HotFreeBooks.com
A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents - Section 1 (of 3) of Volume 2: James Monroe
by James D. Richardson
1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10     Next Part
Home - Random Browse

A COMPILATION OF THE MESSAGES AND PAPERS OF THE PRESIDENTS

BY JAMES D. RICHARDSON

VOLUME II

1897



Prefatory Note

The first volume of this compilation was given to Congress and the public about May 1, 1896. I believe I am warranted in saying here that it met with much favor by all who examined it. The press of the country was unsparing in its praise. Congress, by a resolution passed on the 22d day of May, ordered the printing of 15,000 additional copies, of the entire publication.

I have inserted in this volume a steel engraving of the Treasury building; the succeeding volumes will contain engravings of other important public buildings.

The resolution authorizing this work required the publication of the annual, special, and veto messages, inaugural addresses, and proclamations of the Presidents. I have found in addition to these documents others which emanated from the Chief Magistrats, called Executive orders; they are in the nature of proclamations, and have like force and effect. I have therefore included in this, and will include in the succeeding volumes, all such Executive orders as may appear to have national importance or to possess more than ordinary interest.

If this volume meets the same degree of favor as the first, I shall be greatly gratified.

JAMES D. RICHARDSON.

JULY 4, 1896.



James Monroe

March 4, 1817, to March 4, 1825



James Monroe

James Monroe was born April 28, 1758, in Westmoreland County, Va. He was the son of Spence Monroe and Elizabeth Jones, both natives of Virginia. When in his eighteenth year he enlisted as a private soldier in the Army to fight for independence; was in several battles, and was wounded in the engagement at Trenton; was promoted to the rank of captain of infantry. During 1777 and 1778 he acted as aid to Lord Stirling, and distinguished himself. He studied law under the direction of Thomas Jefferson, then governor of Virginia, who in 1780 appointed him to visit the army in South Carolina on an important mission. In 1782 he was elected to the Virginia assembly by the county of King George, and was by that body chosen a member of the executive council. The next year he was chosen a delegate to the Continental Congress, and remained a member until 1786; while a member he married a Miss Kortright, of New York City. Retiring from Congress, he began the practice of law at Fredericksburg, Va., but was at once elected to the legislature. In 1788 was a delegate to the State convention assembled to consider the Federal Constitution. Was a Senator from Virginia from 1790 to 1794. In May, 1794, was appointed by Washington minister to France. He was recalled in 1796 and was again elected to the legislature. In 1799 was elected governor of Virginia. In 1802 was appointed by President Jefferson envoy extraordinary to France, and in 1803 was sent to London as the successor of Rufus King. In 1805 performed a diplomatic mission to Spain in relation to the boundary of Louisiana, returning to London the following year; returned to the United States in 1808. In 1811 was again elected governor of his State, but in the same year resigned that office to become Secretary of State under President Madison. After the capture of Washington, in 1814, he was appointed to the War Department, which position he held until 1815, without relinquishing the office of Secretary of State. He remained at the head of the Department of State until the close of Mr. Madison's term. Was elected President in 1816, and reelected in 1820, retiring March 4, 1825, to his residence in Loudoun County, Va. In 1829 was elected a member of the convention called to revise the constitution of the State, and was unanimously chosen to preside over its deliberations. He was forced by ill health to retire from office, and removed to New York to reside with his son-in-law, Mr. Samuel L. Gouverneur. He died July 4, 1831, and was buried in New York City, but in 1858 his remains were removed to Richmond, Va.



LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT ELECT.

The President of the Senate communicated the following letter from the President elect of the United States:

CITY OF WASHINGTON, March 1, 1817.

Hon. JOHN GAILLARD.

President of the Senate of the United States.

SIR: I beg leave through you to inform the honorable Senate of the United States that I propose to take the oath which the Constitution prescribes to the President of the United States before he enters on the execution of his office on Tuesday, the 4th instant, at 12 o'clock, in the Chamber of the House of Representatives.

I have the honor to be, with the greatest respect, sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,

JAMES MONROE.



FIRST INAUGURAL ADDRESS.

I should be destitute of feeling if I was not deeply affected by the strong proof which my fellow-citizens have given me of their confidence in calling me to the high office whose functions I am about to assume. As the expression of their good opinion of my conduct in the public service, I derive from it a gratification which those who are conscious of having done all that they could to merit it can alone feel. My sensibility is increased by a just estimate of the importance of the trust and of the nature and extent of its duties, with the proper discharge of which the highest interests of a great and free people are intimately connected. Conscious of my own deficiency, I can not enter on these duties without great anxiety for the result. From a just responsibility I will never shrink, calculating with confidence that in my best efforts to promote the public welfare my motives will always be duly appreciated and my conduct be viewed with that candor and indulgence which I have experienced in other stations.

In commencing the duties of the chief executive office it has been the practice of the distinguished men who have gone before me to explain the principles which would govern them in their respective Administrations. In following their venerated example my attention is naturally drawn to the great causes which have contributed in a principal degree to produce the present happy condition of the United States. They will best explain the nature of our duties and shed much light on the policy which ought to be pursued in future.

From the commencement of our Revolution to the present day almost forty years have elapsed, and from the establishment of this Constitution twenty-eight. Through this whole term the Government has been what may emphatically be called self-government. And what has been the effect? To whatever object we turn our attention, whether it relates to our foreign or domestic concerns, we find abundant cause to felicitate ourselves in the excellence of our institutions. During a period fraught with difficulties and marked by very extraordinary events the United States have nourished beyond example. Their citizens individually have been happy and the nation prosperous.

Under this Constitution our commerce has been wisely regulated with foreign nations and between the States; new States have been admitted into our Union; our territory has been enlarged by fair and honorable treaty, and with great advantage to the original States; the States, respectively protected by the National Government under a mild, parental system against foreign dangers, and enjoying within their separate spheres, by a wise partition of power, a just proportion of the sovereignty, have improved their police, extended their settlements, and attained a strength and maturity which are the best proofs of wholesome laws well administered. And if we look to the condition of individuals what a proud spectacle does it exhibit! On whom has oppression fallen in any quarter of our Union? Who has been deprived of any right of person or property? Who restrained from offering his vows in the mode which he prefers to the Divine Author of his being? It is well known that all these blessings have been enjoyed in their fullest extent; and I add with peculiar satisfaction that there has been no example of a capital punishment being inflicted on anyone for the crime of high treason.

Some who might admit the competency of our Government to these beneficent duties might doubt it in trials which put to the test its strength and efficiency as a member of the great community of nations. Here too experience has afforded us the most satisfactory proof in its favor. Just as this Constitution was put into action several of the principal States of Europe had become much agitated and some of them seriously convulsed. Destructive wars ensued, which have of late only been terminated. In the course of these conflicts the United States received great injury from several of the parties. It was their interest to stand aloof from the contest, to demand justice from the party committing the injury, and to cultivate by a fair and honorable conduct the friendship of all. War became at length inevitable, and the result has shown that our Government is equal to that, the greatest of trials, under the most unfavorable circumstances. Of the virtue of the people and of the heroic exploits of the Army, the Navy, and the militia I need not speak.

Such, then, is the happy Government under which we live—a Government adequate to every purpose for which the social compact is formed, a Government elective in all its branches, under which every citizen may by his merit obtain the highest trust recognized by the Constitution; which contains within it no cause of discord, none to put at variance one portion of the community with another; a Government which protects every citizen in the full enjoyment of his rights, and is able to protect the nation against injustice from foreign powers.

Other considerations of the highest importance admonish us to cherish our Union and to cling to the Government which supports it. Fortunate as we are in our political institutions, we have not been less so in other circumstances on which our prosperity and happiness essentially depend. Situated within the temperate zone, and extending through many degrees of latitude along the Atlantic, the United States enjoy all the varieties of climate, and every production incident to that portion of the globe. Penetrating internally to the Great Lakes and beyond the sources of the great rivers which communicate through our whole interior, no country was ever happier with respect to its domain. Blessed, too, with a fertile soil, our produce has always been very abundant, leaving, even in years the least favorable, a surplus for the wants of our fellow-men in other countries. Such is our peculiar felicity that there is not a part of our Union that is not particularly interested in preserving it. The great agricultural interest of the nation prospers under its protection. Local interests are not less fostered by it. Our fellow-citizens of the North engaged in navigation find great encouragement in being made the favored carriers of the vast productions of the other portions of the United States, while the inhabitants of these are amply recompensed, in their turn, by the nursery for seamen and naval force thus formed and reared up for the support of our common rights. Our manufactures find a generous encouragement by the policy which patronizes domestic industry, and the surplus of our produce a steady and profitable market by local wants in less-favored parts at home.

