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

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times of imminent danger on the militia, it is of the highest importance
that it be well organized, armed, and disciplined throughout the Union.
The report of the Secretary of War shews the progress made during the
three first quarters of the present year by the application of the
fund appropriated for arming the militia. Much difficulty is found in
distributing the arms according to the act of Congress providing for
it from the failure of the proper departments in many of the States to
make regular returns. The act of May 12, 1820, provides that the system
of tactics and regulations of the various corps of the Regular Army
shall be extended to the militia. This act has been very imperfectly
executed from the want of uniformity in the organization of the militia,
proceeding from the defects of the system itself, and especially in its
application to that main arm of the public defense. It is thought that
this important subject in all its branches merits the attention of
Congress.

The report of the Secretary of the Navy, which is now communicated,
furnishes an account of the administration of that Department for the
three first quarters of the present year, with the progress made in
augmenting the Navy, and the manner in which the vessels in commission
have been employed.

The usual force has been maintained in the Mediterranean Sea, the
Pacific Ocean, and along the Atlantic coast, and has afforded the
necessary protection to our commerce in those seas.

In the West Indies and the Gulf of Mexico our naval force has been
augmented by the addition of several small vessels provided for by
the "act authorizing an additional naval force for the suppression of
piracy," passed by Congress at their last session. That armament has
been eminently successful in the accomplishment of its object. The
piracies by which our commerce in the neighborhood of the island of
Cuba had been afflicted have been repressed and the confidence of
our merchants in a great measure restored.

The patriotic zeal and enterprise of Commodore Porter, to whom the
command of the expedition was confided, has been fully seconded by
the officers and men under his command. And in reflecting with high
satisfaction on the honorable manner in which they have sustained the
reputation of their country and its Navy, the sentiment is alloyed
only by a concern that in the fulfillment of that arduous service the
diseases incident to the season and to the climate in which it was
discharged have deprived the nation of many useful lives, and among
them of several officers of great promise.

In the month of August a very malignant fever made its appearance
at Thompsons Island, which threatened the destruction of our station
there. Many perished, and the commanding officer was severely attacked.
Uncertain as to his fate and knowing that most of the medical officers
had been rendered incapable of discharging their duties, it was thought
expedient to send to that post an officer of rank and experience, with
several skillful surgeons, to ascertain the origin of the fever and the
probability of its recurrence there in future seasons; to furnish every
assistance to those who were suffering, and, if practicable, to avoid
the necessity of abandoning so important a station. Commodore Rodgers,
with a promptitude which did him honor, cheerfully accepted that trust,
and has discharged it in the manner anticipated from his skill and
patriotism. Before his arrival Commodore Porter, with the greater
part of the squadron, had removed from the island and returned to the
United States in consequence of the prevailing sickness. Much useful
information has, however, been obtained as to the state of the island
and great relief afforded to those who had been necessarily left there.

Although our expedition, cooperating with an invigorated administration
of the government of the island of Cuba, and with the corresponding
active exertions of a British naval force in the same seas, have almost
entirely destroyed the unlicensed piracies from that island, the success
of our exertions has not been equally effectual to suppress the same
crime, under other pretenses and colors, in the neighboring island
of Porto Rico. They have been committed there under the abusive
issue of Spanish commissions. At an early period of the present year
remonstrances were made to the governor of that island, by an agent
who was sent for the purpose, against those outrages on the peaceful
commerce of the United States, of which many had occurred. That officer,
professing his own want of authority to make satisfaction for our just
complaints, answered only by a reference of them to the Government of
Spain. The minister of the United States to that court was specially
instructed to urge the necessity of the immediate and effectual
interposition of that Government, directing restitution and indemnity
for wrongs already committed and interdicting the repetition of them.
The minister, as has been seen, was debarred access to the Spanish
Government, and in the meantime several new cases of flagrant outrage
have occurred, and citizens of the United States in the island of Porto
Rico have suffered, and others been threatened with assassination for
asserting their unquestionable rights even before the lawful tribunals
of the country.

The usual orders have been given to all our public ships to seize
American vessels engaged in the slave trade and bring them in for
adjudication, and I have the gratification to state that not one so
employed has been discovered, and there is good reason to believe
that our flag is now seldom, if at all, disgraced by that traffic.
It is a source of great satisfaction that we are always enabled to
recur to the conduct of our Navy with pride and commendation. As a
means of national defense it enjoys the public confidence, and is
steadily assuming additional importance. It is submitted whether a more
efficient and equally economical organization of it might not in several
respects be effected. It is supposed that higher grades than now exist
by law would be useful. They would afford well-merited rewards to those
who have long and faithfully served their country, present the best
incentives to good conduct, and the best means of insuring a proper
discipline; destroy the inequality in that respect between military and
naval services, and relieve our officers from many inconveniences and
mortifications which occur when our vessels meet those of other nations,
ours being the only service in which such grades do not exist.

A report of the Postmaster-General, which accompanies this
communication, will shew the present state of the Post-Office Department
and its general operations for some years past.

There is established by law 88,600 miles of post-roads, on which the
mail is now transported 85,700 miles, and contracts have been made
for its transportation on all the established routes, with one or two
exceptions. There are 5,240 post-offices in the Union, and as many
postmasters. The gross amount of postage which accrued from the 1st
July, 1822, to the 1st July, 1823, was $1,114,345.12. During the
same period the expenditures of the Post-Office Department amounted
to $1,169,885.51, and consisted of the following items, viz:
Compensation to postmasters, $353,995.98; incidental expenses,
$30,866.37; transportation of the mail, $784,600.08; payments into
the Treasury, $423.08. On the 1st of July last there was due to the
Department from postmasters $135,245.28; from _late_ postmasters and
contractors, $256,749.31; making a total amount of balances due to the
Department of $391,994.59. These balances embrace all delinquencies
of postmasters and contractors which have taken place since the
organization of the Department. There was due by the Department
to contractors on the 1st of July last $26,548.64.

