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A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents by James D. Richardson

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grades than those which they held before the reduction, and Captain Cobb
from being disbanded under the act. These circumstances were considered
as constituting an extraordinary case within the meaning of the section
already referred to of the Regulations of the Army. It is, however,
submitted to the Senate whether this is a case requiring their
confirmation; and in case that such should be their opinion, it is
submitted to them for their constitutional confirmation.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _January 20, 1822_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives
"requesting the President of the United States to cause to be laid
before this House an account of the expenditures made under the act to
provide for the civilization of the Indian tribes, specifying the times
when, the persons to whom, and the particular purpose for which such
expenditures have been made," I herewith transmit a report from the
Secretary of War.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _January 28, 1822_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In compliance with the resolution of the 2d instant, I transmit a report
of the Secretary of State, with all the documents relating to the
misunderstanding between Andrew Jackson, while acting as governor of
the Floridas, and Eligius Fromentin, judge of a court therein; and also
of the correspondence between the Secretary of State and the minister
plenipotentiary of His Catholic Majesty on certain proceedings in that
Territory in execution of the powers vested in the governor by the
Executive under the law of the last session for carrying into effect the
late treaty between the United States and Spain. Being always desirous
to communicate to Congress, or to either House, all the information in
the possession of the Executive respecting any important interest of our
Union which may be communicated without real injury to our constituents,
and which can rarely happen except in negotiations pending with foreign
powers, and deeming it more consistent with the principles of our
Government in cases submitted to my discretion, as in the present
instance, to hazard error by the freedom of the communication rather
than by withholding any portion of information belonging to the subject,
I have thought proper to communicate every document comprised within
this call.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _January 30, 1822_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In pursuance of a resolution of the House of Representatives of the
16th instant, requesting information with regard to outrages and abuses
committed upon the persons of the officers and crews of American vessels
at The Havannah and other Spanish ports in America, and whether the
Spanish authorities have taken any measures to punish, restrain, or
countenance such outrages, I herewith transmit to that House a report
from the Secretary of State, containing the information called for.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _January 30, 1822_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In pursuance of a resolution of the House of Representatives of the
8th instant, I transmit to the House of Representatives a report of the
Secretary of State, containing all the information procured by him in
relation to commissions of bankruptcy in certain districts of the United
States under the act of 4th of April, 1800, "to establish an uniform
system of bankruptcy in the United States."

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _February 7, 1822_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives
requesting the President to "cause that House to be informed whether the
commissioners appointed to lay out the continuation of the Cumberland
road from Wheeling, in the State of Virginia, through the States of
Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois to the Mississippi River, have completed
the same, and, if not completed, the reason why their duties have been
suspended," I transmit a report from the Secretary of the Treasury,
which furnishes the information desired.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _February 10, 1822_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives
"requesting the President of the United States to cause to be laid
before this House any information which he may have of the condition
of the several Indian tribes within the United States and the measures
hitherto devised and pursued for their civilization," I now transmit
a report from the Secretary of War.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _February 23, 1822_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives
"requesting the President of the United States to cause to be reported
to this House whether the Indian title has been extinguished by the
United States to any lands the right of soil in which has been or is
claimed by any particular State, and, if so, the conditions upon which
the same has been extinguished," I herewith transmit a report from the
Secretary of War, furnishing all the information in the possession of
that Department embraced by the resolution,

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _February 23, 1822_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of the 14th instant,
requesting the President of the United States "to make known to the
Senate the annual disposition which has been made of the sum of $15,000
appropriated by an act of Congress of the year 1802 to promote
civilization among friendly Indian tribes, showing to what tribes that
evidence of the national bounty has been extended, the names of the
agents who have been intrusted with the application of the money, the
several amounts by them received, and the manner in which they have
severally applied it to accomplish the objects of the act," I herewith
transmit a report from the Secretary of War, furnishing all the
information upon this subject in the possession of that Department.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _February 25, 1822_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States_:

Under the appropriation made by the act of Congress of the 11th of
April, 1820, for holding treaties with the Creek and Cherokee nations of
Indians for the extinguishment of the Indian title to lands within the
State of Georgia, pursuant to the fourth condition of the first article
of the articles of agreement and cession concluded between the United
States and the State of Georgia on the 24th day of April, 1802, a treaty
was held with the Creek Nation, the expense of which upon the settlement
of the accounts of the commissioners who were appointed to conduct the
negotiation was ascertained to amount to the sum of $24,695, leaving an
unexpended balance of the sum appropriated of $5,305, a sum too small
to negotiate a treaty with the Cherokees, as was contemplated by the
act making the appropriation. The legislature of Georgia being still
desirous that a treaty should be held for further extinguishment of the
Indian title to lands within that State, and to obtain an indemnity to
the citizens of that State for property of considerable value, which has
been taken from them by the Cherokee Indians, I submit the subject to
the consideration of Congress, that a further sum, which, in addition
to the balance of the former appropriation, will be adequate to the
expenses attending a treaty with them, may be appropriated should
Congress deem it expedient.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _March 4, 1822_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of the
22d ultimo, requesting the President of the United States "to cause to
be laid before this House a statement showing the amount of woolens
purchased for the use of the Army during the years 1820 and 1821,
comprising a description of the articles, of whom the purchases were
made, at what prices, and what proportion thereof was of American
manufacture," I herewith transmit a report from the Secretary of War.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _March 8, 1822_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States_:

In transmitting to the House of Representatives the documents called for
by the resolution of that House of the 30th January, I consider it my
duty to invite the attention of Congress to a very important subject,
and to communicate the sentiments of the Executive on it, that, should
Congress entertain similar sentiments, there may be such cooperation
between the two departments of the Government as their respective rights
and duties may require.

The revolutionary movement in the Spanish Provinces in this hemisphere
attracted the attention and excited the sympathy of our fellow-citizens
from its commencement. This feeling was natural and honorable to
them, from causes which need not be communicated to you. It has been
gratifying to all to see the general acquiescence which has been
manifested in the policy which the constituted authorities have deemed
it proper to pursue in regard to this contest. As soon as the movement
assumed such a steady and consistent form as to make the success of the
Provinces probable, the rights to which they were entitled by the law
of nations as equal parties to a civil war were extended to them. Each
party was permitted to enter our ports with its public and private
ships, and to take from them every article which was the subject of
commerce with other nations. Our citizens, also, have carried on
commerce with both parties, and the Government has protected it with
each in articles not contraband of war. Through the whole of this
contest the United States have remained neutral, and have fulfilled with
the utmost impartiality all the obligations incident to that character.

This contest has now reached such a stage and been attended with such
decisive success on the part of the Provinces that it merits the most
profound consideration whether their right to the rank of independent
nations, with all the advantages incident to it in their intercourse
with the United States, is not complete. Buenos Ayres assumed that rank
by a formal declaration in 1816, and has enjoyed it since 1810 free from
invasion by the parent country. The Provinces composing the Republic
of Colombia, after having separately declared their independence, were
united by a fundamental law of the 17th of December, 1819. A strong
Spanish force occupied at that time certain parts of the territory
within their limits and waged a destructive war. That force has since
been repeatedly defeated, and the whole of it either made prisoners
or destroyed or expelled from the country, with the exception of an
inconsiderable portion only, which is blockaded in two fortresses.
The Provinces on the Pacific have likewise been very successful. Chili
declared independence in 1818, and has since enjoyed it undisturbed; and
of late, by the assistance of Chili and Buenos Ayres, the revolution
has extended to Peru. Of the movement in Mexico our information is less
authentic, but it is, nevertheless, distinctly understood that the new
Government has declared its independence, and that there is now no
opposition to it there nor a force to make any. For the last three years
the Government of Spain has not sent a single corps of troops to any
part of that country, nor is there any reason to believe it will send
any in future. Thus it is manifest that all those Provinces are not only
in the full enjoyment of their independence, but, considering the state
of the war and other circumstances, that there is not the most remote
prospect of their being deprived of it.

When the result of such a contest is manifestly settled, the new
governments have a claim to recognition by other powers which ought not
to be resisted. Civil wars too often excite feelings which the parties
can not control. The opinion entertained by other powers as to the
result may assuage those feelings and promote an accommodation between
them useful and honorable to both. The delay which has been observed in
making a decision on this important subject will, it is presumed, have
afforded an unequivocal proof to Spain, as it must have done to other
powers, of the high respect entertained by the United States for her
rights and of their determination not to interfere with them. The
Provinces belonging to this hemisphere are our neighbors, and have
successively, as each portion of the country acquired its independence,
pressed their recognition by an appeal to facts not to be contested, and
which they thought gave them a just title to it. To motives of interest
this Government has invariably disclaimed all pretension, being resolved
to take no part in the controversy or other measure in regard to it
which should not merit the sanction of the civilized world. To other
claims a just sensibility has been always felt and frankly acknowledged,
but they in themselves could never become an adequate cause of action.
It was incumbent on this Government to look to every important fact and
circumstance on which a sound opinion could be formed, which has been
done. When we regard, then, the great length of time which this war has
been prosecuted, the complete success which has attended it in favor
of the Provinces, the present condition of the parties, and the utter
inability of Spain to produce any change in it, we are compelled to
conclude that its fate is settled, and that the Provinces which have
declared their independence and are in the enjoyment of it ought to
be recognized.

