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A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents - Section 3 (of 4) of Volume 1: Thomas Jefferson
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A COMPILATION OF THE MESSAGES AND PAPERS OF THE PRESIDENTS.

BY JAMES D. RICHARDSON

Thomas Jefferson

March 4, 1801, to March 4, 1809



Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson was born at Shadwell, Albemarle County, Va., on April 2 (old style), 1743. He was the oldest son of Peter Jefferson, who died in 1757. After attending private schools, he entered William and Mary College in 1760. In 1767 began the practice of the law. In 1769 was chosen to represent his county in the Virginia house of burgesses, a station he continued to fill up to the period of the Revolution. He married Mrs. Martha Skelton in 1772, she being a daughter of John Wayles, an eminent lawyer of Virginia. On March 12, 1773, was chosen a member of the first committee of correspondence established by the Colonial legislature. Was elected a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1775; was placed on the Committee of Five to prepare the Declaration of Independence, and at the request of that committee he drafted the Declaration, which, with slight amendments, was adopted July 4, 1776. Resigned his seat in Congress and occupied one in the Virginia legislature in October, 1776. Was elected governor of Virginia by the legislature on June 1, 1779, to succeed Patrick Henry. Retired to private life at the end of his term as governor, but was the same year elected again to the legislature. Was appointed commissioner with others to negotiate treaties with France in 1776, but declined. In 1782 he was appointed by Congress minister plenipotentiary to act with others in Europe in negotiating a treaty of peace with Great Britain. Was again elected a Delegate to Congress in 1783, and as a member of that body he advocated and had adopted the dollar as the unit and the present system of coins and decimals. In May, 1784, was appointed minister plenipotentiary to Europe to assist John Adams and Benjamin Franklin in negotiating treaties of commerce. In March, 1785, was appointed by Congress minister at the French Court to succeed Dr. Franklin, and remained in France until September, 1789. On his arrival at Norfolk, November 23, 1789, received a letter from Washington offering him the appointment of Secretary of State in his Cabinet. Accepted and became the first Secretary of State under the Constitution. December 31, 1793, resigned his place in the Cabinet and retired to private life at his home. In 1796 was brought forward by his friends as a candidate for President, but Mr. Adams, receiving the highest number of votes, was elected President, and Jefferson became Vice-President for four years from March 4, 1797. In 1800 was again voted for by his party for President. He and Mr. Burr received an equal number of electoral votes, and under the Constitution the House of Representatives was called upon to elect. Mr. Jefferson was chosen on the thirty-sixth ballot. Was reelected in 1804, and retired finally from public life March 4, 1809. He died on the 4th day of July, 1826, and was buried at Monticello, Va.



NOTIFICATION OF ELECTION.

Mr. Pinckney, from the committee instructed on the 18th instant to wait on the President elect to notify him of his election, reported that the committee had, according to order, performed that service, and addressed the President elect in the following words, to wit:

The committee beg leave to express their wishes for the prosperity of your Administration and their sincere desire that it may promote your own happiness and the welfare of our country.

To which the President elect was pleased to make the following reply:

I receive, gentlemen, with profound thankfulness this testimony of confidence from the great representative council of our nation. It fills up the measure of that grateful satisfaction which had already been derived from the suffrages of my fellow-citizens themselves, designating me as one of those to whom they were willing to commit this charge, the most important of all others to them. In deciding between the candidates whom their equal vote presented to your choice, I am sensible that age has been respected rather than more active and useful qualifications.

I know the difficulties of the station to which I am called, and feel and acknowledge my incompetence to them. But whatsoever of understanding, whatsoever of diligence, whatsoever of justice or of affectionate concern for the happiness of man, it has pleased Providence to place within the compass of my faculties shall be called forth for the discharge of the duties confided to me, and for procuring to my fellow-citizens all the benefits which our Constitution has placed under the guardianship of the General Government.

Guided by the wisdom and patriotism of those to whom it belongs to express the legislative will of the nation, I will give to that will a faithful execution.

I pray you, gentlemen, to convey to the honorable body from which you are deputed the homage of my humble acknowledgments and the sentiments of zeal and fidelity by which I shall endeavor to merit these proofs of confidence from the nation and its Representatives; and accept yourselves my particular thanks for the obliging terms in which you have been pleased to communicate their will.

TH. JEFFERSON.

FEBRUARY 20, 1801.



LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT ELECT.

The President laid before the Senate a letter from the President elect of the United States, which was read, as follows:

WASHINGTON, March 2, 1801.

The PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE OF THE SENATE.

SIR: I beg leave through you to inform the honorable the 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 Wednesday, the 4th instant, at 12 o'clock, in the Senate Chamber.

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

TH. JEFFERSON.

(The same letter was sent to the House of Representatives.)



FIRST INAUGURAL ADDRESS.

AT WASHINGTON, D.C.

Friends and Fellow-Citizens.

Called upon to undertake the duties of the first executive office of our country, I avail myself of the presence of that portion of my fellow-citizens which is here assembled to express my grateful thanks for the favor with which they have been pleased to look toward me, to declare a sincere consciousness that the task is above my talents, and that I approach it with those anxious and awful presentiments which the greatness of the charge and the weakness of my powers so justly inspire. A rising nation, spread over a wide and fruitful land, traversing all the seas with the rich productions of their industry, engaged in commerce with nations who feel power and forget right, advancing rapidly to destinies beyond the reach of mortal eye—when I contemplate these transcendent objects, and see the honor, the happiness, and the hopes of this beloved country committed to the issue and the auspices of this day, I shrink from the contemplation, and humble myself before the magnitude of the undertaking. Utterly, indeed, should I despair did not the presence of many whom I here see remind me that in the other high authorities provided by our Constitution I shall find resources of wisdom, of virtue, and of zeal on which to rely under all difficulties. To you, then, gentlemen, who are charged with the sovereign functions of legislation, and to those associated with you, I look with encouragement for that guidance and support which may enable us to steer with safety the vessel in which we are all embarked amidst the conflicting elements of a troubled world.

During the contest of opinion through which we have passed the animation of discussions and of exertions has sometimes worn an aspect which might impose on strangers unused to think freely and to speak and to write what they think; but this being now decided by the voice of the nation, announced according to the rules of the Constitution, all will, of course, arrange themselves under the will of the law, and unite in common efforts for the common good. All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression. Let us, then, fellow-citizens, unite with one heart and one mind. Let us restore to social intercourse that harmony and affection without which liberty and even life itself are but dreary things. And let us reflect that, having banished from our land that religious intolerance under which mankind so long bled and suffered, we have yet gained little if we countenance a political intolerance as despotic, as wicked, and capable of as bitter and bloody persecutions. During the throes and convulsions of the ancient world, during the agonizing spasms of infuriated man, seeking through blood and slaughter his long-lost liberty, it was not wonderful that the agitation of the billows should reach even this distant and peaceful shore; that this should be more felt and feared by some and less by others, and should divide opinions as to measures of safety. But every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. We have called by different names brethren of the same principle. We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists. If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it. I know, indeed, that some honest men fear that a republican government can not be strong, that this Government is not strong enough; but would the honest patriot, in the full tide of successful experiment, abandon a government which has so far kept us free and firm on the theoretic and visionary fear that this Government, the world's best hope, may by possibility want energy to preserve itself? I trust not. I believe this, on the contrary, the strongest Government on earth. I believe it the only one where every man, at the call of the law, would fly to the standard of the law, and would meet invasions of the public order as his own personal concern. Sometimes it is said that man can not be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the forms of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question.

Let us, then, with courage and confidence pursue our own Federal and Republican principles, our attachment to union and representative government. Kindly separated by nature and a wide ocean from the exterminating havoc of one quarter of the globe; too high-minded to endure the degradations of the others; possessing a chosen country, with room enough for our descendants to the thousandth and thousandth generation; entertaining a due sense of our equal right to the use of our own faculties, to the acquisitions of our own industry, to honor and confidence from our fellow-citizens, resulting not from birth, but from our actions and their sense of them; enlightened by a benign religion, professed, indeed, and practiced in various forms, yet all of them inculcating honesty, truth, temperance, gratitude, and the love of man; acknowledging and adoring an overruling Providence, which by all its dispensations proves that it delights in the happiness of man here and his greater happiness hereafter—with all these blessings, what more is necessary to make us a happy and a prosperous people? Still one thing more, fellow-citizens—a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities.