The transportation of the mail within five years past has been greatly
extended, and the expenditures of the Department proportionably
increased. Although the postage which has accrued within the last three
years has fallen short of the expenditures $262,821.46, it appears that
collections have been made from the outstanding balances to meet the
principal part of the current demands.

It is estimated that not more than $250,000 of the above balances can
be collected, and that a considerable part of this sum can only be
realized by a resort to legal process. Some improvement in the receipts
for postage is expected. A prompt attention to the collection of moneys
received by postmasters, it is believed, will enable the Department
to continue its operations without aid from the Treasury, unless the
expenditures shall be increased by the establishment of new mail routes.

A revision of some parts of the post-office law may be necessary;
and it is submitted whether it would not be proper to provide for the
appointment of postmasters, where the compensation exceeds a certain
amount, by nomination to the Senate, as other officers of the General
Government are appointed.

Having communicated my views to Congress at the commencement of the
last session respecting the encouragement which ought to be given to our
manufactures and the principle on which it should be founded, I have
only to add that those views remain unchanged, and that the present
state of those countries with which we have the most immediate political
relations and greatest commercial intercourse tends to confirm them.
Under this impression I recommend a review of the tariff for the purpose
of affording such additional protection to those articles which we are
prepared to manufacture, or which are more immediately connected with
the defense and independence of the country.

The actual state of the public accounts furnishes additional evidence
of the efficiency of the present system of accountability in relation
to the public expenditure. Of the moneys drawn from the Treasury since
the 4th March, 1817, the sum remaining unaccounted for on the 30th of
September last is more than a million and a half of dollars less than on
the 30th of September preceding; and during the same period a reduction
of nearly a million of dollars has been made in the amount of the
unsettled accounts for moneys advanced previously to the 4th of March,
1817. It will be obvious that in proportion as the mass of accounts of
the latter description is diminished by settlement the difficulty of
settling the residue is increased from the consideration that in many
instances it can be obtained only by legal process. For more precise
details on this subject I refer to a report from the First Comptroller
of the Treasury.

The sum which was appropriated at the last session for the repairs of
the Cumberland road has been applied with good effect to that object.
A final report has not yet been received from the agent who was
appointed to superintend it. As soon as it is received it shall be
communicated to Congress.

Many patriotic and enlightened citizens who have made the subject an
object of particular investigation have suggested an improvement of
still greater importance. They are of opinion that the waters of the
Chesapeake and Ohio may be connected together by one continued canal,
and at an expense far short of the value and importance of the object
to be obtained. If this could be accomplished it is impossible to
calculate the beneficial consequences which would result from it.
A great portion of the produce of the very fertile country through
which it would pass would find a market through that channel. Troops
might be moved with great facility in war, with cannon and every kind
of munition, and in either direction. Connecting the Atlantic with the
Western country in a line passing through the seat of the National
Government, it would contribute essentially to strengthen the bond of
union itself. Believing as I do that Congress possess the right to
appropriate money for such a national object (the jurisdiction remaining
to the States through which the canal would pass), I submit it to your
consideration whether it may not be advisable to authorize by an
adequate appropriation the employment of a suitable number of the
officers of the Corps of Engineers to examine the unexplored ground
during the next season and to report their opinion thereon. It will
likewise be proper to extend their examination to the several routes
through which the waters of the Ohio may be connected by canals with
those of Lake Erie.

As the Cumberland road will require annual repairs, and Congress have
not thought it expedient to recommend to the States an amendment to the
Constitution for the purpose of vesting in the United States a power to
adopt and execute a system of internal improvement, it is also submitted
to your consideration whether it may not be expedient to authorize the
Executive to enter into an arrangement with the several States through
which the road passes to establish tolls, each within its limits, for
the purpose of defraying the expense of future repairs and of providing
also by suitable penalties for its protection against future injuries.

The act of Congress of the 7th of May, 1822, appropriated the sum of
$22,700 for the purpose of erecting two piers as a shelter for vessels
from ice near Cape Henlopen, Delaware Bay. To effect the object of the
act the officers of the Board of Engineers, with Commodore Bainbridge,
were directed to prepare plans and estimates of piers sufficient to
answer the purpose intended by the act. It appears by their report,
which accompanies the documents from the War Department, that the
appropriation is not adequate to the purpose intended; and as the piers
would be of great service both to the navigation of the Delaware Bay and
the protection of vessels on the adjacent parts of the coast, I submit
for the consideration of Congress whether additional and sufficient
appropriation should not be made.

The Board of Engineers were also directed to examine and survey the
entrance of the harbor of the port of Presquille, in Pennsylvania, in
order to make an estimate of the expense of removing the obstructions
to the entrance, with a plan of the best mode of effecting the same,
under the appropriation for that purpose by act of Congress passed 3d
of March last. The report of the Board accompanies the papers from the
War Department, and is submitted for the consideration of Congress.

A strong hope has been long entertained, founded on the heroic struggle
of the Greeks, that they would succeed in their contest and resume their
equal station among the nations of the earth. It is believed that the
whole civilized world take a deep interest in their welfare. Although
no power has declared in their favor, yet none, according to our
information, has taken part against them. Their cause and their
name have protected them from dangers which might ere this have
overwhelmed any other people. The ordinary calculations of interest and
of acquisition with a view to aggrandizement, which mingles so much in
the transactions of nations, seem to have had no effect in regard to
them. From the facts which have come to our knowledge there is good
cause to believe that their enemy has lost forever all dominion over
them; that Greece will become again an independent nation. That she
may obtain that rank is the object of our most ardent wishes.

