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DECEMBER 8, 1857.-Read, and committed to the Committee of the Whole on the state of the Union, and ordered to be printed.
DECEMBER 16, 1857.-Resolved, That there be printed, for the use of the members of the House of Representatives, twenty thousand extra copies of the President's Annual Message and accompanying documents.
CORNELIUS WENDELL, PRINTER.
Fellow-citizens of the Senate and House of Representatives :
In obedience to the command of the Constitution, it has now become my duty "to give to Congress information of the state of the Union, and recommend to their consideration such measures" as I judge to be "necessary and expedient."
But first, and above all, our thanks are due to Almighty God for the numerous benefits which He has bestowed upon this people; and our united prayers ought to ascend to Him that He would continue to bless our great republic in time to come as He has blessed it in time past. Since the adjournment of the last Congress our constituents have enjoyed an unusual degree of health. The earth has yielded her fruits abundantly, and has bountifully rewarded the toil of the husbandman. Our great staples have commanded high prices, and, up till within a brief period, our manufacturing, mineral, and mechanical occupations have largely partaken of the general prosperity. We have possessed all the elements of material wealth in rich abundance, and yet, notwithstanding all these advantages, our country, in its monetary interests, is at the present moment in a deplorable condition. In the midst of unsurpassed plenty in all the productions of agriculture, and in all the elements of national wealth, we find our manufactures suspended, our public works retarded, our private enterprises of different kinds abandoned, and thousands of useful laborers thrown out of employment and reduced to want. The revenue of the government, which is chiefly derived from duties on imports from abroad, has been greatly reduced, whilst the appropriations made by Congress at its last session for the current fiscal year are very large in amount.
Under these circumstances a loan may be required before the close of your present session; but this, although deeply to be regretted, would prove to be only a slight misfortune when compared with the suffering and distress prevailing among the people. With this the government cannot fail deeply to sympathize, though it may be without the power to extend relief.
It is our duty to inquire what has produced such unfortunate re