About to enter, fellow-citizens, on the exercise of duties which comprehend everything dear and valuable to you, it is proper you should understand what I deem the essential principles of our Government, and consequently those which ought to shape its Administration. I will compress them within the narrowest compass they will bear, stating the general principle, but not all its limitations. Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political; peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none; the support of the State governments in all their rights, as the most competent administrations for our domestic concerns and the surest bulwarks against antirepublican tendencies; the preservation of the General Government in its whole constitutional vigor, as the sheet anchor of our peace at home and safety abroad; a jealous care of the right of election by the people—a mild and safe corrective of abuses which are lopped by the sword of revolution where peaceable remedies are unprovided; absolute acquiescence in the decisions of the majority, the vital principle of republics, from which is no appeal but to force, the vital principle and immediate parent of despotism; a well-disciplined militia, our best reliance in peace and for the first moments of war, till regulars may relieve them; the supremacy of the civil over the military authority; economy in the public expense, that labor may be lightly burthened; the honest payment of our debts and sacred preservation of the public faith; encouragement of agriculture, and of commerce as its handmaid; the diffusion of information and arraignment of all abuses at the bar of the public reason; freedom of religion; freedom of the press, and freedom of person under the protection of the habeas corpus, and trial by juries impartially selected. These principles form the bright constellation which has gone before us and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation. The wisdom of our sages and blood of our heroes have been devoted to their attainment. They should be the creed of our political faith, the text of civic instruction, the touchstone by which to try the services of those we trust; and should we wander from them in moments of error or of alarm, let us hasten to retrace our steps and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty, and safety.

I repair, then, fellow-citizens, to the post you have assigned me. With experience enough in subordinate offices to have seen the difficulties of this the greatest of all, I have learnt to expect that it will rarely fall to the lot of imperfect man to retire from this station with the reputation and the favor which bring him into it. Without pretensions to that high confidence you reposed in our first and greatest revolutionary character, whose preeminent services had entitled him to the first place in his country's love and destined for him the fairest page in the volume of faithful history, I ask so much confidence only as may give firmness and effect to the legal administration of your affairs. I shall often go wrong through defect of judgment. When right, I shall often be thought wrong by those whose positions will not command a view of the whole ground. I ask your indulgence for my own errors, which will never be intentional, and your support against the errors of others, who may condemn what they would not if seen in all its parts. The approbation implied by your suffrage is a great consolation to me for the past, and my future solicitude will be to retain the good opinion of those who have bestowed it in advance, to conciliate that of others by doing them all the good in my power, and to be instrumental to the happiness and freedom of all.

Relying, then, on the patronage of your good will, I advance with obedience to the work, ready to retire from it whenever you become sensible how much better choice it is in your power to make. And may that Infinite Power which rules the destinies of the universe lead our councils to what is best, and give them a favorable issue for your peace and prosperity.

MARCH 4, 1801.



PROCLAMATION.

[From the National Intelligencer, March 13, 1801.]

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

Whereas by the first article of the terms and conditions declared by the President of the United States on the iyth day of October, 1791, for regulating the materials and manner of buildings and improvements on the lots in the city of Washington, it is provided "that the outer and party walls of all houses in the said city shall be built of brick or stone;" and by the third article of the same terms and conditions it is declared "that the wall of no house shall be higher than 40 feet to the roof in any part of the city, nor shall any be lower than 35 feet in any of the avenues;" and

Whereas the above-recited articles were found to impede the settlement in the city of mechanics and others whose circumstances did not admit of erecting houses authorized by the said regulations, for which cause the President of the United States, by a writing under his hand, bearing date the 25th day of June, 1796, suspended the operation of the said articles until the first Monday of December, 1800, and the beneficial effects arising from such suspension having been experienced, it is deemed proper to revive the same:

Wherefore I, Thomas Jefferson, President of the United States, do declare that the operation of the first and third articles above recited shall be, and the same is hereby, suspended until the ist day of January, 1802, and that all the houses which shall be erected in the said city of Washington previous to the said 1st day of January, 1802, conformable in other respects to the regulations aforesaid, shall be considered as lawfully erected, except that no wooden house shall be erected within 24 feet of any brick or stone house.

Given under my hand this 11th day of March, 1801.

TH. JEFFERSON.



In communicating his first message to Congress, President Jefferson addressed the following letter to the presiding officer of each branch of the National Legislature:

DECEMBER 8, 1801.

The Honorable the PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE.

SIR: The circumstances under which we find ourselves at this place rendering inconvenient the mode heretofore practiced of making by personal address the first communications between the legislative and executive branches, I have adopted that by message, as used on all subsequent occasions through the session. In doing this I have had principal regard to the convenience of the Legislature, to the economy of their time, to their relief from the embarrassment of immediate answers on subjects not yet fully before them, and to the benefits thence resulting to the public affairs. Trusting that a procedure founded in these motives will meet their approbation, I beg leave through you, sir, to communicate the inclosed message, with the documents accompanying it, to the honorable the Senate, and pray you to accept for yourself and them the homage of my high respect and consideration.

TH. JEFFERSON.



FIRST ANNUAL MESSAGE.

DECEMBER 8, 1801.

Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and House of Representatives:

It is a circumstance of sincere gratification to me that on meeting the great council of our nation I am able to announce to them on grounds of reasonable certainty that the wars and troubles which have for so many years afflicted our sister nations have at length come to an end, and that the communications of peace and commerce are once more opening among them. Whilst we devoutly return thanks to the beneficent Being who has been pleased to breathe into them the spirit of conciliation and forgiveness, we are bound with peculiar gratitude to be thankful to Him that our own peace has been preserved through so perilous a season, and ourselves permitted quietly to cultivate the earth and to practice and improve those arts which tend to increase our comforts. The assurances, indeed, of friendly disposition received from all the powers with whom we have principal relations had inspired a confidence that our peace with them would not have been disturbed. But a cessation of irregularities which had affected the commerce of neutral nations and of the irritations and injuries produced by them can not but add to this confidence, and strengthens at the same time the hope that wrongs committed on unoffending friends under a pressure of circumstances will now be reviewed with candor, and will be considered as founding just claims of retribution for the past and new assurance for the future.

Among our Indian neighbors also a spirit of peace and friendship generally prevails, and I am happy to inform yon that the continued efforts to introduce among them the implements and the practice of husbandry and of the household arts have not been without success; that they are becoming more and more sensible of the superiority of this dependence for clothing and subsistence over the precarious resources of hunting and fishing, and already we are able to announce that instead of that constant diminution of their numbers produced by their wars and their wants, some of them begin to experience an increase of population.

To this state of general peace with which we have been blessed, one only exception exists. Tripoli, the least considerable of the Barbary States, had come forward with demands unfounded either in right or in compact, and had permitted itself to denounce war on our failure to comply before a given day. The style of the demand admitted but one answer. I sent a small squadron of frigates into the Mediterranean, with assurances to that power of our sincere desire to remain in peace, but with orders to protect our commerce against the threatened attack. The measure was seasonable and salutary. The Bey had already declared war. His cruisers were out. Two had arrived at Gibraltar.

Our commerce in the Mediterranean was blockaded and that of the Atlantic in peril. The arrival of our squadron dispelled the danger. One of the Tripolitan cruisers having fallen in with and engaged the small schooner Enterprise, commanded by Lieutenant Sterret, which had gone as a tender to our larger vessels, was captured, after a heavy slaughter of her men, without the loss of a single one on our part. The bravery exhibited by our citizens on that element will, I trust, be a testimony to the world that it is not the want of that virtue which makes us seek their peace, but a conscientious desire to direct the energies of our nation to the multiplication of the human race, and not to its destruction. Unauthorized by the Constitution, without the sanction of Congress, to go beyond the line of defense, the vessel, being disabled from committing further hostilities, was liberated with its crew. The Legislature will doubtless consider whether, by authorizing measures of offense also, they will place our force on an equal footing with that of its adversaries. I communicate all material information on this subject, that in the exercise of this important function confided by the Constitution to the Legislature exclusively their judgment may form itself on a knowledge and consideration of every circumstance of weight.

I wish I could say that our situation with all the other Barbary States was entirely satisfactory. Discovering that some delays had taken place in the performance of certain articles stipulated by us, I thought it my duty, by immediate measures for fulfilling them, to vindicate to ourselves the right of considering the effect of departure from stipulation on their side. From the papers which will be laid before you you will be enabled to judge whether our treaties are regarded by them as fixing at all the measure of their demands or as guarding from the exercise of force our vessels within their power, and to consider how far it will be safe and expedient to leave our affairs with them in their present posture.

I lay before you the result of the census lately taken of our inhabitants, to a conformity with which we are now to reduce the ensuing ratio of representation and taxation. You will perceive that the increase of numbers during the last ten years, proceeding in geometrical ratio, promises a duplication in little more than twenty-two years. We contemplate this rapid growth and the prospect it holds up to us, not with a view to the injuries it may enable us to do others in some future day, but to the settlement of the extensive country still remaining vacant within our limits to the multiplication of men susceptible of happiness, educated in the love of order, habituated to self-government, and valuing its blessings above all price.