Such, then, being the highly favored condition of our country, it is the interest of every citizen to maintain it. What are the dangers which menace us? If any exist they ought to be ascertained and guarded against.

In explaining my sentiments on this subject it may be asked, What raised us to the present happy state? How did we accomplish the Revolution? How remedy the defects of the first instrument of our Union, by infusing into the National Government sufficient power for national purposes, without impairing the just rights of the States or affecting those of individuals? How sustain and pass with glory through the late war? The Government has been in the hands of the people. To the people, therefore, and to the faithful and able depositaries of their trust is the credit due. Had the people of the United States been educated in different principles, had they been less intelligent, less independent, or less virtuous, can it be believed that we should have maintained the same steady and consistent career or been blessed with the same success? While, then, the constituent body retains its present sound and healthful state everything will be safe. They will choose competent and faithful representatives for every department. It is only when the people become ignorant and corrupt, when they degenerate into a populace, that they are incapable of exercising the sovereignty. Usurpation is then an easy attainment, and an usurper soon found. The people themselves become the willing instruments of their own debasement and ruin. Let us, then, look to the great cause, and endeavor to preserve it in full force. Let us by all wise and constitutional measures promote intelligence among the people as the best means of preserving our liberties.

Dangers from abroad are not less deserving of attention. Experiencing the fortune of other nations, the United States may be again involved in war, and it may in that event be the object of the adverse party to overset our Government, to break our Union, and demolish us as a nation. Our distance from Europe and the just, moderate, and pacific policy of our Government may form some security against these dangers, but they ought to be anticipated and guarded against. Many of our citizens are engaged in commerce and navigation, and all of them are in a certain degree dependent on their prosperous state. Many are engaged in the fisheries. These interests are exposed to invasion in the wars between other powers, and we should disregard the faithful admonition of experience if we did not expect it. We must support our rights or lose our character, and with it, perhaps, our liberties. A people who fail to do it can scarcely be said to hold a place among independent nations. National honor is national property of the highest value. The sentiment in the mind of every citizen is national strength. It ought therefore to be cherished.

To secure us against these dangers our coast and inland frontiers should be fortified, our Army and Navy, regulated upon just principles as to the force of each, be kept in perfect order, and our militia be placed on the best practicable footing. To put our extensive coast in such a state of defense as to secure our cities and interior from invasion will be attended with expense, but the work when finished will be permanent, and it is fair to presume that a single campaign of invasion by a naval force superior to our own, aided by a few thousand land troops, would expose us to greater expense, without taking into the estimate the loss of property and distress of our citizens, than would be sufficient for this great work. Our land and naval forces should be moderate, but adequate to the necessary purposes—the former to garrison and preserve our fortifications and to meet the first invasions of a foreign foe, and, while constituting the elements of a greater force, to preserve the science as well as all the necessary implements of war in a state to be brought into activity in the event of war; the latter, retained within the limits proper in a state of peace, might aid in maintaining the neutrality of the United States with dignity in the wars of other powers and in saving the property of their citizens from spoliation. In time of war, with the enlargement of which the great naval resources of the country render it susceptible, and which should be duly fostered in time of peace, it would contribute essentially, both as an auxiliary of defense and as a powerful engine of annoyance, to diminish the calamities of war and to bring the war to a speedy and honorable termination.

But it ought always to be held prominently in view that the safety of these States and of everything dear to a free people must depend in an eminent degree on the militia. Invasions may be made too formidable to be resisted by any land and naval force which it would comport either with the principles of our Government or the circumstances of the United States to maintain. In such cases recourse must be had to the great body of the people, and in a manner to produce the best effect. It is of the highest importance, therefore, that they be so organized and trained as to be prepared for any emergency. The arrangement should be such as to put at the command of the Government the ardent patriotism and youthful vigor of the country. If formed on equal and just principles, it can not be oppressive. It is the crisis which makes the pressure, and not the laws which provide a remedy for it. This arrangement should be formed, too, in time of peace, to be the better prepared for war. With such an organization of such a people the United States have nothing to dread from foreign invasion. At its approach an overwhelming force of gallant men might always be put in motion.

Other interests of high importance will claim attention, among which the improvement of our country by roads and canals, proceeding always with a constitutional sanction, holds a distinguished place. By thus facilitating the intercourse between the States we shall add much to the convenience and comfort of our fellow-citizens, much to the ornament of the country, and, what is of greater importance, we shall shorten distances, and, by making each part more accessible to and dependent on the other, we shall bind the Union more closely together. Nature has done so much for us by intersecting the country with so many great rivers, bays, and lakes, approaching from distant points so near to each other, that the inducement to complete the work seems to be peculiarly strong. A more interesting spectacle was perhaps never seen than is exhibited within the limits of the United States—a territory so vast and advantageously situated, containing objects so grand, so useful, so happily connected in all their parts!

Our manufactures will likewise require the systematic and fostering care of the Government. Possessing as we do all the raw materials, the fruit of our own soil and industry, we ought not to depend in the degree we have done on supplies from other countries. While we are thus dependent the sudden event of war, unsought and unexpected, can not fail to plunge us into the most serious difficulties, it is important, too, that the capital which nourishes our manufactures should be domestic, as its influence in that case instead of exhausting, as it may do in foreign hands, would be felt advantageously on agriculture and every other branch of industry. Equally important is it to provide at home a market for our raw materials, as by extending the competition it will enhance the price and protect the cultivator against the casualties incident to foreign markets.

With the Indian tribes it is our duty to cultivate friendly relations and to act with kindness and liberality in all our transactions. Equally proper is it to persevere in our efforts to extend to them the advantages of civilization.

The great amount of our revenue and the flourishing state of the Treasury are a full proof of the competency of the national resources for any emergency, as they are of the willingness of our fellow citizens to bear the burdens which the public necessities require. The vast amount of vacant lands, the value of which daily augments, forms an additional resource of great extent and duration. These resources, besides accomplishing every other necessary purpose, put it completely in the power of the United States to discharge the national debt at an early period. Peace is the best time for improvement and preparation of every kind; it is in peace that our commerce flourishes most, that taxes are most easily paid, and that the revenue is most productive.

The Executive is charged officially in the Departments under it with the disbursement of the public money, and is responsible for the faithful application of it to the purposes for which it is raised. The Legislature is the watchful guardian over the public purse. It is its duty to see that the disbursement has been honestly made. To meet the requisite responsibility every facility should be afforded to the Executive to enable it to bring the public agents intrusted with the public money strictly and promptly to account. Nothing should be presumed against them; but if, with the requisite facilities, the public money is suffered to lie long and uselessly in their hands, they will not be the only defaulters, nor will the demoralizing effect be confined to them. It will evince a relaxation and want of tone in the Administration which will be felt by the whole community. I shall do all I can to secure economy and fidelity in this important branch of the Administration, and I doubt not that the Legislature will perform its duty with equal zeal. A thorough examination should be regularly made, and I will promote it.

It is particularly gratifying to me to enter on the discharge of these duties at a time when the United States are blessed with peace. It is a state most consistent with their prosperity and happiness. It will be my sincere desire to preserve it, so far as depends on the Executive, on just principles with all nations, claiming nothing unreasonable of any and rendering to each what is its due.

Equally gratifying is it to witness the increased harmony of opinion which pervades our Union. Discord does not belong to our system. Union is recommended as well by the free and benign principles of our Government, extending its blessings to every individual, as by the other eminent advantages attending it. The American people have encountered together great dangers and sustained severe trials with success. They constitute one great family with a common interest. Experience has enlightened us on some questions of essential importance to the country. The progress has been slow, dictated by a just reflection and a faithful regard to every interest connected with it. To promote this harmony in accord with the principles of our republican Government and in a manner to give them the most complete effect, and to advance in all other respects the best interests of our Union, will be the object of my constant and zealous exertions.

Never did a government commence under auspices so favorable, nor ever was success so complete. If we look to the history of other nations, ancient or modern, we find no example of a growth so rapid, so gigantic, of a people so prosperous and happy. In contemplating what we have still to perform, the heart of every citizen must expand with joy when he reflects how near our Government has approached to perfection; that in respect to it we have no essential improvement to make; that the great object is to preserve it in the essential principles and features which characterize it, and that that is to be done by preserving the virtue and enlightening the minds of the people; and as a security against foreign dangers to adopt such arrangements as are indispensable to the support of our independence, our rights and liberties. If we persevere in the career in which we have advanced so far and in the path already traced, we can not fail, under the favor of a gracious Providence, to attain the high destiny which seems to await us.

