« НазадПродовжити »
are at all times ready for war. The documents which will be presented to you will show the amount and kinds of arms and military stores now in our magazines and arsenals; and yet an addition even to these supplies cannot, with prudence, be oi as it would leave nothing to the uncertainty of procuring warlike apparatus in the moment of public danger. Nor can such arrangements, with such objects, be exposed to the censure or jealousy of the warmest friends of republican government. They are incapable of abuse in the hands of the militia, who ought to possess a pride in being the depository of the force of the republic, and may be trained to a degree of energy equal to every military exigency of the United States. But it is an inquiry which cannot be too solemnly pursued, whether the act “more effectually to provide for the national defence by establishing a uniform militia throughout the United States,” has organized them so as to produce their full effect; whether your own experience in the several states has not detected some imperfections in the scheme; and whether a material feature in an improvement of it ought not to be to afford an opportunity for the study of those branches of the military art which can scarcely ever be attained by practice alone. The connection of the United States with Europe has become extremely interesting. The occurrences which relate to it and have passed under the knowledge of the Executive, will be exhibited to Congress in a subsequent communication. When we contemplate the war on our frontiers, it may be truly affirmed that every reasonable effort has been made to adjust the causes of dissension with the Indians north of the Ohio. The instructions given to the commissioners evince a moderation and equity proceeding from a sincere love of peace,and a liberality having no restriction but the essential interests and dignity of the United States. The attempt, however, of an amicable negotiation having been frustrated, the troops have marched to act offensively. Although the proposed treaty did not arrest the progress of military preparation, it is doubtful how far the advance of the season, before good faith justified active movements, may retard them during the remainder of the year. From the papers and intelligence which relate to this important subject, you will determine whether the deficiency in the number of troops granted by law shall be compensated by succors of militia, or whether additional encouragements shall be proposed to recruits. An anxiety has been also demonstrated by the Executive for peace with the Creeks and the Cherokees. The former have been relieved with corn and with clothing, and offensive measures against them prohibited during the recess of Congress. To satisfy the complaints of the latter, prosecutions have been instituted for the violences committed upon them. But the papers which will be delivered to you disclose the critical footing on which we stand in regard to both these tribes; and it is with Congress to pronounce what shall be done. After they shall have provided for the present emergency, it will merit their most serious labors to render tranquillity with the savages permanent by creating ties of interest. Next to a rigorous execution of justice on the violators of peace, the establishment of commerce with the Indian nations, in behalf of the United States, is most likely to conciliate their attachment. But it ought to be conducted without fraud, without extortion, with constant and plentiful supplies; with a ready market for the commodities of the Indians, and a stated price for what they give in payment and receive in exchange. Individuals will not pursue such traffic, unless they be allured by the hope of profit; but it will be enough for the United States to be reimbursed only. Should this recommendation accord with the opinion of Congress, they will recollect that it cannot be accomplished by any means yet in the hands of the
Gentlemen of the House of Representatives: The commissioners charged with the settlement of accounts between the United States and individual states, concluded their important functions within the time limited by law; and the balances struck in their report, which will be laid before Congress, have been placed on the books of the Treasury. On the first day of June last, an instalment of one million of florins became o: on the loans of the United States in Holland. This was adjusted y a prolongation ofthe period of reimbursement, in the nature of a new loan, at an interest of five per cent for the term of ten years; and the expenses of this operation were a commission of three per cent. The first instalment of the loan of two millions of dollars from the Bank of the United States has been paid, as was directed by law. For the second, it is necessary that provision should be made. No pecuniary consideration is more urgent than the regular redemption and discharge of the public debt. On none can delay be more injurious, or an economy of time more valuable. The productiveness of the public revenues hitherto, has continued to equal the anticipations which were formed of it; but it is not expected to prove commensurate with all the objects which have been suggested. Some auxiliary provisions will therefore, it is presumed, be requisite; and it is hoped that these may be made consistently with a due regard to the convenience of our citizens, who cannot but be sensible of the true wisdom of encountering a small present addition to their contributions, to obviate a future accumulation of burdens. But here I cannot forbear to recommend a repeal of the tax on the transportation of public prints. There is no resource so firm for the government of the United States as the affections of the people, . by an enlightened policy; and to this primary good, nothing can conduce more than a faithful representation of public proceedings, diffused without restraint throughout the United States. An estimate of the appropriations necessary for the current service of the ensuing year, and a statement of a purchase of arms and military stores made during the recess, will be presented to Congress.
