To the Senate and House of Representatives:
I transmit herewith to the House of Representatives a communication from the Secretary of War, submitting the annual report of the Mississippi River Commission.
I take this occasion to invite the early attention of Congress to the continuation of the work on the Mississippi River which is being carried on under the plans of the commission. My sense of the importance of the improvement of this river, not only to the people of the Northwest, but especially to the inhabitants of the Lower Mississippi Valley, has already been expressed in a special communication to the last Congress. The harvests of grain and cotton produced in the region bordering upon the Mississippi are so vast as to be of national importance, and the project now being executed for their cheap transportation should be sufficiently provided for.
The commission report that the results due to the still uncompleted works have been remarkable, and give the highest encouragement for expecting the ultimate success of the improvement.
The act of August 2, 1882, appropriated $4,123,000 for the work on that part of the river below Cairo. The estimates of the commission already transmitted to Congress call for $3,000,000 for the continuation of the work below Cairo, and it appears from their report that all of the last appropriation available for active operations has been exhausted and that there is urgently needed an immediate appropriation of $1,000,000 to continue the work without loss of time, in view of the approach of the flood season, with its attendant dangers.
I therefore recommend to Congress the early passage of a separate bill on this subject.
CHESTER A. ARTHUR
Chester A. Arthur, Special Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/203846