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Assuring them, as we again do, of its noble proportions and beautyof its solid and enduring plan and materials of the fidelity of the work done—of the integrity, economy, energy, and system, that have marked the duties of the members of this society—and of their disinterested and patriotic zeal, we commend to the care of our countrymen this tribute of a republic's love, admiration, and gratitude towards him who, under the providence of God, was the chief author of its freedom, its dignity, and its happiness.
We report herewith a joint resolution, and subjoin the names of the officers and Board of Managers of the Society.
The Officers and Board of Managers of the Washington National Monu
ment Society, August 1, 1854. FRANKLIN PIERCE, President of the United States,
and ex officio President. ARCH. HENDERSON, First Vice President. *JOHN W. MAURY, Mayor of Washington,
and ex officio Second Vice President. THO. CARBERY, Third Vice President. J. B. H. SMITH, Treasurer. *GEO. WATTERSTON, Secretary.
FEBRUARY 23, 1855.—Laid upon the table and ordered to be printed.
Mr. INGERSOLL, from the Committee on Foreign Affairs, made the fol
The Committee of Foreign Affairs, to which was referred the memorial of
Lieutenant M. F. Maury, United States navy, in behalf of the Memphis convention, and in favor of the free navigation of the river Amazon, have hnd the same under consideration and beg leave to report:
e highly bentivation of its valls tributaries, the s
That the navigation of this river and its tributaries, the settlement of its banks, and the cultivation of its valleys, would, in every point of view, prove highly beneficial to the interests of the United States.
The country through which these waters flow is great in its resources; it possesses diversity of climate; and its geographical relations to this country are such that, if these resources can be called forth by the energies of the settler, a large and profitable trade between the two greatest river basins in the world would certainly be established. In the language of the memorial:
“The Amazon is the largest river in the world, and the great hydrographic basin, which includes it and its tributaries, is unsurpassed for fertility; nor is there anywhere, on the surface of the earth, a region of country of the extent which can compete with this, in capacity of production, or vie with it as to the variety, extent, or wealth of its mineral resources. It teems with animal life; its soil is most prolific; and the display of riches in its vegetable kingdom is truly magnificent.”
“The tributaries of the Amazon inosculate with those of the Rio de la Plata at the south, and unite with those of the Oronoco at the north. The Casquiari connects, by a natural channel, the waters of the Oronoco with those of the Amazon, and Count Castelnau saw the head streams of the Amazon and those of the Rio de la Plata running through and watering the same gentleman's garden in Brazil.”
" The country drained by these rivers extends from the parellel of ten degrees of north latitude to that of thirty-six degrces of south latitude."
“In its Atlantic slopes intertropical and extratropical, it therefore embraces all the climates and includes all the varieties of production that are to be found within the range of forty-six degrees of latitude."
" Again: the country drained by these rivers extends from the meridian of 340 to that of 800 of west longitude, another 460.”
"From the sea shore under the line to the region of perpetual snow on the mountains, it therefore embraces all the climates that are spread out over the plains that lie between the equator and the poles, but which are here condensed, crumpled up, and brought within the compass of forty-six degrees of longitude when measured at the equator.”
- From the head of navigation on the waters of the Amazon to the head of navigation on the waters of the Rio de la Plata, the natural canalization to connect the two is so nearly completed, that only three leagues of artificial canal, it is said by explorers, are wanting to pass the vessels of one river into the other.”
“ Settlement would accomplish this among its first achievements, and thus turn the Mississippi river of the southern hemisphere upside down, and bring the mouth of the Rio de la Plata from the parallel of 360 south, and place it, for all the practical purposes of commerce under the line, whence its wealth will be poured into our lap with that of the Amazon."
“ The great commercial marts of the world and the centres of trade, in all ages have been and will ever be in the northern hemisphere."
“Four-fifths of all the dry land are in it. It is the seat of human knowledge, of wealth, civilization, and enterprise. The shipping of the world belongs to it, and the seamen are natives of it. And the beneficence of Providence has so arranged the seasons that the seed time of the northern hemisphere occurs when the fruits of the southern are just ripe for the harvest.”
"There are physical conditions which will ever compel the inhabitants of the southern hemisphere to look north, as they do now, for their chief market places.
“Produce, as it descends the La Plata, goes south, consequently every mile it travels in that direction is a mile the further from market, and when it reaches the mouth of the river it then has to turn about and come north again, by sea, on its way to our northern markets, and, after many days, it is only as far on its way as the mouth of the Amazon, wbich this canal, of a span in length, will, in the fullness of time, enable it to reach direct, and by inland navigation
“Considering the valleys of these three rivers—the La Plata, the Amazon, and the Oronoco—as one great hydrographic basin, we have a region embracing the enormous area of not less than 2,900,000 square miles, affording an inland navigation of not less than 80,000 miles, through climates of much diversity, and upon soils of all the variety and capacity of production that are common to India. Such are the Atlantic slopes of South America.
“ The valleys of these rivers are for the most part a wilderness, and their channels unknown to steam.
« The Amazon is the largest river in the world; tributaries flow into it from both hemispheres. The Mississippi is the largest river in the northern, and the Rio de la Plata the largest river wholly in the southern hemisphere.
“ The following table shows, according to the best physical geogra