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may be presumed that their differences will be settled on the terms proposed by the colonies. Should the war be continued, the United States, regarding its occurrences, will always have it in their power to adopt such measures respecting it, as their honor and interest may require.
Shortly after the general peace, a band of adventurers took advantage of this conflict, and of the facility which it afforded, to establish a system of buccaneering in the neighboring seas, to the great annoyance of the commerce of the United States, and, as was represented, of that of other powers. Of this spirit and of its injurious bearing on the United States, strong proofs were afforded by the establishment at Amelia Ísland, and the purposes to which it was made instrumental, by this band, in 1817, and by the occurrences which took place in other parts of Florida, in 1818, the details of which, in both instances, are too well known to require to be now recited. I am satisfied, had a less decisive course been adopted, that the worst consequences would have resulted from it. We have seen that these checks, decisive as they were, were not sufficient to crush that piratical spirit. Many culprits, brought within our limits, have been condemned to suffer death, the punishment due to that atrocious crime. The decisions of upright and enlightened tribunals fall equally on all, whose crimes subject them, by a fair interpretation of the law, to its cen
It belongs to the executive not to suffer the executions, under these decisions, to transcend the great purpose for which punishment is necessary. The full benefit of example being secured, policy, as well as humanity, equally forbids that they should be carried further. I have acted on this principle, pardoning those who appear to have been led astray by ignorance of the criminality of the acts they had committed, and suffering the law to take effect on those only, in whose favor no extenuating circumstances could be urged.
Great confidence is entertained that the late treaty
with Spain, which has been ratified by both the parties, and the ratifications whereof have been exchanged, has placed the relations of the two countries on a basis of permanent friendship. The provision, made by it for such of our citizens as have claims on Spain, of the character described, will, it is presumed, be very satisfactory to them, and the boundary wbich is established between the territories of the parties, westward of the Mississippi, heretofore in dispute, has, it is thought, been settled on conditions just and advantageous to both. But to the acquisition of Florida, too much importance cannot be attached. It secures to the United States a territory important in itself, and whose importance is much increased by its bearing on many of the highest interests of the union. It opens to several of the neighboring states a free passage to the ocean, through the province ceded, by several rivers, having their sources high up within their limits. It secures us against all future annoyance from powerful Indian tribes. It gives us several excellent harbors in the Gulf of Mexico, for ships of war, of the largest size. It covers, by its position in the Gulf, the Mississippi and other great waters within our extended limits, and thereby enables the United States to afford complete protection to the vast and very valuable productions of our whole western country, which find a market through those streams.
By a treaty with the British government, bearing date on the 20th of October, 1818, the convention regulating the commerce between the United States and Great Britain, concluded on the 3d of July, 1815, which was about expiring, was revived and continued for the term of ten years from the time of its expiration. By that treaty also, the differences which had arisen under the treaty of Ghent, respecting the right claimed by the United States for their citizens, to take and cure fish on the coast of his Britannic majesty's dominions in America, with other differences on important interests, were adjusted, to the satisfaction of both parties. No agreement has yet been entered into respecting the
commerce between the United States and the British dominions in the West Indies, and on this continent. The restraints, imposed on that commerce by Great Britain, and reciprocated by the United States, on a principle of defence, continue still in force.
The negotiation with France for the regulation of the commercial relations between the two countries, which, in the course of the last summer, had been commenced at Paris, has since been transferred to this city, and will be pursued, on the part of the United States, in the spirit of conciliation, and with an earnest desire that it may terminate in an arrangement satisfactory to both parties.
Our relations with the Barbary Powers are preserved in the same state, and by the same means, that were employed when I came into this office. As early as 1801, it was found necessary to send a squadron into the Mediterranean, for the protection of our commerce, and no period has intervened, a short term excepted, when it was thought advisable to withdraw it. The great interests, which the United States have in the Pacific, in commerce, and in the fisheries, have also made it necessary to maintain a naval force there. In disposing of this force, in both instances, the most effectual measures in our power have been taken, without interfering with its other duties, for the suppression of the slave trade, and of piracy, in the neighboring
The situation of the United States, in regard to their resources, the extent of their revenue, and the facility with which it is raised, affords a most gratifying spectacle. The payment of nearly sixty-seven millions of dollars of the public debt, with the great progress made in measures of defence, and in other improvements of various kinds, since the late war, are conclusive proofs of this extraordinary prosperity ; especially when it is recollected, that these expenditures have been defrayed, without a burden on the people, the direct tax and excise having been repealed soon after the conclusion of the late war, and the revenue applied
to these great objects having been raised in a manner not to be felt. Our great resources, therefore, remain untouched, for any purpose which may affect the vital interests of the nation. For all such purposes they are inexhaustible. They are more especially to be found in the virtue, patriotism and intelligence of our fellowcitizens, and in the devotion with which they would yield up, by any just measure of taxation, all their property in support of the rights and honor of their country.
Under the present depression of prices, affecting all the productions of the country, and every branch of industry, proceeding from causes explained on a former occasion, the revenue has considerably diminished; the effect of which has been to compel Congress either to abandon these great measures of defence, or to resort to loans or internal taxes to supply the deficiency. On the presumption that this depression and the deficiency in the revenue arising from it, would be temporary, loans were authorized for the demands of the last and present year. Anxious to relieve my fellow-citizens, in 1817, from every burden which could be dispensed with, and the state of the treasury permitting it, I recommended the repeal of the internal taxes, knowing that such relief was then peculiarly necessary, in consequence of the great exertions made in the late war. I made that recommendation under a pledge that should the public exigencies require a recurrence to them at any time while I remained in this trust, I would, with equal promptitude, perform the duty which would then be alike incumbent on me. By the experiment now making it will be seen, by the next session of Congress, whether the revenue shall have been so augmented as to be adequate to all these necessary purposes. Should the deficiency still continue, and especially, should it be probable that it would be permanent, the course to be pursued, appears to me to be obvious. I am satisfied that, under certain circumstances, loans may be resorted to with great advantage. equally well satisfied, as å general rule, that the
demands of the current year, especially in time of peace, should be provided for by the revenue of that year.
I have never dreaded, nor have I ever shunned, in any situation in which I have been placed, making appeals to the virtue and patriotism of my fellow-citizens, well knowing that they could never be made in vain, especially in times of great emergency, or for purposes of high national importance. Independently of the exigency of the case, many considerations, of great weight, urge a policy having in view a provision of revenue to meet, to a certain extent, the demands of the nation, without relying altogether on the precarious resource of a foreign commerce. I am satisfied that internal duties and excises, with corresponding imposts on foreign articles of the same kind, would, without imposing any serious burdens on the people, enhance the price of produce, promote our manufactures, and augment the revenue, at the same time that they made it more secure and permanent.
The care of the Indian tribes within our limits has long been an essential part of our system; but, unfortunately, it has not been executed in a manner to accomplish all the objects intended by it. We have treated them as independent nations without their having any substantial pretensions to that rank. The distinction has flattered their pride, retarded their improvement, and, in many instances, paved the way to their destruction. The progress of our settlements westward, supported, as they are, by a dense population, has constantly driven them back, with almost the total sacrifice of the lands which they have been compelled to abandon. They have claims on the magnanimity, and I may add on the justice of this nation, which we must all feel. We should become their real benefactors; we should perform the office of their Great Father, the endearing title which they emphatically give to the chief magistrate of our union. Their sovereignty over territories should cease, in lieu of which the right of soil should be secured to each indi