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

Part 6 out of 9

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to make a more effectual provision than would be made by the proposed
improvements. With their aid and the intercourse which would grow out
of them the parts would soon become so compacted and bound together
that nothing could break it.

The expansion of our Union over a vast territory can not operate
unfavorably to the States individually. On the contrary, it is believed
that the greater the expansion within practicable limits--and it is not
easy to say what are not so--the greater the advantage which the States
individually will derive from it. With governments separate, vigorous,
and efficient for all local purposes, their distance from each other can
have no injurious effect upon their respective interests. It has already
been shown that in some important circumstances, especially with the aid
of these improvements, they must derive great advantage from that cause
alone--that is, from their distance from each other. In every other way
the expansion of our system must operate favorably for every State in
proportion as it operates favorably for the Union. It is in that sense
only that it can become a question with the States, or, rather, with
the people who compose them. As States they can be affected by it only
by their relation to each other through the General Government and by
its effect on the operations of that Government. Manifest it is that to
any extent to which the General Government can sustain and execute its
functions with complete effect will the States--that is, the people who
compose them--be benefited. It is only when the expansion shall be
carried beyond the faculties of the General Government so as to enfeeble
its operations to the injury of the whole that any of the parts can be
injured. The tendency in that stage will be to dismemberment and not to
consolidation. This danger should, therefore, be looked at with profound
attention as one of a very serious character. I will remark here that
as the operations of the National Government are of a general nature,
the States having complete power for internal and local purposes, the
expansion may be carried to very great extent and with perfect safety.
It must be obvious to all that the further the expansion is carried,
provided it be not beyond the just limit, the greater will be the
freedom of action to both Governments and the more perfect their
security, and in all other respects the better the effect will be to
the whole American people. Extent of territory, whether it be great
or small, gives to a nation many of its characteristics. It marks the
extent of its resources, of its population, of its physical force.
It marks, in short, the difference between a great and a small power.

To what extent it may be proper to expand our system of government is a
question which does not press for a decision at this time. At the end of
the Revolutionary war, in 1783, we had, as we contended and believed,
a right to the free navigation of the Mississippi, but it was not until
after the expiration of twelve years, in 1795, that that right was
acknowledged and enjoyed. Further difficulties occurred in the bustling
of a contentious world when, at the expiration of eight years more, the
United States, sustaining the strength and energy of their character,
acquired the Province of Louisiana, with the free navigation of the
river from its source to the ocean and a liberal boundary on the western
side. To this Florida has since been added, so that we now possess all
the territory in which the original States had any interest, or in which
the existing States can be said, either in a national or local point
of view, to be in any way interested. A range of States on the western
side of the Mississippi, which already is provided for, puts us
essentially at ease. Whether it will be wise to go further will turn
on other considerations than those which have dictated the course
heretofore pursued. At whatever point we may stop, whether it be at
a single range of States beyond the Mississippi or by taking a greater
scope, the advantage of such improvements is deemed of the highest
importance. It is so on the present scale. The further we go the greater
will be the necessity for them.

It can not be doubted that improvements for great national purposes
would be better made by the National Government than by the governments
of the several States. Our experience prior to the adoption of the
Constitution demonstrated that in the exercise by the individual States
of most of the powers granted to the United States a contracted rivalry
of interest and misapplied jealousy of each other had an important
influence on all their measures to the great injury of the whole. This
was particularly exemplified by the regulations which they severally
made of their commerce with foreign nations and with each other. It
was this utter incapacity in the State governments, proceeding from
these and other causes, to act as a nation and to perform all the duties
which the nation owed to itself under any system which left the General
Government dependent on the States, which produced the transfer of
these powers to the United States by the establishment of the present
Constitution. The reasoning which was applicable to the grant of any of
the powers now vested in Congress is likewise so, at least to a certain
extent, to that in question. It is natural that the States individually
in making improvements should look to their particular and local
interests, The members composing their respective legislatures represent
the people of each State only, and might not feel themselves at liberty
to look to objects in these respects beyond that limit. If the resources
of the Union were to be brought into operation under the direction of
the State assemblies, or in concert with them, it may be apprehended
that every measure would become the object of negotiation, of bargain
and barter, much to the disadvantage of the system, as well as discredit
to both governments. But Congress would look to the whole and make
improvements to promote the welfare of the whole. It is the peculiar
felicity of the proposed amendment that while it will enable the United
States to accomplish every national object, the improvements made with
that view will eminently promote the welfare of the individual States,
who may also add such others as their own particular interests may
require.

The situation of the Cumberland road requires the particular and early
attention of Congress. Being formed over very lofty mountains and in
many instances over deep and wide streams, across which valuable bridges
have been erected, which are sustained by stone walls, as are many other
parts of the road, all these works are subject to decay, have decayed,
and will decay rapidly unless timely and effectual measures are adopted
to prevent it.

The declivities from the mountains and all the heights must suffer from
the frequent and heavy falls of water and its descent to the valleys,
as also from the deep congelations during our severe winters. Other
injuries have also been experienced on this road, such as the displacing
the capping of the walls and other works, committed by worthless people
either from a desire to render the road impassable or to have the
transportation in another direction, or from a spirit of wantonness to
create employment for idlers. These considerations show that an active
and strict police ought to be established over the whole road, with
power to make repairs when necessary, to establish turnpikes and tolls
as the means of raising money to make them, and to prosecute and punish
those who commit waste and other injuries.

Should the United States be willing to abandon this road to the States
through which it passes, would they take charge of it, each of that
portion within its limits, and keep it in repair? It is not to be
presumed that they would, since the advantages attending it are
exclusively national, by connecting, as it does, the Atlantic with the
Western States, and in a line with the seat of the National Government.
The most expensive parts of this road lie within Pennsylvania and
Virginia, very near the confines of each State and in a route not
essentially connected with the commerce of either.

If it is thought proper to vest this power in the United States,
the only mode in which it can be done is by an amendment of the
Constitution. The States individually can not transfer the power
to the United States, nor can the United States receive it. The
Constitution forms an equal and the sole relation between the General
Government and the several States, and it recognizes no change in it
which shall not in like manner apply to all. If it is once admitted
that the General Government may form compacts with individual States
not common to the others, and which the others might even disapprove,
into what pernicious consequences might it not lead? Such compacts are
utterly repugnant to the principles of the Constitution and of the most
dangerous tendency. The States through which this road passes have given
their sanction only to the route and to the acquisition of the soil
by the United States, a right very different from that of jurisdiction,
which can not be granted without an amendment to the Constitution, and
which need not be granted for the purposes of this system except in the
limited manner heretofore stated. On full consideration, therefore, of
the whole subject I am of opinion that such an amendment ought to be
recommended to the several States for their adoption.

I have now essentially executed that part of the task which I imposed
on myself of examining the right of Congress to adopt and execute a
system of internal improvement, and, I presume, have shown that it does
not exist. It is, I think, equally manifest that such a power vested in
Congress and wisely executed would have the happiest effect on all the
great interests of our Union. It is, however, my opinion that the power
should be confined to great national works only, since if it were
unlimited it would be liable to abuse and might be productive of evil.
For all minor improvements the resources of the States individually
would be fully adequate, and by the States such improvements might be
made with greater advantage than by the Union, as they would understand
better such as their more immediate and local interests required.

In the view above presented I have thought it proper to trace the
origin of our institutions, and particularly of the State and National
Governments, for although they have a common origin in the people, yet,
as the point at issue turned on what were the powers granted to the
one government and what were those which remained to the other, I was
persuaded that an analysis which should mark distinctly the source of
power in both governments, with its progress in each, would afford the
best means for obtaining a sound result. In our political career there
are, obviously, three great epochs. The colonial state forms the first;
the Revolutionary movement from its commencement to the adoption of the
Articles of Confederation the second, and the intervening space from
that event to the present day the third. The first may be considered
the infant state. It was the school of morality, of political science
and just principles. The equality of rights enjoyed by the people of
every colony under their original charters forms the basis of every
existing institution, and it was owing to the creation by those
charters of distinct communities that the power, when wrested from the
Crown, passed directly and exclusively to the people of each colony.
The Revolutionary struggle gave activity to those principles, and its
success secured to them a permanent existence in the governments
of our Union, State and National. The third epoch comprises the
administration under the Articles of Confederation, with the adoption
of the Constitution and administration under it. On the first and
last of these epochs it is not necessary to enlarge for any purpose
connected with the object of this inquiry. To the second, in which we
were transferred by a heroic exertion from the first to the third stage,
and whose events give the true character to every institution, some
further attention is due. In tracing in greater detail the prominent
acts of a movement to which we owe so much I shall perform an office
which, if not useful, will be gratifying to my own feelings, and I hope
not unacceptable to my readers.