It was stated at the commencement of the last session that a great
effort was then making in Spain and Portugal to improve the condition of
the people of those countries, and that it appeared to be conducted with
extraordinary moderation. It need scarcely be remarked that the result
has been so far very different from what was then anticipated. Of events
in that quarter of the globe, with which we have so much intercourse
and from which we derive our origin, we have always been anxious and
interested spectators. The citizens of the United States cherish
sentiments the most friendly in favor of the liberty and happiness
of their fellow-men on that side of the Atlantic. In the wars of the
European powers in matters relating to themselves we have never taken
any part, nor does it comport with our policy so to do. It is only when
our rights are invaded or seriously menaced that we resent injuries or
make preparation for our defense. With the movements in this hemisphere
we are of necessity more immediately connected, and by causes which must
be obvious to all enlightened and impartial observers. The political
system of the allied powers is essentially different in this respect
from that of America. This difference proceeds from that which exists
in their respective Governments; and to the defense of our own, which
has been achieved by the loss of so much blood and treasure, and matured
by the wisdom of their most enlightened citizens, and under which we
have enjoyed unexampled felicity, this whole nation is devoted. We owe
it, therefore, to candor and to the amicable relations existing between
the United States and those powers to declare that we should consider
any attempt on their part to extend their system to any portion of this
hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety. With the existing
colonies or dependencies of any European power we have not interfered
and shall not interfere. But with the Governments who have declared
their independence and maintained it, and whose independence we have,
on great consideration and on just principles, acknowledged, we could
not view any interposition for the purpose of oppressing them, or
controlling in any other manner their destiny, by any European power
in any other light than as the manifestation of an unfriendly
disposition toward the United States. In the war between those new
Governments and Spain we declared our neutrality at the time of their
recognition, and to this we have adhered, and shall continue to adhere,
provided no change shall occur which, in the judgment of the competent
authorities of this Government, shall make a corresponding change on
the part of the United States indispensable to their security.

The late events in Spain and Portugal shew that Europe is still
unsettled. Of this important fact no stronger proof can be adduced than
that the allied powers should have thought it proper, on any principle
satisfactory to themselves, to have interposed by force in the internal
concerns of Spain. To what extent such interposition may be carried, on
the same principle, is a question in which all independent powers whose
governments differ from theirs are interested, even those most remote,
and surely none more so than the United States. Our policy in regard
to Europe, which was adopted at an early stage of the wars which have
so long agitated that quarter of the globe, nevertheless remains the
same, which is, not to interfere in the internal concerns of any of
its powers; to consider the government _de facto_ as the legitimate
government for us; to cultivate friendly relations with it, and to
preserve those relations by a frank, firm, and manly policy, meeting
in all instances the just claims of every power, submitting to injuries
from none. But in regard to those continents circumstances are eminently
and conspicuously different. It is impossible that the allied powers
should extend their political system to any portion of either continent
without endangering our peace and happiness; nor can anyone believe that
our southern brethren, if left to themselves, would adopt it of their
own accord. It is equally impossible, therefore, that we should behold
such interposition in any form with indifference. If we look to the
comparative strength and resources of Spain and those new Governments,
and their distance from each other, it must be obvious that she can
never subdue them. It is still the true policy of the United States
to leave the parties to themselves, in the hope that other powers will
pursue the same course.

If we compare the present condition of our Union with its actual state
at the close of our Revolution, the history of the world furnishes no
example of a progress in improvement in all the important circumstances
which constitute the happiness of a nation which bears any resemblance
to it. At the first epoch our population did not exceed 3,000,000.
By the last census it amounted to about 10,000,000, and, what is more
extraordinary, it is almost altogether native, for the immigration
from other countries has been inconsiderable At the first epoch half
the territory within our acknowledged limits was uninhabited and a
wilderness. Since then new territory has been acquired of vast extent,
comprising within it many rivers, particularly the Mississippi, the
navigation of which to the ocean was of the highest importance to the
original States. Over this territory our population has expanded in
every direction, and new States have been established almost equal in
number to those which formed the first bond of our Union. This expansion
of our population and accession of new States to our Union have had the
happiest effect on all its highest interests. That it has eminently
augmented our resources and added to our strength and respectability
as a power is admitted by all. But it is not in these important
circumstances only that this happy effect is felt. It is manifest that
by enlarging the basis of our system and increasing the number of
States the system itself has been greatly strengthened in both its
branches. Consolidation and disunion have thereby been rendered equally
impracticable. Each Government, confiding in its own strength, has less
to apprehend from the other, and in consequence each, enjoying a greater
freedom of action, is rendered more efficient for all the purposes
for which it was instituted. It is unnecessary to treat here of the
vast improvement made in the system itself by the adoption of this
Constitution and of its happy effect in elevating the character and in
protecting the rights of the nation as well as of individuals. To what,
then, do we owe these blessings? It is known to all that we derive them
from the excellence of our institutions. Ought we not, then, to adopt
every measure which may be necessary to perpetuate them?

JAMES MONROE.

SPECIAL MESSAGES.

WASHINGTON CITY, _December 7, 1823_.

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

By an act of the last session of Congress it was made the duty of
the accounting officers of the Treasury to adjust and settle the
accounts of Daniel D. Tompkins, late governor of the State of New
York, on principles of equity and justice, subject to the revision and
final decision of the President of the United States. The accounting
officers have, in compliance with this act, reported to me a balance of
$35,190 in favor of Governor Tompkins, which report I have had under
consideration, together with his claim to an additional allowance,
and should have decided on the same before the present time had I not
delayed my decision at his request. From the view which I have taken
of the subject I am satisfied, considering all the circumstances of
the case, that a larger sum ought to be allowed him than that reported
by the accounting officers of the Treasury. No appropriation, however,
having been made by the act, and it appearing by recent information from
him that the sum reported would afford him an essential accommodation
at this time, the subject is submitted to the consideration of Congress
with a view to that object.

JAMES MONROE.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for its advice and consent as to the
ratification, a treaty lately concluded with the Seminole Indians in
Florida, whereby a cession of territory is made to the United States.

JAMES MONROE.

DECEMBER 15, 1823.

WASHINGTON, _December 23, 1823_.