In the Administrations of the illustrious men who have preceded me in this high station, with some of whom I have been connected by the closest ties from early life, examples are presented which will always be found highly instructive and useful to their successors. From these I shall endeavor to derive all the advantages which they may afford. Of my immediate predecessor, under whom so important a portion of this great and successful experiment has been made, I shall be pardoned for expressing my earnest wishes that he may long enjoy in his retirement the affections of a grateful country, the best reward of exalted talents and the most faithful and meritorious services. Relying on the aid to be derived from the other departments of the Government, I enter on the trust to which I have been called by the suffrages of my fellow citizens with my fervent prayers to the Almighty that He will be graciously pleased to continue to us that protection which He has already so conspicuously displayed in our favor.

MARCH 4, 1817.



PROCLAMATION.

[From Niles's Weekly Register, vol. 12, p. 176.]

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

Whereas by an act entitled "An act providing for the sale of the tract of land at the lower rapids of Sandusky River," passed on the 27th day of April, 1816, it was enacted that all the lands in the said tract, except the reservations made in the said act, should be offered for sale to the highest bidder at Wooster, in the State of Ohio, under the direction of the register of the land office and the receiver of public moneys at Wooster, and on such day or days as shall, by a public proclamation of the President of the United States, be designated for that purpose; and

Whereas by an act entitled "An act providing for the sale of the tract of land at the British fort at the Miami of the Lake, at the foot of the rapids, and for other purposes," passed the 27th day of April, 1816, it was enacted that all the land contained in the said tract, except the reservations and exceptions made in the said act, should be offered for sale to the highest bidder at Wooster, in the State of Ohio, under the direction of the register of the land office and the receiver of public moneys at Wooster, and on such day or days as shall, by a public proclamation of the President of the United States, be designated for that purpose:

Wherefore I, James Monroe, President of the United States, in conformity with the provisions of the acts before recited, do hereby declare and make known that the lands authorized to be sold by the first mentioned act shall be offered for sale to the highest bidder at Wooster, in the State of Ohio, on the first Monday in July next, and continue open for seven days and no longer, and that the lands authorized to be sold by the last-mentioned act shall be offered for sale to the highest bidder at the same place on the third Tuesday in July next, and continue open for seven days and no longer.

Given under my hand this 15th day of April, 1817.

JAMES MONROE.

By the President: J. MEIGS, Commissioner of the General Land Office



FIRST ANNUAL MESSAGE.

Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and of the House of Representatives:

At no period of our political existence had we so much cause to felicitate ourselves at the prosperous and happy condition of our country. The abundant fruits of the earth have filled it with plenty. An extensive and profitable commerce has greatly augmented our revenue. The public credit has attained an extraordinary elevation. Our preparations for defense in case of future wars, from which, by the experience of all nations, we ought not to expect to be exempted, are advancing under a well-digested system with all the dispatch which so important a work will admit. Our free Government, founded on the interest and affections of the people, has gained and is daily gaining strength. Local jealousies are rapidly yielding to more generous, enlarged, and enlightened views of national policy. For advantages so numerous and highly important it is our duty to unite in grateful acknowledgments to that Omnipotent Being from whom they are derived, and in unceasing prayer that He will endow us with virtue and strength to maintain and hand them down in their utmost purity to our latest posterity.

I have the satisfaction to inform you that an arrangement which had been commenced by my predecessor with the British Government for the reduction of the naval force by Great Britain and the United States on the Lakes has been concluded, by which it is provided that neither party shall keep in service on Lake Champlain more than one vessel, on Lake Ontario more than one, and on Lake Erie and the upper lakes more than two, to be armed each with one cannon only, and that all the other armed vessels of both parties, of which an exact list is interchanged, shall be dismantled. It is also agreed that the force retained shall be restricted in its duty to the internal purposes of each party, and that the arrangement shall remain in force until six months shall have expired after notice given by one of the parties to the other of its desire that it should terminate. By this arrangement useless expense on both sides and, what is of still greater importance, the danger of collision between armed vessels in those inland waters, which was great, is prevented.

I have the satisfaction also to state that the commissioners under the fourth article of the treaty of Ghent, to whom it was referred to decide to which party the several islands in the bay of Passamaquoddy belonged under the treaty of 1783, have agreed in a report, by which all the islands in the possession of each party before the late war have been decreed to it. The commissioners acting under the other articles of the treaty of Ghent for the settlement of boundaries have also been engaged in the discharge, of their respective duties, but have not yet completed them. The difference which arose between the two Governments under that treaty respecting the right of the United States to take and cure fish on the coast of the British provinces north of our limits, which had been secured by the treaty of 1783, is still in negotiation. The proposition made by this Government to extend to the colonies of Great Britain the principle of the convention of London, by which the commerce between the ports of the United States and British ports in Europe had been placed on a footing of equality, has been declined by the British Government. This subject having been thus amicably discussed between the two Governments, and it appearing that the British Government is unwilling to depart from its present regulations, it remains for Congress to decide whether they will make any other regulations in consequence thereof for the protection and improvement of our navigation.

The negotiation with Spain for spoliations on our commerce and the settlement of boundaries remains essentially in the state it held by the communications that were made to Congress by my predecessor. It has been evidently the policy of the Spanish Government to keep the negotiation suspended, and in this the United States have acquiesced, from an amicable disposition toward Spain and in the expectation that her Government would, from a sense of justice, finally accede to such an arrangement as would be equal between the parties. A disposition has been lately shown by the Spanish Government to move in the negotiation, which has been met by this Government, and should the conciliatory and friendly policy which has invariably guided our councils be reciprocated, a just and satisfactory arrangement maybe expected. It is proper, however, to remark that no proposition has yet been made from which such a result can be presumed.

It was anticipated at an early stage that the contest between Spain and the colonies would become highly interesting to the United States. It was natural that our citizens should sympathize in events which affected their neighbors. It seemed probable also that the prosecution of the conflict along our coast and in contiguous countries would occasionally interrupt our commerce and otherwise affect the persons and property of our citizens. These anticipations have been realized. Such injuries have been received from persons acting under authority of both the parties, and for which redress has in most instances been withheld. Through every stage of the conflict the United States have maintained an impartial neutrality, giving aid to neither of the parties in men, money, ships, or munitions of war. They have regarded the contest not in the light of an ordinary insurrection or rebellion, but as a civil war between parties nearly equal, having as to neutral powers equal rights. Our ports have been open to both, and every article the fruit of our soil or of the industry of our citizens which either was permitted to take has been equally free to the other. Should the colonies establish their independence, it is proper now to state that this Government neither seeks nor would accept from them any advantage in commerce or otherwise which will not be equally open to all other nations. The colonies will in that event become independent states, free from any obligation to or connection with us which it may not then be their interest to form on the basis of a fair reciprocity.

In the summer of the present year an expedition was set on foot against East Florida by persons claiming to act under the authority of some of the colonies, who took possession of Amelia Island, at the mouth of the St. Marys River, near the boundary of the State of Georgia. As this Province lies eastward of the Mississippi, and is bounded by the United States and the ocean on every side, and has been a subject of negotiation with the Government of Spain as an indemnity for losses by spoliation or in exchange for territory of equal value westward of the Mississippi, a fact well known to the world, it excited surprise that any countenance should be given to this measure by any of the colonies. As it would be difficult to reconcile it with the friendly relations existing between the United States and the colonies, a doubt was entertained whether it had been authorized by them, or any of them. This doubt has gained strength by the circumstances which have unfolded themselves in the prosecution of the enterprise, which have marked it as a mere private, unauthorized adventure. Projected and commenced with an incompetent force, reliance seems to have been placed on what might be drawn, in defiance of our laws, from within our limits; and of late, as their resources have failed, it has assumed a more marked character of unfriendliness to us, the island being made a channel for the illicit introduction of slaves from Africa into the United States, an asylum for fugitive slaves from the neighboring States, and a port for smuggling of every kind.

A similar establishment was made at an earlier period by persons of the same description in the Gulf of Mexico at a place called Galvezton, within the limits of the United States, as we contend, under the cession of Louisiana. This enterprise has been marked in a more signal manner by all the objectionable circumstances which characterized the other, and more particularly by the equipment of privateers which have annoyed our commerce, and by smuggling. These establishments, if ever sanctioned by any authority whatever, which is not believed, have abused their trust and forfeited all claim to consideration. A just regard for the rights and interests of the United States required that they should be suppressed, and orders have been accordingly issued to that effect. The imperious considerations which produced this measure will be explained to the parties whom it may in any degree concern.

To obtain correct information on every subject in which the United States are interested; to inspire just sentiments in all persons in authority, on either side, of our friendly disposition so far as it may comport with an impartial neutrality, and to secure proper respect to our commerce in every port and from every flag, it has been thought proper to send a ship of war with three distinguished citizens along the southern coast with instruction to touch at such ports as they may find most expedient for these purposes. With the existing authorities, with those in the possession of and exercising the sovereignty, must the communication be held; from them alone can redress for past injuries committed by persons acting under them be obtained; by them alone can the commission of the like in future be prevented.