Other circumstances, combined with the increase of numbers, have produced an augmentation of revenue arising from consumption in a ratio far beyond that of population alone; and though the changes in foreign relations now taking place so desirably for the whole world may for a season affect this branch of revenue, yet weighing all probabilities of expense as well as of income, there is reasonable ground of confidence that we may now safely dispense with all the internal taxes, comprehending excise, stamps, auctions, licenses, carriages, and refined sugars, to which the postage on newspapers may be added to facilitate the progress of information, and that the remaining sources of revenue will be sufficient to provide for the support of Government, to pay the interest of the public debts, and to discharge the principals within shorter periods than the laws or the general expectation had contemplated. War, indeed, and untoward events may change this prospect of things and call for expenses which the imposts could not meet; but sound principles will not justify our taxing the industry of our fellow-citizens to accumulate treasure for wars to happen we know not when, and which might not, perhaps, happen but from the temptations offered by that treasure.

These views, however, of reducing our burthens are formed on the expectation that a sensible and at the same time a salutary reduction may take place in our habitual expenditures. For this purpose those of the civil Government, the Army, and Navy will need revisal.

When we consider that this Government is charged with the external, and mutual relations only of these States; that the States themselves have principal care of our persons, our property, and our reputation, constituting the great field of human concerns, we may well doubt whether our organization is not too complicated, too expensive; whether offices and officers have not been multiplied unnecessarily and sometimes injuriously to the service they were meant to promote. I will cause to be laid before you an essay toward a statement of those who, under public employment of various kinds, draw money from the Treasury or from our citizens. Time has not permitted a perfect enumeration, the ramifications of office being too multiplied and remote to be completely traced in a first trial. Among those who are dependent on Executive discretion I have begun the reduction of what was deemed unnecessary. The expenses of diplomatic agency have been considerably diminished. The inspectors of internal revenue who were found to obstruct the accountability of the institution have been discontinued. Several agencies created by Executive authority, on salaries fixed by that also, have been suppressed, and should suggest the expediency of regulating that power by law, so as to subject its exercises to legislative inspection and sanction. Other reformations of the same kind will be pursued with that caution which is requisite in removing useless things, not to injure what is retained. But the great mass of public offices is established by law, and therefore by law alone can be abolished. Should the Legislature think it expedient to pass this roll in review and try all its parts by the test of public utility, they may be assured of every aid and light which Executive information can yield. Considering the general tendency to multiply offices and dependencies and to increase expense to the ultimate term of burthen which the citizen can bear, it behooves us to avail ourselves of every occasion which presents itself for taking off the surcharge, that it never may be seen here that after leaving to labor the smallest portion of its earnings on which it can subsist, Government shall itself consume the whole residue of what it was instituted to guard.

In our care, too, of the public contributions intrusted to our direction it would be prudent to multiply barriers against their dissipation by appropriating specific sums to every specific purpose susceptible of definition; by disallowing all applications of money varying from the appropriation in object or transcending it in amount; by reducing the undefined field of contingencies and thereby circumscribing discretionary powers over money, and by bringing back to a single department all accountabilities for money, where the examinations may be prompt, efficacious, and uniform.

An account of the receipts and expenditures of the last year, as prepared by the Secretary of the Treasury, will, as usual, be laid before you. The success which has attended the late sales of the public lands shews that with attention they may be made an important source of receipt. Among the payments those made in discharge of the principal and interest of the national debt will shew that the public faith has been exactly maintained. To these will be added an estimate of appropriations necessary for the ensuing year. This last will, of course, be affected by such modifications of the system of expense as you shall think proper to adopt.

A statement has been formed by the Secretary of War, on mature consideration, of all the posts and stations where garrisons will be expedient and of the number of men requisite for each garrison. The whole amount is considerably short of the present military establishment. For the surplus no particular use can be pointed out. For defense against invasion their number is as nothing, nor is it conceived needful or safe that a standing army should be kept up in time of peace for that purpose. Uncertain as we must ever be of the particular point in our circumference where an enemy may choose to invade us, the only force which can be ready at every point and competent to oppose them is the body of neighboring citizens as formed into a militia. On these, collected from the parts most convenient in numbers proportioned to the invading force, it is best to rely not only to meet the first attack, but if it threatens to be permanent to maintain the defense until regulars may be engaged to relieve them. These considerations render it important that we should at every session continue to amend the defects which from time to time shew themselves in the laws for regulating the militia until they are sufficiently perfect. Nor should we now or at any time separate until we can say we have done everything for the militia which we could do were an enemy at our door.

The provision of military stores on hand will be laid before you, that you may judge of the additions still requisite.

With respect to the extent to which our naval preparations should be carried some difference of opinion may be expected to appear, but just attention to the circumstances of every part of the Union will doubtless reconcile all. A small force will probably continue to be wanted for actual service in the Mediterranean. Whatever annual sum beyond that you may think proper to appropriate to naval preparations would perhaps be better employed in providing those articles which may be kept without waste or consumption, and be in readiness when any exigence calls them into use. Progress has been made, as will appear by papers now communicated, in providing materials for 74-gun ships as directed by law.

How far the authority given by the Legislature for procuring and establishing sites for naval purposes has been perfectly understood and pursued in the execution admits of some doubt. A statement of the expenses already incurred on that subject is now laid before you. I have in certain cases suspended or slackened these expenditures, that the Legislature might determine whether so many yards are necessary as have been contemplated. The works at this place are among those permitted to go on, and five of the seven frigates directed to be laid up have been brought and laid up here, where, besides the safety of their position, they are under the eye of the Executive Administration, as well as of its agents, and where yourselves also will be guided by your own view in the legislative provisions respecting them which may from time to time be necessary. They are preserved in such condition, as well the vessels as whatever belongs to them, as to be at all times ready for sea on a short warning. Two others are yet to be laid up so soon as they shall have received the repairs requisite to put them also into sound condition. As a superintending officer will be necessary at each yard, his duties and emoluments, hitherto fixed by the Executive, will be a more proper subject for legislation. A communication will also be made of our progress in the execution of the law respecting the vessels directed to be sold.

The fortifications of our harbors, more or less advanced, present considerations of great difficulty. While some of them are on a scale sufficiently proportioned to the advantages of their position, to the efficacy of their protection, and the importance of the points within it, others are so extensive, will cost so much in their first erection, so much in their maintenance, and require such a force to garrison them as to make it questionable what is best now to be done. A statement of those commenced or projected, of the expenses already incurred, and estimates of their future cost, as far as can be foreseen, shall be laid before you, that you may be enabled to judge whether any alteration is necessary in the laws respecting this subject.

Agriculture, manufactures, commerce, and navigation, the four pillars of our prosperity, are then most thriving when left most free to individual enterprise. Protection from casual embarrassments, however, may sometimes be seasonably interposed. If in the course of your observations or inquiries they should appear to need any aid within the limits of our constitutional powers, your sense of their importance is a sufficient assurance they will occupy your attention. We can not, indeed, but all feel an anxious solicitude for the difficulties under which our carrying trade will soon be placed. How far it can be relieved, otherwise than by time, is a subject of important consideration.

The judiciary system of the United States, and especially that portion of it recently erected, will of course present itself to the contemplation of Congress, and, that they may be able to judge of the proportion which the institution bears to the business it has to perform, I have caused to be procured from the several States and now lay before Congress an exact statement of all the causes decided since the first establishment of the courts, and of those which were depending when additional courts and judges were brought in to their aid.

And while on the judiciary organization it will be worthy your consideration whether the protection of the inestimable institution of juries has been extended to all the cases involving the security of our persons and property. Their impartial selection also being essential to their value, we ought further to consider whether that is sufficiently secured in those States where they are named by a marshal depending on Executive will or designated by the court or by officers dependent on them.

I can not omit recommending a revisal of the laws on the subject of naturalization. Considering the ordinary chances of human life, a denial of citizenship under a residence of fourteen years is a denial to a great proportion of those who ask it, and controls a policy pursued from their first settlement by many of these States, and still believed of consequence to their prosperity; and shall we refuse to the unhappy fugitives from distress that hospitality which the savages of the wilderness extended to our fathers arriving in this land? Shall oppressed humanity find no asylum on this globe? The Constitution indeed has wisely provided that for admission to certain offices of important trust a residence shall be required sufficient to develop character and design. But might not the general character and capabilities of a citizen be safely communicated to everyone manifesting a bona fide purpose of embarking his life and fortunes permanently with us, with restrictions, perhaps, to guard against the fraudulent usurpation of our flag, an abuse which brings so much embarrassment and loss on the genuine citizen and so much danger to the nation of being involved in war that no endeavor should be spared to detect and suppress it?