Of the Revolutionary movement itself sentiments too respectful, too
exalted, can not be entertained. It is impossible for any citizen having
a just idea of the dangers which we had to encounter to read the record
of our early proceedings and to see the firmness with which they were
met and the wisdom and patriotism which were displayed in every stage
without being deeply affected by it. An attack on Massachusetts was
considered an attack on every colony, and the people of each moved in
her defense as in their own cause. The meeting of the General Congress
in Philadelphia on the 6th of September, 1774, appears to have been
the result of a spontaneous impulse in every quarter at the same time.
The first public act proposing it, according to the Journals of
the First Congress, was passed by the house of representatives of
Connecticut on the 3d of June of that year; but it is presumed that the
first suggestion came from Massachusetts, the colony most oppressed,
and in whose favor the general sympathy was much excited. The exposition
which that Congress made of grievances, in the petition to the King, in
the address to the people of Great Britain, and in that to the people
of the several colonies, evinced a knowledge so profound of the English
constitution and of the general principles of free government and of
liberty, of our rights founded on that constitution and on the charters
of the several colonies, and of the numerous and egregious violations
which had been committed of them, as must have convinced all impartial
minds that the talent on this side of the Atlantic was at least equal
to that on the other. The spirit in which those papers were drawn, which
was known to be in strict accord with the public sentiment, proved that,
although the whole people cherished a connection with the parent country
and were desirous of preserving it on just principles, they nevertheless
stood embodied at the parting line, ready to separate forever if
a redress of grievances, the alternative offered, was not promptly
rendered. That alternative was rejected, and in consequence war and
dismemberment followed.

The powers granted to the delegates of each colony who composed the
First Congress looked primarily to the support of rights and to a
redress of grievances, and, in consequence, to the restoration of
harmony, which was ardently desired. They justified, however, any
extremity in case of necessity. They were ample for such purposes,
and were executed in every circumstance with the utmost fidelity.
It was not until after the meeting of the Second Congress, which took
place on the 10th May, 1775, when full proof was laid before it of the
commencement of hostilities in the preceding month by a deliberate
attack of the British troops on the militia and inhabitants of Lexington
and Concord, in Massachusetts, that war might be said to be decided on,
and measures were taken to support it. The progress even then was slow
and reluctant, as will be seen by their second petition to the King and
their second address to the people of Great Britain, which were prepared
and forwarded after that event. The arrival, however, of large bodies of
troops and the pressure of war in every direction soon dispelled all
hope of accommodation.

On the 15th of June, 1775, a commander in chief of the forces raised and
to be raised for the defense of American liberty was appointed by the
unanimous vote of Congress, and his conduct in the discharge of the
duties of that high trust, which he held through the whole of the war,
has given an example to the world for talents as a military commander;
for integrity, fortitude, and firmness under the severest trials; for
respect to the civil authority and devotion to the rights and liberties
of his country, of which neither Rome nor Greece have exhibited the
equal. I saw him in my earliest youth, in the retreat through Jersey,
at the head of a small band, or rather in its rear, for he was always
next the enemy, and his countenance and manner made an impression on me
which time can never efface. A lieutenant then in the Third Virginia
Regiment, I happened to be on the rear guard at Newark, and I counted
the force under his immediate command by platoons as it passed me, which
amounted to less than 3,000 men. A deportment so firm, so dignified,
so exalted, but yet so modest and composed, I have never seen in any
other person.

On the 6th July, 1775, Congress published a declaration of the causes
which compelled them to take up arms, and immediately afterwards took
measures for augmenting the Army and raising a navy; for organizing the
militia and providing cannon and small arms and military stores of every
kind; for raising a revenue and pushing the war offensively with all the
means in their power. Nothing escaped the attention of that enlightened
body. The people of Canada were invited to join the Union, and a force
sent into the province to favor the Revolutionary party, which, however,
was not capable of affording any essential aid. The people of Ireland
were addressed in terms manifesting due respect for the sufferings, the
talents, and patriotism of that portion of the British Empire, and a
suitable acknowledgment was made to the assembly of Jamaica for the
approbation it had expressed of our cause and the part it had taken
in support of it with the British Government.

On the 2d of June, 1775, the convention of Massachusetts, by a letter
signed by their president, of May the 10th, stated to Congress that they
labored under difficulties for the want of a regular form of government,
and requested to be favored with explicit advice respecting the taking
up and exercising the powers of civil government, and declaring their
readiness to submit to such a general plan as the Congress might direct
for the colonies, or that they would make it their great study to
establish such a form of government there as should not only promote
their own advantage, but the union and interest of all America. To this
application an answer was given on the 9th, by which it was recommended
to the convention "to write letters to the inhabitants of the several
places entitled to representation in assembly, requesting them to choose
such representatives, and that the assembly, when chosen, should elect
councilors, and that said assembly or council should exercise the powers
of government until a governor of His Majesty's appointment will consent
to govern the colony according to its charter."

On the 18th October of the same year the delegates from New Hampshire
laid before Congress an instruction from their convention "to use their
utmost endeavors to obtain the advice and direction of Congress with
respect to a method for administering justice and regulating their civil
police." To this a reply was given on the 3d November, by which it was
recommended to the convention "to call a full and free representation of
the people, and that the representatives, if they thought it necessary,
should establish such a form of government as in their judgment would
best promote the happiness of the people and most effectually secure
peace and good order in the Province during the continuance of the
present dispute between Great Britain and the colonies."

On the 4th November it was resolved by Congress "that if the convention
of South Carolina shall find it necessary to establish a form of
government in that colony it be recommended to that convention to
call a full and free representation of the people; and the said
representatives, if they think it necessary, shall establish such a
form of government as in their judgment will best promote the happiness
of the people and most effectually secure peace and good order in the
colony during the continuance of the present dispute between Great
Britain and the colonies."

On the 4th December following a resolution passed recommending the same
measure, and precisely in the same words, to the convention of Virginia.

On the 10th May, 1776, it was recommended to the respective assemblies
and conventions of the united colonies, where no government sufficient
to the exigencies of their affairs had been established, "to adopt such
government as should, in the opinion of the representatives of the
people, best conduce to the happiness and safety of their constituents
in particular and America in general."

On the 7th June resolutions respecting independence were moved and
seconded, which were referred to a committee of the whole on the 8th
and 10th, on which latter day it was resolved to postpone a decision on
the first resolution or main question until the 1st July, but that no
time might be lost in case the Congress agree thereto that a committee
be appointed to prepare a declaration to the effect of that resolution.
On the 11th June, 1776, Congress appointed a committee to prepare and
digest a plan of confederation for the colonies. On the 12th July the
committee reported a draft of articles, which were severally afterwards
debated and amended until the 15th November, 1777, when they were
adopted. These articles were then proposed to the legislatures of the
several States, with a request that if approved by them they would
authorize their delegates to ratify the same in Congress, and, which
being done, to become conclusive. It was not until the 21st of March,
1781, as already observed, that they were ratified by the last State
and carried into effect.

On the 4th July, 1776, independence was declared by an act which
arrested the attention of the civilized world and will bear the test
of time. For force and condensation of matter, strength of reason,
sublimity of sentiment and expression, it is believed that no document
of equal merit exists. It looked to everything, and with a reach,
perspicuity, and energy of mind which seemed to be master of everything.

Thus it appears, in addition to the very important charge of managing
the war, that Congress had under consideration at the same time the
Declaration of Independence, the adoption of a confederation for the
States, and the propriety of instituting State governments, with the
nature of those governments, respecting which it had been consulted by
the conventions of several of the colonies. So great a trust was never
reposed before in a body thus constituted, and I am authorized to add,
looking to the great result, that never were duties more ably or
faithfully performed.

The distinguishing characteristic of this movement is that although the
connection which had existed between the people of the several colonies
before their dismemberment from the parent country was not only not
dissolved but increased by that event, even before the adoption of the
Articles of Confederation, yet the preservation and augmentation of that
tie were the result of a new creation, and proceeded altogether from
the people of each colony, into whose hands the whole power passed
exclusively when wrested from the Crown. To the same cause the greater
change which has since occurred by the adoption of the Constitution is
to be traced.

The establishment of our institutions forms the most important epoch
that history hath recorded. They extend unexampled felicity to the whole
body of our fellow-citizens, and are the admiration of other nations.
To preserve and hand them down in their utmost purity to the remotest
ages will require the existence and practice of virtues and talents
equal to those which were displayed in acquiring them. It is ardently
hoped and confidently believed that these will not be wanting.

PROCLAMATIONS.

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas by the second section of an act of Congress of the 6th of May
last, entitled "An act in addition to the act concerning navigation,
and also to authorize the appointment of deputy collectors," it is
provided that in the event of the signature of any treaty or convention
concerning the navigation or commerce between the United States and
France the President of the United States, if he should deem the same
expedient, may suspend by proclamation until the end of the next session
of Congress the operation of the act entitled "An act to impose a new
tonnage duty on French ships and vessels, and for other purposes," and
also to suspend, as aforesaid, all other duties on French vessels or
the goods imported in the same which may exceed the duties on American
vessels and on similar goods imported in the same; and

Whereas a convention of navigation and commerce between the United
States of America and His Majesty the King of France and Navarre has
this day been duly signed by John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, on
the part of the United States, and by the Baron Hyde de Neuville, envoy
extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary from France, on the part of
His Most Christian Majesty, which convention is in the words following:

[Here follows the treaty.]

Now, therefore, be it known that I, James Monroe, President of the
United States, in pursuance of the authority aforesaid, do hereby
suspend from and after the 1st day of October next until the end of
the next session of Congress, the operation of the act aforesaid,
entitled "An act to impose a new tonnage duty on French ships and
vessels, and for other purposes," and also all other duties on French
vessels and the goods being the growth, produce, and manufacture of
France imported in the same which may exceed the duties on American
vessels and on similar goods imported in the same, saving only the
discriminating duties payable on French vessels and on articles the
growth, produce, and manufacture of France imported in the same
stipulated by the said convention to be paid.

In testimony whereof I have caused the seal of the United States to be
affixed to these presents, and signed the same with my hand.

