which it originated a bill making
similar appropriations and involving like principles, and the views then
expressed remain unchanged.

The circumstances under which this heavy expenditure of public
money was proposed were of imposing weight in determining upon its
expediency. Congress had recognized the existence of war with Mex-
ico, and to prosecute it to “a speedy and successful termination” had
inade appropriations exceeding our ordinary revenues. To meet the
emergency and provide for the expenses of the Government, a loan of
$23,000,000 was authorized at the same session, which has since been
negotiated. The practical effect of this bill, had it become a law, would
have been to add the whole amount appropriated by it to the national
debt. It would, in fact, have made necessary an additional loan to that
amount as effectually as if in terms it had required the Secretary of the
Treasury to borrow the money therein appropriated. The main ques-
tion in that aspect is whether it is wise, while all the means and credit
of the Government are needed to bring the existing war to an honorable
close, to impair the one and endanger the other by borrowing money to
be expended in a system of internal improvements capable of an expan-
sion sufficient to swallow up the revenues not only of our own country,
but of the civilized world? It is to be apprehended that by entering
upon such a career at this moment confidence at home and abroad in the
wisdom and prudence of the Government would be so far impaired as
to make it difficult, without an immediate resort to heavy taxation, to
maintain the public credit and to preserve the honor of the nation and
the glory of our arms in prosecuting the existing war to a successful
conclusion. Had this bill become a law, it is easy to foresee that largely
increased demands upon the Treasury would have been made at each
succeeding session of Congress for the improvements of numerous other
harbors, bays, inlets, and rivers of equal importance with those embraced
by its provisions. Many millions would probably have been added to
the necessary amount of the war debt, the annual interest on which must

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