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members of the Cabinet, conveying the melancholy intelligence to the Vice-President, then at Williamsburg, Va. By extraordinary means he reached Washington at five o'clock on the morning of the 6th, and at twelve o'clock the Heads of Departments waited upon him, to pay their official and personal respects. After signifying his deep feeling of the public calamity sustained by the death of President Harrison, and expressing his profound sensibility of the heavy responsibilities so suddenly devolved upon himself, he made known his wishes that the several Heads of Departments would continue to fill the places which they then respectively occupied, and his confidence that they would afford all the aid in their power to enable him to carry on the administration of the government successfully.-Mr. Tyler afterwards took and subscribed the following oath of office:

"I do solemnly swear, that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. JOHN TYLER.

"APRIL 6, 1841."

Pursuant to the proclamation of President Harrison, Congress met on the 31st of May, and continued in session until the 13th of September. On the 27th of July a bill for the establishment of "The Fiscal Bank of the United States," passed the Senate by a vote of 26 to 23, and was concurred in by the House of Representatives on the 6th of August-128 to 91. President Tyler, however, returned the bill on the 16th, with his objections, and it was lost for lack of a constitutional majority. But the friends of a national bank were not to be deterred from their purpose by a single repulse: another bill (about the same in substance) was immediately hurried through both Houses, under the title of "The Fiscal Corporation of the United States," and this also shared the fate of its predecessor.

A Senate bill for the establishment of a uniform system of bankruptcy throughout the United States, was concurred in by the House on the 18th of August, and became a law; but, meeting with very general condemnation, it was soon after repealed.

A bill was also passed at this extra session for the distribution of the proceeds of the sales of the public lands among the several states, in proportion to population.

În 1842 an important treaty, adjusting the north-eastern boundary of the United States, was negotiated at Washington between Mr. Webster, on the part of this country, and Lord Ashburton, on the part of Great Britain.

During the last year of Mr. Tyler's administration much excitement prevailed on the proposed annexation of Texas to the Union, which was strongly resisted at the North, on the ground that the South and southern institutions would thereby gain increased power in the national councils. A treaty of annexation, signed by the President, was rejected by the Senate, but measures were taken by which Texas was admitted the year following.

No. of Electors from

each State.

ELECTION FOR THE FIFTEENTH TERM,

COMMENCING MARCH 4, 1845, AND TERMINATING MARCH 3, 1849.

STATES.

PRESID'T. V. PRES'T.

James K. Polk,

of Tennessee.

Henry Clay,

of Kentucky.

George M. Dallas,

of Pennsylvania.
T. Frelinghuysen,
of New Jersey.

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James K. Polk took the oath of office, as President, and entered upon his duties March 4, 1845.

George M. Dallas took the oath of office, as Vice-President, and attended in the Senate, March 4, 1845.

The most important incidents of Mr. Polk's administration were the admission of Texas and the consequent war with Mexico, the latter of which resulted in extending our territorial boundaries to the Pacific ocean, embracing regions of incalculable value.

No. of Electors from each State.

ELECTION FOR THE SIXTEENTH TERM,

COMMENCING MARCH 4, 1849, AND TERMINATING MARCH 3, 1853.

PRESID'T. V. PRES'T.

STATES.

of Louisiana.

Zachary Taylor,

Lewis Cass,

of Michigan.

of New York.

Millard Fillmore,

of Kentucky.

William O. Butler,

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‣ Zachary Taylor took the oath of office, as President, and entered upon his duties March 4, 1849. He did not, however, long enjoy his honors-death suddenly closing his earthly career, July 9, 1850.

Millard Fillmore took the oath of office, as Vice-President, and entered upon his duties March 4, 1849. Congress being in session at the time President Taylor died, the Vice-President sent a message to both houses on the 10th of July, in which he feelingly announced the melancholy event. On the same day he took the requisite oath, and entered on the execution of the office of President.

Willie P. Mangum, of N. C., President pro tem. of the Senate, acted as Vice-President, ex officio, during the remainder of the term.

No. of Electors from each State.

ELECTION FOR THE SEVENTEENTH TERM,

COMMENCING MARCH 4, 1853, AND TERMINATING MARCH 3, 1857.

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4

Rhode Island

4

6

Connecticut..

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Franklin Pierce took the oath of office, as President, and entered upon his duties March 4, 1853.

The oath of office was administered to William R. King by a commission while he was on a visit to Cuba for the benefit of his health; but he died soon after his return home, and Jesse D. Bright, of Indiana, then President of the Senate, acted as Vice-President, ex officio, during the remainder of the term.

John P. Hale, of N. Hampshire, and George W. Julian, of Indiana, were nominated by the "Free Democracy" for President and VicePresident, but they did not receive a single electoral vote.

73

THE GREAT SEAL OF THE UNITED STATES

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Is one of peculiar interest, and therefore we feel warranted in giving more details of its design and history than can be allotted to the Seals of the several states. Soon after the declaration of independence, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson were appointed a committee to prepare a great seal for the infant republic; and they employed a French West Indian, named DuSimitiere, not only to furnish designs, but also to sketch such devices as were suggested by

STATES

themselves. In one of his designs the artist displayed on a shield the armorial ensigns of the several nations from whence America had been peopled-embracing those of England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Germany, and Holland. On one side was placed Liberty, with her cap, and on the other was a rifleman in uniform, with his rifle in one hand and a tomahawk in the other-the dress and weapons being peculiar to America.

Franklin proposed, for the device, Moses lifting his wand, and dividing the Red Sea, and Pharaoh and his hosts overwhelmed with the waters. For a motto, the words of Cromwell, "Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God."

Adams proposed the Choice of Hercules; the hero resting on a club, Virtue pointing to her rugged mountain on one hand, and persuading him to ascend; and Sloth, glancing at her flowery paths of pleasure, wantonly reclining on the ground, displaying the charms, both of her eloquence and person, to seduce him into vice.

Jefferson proposed the Children of Israel in the Wilderness, led by a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night; and, on the reverse, Hengist and Horsa, the Saxon chiefs, from whom we claim the honor of being descended, and whose political principles and form of government we have assumed.

Franklin and Adams then requested Jefferson to combine their ideas in a compact description of the proposed great seal, which he did, and that paper, in his handwriting, is now in the office of the

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