Of the views of the Spanish Government on this subject no particular
information has been recently received. It may be presumed that the
successful progress of the revolution through such a long series of
years, gaining strength and extending annually in every direction, and
embracing by the late important events, with little exception, all the
dominions of Spain south of the United States on this continent, placing
thereby the complete sovereignty over the whole in the hands of the
people, will reconcile the parent country to an accommodation with them
on the basis of their unqualified independence. Nor has any authentic
information been recently received of the disposition of other powers
respecting it. A sincere desire has been cherished to act in concert
with them in the proposed recognition, of which several were some time
past duly apprised; but it was understood that they were not prepared
for it. The immense space between those powers, even those which border
on the Atlantic, and these Provinces makes the movement an affair
of less interest and excitement to them than to us. It is probable,
therefore, that they have been less attentive to its progress than we
have been. It may be presumed, however, that the late events will dispel
all doubt of the result.

In proposing this measure it is not contemplated to change thereby in
the slightest manner our friendly relations with either of the parties,
but to observe in all respects, as heretofore, should the war be
continued, the most perfect neutrality between them. Of this friendly
disposition an assurance will be given to the Government of Spain,
to whom it is presumed it will be, as it ought to be, satisfactory.
The measure is proposed under a thorough conviction that it is in
strict accord with the law of nations, that it is just and right as
to the parties, and that the United States owe it to their station
and character in the world, as well as to their essential interests,
to adopt it. Should Congress concur in the view herein presented, they
will doubtless see the propriety of making the necessary appropriations
for carrying it into effect.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _March 9, 1822_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit a report from the Secretary of War, together with the annual
return of the militia of the United States, and an exhibit of the arms,
accouterments, and ammunition of the several States and Territories of
the United States, prepared in conformity with the militia laws on that
subject.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _March 12, 1822_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States_:

I lay before the Senate the copy of a supplementary report, made by
William Lambert, in relation to the longitude of the Capitol from
Greenwich, in pursuance of a joint resolution of the two Houses of
Congress of the 3d of March, 1821, and I subjoin an extract from the
letter of Mr. Lambert submitting that report.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _March 26, 1822_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States_:

Congress having suspended the appropriation, at the last session,
for the fortification at Dauphine Island, in consequence of a doubt
which was entertained of the propriety of that position, the further
prosecution of the work was suspended, and an order given, as intimated
in the message of the 3d of December, to the Board of Engineers and
Naval Commissioners to examine that part of the coast, and particularly
that position, as also the position at Mobile Point, with which it is
connected, and to report their opinion thereon, which has been done,
and which report is herewith communicated.

By this report it appears to be still the opinion of the Board that the
construction of works at both these positions is of great importance to
the defense of New Orleans and of all that portion of our Union which is
connected with and dependent on the Mississippi and on the other waters
which empty into the Gulf of Mexico between that river and Cape Florida.
That the subject may be fully before Congress, I transmit also a copy
of the former report of the Board, being that on which the work was
undertaken and has been in part executed. Approving as I do the opinion
of the Board, I consider it my duty to state the reasons on which I
adopted the first report, especially as they were in part suggested by
the occurrences of the late war.

The policy which induced Congress to decide on and provide for the
defense of the coast immediately after the war was founded on the marked
events of that interesting epoch. The vast body of men which it was
found necessary to call into the field through the whole extent of our
maritime frontier, and the number who perished by exposure, with the
immense expenditure of money and waste of property which followed, were
to be traced in an eminent degree to the defenseless condition of the
coast. It was to mitigate these evils in future wars, and even for the
higher purpose of preventing war itself, that the decision was formed to
make the coast, so far as it might be practicable, impregnable, and that
the measures necessary to that great object have been pursued with so
much zeal since.

It is known that no part of our Union is more exposed to invasion by the
numerous avenues leading to it, or more defenseless by the thinness of
the neighboring population, or offers a greater temptation to invasion,
either as a permanent acquisition or as a prize to the cupidity of
grasping invaders from the immense amount of produce deposited there,
than the city of New Orleans. It is known also that the seizure of no
part of our Union could affect so deeply and vitally the immediate
interests of so many States and of so many of our fellow-citizens,
comprising all that extensive territory and numerous population which
are connected with and dependent on the Mississippi, as the seizure of
that city. Strong works, well posted, were therefore deemed absolutely
necessary for its protection.

It is not, however, by the Mississippi only, or the waters which
communicate directly with or approach nearest to New Orleans, that the
town is assailable. It will be recollected that in the late war the
public solicitude was excited not so much by the danger which menaced it
in those directions as by the apprehension that, while a feint might be
made there, the main force, landing either in the bay of Mobile or other
waters between that bay and the Rigolets, would be thrown above the town
in the rear of the army which had been collected there for its defense.
Full confidence was entertained that that gallant army, led by the
gallant and able chief who commanded it, would repel any attack to which
it might be exposed in front. But had such a force been thrown above the
town, and a position taken on the banks of the river, the disadvantage
to which our troops would have been subjected, attacked in front and
rear as they might have been, may easily be conceived. As their supplies
would have been cut off, they could not long have remained in the city,
and, withdrawing from it, it must have fallen immediately into the hands
of the force below. In ascending the river to attack the force above,
the attack must have been made to great disadvantage, since it must have
been on such ground and at such time as the enemy preferred. These
considerations shew that defenses other than such as are immediately
connected with the city are of great importance to its safety.

An attempt to seize New Orleans and the lower part of the Mississippi
will be made only by a great power or a combination of several powers,
with a strong naval and land force, the latter of which must be brought
in transports which may sail in shallow water. If the defenses around
New Orleans are well posted and of sufficient strength to repel any
attack which may be made on them, the city can be assailed only by a
land force, which must pass in the direction above suggested, between
the Rigolets and the bay of Mobile. It becomes, therefore, an object of
high importance to present such an obstacle to such an attempt as would
defeat it should it be made. Fortifications are useful for the defense
of posts, to prevent the approach to cities and the passage of rivers;
but as works their effect can not be felt beyond the reach of their
cannon. They are formidable in other respects by the body of men
within them, which may be removed and applied to other purposes.

Between the Rigolets and the bay of Mobile there is a chain of islands,
at the extremity of which is Dauphine Island, which forms, with Mobile
Point, from which it is distant about 3-1/4 miles, the entrance into the
bay of Mobile, which leads through that part of the State of Alabama to
the towns of Mobile and Blakeley. The distance between Dauphine Island
and the Rigolets is 90 miles. The principal islands between them are
Massacre, Horn, Ship, and Cat islands, near to which there is anchorage
for large ships of war. The first object is to prevent the landing of
any force for the purposes above stated between the Rigolets and the bay
of Mobile; the second, to defeat that force in case it should be landed.
When the distance from one point to the other is considered, it is
believed that it would be impossible to establish works so near to each
other as to prevent the landing of such a force. Its defeat, therefore,
should be effectually provided for. If the arrangement should be such as
to make that result evident, it ought to be fairly concluded that the
attempt would not be made, and thus we should accomplish in the best
mode possible and with the least expense the complete security of this
important part of our Union, the great object of our system of defense
for the whole.

There are some other views of this subject which it is thought will
merit particular attention in deciding the point in question. Not being
able to establish a chain of posts, at least for the present, along the
whole coast from the Rigolets to Dauphine Island, or on all the islands
between them, at which point shall we begin? Should an attack on the
city be anticipated, it can not be doubted that an adequate force would
immediately be ordered there for its defense. If the enemy should
despair of making an impression on the works near the town, it may be
presumed that they would promptly decide to make the attempt in the
manner and in the line above suggested between the Rigolets and the
bay of Mobile. It will be obvious that the nearer the fortification is
erected to the Rigolets with a view to this object, should it be on Cat
or Ship Island, for example, the wider would the passage be left open
between that work and the bay of Mobile for such an enterprise. The main
army, being drawn to New Orleans, would be ready to meet such an attempt
near the Rigolets or at any other point not distant from the city. It
is probable, therefore, that the enemy, profiting of a fair wind, would
make his attempt at the greatest distance compatible with his object
from that point, and at the bay of Mobile should there not be works
there of sufficient strength to prevent it. Should, however, strong
works be erected there, such as were sufficient not only for their own
defense against any attack which might be made on them, but to hold a
force connected with that which might be drawn from the neighboring
country, capable of cooperating with the force at the city, and which
would doubtless be ordered to those works in the event of war, it
would be dangerous for the invading force to land anywhere between the
Rigolets and the bay of Mobile and to pass toward the Mississippi above
the city, lest such a body might be thrown in its rear as to cut off its
retreat. These considerations show the great advantage of establishing
at the mouth of the bay of Mobile very strong works, such as would be
adequate to all the purposes suggested.

If fortifications were necessary only to protect our country and cities
against the entry of large ships of war into our bays and rivers, they
would be of little use for the defense of New Orleans, since that city
can not be approached so near, either by the Mississippi or in any other
direction, by such vessels for them to make an attack on it. In the
Gulf, within our limits west of Florida, which had been acquired since
these works were decided on and commenced, there is no bay or river into
which large ships of war can enter. As a defense, therefore, against an
attack from such vessels extensive works would be altogether unnecessary
either at Mobile Point or at Dauphine Island, since sloops of war only
can navigate the deepest channel. But it is not for that purpose
alone that these works are intended. It is to provide also against a
formidable invasion, both by land and sea, the object of which may be to
shake the foundation of our system. Should such small works be erected,
and such an invasion take place, they would be sure to fall at once into
the hands of the invaders and to be turned against us.