[SEAL.]

Done at Washington, the 24th day of June, A.D. 1822, and of the
Independence of the-United States the forty-sixth.

JAMES MONROE.

By the President:
JOHN QUINCY ADAMS,
_Secretary of State_.

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas by an act of the Congress of the United States passed on the
6th day of May last it was provided that on satisfactory evidence being
given to the President of the United States that the ports in the
islands or colonies in the West Indies under the dominion of Great
Britain have been opened to the vessels of the United States the
President should be, and thereby was, authorized to issue his
proclamation declaring that the ports of the United States should
thereafter be open to the vessels of Great Britain employed in the trade
and intercourse between the United States and such islands or colonies,
subject to such reciprocal rules and restrictions as the President of
the United States might by such proclamation make and publish, anything
in the laws entitled "An act concerning navigation" or an act entitled
"An act supplementary to an act concerning navigation" to the contrary
notwithstanding; and

Whereas satisfactory evidence has been given to the President of the
United States that the ports hereinafter named in the islands or
colonies in the West Indies under the dominion of Great Britain have
been opened to the vessels of the United States; that is to say, the
ports of Kingston, Savannah le Mar, Montego Bay, Santa Lucia, Antonio,
St. Ann, Falmouth, Maria, Morant Bay, in Jamaica; St. George, Grenada;
Roseau, Dominica; St. Johns, Antigua; San Josef, Trinidad; Scarborough,
Tobago; Road Harbour, Tortola; Nassau, New Providence; Pittstown,
Crooked Island; Kingston, St. Vincent; Port St. George and Port
Hamilton, Bermuda; any port where there is a custom-house, Bahamas;
Bridgetown, Barbadoes; St. Johns, St. Andrews, New Brunswick; Halifax,
Nova Scotia; Quebec, Canada; St. Johns, Newfoundland; Georgetown,
Demerara; New Amsterdam, Berbice; Castries, St. Lucia; Besseterre, St.
Kitts; Charlestown, Nevis; and Plymouth, Montserrat:

Now, therefore, I, James Monroe, President of the United States of
America, do hereby declare and proclaim that the ports of the United
States shall hereafter, and until the end of the next session of the
Congress of the United States, be open to the vessels of Great Britain
employed in the trade and intercourse between the United States and the
islands and colonies hereinbefore named, anything in the laws entitled
"An act concerning navigation" or an act entitled "An act supplementary
to an act concerning navigation" to the contrary notwithstanding, under
the following reciprocal rules and restrictions, namely:

To vessels of Great Britain, bona fide British built, owned and the
master and three-fourths of the mariners of which at least shall belong
to Great Britain, or any United States built ship or vessel which has
been sold to and become the property of British subjects, such ship or
vessel being also navigated with a master and three-fourths of the
mariners at least belonging to Great Britain: _And provided always_,
That no articles shall be imported into the United States in any such
British ship or vessel other than articles of the growth, produce, or
manufacture of the British islands and colonies in the West Indies when
imported in British vessels coming from any such island or colony, and
articles of the growth, produce, or manufacture of the British colonies
in North America or of the island of Newfoundland in vessels coming from
the port of St. Johns, in that island, or from any of the aforesaid
ports of the British colonies in North America.

Given under my hand, at the city of Washington, this 24th day of August,
A.D. 1822, and in the forty-seventh year of the Independence of the
United States.

JAMES MONROE.

By the President:
JOHN QUINCY ADAMS,
_Secretary of State_.

SIXTH ANNUAL MESSAGE.

WASHINGTON, _December 3, 1822_.

_Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and House of Representatives_:

Many causes unite to make your present meeting peculiarly interesting to
our constituents. The operation of our laws on the various subjects to
which they apply, with the amendments which they occasionally require,
imposes annually an important duty on the representatives of a free
people. Our system has happily advanced to such maturity that I am not
aware that your cares in that respect will be augmented. Other causes
exist which are highly interesting to the whole civilized world, and to
no portion of it more so, in certain views, than to the United States.
Of these causes and of their bearing on the interests of our Union I
shall communicate the sentiments which I have formed with that freedom
which a sense of duty dictates. It is proper, however, to invite your
attention in the first instance to those concerns respecting which
legislative provision is thought to be particularly urgent.

On the 24th of June last a convention of navigation and commerce was
concluded in this city between the United States and France by ministers
duly authorized for the purpose. The sanction of the Executive having
been given to this convention under a conviction that, taking all its
stipulations into view, it rested essentially on a basis of reciprocal
and equal advantage, I deemed it my duty, in compliance with the
authority vested in the Executive by the second section of the act of
the last session of the 6th of May, concerning navigation, to suspend by
proclamation until the end of the next session of Congress the operation
of the act entitled "An act to impose a new tonnage duty on French ships
and vessels, and for other purposes," and to suspend likewise all other
duties on French vessels or the goods imported in them which exceeded
the duties on American vessels and on similar goods imported in them.
I shall submit this convention forthwith to the Senate for its advice
and consent as to the ratification.

Since your last session the prohibition which had been imposed on the
commerce between the United States and the British colonies in the West
Indies and on this continent has likewise been removed. Satisfactory
evidence having been adduced that the ports of those colonies had been
opened to the vessels of the United States by an act of the British
Parliament bearing date on the 24th of June last, on the conditions
specified therein, I deemed it proper, in compliance with the provision
of the first section of the act of the last session above recited, to
declare, by proclamation bearing date on the 24th of August last, that
the ports of the United States should thenceforward and until the end of
the next session of Congress be opened to the vessels of Great Britain
employed in that trade, under the limitation specified in that
proclamation.

A doubt was entertained whether the act of Congress applied to the
British colonies on this continent as well as to those in the West
Indies, but as the act of Parliament opened the intercourse equally
with both, and it was the manifest intention of Congress, as well as
the obvious policy of the United States, that the provisions of the act
of Parliament should be met in equal extent on the part of the United
States, and as also the act of Congress was supposed to vest in the
President some discretion in the execution of it, I thought it advisable
to give it a corresponding construction.

Should the constitutional sanction of the Senate be given to the
ratification of the convention with France, legislative provisions will
be necessary to carry it fully into effect, as it likewise will be to
continue in force, on such conditions as may be deemed just and proper,
the intercourse which has been opened between the United States and the
British colonies. Every light in the possession of the Executive will
in due time be communicated on both subjects.

Resting essentially on a basis of reciprocal and equal advantage, it
has been the object of the Executive in transactions with other powers
to meet the propositions of each with a liberal spirit, believing that
thereby the interest of our country would be most effectually promoted.
This course has been systematically pursued in the late occurrences with
France and Great Britain, and in strict accord with the views of the
Legislature. A confident hope is entertained that by the arrangement
thus commenced with each all differences respecting navigation and
commerce with the dominions in question will be adjusted, and a solid
foundation be laid for an active and permanent intercourse which will
prove equally advantageous to both parties.

The decision of His Imperial Majesty the Emperor of Russia on the
question submitted to him by the United States and Great Britain,
concerning the construction of the first article of the treaty of Ghent,
has been received. A convention has since been concluded between the
parties, under the mediation of His Imperial Majesty, to prescribe the
mode by which that article shall be carried into effect in conformity
with that decision. I shall submit this convention to the Senate for
its advice and consent as to the ratification, and, if obtained, shall
immediately bring the subject before Congress for such provisions as
may require the interposition of the Legislature.

In compliance with an act of the last session a Territorial government
has been established in Florida on the principles of our system. By
this act the inhabitants are secured in the full enjoyment of their
rights and liberties, and to admission into the Union, with equal
participation in the Government with the original States on the
conditions heretofore prescribed to other Territories. By a clause in
the ninth article of the treaty with Spain, by which that Territory was
ceded to the United States, it is stipulated that satisfaction shall
be made for the injuries, if any, which by process of law shall be
established to have been suffered by the Spanish officers and individual
Spanish inhabitants by the late operations of our troops in Florida. No
provision having yet been made to carry that stipulation into effect,
it is submitted to the consideration of Congress whether it will not be
proper to vest the competent power in the district court at Pensacola,
or in some tribunal to be specially organized for the purpose.

The fiscal operations of the year have been more successful than had
been anticipated at the commencement of the last session of Congress.

The receipts into the Treasury during the three first quarters of the
year have exceeded the sum of $14,745,000. The payments made at the
Treasury during the same period have exceeded $12,279,000, leaving in
the Treasury on the 30th day of September last, including $1,168,592.24
which were in the Treasury on the 1st day of January last, a sum
exceeding $4,128,000.

Besides discharging all demands for the current service of the year,
including the interest and reimbursement of the public debt, the 6 per
cent stock of 1796, amounting to $80,000, has been redeemed. It is
estimated that, after defraying the current expenses of the present
quarter and redeeming the two millions of 6 per cent stock of 1820,
there will remain in the Treasury on the 1st of January next nearly
$3,000,000. It is estimated that the gross amount of duties which have
been secured from the 1st of January to the 30th of September last has
exceeded $19,500,000, and the amount for the whole year will probably
not fall short of $23,000,000.

Of the actual force in service under the present military establishment,
the posts at which it is stationed, and the condition of each post,
a report from the Secretary of War which is now communicated will give
a distinct idea. By like reports the state of the Academy at West Point
will be seen, as will be the progress which has been made on the
fortifications along the coast and at the national armories and
arsenals.

