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property, Their impartial selection also being essential to their value, we ought farther to consider whether that is sufficiently secured in those states where they are named o a marshal depending on executive will, or designated by the court or by officers dependent on them,
I cannot 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 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 every one manifest. ing a bona-fide purpose of embarking his life and fortunes permanently with us? with restrictions, perhaps, to guard against the fraudulent usurp: ation 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 communi. cation, will be the subject of separate messages. I am happy in this op. portunity of committing the arduous affairs of our government to the col. lected 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 disin; terested efforts, which have for their object to preserve the general and state governments in their constitutional form and equilibrium ; to main: tain peace abroad, and order and obedience to the laws at home; to estab: lish principles and practices of administration favorable to the security of liberty and property, and to reduce expenses to what is necessary for the o of government.
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 burdens 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 smile 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 regulations, 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 aboliton 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 soreign 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 others of the Barbary powers. A reinforcement, 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 purchase from the Creeks has been consequently made of a part of the Tallahassee country. . In this purchase has been comprehended 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 in 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 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 their territory presents itself as a preliminary operation. In that part of the Indian territory which includes Vincennes, the lines settled with the neighboring tribes fix the extinction of their title at a breadth of twenty-four leagues from east to west, and about the same length, parallel with and including the Wabash. They have also ceded a tract of four miles square, including the salt springs near the mouth of the river. In the department of finances 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 in one year upwards of eight millions of dollars, principal and interest, of the public debt, exclusive of upwards 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 nearly four millions and a half of dollars, which are in a course of application to a farther 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 . 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 inore necessary to practise every useful economy, and to incur no expense which may be avoided without prejudice. The collection of 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 arrangement 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 con: fided by the same act, of prolonging the foreign debts 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 moral 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 practised 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 mean time, 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 farther to lessen the necessity of recurring to extraordinary reSources. The usual accounts 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 projects within that department, has been prepared by the secretary of war, and will make a part of the general estimates which will be presented to you. Considering that our regular troops are employed for local purposes, and that our 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 towards providing the naval defence which our station may require, I cannot 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 money 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 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 practised 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 practise with our own, o on our citizens no unnecessary burdens; 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 ourselves 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.
S P E CIA. L. M. E S S A G E.
Gentlemen of the Senate and 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 farther 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