« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
strength daily, is extending from the nearer to the more remote, and will amply requite us for the justice and friendship practised towards them. Husbandry and household manufacture are advancing among them, more rapidly with the southern than northern tribes, from circumstances of soil and climate; and one of the two great divisions of the Cherokee nation have now under consideration to solicit the citizenship of the United States, and to be identified with us in laws and government in such progressive manner as we shall think best.
In consequence of the appropriations of the last session of Congress for the security of our sea-port towns and harbours, such works of defence have been erected as seemed to be called for by the situation of the several places, their relative importance, and the scale of expense indicated by the amount of the appropriation. These works will chiefly be finished in the course of the present season, except at New York and New Orleans, where most was to be done: and although a great proportion of the last appropriation has been expended on the former place, yet some further views will be submitted to Congress for rendering its security entirely adequate against naval enterprise. A view of what has been done at the several places, and of what is proposed to be done, shall be communicated as soon as the several reports are received.
Of the gun-boats authorized by the act of December last, it has been thought necessary to build only one hundred and three in the present year. These, with those, before possessed, are sufficient for the harbours and waters most exposed, and the residue will require little time for their construction when it shall be deemed necessary.
Under the act of the last session for raising an additional military force, so many officers were immediately appointed as were necessary for carrying on the business of recruiting, and in proportion as it advanced, others have been added. We have reason to believe their success has been satisfactory, although such returns have not yet been received as enable me to present you a statement of the numbers engaged.
I have not thought it necessary in the course of the last season to call for any general detachments of militia or of volunteers, under the laws passed for that purpose. For
the ensuing season, however, they will be required to be in readiness, should their service be wanted. Some small and special detachments have been necessary to maintain the laws of embargo, on that portion of our northern frontier which offered peculiar facilities for evasion, but these were replaced as soon as it could be done by bodies of new recruits. By the aid of these, and of the armed vessels called into service in other quarters, the spirit of disobedience and abuse, which manifested itself early, and with sensible effect while we were unprepared to meet it, has been considerably repressed.
Considering the extraordinary character of the times in which we live, our attention should unremittingly be fixed on the safety of our country. For a people who are free, and who mean to remain so, a well organized and armed militia is their best security. It is therefore incumbent on us, at every meeting, to revise the condition of the militia, and to ask ourselves if it is prepared to repel a powerful enemy at every point of our territories exposed to invasion? Some of the states have paid a laudable attention to this object; but every degree of neglect is to be found among others. Congress alone having the power to produce an uniform state of preparation in this great organ of defence, the interests which they so deeply feel in their own and their country's security will present this as among the most important objects of their deliberation.
Under the acts of March eleventh and April twentythird, respecting arms, the difficulty of procuring them from abroad during the present situation and dispositions of Europe induced us to direct our whole efforts to the means of internal supply. The publick factories have therefore been enlarged, additional machineries erected, and in proportion as artificers can be found or formed, their effect, already more than doubled, may be increased so as to keep pace with the yearly increase of the militia. The annual sums appropriated by the latter act have been directed to the encouragement of private factories of arms, and contracts have been entered into with individual undertakers to nearly the amount of the first year's appropriation.
The suspension of our foreign commerce, produced by the injustice of the belligerent powers, and the consequent losses and sacrifices of our citizens, are subjects of just
concern. The situation into which we have thus been forced, has impelled us to apply a portion of our industry and capital to internal manufactures and improvements. The extent of this conversion is daily increasing, and little doubt remains that the establishments formed and forming will, under the auspices of cheaper materials and subsistence, the freedom of labour from taxation with us, and of protecting duties and prohibitions, become permanent. The commerce with the Indians, too, within our own boundaries, is likely to receive abundant aliment from the same internal source, and will secure to them peace and the progress of civilization undisturbed by practices hostile to both.
The accounts of the receipts and expenditures during the year ending on the 30th day of September last, being not yet made up, a correct statement will hereafter be transmitted from the treasury. In the mean time it is ascertained that the receipts have amounted to near eighteen millions of dollars, which with the eight millions and a half in the treasury at the beginning of the year, have enabled us, after meeting the current demands, and interest incurred, to pay two millions three hundred thousand dollars of the principal of our funded debt, and left us in the treasury on that day near fourteen millions of dollars. Of these, five millions three hundred and fifty thousand dollars will be necessary to pay what will be due on the first day of January next, which will complete the reimbursement of the eight per cent. stock. These payments, with those made in the six years and a half preceding, will have extinguished thirty-three millions five hundred and eighty thousand dollars of the principal of the funded debt, being the whole which could be paid or purchased within the limits of the law and of our contracts, and the amount of principal thus discharged will have liberated the revenue from about two millions of dollars of interest, and added that sum annually to the disposable surplus. The probable accumulation of the surplusses of revenue beyond what can be applied to the payment of the publick debt, whenever the freedom and safety of our commerce shall be restored, merits the consideration of Congress. Shall it lie unproductive in the publick vaults? shall the revenue be reduced? or shall it not rather be appropriated to the improvements of roads, canals, rivers, education, and other great
foundations of prosperity and union, under the powers which Congress may already possess, or such amendment of the constitution as may be approved by the states? While uncertain of the course of things, the time may be advantageously employed in obtaining the powers necessary for a system of improvement, should that be thought best.
Availing myself of this, the last occasion which will occur of addressing the two houses of the legislature at their meeting, I cannot omit the expression of my sincere gratitude, for the repeated proofs of confidence manifested to me by themselves and their predecessors since my call to the administration, and the many indulgences experienced at their hands. The same grateful acknowledgments are due to my fellow citizens generally, whose support has been my great encouragement under all embarrassments. In the transaction of their business I cannot have escaped errour. It is incident to our imperfect nature. But I may say with truth my errours have been of the understanding, not of intention, and that the advancement of their rights and interests has been the constant motives for every measure. On these considerations I solicit their indulgence. Looking forward with anxiety to their future destinies, I trust that in their steady character, unshaken by difficulties, in their love of liberty, obedience to law, and support of the publick authorities, I see a sure guaranty of the permanence of our republick; and retiring from the charge of their affairs, I carry with me the consolation of a firm persuasion, that Heaven has in store for our beloved country, long ages to come of prosperity and happiness.
ACCOMPANYING THE MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. NOVEMBER 8, 1808.
Mr. Madison, Secretary of State, to General Armstrong, Minister Plenipotentiary of the U. States at Paris.
Department of State, May 22, 1807.
"THE two last letters received from you were of December 24 and January 16.
"The decree of November 21, communicated in the first, had previously reached us, and had excited apprehensions which were repressed only by the inarticulate import of its articles, and the presumption that it would be executed in a sense not inconsistent with the respect due the treaty between France and the United States. The explanations given you by the minister of marine were seen by the President with much pleasure, and it only remains to learn that they have been confirmed by the express authority of the emperor. We are the more anxious for this information, as it will fortify the remonstrances which have been presented at London against the British order of January 7th. Should it, contrary to expectation, turn out that the French decree was meant, and is to operate according to the latitude of its terms, you will of course have made the proper representations, grounded as well on the principles of publick law, as on the express stipulations of the convention of 1800. Nothing, besides, could be more preposterous than to blend with an appeal to neutral rights and neutral nations, a gross infraction of the former, and outrage on the sentiments of the latter; unless it be to invite a species of contest on the high seas, in which the adversary has every possible advantage. But on the more probable supposition that the decree will not be unfavourably expounded, it will be still necessary to press on the French government a despatch of such orders to their cruisers, in every quarter, as will prevent a construction of the decree favourable