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

I herewith transmit to Congress a statement by William Lambert,
explanatory of his astronomical calculations with a view to establish
the longitude of the Capitol.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _December 31, 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 accompanying documents, containing the information
requested by the resolution of the House of the 19th instant, relating
to the condition and future prospects of the Greeks.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _January 5, 1824_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of the
18th of December last, requesting copies of contracts for cannon, cannon
shot, muskets, and other small arms which have been entered into since
the 1st of January, 1820, and for other detailed information therein
specified, I herewith transmit a report, with accompanying documents,
from the Department of War,

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _January 9, 1824_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

Agreeably to a resolution of the House of Representatives of the 18th
of December, 1823, requesting copies of all contracts for cannon,
cannon shot, muskets, and other small arms entered into since the
1st of January, 1820, I herewith transmit a report from the Department
of the Navy, with other documents relating thereto.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _January 12, 1824_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In answer to a resolution of the House of Representatives of December
24, requesting the President of the United States to lay before the
House such information as he may possess, and which may be disclosed
without injury to the public good, relative to the determination of
any sovereign, or combination of sovereigns, to assist Spain in the
subjugation of her late colonies on the American continent, and whether
any Government of Europe is disposed or determined to oppose any aid or
assistance which such sovereign or combination of sovereigns may afford
to Spain for the subjugation of her late colonies above mentioned,
I have to state that I possess no information on that subject not known
to Congress which can be disclosed without injury to the public good.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _January 30, 1824_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of the
15th of December last, requesting the President of the United States "to
communicate a plan for a peace establishment of the Navy of the United
States," I herewith transmit a report from the Secretary of the Navy,
which contains the plan required.

In presenting this plan to the consideration of Congress, I avail myself
of the occasion to make some remarks on it which the importance of the
subject requires and experience justifies.

If a system of universal and permanent peace could be established, or
if in war the belligerent parties would respect the rights of neutral
powers, we should have no occasion for a navy or an army. The expense
and dangers of such establishments might be avoided. The history of all
ages proves that this can not be presumed; on the contrary, that at
least one-half of every century, in ancient as well as modern times,
has been consumed in wars, and often of the most general and desolating
character. Nor is there any cause to infer, if we examine the condition
of the nations with which we have the most intercourse and strongest
political relations, that we shall in future be exempt from that
calamity within any period to which a rational calculation may be
extended. And as to the rights of neutral powers, it is sufficient to
appeal to our own experience to demonstrate how little regard will be
paid to them whenever they come in conflict with the interests of the
powers at war while we rely on the justice of our cause and on argument
alone. The amount of the property of our fellow-citizens which was
seized and confiscated or destroyed by the belligerent parties in the
wars of the French Revolution, and of those which followed before we
became a party to the war, is almost incalculable.

The whole movement of our Government from the establishment of our
independence has been guided by a sacred regard for peace. Situated as
we are in the new hemisphere, distant from Europe and unconnected with
its affairs, blessed with the happiest Government on earth, and having
no objects of ambition to gratify, the United States have steadily
cultivated the relations of amity with every power; and if in any
European wars a respect for our rights might be relied on, it was
undoubtedly in those to which I have adverted. The conflict being vital,
the force being nearly equally balanced, and the result uncertain, each
party had the strongest motives of interest to cultivate our good will,
lest we might be thrown into the opposite scale. Powerful as this
consideration usually is, it was nevertheless utterly disregarded
in almost every stage of and by every party to those wars. To these
encroachments and injuries our regard for peace was finally forced
to yield.

In the war to which at length we became a party our whole coast from St.
Croix to the Mississippi was either invaded or menaced with invasion,
and in many parts with a strong imposing force both land and naval.
In those parts where the population was most dense the pressure was
comparatively light, but there was scarcely an harbor or city on any
of our great inlets which could be considered secure. New York and
Philadelphia were eminently exposed, the then existing works not being
sufficient for their protection. The same remark is applicable in a
certain extent to the cities eastward of the former, and as to the
condition of the whole country southward of the latter the events which
mark the war are too recent to require detail. Our armies and Navy
signalized themselves in every quarter where they had occasion to meet
their gallant foe, and the militia voluntarily flew to their aid with
a patriotism and fought with a bravery which exalted the reputation of
their Government and country and which did them the highest honor. In
whatever direction the enemy chose to move with their squadrons and to
land their troops our fortifications, where any existed, presented but
little obstacle to them. They passed those works without difficulty.
Their squadrons, in fact, annoyed our whole coast, not of the sea only,
but every bay and great river throughout its whole extent. In entering
those inlets and sailing up them with a small force the effect was
disastrous, since it never failed to draw out the whole population on
each side and to keep it in the field while the squadron remained there.
The expense attending this species of defense, with the exposure of
the inhabitants and the waste of property, may readily be conceived.

The occurrences which preceded the war and those which attended it were
alike replete with useful instruction as to our future policy. Those
which marked the first epoch demonstrate clearly that in the wars of
other powers we can rely only on force for the protection of our neutral
rights. Those of the second demonstrate with equal certainty that in any
war in which we may be engaged hereafter with a strong naval power the
expense, waste, and other calamities attending it, considering the vast
extent of our maritime frontier, can not fail, unless it be defended
by adequate fortifications and a suitable naval force, to correspond
with those which were experienced in the late war. Two great objects
are therefore to be regarded in the establishment of an adequate naval
force: The first, to prevent war so far as it may be practicable; the
second, to diminish its calamities when it may be inevitable. Hence the
subject of defense becomes intimately connected in all its parts in war
and in peace, for the land and at sea. No government will be disposed in
its wars with other powers to violate our rights if it knows we have the
means, are prepared and resolved to defend them. The motive will also be
diminished if it knows that our defenses by land are so well planned and
executed that an invasion of our coast can not be productive of the
evils to which we have heretofore been exposed.

It was under a thorough conviction of these truths, derived from the
admonitions of the late war, that Congress, as early as the year 1816,
during the term of my enlightened and virtuous predecessor, under whom
the war had been declared, prosecuted, and terminated, digested and made
provision for the defense of our country and support of its rights,
in peace as well as in war, by acts which authorized and enjoined the
augmentation of our Navy to a prescribed limit, and the construction
of suitable fortifications throughout the whole extent of our maritime
frontier and wherever else they might be deemed necessary. It is to the
execution of these works, both land and naval, and under a thorough
conviction that by hastening their completion I should render the best
service to my country and give the most effectual support to our free
republican system of government that my humble faculties would admit of,
that I have devoted so much of my time and labor to this great system of
national policy since I came into this office, and shall continue to do
it until my retirement from it at the end of your next session.