Our relations with the other powers of Europe have experienced no essential change since the last session. In our intercourse with each due attention continues to be paid to the protection of our commerce, and to every other object in which the United States are interested. A strong hope is entertained that, by adhering to the maxims of a just, a candid, and friendly policy, we may long preserve amicable relations with all the powers of Europe on conditions advantageous and honorable to our country.

With the Barbary States and the Indian tribes our pacific relations have been preserved.

In calling your attention to the internal concerns of our country the view which they exhibit is peculiarly gratifying. The payments which have been made into the Treasury show the very productive state of the public revenue. After satisfying the appropriations made by law for the support of the civil Government and of the military and naval establishments, embracing suitable provision for fortifications and for the gradual increase of the Navy, paying the interest of the public debt, and extinguishing more than eighteen millions of the principal, within the present year, it is estimated that a balance of more than $6,000,000 will remain in the Treasury on the 1st day of January applicable to the current service of the ensuing year.

The payments into the Treasury during the year 1818 on account of imposts and tonnage, resulting principally from duties which have accrued in the present year, may be fairly estimated at $20,000,000; the internal revenues at $2,500,000; the public lands at $1,500,000; bank dividends and incidental receipts at $500,000; making in the whole $24,500,000.

The annual permanent expenditure for the support of the civil Government and of the Army and Navy, as now established by law, amounts to $11,800,000, and for the sinking fund to $10,000,000, making in the whole $21,800,000, leaving an annual excess of revenue beyond the expenditure of $2,700,000, exclusive of the balance estimated to be in the Treasury on the 1st day of January, 1818.

In the present state of the Treasury the whole of the Louisiana debt maybe redeemed in the year 1819, after which, if the public debt continues as it now is, above par, there will be annually about five millions of the sinking fund unexpended until the year 1825, when the loan of 1812 and the stock created by funding Treasury notes will be redeemable.

It is also estimated that the Mississippi stock will be discharged during the year 1819 from the proceeds of the public lands assigned to that object, after which the receipts from those lands will annually add to the public revenue the sum of one million and a half, making the permanent annual revenue amount to $26,000,000, and leaving an annual excess of revenue after the year 1819 beyond the permanent authorized expenditure of more than $4,000,000.

By the last returns to the Department of War the militia force of the several States may be estimated at 800,000 men—infantry, artillery, and cavalry. Great part of this force is armed, and measures are taken to arm the whole. An improvement in the organization and discipline of the militia is one of the great objects which claims the unremitted attention of Congress.

The regular force amounts nearly to the number required by law, and is stationed along the Atlantic and inland frontiers.

Of the naval force it has been necessary to maintain strong squadrons in the Mediterranean and in the Gulf of Mexico.

From several of the Indian tribes inhabiting the country bordering on Lake Erie purchases have been made of lands on conditions very favorable to the United States, and, as it is presumed, not less so to the tribes themselves.

By these purchases the Indian title, with moderate reservations, has been extinguished to the whole of the land within the limits of the State of Ohio, and to a part of that in the Michigan Territory and of the State of Indiana. From the Cherokee tribe a tract has been purchased in the State of Georgia and an arrangement made by which, in exchange for lands beyond the Mississippi, a great part, if not the whole, of the land belonging to that tribe eastward of that river in the States of North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee, and in the Alabama Territory will soon be acquired. By these acquisitions, and others that may reasonably be expected soon to follow, we shall be enabled to extend our settlements from the inhabited parts of the State of Ohio along Lake Erie into the Michigan Territory, and to connect our settlements by degrees through the State of Indiana and the Illinois Territory to that of Missouri. A similar and equally advantageous effect will soon be produced to the south, through the whole extent of the States and territory which border on the waters emptying into the Mississippi and the Mobile. In this progress, which the rights of nature demand and nothing can prevent, marking a growth rapid and gigantic, it is our duty to make new efforts for the preservation, improvement, and civilization of the native inhabitants. The hunter state can exist only in the vast uncultivated desert. It yields to the more dense and compact form and greater force of civilized population; and of right it ought to yield, for the earth was given to mankind to support the greatest number of which it is capable, and no tribe or people have a right to withhold from the wants of others more than is necessary for their own support and comfort. It is gratifying to know that the reservations of land made by the treaties with the tribes on Lake Erie were made with a view to individual ownership among them and to the cultivation of the soil by all, and that an annual stipend has been pledged to supply their other wants. It will merit the consideration of Congress whether other provision not stipulated by treaty ought to be made for these tribes and for the advancement of the liberal and humane policy of the United States toward all the tribes within our limits, and more particularly for their improvement in the arts of civilized life.

Among the advantages incident to these purchases, and to those which have preceded, the security which may thereby be afforded to our inland frontiers is peculiarly important. With a strong barrier, consisting of our own people, thus planted on the Lakes, the Mississippi, and the Mobile, with the protection to be derived from the regular force, Indian hostilities, if they do not altogether cease, will henceforth lose their terror. Fortifications in those quarters to any extent will not be necessary, and the expense attending them may be saved. A people accustomed to the use of firearms only, as the Indian tribes are, will shun even moderate works which are defended by cannon. Great fortifications will therefore be requisite only in future along the coast and at some points in the interior connected with it. On these will the safety of our towns and the commerce of our great rivers, from the Bay of Fundy to the Mississippi, depend. On these, therefore, should the utmost attention, skill, and labor be bestowed.

A considerable and rapid augmentation in the value of all the public lands, proceeding from these and other obvious causes, may henceforward be expected. The difficulties attending early emigrations will be dissipated even in the most remote parts. Several new States have been admitted into our Union to the west and south, and Territorial governments, happily organized, established over every other portion in which there is vacant land for sale. In terminating Indian hostilities, as must soon be done, in a formidable shape at least, the emigration, which has heretofore been great, will probably increase, and the demand for land and the augmentation in its value be in like proportion. The great increase of our population throughout the Union will alone produce an important effect, and in no quarter will it be so sensibly felt as in those in contemplation. The public lands are a public stock, which ought to be disposed of to the best advantage for the nation. The nation should therefore derive the profit proceeding from the continual rise in their value. Every encouragement should be given to the emigrants consistent with a fair competition between them, but that competition should operate in the first sale to the advantage of the nation rather than of individuals. Great capitalists will derive all the benefit incident to their superior wealth under any mode of sale which may be adopted. But if, looking forward to the rise in the value of the public lands, they should have the opportunity of amassing at a low price vast bodies in their hands, the profit will accrue to them and not to the public. They would also have the power in that degree to control the emigration and settlement in such a manner as their opinion of their respective interests might dictate. I submit this subject to the consideration of Congress, that such further provision may be made in the sale of the public lands, with a view to the public interest, should any be deemed expedient, as in their judgment may be best adapted to the object.

When we consider the vast extent of territory within the United States, the great amount and value of its productions, the connection of its parts, and other circumstances on which their prosperity and happiness depend, we can not fail to entertain a high sense of the advantage to be derived from the facility which may be afforded in the intercourse between them by means of good roads and canals. Never did a country of such vast extent offer equal inducements to improvements of this kind, nor ever were consequences of such magnitude involved in them. As this subject was acted on by Congress at the last session, and there may be a disposition to revive it at the present, I have brought it into view for the purpose of communicating my sentiments on a very important circumstance connected with it with that freedom and candor which a regard for the public interest and a proper respect for Congress require. A difference of opinion has existed from the first formation of our Constitution to the present time among our most enlightened and virtuous citizens respecting the right of Congress to establish such a system of improvement. Taking into view the trust with which I am now honored, it would be improper after what has passed that this discussion should be revived with an uncertainty of my opinion respecting the right. Disregarding early impressions, I have bestowed on the subject all the deliberation which its great importance and a just sense of my duty required, and the result is a settled conviction in my mind that Congress do not possess the right. It is not contained in any of the specified powers granted to Congress, nor can I consider it incidental to or a necessary means, viewed on the most liberal scale, for carrying into effect any of the powers which are specifically granted. In communicating this result I can not resist the obligation which I feel to suggest to Congress the propriety of recommending to the States the adoption of an amendment to the Constitution which shall give to Congress the right in question. In cases of doubtful construction, especially of such vital interest, it comports with the nature and origin of our institutions, and will contribute much to preserve them, to apply to our constituents for an explicit grant of the power. We may confidently rely that if it appears to their satisfaction that the power is necessary, it will always be granted.