Whether the acquisition of Florida may be considered as affording an
inducement to make any change in the position or strength of these works
is a circumstance which also merits attention. From the view which
I have taken of the subject I am of opinion that it should not. The
defense of New Orleans and of the river Mississippi against a powerful
invasion being one of the great objects of such extensive works, that
object would be essentially abandoned if they should be established
eastward of the bay of Mobile, since the force to be collected in
them would be placed at too great a distance to allow the cooperation
necessary for those purposes between it and that at the city; in
addition to which, it may be observed that by carrying them to Pensacola
or farther to the east that bay would fall immediately, in case of such
invasion, into the hands of the enemy, whereby such cooperation would be
rendered utterly impossible, and the State of Alabama would also be left
wholly unprotected.

With a view to such formidable invasion, of which we should never lose
sight, and of the great objects to which it would be directed, I think
that very strong works at some point within the Gulf of Mexico will
be found indispensable. I think also that those works ought to be
established at the bay of Mobile--one at Mobile Point and the other on
Dauphine Island--whereby the enemy would be excluded and the complete
command of that bay, with all the advantages attending it, be secured
to ourselves. In the case of such invasion, it will, it is presumed,
be deemed necessary to collect at some point other than at New Orleans
a strong force, capable of moving in any direction and affording aid
to any part which may be attacked; and, in my judgment, no position
presents so many advantages as a point of rendezvous for such force as
the mouth of that bay. The fortification at the Rigolets will defend the
entrance by one passage into Lake Pontchartrain, and also into Pearl
River, which empties into the Gulf at that point. Between the Rigolets
and Mobile Bay there are but two inlets which deserve the name, those of
St. Louis and Pascagola, the entrance into which is too shallow even
for the smallest vessels; and from the Rigolets to Mobile Bay the whole
coast is equally shallow, affording the depth of a few feet of water
only. Cat Island, which is nearest the Rigolets, is about 7-1/2 miles
distant from the coast and 30 from the Rigolets. Ship Island is distant
about 10 miles from Cat Island and 12 from the coast. Between these
islands and the coast the water is very shallow.

As to the precise depth of water in approaching those islands from the
Gulf, the report of the topographical engineers not having yet been
received, it is impossible to speak with precision; but admitting it
to be such as for frigates and even ships of the line to enter, the
anchorage at both is unsafe, being much exposed to northwest winds.
Along the coast, therefore, there is no motive for such strong works on
our part--no town to guard, no inlet into the country to defend--and if
placed on the islands and the entrance to them is such as to admit large
ships of war, distant as they are from the coast, it would be more easy
for the enemy to assail them with effect.

The position, however, at Mobile Bay is essentially different. That bay
takes its name from the Mobile River, which is formed by the junction of
the Alabama and Tombigbee, which extend each about 300 miles into the
interior, approaching at their head waters near the Tennessee River.
If the enemy possessed its mouth, and fortified Mobile Point and
Dauphine Island, being superior at sea it would be very difficult for
us to dispossess him of either, even of Mobile Point; and holding that
position, Pensacola would soon fall, as without incurring great expense
in the construction of works there it would present but a feeble
resistance to a strong force in its rear. If we had a work at Mobile
Point only, the enemy might take Dauphine Island, which would afford
him great aid in attacking the point, and enable him, even should we
succeed in repelling the attack, to render us great mischief there and
throughout the whole Gulf. In every view which can be taken of the
subject it appears indispensable for us to command the entrance into
Mobile Bay, and that decision being taken, I think the considerations
which favor the occupation of Dauphine Island by a strong work are
conclusive. It is proper to observe that after the repulse before New
Orleans in the late war the British forces took possession of Dauphine
Island and held it till the peace. Under neither of the reports of the
Board of Engineers and Naval Commissioners could any but sloops of war
enter the bay or the anchorage between Dauphine and Pelican islands.
Both reports give to that anchorage 18 feet at low water and 20-1/2 at
high. The only difference between them consists in this, that in the
first a bar leading to the anchorage, reducing the depth of water to
12 feet at low tide, was omitted. In neither case could frigates enter,
though sloops of war of larger size might. The whole scope, however, of
this reasoning turns on a different principle--on the works necessary to
defend that bay and, by means thereof, New Orleans, the Mississippi, and
all the surrounding country against a powerful invasion both by land and
sea, and not on the precise depth of water in any of the approaches to
the bay or to the island.

The reasoning which is applicable to the works near New Orleans and at
the bay of Mobile is equally so in certain respects to those which are
to be erected for the defense of all the bays and rivers along the other
parts of the coast. All those works are also erected on a greater scale
than would be necessary for the sole purpose of preventing the passage
of our inlets by large ships of war. They are in most instances formed
for defense against a more powerful invasion, both by land and sea.
There are, however, some differences between the works which are deemed
necessary in the Gulf and those in other parts of our Union, founded on
the peculiar situation of that part of the coast. The vast extent of
the Mississippi, the great outlet and channel of commerce for so many
States, all of which may be affected by the seizure of that city, or
of any part of the river to a great extent above it, is one of those
striking peculiarities which require particular provision. The thinness
of the population near the city, making it necessary that the force
requisite for its defense should be called from distant parts and
States, is another. The danger which the army assembled at New Orleans
would be exposed to of being cut off in case the enemy should throw a
force on the river above it, from the difficulty of ascending the river
to attack it and of making a retreat in any other direction, is a third.
For an attack on the city of New Orleans, Mobile Bay, or any part of the
intermediate coast ships of war would be necessary only as a convoy to
protect the transports against a naval force on their passage, and on
their approach to the shore for the landing of the men, and on their
return home in case they should be repulsed.

On the important subject of our defenses generally I think proper to
observe that the system was adopted immediately after the late war by
Congress, on great consideration and a thorough knowledge of the effects
of that war--by the enormous expense attending it, by the waste of life,
of property, and by the general distress of the country. The amount of
debt incurred in that war and due at its conclusion, without taking into
the estimate other losses, having been heretofore communicated, need
not now be repeated. The interest of the debt thus incurred is four
times more than the sum necessary, by annual appropriations, for the
completion of our whole system of defense, land and naval, to the extent
provided for and within the time specified. When that system shall be
completed the expense of construction will cease, and our expenditures
be proportionally diminished. Should another war occur before it is
completed, the experience of the last marks in characters too strong
to be mistaken its inevitable consequences; and should such war occur
and find us unprepared for it, what will be our justification to the
enlightened body whom we represent for not having completed these
defenses? That this system should not have been adopted before the late
war can not be a cause of surprise to anyone, because all might wish
to avoid every expense the necessity of which might be in any degree
doubtful. But with the experience of that war before us it is thought
there is no cause for hesitation. Will the completion of these works and
the augmentation of our Navy to the point contemplated by law require
the imposition of onerous burthens on our fellow-citizens such as they
can not or will not bear? Have such, or any, burthens been imposed to
advance the system to its present state? It is known that no burthens
whatever have been imposed; on the contrary, that all the direct or
internal taxes have been long repealed, and none paid but those which
are indirect and voluntary, such as are imposed on articles imported
from foreign countries, most of which are luxuries, and on the vessels
employed in the transportation--taxes which some of our most enlightened
citizens think ought to be imposed on many of the articles for the
encouragement of our manufactures, even if the revenue derived from them
could be dispensed with. It is known also that in all other respects
our condition as a nation is in the highest degree prosperous and
flourishing, nearly half the debt incurred in the late war having
already been discharged, and considerable progress having also been made
in the completion of this system of defense and in the construction of
other works of great extent and utility, by the revenue derived from
these sources and from the sale of the public lands. I may add also
that a very generous provision has been made from the same sources for
the surviving officers and soldiers of our Revolutionary army. These
important facts show that this system has been so far executed, and may
be completed without any real inconvenience to the public. Were it,
however, otherwise, I have full confidence that any burthens which
might be found necessary for the completion of this system in both
its branches within the term contemplated, or much sooner should any
emergency require it, would be called for rather than complained of
by our fellow-citizens.

From these views, applicable to the very important subject of our
defenses generally as well as to the work at Dauphine Island, I think
it my duty to recommend to Congress an appropriation for the latter.
I considered the withholding it at the last session as the expression
only of a doubt by Congress of the propriety of the position, and not
as a definitive opinion. Supposing that that question would be decided
at the present session, I caused the position and such parts of the
coast as are particularly connected with it to be reexamined, that all
the light on which the decision as to the appropriation could depend
might be fully before you. In the first survey, the report of which
was that on which the works intended for the defense of New Orleans,
the Mississippi, the bay of Mobile, and all the country dependent on
those waters were sanctioned by the Executive, the commissioners were
industriously engaged about six months. I should have communicated that
very able and interesting document then but from a doubt how far the
interest of our country would justify its publication, a circumstance
which I now mention that the attention of Congress may be drawn to it.

JAMES MONROE.

MARCH 26, 1822.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

Having executed the act entitled "An act to reduce and fix the military
peace establishment of the United States" on great consideration and
according to my best judgment, and inferring from the rejection of
the nomination of Colonel Towson and Colonel Gadsden, officers of very
distinguished merit, that the view which I took of that law has not been
well understood, I hereby withdraw all the nominations on which the
Senate has not decided until I can make a more full communication and
explanation of that view and of the principles on which I have acted
in the discharge of that very delicate and important duty.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _March 27, 1822_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of the
1st instant, requesting "the President to communicate such information
as he may possess relative to any private claim against the piece of
land in the Delaware River known by the name of the Peapatch, and to
state if any, and what, process has been instituted in behalf of such
claim," I herewith transmit a report from the Secretary of War,
furnishing the information required.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _March 28, 1822_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit the original reports on the subject of the fortifications on
Dauphin Island and Mobile Point, being those on which the works were
undertaken and have been in part executed. The doubt expressed as to the
propriety of publication is applicable to this document, which would
have accompanied the message of the 26th had it been prepared in time.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _March 29, 1822_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States_:

I transmit to Congress the translation of two letters from the minister
of France to the Secretary of State, relating to the claim of the heirs
of Caron de Beaumarchais upon this Government, with the documents
therewith inclosed, recommending them to the favorable consideration
of Congress.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _April 5, 1822_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I communicate herewith to the House a report from the Secretary of War,
containing the information requested by their resolution of the 5th
ultimo.