The position on the Red River and that at the Sault of St. Marie are
the only new posts that have been taken. These posts, with those
already occupied in the interior, are thought to be well adapted to the
protection of our frontiers. All the force not placed in the garrisons
along the coast and in the ordnance depots, and indispensably necessary
there, is placed on the frontiers.

The organization of the several corps composing the Army is such as to
admit its expansion to a great extent in case of emergency, the officers
carrying with them all the light which they possess to the new corps to
which they might be appointed.

With the organization of the staff there is equal cause to be satisfied.
By the concentration of every branch with its chief in this city, in
the presence of the Department, and with a grade in the chief military
station to keep alive and cherish a military spirit, the greatest
promptitude in the execution of orders, with the greatest economy and
efficiency, are secured. The same view is taken of the Military Academy.
Good order is preserved in it, and the youth are well instructed in
every science connected with the great objects of the institution. They
are also well trained and disciplined in the practical parts of the
profession. It has been always found difficult to control the ardor
inseparable from that early age in such manner as to give it a proper
direction. The rights of manhood are too often claimed prematurely, in
pressing which too far the respect which is due to age and the obedience
necessary to a course of study and instruction in every such institution
are sometimes lost sight of. The great object to be accomplished is the
restraint of that ardor by such wise regulations and government as, by
directing all the energies of the youthful mind to the attainment of
useful knowledge, will keep it within a just subordination and at the
same time elevate it to the highest purposes. This object seems to be
essentially obtained in this institution, and with great advantage to
the Union.

The Military Academy forms the basis, in regard to science, on which
the military establishment rests. It furnishes annually, after due
examination and on the report of the academic staff, many well-informed
youths to fill the vacancies which occur in the several corps of the
Army, while others who retire to private life carry with them such
attainments as, under the right reserved to the several States to
appoint the officers and to train the militia, will enable them, by
affording a wider field for selection, to promote the great object of
the power vested in Congress of providing for the organizing, arming,
and disciplining the militia. Thus by the mutual and harmonious
cooperation of the two governments in the execution of a power divided
between them, an object always to be cherished, the attainment of a
great result, on which our liberties may depend, can not fail to be
secured. I have to add that in proportion as our regular force is small
should the instruction and discipline of the militia, the great resource
on which we rely, be pushed to the utmost extent that circumstances
will admit.

A report from the Secretary of the Navy will communicate the progress
which has been made in the construction of vessels of war, with other
interesting details respecting the actual state of the affairs of
that Department. It has been found necessary for the protection of
our commerce to maintain the usual squadrons on the Mediterranean,
the Pacific, and along the Atlantic coast, extending the cruises of the
latter into the West Indies, where piracy, organized into a system, has
preyed on the commerce of every country trading thither. A cruise has
also been maintained on the coast of Africa, when the season would
permit, for the suppression of the slave trade, and orders have been
given to the commanders of all our public ships to seize our own
vessels, should they find any engaged in that trade, and to bring
them in for adjudication.

In the West Indies piracy is of recent date, which may explain the
cause why other powers have not combined against it. By the documents
communicated it will be seen that the efforts of the United States to
suppress it have had a very salutary effect. The benevolent provision
of the act under which the protection has been extended alike to the
commerce of other nations can not fail to be duly appreciated by them.

In compliance with the act of the last session entitled "An act
to abolish the United States trading establishments," agents were
immediately appointed and instructed, under the direction of the
Secretary of the Treasury, to close the business of the trading houses
among the Indian tribes and to settle the accounts of the factors and
subfactors engaged in that trade, and to execute in all other respects
the injunctions of that act in the mode prescribed therein. A final
report of their proceedings shall be communicated to Congress as soon
as it is received.

It is with great regret I have to state that a serious malady has
deprived us of many valuable citizens at Pensacola and checked the
progress of some of those arrangements which are important to the
Territory. This effect has been sensibly felt in respect to the Indians
who inhabit that Territory, consisting of the remnants of several tribes
who occupy the middle ground between St. Augustine and Pensacola, with
extensive claims but undefined boundaries. Although peace is preserved
with those Indians, yet their position and claims tend essentially to
interrupt the intercourse between the eastern and western parts of the
Territory, on which our inhabitants are principally settled. It is
essential to the growth and prosperity of the Territory, as well as to
the interests of the Union, that these Indians should be removed, by
special compact with them, to some other position or concentrated within
narrower limits where they are. With the limited means in the power of
the Executive, instructions were given to the governor to accomplish
this object so far as it might be practicable, which was prevented by
the distressing malady referred to. To carry it fully into effect in
either mode additional funds will be necessary, to the provision of
which the powers of Congress alone are competent. With a view to such
provision as may be deemed proper, the subject is submitted to your
consideration, and in the interim further proceedings are suspended.

It appearing that so much of the act entitled "An act regulating the
staff of the Army," which passed on the 14th April, 1818, as relates to
the commissariat will expire in April next, and the practical operation
of that department having evinced its great utility, the propriety of
its renewal is submitted to your consideration.

The view which has been taken of the probable productiveness of the
lead mines, connected with the importance of the material to the public
defense, makes it expedient that they should be managed with peculiar
care. It is therefore suggested whether it will not comport with the
public interest to provide by law for the appointment of an agent
skilled in mineralogy to superintend them, under the direction of
the proper department.

It is understood that the Cumberland road, which was constructed at
a great expense, has already suffered from the want of that regular
superintendence and of those repairs which are indispensable to the
preservation of such a work. This road is of incalculable advantage
in facilitating the intercourse between the Western and the Atlantic
States. Through it the whole country from the northern extremity of Lake
Erie to the Mississippi, and from all the waters which empty into each,
finds an easy and direct communication to the seat of Government, and
thence to the Atlantic. The facility which it affords to all military
and commercial operations, and also to those of the Post-Office
Department, can not be estimated too highly. This great work is likewise
an ornament and an honor to the nation. Believing that a competent power
to adopt and execute a system of internal improvement has not been
granted to Congress, but that such a power, confined to great national
purposes and with proper limitations, would be productive of eminent
advantage to our Union, I have thought it advisable that an amendment
of the Constitution to that effect should be recommended to the several
States. A bill which assumed the right to adopt and execute such a
system having been presented for my signature at the last session,
I was compelled, from the view which I had taken of the powers of the
General Government, to negative it, on which occasion I thought it
proper to communicate the sentiments which I had formed, on mature
consideration, on the whole subject. To that communication, in all the
views in which the great interest to which it relates may be supposed
to merit your attention, I have now to refer. Should Congress, however,
deem it improper to recommend such an amendment, they have, according to
my judgment, the right to keep the road in repair by providing for the
superintendence of it and appropriating the money necessary for repairs.
Surely if they had the right to appropriate money to make the road they
have a right to appropriate it to preserve the road from ruin. From the
exercise of this power no danger is to be apprehended. Under our happy
system the people are the sole and exclusive fountain of power. Each
government originates from them, and to them alone, each to its proper
constituents, are they respectively and solely responsible for the
faithful discharge of their duties within their constitutional limits;
and that the people will confine their public agents of every station
to the strict line of their constitutional duties there is no cause to
doubt. Having, however, communicated my sentiments to Congress at the
last session fully in the document to which I have referred, respecting
the right of appropriation as distinct from the right of jurisdiction
and sovereignty over the territory in question, I deem it improper to
enlarge on the subject here.

From the best information that I have been able to obtain it appears
that our manufactures, though depressed immediately after the peace,
have considerably increased, and are still increasing, under the
encouragement given them by the tariff of 1816 and by subsequent
laws. Satisfied I am, whatever may be the abstract doctrine in favor of
unrestricted commerce, provided all nations would, concur in it and it
was not liable to be interrupted by war, which has never occurred and
can not be expected, that there are other strong reasons applicable to
our situation and relations with other countries which impose on us the
obligation to cherish and sustain our manufactures. Satisfied, however,
I likewise am that the interest of every part of our Union, even of
those most benefited by manufactures, requires that this subject should
be touched with the greatest caution, and a critical knowledge of
the effect to be produced by the slightest change. On full consideration
of the subject in all its relations I am persuaded that a further
augmentation may now be made of the duties on certain foreign articles
in favor of our own and without affecting injuriously any other
interest. For more precise details I refer you to the communications
which were made to Congress during the last session.

So great was the amount of accounts for moneys advanced during the late
war, in addition to others of a previous date which in the regular
operations of the Government necessarily remained unsettled, that it
required a considerable length of time for their adjustment. By a report
from the First Comptroller of the Treasury it appears that on the 4th of
March, 1817, the accounts then unsettled amounted to $103,068,876.41, of
which, on the 30th of September of the present year, $93,175,396.56 had
been settled, leaving on that day a balance unsettled of $9,893,479.85.
That there have been drawn from the Treasury, in paying the public debt
and sustaining the Government in all its operations and disbursements,
since the 4th of March, 1817, $157,199,380.96, the accounts for which
have been settled to the amount of $137,501,451.12, leaving a balance
unsettled of $19,697,929.84. For precise details respecting each of
these balances I refer to the report of the Comptroller and the
documents which accompany it.