These, fellow-citizens, are the matters respecting the state of the nation which I have thought of importance to be submitted to your consideration at this time. Some others of less moment or not yet ready for communication will be the subject of separate messages. I am happy in this opportunity of committing the arduous affairs of our Government to the collected wisdom of the Union. Nothing shall be wanting on my part to inform as far as in my power the legislative judgment, nor to carry that judgment into faithful execution. The prudence and temperance of your discussions will promote within your own walls that conciliation which so much befriends rational conclusion, and by its example will encourage among our constituents that progress of opinion which is tending to unite them in object and in will. That all should be satisfied with any one order of things is not to be expected; but I indulge the pleasing persuasion that the great body of our citizens will cordially concur in honest and disinterested efforts which have for their object to preserve the General and State Governments in their constitutional form and equilibrium; to maintain peace abroad, and order and obedience to the laws at home; to establish principles and practices of administration favorable to the security of liberty and property, and to reduce expenses to what is necessary for the useful purposes of Government.

TH. JEFFERSON.



SPECIAL MESSAGES.

DECEMBER 11, 1801.

Gentlemen of the Senate:

Early in the last month I received the ratification by the First Consul of France of the convention between the United States and that nation. His ratification not being pure and simple in the ordinary form, I have thought it my duty, in order to avoid all misconception, to ask a second advice and consent of the Senate before I give it the last sanction by proclaiming it to be a law of the land.

TH. JEFFERSON.



DECEMBER 22, 1801.

Gentlemen of the Senate:

The States of Georgia and Tennessee being peculiarly interested in our carrying into execution the two acts passed by Congress on the 19th of February, 1799 (chapter 115), and 13th May, 1800 (chapter 62), commissioners were appointed early in summer and other measures taken for the purpose. The objects of these laws requiring meetings with the Cherokees, Chickasaws, Choctaws, and Creeks, the inclosed instructions were prepared for the proceedings with the three first nations. Our applications to the Cherokees failed altogether. Those to the Chickasaws produced the treaty now laid before you for your advice and consent, whereby we obtained permission to open a road of communication with the Mississippi Territory. The commissioners are probably at this time in conference with the Choctaws. Further information having been wanting when these instructions were, formed to enable us to prepare those respecting the Creeks, the commissioners were directed to proceed with the others. We have now reason to believe the conferences with the Creeks can not take place till the spring.

The journals and letters of the commissioners relating to the subject of the treaty now inclosed accompany it.

TH. JEFFERSON.



DECEMBER 22, 1801.

Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives:

I now inclose sundry documents supplementary to those communicated to you with my message at the commencement of the session. Two others of considerable importance—the one relating to our transactions with the Barbary Powers, the other presenting a view of the offices of the Government—shall be communicated as soon as they can be completed.

TH. JEFFERSON.



DECEMBER 23, 1801.

Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives:

Another return of the census of the State of Maryland is just received from the marshal of that State, which he desires may be substituted as more correct than the one first returned by him and communicated by me to Congress. This new return, with his letter, is now laid before you.

TH. JEFFERSON.



JANUARY 11, 1802.

Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives.

I now communicate to you a memorial of the commissioners of the city of Washington, together with a letter of later date, which, with their memorial of January 28, 1801, will possess the Legislature fully of the state of the public interests and of those of the city of Washington confided to them. The moneys now due, and soon to become due, to the State of Maryland on the loan guaranteed by the United States call for an early attention. The lots in the city which are chargeable with the payment of these moneys are deemed not only equal to the indemnification of the public, but to insure a considerable surplus to the city to be employed for its improvement, provided they are offered for sale only in sufficient numbers to meet the existing demand. But the act of 1796 requires that they shall be positively sold in such numbers as shall be necessary for the punctual payment of the loans. Nine thousand dollars of interest are lately become due, $3,000 quarter yearly will continue to become due, and $50,000, an additional loan, are reimbursable on the 1st day of November next. These sums would require sales so far beyond the actual demand of the market that it is apprehended that the whole property may be thereby sacrificed, the public security destroyed, and the residuary interest of the city entirely lost. Under these circumstances I have thought it my duty before I proceed to direct a rigorous execution of the law to submit the subject to the consideration of the Legislature. Whether the public interest will be better secured in the end and that of the city saved by offering sales commensurate only to the demand at market, and advancing from the Treasury in the first instance what these may prove deficient, to be replaced by subsequent sales, rests for the determination of the Legislature. If indulgence for the funds can be admitted, they will probably form a resource of great and permanent value; and their embarrassments have been produced only by overstrained exertions to provide accommodations for the Government of the Union

TH. JEFFERSON.



JANUARY 12, 1802.

Gentlemen of the Senate:

I now communicate to you a letter from the Secretary of State inclosing an estimate of the expenses which appear at present necessary for carrying into effect the convention between the United States of America and the French Republic, which has been prepared at the request of the House of Representatives.

TH. JEFFERSON.



JANUARY 27, 1802.

Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives:

I lay before you the accounts of our Indian trading houses, as rendered up to the 1st day of January, 1801, with a report of the Secretary of War thereon, explaining the effects and the situation of that commerce and the reasons in favor of its further extension. But it is believed that the act authorizing this trade expired so long ago as the 3d of March, 1799. Its revival, therefore, as well as its extension, is submitted to the consideration of the Legislature.

The act regulating trade and intercourse with the Indian tribes will also expire on the 3d day of March next. While on the subject of its continuance it will be worthy the consideration of the Legislature whether the provisions of the law inflicting on Indians, in certain cases, the punishment of death by hanging might not permit its commutation into death by military execution, the form of the punishment in the former way being peculiarly repugnant to their ideas and increasing the obstacles to the surrender of the criminal.

These people are becoming very sensible of the baneful effects produced on their morals, their health, and existence by the abuse of ardent spirits, and some of them earnestly desire a prohibition of that article from being carried among them. The Legislature will consider whether the effectuating that desire would not be in the spirit of benevolence and liberality which they have hitherto practiced toward these our neighbors, and which has had so happy an effect toward conciliating their friendship. It has been found, too, in experience that the same abuse gives frequent rise to incidents tending much to commit our peace with the Indians.

It is now become necessary to run and mark the boundaries between them and us in various parts. The law last mentioned has authorized this to be done, but no existing appropriation meets the expense.

Certain papers explanatory of the grounds of this communication are herewith inclosed.

TH. JEFFERSON.



FEBRUARY 2, 1802.

Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives:

I now lay before you—

1. A return of ordnance, arms, and military stores the property of the United States.

2. Returns of muskets and bayonets fabricated at the armories of the United States at Springfield and Harpers Ferry, and of the expenditures at those places; and

3. An estimate of expenditures which may be necessary for fortifications and barracks for the present year.

Besides the permanent magazines established at Springfield, West Point, and Harpers Ferry, it is thought one should be established in some point convenient for the States of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. Such a point will probably be found near the border of the Carolinas, and some small provision by the Legislature preparatory to the establishment will be necessary for the present year.

We find the United States in possession of certain iron mines and works in the county of Berkeley and State of Virginia, purchased, as is presumable, on the idea of establishing works for the fabrication of cannon and other military articles by the public. Whether this method of supplying what may be wanted will be most advisable or that of purchasing at market where competition brings everything to its proper level of price and quality is for the Legislature to decide, and if the latter alternative be preferred, it will rest for their further consideration in what way the subjects of this purchase may be best employed or disposed of. The Attorney-General's opinion on the subject of the title accompanies this.

There are in various parts of the United States small parcels of land which have been purchased at different times for cantonments and other military purposes. Several of them are in situations not likely to be accommodated to future purposes. The loss of the records prevents a detailed statement of these until they can be supplied by inquiry. In the meantime, one of them, containing 88 acres, in the county of Essex, in New Jersey, purchased in 1799 and sold the following year to Cornelius Vermule and Andrew Codmas, though its price has been received, can not be conveyed without authority from the Legislature.

I inclose herewith a letter from the Secretary of War on the subject of the islands in the lakes and rivers of our northern boundary, and of certain lands in the neighborhood of some of our military posts, on which it may be expedient for the Legislature to make some provisions.

TH. JEFFERSON.



FEBRUARY 16, 1802.

Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives:

I now transmit a statement of the expenses incurred by the United States in their transactions with the Barbary Powers, and a roll of the persons having office or employment under the United States, as was proposed in my messages of December 7 and 22. Neither is as perfect as could have been wished, and the latter not so much so as further time and inquiry may enable us to make it.