Gentlemen of the House of Representatives:
The several subjects to which I have now referred, open a wide range to your deliberations and involve some of the choicest interests of our common country.... Permit me to bring to your remembrance the magnitude of your task. . Without an unprejudiced coolness, the welfare of the government may be hazarded; without harmony, as far as consists with freedom of sentiment, its dignity may be lost. But, as the legislative proceedings of the United States will never, I trust, be reproached for the want of temper or of candor, so shall not the public happiness languish for the want of my strenuous and warmest co-operation.
S P E CIA. L. M. E S S A G E.
Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Representatives.
As the present situation of the several nations of Europe, and especially of those with which the United States have important relations, cannot but render the state of things between them and us matter of interesting inquiry to the legislature, and may indeed give rise to deliberations to which they alone are competent, I have thought it my duty to communicate to them certain correspondences which have taken place. The representative and executive bodies of France have manifested generally a friendly attachment to this country, have given advantages to our commerce and navigation, and have made overtures for placing these advantages on permanent ground. A decree, however, of the National Assembly, subjecting vessels laden with provisions to be carried into their ports, and making enemy goods lawful prize in the vessels of a friend, contrary to our treaty, though revoked at one time as to the United States, has been since extended to their vessels also, as has been recently stated to us. Representations on this subject will be immediately given in charge to our minister there, and the result shall be communicated to the legislature. It is with extreme concern I have to inform you that the proceedings of the person whom they have unfortunately appointed their minister plenipotentiary here have breathed nothing of the friendly spirit of the nation which sent him. Their tendency, on the contrary, has been to involve us in war abroad, and discord and anarchy at home. So far as his acts or those of his agents have threatened our immediate commitment in the war, or flagrant insult to the authority of the laws, their effect has been counteracted by the ordinary cognizance of the laws, and by an exertion of the wers confided to me. Where their danger was not imminent, they ave been borne with from sentiments of regard to his nation, from a sense of their friendship towards us, from a conviction that they would not suffer us to remain long exposed to the action of a person who has so little respected our mutual dispositions, and from a reliance on the firmness of my fellow citizens in their principles of peace and order. In the mean time, I have respected and pursued the stipulations of our treaties, according to what I judged their true sense, and have withheld no act of friendship which their affairs have called for from us, and which justice to others left us free to perform. I have gone farther. Rather than employ force for the restitution of certain vessels which I deemed the United States bound to restore, I thought it more advisable to satisfy the parties by avowing it to be my opinion that, if restitution were not made, it would be incumbent on the United States to make compensation. The papers now communicated will more particularly apprize you of these transactions. The vexations and spoliations understood to have been committed on our vessels and commerce by the cruisers and officers of some of the belligerent powers, appeared to require attention. The proofs of these, however, not having been brought forward, the descriptions of citizens supposed to have suffered were notified that, on furnishing them to the executive, due measures would be taken to obtain redress of the past and more effectual provisions against the future. Should such documents be furnished, proper representations will be made thereon, with a just reliance on a redress proportioned to the exigency of the case.
The British government having undertaken, by orders to the command. ers of their armed vessels, to restrain generally our commerce in corn and other provisions to their own ports and those of their friends, the instructions now communicated were immediately forwarded to our minister at that court. In the mean time, some discussions on the subject took place between him and them. These are also laid before you, and I may expect to learn the result of his special instructions in time to make it known to the legisla. ture during their present session.
Very early after the arrival of a British minister here, mutual explana. tions on the inexecution of the treaty of peace were entered into with that minister. These are now laid before you for your information.
On the subject of mutual interest between this country and Spain, negotiations and conferences are now depending. The public good requiring that the present state of these should be made known to the legislature in confi. dence only, they shall be the subject of a separate and subsequent communiCatlon.
SIXTH AN NU A. L. A D DRESS.
