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DECEMBER 5, 1803.
I have the satisfaction to inform you, that the act of hostility mentioned in my message of the 4th of November to have been committed by a cruiser of the emperor of Morocco on a vessel of the United States, has been disavowed by the emperor. All differences in consequence thereof have been amicably adjusted, and the treaty of 1786, between this country and that, has been recognised and confirmed by the emperor, each party restoring to the other what had been detained or taken. I enclose the emperor's orders given on this occasion.
The conduct of our officers generally, who have had a part in these transactions, has merited entire approbation.
The temperate and correct course pursued by our consul, Mr. Simpson, the promptitude and energy of Commodore Preble, the efficacious co-operation of Captains Rodgers and Campbell of the returning squadron, the proper decision of Captain Bainbridge that a vessel which had cominitted an open hostility was of right to be detained for inquiry and consideration, and the general zeal of the other officers and men, are honorable facts which I make known with pleasure. And to these I add what was indeed transacted in another quarter, - the gallant enterprise of Captain Rodgers in destroying, on the coast of Tripoli
, a corvette of that power, of twenty-two guns.
I recommended to the consideration of Congress a just indemnification for the interest acquired by the captors of the Mishouda and Mirboha, yielded by them for the public accommodation.
FOURTH ANNUAL MESSAGE.
NOVEMBER 8, 1804.
To a people, fellow citizens, who sincerely desire the happiness and prosperity of other nations; to those who justly calculate that their own well-being is advanced by that of the nations with which they have intercourse, it will be a satisfaction to observe that the war which was lighted up in Europe a little before our last meeting has not yet extended its flames to other nations, nor been marked by the calamities which sometimes stain the footsteps of war. The irregularities too on the ocean, which generally harrass the commerce of neutral nations have, in distant parts, disturbed ours less than on former occasions. But in the American seas they have been greater from peculiar causes; and even within our harbors and jurisdiction, infringements on the the authority of the laws have been committed which have called for serious attention. The friendly conduct of the governments from whose officers and subjects these acts have proceeded, in other respects and in places more under their observation and control, gives us confidence that our representations on this subject will have been properly regarded
While noticing the irregularities committed on the ocean by others, those on our own part should not be omitted nor left unprovided for. Complaints have been received that persons residing within the United States have taken on themselves to arm merchant vessels, and to force a cominerce into certain ports and countries in defiance of the laws of those countries. That individuals should undertake to wage private war, independently of the authority of their country, cannot be permitted in a well-ordered society. Its tendency to produce aggression on the laws and rights of other nations, and to endanger the peace of our own is so obvious, that I doubt not you will adopt measures for restraining it effectually in future.
Soon after the passage of the act of the last session, authorizing the establishment of a district and port of entry on the waters of the Mobile, we learnt that its object was misunderstood on the part of Spain. Candid explanations were immediately given, and assurances that, reserving our claims in that quarter as a subject of discussion and arrangement with Spain, no act was meditated, in the mean time, inconsistent with the
peace and friendship existing between the two nations, and that conformable to these intentions would be the execution of the law. That government had, however, thought proper to suspend the ratification of the convention of 1802. But the explanations which would reach them soon after, and still more, the confirmation of them by the tenor of the instrument establishing the port and district, may reasonably be expected to replace them in the dispositions and views of the whole subject which originally dictated the conviction.
I have the satisfaction to inform you that the objections which had been urged by that government against the validity of our title to the country of Louisiana have been withdrawn, its exact limits, however, remaining still to be settled between us. And to this is to be added that, having prepared and delivered the stock created in execution of the convention of Paris, of April 30, 1803, in consideration of the cession of that country, we have received from the government of France an acknowledgment, in due form, of the fulfilment of that stipulation.
With the nations of Europe in general our friendship and intercourse are undisturbed, and from the governments of the belligerent powers especially we continue to receive those friendly manifestations which are justly due to an honest neutrality, and to such good offices consistent with that as we have opportunities of rendering,
The activity and success of the small force employed in the Mediterranean in the early part of the present year, reinforcements sent into that
and the energy of the officers having command in the several vessels, will, I trust, by the sufferings of war, reduce the barbarians of Tripoli to the desire of peace on proper terms. Great injury, however, ensues to ourselves, as well as to others interested, from the distance to which prizes must be brought for adjudication, and from the impracticability of bringing hither such as as are not seaworthy.