The great volume of these communications and the delay it would produce to make out a second copy will, I trust, be deemed a sufficient reason for sending one of them to the one House, and the other to the other, with a request that they may be interchanged for mutual information rather than to subject both to further delay.

TH. JEFFERSON.



FEBRUARY 18, 1802.

Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives:

In a message of the 2d instant I inclosed a letter from the Secretary of War on the subject of certain lands in the neighborhood of our military posts on which it might be expedient for the Legislature to make some provisions. A letter recently received from the governor of Indiana presents some further views of the extent to which such provision may be needed, I therefore now transmit it for the information of Congress.

TH. JEFFERSON.



FEBRUARY 24, 1802.

Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives:

I communicate to both Houses of Congress a report of the Secretary of the Treasury on the subject of our marine hospitals, which appear to require legislative attention.

As connected with the same subject, I also inclose information respecting the situation of our seamen and boatmen frequenting the port of New Orleans and suffering there from sickness and the want of accommodation. There is good reason to believe their numbers greater than stated in these papers. When we consider how great a proportion of the territory of the United States must communicate with that port singly, and how rapidly that territory is increasing its population and productions, it may perhaps be thought reasonable to make hospital provisions there of a different order from those at foreign ports generally.

TH. JEFFERSON.



FEBRUARY 25, 1802.

Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives:

No occasion having arisen since the last account rendered by my predecessor of making use of any part of the moneys heretofore granted to defray the contingent charges of the Government, I now transmit to Congress an official statement thereof to the 31st day of December last, when the whole unexpended balance, amounting to $20,911.80, was carried to the credit of the surplus fund, as provided for by law, and this account consequently becomes finally closed,

TH. JEFFERSON.



FEBRUARY 26, 1802.

Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives:

Some statements have been lately received of the causes decided or depending in the courts of the Union in certain States, supplementary or corrective of those from which was formed the general statement accompanying my message at the opening of the session. I therefore communicate them to Congress, with a report of the Secretary of State noting their effect on the former statement and correcting certain errors in it which arose partly from inexactitude in some of the returns and partly in analyzing, adding, and transcribing them while hurried in preparing the other voluminous papers accompanying that message.

TH. JEFFERSON.



MARCH 1, 1802.

Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives:

I transmit for the information of Congress letters recently received from our consuls at Gibraltar and Algiers, presenting the latest view of the state of our affairs with the Barbary Powers. The sums due to the Government of Algiers are now fully paid up, and of the gratuity which had been promised to that of Tunis, and was in a course of preparation, a small portion only remains still to be finished and delivered.

TH. JEFFERSON.



MARCH 9, 1802.

Gentlemen of the Senate:

The governor of New York has desired that, in addition to the negotiations with certain Indians already authorized under the superintendence of John Taylor, further negotiations should be held with the Oneidas and other members of the Confederacy of the Six Nations for the purchase of lands in and for the State of New York, which they are willing to sell, as explained in the letter from the Secretary of War herewith sent. I have therefore thought it better to name a commissioner to superintend the negotiations specified with the Six Nations generally, or with any of them.

I do accordingly nominate John Taylor, of New York, to be commissioner for the United States, to hold a convention or conventions between the State of New York and the Confederacy of the Six Nations of Indians, or any of the nations composing it.

This nomination, if advised and consented to by the Senate, will comprehend and supersede that of February 1 of the same John Taylor so far as it respected the Seneca Indians,

TH. JEFFERSON.



MARCH 10, 1802.

Gentlemen of the Senate:

I now submit for the ratification of the Senate a treaty entered into by the commissioners of the United States with the Choctaw Nation of Indians, and I transmit therewith so much of the instructions to the commissioners as related to the Choctaws, with the minutes of their proceedings and the letter accompanying them.

TH. JEFFERSON.



MARCH 29, 1802.

Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives:

The Secretary of State, charged with the civil affairs of the several Territories of the United States, has received from the marshal of Columbia a statement of the condition, unavoidably distressing, of the persons committed to his custody on civil or criminal process and the urgency for some legislative provisions for their relief. There are other important cases wherein the laws of the adjoining States under which the Territory is placed, though adapted to the purposes of those States, are insufficient for those of the Territory from the dissimilar or defective organization of its authorities. The letter and statement of the marshal and the disquieting state of the Territory generally are now submitted to the wisdom and consideration of the Legislature.

TH. JEFFERSON.



MARCH 29, 1802.

Gentlemen of the Senate:

The commissioners who were appointed to carry into execution the sixth article of the treaty of amity, commerce, and navigation between the United States and His Britannic Majesty having differed in opinion as to the objects of that article and discontinued their proceedings, the Executive of the United States took early measures, by instructions to our minister at the British Court, to negotiate explanations of that article. This mode of resolving the difficulty, however, proved unacceptable to the British Government, which chose rather to avoid all further discussion and expense under that article by fixing at a given sum the amount for which the United States should be held responsible under it. Mr. King was consequently authorized to meet this proposition, and a settlement in this way has been effected by a convention entered into with the British Government, and now communicated for your advice and consent, together with the instructions and correspondence relating to it. The greater part of these papers being originals, the return of them is requested at the convenience of the Senate.

TH. JEFFERSON.



MARCH 30, 1802.

Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives:

The Secretary of War has prepared an estimate of expenditures for the Army of the United States during the year 1802, conformably to the act fixing the military peace establishment, which estimate, with his letter accompanying and explaining it, I now transmit to both Houses of Congress.

TH. JEFFERSON.



MARCH 31, 1802.

Gentlemen of the House of Representatives:

According to the desire expressed in your resolution of the 23d instant, I now transmit a report of the Secretary of State, with the letters it refers to, shewing the proceedings which have taken place under the resolution of Congress of the 16th of April, 1800. The term prescribed for the execution of the resolution having elapsed before the person appointed had sat out on the service, I did not deem it justifiable to commence a course of expenditure after the expiration of the resolution authorizing it. The correspondence which has taken place, having regard to dates, will place this subject properly under the view of the House of Representatives.

TH. JEFFERSON.



APRIL, 8, 1802.

Gentlemen of the Senate:

In order to satisfy as far as it is in my power the desire expressed in your resolution of the 6th instant, I now transmit you a letter from John Read, agent for the United States before the board of commissioners under the sixth article of the treaty with Great Britain, to the Attorney-General, bearing date the 25th of April, 1801, in which he gives a summary view of the proceedings of those commissioners and of the principles established or insisted on by a majority of them.

Supposing it might be practicable for us to settle by negotiation with Great Britain the principles which ought to govern the decisions under the treaty, I caused instructions to be given to Mr. Read to analyze the claims before the board of commissioners, to class them under the principles on which they respectively depended, and to state the sum depending on each principle or the amount of each description of debt. The object of this was that we might know what principles were most important for us to contend for and what others might be conceded without much injury. He performed this duty, and gave in such a statement during the last summer, but the chief clerk of the Secretary of State's office being absent on account of sickness, and the only person acquainted with the arrangement of the papers of the office, this particular document can not at this time be found. Having, however, been myself in possession of it a few days after its receipt, I then transcribed from it for my own use the recapitulation of the amount of each description of debt. A copy of this transcript I shall subjoin hereto, with assurances that it is substantially correct, and with the hope that it will give a view of the subject sufficiently precise to fulfill the wishes of the Senate. To save them the delay of waiting till a copy of the agent's letter could be made, I send the original, with the request that it may be returned at the convenience of the Senate.

TH. JEFFERSON.



APRIL 15, 1802.

Gentlemen of the House of Representatives:

I now transmit the papers desired in your resolution of the 6th instant. Those respecting the Berceau will sufficiently explain themselves. The officer charged with her repairs states in his letter, received August 27, 1801, that he had been led by circumstances, which he explains, to go considerably beyond his orders. In questions between nations, who have no common umpire but reason, something must often be yielded of mutual opinion to enable them to meet in a common point.

The allowance which had been proposed to the officers of that vessel being represented as too small for their daily necessities, and still more so as the means of paying before their departure debts contracted with our citizens for subsistence, it was requested on their behalf that the daily pay of each might be the measure of their allowance.

This being solicited and reimbursement assumed by the agent of their nation, I deemed that the indulgence would have a propitious effect in the moment of returning friendship. The sum of $870.83 was accordingly furnished them for the five months of past captivity and a proportional allowance authorized until their embarkation.

TH. JEFFERSON.



APRIL 20, 1802.

Gentlemen of the House of Representatives:

I transmit you a report from the Secretary of State, with the information desired by the House of Representatives, of the 8th of January, relative to certain spoliations and other proceedings therein referred to.

TH. JEFFERSON.



