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The national banking system is proving to be acceptable to capitalists and to the people. On the 25th day of November, five hundred and eighty-four national banks had been organized, & considerable number of which were conversions from State banks. Changes from the State system to the national system are rapidly taking place, and it is lioped that very soon there will be in the United States no banks of issue not authorized by Congress, and no bank-note circulation not secured by the Gove ernment. That the Government and the people will derive general benefit from this change in the banking system of the country can hardly be
influence in support of the national credit, and protect the people against losses in the use of paper money. Whether or not any further legislation is advisable for the suppression of State bank issues, it will be for Congress to determine. It seems quite clear that the Treasury cannot be satisfactorily conducted, unless the Government can exercise a restraining power over the bank-note circulation of the country.
The report of the Secretary of War and the accompanying docuinents will detail the campaigns of the armies in the field since the date of the last annual message, and also the operations of the several administrative bureaux of the War Department during the last year. It will also specify the measures deemed essential for the national defence, and to keep up and supply the requisite military force. The report of the Secretary of the Navy presents a comprehensive and satisfactory exhibit of the affairs of that department and of the naval service. It is a subject of congratulation and laudable pride to our countrymen that a navy of such proportions bas been organized in so brief a period, and conducted witli so much efficiency and success. The general exhibit of the navy, including vessels under construction on the 1st of December, 1864, shows a total of 671 vessels,
the year, over and above all losses by shipwreck or in battle, of 83 veg. sels, 167 guns, and 42,427 tons. The total number of men at this tine in the naval service, including officers, is about 51,000. There have been captured by the navy during the year 324 vessels, and the whole number of naval captures since bostilities commencer is 1,379, of which 267 are steamers. The gross proceeds arising from the sale of condemned prize property thus far reported amounts to $14,396,250 51. A large amount of such proceeds is still under adjudication, and yet to be reported. The total expenditures of the Navy Departinent, of every description, including the cost of the immense squadrons that have been called into existence from the 4th of March, 1861, to the 1st of November, 1864, are $238,647,262 35. Your favorable consideration is invited to the various recommendations of the Secretary of the Navy, especially in regard to a navy-yard and suitable establishment for the construction and repair of iron vessels and the machinery and armature of our ships, to which reference was made in my last annual message.
Your attention is also invited to the views expressed in the report in
relation to the legislation of Congress, at its last session, in respect to prizo on our inland waters.
I cordially concur in the recommondations of the Secretary as to the propriety of creating the new rank of vice-admiral in our naval service.
Your attention is invited to the report of the Postmaster-General for a detailed account of the operations and financial condition of the PostOffice Department.
The postal revenues for the year ending June 30, 1864, amounted to $12,468,253 78, and the expenditures to $12,644,786 20; the excess of expenditures over receipts being $206,652 42.
The views presented by the Postmaster-General on the subject of special grants by the Government, in aid of the establishment of new lin's ot ocean mail steamships, and the policy he recommends for the development of increased commercial intercourse with adjacent and neighboring countries, should receive the careful consideration of Congress.
It is of noteworthy interest, that the steady expansion of population, improvement, and govermental institutions over the new and unoccupied portions of vur country, has scarcely been checked, inuch less impeded or destroyed by our great civil war, which at first glance would seem to have absorbed almost the entire energies of the nation.
The organization and admission of the State of Nevada has been completed in conformity with law, and thus our excellent system is firmly established in the mountains which once seemed a barren and uninhabitable waste between the Atlantic States and those which have grown ap on the coast of the Pacific Ocean.
The Territories of the Uniou are generally in a condition of prosperity and rapid growth. Idaho and Montana, by reason of their great distance and the interruption of communication with them by Indian hostilities, have been only partially organized ; but it is understood that these difficulties are about to disappear, which will permit their Governments like those of the others to go into speedy and full operation.
As intimately connected with and promotive of this material growth of the nation, I ask the attention of Congress to the valuable information and important recommendations relating to the public lands, Indian affairs, the Pacific Railroads, and mineral discoveries contained in the report of the Secretary of the Interior, which is herewith transmitted, and which report also embraces the subjects of patents, pensions, and other topics of public interest pertaining to his department. The quantity of public land disposed of during the five quarters ending on the thirtieth of September last, was 4,221,342 acres, of which 1,538,614 acres were entered under the homestead law. The remainder was located with military land warrants, agricultural scrip certified to States for railroads, and sold for cash. The cash received from sales and location fees was $1,019,446. The income from sales during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1804, was $678,007 21, against $136,077 95 received during the proceding
year. The aggregate number of acres surveyed during the year has been equal to the quantity disposed of, and there is open to settlement about 133,000,000 acres of surveyed land.
The great enterprise of connecting the Atlantic with the Pacific States by railways and telegraph lines has been entered upon with a vigor that gives assurance of success, notwithstanding the embarrassments arising from the prevailing high prices of materials and labor. The route of the main line of the road has been definitely luated for one hundred miles westward from the central point at Omaha City; Nebraska, and a preliminary location of the Pacific Railroad of California las been made from Sacramento, eastward, to the great bend of Mucker River, in Nevada. Numerous discoveries of gold, silver, and cinnabar mines have been added to the many heretutore known, and tho country occupied by the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains and the su!:ordirate ringes now teen 3 wit's entirpris' ng libor v hich is rily remunerative. It is believed that the product of the mines of precious metals in that region bas during the year reached, if not exceeded, $100,000,000 in value.
It was recommended in my last annual message that our Indian system be remodelled. Congress at its last session, acting upon the recommendation, did provide for reorganizing the system in California, and it is believed that, under the present organization, the management of the Indians there will be attended with reasonable success. Much yet remains to be done to provide for the proper governinent of the Indians in other parts of the country, to render it secure for the advancing settler and to provide for the welfare of the nation. The Secretary reiterates his recommendations, and to them the attention of Congress is invited.