From this view it appears that our commercial differences with France
and Great Britain have been placed in a train of amicable arrangement on
conditions fair and honorable in both instances to each party; that our
finances are in a very productive state, our revenue being at present
fully competent to all the demands upon it; that our military force is
well organized in all its branches and capable of rendering the most
important service in case of emergency that its number will admit of;
that due progress has been made, under existing appropriations, in the
construction of fortifications and in the operations of the Ordnance
Department; that due progress has in like manner been made in the
construction of ships of war; that our Navy is in the best condition,
felt and respected in every sea in which it is employed for the
protection of our commerce; that our manufactures have augmented in
amount and improved in quality; that great progress has been made in
the settlement of accounts and in the recovery of the balances due by
individuals, and that the utmost economy is secured and observed in
every Department of the Administration.

Other objects will likewise claim your attention, because from the
station which the United States hold as a member of the great community
of nations they have rights to maintain, duties to perform, and dangers
to encounter.

A strong hope was entertained that peace would ere this have been
concluded between Spain and the independent governments south of the
United States in this hemisphere. Long experience having evinced the
competency of those governments to maintain the independence which they
had declared, it was presumed that the considerations which induced
their recognition by the United States would have had equal weight with
other powers, and that Spain herself, yielding to those magnanimous
feelings of which her history furnishes so many examples, would have
terminated on that basis a controversy so unavailing and at the same
time so destructive. We still cherish the hope that this result will
not long be postponed.

Sustaining our neutral position and allowing to each party while the war
continues equal rights, it is incumbent on the United States to claim of
each with equal rigor the faithful observance of our rights according to
the well-known law of nations. From each, therefore, a like cooperation
is expected in the suppression of the piratical practice which has grown
out of this war and of blockades of extensive coasts on both seas,
which, considering the small force employed to sustain them, have not
the slightest foundation to rest on.

Europe is still unsettled, and although the war long menaced between
Russia and Turkey has not broken out, there is no certainty that the
differences between those powers will be amicably adjusted. It is
impossible to look to the oppressions of the country respecting which
those differences arose without being deeply affected. The mention of
Greece fills the mind with the most exalted sentiments and arouses
in our bosoms the best feelings of which our nature is susceptible.
Superior skill and refinement in the arts, heroic gallantry in action,
disinterested patriotism, enthusiastic zeal and devotion in favor of
public and personal liberty are associated with our recollections of
ancient Greece. That such a country should have been overwhelmed and so
long hidden, as it were, from the world under a gloomy despotism has
been a cause of unceasing and deep regret to generous minds for ages
past. It was natural, therefore, that the reappearance of those people
in their original character, contending in favor of their liberties,
should produce that great excitement and sympathy in their favor which
have been so signally displayed throughout the United States. A strong
hope is entertained that these people will recover their independence
and resume their equal station among the nations of the earth.

A great effort has been made in Spain and Portugal to improve the
condition of the people, and it must be very consoling to all benevolent
minds to see the extraordinary moderation with which it has been
conducted. That it may promote the happiness of both nations is the
ardent wish of this whole people, to the expression of which we confine
ourselves; for whatever may be the feelings or sentiments which every
individual under our Government has a right to indulge and express,
it is nevertheless a sacred maxim, equally with the Government and
people, that the destiny of every independent nation in what relates
to such improvements of right belongs and ought to be left exclusively
to themselves.

Whether we reason from the late wars or from those menacing symptoms
which now appear in Europe, it is manifest that if a convulsion should
take place in any of those countries it will proceed from causes which
have no existence and are utterly unknown in these States, in which
there is but one order, that of the people, to whom the sovereignty
exclusively belongs. Should war break out in any of those countries, who
can foretell the extent to which it may be carried or the desolation
which it may spread? Exempt as we are from these causes, our internal
tranquillity is secure; and distant as we are from the troubled scene,
and faithful to first principles in regard to other powers, we might
reasonably presume that we should not be molested by them. This,
however, ought not to be calculated on as certain. Unprovoked injuries
are often inflicted, and even the peculiar felicity of our situation
might with some be a cause for excitement and aggression. The history
of the late wars in Europe furnishes a complete demonstration that no
system of conduct, however correct in principle, can protect neutral
powers from injury from any party; that a defenseless position and
distinguished love of peace are the surest invitations to war, and that
there is no way to avoid it other than by being always prepared and
willing for just cause to meet it. If there be a people on earth whose
more especial duty it is to be at all times prepared to defend the
rights with which they are blessed, and to surpass all others in
sustaining the necessary burdens, and in submitting to sacrifices to
make such preparations, it is undoubtedly the people of these States.

When we see that a civil war of the most frightful character rages
from the Adriatic to the Black Sea; that strong symptoms of war appear
in other parts, proceeding from causes which, should it break out, may
become general and be of long duration; that the war still continues
between Spain and the independent governments, her late Provinces,
in this hemisphere; that it is likewise menaced between Portugal and
Brazil, in consequence of the attempt of the latter to dismember
itself from the former, and that a system of piracy of great extent is
maintained in the neighboring seas, which will require equal vigilance
and decision to suppress it, the reasons for sustaining the attitude
which we now hold and for pushing forward all our measures of defense
with the utmost vigor appear to me to acquire new force.

The United States owe to the world a great example, and, by means
thereof, to the cause of liberty and humanity a generous support.
They have so far succeeded to the satisfaction of the virtuous and
enlightened of every country. There is no reason to doubt that their
whole movement will be regulated by a sacred regard to principle, all
our institutions being founded on that basis. The ability to support our
own cause under any trial to which it may be exposed is the great point
on which the public solicitude rests. It has been often charged against
free governments that they have neither the foresight nor the virtue to
provide at the proper season for great emergencies; that their course is
improvident and expensive; that war will always find them unprepared,
and, whatever may be its calamities, that its terrible warnings will
be disregarded and forgotten as soon as peace returns. I have full
confidence that this charge so far as relates to the United States
will be shewn to be utterly destitute of truth.

JAMES MONROE.

SPECIAL MESSAGES.

DECEMBER 4, 1822.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

The convention between the United States and France, concluded at
Washington on the 24th day of June last, is now transmitted to the
Senate for their advice and consent with regard to its ratification,
together with the documents relating to the negotiation, which may serve
to elucidate the deliberations of the Senate concerning its objects and
the purposes to which it was adapted.

JAMES MONROE.

DECEMBER 4, 1822.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit herewith to the Senate, for their constitutional
consideration and decision thereon, a convention between the United
States and Great Britain, concluded at St. Petersburg on the 12th day
of July last, under the mediation of His Imperial Majesty of all the
Russias, together with the documents appertaining thereto, and which
may elucidate the motives for its negotiation and the objects for the
accomplishment of which it is intended.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _December 6, 1822_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the House of Representatives of the
7th of May last, requiring that a plan for the peace establishment of
the Navy of the United States and also of the Marine Corps should be
communicated to that House at the present session, I transmit a report
of the Secretary of the Navy, containing a plan which has been prepared
for the proposed establishment.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _December 7, 1822_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 8th of May last,
requesting "information relative to the copper mines on the southern
shore of Lake Superior, their number, value, and position, the names of
the Indian tribes who claim them, the practicability of extinguishing
their titles, and the probable advantages which may result to the
Republic from the acquisition and working these mines," I herewith
transmit a report from the Secretary of War, which comprises the
information desired in the resolution referred to.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _December 9, 1822_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

Recent information of the multiplied outrages and depredations which
have been committed on our seamen and commerce by the pirates in the
West Indies and Gulf of Mexico, exemplified by the death of a very
meritorious officer, seems to call for some prompt and decisive measures
on the part of the Government. All the public vessels adapted to that
service which can be spared from other indispensable duties are already
employed in it; but from the knowledge which has been acquired of the
places from whence these outlaws issue and to which they escape from
danger it appears that it will require a particular kind of force,
capable of pursuing them into the shallow waters to which they retire,
effectually to suppress them. I submit to the consideration of the
Senate the propriety of organizing such force for that important object.

JAMES MONROE.

[The same message, dated December 6, 1822, was sent to the House of
Representatives.]

WASHINGTON, _December 9, 1822_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of the 22d of February
last, "requesting the President of the United States to cause to be
collected and communicated to the Senate at the commencement of the next
session of Congress the best information which he may be able to obtain
relative to certain Christian Indians and the lands intended for their
benefit on the Muskingum, in the State of Ohio, granted under an act
of Congress of June 1, 1796, to the Society of the United Brethren
for Propagating the Gospel among the Heathen, showing as correctly as
possible the advance or decline of said Indians in numbers, morals, and
intellectual endowments; whether the lands have inured to their sole
benefit, and, if not, to whom, in whole or in part, have such benefits
accrued," I transmit a report from the Secretary of War with the
accompanying documents.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _January 3, 1823_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with the three resolutions of the Senate of the 5th April,
1822, requesting the President of the United States to communicate in
detail the expenses of building each vessel of war authorized by the act
of the 2d of January, 1813, and its supplements, and also the names,
number, grade, etc., of the officers and men employed at each navy-yard
and naval station during the two years immediately preceding the 1st of
January, 1822, I herewith transmit a report from the Secretary of the
Navy, with the accompanying documents, which contains the desired
information.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _January 3, 1823_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolutions of the House of Representatives of
the 8th of January, 7th May, and 17th December, 1822, requesting the
President of the United States to cause to be laid before that House a
detailed statement of the current expenses of the Ordnance Department
for the years 1817, 1818, 1819, 1820, and 1821, and as much as can be
shewn for the year 1822, and also the number and local position of each
of the armories, arsenals, and magazines of the United States, the total
expense of constructing and repairing the same up to the year 1821; the
number of cannon and other arms annually made at each, and the expenses
of each armory and arsenal for each year from 1816 to 1821, inclusive,
I herewith transmit a report from the Secretary of War, accompanied by
such documents as will be found to contain the desired information.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _January 3, 1823_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the House of Representatives of the
United States of the 19th of December, 1822, requesting the President of
the United States to cause to be laid before that House the several laws
which have been made by the governor and legislative council of Florida,
together with such information as may be in the possession of the
Executive, I herewith transmit a report from the Secretary of State,
with the accompanying documents, which contains the information desired.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _January 6, 1823_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the House of Representatives of the
19th of December last, requesting the President of the United States
to communicate to the House the progress which has been made in the
execution of the act of the last session entitled "An act to abolish
the Indian trading establishments," with a report from the factories,
respectively, as the same were made to him, I transmit a report from
the Secretary of the Treasury, with the documents referred to by that
resolution. In further execution of the act of the last session treaties
have since been made with the Osage and Sac Indians by which those
tribes have severally relinquished to the United States their right
under preceding treaties to the maintenance of a factory within each,
respectively.