The Navy is the arm from which our Government will always derive most
aid in support of our neutral rights. Every power engaged in war will
know the strength of our naval force, the number of our ships of each
class, their condition, and the promptitude with which we may bring them
into service, and will pay due consideration to that argument. Justice
will always have great weight in the cabinets of Europe; but in long and
destructive wars exigencies often occur which press so vitally on them
that unless the argument of force is brought to its aid it will be
disregarded. Our land forces will always perform their duty in the event
of war, but they must perform it on the land. Our Navy is the arm which
must be principally relied on for the annoyance of the commerce of the
enemy and for the protection of our own, and also, by cooperation with
the land forces, for the defense of the country. Capable of moving in
any and every direction, it possesses the faculty, even when remote from
our coast, of extending its aid to every interest on which the security
and welfare of our Union depend. Annoying the commerce of the enemy and
menacing in turn its coast, provided the force on each side is nearly
equally balanced, it will draw its squadrons from our own; and in case
of invasion by a powerful adversary by a land and naval force, which is
always to be anticipated and ought to be provided against, our Navy may,
by like cooperation with our land forces, render essential aid in
protecting our interior from incursion and depredation.

The great object in the event of war is to stop the enemy at the coast.
If this is done our cities and whole interior will be secure. For the
accomplishment of this object our fortifications must be principally
relied on. By placing strong works near the mouths of our great inlets
in such positions as to command the entrances into them, as may be done
in many instances, it will be difficult, if not impossible, for ships
to pass them, especially if other precautions, and particularly that of
steam batteries, are resorted to in their aid. In the wars between other
powers into which we may be drawn in support of our neutral rights it
can not be doubted that this defense would be adequate to the purpose
intended by it, nor can it be doubted that the knowledge that such works
existed would form a strong motive with any power not to invade our
rights, and thereby contribute essentially to prevent war. There are,
it is admitted, some entrances into our interior which are of such
vast extent that it would be utterly impossible for any works, however
extensive or well posted, to command them. Of this class the Chesapeake
Bay, which is an arm of the sea, may be given as an example. But, in my
judgment, even this bay may be defended against any power with whom we
may be involved in war as a third party in the defense of our neutral
rights. By erecting strong works at the mouth of James River, on both
sides, near the capes, as we are now doing, and at Old Point Comfort and
the Rip Raps, and connecting those works together by chains whenever the
enemy's force appeared, placing in the rear some large ships and steam
batteries, the passage up the river would be rendered impracticable.
This guard would also tend to protect the whole country bordering on the
bay and rivers emptying into it, as the hazard would be too great for
the enemy, however strong his naval force, to ascend the bay and leave
such a naval force behind; since, in the event of a storm, whereby his
vessels might be separated, or of a calm, the ships and steam batteries
behind the works might rush forth and destroy them. It could only be in
the event of an invasion by a great power or a combination of several
powers, and by land as well as by naval forces, that those works could
be carried; and even then they could not fail to retard the movement of
the enemy into the country and to give time for the collection of our
regular troops, militia, and volunteers to that point, and thereby
contribute essentially to his ultimate defeat and expulsion from our
territory.

Under a strong impression that a peace establishment of our Navy is
connected with the possible event of war, and that the naval force
intended for either state, however small it may be, is connected with
the general system of public defense, I have thought it proper in
communicating this report to submit these remarks on the whole subject.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _February 2, 1824_.

_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, requesting the President of the United States to
communicate to the House all such parts of the correspondence with the
Government of Spain relating to the Florida treaty to the period of its
final ratification, not heretofore communicated, which, in his opinion,
it might not be inconsistent with the public interest to communicate,
I herewith transmit a report from the Secretary of State, with copies
of the correspondence requested.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _February 23, 1824_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

The House of Representatives on the 12th instant having "resolved that
the President of the United States be requested to inform this House
whether the rules and regulations compiled by General Scott for the
government of the Army are now in force in the Army, or any part
thereof, and by what authority the same has been adopted and enforced,"
I herewith transmit a report from the Department of War, which contains
the information required.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _February 23, 1824_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

Agreeably to a resolution of the House of Representatives of the 11th
instant, requesting the President of the United States "to inform this
House if the line intended to constitute the western boundary of the
Territory of Arkansas has been run in conformity with the provisions
of the third section of the act of Congress of the 3d of March, 1823,
entitled 'An act making appropriation for the military service of the
United States for the year 1823, and for other purposes,' and, if said
line has not been run, that he inform this House what instructions have
been given or measures adopted in relation to the execution of the
provision of the law, and what causes have prevented said line from
being run," I herewith transmit a report from the Secretary of War,
which contains the information required.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _February 23, 1824_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

The House of Representatives on the 26th ultimo having "resolved that
the President of the United States be requested to cause to be laid
before the House an estimate of the expense which would be incurred by
transporting 200 of the troops now at the Council Bluffs to the mouth
of the Columbia or Oregon River," I herewith transmit a report of the
Secretary of War, which contains the information required.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _February 23, 1824_.

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

I herewith transmit to Congress certain documents relating to a claim
of Massachusetts for services rendered by the militia of that State
in the late war, and for which payment was made by the State. From the
particular circumstances attending this claim I have thought it proper
to submit the subject to the consideration of Congress.

In forming a just estimate of this claim it will be necessary to recur
to the cause which prevented its admission, or the admission of any part
thereof, at an earlier day. It will be recollected that when a call was
made on the militia of that State for service in the late war, under
an arrangement which was alike applicable to the militia of all the
States and in conformity with the acts of Congress, the executive of
Massachusetts refused to comply with the call, on the principle that
the power vested in Congress by the Constitution to provide for
calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the Union, suppress
insurrections, and repel invasions was not a complete power for
those purposes, but conditional, and dependent on the consent of the
executives of the several States, and, also, that when called into
service, such consent being given, they could not be commanded by a
regular officer of the United States, or other officer than of the
militia, except by the President in person. That this decision of
the executive of Massachusetts was repugnant to the Constitution of
the United States, and of dangerous tendency, especially when it is
considered that we were then engaged in a war with a powerful nation
for the defense of our common rights, was the decided opinion of this
Government; and when the period at which that decision was formed was
considered, it being as early as the 5th of August, 1812, immediately
after the war was declared, and that it was not relinquished during the
war, it was inferred by the Executive of the United States that the
decision of the executive of that State was alike applicable to all the
services that were rendered by the militia of the State during the war.