It may be proper further to add that the secretaries of both the
Territories have occasionally required and received the aid of the
military force of the United States stationed within them, respectively,
to carry into effect the acts of their authority.

The government of East and West Florida was under the Spanish dominion
almost exclusively military. The governors of both were military
officers and united in their persons the chief authority, both civil
and military.

The principle upon which the act of Congress of the last session
providing for the temporary government of the newly ceded Provinces was
carried into execution has been communicated to Congress in my message
at the opening of the session. It was to leave the authorities of the
country as they were found existing at the time of the cession, to be
exercised until the meeting of Congress, when it was known that the
introduction of a system more congenial to our own institutions would be
one of the earliest and most important subjects of their deliberations.
From this, among other obvious considerations, military officers were
appointed to take possession of both Provinces. But as the military
command of General Jackson was to cease on the 1st of June, General
Gaines, the officer next in command, then here, who was first designated
to take possession of East Florida, received from me a verbal direction
to give such effect to any requisition from the governor for military
aid to enforce his authority as the circumstances might require. It was
not foreseen that the command in both the Provinces would before further
legislation by Congress on that subject devolve upon the secretaries of
the Territories, but had it been foreseen the same direction would have
been given as applicable to them.

No authority has been given to either of the secretaries to issue
commands to that portion of the Army which is in Florida, and whenever
the aid of _the military_ has been required by them it has been by
written requisitions to the officers commanding the troops, who have
yielded compliance thereto doubtless under the directions received
from General Gaines as understood by him to be authorized.

Shortly before the meeting of Congress a letter was received at the War
Department from Colonel Brooke, the officer commanding at Pensacola,
requesting instructions how far he was to consider these requisitions
as authoritative, but the assurance that a new organization of the
government was immediately to be authorized by Congress was a motive
for superseding any specific decision upon the inquiry.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _April 6, 1822_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives
requesting the President of the United States to cause to be furnished
to that House certain information relating to the amount of the public
money paid to the Attorney-General over and above his salary fixed by
law since the 1st of January, 1817, specifying the time when paid and
the fund out of which such payments have been made, I transmit a paper,
marked A, containing the information desired. I transmit also a paper,
marked B, containing a statement of sums paid to Attorney General of the
United States prior to the 1st of January, 1817, and in the paper marked
C a like statement of sums advanced to district attorneys for services
not required of them by law. These latter documents being necessary to
a full view of the subject, it is thought proper to comprise them in
this communication.

By the act of 24th September, 1789, instituting the office of Attorney
General, it was made his duty to prosecute and conduct all suits in the
Supreme Court in which the United States should be concerned, and to
give his advice and opinion upon questions of law when required by the
President of the United States, or when requested by the head of any
of the Departments, touching any matters that might concern their
Departments. It will be seen, therefore, by the statement communicated
that no money whatever has been paid to the Attorney General for his
services in that character, nor for any duty belonging to his office,
beyond his salary as fixed by law.

It will also be shewn by the documents communicated that the
construction given of the laws imposing duties on the Attorney General
and district attorneys have been invariably the same since the
institution of the Government. On the same authority it was thought
that the compensation allowed to the present Attorney General for
certain services, considering their importance and the time employed
in rendering them, did not exceed, regarding precedents, what might
fairly be claimed.

JAMES MONROE.

APRIL, 13, 1822.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

Having cause to infer that the reasons which led to the construction
which I gave to the act of the last session entitled "An act to reduce
and fix the peace establishment of the United States" have not been well
understood, I consider it my duty to explain more fully the view which
I took of that act and of the principles on which I executed the very
difficult and important duty enjoined on me by it.

To do justice to the subject it is thought proper to show the actual
state of the Army before the passage of the late act, the force in
service, the several corps of which it was composed, and the grades
and number of officers commanding it. By seeing distinctly the body
in all its parts on which the law operated, viewing also with a just
discrimination the spirit, policy, and positive injunctions of that law
with reference to precedents established in a former analogous case,
we shall be enabled to ascertain with great precision whether these
injunctions have or have not been strictly complied with.

By the act of the 3d of March, 1815, entitled "An act fixing the
military peace establishment of the United States," the whole force
in service was reduced to 10,000 men--infantry, artillery, and
riflemen--exclusive of the Corps of Engineers, which was retained in its
then state. The regiment of light artillery was retained as it had been
organized by the act of 3d March, 1814. The infantry was formed into
9 regiments, 1 of which consisted of riflemen. The regiments of light
artillery, infantry, riflemen, and Corps of Engineers were commanded
each by a colonel, lieutenant-colonel, and the usual battalion and
company officers; and the battalions of the corps of artillery, of which
there were 8--4 for the Northern and 4 for the Southern division--were
commanded by lieutenant-colonels or majors, there being 4 of each grade.
There were, therefore, in the Army at the time the late law was passed
12 colonels belonging to those branches of the military establishment.
Two major-generals and 4 brigadiers were likewise retained in service by
this act; but the staff in several of its branches not being provided
for, and being indispensable and the omission inadvertent, proceeding
from the circumstances under which the act was passed, being at the
close of the session, at which time intelligence of the peace was
received, it was provisionally retained by the President, and provided
for afterwards by the act of the 24th April, 1816. By this act the
Ordnance Department was preserved as it had been organized by the act
of February 8, 1815, with 1 colonel, 1 lieutenant-colonel, 2 majors,
10 captains, and 10 first, second, and third lieutenants. One Adjutant
and Inspector General of the Army and 2 adjutants-general--1 for the
Northern and 1 for the Southern division--were retained. This act
provides also for a Paymaster-General, with a suitable number of
regimental and battalion paymasters, as a part of the general staff,
constituting the military peace establishment; and the Pay Department
and every other branch of the staff were subjected to the Rules and
Articles of War.

By the act of March 2, 1821, it was ordained that the military peace
establishment should consist of 4 regiments of artillery and 7 of
infantry, with such officers of engineers, ordnance, and staff as were
therein specified. It is provided that each regiment of artillery should
consist of 1 colonel, 1 lieutenant-colonel, 1 major, and 9 companies,
with the usual company officers, 1 of which to be equipped as light
artillery, and that there should be attached to each regiment of
artillery 1 supernumerary captain to perform ordnance duty, thereby
merging the regiment of artillery and Ordnance Department into these
4 regiments. It was provided also that each regiment of infantry should
consist of 1 colonel, 1 lieutenant colonel, 1 major, and 10 companies,
with the usual company officers. The Corps of Engineers, bombardiers
excepted, with the topographical engineers and their assistants, were
to be retained under the existing organization. The former establishment
as to the number of major generals and brigadiers was curtailed one-half,
and the office of Inspector and Adjutant General to the Army and of
adjutant-general to each division annulled, and that of Adjutant General
to the Army instituted. The Quartermaster, Paymaster, and Commissary
Departments were also specially provided for, as was every other branch
of the staff, all of which received a new modification, and were
subjected to the Rules and Articles of War.

The immediate and direct operation of this act on the military peace
establishment of 1815 was that of reduction, from which no officer
belonging to it was exempt, unless it might be the topographical
engineers; for in retaining the Corps of Engineers, as was manifest
as well by the clear import of the section relating to it as by the
provisions of every other clause of the act, reference was had to the
organization, and not to the officers of the Corps. The establishment
of 1815 was reduced from 10,000 to about 6,000 men. The 8 battalions of
artillery, constituting what was called the corps of artillery, and the
regiment of light artillery as established by the act of 1815, were to
be incorporated together and formed into 4 new regiments. The regiments
of infantry were to be reduced from 9 to 7, the rifle regiment being
broken. Three of the general officers were to be reduced, with very
many of the officers belonging to the several corps of the Army, and
particularly of the infantry. All the provisions of the act declare of
what number of officers and men the several corps provided for by it
should thenceforward consist, and not that any corps as then existing
or any officer of any corps, unless the topographical engineers were
excepted, should be retained. Had it been intended to reduce the
officers by corps, or to exempt the officers of any corps from the
operation of the law, or in the organization of the several new corps
to confine the selection of the officers to be placed in them to the
several corps of the like kind then existing, and not extend it to the
whole military establishment, including the staff, or to confine the
reduction to a proportional number of each corps and of each grade
in each corps, the object in either instance might have been easily
accomplished by a declaration to that effect. No such declaration was
made, nor can such intention be inferred. We see, on the contrary, that
every corps of the Army and staff was to be reorganized, and most of
them reduced in officers and men, and that in arranging the officers
from the old to the new corps full power was granted to the President
to take them from any and every corps of the former establishment and
place them in the latter. In this latter grant of power it is proper
to observe that the most comprehensive terms that could be adopted were
used, the authority being to cause the arrangement to be made from the
officers of the several _corps_ then in the service of the United
States, comprising, of course, every corps of the staff, as well as of
artillery and infantry, and not from the _corps of troops_, as in the
former act, and without any limitation as to grades.