JAMES MONROE.

JANUARY 6, 1823.

_To the Senate_:

I transmit to the Senate, for their advice and consent as to the
ratification, treaties which have been made with the Osage and Sac
tribes of Indians in execution of the provision contained in the act
of the last session entitled "An act to abolish the Indian trading
establishments."

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _January 10, 1823_.

_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 the number
of arms required annually to supply the militia of the West according to
acts of Congress; the probable number necessary to be placed in military
deposits located or to be located on the Western waters; the cost of
transportation of arms to the Western States and deposits; the probable
cost of manufacturing arms in the West; the probable cost of erecting at
this time on the Western waters such an armory as that at Harpers Ferry
or at Springfield, and such other information as he may deem important
to establish the expediency of erecting on the Western waters a national
armory," I herewith transmit a report from the Secretary of War
containing the desired information.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _January 16, 1823_.

The VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES AND PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:

The convention concluded and signed at St. Petersburg on the 21st of
July last under the mediation of His Imperial Majesty the Emperor of all
the Russias having been ratified by the three powers parties thereto,
and the ratifications of the same having been duly exchanged, copies of
it are now communicated to Congress, to the end that the measures for
carrying it on the part of the United States into execution may obtain
the cooperation of the Legislature necessary to the accomplishment of
some of its provisions. A translation is subjoined of three explanatory
documents, in the French language, referred to in the fourth article of
the convention and annexed to it. The agreement executed at the exchange
of the ratifications is likewise communicated.

JAMES MONROE.

[The same message was addressed to the Speaker of the House of
Representatives.]

JANUARY 22, 1823.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of December 12, 1822, requesting
that the President would cause to be laid before the Senate a
statement exhibiting the amount in aggregate of the goods, wares,
and merchandise exported from the United States to France, and imported
from thence, in each year from and after the year 1814 to the year
1820, discriminating in the reports between the articles of the growth,
produce, or manufacture of the United States and those of foreign
countries, and also stating the national character of the vessels in
which such exports and imports have been made, I transmit a report from
the Secretary of the Treasury, which contains the information desired.

JAMES MONROE.

JANUARY 22, 1823.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

In carrying fully into effect the intention of Congress in making an
appropriation of $5,000 by the act of the 14th April, 1820, for the
survey of the Ohio and the Mississippi rivers from the Rapids of the
Ohio at Louisville to the Balize, for the purpose of facilitating and
ascertaining the most practicable route of improving the navigation of
these rivers, orders were given through the proper department to the
Board of Engineers to examine and survey the said rivers with reference
to those objects, and to report their opinion thereon, which they have
done, and which report I now communicate for the information of
Congress.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _January 25, 1823_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith to the House of Representatives a report from the
Secretary of State, together with the documents which contain the
information requested by the resolution of the House of the 10th of
December last, relating to the establishment at the mouth of Columbia
River.

JAMES MONROE.

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

I transmit herewith a letter from the Secretary of the Navy, containing
one from Captain John Rodgers, president of the Naval Board, accompanied
by a description of the inclined plane, dock, and fixtures for hauling
up ships, and an estimate of the cost and materials and workmanship
necessary for the completion of a dock and wharves, proposed to be
connected with the inclined plane constructed at the navy-yard,
Washington, and recommend the same to the attentive consideration of
Congress.

It is confidently believed that this invention combines advantages so
highly useful as to justify the appropriation required.

JAMES MONROE.

JANUARY 28, 1823

FEBRUARY 3, 1823.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

Having lately received a memorial from the legislative council of the
Territory of Florida on subjects very interesting to the inhabitants of
the Territory and also to the United States, which require legislative
provision, I transmit the same to Congress and recommend it to their
consideration,

JAMES MONROE.

[The same message was addressed to the Speaker of the House of
Representatives.]

WASHINGTON, _February 3, 1823_.

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

I transmit herewith a resolution of the legislature, with an extract
of a letter from the governor, of Georgia, and a memorial of the
legislature of Missouri, relative to the extinguishment of the Indian
title to lands within the limits of these States, respectively.
Believing the present time to be propitious for holding treaties for the
attainment of cessions of land from the Indians within those States,
I submit the subject to the consideration of Congress, that adequate
appropriations for such treaties may be made should Congress deem it
expedient.

JAMES MONROE.

FEBRUARY 4, 1823.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the House of Representatives of the
12th of December last, requesting the President "to communicate to the
House such information as he might possess with regard to any expedition
prepared in the United States and having sailed from thence within the
year 1822 against the territory or dependency of any power in amity
with the United States, and to inform the House whether any measures
have been taken to bring to condign punishment persons who have been
concerned in such expedition contrary to the laws," I transmit to the
House reports from the Secretaries of State and of the Treasury, with
the documents mentioned in each. Those documents contain all the
information in possession of the Executive relating to the subject of
the resolution.

That a force of a very limited extent has been equipped in the ports
of the United States and sailed from thence for the purpose described
in the resolution is manifest from the documents now communicated. The
reports from the collectors of Philadelphia and New York will shew in
what manner this equipment escaped their notice.

The first information of this equipment was received from St.
Bartholomews, the place of its rendezvous. This was confirmed afterwards
from Curracoa with an account of its failure. Should any of those
persons return within the jurisdiction of the United States care will
be taken that the laws applicable to such offenses are duly enforced
against them. Whether any aid was afforded by others to the parties
engaged in this unlawful and contemptible adventure in the ports in
which it was planned, inconsistent with ordinary commercial transactions
and contrary to the laws of the United States, will be referred to the
Attorney-General, on whose advice any measures in regard to them will
depend.

JAMES MONROE.

FEBRUARY 6, 1823.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of
the 28th of January last, requesting information "whether the treaty
concluded with the Choctaw Nation of Indians on the 18th of October,
1820, has been executed so far as respects the cession of certain lands
to said nation west of the river Mississippi, and if possession has been
given of the lands ceded to them; if not, that he assign the reasons
which prevented the immediate execution of the stipulations of said
treaty, and whether the difficulties have diminished or increased by the
delay in its execution," I communicate a report from the Secretary of
War, with the documents referred to in it,

JAMES MONROE.

FEBRUARY 10, 1823.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of February 3, requesting
a statement of the number and size of cannon, mortars, and howitzers
necessary for the armament of the fortifications already built and
intended to be built, with an estimate of the sum necessary for their
construction, I transmit a report from the Secretary of War, prepared
in execution of instructions given him to that effect.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _February 13, 1823_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of 22d
January last, requesting the communication to the House of all the
correspondence between the Governments of the United States and Great
Britain relating to the negotiation of the convention of the 20th
October, 1818, which may not be inconsistent with the public interest,
I transmit herewith to the House a report from the Secretary of State,
together with the papers requested by the resolution of the House.

JAMES MONROE.

FEBRUARY 14, 1823.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of the 11th of this month,
requesting the President to cause to be communicated to the Senate
an estimate of the amount of land in the State of Georgia to which the
Indian title has been extinguished by the United States since the
cession of a portion of the territory of Georgia to the United States,
with a statement of the cost of such extinguishment, and also an
estimate of the amount of land within the said State to which the Indian
title still remains to be extinguished, and by what tribes claimed,
I transmit a report from the Secretary of War, which contains the
information desired.

JAMES MONROE.

FEBRUARY 17, 1823.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of the
17th of December, requesting the President to communicate to the House
a statement of the amount expended for the current expenses of the
Ordnance Department during the years 1817, 1818, 1819, 1820, and 1821,
and as much as can be shewn for the year 1822, with the items for which
the money was expended, the place where and the persons to whom paid,
what quantity of timber has been procured for gun carriages and
caissons, its cost annually, and where deposited; the quantity of
ordnance of every kind that has been procured during those years or
paid for, and the whole amount of arms of every description now
belonging to the United States; the sum expended in the purchase of
sites for arsenals since the peace, the cost of the buildings erected
thereon, and whether all those arsenals are necessary for the service of
the United States, I transmit a report from the Secretary of War, with
the documents mentioned therein, which contains the information desired.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _February 18, 1823_.

The VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES AND PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:

The convention of navigation and commerce between the United States of
America and His Majesty the King of France and Navarre, concluded and
signed at Washington on the 24th of June, 1822, with the first separate
article thereto annexed, having been ratified by the two parties, and
the ratifications of the same having been duly exchanged, copies of it
and of the separate article referred to are now communicated to the two
Houses of Congress, to the end that the necessary measures for carrying
it into execution on the part of the United States may be adopted by the
Legislature.