In this case I am happy to observe that experience has afforded the most ample proof of its utility, and that the benign spirit of conciliation and harmony which now manifests itself throughout our Union promises to such a recommendation the most prompt and favorable result. I think proper to suggest also, in case this measure is adopted, that it be recommended to the States to include in the amendment sought a right in Congress to institute likewise seminaries of learning, for the all-important purpose of diffusing knowledge among our fellow-citizens throughout the United States.

Our manufactories will require the continued attention of Congress. The capital employed in them is considerable, and the knowledge acquired in the machinery and fabric of all the most useful manufactures is of great value. Their preservation, which depends on due encouragement is connected with the high interests of the nation.

Although the progress of the public buildings has been as favorable as circumstances have permitted, it is to be regretted that the Capitol is not yet in a state to receive you. There is good cause to presume that the two wings, the only parts as yet commenced, will be prepared for that purpose at the next session. The time seems now to have arrived when this subject may be deemed worthy the attention of Congress on a scale adequate to national purposes. The completion of the middle building will be necessary to the convenient accommodation of Congress, of the committees, and various offices belonging to it. It is evident that the other public buildings are altogether insufficient for the accommodation of the several Executive Departments, some of whom are much crowded and even subjected to the necessity of obtaining it in private buildings at some distance from the head of the Department, and with inconvenience to the management of the public business. Most nations have taken an interest and a pride in the improvement and ornament of their metropolis, and none were more conspicuous in that respect than the ancient republics. The policy which dictated the establishment of a permanent residence for the National Government and the spirit in which it was commenced and has been prosecuted show that such improvement was thought worthy the attention of this nation. Its central position, between the northern and southern extremes of our Union, and its approach to the west at the head of a great navigable river which interlocks with the Western waters, prove the wisdom of the councils which established it.

Nothing appears to be more reasonable and proper than that convenient accommodation should be provided on a well-digested plan for the heads of the several Departments and for the Attorney-General, and it is believed that the public ground in the city applied to these objects will be found amply sufficient. I submit this subject to the consideration of Congress, that such further provision may be made in it as to them may seem proper.

In contemplating the happy situation of the United States, our attention is drawn with peculiar interest to the surviving officers and soldiers of our Revolutionary army, who so eminently contributed by their services to lay its foundation. Most of those very meritorious citizens have paid the debt of nature and gone to repose. It is believed that among the survivors there are some not provided for by existing laws, who are reduced to indigence and even to real distress. These men have a claim on the gratitude of their country, and it will do honor to their country to provide for them. The lapse of a few years more and the opportunity will be forever lost; indeed, so long already has been the interval that the number to be benefited by any provision which may be made will not be great.

It appearing in a satisfactory manner that the revenue arising from imposts and tonnage and from the sale of the public lands will be fully adequate to the support of the civil Government, of the present military and naval establishments, including the annual augmentation of the latter to the extent provided for, to the payment of the interest of the public debt, and to the extinguishment of it at the times authorized, without the aid of the internal taxes, I consider it my duty to recommend to Congress their repeal. To impose taxes when the public exigencies require them is an obligation of the most sacred character, especially with a free people. The faithful fulfillment of it is among the highest proofs of their virtue and capacity for self-government. To dispense with taxes when it may be done with perfect safety is equally the duty of their representatives. In this instance we have the satisfaction to know that they were imposed when the demand was imperious, and have been sustained with exemplary fidelity. I have to add that however gratifying it may be to me regarding the prosperous and happy condition of our country to recommend the repeal of these taxes at this time, I shall nevertheless be attentive to events, and, should any future emergency occur, be not less prompt to suggest such measures and burdens as may then be requisite and proper.

JAMES MONROE.

DECEMBER 2, 1817.



SPECIAL MESSAGES.

To the Senate of the United States:

I submit to the Senate, for their consideration and advice, the following treaties entered into with several of the Indian tribes, to wit:

A treaty of peace and friendship made and concluded by William Clark, Ninian Edwards, and Auguste Choteau, commissioners on the part of the United States of America, and the chiefs and warriors of the Menomene tribe or nation of Indians, on the 30th of March, 1817, at St. Louis.

A treaty of peace and friendship made and concluded on the 4th June, 1817, at St. Louis, by William Clark, Ninian Edwards, and Auguste Choteau, commissioners on the part of the United States of America, and the chiefs and warriors of the Ottoes tribe of Indians.

A treaty of peace and friendship made and concluded on the 5th June, 1817, at St. Louis, by William Clark, Ninian Edwards, and Auguste Choteau, commissioners on the part of the United States of America, and the chiefs and warriors of the Poncarar tribe of Indians.

A treaty concluded at the Cherokee Agency on the 8th of July, 1817, between Major-General Andrew Jackson, Joseph McMinn, governor of the State of Tennessee, and General David Meriwether, commissioners of the United States of America, of the one part, and the chiefs, headmen, and warriors of the Cherokee Nation east of the Mississippi River and the chiefs, headmen, and warriors of the Cherokees on the Arkansas River, and their deputies, John D. Chisholm and James Rogers.

A treaty concluded on the 29th day of September, 1817, at the foot of the Rapids of the Miami of Lake Erie, between Lewis Cass and Duncan McArthur, commissioners of the United States, and the sachems, chiefs, and warriors of the Wyandot, Seneca, Delaware, Shawnese, Potawatamies, Ottawas, and Chippewa tribes of Indians.

The Wyandots and other tribes parties to the treaty lately concluded with them have, by a deputation to this city, requested permission to retain possession of such lands as they actually cultivate and reside on, for the ensuing year. They have also expressed a desire that the reservations made in their favor should be enlarged, representing that they had entered into the treaty in full confidence that that would be done, preferring a reliance on the justice of the United States for such extension rather than that the treaty should fail.

The Wyandots claim an extension of their reservation to 16 miles square, and the other tribes in a proportional degree. Sufficient information is not now in the possession of the Executive to enable it to decide how far it may be proper to comply with the wishes of these tribes in the extent desired. The necessary information may be obtained in the course of the next year, and if they are permitted to remain in the possession of the lands they cultivate during that time such further extension of their reservations may be made by law at the next session as justice and a liberal policy toward these people may require. It is submitted to the consideration of the Senate whether it may not be proper to annex to their advice and consent for the ratification of the treaty a declaration providing for the above objects.

JAMES MONROE.

DECEMBER 11, 1817.



WASHINGTON, December 15, 1817.

To the House of Representatives of the United States:

In compliance with the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 8th of this month, I transmit, for the information of the House, a report from the Secretary of State, with the documents referred to in it, containing all the information in the possession of the Executive which it is proper to disclose, relative to certain persons who lately took possession of Amelia Island and Galvezton.

JAMES MONROE.



DECEMBER 18, 1817.

To the Senate of the United States:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 11th of this month, I transmit, for the information of the Senate, a report from the Secretary of the Treasury, relating to the progress made in surveying the several tracts of military bounty lands appropriated by Congress for the late army of the United States, and the time at which such survey will probably be completed.

JAMES MONROE.



DECEMBER 22, 1817.

To the House of Representatives:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of the 11th of this month, requesting to be informed of the present strength of the Army of the United States, its distribution among the several military posts which it is designed to protect, and its competency to preserve and defend the fortifications amongst which it is distributed, and to aid in constructing such other military works, if any, as it may be deemed proper to erect for the more effectual security of the United States and of the Territories thereof, I now transmit a report from the Secretary of War which contains the information desired.

JAMES MONROE.



DECEMBER 29, 1817.

To the Senate of the United States:

In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of the 16th of this month, requesting information touching the execution of so much of the first article of the treaty of Ghent as relates to the restitution of slaves, which has not heretofore been communicated, I now transmit a report of the Secretary of State on that subject.

JAMES MONROE.



DECEMBER 29, 1817.

To the House of Representatives of the United States:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of the 12th of this month, requesting to be informed whether any, and which, of the Representatives in a list thereto annexed have held offices since the 4th of March last, designating the offices, the times of appointment and acceptance, and whether they were at that time so held or when they had been resigned, I now transmit a report from the Secretary of State which contains the information desired.

JAMES MONROE.



WASHINGTON, January 12, 1818.

To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States:

The claim of the representatives of the late Caron de Beaumarchais having been recommended to the favorable consideration of the Legislature by my predecessor in his message to Congress of the 31st of January last, and concurring in the sentiments therein expressed, I now transmit copies of a new representation relative to it received by the Secretary of State from the minister of France, and of a correspondence on the subject between the minister of the United States at Paris and the Duke of Richelieu, inclosed with that representation.

JAMES MONROE.



To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States:

I have the satisfaction to inform Congress that the establishment at Amelia Island has been suppressed, and without the effusion of blood. The papers which explain this transaction I now lay before Congress.

By the suppression of this establishment and of that at Galveztown, which will soon follow; if it has not already ceased to exist, there is good cause to believe that the consummation of a project fraught with much injury to the United States has been prevented.