In the correspondence with the governor of Massachusetts at that
important epoch, and on that very interesting subject, it was announced
to him by the Secretary of War that if the militia of the State were
called into service by the executive of the State, and not put under the
command of the Major-General of the United States, as the militia of
the other States were, the expense attending their service would be
chargeable to the State, and not to the United States. It was also
stated to him at the same time that any claim which the State might
have for the reimbursement of such expenses could not be allowed by the
Executive of the United States, since it would involve principles on
which that branch of the Government could not decide.

Under these circumstances a decision on the claim of the State of
Massachusetts has hitherto been suspended, and it need not be remarked
that the suspension has proceeded from a conviction that it would be
improper to give any sanction by its admission, or by the admission
of any part thereof, either to the construction of the Constitution
contended for by the then executive of that State or to its conduct
at that period toward the General Government and the Union.

In January, 1823, the Representatives in Congress from Massachusetts and
Maine suggested, by memorial, that the constitutional objection could
not apply to a portion of the claim, and requested that the accounting
officer of the Government might be instructed to audit and admit such
part as might be free from that objection. In all cases where claims
are presented for militia service it is the duty and the practice of
the accounting officer to submit them to the Department for instruction
as to the legality of the claim; that is, whether the service had been
rendered by order of the competent authority, or otherwise, under
circumstances to justify the claim against the United States, admitting
that the evidence in support of it should be satisfactory. To this
request there appeared to be no well-founded objection, under the
reservation as to the constitutional principle, and accordingly an order
was given to the accounting officers of the Treasury to proceed in
auditing the claim with that reservation.

In conformity with this arrangement, the executive of Massachusetts
appointed two citizens of that State commissioners to attend to the
settlement of its claim, and who, in execution of the trust reposed in
them, have presented to the accounting officer of the Treasury that
portion comprehending the services of the fifth division of the militia
of the State, which has been audited and reported for consideration,
subject to the objection above stated. I have examined this report, with
the documents presented by the commissioners, and am of opinion that
the services rendered by that division were spontaneous, patriotic, and
proper, necessary for self-defense, to repel in some instances actual
invasion and in others to meet by adequate preparation invasions that
were menaced. The commissioners of the State having intimated that other
portions of service stood on similar ground, the accounting officer has
been instructed, in auditing the whole, to do it in such manner as to
enable the Department to show distinctly under what circumstances each
portion of service was rendered, whether voluntary, called out by
invasion or the menace of invasion, or by public authority, and in such
case whether the militia rendering such service was placed under the
authority of the United States or retained under that of the State.

It affords me great pleasure to state that the present executive of
Massachusetts has disclaimed the principle which was maintained by the
former executive, and that in this disclaimer both branches of the
legislature have concurred. By this renunciation the State is placed on
the same ground in this respect with the other States, and this very
distressing anomaly in our system is removed. It is well known that the
great body of our fellow-citizens in Massachusetts are as firmly devoted
to our Union and to the free republican principles of our Government as
our fellow-citizens of the other States. Of this important truth their
conduct in every stage of our Revolutionary struggle and in many other
emergencies bears ample testimony; and I add with profound interest and
a thorough conviction that, although the difficulty adverted to in the
late war with their executive excited equal surprise and regret, it
was not believed to extend to them. There never was a moment when the
confidence of the Government in the great body of our fellow-citizens
of that State was impaired, nor is a doubt entertained that they were
at all times willing and ready to support their rights and repel an
invasion by the enemy.

The commissioners of Massachusetts have urged, in compliance with their
instructions, the payment of so much of their claim as applies to the
services rendered by the fifth division, which have been audited, and
I should have no hesitation in admitting it if I did not think, under
all the circumstances of the case, that the claim in all its parts was
cognizable by Congress alone. The period at which the constitutional
difficulty was raised by the executive of the State was in the highest
degree important, as was the tendency of the principle for which it
contended, and which was adhered to during the war. The public mind
throughout the Union was much excited by that occurrence, and great
solicitude was felt as to its consequences. The Executive of the United
States was bound to maintain, and did maintain, a just construction of
the Constitution, in doing which it is gratifying to recollect that the
most friendly feelings were cherished toward their brethren of that
State. The executive of the State was warned, in the correspondence
which then took place, of the light in which its conduct was viewed
and of the effect it would have, so far as related to the right of the
Executive of the United States, on any claim which might afterwards be
presented by the State to compensation for such services. Under these
circumstances the power of the Executive of the United States to settle
any portion of this claim seems to be precluded. It seems proper, also,
that this claim should be decided on full investigation before the
public, that the principle on which it is decided may be thoroughly
understood by our fellow-citizens of every State, which can be done by
Congress alone, who alone, also, possess the power to pass laws which
may be necessary to carry such decision into effect.

In submitting this subject to the calm and enlightened judgment of
Congress, I do it with peculiar satisfaction, from a knowledge that you
are now placed, by the course of events, in a situation which will
enable you to adopt such measures as will not only comport with the
sound principles of our Government, but likewise be conducive to other
the highest interests of our Union. By the renunciation of the principle
maintained by the then executive of Massachusetts, as has been done by
its present executive and both branches of the legislature in the most
formal manner and in accord with the sentiments of the great body of the
people, the Constitution is restored in a very important feature (that
connected with the public defense) and in the most important branch
(that of the militia) to its native strength. It is very gratifying to
know that this renunciation has been produced by the regular, orderly,
and pacific operation of our republican system, whereby those who
were in the right at the moment of difficulty and who sustained the
Government with great firmness have daily gained strength until this
result was accomplished. The points on which you will have to decide
are, What is fairly due for the services which were actually rendered?
By what means shall we contribute most to cement the Union and give the
greatest support to our most excellent Constitution? In seeking each
object separately we are led to the same result. All that can be claimed
by our fellow-citizens of Massachusetts is that the constitutional
objection be waived, and that they be placed on the same footing with
their brethren in the other States; that regarding the services rendered
by the militia of other States, for which compensation has been made,
giving to the rule the most liberal construction, like compensation be
made for similar services rendered by the militia of that State.