JAMES MONROE.

[The same message was sent to the House of Representatives.]

FEBRUARY 19, 1823.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of
the 11th of December last, I transmit to the House a report from the
Secretary of the Treasury, containing the information requested, of
the amount of moneys advanced to agents, subagents, contractors,
subcontractors, or individuals since the 1st of January, 1817, which
have not been accounted for on settlement, and of the loss sustained
in each case, the sureties taken, and the names of the sureties.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _February 19, 1823_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I transmit to the House of Representatives, in pursuance of a resolution
of that House of the 31st of last month, a report from the Secretary of
State, relative to the commissioners appointed for the purpose of
ascertaining the titles and claims to land in Florida.

JAMES MONROE.

FEBRUARY 19, 1823.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I transmit to the House of Representatives an additional report from
the Secretary of the Treasury, with the documents referred to therein,
containing further information of the proceedings in execution of the
law of the last session respecting the trade with the Indian tribes,
called for by the resolution of the 19th of December last.

JAMES MONROE.

FEBRUARY 22, 1823.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of the
11th of this month, requesting information whether any prize agents have
neglected to render an account of their agency and to pay over the money
in their hands, the names of those who have failed, the sums unaccounted
for, and whether any of those thus failing are in the employ of the
Government, and their compensation has been in consequence suspended,
I transmit a report from the Secretary of the Navy, with the documents
referred to by him.

JAMES MONROE.

FEBRUARY 25, 1823.

_To the Congress of the United States_:

I transmit to Congress the general returns of the militia of the several
States and Territories for the year 1822, with an account of the arms,
accouterments, ammunition, ordnance, etc., belonging to each as far as
the returns have been received, in compliance with the provision of the
act of 1803.

JAMES MONROE.

FEBRUARY 25, 1823.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

By a resolution of the 27th of December last the President of the United
States was requested to communicate to the Senate such information as
he might possess respecting the political state of the island of St.
Domingo; whether the Government thereof was claimed by any European
nation, what our commercial relations with the Government of the island
were, and whether any further commercial relations with that Government
would be consistent with the interest and safety of the United States.

From the import of the resolution it is inferred that the Senate were
fully aware of the delicate and interesting nature of the subject
embraced by it in all its branches. The call supposes something peculiar
in the nature of the Government of that island and in the character of
its population, to which attention is due. Impressed always with an
anxious desire to meet every call of either House for information,
I most willingly comply in this instance and with a view to the
particular circumstances alluded to.

In adverting to the political state of St. Domingo I have to observe
that the whole island is now united under one Government, under a
constitution which retains the sovereignty in the hands of the people
of color, and with provisions which prohibit the employment in the
Government of all white persons who have emigrated there since 1816,
or who may hereafter emigrate there, and which prohibit also the
acquisition by such persons of the right of citizenship or to real
estate in the island. In the exercise of this sovereignty the Government
has not been molested by any European, power. No invasion of the island
has been made or attempted by any power. It is, however, understood that
the relations between the Government of France and the island have not
been adjusted, that its independence has not been recognized by France,
nor has peace been formally established between the parties.

The establishment of a Government of people of color in the island on
the principles above stated evinces distinctly the idea of a separate
interest and a distrust of other nations. Had that jealousy been
confined to the inhabitants of the parent country it would have been
less an object of attention; but by extending it to the inhabitants of
other countries with whom no difference ever existed the policy assumes
a character which does not admit of a like explanation. To what extent
that spirit may be indulged or to what purposes applied our experience
has yet been too limited to enable us to form a just estimate. These
are inquiries more peculiarly interesting to the neighboring islands.
They nevertheless deserve the attention of the United States.

Between the United States and the island a commercial intercourse
exists, and it will continue to be the object of this Government to
promote it. Our commerce there has been subjected to higher duties than
have been imposed on like articles from some other nations. It has
nevertheless been extensive, proceeding from the wants of the respective
parties and the enterprise of our citizens. Of this discrimination
to our injury we had a right to complain and have complained. It is
expected that our commercial intercourse with the island will be placed
on the footing of the most favored nation. No preference is sought
in our favor, nor ought any to be given to others. Regarding the high
interest of our happy Union and looking to every circumstance which
may by any possibility affect the tranquillity of any part, however
remotely, and guarding against such injury by suitable precautions, it
is the duty of this Government to promote by all the means in its power
and by a fair and honorable policy the best interest of every other
part, and thereby of the whole. Feeling profoundly the force of this
obligation, I shall continue to exert with unwearied zeal my best
faculties to give it effect.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _February 26, 1823_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I transmit to the House of Representatives, in pursuance of a resolution
of that House of the 30th January last, a report from the Secretary
of State, containing the information required in relation to the
transactions of the commissioners under the sixth and seventh articles
of the treaty of Ghent, and also as to the measures which have been
taken under the fourth article of the treaty with Spain of the 22d of
February, 1819, for fixing the boundary line described in the third
article of the last-mentioned treaty.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _February 27, 1823_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

I transmit to the House of Representatives a report from the Secretary
of State, made in pursuance of their resolution of the 21st of January
last, requesting the President of the United States to cause to be
arranged and laid before that House a digest shewing such changes in the
commercial regulations of the different foreign countries with which the
United States have intercourse as shall have been adopted and come to
the knowledge of the Executive subsequently to the formation of the
digest communicated to the Senate on the 7th December, 1819.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _February 28, 1823_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I transmit to the House of Representatives a report from the Secretary
of State, with copies of sundry papers which should have been included
among those which accompanied my message of the 13th instant, being part
of the correspondence with Great Britain relating to the negotiation of
the convention of 20th of October, 1818, but which were accidentally
omitted from the papers communicated to the House with that message.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _February 28, 1823_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of the
24th of January, requesting the President to communicate to the House
the number of persons and the amount due from each whose compensation
has been withheld or suspended, in pursuance of the law prohibiting
payments to persons in arrears to the United States; whether the amount
withheld has been applied in all cases to the extinguishment of their
debts to the Government; whether the said laws have been enforced in
all cases against securities who are liable for the payment of any
arrears due; whether any disbursing officer, within the knowledge of
the President, has given conclusive evidence of his insolvency, and,
if so, whether he is still retained in the service of the United States,
I transmit to the House a report from the Secretary of the Treasury,
with the documents mentioned therein.

The report has been confined to the operations of the law. Respecting
the circumstances of individuals in their transactions without the
sphere of their public duties I have no means of information other
than those which are common to all.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _March 7, 1823_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of this
day, requesting information of the measures taken with regard to the
illegal blockade of the ports of the Spanish Main, and to depredations
of privateers fitted out from Porto Rico and other Spanish islands on
the commerce of the United States, I transmit to the House a report
from the Secretary of State containing the information required by
the resolution.

JAMES MONROE.

SEVENTH ANNUAL MESSAGE.

WASHINGTON, _December 2, 1823_.

_Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and House of Representatives_:

Many important subjects will claim your attention during the
present session, of which I shall endeavor to give, in aid of your
deliberations, a just idea in this communication. I undertake this duty
with diffidence, from the vast extent of the interests on which I have
to treat and of their great importance to every portion of our Union.
I enter on it with zeal from a thorough conviction that there never
was a period since the establishment of our Revolution when, regarding
the condition of the civilized world and its bearing on us, there
was greater necessity for devotion in the public servants to their
respective duties, or for virtue, patriotism, and union in our
constituents.

Meeting in you a new Congress, I deem it proper to present this view
of public affairs in greater detail than might otherwise be necessary.
I do it, however, with peculiar satisfaction, from a knowledge that in
this respect I shall comply more fully with the sound principles of our
Government. The people being with us exclusively the sovereign, it is
indispensable that full information be laid before them on all important
subjects, to enable them to exercise that high power with complete
effect. If kept in the dark, they must be incompetent to it. We are
all liable to error, and those who are engaged in the management of
public affairs are more subject to excitement and to be led astray by
their particular interests and passions than the great body of our
constituents, who, living at home in the pursuit of their ordinary
avocations, are calm but deeply interested spectators of events and
of the conduct of those who are parties to them. To the people
every department of the Government and every individual in each are
responsible, and the more full their information the better they can
judge of the wisdom of the policy pursued and of the conduct of each in
regard to it. From their dispassionate judgment much aid may always be
obtained, while their approbation will form the greatest incentive
and most gratifying reward for virtuous actions, and the dread of
their censure the best security against the abuse of their confidence.
Their interests in all vital questions are the same, and the bond, by
sentiment as well as by interest, will be proportionably strengthened as
they are better informed of the real state of public affairs, especially
in difficult conjunctures. It is by such knowledge that local prejudices
and jealousies are surmounted, and that a national policy, extending its
fostering care and protection to all the great interests of our Union,
is formed and steadily adhered to.