When we consider the persons engaged in it, being adventurers from different countries, with very few, if any, of the native inhabitants of the Spanish colonies; the territory on which the establishments were made—one on a portion of that claimed by the United States westward of the Mississippi, the other on a part of East Florida, a Province in negotiation between the United States and Spain; the claim of their leader as announced by his proclamation on taking possession of Amelia Island, comprising the whole of both the Floridas, without excepting that part of West Florida which is incorporated into the State of Louisiana; their conduct while in the possession of the island making it instrumental to every species of contraband, and, in regard to slaves, of the most odious and dangerous character, it may fairly be concluded that if the enterprise had succeeded on the scale on which it was formed much annoyance and injury would have resulted from it to the United States.

Other circumstances were thought to be no less deserving of attention. The institution of a government by foreign adventurers in the island, distinct from the colonial governments of Buenos Ayres, Venezuela, or Mexico, pretending to sovereignty and exercising its highest offices, particularly in granting commissions to privateers, were acts which could not fail to draw after them the most serious consequences. It was the duty of the Executive either to extend to this establishment all the advantages of that neutrality which the United States had proclaimed, and have observed in favor of the colonies of Spain who, by the strength of their own population and resources, had declared their independence and were affording strong proof of their ability to maintain it, or of making the discrimination which circumstances required.

Had the first course been pursued, we should not only have sanctioned all the unlawful claims and practices of this pretended Government in regard to the United States, but have countenanced a system of privateering in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere the ill effects of which might, and probably would, have been deeply and very extensively felt.

The path of duty was plain from the commencement, but it was painful to enter upon it while the obligation could be resisted. The law of 1811, lately published, and which it is therefore proper now to mention, was considered applicable to the case from the moment that the proclamation of the chief of the enterprise was seen, and its obligation was daily increased by other considerations of high importance already mentioned, which were deemed sufficiently strong in themselves to dictate the course which has been pursued.

Early intimation having been received of the dangerous purposes of these adventurers, timely precautions were taken by the establishment of a force near the St. Marys to prevent their effect, or it is probable that it would have been more sensibly felt.

To such establishments, made so near to our settlements in the expectation of deriving aid from them, it is particularly gratifying to find that very little encouragement was given. The example so conspicuously displayed by our fellow-citizens that their sympathies can not be perverted to improper purposes, but that a love of country, the influence of moral principles, and a respect for the laws are predominant with them, is a sure pledge that all the very flattering anticipations which have been formed of the success of our institutions will be realized. This example has proved that if our relations with foreign powers are to be changed it must be done by the constituted authorities, who alone, acting on a high responsibility, are competent to the purpose, and until such change is thus made that our fellow-citizens will respect the existing relations by a faithful adherence to the laws which secure them.

Believing that this enterprise, though undertaken by persons some of whom may have held commissions from some of the colonies, was unauthorized by and unknown to the colonial governments, full confidence is entertained that it will be disclaimed by them, and that effectual measures will be taken to prevent the abuse of their authority in all cases to the injury of the United States.

For these injuries, especially those proceeding from Amelia Island, Spain would be responsible if it was not manifest that, though committed in the latter instance through her territory, she was utterly unable to prevent them. Her territory, however, ought not to be made instrumental, through her inability to defend it, to purposes so injurious to the United States. To a country over which she fails to maintain her authority, and which she permits to be converted to the annoyance of her neighbors, her jurisdiction for the time necessarily ceases to exist. The territory of Spain will nevertheless be respected so far as it may be done consistently with the essential interests and safety of the United States. In expelling these adventurers from these posts it was not intended to make any conquest from Spain or to injure in any degree the cause of the colonies. Care will be taken that no part of the territory contemplated by the law of 1811 shall be occupied by a foreign government of any kind, or that injuries of the nature of those complained of shall be repeated; but this, it is expected, will be provided for with every other interest in a spirit of amity in the negotiation now depending with the Government of Spain.

JAMES MONROE.

JANUARY 13, 1818.



WASHINGTON, January 23, 1818.

To the House of Representatives of the United States:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of the 9th of December last, requesting information of what roads have been made or are in progress under the authority of the Executive of the United States, the States and Territories through which they pass or are intended to pass, the periods when they were ordered to be made, and how far they have been executed, I now communicate a report from the Secretary of the Treasury, and likewise a report from the Secretary of War, containing the information which is desired.

JAMES MONROE.



WASHINGTON, January 28, 1818.

To the Senate of the United States:

In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of the 22d of this month, requesting to be informed "in what manner the troops in the service of the United States now operating against the Seminole tribe of Indians have been subsisted, whether by contract or otherwise, and whether they have been furnished regularly with rations," I now transmit a report from the Secretary of War containing the information required.

JAMES MONROE.



WASHINGTON, January 29, 1818.

To the House of Representatives of the United States:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of the 23d of December last, requesting information relative to the imprisonment and detention in confinement of Richard W. Meade, a citizen of the United States, I now transmit to the House a report from the Secretary of State containing the information required.

JAMES MONROE.



To the Senate of the United States:

In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of the 8th of last month, requesting me to cause to be laid before it the proceedings which may have been had under an act entitled "An act for the gradual increase of the Navy of the United States," specifying the number of ships put on the stocks and of what class; the quantity of materials procured for shipbuilding, and also the sums of money which may have been paid out of the fund created by said act, and for what objects; and likewise the contracts which may have been entered into in execution of the act aforesaid on which moneys may not yet have been advanced, I now transmit a report of the Secretary of the Navy, accompanied by a report from the Board of Commissioners of the Navy, with documents which contain the information desired.

JAMES MONROE.

FEBRUARY 2, 1818.



WASHINGTON, February 6, 1818.

To the House of Representatives of the United States:

I transmit to the House of Representatives a report of the Secretary of State, in compliance with the resolution of said House requesting information respecting the ratification of the thirteenth article of the amendments to the Constitution of the United States.

JAMES MONROE.



WASHINGTON, February 10, 1818.

To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States:

As the house appropriated for the President of the United States will be finished this year, it is thought to merit the attention of the Congress in what manner it should be furnished and what measures ought to be adopted for the safe-keeping of the furniture in future. All the public furniture provided before 1814 having been destroyed with the public buildings in that year, and little afterwards procured, owing to the inadequacy of the appropriation, it has become necessary to provide almost every article requisite for such an establishment, whence the sum to be expended will be much greater than at any former period. The furniture in its kind and extent is thought to be an object not less deserving attention than the building for which it is intended. Both being national objects, each seems to have an equal claim to legislative sanction. The disbursement of the public money, too, ought, it is presumed, to be in like manner provided for by law. The person who may happen to be placed by the suffrage of his fellow-citizens in the high trust, having no personal interest in these concerns, should be exempted from undue responsibility respecting them.

For a building so extensive, intended for a purpose exclusively national, in which in the furniture provided for it a mingled regard is due to the simplicity and purity of our institutions and to the character of the people who are represented in it, the sum already appropriated has proved altogether inadequate, The present is therefore a proper time for Congress to take the subject into consideration, with a view to all the objects claiming attention, and to regulate it by law. On a knowledge of the furniture procured and the sum expended for it a just estimate may be formed regarding the extent of the building of what will still be wanting to furnish the house. Many of the articles, being of a durable nature, may be handed down through a long series of service, and being of great value, such as plate, ought not to be left altogether and at all times to the care of servants alone. It seems to be advisable that a public agent Should be charged with it during the occasional absences of the President, and have authority to transfer it from one President to another, and likewise to make reports of occasional deficiencies, as the basis on which further provision should be made.

It may also merit consideration whether it may not be proper to commit the care of the public buildings, particularly the President's house and the Capitol, with the grounds belonging to them, including likewise the furniture of the latter, in a more special manner to a public agent. Hitherto the charge of this valuable property seems to have been connected with the structure of the buildings and committed to those employed in it. This guard will necessarily cease when the buildings are finished, at which time the interest in them will be proportionably augmented. It is presumed that this trust is, in a certain degree at least, incidental to the other duties of the superintendent of the public buildings, but it may merit consideration whether it will not be proper to charge him with it more explicitly, and to give him authority to employ one or more persons under him for these purposes.

JAMES MONROE.



WASHINGTON, February 12, 1818.

To the Senate and House of Representatives:

I lay before the House of Representatives copies of two communications received at the Department of State from the minister of Great Britain, and submit to their consideration the propriety of making such legislative provisions as may be necessary for a compliance with the representations contained in them.