APRIL 26, 1802.

Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives:

In pursuance of the act entitled "An act supplemental to the act entitled 'An act for an amicable settlement of limits with the State of Georgia, and authorizing the establishment of a government in the Mississippi Territory,'" James Madison, Secretary of State, Albert Gallatin, Secretary of the Treasury, and Levi Lincoln, Attorney-General of the United States, were appointed commissioners to settle by compromise with the commissioners appointed by the State of Georgia the claims and cession to which the said act has relation.

Articles of agreement and cession have accordingly been entered into and signed by the said commissioners of the United States and of Georgia, which, as they leave a right to Congress to act upon them legislatively at any time within six months after their date, I have thought it my duty immediately to communicate to the Legislature.

TH. JEFFERSON.



APRIL 27, 1802.

Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives:

The commissioners who were appointed to carry into execution the sixth article of the treaty of amity, commerce, and navigation between the United States and Great Britain having differed in their construction of that article, and separated in consequence of that difference, the President of the United States took immediate measures for obtaining conventional explanations of that article for the government of the commissioners. Finding, however, great difficulties opposed to a settlement in that way, he authorized our minister at the Court of London to meet a proposition that the United States by the payment of a fixed sum should discharge themselves from their responsibility for such debts as can not be recovered from the individual debtors. A convention has accordingly been signed, fixing the sum to be paid at L600,000 in three equal and annual installments, which has been ratified by me with the advice and consent of the Senate.

I now transmit copies thereof to both Houses of Congress, trusting that in the free exercise of the authority which the Constitution has given them on the subject of public expenditures they will deem it for the public interest to appropriate the sums necessary for carrying this convention into execution.

TH. JEFFERSON.



SECOND ANNUAL MESSAGE.

DECEMBER 15, 1802

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

When we assemble together, fellow-citizens, to consider the state of our beloved country, our just attentions are first drawn to those pleasing circumstances which mark the goodness of that Being from whose favor they flow and the large measure of thankfulness we owe for His bounty. Another year has come around, and finds us still blessed with peace and friendship abroad; law, order, and religion at home; good affection and harmony with our Indian neighbors; our burthens lightened, yet our income sufficient for the public wants, and the produce of the year great beyond example. These, fellow-citizens, are the circumstances under which we meet, and we remark with special satisfaction those which under the smiles of Providence result from the skill, industry, and order of our citizens, managing their own affairs in their own way and for their own use, unembarrassed by too much regulation, unoppressed by fiscal exactions.

On the restoration of peace in Europe that portion of the general carrying trade which had fallen to our share during the war was abridged by the returning competition of the belligerent powers. This was to be expected, and was just. But in addition we find in some parts of Europe monopolizing discriminations, which in the form of duties tend effectually to prohibit the carrying thither our own produce in our own vessels. From existing amities and a spirit of justice it is hoped that friendly discussion will produce a fair and adequate reciprocity. But should false calculations of interest defeat our hope, it rests with the Legislature to decide whether they will meet inequalities abroad with countervailing inequalities at home, or provide for the evil in any other way.

It is with satisfaction I lay before you an act of the British Parliament anticipating this subject so far as to authorize a mutual abolition of the duties and countervailing duties permitted under the treaty of 1794. It shows on their part a spirit of justice and friendly accommodation which it is our duty and our interest to cultivate with all nations. Whether this would produce a due equality in the navigation between the two countries is a subject for your consideration.

Another circumstance which claims attention as directly affecting the very source of our navigation is the defect or the evasion of the law providing for the return of seamen, and particularly of those belonging to vessels sold abroad. Numbers of them, discharged in foreign ports, have been thrown on the hands of our consuls, who, to rescue them from the dangers into which their distresses might plunge them and save them to their country, have found it necessary in some cases to return them at the public charge.

The cession of the Spanish Province of Louisiana to France, which took place in the course of the late war, will, if carried into effect, make a change in the aspect of our foreign relations which will doubtless have just weight in any deliberations of the Legislature connected with that subject.

There was reason not long since to apprehend that the warfare in which we were engaged with Tripoli might be taken up by some other of the Barbary Powers. A reenforcement, therefore, was immediately ordered to the vessels already there. Subsequent information, however, has removed these apprehensions for the present. To secure our commerce in that sea with the smallest force competent, we have supposed it best to watch strictly the harbor of Tripoli. Still, however, the shallowness of their coast and the want of smaller vessels on our part has permitted some cruisers to escape unobserved, and to one of these an American vessel unfortunately fell a prey. The captain, one American seaman, and two others of color remain prisoners with them unless exchanged under an agreement formerly made with the Bashaw, to whom, on the faith of that, some of his captive subjects had been restored.

The convention with the State of Georgia has been ratified by their legislature, and a repurchase from the Creeks has been consequently made of a part of the Talasscee country. In this purchase has been also comprehended a part of the lands within the fork of Oconee and Oakmulgee rivers. The particulars of the contract will be laid before Congress so soon as they shall be in a state for communication.

In order to remove every ground of difference possible with our Indian neighbors, I have proceeded in the work of settling with them and marking the boundaries between us. That with the Choctaw Nation is fixed in one part and will be through the whole within a short time. The country to which their title had been extinguished before the Revolution is sufficient to receive a very respectable population, which Congress will probably see the expediency of encouraging so soon as the limits shall be declared. We are to view this position as an outpost of the United States, surrounded by strong neighbors and distant from its support; and how far that monopoly which prevents population should here be guarded against and actual habitation made a condition of the continuance of title will be for your consideration. A prompt settlement, too, of all existing rights and claims within this territory presents itself as a preliminary operation.

In that part of the Indiana Territory which includes Vincennes the lines settled with the neighboring tribes fix the extinction of their title at a breadth of 24 leagues from east to west and about the same length parallel with and including the Wabash. They have also ceded a tract of 4 miles square, including the salt springs near the mouth of that river.

In the Department of Finance it is with pleasure I inform you that the receipts of external duties for the last twelve months have exceeded those of any former year, and that the ratio of increase has been also greater than usual. This has enabled us to answer all the regular exigencies of Government, to pay from the Treasury within one year upward of $8,000,000, principal and interest, of the public debt, exclusive of upward of one million paid by the sale of bank stock, and making in the whole a reduction of nearly five millions and a half of principal, and to have now in the Treasury $4,500,000, which are in a course of application to the further discharge of debt and current demands. Experience, too, so far, authorizes us to believe, if no extraordinary event supervenes, and the expenses which will be actually incurred shall not be greater than were contemplated by Congress at their last session, that we shall not be disappointed in the expectations then formed. But nevertheless, as the effect of peace on the amount of duties is not yet fully ascertained, it is the more necessary to practice every useful economy and to incur no expense which may be avoided without prejudice.

The collection of the internal taxes having been completed in some of the States, the officers employed in it are of course out of commission. In others they will be so shortly. But in a few, where the arrangements for the direct tax had been retarded, it will be some time before the system is closed. It has not yet been thought necessary to employ the agent authorized by an act of the last session for transacting business in Europe relative to debts and loans. Nor have we used the power confided by the same act of prolonging the foreign debt by reloans, and of redeeming instead thereof an equal sum of the domestic debt. Should, however, the difficulties of remittance on so large a scale render it necessary at any time, the power shall be executed and the money thus unemployed abroad shall, in conformity with that law, be faithfully applied here in an equivalent extinction of domestic debt. When effects so salutary result from the plans you have already sanctioned; when merely by avoiding false objects of expense we are able, without a direct tax, without internal taxes, and without borrowing to make large and effectual payments toward the discharge of our public debt and the emancipation of our posterity from that mortal canker, it is an encouragement, fellow-citizens, of the highest order to proceed as we have begun in substituting economy for taxation, and in pursuing what is useful for a nation placed as we are, rather than what is practiced by others under different circumstances. And whensoever we are destined to meet events which shall call forth all the energies of our countrymen, we have the firmest reliance on those energies and the comfort of leaving for calls like these the extraordinary resources of loans and internal taxes. In the meantime, by payments of the principal of our debt, we are liberating annually portions of the external taxes and forming from them a growing fund still further to lessen the necessity of recurring to extraordinary resources.

The usual account of receipts and expenditures for the last year, with an estimate of the expenses of the ensuing one, will be laid before you by the Secretary of the Treasury.

No change being deemed necessary in our military establishment, an estimate of its expenses for the ensuing year on its present footing, as also of the sums to be employed in fortifications and other objects within that department, has been prepared by the Secretary of War, and will make a part of the general estimates which will be presented you.

Considering that our regular troops are employed for local purposes, and that the militia is our general reliance for great and sudden emergencies, you will doubtless think this institution worthy of a review, and give it those improvements of which you find it susceptible.

