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with every new view I have taken on the subject, that I cannot omit the opportunity of once for all recalling your attention to them. The assembly to which I address myself is too enlightened not to be fully sensible how much a flourishing state of the arts and sciences contributes to national prosperity and reputation. True it is that our country, much to its honor, contains many seminaries of learning highly respectable and useful; but the funds upon which they rest are too narrow to command the ablest professors in the different departments of liberal knowledge for the institution contemplated, though they would be excellent auxiliaries. Amongst the motives to such an institution, the assimilation of the principles, opinions, and manners of our countrymen, by the common education of a portion of our youth from every quarter, well deserves attention. The more homogeneous our citizens can be made in these particulars, the greater will be our prospect of permanent union; and a primary object of such a national institution should be the education of our youth in the science of government. In a republic, what species of knowledge can be equally important? and what duty more pressing on its legislature than to patronise a plan for communicating it to those who are to be the future guardians of the liberties of the country? The institution of a military academy is also recommended by cogent reasons. However pacific the general policy of a nation may be, it ought never to be without an adequate stock of military knowledge for emergencies. The first would impair the energy of its character, and both would hazard its safety or expose it to greater evils when war could not be avoided — besides, that war might often not depend upon its own choice. In proportion as the observance of pacific maxims might exempt a nation from the necessity of practising the rules of the military art, ought to be its care in preserving and transmitting, by proper establishments, the knowledge of that art. Whatever argument may be drawn from particular examples, superficially viewed, a thorough examination of the subject will evince that the art of war is at once comprehensive and complicated, that it demands much previous study, and that the possession of it in its most improved and perfect state is always of great moment to the security of a nation. This, therefore, ought to be a serious care of every government; and for this purpose, an academy, where a regular course of instruction is given, is an obvious expedient which different nations have successfully employed. The compensation to the officers of the United States, in various instances, and in none more than in respect to the most important stations, appear to call for legislative revision. The consequences of a defective provision are of serious import to the government. If private wealth is to supply the defect of public retribution, it will greatly contract the sphere within which the selection of character for office is to be made, and will proportionally diminish the probability of a choice of men able as well as upright. Besides, that it would be repugnant to the vital principles of our government virtually to exclude from public trusts talents and virtue unless accompanied by wealth. While, in our external relations, some serious inconveniences and embarassments have been overcome and others lessened, it is with much pain and deep regret I mention that circumstances of a very unwelcome nature have lately occurred. Our trade has suffered and is suffering extensive injuries in the West Indies from the cruisers and agents of the French Republic; and communications have been received from its minister here which indicate the danger of a farther disturbance of our commerce by its authority, and which are, in other respects, far from agreeable. It has been my constant, sincere, and earnest wish, in conformity with that of our nation, to maintain cordial harmony and a perfectly friendly understanding with that republic. This wish remains unabated ; and I shall persevere in the endeavor to fulfil it to the utmost extent of what shall be consistent with a just and indispensable regard to the rights and honor of our country; nor will I easily cease to cherish the expectation that a spirit of justice, candor, and friendship, on the part of the republic, will eventually ensure success. In pursuing this course, however, I cannot forget what is due to the char. acter of our own government and nation, or to a full and entire confidence in the good sense, patriotism, self-respect and sortitude of my countrymen. I reserve for a special message a more particular communication on this interesting subject.
Gentlemen of the House of Representatives:
I have directed an estimate of the appropriations necessary for the service of the ensuing year to be submitted from the proper department, with a view of the public receipts and expenditures to the latest period to which an account can be prepared.
It is with satisfaction I am able to inform you that the revenues of the United States continue in a state of progressive improvement.
A reinforcement of the existing provisions for discharging our public debt was mentioned in my address at the opening of the last session. Some preliminary steps were taken towards it, the maturing of which will, no doubt, engage your zealous attention during the present session. I will only add, that it will afford me a heartfelt satisfaction to concur in such farther measures as will ascertain to our country the prospect of a speedy extinguishment of the debt. Posterity may have cause to regret if from any motive intervals of tranquillity are left unimproved for accelerating this valuable end. Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Representatives:
My solicitude to see the militia of the United States placed on an efficient establishment, has been so often and so ardently expressed that I shall but barely recal the subject to your view on the present occasion; at the same time that I shall submit to your inquiry, whether our harbors are yet sufficiently secured.