By the express terms of that compact it was, when ratified by the two Governments, to be in force for the term of four years from the day of its signature. The revocation of all the discriminating duties became, therefore, the obligation of both Governments from that day, and it is conceived that every individual who has been required to pay, and who has paid, any of the extra duties revoked by the convention has a just and lawful claim upon the respective Governments for its return. From various accidents it has happened that both here and in Great Britain the cessation of the extra duties has been fixed to commence at different times. It is desirable that Congress should pass an act providing for the return of all the extra duties incompatible with the terms of the convention which have been levied upon British vessels or merchandise after the 3d of July, 1815. The British Parliament have already set the example of fixing that day for the cessation of the extra duties of export by their act of 30th of June last, and the minister of the United States in London is instructed to require the extension of the same principle to all the extra duties levied on vessels and merchandise of the United States in the ports of Great Britain since that day. It is not doubted that the British Government will comply with this requisition, and that the act suggested may be passed by Congress with full confidence that the reciprocal measure will receive the sanction of the British Parliament.

JAMES MONROE.



WASHINGTON, February 23, 1818.

To the Senate of the United States:

In compliance with a resolution of the Senate requesting me to cause to be laid before them a statement of all the arms and accouterments which have been manufactured at the different armories of the United States, with the cost of each stand, and the number delivered to each State, respectively, under the act for arming the whole body of militia, I now transmit a report from the Secretary of War, with the documents marked A, B, and C, which, together with a report to him from the Ordnance Department, contains the information required.

JAMES MONROE.



WASHINGTON, February 23, 1818.

To the Senate of the United States:

In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of the 19th of January, 1818, requesting information of measures which have been taken in pursuance of so much of the act to authorize the appointment of a surveyor for lands in the northern part of the Mississippi Territory, passed the 3d of March, 1817, as relates to the reservation of certain sections for the purpose of laying out and establishing towns thereon, I now transmit a report from the Secretary of the Treasury, which, with the letters and charts referred to in it, contains all the information which is desired.

JAMES MONROE.



WASHINGTON, February 25, 1818.

To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States:

The commissioners of the two Governments, under the fourth article of the treaty of Ghent, having come to a decision upon the questions submitted to them, I lay before Congress copies of that decision, together with copies of the declaration signed and reported by the commissioners of this Government.

JAMES MONROE.



FEBRUARY 27, 1818.

To the House of Representatives of the United States:

I communicate herewith to the House of Representatives a copy of a letter from the governor of the State of South Carolina to the Secretary of State, together with extracts from the journals of proceedings in both branches of the legislature of that Commonwealth, relative to a proposed amendment of the Constitution, which letter and extracts are connected with the subject of my communication to the House of the 6th instant.

JAMES MONROE.



WASHINGTON, February 28, 1818.

To the House of Representatives of the United States:

I lay before the House a report from the Secretary of State, together with the papers relating to the claims of merchants of the United States upon the Government of Naples, in conformity with the resolution of the House of the 30th January last.

JAMES MONROE.



WASHINGTON, March 11, 1818.

To the Senate of the United States:

In compliance with a resolution of the Senate requesting information respecting the requisitions that were made on the contractors between the 1st of June and the 24th of December, 1817, for deposits of provisions in advance at the several posts on the frontiers of Georgia and the adjoining territory, their conduct in compliance therewith, the amount of money advanced to B. G. Orr, and the extent of his failure, with a copy of the articles of contract entered into with him, I now lay before the Senate a report from the Secretary of War, which, with the documents accompanying it, will afford the information desired.

JAMES MONROE.



WASHINGTON, March 14, 1818.

To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States:

In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of the 16th of December and of the House of Representatives of the 24th of February last, I lay before Congress a report of the Secretary of State, and the papers referred to in it, respecting the negotiation with the Government of Spain. To explain fully the nature of the differences between the United States and Spain and the conduct of the parties it has been found necessary to go back to an early epoch. The recent correspondence, with the documents accompanying it, will give a full view of the whole subject, and place the conduct of the United States in every stage and under every circumstance, for justice, moderation, and a firm adherence to their rights, on the high and honorable ground which it has invariably sustained.

JAMES MONROE.



WASHINGTON, March 16, 1818.

To the Senate of the United States:

In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of the United States of the 31st of December last, requesting the President to cause to be laid before them a statement of the proceedings which may have been had under the act of Congress passed on the 3d March, 1817, entitled "An act to set apart and dispose of certain public lands for the encouragement and cultivation of the vine and olive," I now transmit a report from the Secretary of the Treasury, containing all the information possessed by the Executive relating to the proceedings under the said act.

JAMES MONROE.



WASHINGTON, March 16, 1818.

To the Senate of the United States:

In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of the United States of the 3d of February last, requesting the President to cause to be laid before them "a statement of the progress made under the act to provide for surveying the coast of the United States, passed February 10, 1807, and any subsequent acts on the same subject, and the expenses incurred thereby," I transmit a report from the Secretary of the Treasury containing the information required.

JAMES MONROE.



MARCH 19, 1818.

To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States:

In the course of the last summer a negotiation was commenced with the Government of the Netherlands with a view to the revival and modification of the commercial treaty existing between the two countries, adapted to their present circumstances.

The report from the Secretary of State which I now lay before Congress will show the obstacles which arose in the progress of the conferences between the respective plenipotentiaries, and which resulted in the agreement between them then to refer the subject to the consideration of their respective Governments. As the difficulties appear to be of a nature which may, perhaps, for the present be more easily removed by reciprocal legislative regulations, formed in the spirit of amity and conciliation, than by conventional stipulations, Congress may think it advisable to leave the subsisting treaty in its present state, and to meet the liberal exemption from discriminating tonnage duties which has been conceded in the Netherlands to the vessels of the United States by a similar exemption to the vessels of the Netherlands which have arrived, or may hereafter arrive, in our ports, commencing from the time when the exemption was granted to the vessels of the United States. I would further recommend to the consideration of Congress the expediency of extending the benefit of the same regulation, to commence from the passage of the law, to the vessels of Russia, Hamburg, and Bremen, and of making it prospectively general in favor of every nation in whose ports the vessels of the United States are admitted on the same footing as their own.

JAMES MONROE.



WASHINGTON, March 23, 1818.

To the Senate of the United States:

I lay before the Senate a report from the Secretary of the Navy, with the estimate of the expense which will be incurred by the establishment of two dockyards for repairing vessels of the largest size.

JAMES MONROE.



WASHINGTON, March 25, 1818.

To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States:

I now lay before Congress all the information in the possession of the Executive respecting the war with the Seminoles, and the measures which it has been thought proper to adopt for the safety of our fellow-citizens on the frontier exposed to their ravages. The inclosed documents show that the hostilities of this tribe were unprovoked, the offspring of a spirit long cherished and often manifested toward the United States, and that in the present instance it was extending itself to other tribes and daily assuming a more serious aspect. As soon as the nature and object of this combination were perceived the major-general commanding the Southern division of the troops of the United States was ordered to the theater of action, charged with the management of the war and vested with the powers necessary to give it effect. The season of the year being unfavorable to active operations, and the recesses of the country affording shelter to these savages in case of retreat, may prevent a prompt termination of the war; but it may be fairly presumed that it will not be long before this tribe and its associates receive the punishment which they have provoked and justly merited.

As almost the whole of this tribe inhabits the country within the limits of Florida, Spain was bound by the treaty of 1795 to restrain them from committing hostilities against the United States. We have seen with regret that her Government has altogether failed to fulfill this obligation, nor are we aware that it made any effort to that effect. When we consider her utter inability to check, even in the slightest degree, the movements of this tribe by her very small and incompetent force in Florida, we are not disposed to ascribe the failure to any other cause. The inability, however, of Spain to maintain her authority over the territory and Indians within her limits, and in consequence to fulfill the treaty, ought not to expose the United States to other and greater injuries. When the authority of Spain ceases to exist there, the United States have a right to pursue their enemy on a principle of self-defense. In this instance the right is more complete and obvious because we shall perform only what Spain was bound to have performed herself. To the high obligations and privileges of this great and sacred right of self-defense will the movement of our troops be strictly confined. Orders have been given to the general in command not to enter Florida unless it be in pursuit of the enemy, and in that case to respect the Spanish authority wherever it is maintained; and he will be instructed to withdraw his forces from the Province as soon as he shall have reduced that tribe to order, and secure our fellow-citizens in that quarter by satisfactory arrangements against its unprovoked and savage hostilities in future.

JAMES MONROE.



WASHINGTON, March 25, 1818.

To the House of Representatives of the United States:

In conformity with the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 5th of December last, I now transmit a report of the Secretary of State, with a copy of the documents which it is thought proper to communicate relating to the independence and political condition of the Provinces of Spanish America,

JAMES MONROE.



WASHINGTON, March 26, 1818.