Estimates for the Naval Department, prepared by the Secretary of the Navy, for another year will in like manner be communicated with the general estimates. A small force in the Mediterranean will still be necessary to restrain the Tripoline cruisers, and the uncertain tenure of peace with some other of the Barbary Powers may eventually require that force to be augmented. The necessity of procuring some smaller vessels for that service will raise the estimate, but the difference in their maintenance will soon make it a measure of economy.

Presuming it will be deemed expedient to expend annually a convenient sum toward providing the naval defense which our situation may require, I can not but recommend that the first appropriations for that purpose may go to the saving what we already possess. No cares, no attentions, can preserve vessels from rapid decay which lie in water and exposed to the sun. These decays require great and constant repairs, and will consume, if continued, a great portion of the moneys destined to naval purposes. To avoid this waste of our resources it is proposed to add to our navy-yard here a dock within which our present vessels may be laid up dry and under cover from the sun. Under these circumstances experience proves that works of wood will remain scarcely at all affected by time. The great abundance of running water which this situation possesses, at heights far above the level of the tide, if employed as is practiced for lock navigation, furnishes the means for raising and laying up our vessels on a dry and sheltered bed. And should the measure be found useful here, similar depositories for laying up as well as for building and repairing vessels may hereafter be undertaken at other navy-yards offering the same means. The plans and estimates of the work, prepared by a person of skill and experience, will be presented to you without delay, and from this it will be seen that scarcely more than has been the cost of one vessel is necessary to save the whole, and that the annual sum to be employed toward its completion may be adapted to the views of the Legislature as to naval expenditure.

To cultivate peace and maintain commerce and navigation in all their lawful enterprises; to foster our fisheries as nurseries of navigation and for the nurture of man, and protect the manufactures adapted to our circumstances; to preserve the faith of the nation by an exact discharge of its debts and contracts, expend the public money with the same care and economy we would practice with our own, and impose on our citizens no unnecessary burthens; to keep in all things within the pale of our constitutional powers, and cherish the federal union as the only rock of safety—these, fellow-citizens, are the landmarks by which we are to guide our selves in all our proceedings. By continuing to make these the rule of our action we shall endear to our countrymen the true principles of their Constitution and promote an union of sentiment and of action equally auspicious to their happiness and safety. On my part, you may count on a cordial concurrence in every measure for the public good and on all the information I possess which may enable you to discharge to advantage the high functions with which you are invested by your country.

TH. JEFFERSON.



SPECIAL MESSAGES.

DECEMBER 22, 1802.

Gentlemen of the House of Representatives:

I now transmit a report from the Secretary of State with the information requested in your resolution of the 17th instant.

In making this communication I deem it proper to observe that I was led by the regard due to the rights and interests of the United States and to the just sensibility of the portion of our fellow-citizens more immediately affected by the irregular proceeding at New Orleans to lose not a moment in causing every step to be taken which the occasion claimed from me, being equally aware of the obligation to maintain in all cases the rights of the nation and to employ for that purpose those just and honorable means which belong to the character of the United States.

TH. JEFFERSON.



DECEMBER 23, 1802.

Gentlemen of the House of Representatives.

In pursuance of the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 3d of May last, desiring a statement of expenditures from January 1, 1797, by the Quartermaster-General and the navy agents, for the contingencies of the naval and military establishments and the navy contracts for timber and stores, I now transmit such statements from the offices of the Secretaries of the Treasury, War, and Navy, where alone these expenditures are entered.

TH. JEFFERSON.



DECEMBER 27, 1802.

Gentlemen of the Senate:

I lay before you a treaty, which has been agreed to by commissioners duly authorized on the part of the United States and the Creek Nation of Indians, for the extinguishment of the native title to lands in the Talassee County, and others between the forks of Oconce and Oakmulgee rivers, in Georgia, in pursuance of the convention with that State, together with the documents explanatory thereof; and it is submitted to your determination whether you will advise and consent to the ratification thereof.

TH. JEFFERSON.



DECEMBER 27, 1802.

Gentlemen of the Senate:

I lay before you a treaty, which has been concluded between the State of New York and the Oneida Indians, for the purchase of lands within that State.

One other, between the same State and the Seneca Indians, for the purchase of other lands within the same State.

One other, between certain individuals styled the Holland Company with the Senecas, for the exchange of certain lands in the same State.

And one other, between Oliver Phelps, a citizen of the United States, and the Senecas, for the exchange of lands in the same State; with sundry explanatory papers, all of them conducted under the superintendence of a commissioner on the part of the United States, who reports that they have been adjusted with the fair and free consent and understanding of the parties. It is therefore submitted to your determination whether you will advise and consent to their respective ratifications.

TH. JEFFERSON.



DECEMBER 27, 1802.

Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives:

In my message of the 15th instant I mentioned that plans and estimates of a dry dock for the preservation of our ships of war, prepared by a person of skill and experience, should be laid before you without delay. These are now transmitted, the report and estimates by duplicates; but the plans being single only, I must request an intercommunication of them between the Houses and their return when they shall no longer be wanting for their consideration.

TH. JEFFERSON.



DECEMBER 30, 1802.

Gentlemen of the House of Representatives:

In addition to the information accompanying my message of the 22d instant, I now transmit the copy of a letter on the same subject, recently received.

TH. JEFFERSON.



WASHINGTON, December 30, 1802.

The SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.

SIR: Although an informal communication to the public of the substance of the inclosed letter may be proper for quieting the public mind, yet I refer to the consideration of the House of Representatives whether the publication of it in form might not give dissatisfaction to the writer and tend to discourage the freedom and confidence of communications between the agents of the two Governments. Accept assurances of my high consideration and respect.

TH. JEFFERSON.



NATCHEZ, November 25, 1802.

The Honorable the Secretary of State,

Washington.

SIR: I have the honor to inclose you an original copy of a communication (together with a translation thereof) which I this morning received from the governor-general of the Province of Louisiana in answer to my letters of the 28th ultimo.

I am, sir, with respect and esteem, your humble servant,

WILLIAM C.C. CLAIBORNE.



[Translation.]

New Orleans, November 15, 1802.

His Excellency WILLIAM C.C. CLAIBORNE.

Most Excellent Sir: I received a few days past your excellency's esteemed letter of the 28th ultimo, in which your excellency, referring to the twenty-second article of the treaty of friendship, navigation, and limits agreed upon between the King, my master, and the United States of America, has been pleased to inquire, after transcribing the literal text of said article (which you find so explicit as not to require any comment nor to admit of dubious construction), if His Majesty has been pleased to designate any other position on the banks of the Mississippi, and where that is, if his royal pleasure does not continue the permission stipulated by the said treaty which entitled the citizens of the United States to deposit their merchandise and effects in the port of New Orleans; and you request at the same time that, as the affair is so interesting to the commerce of the United States and to the welfare of its citizens, I may do you the favor to send you an answer as early as possible. I can now assure your excellency that His Catholic Majesty has not hitherto issued any order for suspending the deposit, and consequently has not designated any other position on the banks of the Mississippi for that purpose. But I must inform you, in answer to your inquiry, that the intendant of these provinces (who in the affairs of his own department is independent of the general Government), at the same time that, in conformity with the royal commands (the peace in Europe having been published since the 4th of May last), he suspended the commerce of neutrals, also thought proper to suspend the tacit prolongation which continued, and to put a stop to the infinite abuses which resulted from the deposit, contrary to the interest of the State and of the commerce of these colonies, in consequence of the experience he acquired of the frauds which have been committed and which it has been endeavored to excuse under the pretext of ignorance, as is manifested by the number of causes which now await the determination of His Majesty, as soon as they can be brought to his royal knowledge, besides many others which have been dropt because the individuals have absconded who introduced their properties into the deposit and did not extract them, thus defrauding the royal interests.

It might appear on the first view that particular cases like these ought not to operate against a general privilege granted by a solemn treaty, and it is an incontestable principle that the happiness of nations consists in a great measure in maintaining a good harmony and correspondence with their neighbors by respecting their rights, by supporting their own, without being deficient in what is required by humanity and civil intercourse; but it is also indubitable that for a treaty, although solemn, to be entirely valid it ought not to contain any defect; and if it be pernicious and of an injurious tendency, although it has been effectuated with good faith but without a knowledge of its bad consequence, it will be necessary to undo it, because treaties ought to be viewed like other acts of public will, in which more attention ought to be paid to the intention than to the words in which they are expressed; and thus it will not appear so repugnant that the term of three years fixed by the twenty-second article being completed without the King's having granted a prolongation, the intendancy should not, after putting a stop to the commerce of neutrals, take upon itself the responsibility of continuing that favor without the express mandate of the King, a circumstance equally indispensable for designating another place on the banks of the Mississippi.

