Zachary Taylor photo

Special Message

March 28, 1850

To the Senate of the United States:

In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of the 22d instant, requesting the president of the United States to communicate to that body a copy of the instructions given to the agent of the United States who was employed to visit Hungary during the recent war between that country and Austria, and of the correspondence by and with such agent, so far as the publication of the same may be consistent with the public interest, I herewith transmit to the Senate a copy of the instructions to A. Dudley Mann, esq., relating to Hungary, he having been appointed by me special agent to that country on the 18th day of June last, together with a copy of the correspondence with our late charge' d'affaires to Austria referred to in those instructions and of other papers disclosing the policy of this Government in reference to Hungary and her people. I also transmit, in compliance with the resolution of the Senate, but in a separate packet, a copy of the correspondence of Mr. Mann with the Department of State. The latter I have caused to be marked " executive " --the information contained in it being such as will be found on examination most appropriately to belong to the Senate in the exercise of its executive functions. The publication of this correspondence of the agent sent by me to Hungary is a matter referred entirely to the judgment and discretion of the Senate.

It will be seen by the documents now transmitted that no minister or agent was accredited by the Government of Hungary to this Government at any period since I came into office, nor was any communication ever received by this Government from the minister of foreign affairs of Hungary or any other executive officer authorized to act in her behalf.

My purpose, as freely avowed in this correspondence, was to have acknowledged the independence of Hungary had she succeeded in establishing a government de facto on a basis sufficiently permanent in its character to have justified me in doing so according to the usages and settled principles of this Government; and although she is now fallen and many of her gallant patriots are in exile or in chains, I am free still to declare that had she been successful in the maintenance of such a government as we could have recognized we should have been the first to welcome her into the family of nations.


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

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