The bey of Tunis having made requisitions unauthorized by our treaty, their rejection has produced from him some expressions of discontent. But to those who expect us to calculate whether a compliance with unjust demands will not cost us less than a war, we must leave as a question of calculation for them, also, whether to retire from unjust demands will not cost them less than a war. We can do to each other very sensible injuries by war, but the mutual advantages of peace make that the best interest of both.
Peace and intercourse with the other powers on the same coast continue on the footing on which they are established by treaty.
In pursuance of the act providing for the temporary government of Louisiana, the necessary officers for the territory of Orleans were appointed in due time, to commence the exercise of their functions on the first day of October. The distance, however, of some of them, and indispensable previous arrangements, may have retarded its commencement in some of its parts; the form of government thus provided having been considered but as temporary, and
open to such future improvements as farther information of the circumstances of our brethren there might suggest, it will of course be subject to your consideration.
In the district of Louisiana it has been thought best to adopt the division into subordinate districts which had been established under its former goverament. These being five in number, a commanding officer has been appointed to each, according to the provision of the law, and so soon as they can be at their station, that district will also be in its due state of organization; in the mean time their places are supplied by the officers before commanding there. The functions of the governor and judges of Indiana have commenced; the government we presume is proceeding in its new form. The lead mines in that district offer so rich a supply of that metal as to merit attention. The report now communicated will inform you of their state, and of the necessity of immediate inquiry into their occupation and title.
With the Indian tribes established within our newly-acquired limits, I have deemed it necessary to open conferences for the purpose of establishing a good understanding and neighborly relations between us. So far as we have yet learned, we have reason to believe that their dispositions are generally favorable and friendly; and with these dispositions on their part, we have in our own hands means which cannot fail us for preserving their peace and friendship. By pursuing an uniform course of justice toward them, by aiding them in all the improvements which can better their condition, and especially by establishing a commerce on terms which shall be advantageous to them and only not losing to us, and so regulated as that no incendiaries of our own or any other nation may be permitted to disturb the natural effects of our just and friendly offices, we may render ourselves so necessary to their comfort and prosperity, that the protection of our citizens from their disorderly members will become their interest and their voluntary care. Instead, therefore, of an augmentation of military force proportioned to our extension of frontier, I proposed a moderate enlargement of the capital employed in that commerce, as a more effectual, economical, and humane instrument for preserving peace and good neighborhood with them.
On this side of the Mississippi an important relinquishment of native title has been received from the Delawares." That tribe, destined to extinguish in their people the spirit of hunting and to convert superfluous lands into the means of improving what they retain, has ceded to us all the country between the Wabash and the Ohio, south of and including the road from the rapids toward Vincennes, for which they are to receive annuities in animals and implements for agriculture, and in other necessaries. This acquisition is important, not only for its extent and fertility, but as fronting three hundred miles on the Ohio, and near half that on the Wabash; the produce of the settled countries descending those rivers will no longer pass in review of
the Indian frontier but in a small portion, and with the cession heretofore made with the Kaskaskias, nearly consolidates our possessions north of the Ohio, in a very respectable breadth, from Lake Erie to the Mississippi. The Piankeshaws having some claim to the country ceded by the Delawares, it has been thought best to quiet that by fair purchase also. So soon as the treaties on this subject shall have received their constitutional sanctions, they shall be laid before both houses.
The act of Congress of February 28th, 1803, for building and employing a number of gun-boats, is now in a course of execution to the extent there provided for. The obstacle to naval enterprise which vessels of this construction offer for our sea port towns; their utility toward supporting within our waters the authority of the laws; the promptness with which they will be manned by the seamen and militia of the place the moment they are wanting; the facility of their assembling from different parts of the coast to any point where they are required in greater force than ordinary; the economy of their maintenance and preservation from decay when not in actual service; and the competence of our finances to this defensive provision, without any new burden, are considerations which will have due weight with Congress in deciding on the expediency of adding to their number from year to year, as experience shall test their utility, until all our important ħarbors, by these and auxiliary means, shall be ensured against insult and opposition to the laws.