It merits particular attention that although the object of this
latter act was reduction and such its effect on an extensive scale,
5 new offices were created by it--4 of the grade of colonel for the
4 regiments of artillery and that of Adjutant-General for the Army. Three
of the first mentioned were altogether new, the corps having been newly
created, and although 1 officer of that grade as applicable to the corps
of light artillery had existed, yet as that regiment was reduced and
all its parts reorganized in another form and with other duties, being
incorporated into the 4 new regiments, the commander was manifestly
displaced and incapable of taking the command of either of the new
regiments or any station in them until he should be authorized to do so
by a new appointment. The same remarks are applicable to the office of
Adjutant-General to the Army. It is an office of new creation, differing
from that of Adjutant and Inspector General, and likewise from that
of adjutant-general to a division, which were severally annulled. It
differs from the first in title, rank, and pay, and from the two latter
because they had been created by law each for a division, whereas the
new office, being instituted without such special designation, could
have relation only to the whole Army. It was manifest, therefore, that
neither of those officers had any right to this new station nor to
any other station unless he should be specially appointed to it, the
principle of reduction being applicable to every officer in every corps.
It is proper also to observe that the duties of Adjutant-General under
the existing arrangement correspond in almost every circumstance with
those of the late Adjutant and Inspector General, and not with those
of an adjutant-general of a division.

To give effect to this law the President was authorized by the twelfth
section to cause the officers, noncommissioned officers, artificers,
musicians, and privates of the several corps then in the service of the
United States to be arranged in such manner as to form and complete
out of the same the force thereby provided for, and to cause the
supernumerary officers, noncommissioned officers, artificers, musicians,
and privates to be discharged from the service.

In executing this very delicate and important trust I acted with the
utmost precaution. Sensible of what I owed to my country, I felt
strongly the obligation of observing the utmost impartiality in
selecting those officers who were to be retained. In executing this law
I had no personal object to accomplish or feeling to gratify--no one
to retain, no one to remove. Having on great consideration fixed the
principles on which the reduction should be made, I availed myself
of the example of my predecessor by appointing through the proper
department a board of general officers to make the selection, and
whose report I adopted.

In transferring the officers from the old to the new corps the utmost
care was taken to place them in the latter in the grades and corps to
which they had respectively belonged in the former, so far as it might
be practicable. This, though not enjoined by the law, appearing to be
just and proper, was never departed from except in peculiar cases and
under imperious circumstances.

In filling the original vacancies in the artillery and in the newly
created office of Adjutant-General I considered myself at liberty to
place in them any officer belonging to any part of the whole military
establishment, whether of the staff or line. In filling original
vacancies--that is, offices newly created--it is my opinion, as a
general principle, that Congress have no right under the Constitution
to impose any restraint by law on the power granted to the President
so as to prevent his making a free selection of proper persons for these
offices from the whole body of his fellow-citizens. Without, however,
entering here into that question, I have no hesitation in declaring it
as my opinion that the law fully authorized a selection from any branch
of the whole military establishment of 1815. Justified, therefore, as
I thought myself in taking that range by the very highest sanction, the
sole object to which I had to direct my attention was the merit of the
officers to be selected for these stations. Three generals of great
merit were either to be dismissed or otherwise provided for. The
very gallant and patriotic defender of New Orleans had intimated his
intention to retire, but at my suggestion expressed his willingness
to accept the office of commissioner to receive the cession of the
Floridas and of governor for a short time of that Territory. As to one,
therefore, there was no difficulty. For the other two provision could
only be made in the mode which was adopted. General Macomb, who had
signalized himself in the defense of Plattsburg, was placed at the head
of the Corps of Engineers, to which he had originally belonged, and in
which he had acquired great experience, Colonel Armistead, then at the
head of that corps, having voluntarily accepted one of the new regiments
of artillery, for which he possessed very suitable qualifications.
General Atkinson, likewise an officer of great merit, was appointed to
the newly created office of Adjutant-General. Brevet General Porter, an
officer of great experience in the artillery, and merit, was appointed
to the command of another of those regiments. Colonel Fenwick, then the
oldest lieutenant-colonel of artillery, and who had suffered much in the
late war by severe wounds, was appointed to a third, and Colonel Towson,
who had served with great distinction in the same corps and been twice
brevetted for his gallantry in the late war, was appointed to the last
remaining one. General Atkinson having declined the office of Adjutant
General, Colonel Gadsden, an officer of distinguished merit and believed
to possess qualifications suitably adapted to it, was appointed in
his stead. In making the arrangement the merits of Colonel Butler and
Colonel Jones were not overlooked. The former was assigned to the place
which he would have held in the line if he had retained his original
lineal commission, and the latter to his commission in the line, which
he had continued to hold with his staff appointment.

That the reduction of the Army and the arrangement of the officers
from the old to the new establishment and the appointments referred to
were in every instance strictly conformable to law will, I think, be
apparent. To the arrangement generally no objection has been heard; it
has been made, however, to the appointments to the original vacancies,
and particularly to those of Colonel Towson and Colonel Gadsden. To
those appointments, therefore, further attention is due. If they were
improper it must be either that they were illegal or that the officers
did not merit the offices conferred on them. The acknowledged merit of
the officers and the peculiar fitness for the offices to which they were
respectively appointed must preclude all objection on that head. Having
already suggested my impression that in filling offices newly created,
to which on no principle whatever anyone could have a claim of right,
Congress could not under the Constitution restrain the free selection of
the President from the whole body of his fellow-citizens, I shall only
further remark that if that impression is well founded all objection
to these appointments must cease. If the law imposed such restraint,
it would in that case be void. But, according to my judgment, the law
imposed none. An objection to the legality of those appointments must be
founded either on the principle that those officers were not comprised
within the corps then in the service of the United States--that is, did
not belong to the peace establishment--or that the power granted by
the word "arrange" imposed on the President the necessity of placing
in these new offices persons of the same grade only from the old. It is
believed that neither objection is well founded. Colonel Towson belonged
to one of the corps then in the service of the United States, or, in
other words, of the military peace establishment. By the act of 1815-16
the Pay Department, of which the Paymaster General was the chief, was
made one of the branches of the staff, and he and all those under him
were subjected to the Rules and Articles of War. The appointment,
therefore, of him, and especially to a new office, was strictly
conformable to law.

The only difference between the fifth section of the act of 1815 for
reducing the Army and the twelfth section of the act of 1821 for still
further reducing it, by which the power to carry those laws into effect
was granted to the President in each instance, consists in this, that by
the former he was to cause the arrangement to be made of the officers,
noncommissioned officers, musicians, and privates of the several _corps
of troops_ then in the service of the United States, whereas in the
latter the term _troops_ was omitted. It can not be doubted that that
omission had an object, and that it was thereby intended to guard
against misconstruction in so very material and important a circumstance
by authorizing the application of the act unequivocally to every corps
of the staff as well as of the line. With that word a much wider range
was given to the act of 1815 on the reduction which then took place than
under the last act. The omission of it from the last act, together with
all the sanctions which were given by Congress to the construction of
the law in the reduction made under the former, could not fail to dispel
all doubt as to the extent of the power granted by the last law and of
the principles which ought to guide, and on which it was thereby made
the duty of the President to execute it. With respect to the other
objection--that is, that officers of the same grade only ought to have
been transferred to these new offices--it is equally unfounded. It is
admitted that officers may be taken from the old corps and reduced and
arranged in the new in inferior grades, as was done under the former
reduction. This admission puts an end to the objection in this case;
for if an officer may be reduced and arranged from one corps to another
by an entire change of grade, requiring a new commission and a new
nomination to the Senate, I see no reason why an officer may not be
advanced in like manner. In both instances the grade in the old corps
is alike disregarded. The transfer from it to the new turns on the merit
of the party, and it is believed that the claim in this instance is felt
by all with peculiar sensibility. The claim of Colonel Towson is the
stronger because the arrangement of him to the office to which he is now
nominated is not to one from which any officer has been removed, and to
which any other officer may in any view of the case be supposed to have
had a claim. As Colonel Gadsden held the office of Inspector-General,
and as such was acknowledged by all to belong to the staff of the Army,
it is not perceived on what ground his appointment can be objected to.

If such a construction is to be given to the act of 1821 as to confine
the transfer of officers from the old to the new establishment to the
_corps of troops_--that is, to the line of the Army--the whole staff of
the Army in every branch would not only be excluded from any appointment
in the new establishment, but altogether disbanded from the service.
It would follow also that all the offices of the staff under the
new arrangement must be filled by officers belonging to the new
establishment after its organization and their arrangement in it.
Other consequences not less serious would follow. If the right of the
President to fill these original vacancies by the selection of officers
from any branch of the whole military establishment was denied, he would
be compelled to place in them officers of the same grade whose corps had
been reduced, and they with them. The effect, therefore, of the law as
to those appointments would be to legislate into office men who had been
already legislated out of office, taking from the President all agency
in their appointment. Such a construction would not only be subversive
of the obvious principles of the Constitution, but utterly inconsistent
with the spirit of the law itself, since it would provide offices for
a particular grade, and fix every member of that grade in those offices,
at a time when every other grade was reduced, and among them generals
and other officers of the highest merit. It would also defeat every
object of selection, since colonels of infantry would be placed at the
head of regiments of artillery, a service in which they might have had
no experience, and for which they might in consequence be unqualified.