Fellow Citizens of the Senate and House of Representatives : WHEN we call to mind the gracious indulgence of Heaven, by which the American people became a nation; when we survey the general prosperity of our country, and look forward to the riches, power and happiness to which it seems destined; with the deepest regret do I announce to you that, during your recess, some of the citizens of the United States have been found capable of an insurrection. It is due, however, to the character of our government, and its stability, which cannot be shaken by the enemies of order, freely to unfold the course of this event. During the session of the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety, it was expedient to exercise i. legislative power, granted by the constitution of the United States, “to lay and collect excises.” In a majority of the states, scarcely an objection was heard to this mode of taxation. In some, indeed, alarms were at first conceived, until they were banished by reason and patriotism. In the four western counties of Pennsylvania, a prejudice, fostered and embittered by the artifice of men who labored for an ascendancy over the will of others by the guidance of their passions, produced symptoms of riot and violence. It is well known that congress did not hesitate to examine the complaints which were presented, and to relieve them as far as justice dictated or general convenience would permit. But the impression which this moderation made on the discontented did not correspond with what it deserved. The arts of delusion were no longer confined to the efforts of designing individuals. The very forbearance to press prosecution was misinterpreted into a fear of urging the execution of the laws, and associations of men began to denounce threats against the officers employed. From a belief that by a more formal concert their operation might be defeated, certain self-created societies assumed the tone of condemnation. Hence, while the greater part of Pennsylvania itself were conforming themselves to the acts of excise, a few counties were resolved to frustrate them. It was now perceived that every expectation from the tenderness
which had been hitherto pursued was unavailing, and that further delay could only create an opinion of impotency or irresolution in the govern. ment. Legal process was therefore delivered to the marshal against the rioters and delinquent distillers.
No sooner was he understood to be engaged in this duty, than the vengeance of armed men was aimed at his person and the person and property of the inspector of the revenue. They fired upon the marshal, arrested him, and detained him for some time as a prisoner. He was obliged, by the jeopardy of his life, to renounce the service of other process on the west side of the Allegany mountains; and a deputation was afterwards sent to him to demand a surrender of that which he had served. A numerous body repeatedly attacked the house of the inspector, seized his papers of office, and i. destroyed by fire his buildings and whatsoever they contained. Both o these officers, from a just regard to their safety, fled to the seat of government, it being avowed that the motives to such outrages were to compel the resignation of the inspector, to withstand by force of arms the authority of the United States, and thereby,extort a repeal of the laws of excise and an alteration in the conduct of government.
Upon the testimony of these facts, an associate justice of the supreme court of the United States notified to me that, “in the counties of Washing. ton and Allegany, in Pennsylvania, laws of the United States were opposed, and the executing thereof obstructed, by combinations too of to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceeding, or by the powers vested in the marshal of that district.” On this call, momentous in the extreme, I sought and weighed what might best subdue the crisis. On the one hand, the judiciary was pronounced to be stripped of its capacity to enforce the laws; crimes which reached the very existence of social order were perpetrated without control; the friends of government were insulted, abused, and overawed into silence, or an apparent acquiescence; and, to yield to the treasonable fury of so small a portion of the United States would be to violate the fundamental principle of our constitution, which enjoins that the will of the majority shall prevail. On the other, to array citizen against citizen, to publish the dishonor of such excesses, to encounter the expense and other embarrassments of so distant an expedition, were steps too delicate, too closely interwoven with many affecting considerations, to be lightly adopted. I postponed, therefore, the summoning of the militia immediately into the field; but I required them to be held in readiness, that if my anxious endeavors to reclaim the deluded and to convince the malignant of their danger should be fruitless, military force might be prepared to act, before the season should be too far advanced.
My proclamation of the 7th of August last was accordingly issued, and accompanied by the appointment of commissioners, who were charged to repair to the scene of insurrection. They were authorized to confer with any bodies of men or individuals. They were instructed to be candid and explicit in stating the sensation which had been excited in the Executive, and his earnest wish to avoid a resort to coercion; to represent, however, that, without submission, coercion must be the resort; but to invite them, at the same time, to return to the demeanor of faithful citizens, by such accommodations as lay within the sphere of executive power. Pardon, too, was tendered to them by the government of the United States, and that of Pennsylvania, upon no other condition than a satisfactory assurance of obedience to the laws.