I have been led to conclude on great consideration that the principles
of justice as well as a due regard for the great interests of our Union
require that this claim in the extent proposed should be acceded to.
Essential service was rendered in the late war by the militia of
Massachusetts, and with the most patriotic motives. It seems just,
therefore, that they should be compensated for such services in like
manner with the militia of the other States. The constitutional
difficulty did not originate with them, and has now been removed. It
comports with our system to look to the service rendered and to the
intention with which it was rendered, and to award the compensation
accordingly, especially as it may now be done without the sacrifice of
principle. The motive in this instance is the stronger because well
satisfied I am that by so doing we shall give the most effectual support
to our republican institutions. No latent cause of discontent will be
left behind. The great body of the people will be gratified, and even
those who now survive who were then in error can not fail to see with
interest and satisfaction this distressing occurrence thus happily
terminated. I therefore consider it my duty to recommend it to Congress
to make provision for the settlement of the claim of Massachusetts
for services rendered in the late war by the militia of the State,
in conformity with the rules which have governed in the settlement of
the claims for services rendered by the militia of the other States.

JAMES MONROE.

FEBRUARY 24, 1824.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I transmit herewith a report of the Secretary of War, containing the
information called for by a resolution of the House of Representatives
of the United States, passed on the 4th instant, respecting any suit or
suits which have been or are now depending, in which the United States
are interested, for the recovery of the Pea Patch.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _February 25, 1824_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In conformity with the resolution of the House of Representatives of the
17th instant, I now transmit the report of the Secretary of the Navy,
accompanied by statements marked A and B, shewing "the amount of money
expended in conformity with the provisions of the act entitled 'An act
for the gradual increase of the Navy of the United States,' approved
April 29, 1816, and of the act to amend said act, approved 3d of March,
1821; also the number of vessels built or now on the stocks, with their
rates, the value of the timber purchased, or for which contracts
have been made, and whether sufficient timber has been purchased or
contracted for to build the vessels contemplated by the provisions of
said acts."

JAMES MONROE.

MARCH 3, 1824.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate a report of the Secretary of the Treasury,
containing copies of the contracts made by the Surveyor-General,
and called for by a resolution of the Senate bearing date the 24th
February, 1824.

JAMES MONROE.

MARCH 4, 1824.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I transmit a report of the Secretary of the Treasury, which communicates
all the information in possession of the Department called for by a
resolution of the House requesting a copy of the report of the register
of the land office in the eastern district of Louisiana, bearing date
the 6th of January, 1821, together with all the information from the
said register to the Treasury Department.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _March 4, 1824_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of the
1st March, 1823, requesting information of the number and position of
the permanent fortifications which have been and are now erecting for
the defense of the coasts, harbors, and frontiers of the United States,
with the classification and magnitude of each, with the amount expended
on each, showing the work done and to be done, the number of guns of
every caliber for each fortification, the total cost of a complete
armament for each, the force required to garrison each in time of peace
and of war, I transmit to the House a report from the Secretary of War
containing the information required by the resolution.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _March 8, 1824_.

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

On the 3d March, 1819, James Miller was first commissioned as governor
of the Territory of Arkansas for the term of three years from that date.

Before the expiration of that time, and in the winter of 1821-22, a
nomination of him for reappointment was intended, and believed by me
to have been made to the Senate, and to have received the confirmation
of that body.

By some accident, the cause of which is unknown, it appears that this
impression was erroneous, and in December, 1822, it was discovered that
Mr. Miller had not then been recommissioned, though in the confidence
that he had been he had continued to act in that capacity. He was then
renominated to the Senate, with the additional proposal that his
commission should take effect from 3d March, 1822, when his first
commission had expired.

The nomination was confirmed by the Senate so far as regarded the
appointment, but without concurrence in the retrospective effect
proposed to be given to the commission.

His second commission, therefore, bears date on the 3d January, 1823,
and the interposition of the Legislature becomes necessary to legalize
his official acts in the interval between 3d March, 1822, and that time,
a subject which I recommend to the consideration of Congress.

JAMES MONROE.

MARCH 17, 1824.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of the
17th of February last, requesting "information whether any measures had
been taken for carrying into effect the resolution of Congress of June
17, 1777, directing a monument to be erected to the memory of David
Wooster, a brigadier-general in the Army of the United States, who fell
in defending the liberties of America and bravely repelling an inroad
of the British forces to Danbury, in Connecticut," I have caused the
necessary inquiries to be made, and find by the report of the Register
of the Treasury that no monument has been erected to the memory of that
patriotic and gallant officer, nor has any money been paid to the
executive of Connecticut on that account.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _March 25, 1824_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of
the 25th of February, requesting information whether the title of the
United Brethren for Propagating the Gospel among the Heathen to certain
sections of land in Ohio has been purchased for the United States, and,
if so, to cause a copy of the contract and of the papers relating
thereto to be laid before the House, I transmit herewith all the
documents required.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _March 25, 1824_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

Having seen with regret that occasional errors have been made in
nominations to the Senate, sometimes by the omission of a letter in
the name, proceeding from casualties in the Departments and in my own
office, it would be satisfactory to me if an arrangement could be made
whereby such errors might be corrected without the formality of a
special message. Where there is an accord as to the person there seems
to be no reason for resorting to a renomination for the correction of
such trivial errors. Any mode which the Senate may adopt will be
satisfactory to me.

JAMES MONROE.

MARCH 25, 1824.