No circumstance has arisen since your last session which calls for any augmentation of our regular military force. Should any improvement occur in the militia system, that will be always seasonable.
Accounts of the receipts and expenditures of the last year, with estimates for the ensuing one, will as usual be laid before you.
The state of our finances continue to fulfil our expectations. Eleven millions and a half of dollars, received in the course of the year ending the 30th of September last, have enabled us, after meeting all the ordinary expenses of the year, to pay upwards of $3,600,000 of the public debt, exclusive of interest
. This payment, with those of the two preceding years, has extinguished upwards of twelve millions of the principal, and a greater sum of interest, within that period; and by a proportional diminution of interest renders already sensible the effect of the growing sum yearly applicable to the discharge of the principal.
It is also ascertained that the revenue accrued during the last year exceeds that of the preceding; and the probable receipts of the ensuing year may safely be relied on as sufficient, with the sum already in the treasury, to meet all the current demands of the year, to discharge upwards of three millions and a half of the engagements incurred under the British and French conventions, and to advance in the farther redemption of the funded debts as rapidly as had been contemplated. These, fellow citizens, are the principal matters which I have thought it necessary at this time to communicate for your consideration and attention. Some others will be laid before you in the course of the session, but in the discharge of the great duties confided to you by our country you' will take a broader view of the field of legislation. Whether the great interests of agriculture, manufactures, commerce, or navigation, can within the pale of
powers be aided in any of their relations; whether laws are provided in all cases where they are wanting; whether those provided are exactly what they should be; whether any abuses take place in their administration, or in that of the public
revenues; whether the organization of the public agents or of the public force is perfect in all its parts; in fine, whether any thing can be done to advance the general good, are questions within the limits of your functions which will necessarily occupy your attention. In these and other matters which you in your wisdom may propose for the good of our country, you may count with assurance on my hearty co-operation and faithful execution,
FIFTH ANNUAL MESSAGE.
DECEMBER 3, 1805.
At a moment when the nations of Europe are in commotion and arming against each other, and when those with whom we have principal intercourse are engaged in the general contest, and when the countenance of some of them towards our peaceable country threatens that even that may not be unaffected by what is passing on the general theatre, a meeting of the representatives of the nation in both houses of Congress has become more than usually desirable. Coming from every section of our country, they bring with them the sentiments and the information of the whole, and will be enabled to give a direction to the public affairs which the will and the wisdom of the whole will approve and support.
In taking a view of the state of our country, we in the first place notice the late affliction of two of our cities under the fatal fever which in latter times has occasionally visited our shores. Providence in his goodness gave it an early termination on this occasion, and lessened the number of victims which have usually fallen before it. In the course of the several visitations by this disease it has appeared, that it is strictly local; incident to the cities and on the tide waters only; incommunicable in the country, either by persons under the disease or by goods carried from diseased places; that its access is with the autumn, and that it disappears with the early frosts. These restrictions within narrow limits of time and space give security even to our maritime cities during three fourths of the year, and to the country always. Although from these facts it appears unnecessary, yet to satisfy the fears of foreign nations, and cautions on their part not to be complained of in a danger whose limits are unknown to them, I have strictly enjoined on the officers at the head of the customs to certify with exact truth for every vessel sailing for a foreign port, the state of health respecting this fever which prevails at the place from which she sails. Under every motive from character and duty to certify the truth, I have no doubt they have faithfully executed this injunction. Much real injury has, however, been sustained from a propensity to identify with this epidemic, and to call by the same name, fevers of very different kinds, which have been known at all times and in all countries and never have been placed among those deemed contagious. As we advance in our knowledge of this disease, as facts develop the source from which individuals receive it, the state authorities charged with the care of the public health, and Congress with that of the general commerce, will become able to regulate with effect their respective functions in these departments. The burden of quarantines is felt at home as well as abroad; their efficacy merits examination. Although the health laws of the states should