Having omitted in the message to Congress at the commencement of the
session to state the principles on which this law had been executed, and
having imperfectly explained them in the message to the Senate of the
17th of January last, I deem it particularly incumbent on me, as well
from a motive of respect to the Senate as to place my conduct in the
duty imposed on me by that act in a clear point of view, to make this
communication at this time. The examples under the law of 1815, whereby
officers were reduced and arranged from the old corps to the new in
inferior grades, fully justify all that has been done under the law
of 1821. If the power to arrange under the former law authorized the
removal of one officer from a particular station and the location of
another in it, reducing the latter from a higher to an inferior grade,
with the advice and consent of the Senate, it surely justifies under
the latter law the arrangement of these officers, with a like sanction,
to offices of new creation, from which no one had been removed and to
which no one had a just claim. It is on the authority of these examples,
supported by the construction which I gave to the law, that I have acted
in the discharge of this high trust. I am aware that many officers of
great merit, having the strongest claims on their country, have been
reduced and others dismissed, but under the law that result was
inevitable. It is believed that none have been retained who had not,
likewise, the strongest claims to the appointments which have been
conferred on them. To discriminate between men of acknowledged merit,
especially in a way to affect so sensibly and materially their feelings
and interests, for many of whom I have personal consideration and
regard, has been a most painful duty; yet I am conscious that I have
discharged it with the utmost impartiality. Had I opened the door to
change in any case, even where error might have been committed, against
whom could I afterwards have closed it, and into what consequences might
not such a proceeding have led? The same remarks are applicable to the
subject in its relation to the Senate, to whose calm and enlightened
judgment, with these explanations, I again submit the nominations which
have been rejected.

JAMES MONROE.

APRIL 15, 1822.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 12th instant,
requesting the President of the United States "to cause to be laid
before the Senate the original proceedings of the board of general
officers charged with the reduction of the Army under the act of the 2d
of March, 1821, together with all communications to and from said board
on the subject of reducing the Army, including the case submitted to the
Attorney-General, and his opinion thereon," I now transmit a report from
the Secretary of War, furnishing the information requested.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _April 15, 1822_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the Senate requesting the President
of the United States to lay before that House any report or information
which may be in his possession as to the most eligible situation on
the Western waters for the erection of a national arsenal, I herewith
transmit a report from the Secretary of War, containing all the
information on that subject in the possession of the Executive.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _April 15, 1822_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of the
16th of February last, requesting the President of the United States
"to communicate to that House whether any foreign government has made
any claim to any part of the territory of the United States upon the
coast of the Pacific Ocean north of the forty-second degree of latitude,
and to what extent; whether any regulations have been made by foreign
powers affecting the trade on that coast, and how it affects the interest
of this Republic, and whether any communications have been made to this
Government by foreign powers touching the contemplated occupation of
Columbia River," I now transmit a report from the Secretary of State,
containing the information embraced by that resolution.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _April 18, 1822_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I communicate to the House of Representatives copies of sundry papers
having relation to the transactions in East and West Florida, which have
been received at the Department of State since my message to the two
Houses of Congress of the 28th of January last, together with copies
of two letters from the Secretary of State upon the same subject.

JAMES MONROE.

[The same message was sent to the Senate.]

WASHINGTON, _April 23, 1822_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of the
29th January last, requesting the President of the United States to
cause to be communicated to that House certain information relative to
the claim made by Jonathan Carver to certain lands within the United
States near the Falls of St. Anthony. I now transmit a report of the
Secretary of the Treasury, which, with the accompanying documents,
contains all the information on this subject in the possession of
the Executive.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _April 26, 1822_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, agreeably to their resolution of yesterday, a
report from the Secretary of State, with copies of the papers requested
by that resolution, in relation to the recognition of the South American
Provinces.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _April 29, 1822_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit to the House of Representatives a report from the Secretary
of State, in pursuance of their resolution of the 20th instant,[A]
"requesting to be furnished with a copy of the judicial proceedings
in the United States court for the district of Louisiana in the case
of the French slave ship _La Pensee_."

JAMES MONROE.

[Footnote: A: An error; so in the original message. The date of the
resolution is the 18th of April.]

WASHINGTON, _April 30, 1822_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the Senate, requesting the President
of the United States to cause to be laid before the Senate certain
information respecting the practical operation of the system of
subsisting the Army under the provisions of the act passed the 14th
of April, 1818, etc., I herewith transmit a report from the Secretary
of War, furnishing the information required.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _May 1, 1822_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States_:

In the message to both Houses of Congress at the commencement of their
present session it was mentioned that the Government of Norway had
issued an ordinance for admitting the vessels of the United States and
their cargoes into the ports of that Kingdom upon the payment of no
other or higher duties than are paid by Norwegian vessels, of whatever
articles the said cargoes may consist and from whatever ports the
vessels laden with them may come.

In communicating this ordinance to the Government of the United States
that of Norway has requested the benefit of a similar and reciprocal
provision for the vessels of Norway and their cargoes which may enter
the ports of the United States.

This provision being within the competency only of the legislative
authority of Congress, I communicate to them herewith copies of the
communications received from the Norwegian Government in relation to
the subject, and recommend the same to their consideration.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _May 1, 1822_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States_:

I transmit herewith to Congress copies of letters received at the
Department of State from the minister of Great Britain on the subject
of the duties discriminating between imported rolled and hammered iron.
I recommend them particularly to the consideration of Congress, believing
that although there may be ground for controversy with regard to the
application of the engagements of the treaty to the case, yet a liberal
construction of those engagements would be compatible at once with a
conciliatory and a judicious policy.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _May 4, 1822_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of the
19th of April, requesting the President "to cause to be communicated to
the House, if not injurious to the public interest, any letter which
may have been received from Jonathan Russell, one of the ministers
who concluded the treaty of Ghent, in conformity with the indications
contained in his letter of the 25th of December, 1814," I have to state
that having referred the resolution to the Secretary of State, and
it appearing, by a report from him, that no such document had been
deposited among the archives of the Department, I examined and found
among my private papers a letter of that description marked "private"
by himself. I transmit a copy of the report of the Secretary of State,
by which it appears that Mr. Russell, on being apprised that the document
referred to by the resolution had not been deposited in the Department
of State, delivered there "a paper purporting to be the duplicate of a
letter written by him from Paris on the 11th of February, 1815, to the
then Secretary of State, to be communicated to the House as the letter
called for by the resolution."

On the perusal of the document called for I find that it communicates
a difference of opinion between Mr. Russell and a majority of his
colleagues in certain transactions which occurred in the negotiations at
Ghent, touching interests which have been since satisfactorily adjusted
by treaty between the United States and Great Britain. The view which
Mr. Russell presents of his own conduct and that of his colleagues in
those transactions will, it is presumed, call from the two surviving
members of that mission who differed from him a reply containing
their view of those transactions and of the conduct of the parties
in them, and who, should his letter be communicated to the House of
Representatives, will also claim that their reply should be communicated
in like manner by the Executive--a claim which, on the principle of
equal justice, could not be resisted. The Secretary of State, one of the
ministers referred to, has already expressed a desire that Mr. Russell's
letter should be communicated, and that I would transmit at the same
time a communication from him respecting it.

On full consideration of the subject I have thought it would be improper
for the Executive to communicate the letter called for unless the House,
on a knowledge of these circumstances, should desire it, in which case
the document called for shall be communicated, accompanied by a report
from the Secretary of State, as above suggested. I have directed a copy
to be delivered to Mr. Russell, to be disposed of as he may think
proper, and have caused the original to be deposited in the Department
of State, with instruction to deliver a copy to any person who may be
interested.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _May 6, 1822_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I transmit to Congress translations of two letters from Don Joaquin
d'Anduaga to the Secretary of State, which have been received at the
Department of State since my last message communicating copies of big
correspondence with this Government.

JAMES MONROE.

_Don Joaquin de Anduaga to the Secretary of State_.

[Translation.]

PHILADELPHIA, _April 24, 1822_.

SIR: As soon as the news was received in Madrid of the recent
occurrences in New Spain after the arrival at Vera Cruz of the
Captain-General and supreme political chief appointed for those
Provinces, Don Juan O. Donoju, and some papers were seen relative to
those same transactions, it was feared that for forming the treaty
concluded in Cordova on the 24th of August last between the said General
and the traitor, Colonel Dr. Augustine Iturbide, it had been falsely
supposed that the former had power from His Catholic Majesty for that
act, and in a little time the correctness of those suspicions was found,
as, among other things, the said O. Donoju, when on the 26th of the same
August he sent this treaty to the governor of Vera Cruz, notifying
him of its prompt and punctual observance, he told him that at his
sailing from the Peninsula preparation for the independence of Mexico
was already thought of, and that its bases were approved of by the
Government and by a commission of the Cortes. His Majesty, on sight
of this and of the fatal impression which so great an imposture had
produced in some ultramarine Provinces, and what must without difficulty
be the consequence among the rest, thought proper to order that, by
means of a circular to all the chiefs and corporations beyond seas,
this atrocious falsehood should be disbelieved; and now he has deigned
to command me to make it known to the Government of the United States
that it is false as far as General O. Donoju published beyond his
instructions, by pointing out to it that he never could have been
furnished with other instructions than those conformable to
constitutional principles.

In compliance with this order of His Majesty, I can do no less than
observe to you, sir, how unfounded one of the reasons is in your note
of the 6th instant for the recognition by this Government of those of
the insurgent Provinces of Spanish-America--that it was founded on the
treaty made by O. Donoju with Iturbide--since not having had that power
nor instruction to conclude it it is clearly null and of no value.

I repeat to you, sir, the sentiments of my distinguished consideration,
and pray God that you live many years.

JOAQUIN DE ANDUAGA.

_Don Joaquin de Anduaga to the Secretary of State_.

[Translation.]

PHILADELPHIA, _April 26, 1822_.

JOHN QUINCY ADAMS,
_Secretary of State_.

SIR: I have received your note of the 15th instant, in which you are
pleased to communicate to me the reasons which induce the President
not only to refuse to His Catholic Majesty the satisfaction which he
demanded in his royal name for the insults offered by General Jackson
to the Spanish commissaries and officers, but to approve fully of the
said chief's conduct.

