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Special Message

January 02, 1861

To the Senate of the United States:

I transmit to the Senate, for its consideration with a view to ratification, a treaty of amity, commerce, and navigation, and for the surrender of fugitive criminals, between the United States and the Republic of Venezuela, signed at Caracas on the 27th of August last.

A similar treaty was concluded on the 10th July, 1856, was submitted to the Senate, and was by a resolution of that body approved, with an amendment, on the 10th March, 1857. Before this amendment could be laid before the Government of Venezuela for acceptance a new minister of the United States was accredited to that Government. Meantime the attention of this Government had been drawn to the disadvantage which would result to our citizens residing in Venezuela if the second article of the treaty of 1856 were permitted to go into effect, the "pecuniary equivalent" for exemption from military duty being an arbitrary and generally an excessive sum. In view of this fact it was deemed preferable to instruct our new minister to negotiate a new treaty which should omit the objectionable second article and also the few words of the twenty-eighth article which had been stricken out by the Senate.

With these changes, and with the addition of the last clause to the twenty-seventh article, the treaty is the same as that already approved by the Senate.


James Buchanan, Special Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/202050

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