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Special Message

February 18, 1853

To the Senate and House of Representatives:

I transmit a report from the Secretary of State, embodying the substance of recent communications made by the minister of Her Britannic Majesty to the Department of State on the subject of the interoceanic canal by the Nicaragua route, which formed the chief object of the treaty between the United States and Great Britain of the 19th April, 1850, and the relations of Great Britain to the protectorate of Mosquito, which she expresses herself desirous of relinquishing on terms consistent with her honorable engagements to the Indians of that name.

In consequence of these communications and other considerations stated in the report, it is deemed advisable by the Department that our diplomatic relations with the States of Central America should be placed on a higher and more efficient footing, and this measure meets my approbation. The whole subject is one of so much delicacy and importance that I should have preferred, so near the close of my Administration, not to make it the subject of an Executive communication. But inasmuch as the measure proposed can not, even if deemed expedient by my successor, take effect for near a twelvemonth unless an appropriation is made by this Congress, I have thought it my duty to submit the report of the Department to the two Houses. The importance of the measure seemed to require an exposition somewhat in detail of the grounds on which it is recommended.


Millard Fillmore, Special Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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