Before answering the contents of the said note I thought it my duty to
request instructions from my Government, and therefore without delay I
have laid it before them. Until they arrive, therefore, I have confined
myself to two observations:

First. If in my note of the 18th of November last I said that as General
Jackson had not specified the actions which had induced him to declare
the Spanish officers expelled from the Floridas criminal, nor given
proof of them, I thought myself authorized to declare the accusation
false, I did not this through inadvertency, but upon the evident
principle that every person accused has a right to declare an accusation
destitute of proof false, and, much more, an accusation not pretended
to be proved. This assertion of mine does not presume that I am not
persuaded of the merit of the said General and of the claim which he has
upon the gratitude of his country; but although it is believed the duty
of his country to eulogize and reward his eminent services, yet it will
be lawful for the representative of a power outraged by him to complain
of his conduct. I can not persuade myself that to aggravate my said
expression you could have thought that I had been wanting in due
respect, it not being possible for that opinion to have entered your
mind, when by his orders Mr. Forsyth had sent to the Spanish minister
on the 1st of September last a note, in which, complaining of the
Captain-General of the island of Cuba, he accuses him of dishonorable
pecuniary motives in not having delivered the archives, without giving
any proof of so injurious an assertion; and I must remark that the rank
of General Mabry in Spain is at least as elevated as that of General
Jackson in the United States, and that the services performed by him to
his country have rendered him as worthy as he of its consideration and
respect.

Second. Although you are pleased to tell me that part of the papers
taken from Colonel Coppinger are ready to be delivered, which the
American commissioners, _after having examined them_, have adjudged to
be returned to Spain, I do not think myself authorized to admit their
return in this manner, but in the mode which I demanded in my note of
the 22d of November last.

As I have seen by the public papers that the President has communicated
to Congress the note which you were pleased to address to me, dated
the 15th instant, and that it has been ordered to be printed, I take
the liberty of requesting that you will have the goodness to use your
influence that this my answer may be treated in the same manner, that
Congress and the public may be informed that if I have not answered the
first part of it as respects the general business, it is only to wait
for the instructions of my Government, but that I have answered what
was personal.

I renew to you, sir, the sentiments of my distinguished consideration.

JOAQUIN DE ANDUAGA.

WASHINGTON, _May 6, 1822_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of the 26th of April,
requesting the President of the United States "to communicate to the
Senate the report of the Attorney-General relative to any persons
(citizens of the United States) who have been charged with or suspected
of introducing any slaves into the United States contrary to existing
laws," I transmit herewith two reports from the Attorney-General.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _May 7, 1822_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 25th of April,
requesting certain information concerning lead mines on lands of the
United States, I herewith transmit a report from the Secretary of War.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _May 7, 1822_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In compliance with the resolution of the House of Representatives of the
23d of April, requesting the President of the United States to cause to
be communicated to that House certain information respecting the lead
mines of the State of Missouri, I herewith transmit a report of the
Secretary of War.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _May 7, 1822_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In compliance with the resolution of the House of Representatives of
the 7th of May, requesting the President to communicate to that House
a letter of Jonathan Russell, esq., referred to in his message of the
4th instant, together with such communications as he may have received
relative thereto from any of the other ministers of the United States
who negotiated the treaty of Ghent, I herewith transmit a report from
the Secretary of State, with the documents called for by that
resolution.

JAMES MONROE.

VETO MESSAGE.

WASHINGTON, _May 4, 1822_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

Having duly considered the bill entitled "An act for the preservation
and repair of the Cumberland road," it is with deep regret, approving
as I do the policy, that I am compelled to object to its passage and to
return the bill to the House of Representatives, in which it originated,
under a conviction that Congress do not possess the power under the
Constitution to pass such a law.

A power to establish turnpikes with gates and tolls, and to enforce the
collection of tolls by penalties, implies a power to adopt and execute a
complete system of internal improvement. A right to impose duties to be
paid by all persons passing a certain road, and on horses and carriages,
as is done by this bill, involves the right to take the land from the
proprietor on a valuation and to pass laws for the protection of the
road from injuries, and if it exist as to one road it exists as to any
other, and to as many roads as Congress may think proper to establish.
A right to legislate for one of these purposes is a right to legislate
for the others. It is a complete right of jurisdiction and sovereignty
for all the purposes of internal improvement, and not merely the
right of applying money under the power vested in Congress to make
appropriations, under which power, with the consent of the States
through which this road passes, the work was originally commenced, and
has been so far executed. I am of opinion that Congress do not possess
this power; that the States individually can not grant it, for although
they may assent to the appropriation of money within their limits for
such purposes, they can grant no power of jurisdiction or sovereignty by
special compacts with the United States. This power can be granted only
by an amendment to the Constitution and in the mode prescribed by it.

If the power exist, it must be either because it has been specifically
granted to the United States or that it is incidental to some power
which has been specifically granted. If we examine the specific grants
of power we do not find it among them, nor is it incidental to any power
which has been specifically granted.

It has never been contended that the power was specifically granted.
It is claimed only as being incidental to some one or more of the powers
which are specifically granted. The following are the powers from which
it is said to be derived:

First, from the right to establish post-offices and post-roads; second,
from the right to declare war; third, to regulate commerce; fourth,
to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare;
fifth, from the power to make all laws necessary and proper for carrying
into execution all the powers vested by the Constitution in the
Government of the United States or in any department or officer thereof;
sixth and lastly, from the power to dispose of and make all needful
rules and regulations respecting the territory and other property of
the United States.

According to my judgment it can not be derived from either of those
powers, nor from all of them united, and in consequence it does not
exist.

Having stated my objections to the bill, I should now cheerfully
communicate at large the reasons on which they are founded if I had
time to reduce them to such form as to include them in this paper. The
advanced stage of the session renders that impossible. Having at the
commencement of my service in this high trust considered it a duty to
express the opinion that the United States do not possess the power in
question, and to suggest for the consideration of Congress the propriety
of recommending to the States an amendment to the Constitution to vest
the power in the United States, my attention has been often drawn to the
subject since, in consequence whereof I have occasionally committed my
sentiments to paper respecting it. The form which this exposition has
assumed is not such as I should have given it had it been intended for
Congress, nor is it concluded. Nevertheless, as it contains my views
on this subject, being one which I deem of very high importance, and
which in many of its bearings has now become peculiarly urgent, I will
communicate it to Congress, if in my power, in the course of the day,
or certainly on Monday next.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _May 4, 1822_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit the paper alluded to in the message of this day, on the
subject of internal improvements.

JAMES MONROE.

VIEWS OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES ON THE SUBJECT OF INTERNAL
IMPROVEMENTS.

It may be presumed that the proposition relating to internal
improvements by roads and canals, which has been several times before
Congress, will be taken into consideration again either for the purpose
of recommending to the States the adoption of an amendment to the
Constitution to vest the necessary power in the General Government or
to carry the system into effect on the principle that the power has
already been granted. It seems to be the prevailing opinion that great
advantage would be derived from the exercise of such a power by Congress.
Respecting the right there is much diversity of sentiment. It is of the
highest importance that this question should be settled. If the right
exist, it ought forthwith to be exercised. If it does not exist, surely
those who are friends to the power ought to unite in recommending an
amendment to the Constitution to obtain it. I propose to examine this
question.

The inquiry confined to its proper objects and within the most limited
scale is extensive. Our Government is unlike other governments both in
its origin and form. In analyzing it the differences in certain respects
between it and those of other nations, ancient and modern, necessarily
come into view. I propose to notice these differences so far as they are
connected with the object of inquiry, and the consequences likely to
result from them, varying in equal degree from those which have attended
other governments. The digression, if it may be so called, will in every
instance be short and the transition to the main object immediate and
direct.

To do justice to the subject it will be necessary to mount to the source
of power in these States and to pursue this power in its gradations and
distribution among the several departments in which it is now vested.
The great division is between the State governments and the General
Government. If there was a perfect accord in every instance as to
the precise extent of the powers granted to the General Government,
we should then know with equal certainty what were the powers which
remained to the State governments, since it would follow that those
which were not granted to the one would remain to the other. But it is
on this point, and particularly respecting the construction of these
powers and their incidents, that a difference of opinion exists, and
hence it is necessary to trace distinctly the origin of each government,
the purposes intended by it, and the means adopted to accomplish them.
By having the interior of both governments fully before us we shall have
all the means which can be afforded to enable us to form a correct
opinion of the endowments of each.

Before the Revolution the present States, then colonies, were separate
communities, unconnected with each other except in their common relation
to the Crown. Their governments were instituted by grants from the
Crown, which operated, according to the conditions of each grant, in
the nature of a compact between the settlers in each colony and the
Crown. All power not retained in the Crown was vested exclusively in
the colonies, each having a government consisting of an executive, a
judiciary, and a legislative assembly, one branch of which was in every
instance elected by the people. No office was hereditary, nor did any
title under the Crown give rank or office in any of the colonies. In
resisting the encroachments of the parent country and abrogating the
power of the Crown the authority which had been held by it vested
exclusively in the people of the colonies, By them was a Congress
appointed, composed of delegates from each colony, who managed the war,
declared independence, treated with foreign powers, and acted in all
things according to the sense of their constituents. The Declaration of
Independence confirmed in form what had before existed in substance.
It announced to the world new States, possessing and exercising complete
sovereignty, which they were resolved to maintain. They were soon after
recognized by France and other powers, and finally by Great Britain
herself in 1783.