A precise knowledge of our relations with foreign powers as respects our
negotiations and transactions with each is thought to be particularly
necessary. Equally necessary is it that we should form a just estimate
of our resources, revenue, and progress in every kind of improvement
connected with the national prosperity and public defense. It is by
rendering justice to other nations that we may expect it from them.
It is by our ability to resent injuries and redress wrongs that we may
avoid them. The commissioners under the fifth article of the treaty of
Ghent, having disagreed in their opinions respecting that portion of
the boundary between the Territories of the United States and of Great
Britain the establishment of which had been submitted to them, have
made their respective reports in compliance with that article, that
the same might be referred to the decision of a friendly power. It
being manifest, however, that it would be difficult, if not impossible,
for any power to perform that office without great delay and much
inconvenience to itself, a proposal has been made by this Government,
and acceded to by that of Great Britain, to endeavor to establish that
boundary by amicable negotiation. It appearing from long experience
that no satisfactory arrangement could be formed of the commercial
intercourse between the United States and the British colonies in this
hemisphere by legislative acts while each party pursued its own course
without agreement or concert with the other, a proposal has been made
to the British Government to regulate this commerce by treaty, as it has
been to arrange in like manner the just claim of the citizens of the
United States inhabiting the States and Territories bordering on the
lakes and rivers which empty into the St. Lawrence to the navigation of
that river to the ocean. For these and other objects of high importance
to the interests of both parties a negotiation has been opened with the
British Government which it is hoped will have a satisfactory result.

The commissioners under the sixth and seventh articles of the treaty of
Ghent having successfully closed their labors in relation to the sixth,
have proceeded to the discharge of those relating to the seventh. Their
progress in the extensive survey required for the performance of their
duties justifies the presumption that it will be completed in the
ensuing year.

The negotiation which had been long depending with the French Government
on several important subjects, and particularly for a just indemnity for
losses sustained in the late wars by the citizens of the United States
under unjustifiable seizures and confiscations of their property, has
not as yet had the desired effect. As this claim rests on the same
principle with others which have been admitted by the French Government,
it is not perceived on what just ground it can be rejected. A minister
will be immediately appointed to proceed to France and resume the
negotiation on this and other subjects which may arise between the two
nations.

At the proposal of the Russian Imperial Government, made through the
minister of the Emperor residing here, a full power and instructions
have been transmitted to the minister of the United States at St.
Petersburg to arrange by amicable negotiation the respective rights and
interests of the two nations on the northwest coast of this continent.
A similar proposal had been made by His Imperial Majesty to the
Government of Great Britain, which has likewise been acceded to. The
Government of the United States has been desirous by this friendly
proceeding of manifesting the great value which they have invariably
attached to the friendship of the Emperor and their solicitude to
cultivate the best understanding with his Government. In the discussions
to which this interest has given rise and in the arrangements by which
they may terminate the occasion has been judged proper for asserting,
as a principle in which the rights and interests of the United States
are involved, that the American continents, by the free and independent
condition which they have assumed and maintain, are henceforth not to be
considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers.

Since the close of the last session of Congress the commissioners
and arbitrators for ascertaining and determining the amount of
indemnification which may be due to citizens of the United States
under the decision of His Imperial Majesty the Emperor of Russia,
in conformity to the convention concluded at St. Petersburg on the 12th
of July, 1822, have assembled in this city, and organized themselves
as a board for the performance of the duties assigned to them by that
treaty. The commission constituted under the eleventh article of the
treaty of the 22d of February, 1819, between the United States and Spain
is also in session here, and as the term of three years limited by the
treaty for the execution of the trust will expire before the period of
the next regular meeting of Congress, the attention of the Legislature
will be drawn to the measures which may be necessary to accomplish the
objects for which the commission was instituted.

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives adopted
at their last session, instructions have been given to all the ministers
of the United States accredited to the powers of Europe and America to
propose the proscription of the African slave trade by classing it under
the denomination, and inflicting on its perpetrators the punishment, of
piracy. Should this proposal be acceded to, it is not doubted that this
odious and criminal practice will be promptly and entirely suppressed.
It is earnestly hoped that it will be acceded to, from the firm belief
that it is the most effectual expedient that can be adopted for the
purpose.

At the commencement of the recent war between France and Spain it was
declared by the French Government that it would grant no commissions
to privateers, and that neither the commerce of Spain herself nor
of neutral nations should be molested by the naval force of France,
except in the breach of a lawful blockade. This declaration, which
appears to have been faithfully carried into effect, concurring with
principles proclaimed and cherished by the United States from the
first establishment of their independence, suggested the hope that
the time had arrived when the proposal for adopting it as a permanent
and invariable rule in all future maritime wars might meet the
favorable consideration of the great European powers. Instructions have
accordingly been given to our ministers with France, Russia, and Great
Britain to make those proposals to their respective Governments, and
when the friends of humanity reflect on the essential amelioration to
the condition of the human race which would result from the abolition of
private war on the sea and on the great facility by which it might be
accomplished, requiring only the consent of a few sovereigns, an earnest
hope is indulged that these overtures will meet with an attention
animated by the spirit in which they were made, and that they will
ultimately be successful.

The ministers who were appointed to the Republics of Colombia and Buenos
Ayres during the last session of Congress proceeded shortly afterwards
to their destinations. Of their arrival there official intelligence has
not yet been received. The minister appointed to the Republic of Chile
will sail in a few days. An early appointment will also be made to
Mexico. A minister has been received from Colombia, and the other
Governments have been informed that ministers, or diplomatic agents of
inferior grade, would be received from each, accordingly as they might
prefer the one or the other.

The minister appointed to Spain proceeded soon after his appointment
for Cadiz, the residence of the Sovereign to whom he was accredited.
In approaching that port the frigate which conveyed him was warned off
by the commander of the French squadron by which it was blockaded and
not permitted to enter, although apprised by the captain of the frigate
of the public character of the person whom he had on board, the landing
of whom was the sole object of his proposed entry. This act, being
considered an infringement of the rights of ambassadors and of nations,
will form a just cause of complaint to the Government of France against
the officer by whom it was committed.

The actual condition of the public finances more than realizes the
favorable anticipations that were entertained of it at the opening of
the last session of Congress. On the 1st of January there was a balance
in the Treasury of $4,237,427.55. From that time to the 30th September
the receipts amounted to upward of $16,100,000, and the expenditures to
$11,400,000. During the fourth quarter of the year it is estimated that
the receipts will at least equal the expenditures, and that there will
remain in the Treasury on the 1st day of January next a surplus of
nearly $9,000,000.

On the 1st of January, 1825, a large amount of the war debt and a part
of the Revolutionary debt become redeemable. Additional portions of the
former will continue to become redeemable annually until the year 1835.
It is believed, however, that if the United States remain at peace the
whole of that debt may be redeemed by the ordinary revenue of those
years during that period under the provision of the act of March 3,
1817, creating the sinking fund, and in that case the only part of the
debt that will remain after the year 1835 will be the $7,000,000 of
5 per cent stock subscribed to the Bank of the United States, and the
3 per cent Revolutionary debt, amounting to $13,296,099.06, both of
which are redeemable at the pleasure of the Government.

The state of the Army in its organization and discipline has been
gradually improving for several years, and has now attained a high
degree of perfection. The military disbursements have been regularly
made and the accounts regularly and promptly rendered for settlement.
The supplies of various descriptions have been of good quality,
and regularly issued at all of the posts. A system of economy and
accountability has been introduced into every branch of the service
which admits of little additional improvement. This desirable state
has been attained by the act reorganizing the staff of the Army,
passed on the 14th of April, 1818.

The moneys appropriated for fortifications have been regularly and
economically applied, and all the works advanced as rapidly as the
amount appropriated would admit. Three important works will be completed
in the course of this year--that is, Fort Washington, Fort Delaware, and
the fort at the Rigolets, in Louisiana.

The Board of Engineers and the Topographical Corps have been in constant
and active service in surveying the coast and projecting the works
necessary for its defense.

The Military Academy has attained a degree of perfection in its
discipline and instruction equal, as is believed, to any institution
of its kind in any country.

The money appropriated for the use of the Ordnance Department has been
regularly and economically applied. The fabrication of arms at the
national armories and by contract with the Department has been gradually
improving in quality and cheapness. It is believed that their quality
is now such as to admit of but little improvement.

The completion of the fortifications renders it necessary that there
should be a suitable appropriation for the purpose of fabricating the
cannon and carriages necessary for those works.

Under the appropriation of $5,000 for exploring the Western waters
for the location of a site for a Western armory, a commission was
constituted, consisting of Colonel McRee, Colonel Lee, and Captain
Talcott, who have been engaged in exploring the country. They have not
yet reported the result of their labors, but it is believed that they
will be prepared to do it at an early part of the session of Congress.

During the month of June last General Ashley and his party, who were
trading under a license from the Government, were attacked by the
Ricarees while peaceably trading with the Indians at their request.
Several of the party were killed and wounded and their property taken
or destroyed.

Colonel Leavenworth, who commanded Fort Atkinson, at the Council Bluffs,
the most western post, apprehending that the hostile spirit of the
Ricarees would extend to other tribes in that quarter, and that thereby
the lives of the traders on the Missouri and the peace of the frontier
would be endangered, took immediate measures to check the evil.

With a detachment of the regiment stationed at the Bluffs he
successfully attacked the Ricaree village, and it is hoped that such
an impression has been made on them as well as on the other tribes on
the Missouri as will prevent a recurrence of future hostility.

The report of the Secretary of War, which is herewith transmitted, will
exhibit in greater detail the condition of the Department in its various
branches, and the progress which has been made in its administration
during the three first quarters of the year.

I transmit a return of the militia of the several States according to
the last reports which have been made by the proper officers in each to
the Department of War. By reference to this return it will be seen that
it is not complete, although great exertions have been made to make it
so. As the defense and even the liberties of the country must depend in

Book of the day: