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RELATING TO THE
Fellor Citizens of the Senate and House of Representatives :
Our heartfelt gratitude is due to the Divine Being, who holds in His hands the destinies of nations, for the continued bestowal, during the last year, of countless blessings upon our country.
We are at peace with all other nations. Our public credit has greatly improved, and is, perhaps, now stronger than ever before. Abundant harvests have rewarded the labors of those who till the soil, our manufacturing industries are reviving, and it is believed that general prosperity, which has been so long anxiously looked for, is at last within our reach.
The enjoyment of health by our people generally has, however, been interrupted, during the past season, by the prevalence of a fatal pestilence, the yellow-fever, in some portions of the southern States, creating an emergency which called for prompt and extraordinary measures of relief. The disease appeared as an epidemic at New Orleans and at other places on the lower Mississippi, soon after midsummer. It was rapidly spread by fugitives from the infected cities and towns, and did not disappear until early in November. The States of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee have suffered severely. About one hundred thousand cases are believed to have occured, of which about twenty thousand, according to intelligent estimates, proved fatal. It is impossible to estimate with any approach to accuracy the loss to the country occasioned by this epidemic. It is to be reckoned by the hundred millions of dollars. The suffering and destitution that resulted, excited the deepest sympathy in all parts of the Union. Physicians and nurses hastened from every quarter to the assistance of the afflicted communities. Voluntary contributions of money and supplies, in every needed form, were speedily and generously furnished. The Government was able to respond in some measure to the call for help; by providing tents, medicines, and food for the sick and destitute, the requisite directions for the purpose being given, in the confident expectation that this action of the Executive would receive the sanction of Congress. About eighteen hundred tents, and rations of the value of about twenty-five thousand dollars, were sent to cities and towns which applied for them, full details of which will be finished to Congress by the proper Department.
The fearful spread of this pestilence, has awakened a very general public sentiment in favor of national sanitary administration, which shall not only control quarantine, but have the sanitary supervision of