Soon after the power of the Crown was annulled the people of each
colony established a constitution or frame of government for themselves,
in which these separate branches--legislative, executive, and
judiciary--were instituted, each independent of the others. To these
branches, each having its appropriate portion, the whole power of the
people not delegated to Congress was communicated, to be exercised for
their advantage on the representative principle by persons of their
appointment, or otherwise deriving their authority immediately from
them, and holding their offices for stated terms. All the powers
necessary for useful purposes held by any of the strongest governments
of the Old World not vested in Congress were imparted to these State
governments without other checks than such as are necessary to prevent
abuse, in the form of fundamental declarations or bills of right. The
great difference between our governments and those of the Old World
consists in this, that the former, being representative, the persons who
exercise their powers do it not for themselves or in their own right,
but for the people, and therefore while they are in the highest degree
efficient they can never become oppressive. It is this transfer of
the power of the people to representative and responsible bodies in
every branch which constitutes the great improvement in the science
of government and forms the boast of our system. It combines all the
advantages of every known government without any of their disadvantages.
It retains the sovereignty in the people, while it avoids the tumult
and disorder incident to the exercise of that power by the people
themselves. It possesses all the energy and efficiency of the most
despotic governments, while it avoids all the oppressions and abuses
inseparable from those governments.

In every stage of the conflict from its commencement until March,
1781, the powers of Congress were undefined, but of vast extent.
The assemblies or conventions of the several colonies being formed by
representatives from every county in each colony and the Congress by
delegates from each colonial assembly, the powers of the latter for
general purposes resembled those of the former for local. They rested
on the same basis, the people, and were complete for all the purposes
contemplated. Never was a movement so spontaneous, so patriotic, so
efficient. The nation exerted its whole faculties in support of its
rights, and of its independence after the contest took that direction,
and it succeeded. It was, however, foreseen at a very early stage
that although the patriotism of the country might be relied on in
the struggle for its independence, a well-digested compact would be
necessary to preserve it after obtained. A plan of confederation was
in consequence proposed and taken into consideration by Congress even
at the moment when the other great act which severed them from Great
Britain and declared their independence was proclaimed to the world.
This compact was ratified on the 21st March, 1781, by the last State,
and thereupon carried into immediate effect.

The following powers were vested in the United States by the Articles
of Confederation. As this, the first bond of union, was in operation
nearly eight years, during which time a practical construction was given
to many of its powers, all of which were adopted in the Constitution
with important additions, it is thought that a correct view of those
powers and of the manner in which they are executed may shed light on
the subject under consideration. It may fairly be presumed that where
certain powers were transferred from one instrument to the other and
in the same terms, or terms descriptive only of the same powers, that
it was intended that they should be construed in the same sense in
the latter that they were in the former.

Article I declares that the style of the Confederacy shall be "The
United States of America."

Article II. Each State retains its sovereignty, freedom, and
independence, and every power and right which is not expressly delegated
to the United States.

Article III. The States severally enter into a firm league of friendship
with each other for their common defense, the security of their
liberties, and their mutual and general welfare, binding themselves
to assist each other against all force offered to or attacks made upon
them on account of religion, sovereignty, trade, etc.

Article IV. The free inhabitants of each State, paupers, vagabonds, and
fugitives from justice excepted, shall be entitled to all the privileges
and immunities of free citizens in the several States, etc. Fugitives
from justice into any of the States shall be delivered up on the demand
of the executive of the State from which they fled. Full faith and
credit shall be given in each State to the records and acts of every
other State.

Article V. Delegates shall be annually appointed by the legislature of
each State to meet in Congress on the first Monday in November, with a
power to recall, etc. No State shall appoint less than two nor more than
seven, nor shall any delegate hold his office for more than three in six
years. Each State shall maintain its own delegates. Each State shall
have one vote. Freedom of speech shall not be impeached, and the members
shall be protected from arrests, except for treason, etc.

Article VI. No State shall send or receive an embassy or enter into a
treaty with a foreign power. Nor shall any person holding any office of
profit or trust under the United States or any State accept any present,
emolument, office, or title from a foreign power. Nor shall the United
States or any State grant any title of nobility. No two States shall
enter into any treaty without the consent of Congress. No State shall
lay any imposts or duties which may interfere with any treaties entered
into by the United States. No State shall engage in war unless it be
invaded or menaced with invasion by some Indian tribe, nor grant letters
of marque or reprisal unless it be against pirates, nor keep up vessels
of war nor any body of troops in time of peace without the consent of
Congress; but every State shall keep up a well regulated militia, etc.

Article VII. When land forces are raised by any State for the common
defense, all officers of and under the rank of colonel shall be
appointed by the legislature of each State.

Article VIII. All charges of war and all other expenses which shall be
incurred for the common defense or general welfare shall be defrayed
out of a common treasury, which shall be supplied by the several
States in proportion to the value of all the land in each State
granted to individuals. The taxes for paying each proportion shall
be levied by the several States.

Article IX. Congress shall have the sole and exclusive right and power
of determining on peace and war, except in the cases mentioned in
the sixth article; of sending and receiving ambassadors; entering
into alliances, except, etc.; of establishing rules for deciding what
captures on land and water shall be legal; of granting letters of marque
and reprisal in time of peace; appointing courts for the trial of
piracies and felonies on the high seas; for deciding controversies
between the States and between individuals claiming lands under two or
more States whose jurisdiction has been adjusted; of regulating the
alloy and value of coin struck by their authority and of foreign coin;
fixing the standard of weights and measures; regulating the trade with
the Indians; establishing and regulating post offices from one State to
another and throughout all the States, and exacting such postage as may
be requisite to defray the expenses of the office; of appointing all
officers of the land forces except the regimental; appointing all the
officers of the naval forces; to ascertain the necessary sums of money
to be raised for the service of the United States and appropriate the
same; to borrow money and emit bills of credit; to build and equip a
Navy; to agree on the number of land forces and to make requisitions
on each State for its quota; that the assent of nine States shall be
requisite to these great acts.

Article X regulates the powers of the committee of the States to sit in
the recess of Congress.

Article XI provides for the admission of Canada into the Confederation.

Article XII pledges the faith of the United States for the payment of
all bills of credit issued and money borrowed on their account.

Article XIII. Every State shall abide by the determination of the United
States on all questions submitted to them by the Confederation, the
Articles of the Confederation to be perpetual and not to be altered
without the consent of every State.

This bond of union was soon found to be utterly incompetent to the
purposes intended by it. It was defective in its powers; it was
defective also in the means of executing the powers actually granted by
it. Being a league of sovereign and independent States, its acts, like
those of all other leagues, required the interposition of the States
composing it to give them effect within their respective jurisdictions.
The acts of Congress without the aid of State laws to enforce them were
altogether nugatory. The refusal or omission of one State to pass such
laws was urged as a reason to justify like conduct in others, and thus
the Government was soon at a stand.

The experience of a few years demonstrated that the Confederation could
not be relied on for the security of the blessings which had been
derived from the Revolution. The interests of the nation required
a more efficient Government, which the good sense and virtue of the
people provided by the adoption of the present Constitution.

The Constitution of the United States was formed by a convention of
delegates from the several States, who met in Philadelphia, duly
authorized for the purpose, and it was ratified by a convention in each
State which was especially called to consider and decide on the same.
In this progress the State governments were never suspended in their
functions. On the contrary, they took the lead in it. Conscious of their
incompetency to secure to the Union the blessings of the Revolution,
they promoted the diminution of their own powers and the enlargement of
those of the General Government in the way in which they might be most
adequate and efficient. It is believed that no other example can be
found of a Government exerting its influence to lessen its own powers,
of a policy so enlightened, of a patriotism so pure and disinterested.
The credit, however, is more especially due to the people of each State,
in obedience to whose will and under whose control the State governments
acted.

The Constitution of the United States, being ratified by the people of
the several States, became of necessity to the extent of its powers the
paramount authority of the Union. On sound principles it can be viewed
in no other light. The people, the highest authority known to our
system, from whom all our institutions spring and on whom they depend,
formed it. Had the people of the several States thought proper to
incorporate themselves into one community, under one government, they
might have done it. They had the power, and there was nothing then nor
is there anything now, should they be so disposed, to prevent it. They
wisely stopped, however, at a certain point, extending the incorporation
to that point, making the National Government thus far a consolidated
Government, and preserving the State governments without that limit
perfectly sovereign and independent of the National Government. Had the
people of the several States incorporated themselves into one community,
they must have remained such, their Constitution becoming then, like the
constitution of the several States, incapable of change until altered
by the will of the majority. In the institution of a State government
by the citizens of a State a compact is formed to which all and every
citizen are equal parties. They are also the sole parties and may amend
it at pleasure. In the institution of the Government of the United
States by the citizens of every State a compact was formed between the
whole American people which has the same force and partakes of all the
qualities to the extent of its powers as a compact between the citizens
of a State in the formation of their own constitution. It can not be
altered except by those who formed it or in the mode prescribed by the
parties to the compact itself.

This Constitution was adopted for the purpose of remedying all
defects of the Confederation, and in this it has succeeded beyond
any calculation that could have been formed of any human institution.
By binding the States together the Constitution performs the great
office of the Confederation; but it is in that sense only that it has
any of the properties of that compact, and in that it is more effectual
to the purpose, as it holds them together by a much stronger bond; and
in all other respects in which the Confederation failed the Constitution
has been blessed with complete success. The Confederation was a compact
between separate and independent States, the execution of whose
articles in the powers which operated internally depended on the State
governments. But the great office of the Constitution, by incorporating
the people of the several States to the extent of its powers into one
community and enabling it to act directly on the people, was to annul
the powers of the State governments to that extent, except in cases
where they were concurrent, and to preclude their agency in giving

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