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particular situation will give weight and influence to a moderate naval force in their hands. Will it not then be advisable to begin, without delay, to provide and lay up the materials for the building and equipping of ships of war; and to proceed in the work, by degrees, in proportion as our resources shall render it practicable without inconvenience; so that a future war of Europe may not find our commerce in the same unprotected state, in which it was found by the present ?

Congress have repeatedly, and not without success, directed their attention to the encouragement of manufactures. The object is of too much consequence not to ensure a continuance of their efforts in every way which shall appear eligible. As a general rule, manufactures on publick account are inexpedient. But where the state of things in a country leaves little hope that certain branches of manufacture will, for a great length of time, obtain; when these are of a nature essential to the furnishing and equipping of the publick force in time of war; are not establishments for procuring them on publick account, to the extent of the ordinary demand for the publick service, recommended by strong considerations of national policy, as an exception to the general rule ? Ought our country to remain in such cases dependent on foreign supply, precarious, because liable to be interrupted? If the necessary articles should in this mode, cost more in time of peace, will not the security and independence thence arising, form an ample compensation? Éstablishments of this sort, commensurate only with the calls of the publick service in time of peace, will, in time of war, easily be extended in proportion to the exigencies of the government; and may even, perhaps, be made to yield a surplus for the supply of our citizens at large, so as to mitigate the privations from the interruption of their trade. If adopted, the plan ought to exclude all those bran which are already, or likely soon to be established in the country; in order that there may be no danger of interference with pursuits of individual industry.

It will not be doubted, that with reference either to individual or national welfare, agriculture is of primary importance. In proportion as nations advance in population, and other circumstances of maturity, this truth becomes more apparent, and renders the cultivation of the


soil more and more an object of publick patronage. Institutions for promoting it, grow up, supported by the publick purse and to what object can it be dedicated with greater propriety? Among the means which have been employed to this end, none have been attended with greater success, than the cstablishment of Boards, composed of proper characters, charged with collecting and diffusing information, and enabled by premiums, and small pecuniary aids, to encourage and assist a spirit of discovery and improvement. This species of establishment contributes doubly to the increase of improvement, by stimulating to enterprise and experiment, and by drawing to a common centre the results every where, of individual skill and observation; and spreading them thence over the whole nation. Experience accordingly has shown that they are very cheap instruments of immense national benefits.

I have heretofore proposed to the consideration of Congress, the expediency of establishing a national university, and also a military academy. The desirableness of both these institutions, has so constantly increased with every new view I have taken of the subject, that I cannot omit the opportunity of once for all, recalling your attention to them.

The assembly to which I address myself, is too enlightened not to be fully sensible how much a flourishing state of the arts and sciences contributes to national prosperity and reputation. True it is, that our country, much to its honour, contains many seminaries of Icarning highly respectable and useful; but the funds upon which they rest are too narrow to command thc ablest professors, in the different departments of liberal knowledge, for the institution contemplated; though ithey would be excellent auxiliaries.

Amongst the metives to such an institution, the assimilation of the principles, opinions and manners of our countrymen, by the common education of a portion of our youth from every quarter, well deserves attention. The more homogeneous our citizens can be made in these particulars, the greater will be our prospect of permanent union; and a primary object of such a national institution should be, the education of our youth in the science of government. In a republick, what species of knowledge

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can be equally important ? and what duty more pressing on its legislature, than to patronise a plan for communieating it to those, who are to be the future guardians of the liberties of the country?

The institution of a military academy, is also recommended by cogent reasons. However pacifick the general policy of a nation may be, it ought never to be without an adequate stock of military knowledge for emergeneies. The first would impair the energy of its character, and both would hazard its safety, or expose it to greater evils when war could not be avoided. Besides that war might often not depend upon its own choice. In proportion as the observance of pacifick maxims might exempt a nation from the necessity of practising the rules of the military art, ought to be its care in preserving, and transmitting by proper establishments, the knowledge of that art. Whatever argument may be drawn from particular examples, superficially viewed, a thorough examination of the subject will evince, that the art of war is at once comprehensive and complicated; that it demands much. previous study; and that the possession of it, in its most improved and perfeet state, is always of great moment to the security of a nation. This, therefore, ought to be a serious care of every government; and for this purpose). an academy, where a regular course of instruction is given, is an obvious expedient, which different nations have successfully employed.

The compensations to the officers of the United States, in various instances, and in none more than in respect to the most important stations, appear to call for legislative revision. The consequences of a defective provision, are of serious import to the government. If private wealth is to supply the dcfect of publiek retribution, it will greatlys contract the sphere within which the selection of character for office is to be made, and will proportionally diminish the probability of a choice of men able as well as upright. Besides that it would be repugnant to the vital principles of our government, virtually to exclude from publick trusts, talents and virtue, unless accompa--. nied by wealth.

While in our external relations, some serious inconveniences and embarrassments have been overcome, and others lessened, it is with much pain and deep regret :

mention, that circumstances of a very unwelcome nature have lately occurred. Our trade has suffered, and is suffering extensive injuries in the West Indies, from the cruisers and agents of the French Republick ; and communications have been received from its minister here, which indicate the danger of a further disturbance of our commerce by its authority, and which are, in other respects, far from agreeable.

It has been my constant, sincere and earnest wish, in conformity with that of our nation, to maintain cordial harmony, and a perfectly friendly understanding with that Republick. This wish remains unabated; and I shall persevere in the endeavour to fulfil it, to the utmost extent of what shall be consistent with a just and indispensable regard to the rights and honour of our country : nor will | easily cease to cherish the expectation, that a spirit of justice, candour and friendship, on the part of the Republick, will eventually ensure success.

In pursuing this course, however, I cannot forget what is due to the character of our government and nation; or to a full and entire confidence in the good sense, patriotism, self-respect, and fortitude of my countrymen.

I reserve for a special message, a more particular communication on this interesting subject.

Gentlemen of the House of Representatives, I have directed an estimate of the appropriations necessary for the service of the ensuing year, to be submitted from the proper department; with a view of the publick receipts and expenditures to the latest period to which an account can be prepared.

It is with satisfaction I am able to inform you, that the revenues of the United States continue in a state of

progressive improvement.

A reinforcement of the existing provisions for discharging our publick debt, was mentioned in my address at the opening of the last session. Some preliminary steps were taken towards it, the maturing of which will, no doubt, engage your zealous attention during the present. I will only add, that it will afford me a heartfelt satisfaction to concur in such further measures, as will ascertain to our country the prospect of a speedy extinguishment of the deht. Posterity may have cause to regret, if from any motive, intervals of tranquillity are left unimproved for accelerating this valuable end.

Gentlemen of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives - My solicitude to see the militia of the United States placed on an efficient establishment, has been so often, and so ardently expressed, that I shall but barely recall the subject to your view on the present occasion, at the same time, that I shall submit to your inquiry, whether our har bours are yet sufficiently secured.

The situation in which I now stand, for the last time, in the midst of the representatives of the people of the United States, naturally recalls the period when ihe administration of the present form of government commenced; and I cannot omit the occasion to congratulate you, and my country, on the success of the experiment, nor to repeat my servent supplications to the Supreme Ruler of the universe and Sovereign Arbiter of nations, that his providential care may still be extended to the United States; that the virtue and happiness of the people may be preserved ; and that the government which they have instituted for the protection of their liberties may be perpetual.





JAN. 9, 1797.
(See Vol. Confidential Documents.]



GRESS. JAN. 19, 1797. Ar the opening of the present session of Congress, I mentioned that some circumstances of an unwelcome nature had lately occurred in relation to France; that our VOL. II.


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