The liberal provisions made by Congress for paying pensions to invalid soldiers and sailors of the Republic, and to the widow's, orphany, and dependent mothers of those who have fallen in battle, or died of disease contracted, or of wounds received in the service of their country, have been diligently administered.
There have been added to the pension-rolls, during the year ending the 30th day of June last, the names of 16,770 invalid soldiers, and of 271 disabled seamen; inaking the present number of army invalid pensioners 22,767, and of the navy invalid pensioners, 712. Of widows, orphans, and mothers, 22,198 have been placed on the army pension-rolls, and 248 on the navy rolls. The present number of armıy pensioners of this class is 25,443, and of the navy pensioners, 793. At the beginning of the year the number of Revolutionary pensioners was 1,430; only twelve of them were soldiers, of whom seven have since died. The remainder are those who under the law receive pensions because of relationship to Revolutionary soldiers.
During the year ending the 30th of June, 1864, $4,504,616 92 have been paid to pensioners of all classes.
I cheerfully commend to your continued patronage the benevolent institutions of the District of Columbia, which have hitherto been establislied or fostered by Congress, and respectfully refer for information coc cerning them, and in relation to the Washington. Aqueduct, the Capito'. and other matters of local interest, to the report of the Secretary.
The Agricultural Department, under the supervision of its present energetic and faithful head, is rapidly commending itself to the great and vital interest it was created to advance. It is peculiarly the people's departinent, in which they feel more directly concerned than in any other. I commend it to the continued attention and fostering care of Congross.
The war continues. Since the last annual message, all the important lines and positions then occupied by our forces have been maintained, and our armies have steadily advanced, thus liberating the regions left in the rear; so that Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, and parts of other States have again produced reasonably fair crops.
The most remarkable feature in the military operations of the year is General Sherman's attempted march of three hundred miles, directly through an insurgent region. It tends to show a great increase of our relative strength, that our General-in-Clief should feel able to confront and hold in check overy active force of the enemy, and yet to detach a well-appointed large army to move on such an expedition. The result not yet being known, conjecture in regard to it cannot here be indulged.
Important movements have also occurred during the year, to the effect of moulding society for durability in the Union. Although short of complote success, it is much in the right direction that 12,000 citizens in each of the States of Arkansas and Louisiana have organized loyal State Govern. ments, with free constitutions, and are earnestly struggling to maintain and administer them.
The novements in the same direction, more extensive though less definite, in Missouri, Kentucky, and Tennessee, should not be overlooked.
But Maryland presents the example of complete succoss. Maryland is secure to liberty and Union for all the future. The genius of rebellion will no more claim Maryland. Like another foul spirit, being driven out, it may seek to tear her, but it will woo her no more.
At the last session of Congress, a proposed amendment of the Constitution, abolishing slavery throughout the United States, passed the Senate, but failed for lack of the requisite two-thirds vote in the House of RepreBentatives. Although the present is the same Congress, and pearly the dame members, and without questioning the wisdom or patriotisni of those who stood in opposition, I venture to recommend the reconsideration and passage of the measure at the present session. Of course the abstract ques. tion is not changed, but an intervening election shows almost certainly that the next Congress will pass the measure, if this does not. Hence there is only a question of time as to when the proposed amendment will go to the States for their action, and as it is to go at all events, may we not agree that the sooner the better? It is not claimed that the election has imposed a duty on members to change their views or their votes any further
than as du additional element to be considered. Their judgment may be affected by it. It is the voice of the people now for the first time heard upon the question. In a great national crisis like ours, upaniinity of action among those seekivg a common end is very desirable—almost indispensable; and yet no approach to such unanimity is attainable unless some deference shall be paid to the will of the majority. In this case the common end is the maintenance of the Union, and among the means to secure that end, such will, through the election, is most clearly declared in favor of such constitutional amendment. The most reliable indication of public purpose in this country is derived through our popular elections. Judgivg by the recent canvass and its results, the purpose of the people within the loyal States to maintain the integrity of the Union was never more firm nor more nearly unanimous than now. The extraordinary calmness and good order with which the millions of voters met and mingled at the polls, give strong assurance of this. Not only all those who supported the Union ticket (so called), but a great majority of the opposing party also, may be fairly claimed to entertain and to be actuated by the samo purpose. It is an unanswerable argument to this effect that no candidate for any office whatever, high. or low, has ventured to seek votes on the avowal that he was for giving up the Union. There has been much impugning of motives, and much heated controversy as to the proper means and best mude of advancing the Union cause; but in the distinct issue of Union or no Union, the politicians have shown their instinctive knowledge that there is no diversity among the people. In affording the people tho fair opportunity of showing one to another, and to the world, this firmness and unanimity of purpose, the election has been of vast value to the national cause. The election has exhibited another fact, not less valuable to be known-the fact that we do not approach exhaustion in the most important branch of the national resources—that of living men. While it is melancholy to reflect that the war has filled so many graves, and caused mourning to so many hearts, it is some relief to know that, compared with the surviving, the fallen have been so few. While corps and divisions and regiments have formed and fought and dwindled and gone out of exist ence, a great majority of the men who composed them are still living. The same is true of the naval service. The election returns prove this. So many voters could not else be found. The States regularly holding elections, both now and four years ago to wit: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin-cast 3,982,011 votes now, against 3,870,222 cast then; showing an aggregate now of 3,982,011, to which is to be added 33,762 cast now in the new States of Kansas and Nevada, which States did not vote in 1860; thus swelling the aggregate to 4,015,773, and the net increase, during the three years and a half of war, to 145,551. A table is appended, showing particulars. Tu this again should be added the