The situation in which I now stand, for the last time, in the midst of the representatives of the people of the United States, naturally recalls the period when the administration of the present form of government commenced; and I cannot omit the occasion to congratulate you and my country on the success of the experiment, nor to repeat my servent supplications to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe and Sovereign Arbiter of Nations that his providential care may still be extended to the United States, that the virtue and happiness of the people may be preserved, and that the government which they have instituted for the protection of their liberties may be perpetual.
Wh ERFAs it appears that a state of war exists between Austria, Prussia, Sardinia, Great Britain and the United Netherlands on the one part, and France on the other, and the duty and interests of the United States require that they should with sincerity and good faith adopt and pursue a conduct friendly and impartial towards the belligerent powers, I have therefore thought fit by these presents to declare the disposition of the United States to observe the conduct aforesaid towards those powers respectively, and to exhort and to warn the citizens of the United States carefully to avoid all acts and proceedings whatsoever which may in any manner tend to contravene such disposition. And I do hereby also make known that whosoever of the citizens of the United States shall render himself liable to punishment or forfeiture under the law of nations by committing, aiding or abetting hostilities against any of the said powers, or by carrying to any of them those arti. cles which are deemed contraband by the modern usage of nations, will not receive the protection of the United States against such punishment or forfeiture; and farther, that I have given instructions to those officers to whom it belongs to cause prosecutions to be instituted against ail persons who shall, within the cognizance of the courts of the United States, violate the laws of nations with respect to the powers at war or any of them. In testimony whereof. I have caused the seal of the United States of America to be affixed to these presents, and signed the same with my hand. Done at the city of Philadelphia, the 22nd day of April, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-three, and of the Independence of the United
States of America, the seventeenth.
Wher EAs combinations to defeat the execution of the laws laying duties upon spirits distilled within the United States and upon stills have, from the time of the commencement of those laws, existed in some of the western parts of Pennsylvania; and whereas the said combinations, proceeding in a manner subversive equally of the just authority of government and of the rights of individuals, have hitherto effected their dangerous and criminal purpose by the influence of certain irregular meetings whose proceedings have tended to encourage and uphold the spirit of opposition by misrepresentations of the laws calculated to render them odious; by endeavors to deter those who might be so disposed from accepting offices under them through fear of public resentments and of injury to person and property, and to compel those who had accepted such offices by actual violence to surrender or forbear the execution of them; by circulating vindictive measures against all who should otherwise, directly or indirectly, aid in the execution of the said laws, or who, yielding to the dictates of conscience and to a sense of obligation, should themselves com
ply therewith; by actually injuring and destroying the property of persons who were understood to have so complied; by inflicting cruel, humiliating punishments upon private citizens for no other cause than that of appearing to be the friends of the laws; by interrupting the public officers on the highways, abusing, assaulting, and otherwise ill treating them; by going to their houses in the night, gaining admittance by force, taking away their papers, and committing other outrages; employing for these unwarrantable purposes the agency of armed banditti, disguised in such a manner as for the most part to escape discovery; and whereas the endeavors of the legislature to obviate objections to the said laws, by lowering the duties and by other alterations conducive to the convenience of those whom they immediately affected (though they have given satisfaction in other quarters), and the endeavors of the executive officers to conciliate a compliance with the laws, by expostulation, by sorbearance, and even by recommendations founded on the suggestion of local considerations, have been disappointed of their effect by the machinations of persons whose industry to excite resistance has increased with the appearance of a disposition among the people to relax in their opposition and to acquiesce in the laws; insomuch that many persons in the said western parts of Pennsylvania have at length been hardy enough to perpetrate acts which I am advised amount to treason, being overt acts of levying war against the United States; the said persons having, on the sixteenth and seventeenth of July last, proceeded in arms (on the second day amounting to several hundred) to the house of John