To the House of Representatives of the United States:

I transmit to the House of Representatives, in compliance with their resolution of March 20, such information not heretofore communicated as is in the possession of the Executive relating to the occupation of Amelia Island. If any doubt had before existed of the improper conduct of the persons who authorized and of those who were engaged in the invasion and previous occupancy of that island, of the unfriendly spirit toward the United States with which it was commenced and prosecuted, and of its injurious effect on their highest interests, particularly by its tendency to compromit them with foreign powers in all the unwarrantable acts of the adventurers, it is presumed that these documents would remove it. It appears by the letter of Mr. Pazos, agent of Commodore Aury, that the project of seizing the Floridas was formed and executed at a time when it was understood that Spain had resolved to cede them to the United States, and to prevent such cession from taking effect. The whole proceeding in every stage and circumstance was unlawful. The commission to General M'Gregor was granted at Philadelphia in direct violation of a positive law, and all the measures pursued under it by him in collecting his force and directing its movements were equally unlawful. With the conduct of these persons I have always been unwilling to connect any of the colonial governments, because I never could believe that they had given their sanction either to the project in its origin or to the measures which were pursued in the execution of it. These documents confirm the opinion which I have invariably entertained and expressed in their favor.

JAMES MONROE.



WASHINGTON, March 28, 1818.

To the Senate of the United States:

In compliance with a resolution of the Senate relative to the pensioners of the United States, the sum annually paid to each, and the States or Territories in which said pensioners are respectively paid, I now transmit a report from the Secretary of War, which, with documents marked A and B, contains all the information required.

JAMES MONROE.



APRIL 6, 1818.

To the Senate of the United States:

An arrangement having been made and concluded between this Government and that of Great Britain with respect to the naval armament of the two Governments, respectively, on the Lakes, I lay before the Senate a copy of the correspondence upon that subject, including the stipulations mutually agreed upon by the two parties. I submit it to the consideration of the Senate whether this is such an arrangement as the Executive is competent to enter into by the powers vested in it by the Constitution, or is such an one as requires the advice and consent of the Senate, and, in the latter case, for their advice and consent should it be approved.

JAMES MONROE.



WASHINGTON, April 9, 1818.

To the Senate of the United States:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate requesting me to cause to be laid before them a list of the names of the several agents of Indian affairs and of agents of Indian trading houses, with the pay and emolument of the agents, respectively, I now transmit a report from the Secretary of War, which contains the information required.

JAMES MONROE.



APRIL 10, 1818.

To the Senate of the United States:

In compliance with a resolution of the Senate respecting the supplies of the Northwestern army, within certain periods therein specified, by contractors, commissaries, and agents, and the expense thereby incurred, I now transmit to them a report from the Secretary of War, which, with the documents accompanying it, will afford the information required.

JAMES MONROE.



WASHINGTON, April 15, 1818.

To the House of Representatives of the United States:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of the 10th instant, relative to the capture and imprisonment of certain persons, citizens of the United States, therein specifically mentioned, I now transmit a report from the Secretary of State, which, with the documents accompanying it, embraces the objects contemplated by the said resolution.

JAMES MONROE.



WASHINGTON, April 20, 1818.

To the Senate of the United States:

I transmit to the Senate a copy of the rules, regulations, and instructions for the naval service of the United States, prepared by the Board of Navy Commissioners in obedience to an act of Congress passed 7th of February, 1815, entitled "An act to alter and amend the several acts for establishing a Navy Department by adding thereto a Board of Commissioners."

JAMES MONROE.



PROCLAMATIONS.

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas by an act of the lieutenant-governor, council, and assembly of His Britannic Majesty's Province of Nova Scotia, passed in the year 1816, it was, among other things, enacted that from and after the 1st day of May of that year "no plaster of paris, otherwise called gypsum, which should be laden or put on board any ship or vessel at any port or place within the limits of the said Province to be transported from thence to any other port or place within or without the said limits should, directly or indirectly, be unladen or landed or put on shore at any port or place in the United States of America eastward of Boston, in the State of Massachusetts, nor unladen or put on board any American ship, vessel, boat, or shallop of any description at any port or place eastward of Boston aforesaid, under the penalty of the forfeiture of every such ship or vessel from which any such plaster of paris, or gypsum, should be unladen contrary to the provision of the said act, together with her boats, tackle, apparel, and furniture, to be seized and prosecuted in the manner thereinafter mentioned;" and

Whereas by an act of the Congress of the United States passed on the 3d day of March, 1817, it was enacted that from and after the 4th day of July then next no plaster of paris the production of any country or its dependencies from which the vessels of the United States were not permitted to bring the same article should be imported into the United States in any foreign vessel, and that all plaster of paris imported or attempted to be imported into the United States contrary to the true intent and meaning of the said act of Congress, and the vessel in which the same might be imported or attempted to be imported, together with the cargo, tackle, apparel, and furniture, should be forfeited to the United States and liable to be seized, prosecuted, and condemned in the manner therein prescribed; and

Whereas by the said act of Congress it was further enacted that the same should continue and be in force five years from January 31, 1817; provided, nevertheless, that if any foreign nation or its dependencies which at the time of the passage of the said act of Congress had in force regulations on the subject of the trade in plaster of paris prohibiting the exportation thereof to certain ports of the United States should discontinue such regulations, the President of the United States was thereby authorized to declare that fact by his proclamation, and the restrictions imposed by the said act of Congress should from the date of such proclamation cease and be discontinued in relation to the nation or its dependencies discontinuing such regulations; and

Whereas an act of the lieutenant-governor, council, and assembly of His Britannic Majesty's Province of Nova Scotia, repealing the above-mentioned act of the said Province, passed in the year 1816, has been officially communicated by his said Majesty's envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to this Government; and

Whereas by the said repealing act of the said Province of Nova Scotia, one of the dependencies of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, the regulations at the time of the passage of the said act of Congress in force in the said Province on the subject of the trade in plaster of paris, prohibiting the exportation thereof to certain ports of the United States, have been and are discontinued:

Now, therefore, I, James Monroe, President of the United States of America, do by this my proclamation declare that fact, and that the restrictions imposed by the said act of Congress do from the date hereof cease and are discontinued in relation to His Britannic Majesty's said Province of Nova Scotia.

Given under my hand, at the city of Washington, this 23d day of April, A. D. 1818, and in the forty-second year of the Independence of the United States.

JAMES MONROE.

By the President: John Quincy Adams Secretary of State.



BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas an arrangement was entered into at the city of Washington in the month of April, A.D. 1817, between Richard Rush, esq., at that time acting as Secretary for the Department of State of the United States, for and in behalf of the Government of the United States, and the Right Honorable Charles Bagot, His Britannic Majesty's envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary, for and in behalf of His Britannic Majesty, which arrangement is in the words following, to wit:

The naval force to be maintained upon the American lakes by His Majesty and the Government of the United States shall henceforth be confined to the following vessels on each side; that is—

On Lake Ontario, to one vessel not exceeding 100 tons burden and armed with one 18-pound cannon.

On the upper lakes, to two vessels not exceeding like burden each and armed with like force.

On the waters of Lake Champlain, to one vessel not exceeding like burden and armed with like force.

All other armed vessels on these lakes shall be forthwith dismantled, and no other vessels of war shall be there built or armed.

If either party should hereafter be-desirous of annulling this stipulation, and should give notice to that effect to the other party, it shall cease to be binding after the expiration of six months from the date of such notice.

The naval force so to be limited shall be restricted to such services as will in no respect interfere with the proper duties of the armed vessels of the other party.

And whereas the Senate of the United States have approved of the said arrangement and recommended that it should be carried into effect, the same having also received the sanction of His Royal Highness the Prince Regent, acting in the name and on the behalf of His Britannic Majesty:

Now, therefore, I, James Monroe, President of the United States, do by this my proclamation make known and declare that the arrangement aforesaid and every stipulation thereof has been duly entered into, concluded, and confirmed, and is of full force and effect.

Given under my hand, at the city of Washington, this 28th day of April, A.D. 1818, and of the Independence of the United States the forty-second.

JAMES MONROE.

By the President: John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State.



BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas it appears by a proclamation of the lieutenant-governor of His Britannic Majesty's Province of New Brunswick bearing date the 10th day of April last, and officially communicated by his envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary residing in the United States to this Government, that the regulations on the subject of the trade in plaster of paris, prohibiting the exportation thereof to certain ports of the United States, which were in force in the said Province at the time of the enactment of the act of the Congress of the United States entitled "An act to regulate the trade in plaster of paris," passed on the 3d day of March, 1817, have been and are discontinued:

Now, therefore, I, James Monroe, President of the United States, do hereby declare that fact, and that the restrictions imposed by the said act of Congress shall from the date hereof cease and be discontinued in relation to the said Province of New Brunswick.

1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10     Next Part
Home - Random Browse