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Special Message

March 08, 1842

To the Senate and House of Representatives:

In my message of the 7th of December I suggested to Congress the propriety, and in some degree the necessity, of making proper provisions by law within the pale of the Constitution for the removal at their commencement and at the option of the party of all such cases as might arise in State courts involving national questions or questions touching the faithful observance and discharge of the international obligations of the United States from such State tribunal to the Federal judiciary. I am urged to repeat at this time this recommendation by the receipt of intelligence, upon which I can rely, that a subject of Great Britain residing in Upper Canada has been arrested upon a charge of connection with the expedition fitted out by the Canadian authorities by which the Caroline was destroyed, and will in all probability be subjected to trial in the State courts of New York. It is doubtful whether in this state of things, should his discharge be demanded by the British Government, this Government is invested with any control over the subject until the case shall have reached the court of final resort of the State of New York and been decided in that court; and although such delay ought not, in a national point of view to give cause of umbrage to Great Britain, yet the prompt and instant rendering of justice to foreign nations should be placed among our highest duties. I can not, therefore, in consideration of what properly becomes the United States, and in anticipation of any demand from a foreign government for the discharge of one of its subjects, forego the duty of repeating my recommendation to Congress for the immediate adoption of some suitable legislative provision on this subject.


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

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