Neville, inspector of the revenues for the fourth survey of the districts of Pennsylvania—having repeatedly attacked the said house with the persons therein, wounding some of them —having seized David Lennox, marshal of the district of Pennsylvania, who previously thereto had been fired upon while in the execution of his duty by a party of men, detaining him for some time prisoner, till for the preservation of his life and obtaining of his liberty he found it necessary to enter into stipulations to forbear the execution of certain official duties touching processes issuing out of a court of the United States—and having finally obliged the said inspector of the revenue and the marshal, from considerations of personal safety, to fly from this part of the country, in order by a circuitous route to proceed to the seat of government, avowing as the motives of these outrageous proceedings an intention to prevent by force of arms the execution of the said laws, to oblige the said inspector of the revenue to renounce his office, to withstand by open violence the lawful authority of the government of the United States, and to compel there
by an alteration in the measures of the legislature, and a repeal of the
laws aforesaid:— And whereas, by a law of the United States, entitled
“An act to provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the
Union, suppress insurrections, and repel invasions,” it is enacted “that
whenever the laws of the United States shall be opposed or the execution
thereof obstructed in any state by combinations too powerful to be sup
pressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings or by the powers
yested in the marshals by that act, the same being notified by an associate
justice or the district judges, it shall be lawful for the president of the United States to call forth the militia of said state to suppress such combi
nations, and to cause the laws to be duly executed. And if the militia of a state where such combinations may happen, shall refuse or shall be insufficient to suppress the same, it shall be lawful for the president, if the
legislature of the United States shall not be in session, to call forth and employ such numbers of the militia of any other state or states most convenient thereto as may be necessary; and the use of the militia so to be called forth may be continued, if necessary, until the expiration of thirty days after the commencement of the ensuing session; Provided always, that whenever it may be necessary in the judgment of the president to use the military force hereby directed to be called forth, the president shall forthwith, and previous thereto, by proclamation, command such insur. gents to disperse, and retire peaceably to their respective abodes within a limited time:”—And whereas, James Wilson, an associate justice, on the fourth instant, by writing under his hand, did, from evidence which had been laid before him, notify to me that “in the counties of Washing. ton and Allegany, in Pennsylvania, the laws of the United States are opposed, and the execution thereof obstructed by combinations too power. ful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, or by the powers vested in the marshal of that district;” And whereas it is in my judgment necessary, under the circumstances of the case, to take measures for calling forth the militia in order to suppress the combination aforesaid and to cause the laws to be duly executed; and I have accordingly determined so to do, feeling the deepest regret for the occasion, but withal the most solemn conviction that the essential interests of the Union demand it, that the very existence of government and the fundamental principles of social order are materially involved in the issue, and that the patriotism and firmness of all good citizens are seriouly called upon, as occasion may require, to aid in the effectual suppression of so fatal a spirit. Wherefore, and in pursuance of the provision above recited, I, George Washington, president of the United States, do hereby command all persons, being insurgents as aforesaid, and all others whom it may concern, on or before the first day of September next, to disperse and return peaceably to their respective abodes. . And I do moreover warn all persons whomsoever against aiding, abetting or comforting the perpetrators of the aforesaid treasonable acts; and do require all officers, and other citizens, according to their respective duties and the law of the land, to exert their utmost endeavors to prevent and suppress such dangerous proceedings. In testimony whereof, I have caused the seal of the United States of America to be affixed to these presents, and signed the same with my hand. Done at the city of Philadelphia, the seventh day of August, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-four, and of the independence of the United States of America the nineteenth.
P R O C L A M A TI O N.
WHEREAs, from a hope that the combination against the constitution and laws of the United States in certain of the western counties of Pennsylvania, would yield to time and reflection, I thought it sufficient in the first instance rather to take measures for calling forth the militia than immedi. ately to embody them; but the moment is now come when the overtures