From the foregoing I trust that you will infer that as it is the duty of the intendant, who conducts the business of his ministry with a perfect independence of the Government, to have informed the King of what he has done in fulfillment of what has been expressly stipulated, it is to be hoped that His Majesty will take the measures which are convenient to give effect to the deposit, either in this capital, if he should not find it prejudicial to the interests of Spain, or in the place on the banks of the Mississippi which it may be his royal pleasure to designate; as it ought to be confided that the justice and generosity of the King will not refuse to afford to the American citizens all the advantages they can desire, a measure which does not depend upon discretion, nor can an individual chief take it upon himself. Besides these principles on which the regulation of the intendant is founded, I ought at the same time to inform you that I myself opposed on my part, as far as I reasonably could, the measure of suspending the deposit, until the reasons adduced by the intendant brought it to my view; that as all events can not be prevented, and as with time and different circumstances various others occur which can not be foreseen, a just and rational interpretation is always necessary. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the result of my own reflections, I immediately consulted on the occasion with my captain-general, whose answer, which can not be long delayed, will dissipate every doubt that may be raised concerning the steps which are to be taken, By all means your excellency may live in the firm persuasion that as there has subsisted, and does subsist, the most perfect and constant good harmony between the King, my master, and the United States of America, I will spare no pains to preserve it by all the means in my power, being assured of a reciprocity of equal good offices in observing the treaty with good faith, ever keeping it in view that the felicity and glory of nations are deeply concerned in the advantages of a wise and prudently conducted commerce.

I have the honor to assure your excellency of the respect and high consideration which I profess for you; and I pray the Most High to preserve your life many years.

I kiss your excellency's hands.

Your most affectionate servant,

MANUEL DE SALCEDO.



JANUARY 5, 1803.

Gentlemen of the House of Representatives:

Agreeably to the request of the House of Representatives, I now transmit a statement of the militia of those States from which any returns have been made to the War Office. They are, as you will perceive, but a small proportion of the whole. I send you also the copy of a circular letter written some time since for the purpose of obtaining returns from all the States. Should any others in consequence of this be made during the session of Congress, they shall be immediately communicated.

TH. JEFFERSON.



JANUARY 7, 1803.

Gentlemen of the Senate:

I submit for your approbation and consent a convention entered into with the Choctaw Nation of Indians for ascertaining and marking the limits of the territory ceded to our nation while under its former government, and lying between the Tombigbee and Mobile rivers on the east and the Chickasawhay River on the west.

We are now engaged in ascertaining and marking in like manner the limits of the former cessions of the Choctaws from the river Yazoo to our southern boundary, which will be the subject of another convention, and we expect to obtain from the same nation a new cession of lands of considerable extent between the Tombigbee and Alabama rivers.

These several tracts of country will compose that portion of the Mississippi Territory which, so soon as certain individual claims are arranged, the United States will be free to sell and settle immediately.

TH. JEFFERSON



JANUARY 11, 1803.

Gentlemen of the Senate:

The cession of the Spanish Province of Louisiana to France, and perhaps of the Floridas, and the late suspension of our right of deposit at New Orleans are events of primary interest to the United States. On both occasions such measures were promptly taken as were thought most likely amicably to remove the present and to prevent future causes of inquietude. The objects of these measures were to obtain the territory on the left bank of the Mississippi and eastward of that, if practicable, on conditions to which the proper authorities of our country would agree, or at least to prevent any changes which might lessen the secure exercise of our rights. While my confidence in our minister plenipotentiary at Paris is entire and undiminished, I still think that these objects might be promoted by joining with him a person sent from hence directly, carrying with him the feelings and sentiments of the nation excited on the late occurrence, impressed by full communications of all the views we entertain on this interesting subject, and thus prepared to meet and to improve to an useful result the counter propositions of the other contracting party, whatsoever form their interests may give to them, and to secure to us the ultimate accomplishment of our object.

I therefore nominate Robert R. Livingston to be minister plenipotentiary and James Monroe to be minister extraordinary and plenipotentiary, with full powers to both jointly, or to either on the death of the other, to enter into a treaty or convention with the First Consul of France for the purpose of enlarging and more effectually securing our rights and interests in the river Mississippi and in the Territories eastward thereof.

But as the possession of these provinces is still in Spain, and the course of events may retard or prevent the cession to France being carried into effect, to secure our object it will be expedient to address equal powers to the Government of Spain also, to be used only in the event of its being necessary.

I therefore nominate Charles Pinckney to be minister plenipotentiary, and James Monroe, of Virginia, to be minister extraordinary and plenipotentiary, with full powers to both jointly, or to either on the death of the other, to enter into a treaty or convention with His Catholic Majesty for the purpose of enlarging and more effectually securing our rights and interests in the river Mississippi and in the Territories eastward thereof.

TH. JEFFERSON.



JANUARY 11, 1803.

Gentlemen of the Senate:

The spoliations and irregularities committed on our commerce during the late war by subjects of Spain or by others deemed within her responsibility having called for attention, instructions were accordingly given to our minister at Madrid to urge our right to just indemnifications, and to propose a convention for adjusting them. The Spanish Government listened to our proposition with an honorable readiness and agreed to a convention, which I now submit for your advice and consent. It does not go to the satisfaction of all our claims, but the express reservation of our right to press the validity of the residue has been made the ground of further instructions to our minister on the subject of an additional article, which it is to be hoped will not be without effect.

TH. JEFFERSON.



JANUARY 18, 1803.

Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives:

As the continuance of the act for establishing trading houses with the Indian tribes will be under the consideration of the Legislature at its present session, I think it my duty to communicate the views which have guided me in the execution of that act, in order that you may decide on the policy of continuing it in the present or any other form, or discontinue it altogether if that shall, on the whole, seem most for the public good.

The Indian tribes residing within the limits of the United States have for a considerable time been growing more and more uneasy at the constant diminution of the territory they occupy, although effected by their own voluntary sales, and the policy has long been gaining strength with them of refusing absolutely all further sale on any conditions, insomuch that at this time it hazards their friendship and excites dangerous jealousies and perturbations in their minds to make any overture for the purchase of the smallest portions of their land. A very few tribes only are not yet obstinately in these dispositions. In order peaceably to counteract this policy of theirs and to provide an extension of territory which the rapid increase of our numbers will call for, two measures are deemed expedient. First. To encourage them to abandon hunting, to apply to the raising stock, to agriculture, and domestic manufacture, and thereby prove to themselves that less land and labor will maintain them in this better than in their former mode of living. The extensive forests necessary in the hunting life will then become useless, and they will see advantage in exchanging them for the means of improving their farms and of increasing their domestic comforts. Secondly. To multiply trading houses among them, and place within their reach those things which will contribute more to their domestic comfort than the possession of extensive but uncultivated wilds. Experience and reflection will develop to them the wisdom of exchanging what they can spare and we want for what we can spare and they want. In leading them thus to agriculture, to manufactures, and civilization; in bringing together their and our sentiments, and in preparing them ultimately to participate in the benefits of our Government, I trust and believe we are acting for their greatest good. At these trading houses we have pursued the principles of the act of Congress which directs that the commerce shall be carried on liberally, and requires only that the capital stock shall not be diminished. We consequently undersell private traders, foreign and domestic, drive them from the competition, and thus, with the good will of the Indians, rid ourselves of a description of men who are constantly endeavoring to excite in the Indian mind suspicions, fears, and irritations toward us. A letter now inclosed shows the effect of our competition on the operations of the traders, while the Indians, perceiving the advantage of purchasing from us, are soliciting generally our establishment of trading houses among them. In one quarter this is particularly interesting. The legislature, reflecting on the late occurrences on the Mississippi, must be sensible how desirable it is to possess a respectable breadth of country on that river, from our southern limit to the Illinois, at least, so that we may present as firm a front on that as on our eastern border. We possess what is below the Yazoo, and can probably acquire a certain breadth from the Illinois and Wabash to the Ohio; but between the Ohio and Yazoo the country all belongs to the Chickasaws, the most friendly tribe within our limits, but the most decided against the alienation of lands. The portion of their country most important for us is exactly that which they do not inhabit. Their settlements are not on the Mississippi, but in the interior country. They have lately shown a desire to become agricultural, and this leads to the desire of buying implements and comforts. In the strengthening and gratifying of these wants I see the only prospect of planting on the Mississippi itself the means of its own safety. Duty has required me to submit these views to the judgment of the Legislature, but as their disclosure might embarrass and defeat their effect, they are committed to the special confidence of the two Houses.

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