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

Having stated to Congress on the 7th of December last that Daniel D.
Tompkins, late governor of New York, was entitled to a larger sum than
that reported in his favor by the accounting officers of the Government,
and that in the execution of the law of the last session I had the
subject still under consideration, I now communicate to you the result.

On full consideration of the law by which this duty was enjoined on me
and of the report of the committee on the basis of which the law was
founded, I have thought that I was authorized to adopt the principles
laid down in that report in deciding on the sum which should be allowed
to him for his services. With this view and on a comparison of his
services with those which were rendered by other disbursing officers,
taking into consideration also his aid in obtaining loans, I had decided
to allow him 5 per cent for all sums borrowed and disbursed by him, and
of which decision I informed him. Mr. Tompkins has since stated to me
that this allowance will not indemnify him for his advances, loans,
expenditures, and losses in rendering those services, nor place him
on the footing of those who loaned money to the Government at that
interesting period. He has also expressed a desire that I would submit
the subject to the final decision of Congress, which I now do. In
adopting this measure I think proper to add that I concur fully in the
sentiments expressed by the committee in favor of the very patriotic and
valuable services which were rendered by Mr. Tompkins in the late war.

JAMES MONROE.

MARCH 28, 1824.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I herewith transmit a report of the Secretary of War, together with a
report from the Commissioner of the General Land Office, accompanied
by the necessary documents, communicating the information heretofore
requested by a resolution of the House in relation to the salt springs,
lead and copper mines, together with the probable value of each of them
and of the reservations attached to each, the extent to which they have
been worked, the advantages and proximity of each to navigable waters,
and the origin, nature, and extent of any claim made to them by
individuals or companies, which reports contain all the information
at present possessed on the subjects of the said resolution.

JAMES MONROE.

MARCH 30, 1824.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of the
14th instant, requesting information whether an advance of compensation
had been made to any of the commissioners who had been appointed for
the examination of titles and claims to land in Florida, and by what
authority such advance, if any, had been made, I transmit a report of
the Secretary of State, which contains the information desired.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _March 30, 1824_.

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

I transmit to Congress certain papers enumerated in a report from the
Secretary of War, relating to the compact between the United States and
the State of Georgia entered into in 1802, whereby the latter ceded to
the former a portion of the territory then within its limits on the
conditions therein specified. By the fourth article of that compact
it was stipulated that the United States should at their own expense
extinguish for the use of Georgia the Indian title to all the lands
within the State as soon as it might be done _peaceably_ and on
_reasonable_ conditions. These papers show the measures adopted by the
Executive of the United States in fulfillment of the several conditions
of the compact from its date to the present time, and particularly the
negotiations and treaties with the Indian tribes for the extinguishment
of their title, with an estimate of the number of acres purchased and
sums paid for lands they acquired. They show also the state in which
this interesting concern now rests with the Cherokees, one of the tribes
within the State, and the inability of the Executive to make any further
movement with this tribe without the special sanction of Congress.

I have full confidence that my predecessors exerted their best endeavors
to execute this compact in all its parts, of which, indeed, the sums
paid and the lands acquired during their respective terms in fulfillment
of its several stipulations are a full proof. I have also been animated
since I came into this office with the same zeal, from an anxious
desire to meet the wishes of the State, and in the hope that by the
establishment of these tribes beyond the Mississippi their improvement
in civilization, their security and happiness would be promoted. By the
paper bearing date on the 30th of January last, which was communicated
to the chiefs of the Cherokee Nation in this city, who came to protest
against any further appropriations of money for holding treaties with
them, the obligation imposed on the United States by the compact with
Georgia to extinguish the Indian title to the right of soil within the
State, and the incompatibility with our system of their existence as
a distinct community within any State, were pressed with the utmost
earnestness. It was proposed to them at the same time to procure and
convey to them territory beyond the Mississippi in exchange for that
which they hold within the limits of Georgia, or to pay them for it its
value in money. To this proposal their answer, which bears date 11th of
February following, gives an unqualified refusal. By this it is manifest
that at the present time and in their present temper they can be removed
only by force, to which, should it be deemed proper, the power of the
Executive is incompetent.

I have no hesitation, however, to declare it as my opinion that the
Indian title was not affected in the slightest circumstance by the
compact with Georgia, and that there is no obligation on the United
States to remove the Indians by force. The express stipulation of the
compact that their title should be extinguished at the expense of the
United States when it may be done _peaceably_ and on _reasonable_
conditions is a full proof that it was the clear and distinct
understanding of both parties to it that the Indians had a right to
the territory, in the disposal of which they were to be regarded as
free agents. An attempt to remove them by force would, in my opinion,
be unjust. In the future measures to be adopted in regard to the Indians
within our limits, and, in consequence, within the limits of any State,
the United States have duties to perform and a character to sustain
to which they ought not to be indifferent. At an early period their
improvement in the arts of civilized life was made an object with the
Government, and that has since been persevered in. This policy was
dictated by motives of humanity to the aborigines of the country, and
under a firm conviction that the right to adopt and pursue it was
equally applicable to all the tribes within our limits.

My impression is equally strong that it would promote essentially the
security and happiness of the tribes within our limits if they could be
prevailed on to retire west and north of our States and Territories on
lands to be procured for them by the United States, in exchange for
those on which they now reside. Surrounded as they are, and pressed
as they will be, on every side by the white population, it will be
difficult if not impossible for them, with their kind of government, to
sustain order among them. Their interior will be exposed to frequent
disturbances, to remedy which the interposition of the United States
will be indispensable, and thus their government will gradually lose its
authority until it is annihilated. In this process the moral character
of the tribes will also be lost, since the change will be too rapid to
admit their improvement in civilization to enable them to institute and
sustain a government founded on our principles, if such a change were
compatible either with the compact with Georgia or with our general
system, or to become members of a State, should any State be willing
to adopt them in such numbers, regarding the good order, peace, and
tranquillity of such State. But all these evils may be avoided if these
tribes will consent to remove beyond the limits of our present States
and Territories. Lands equally good, and perhaps more fertile, may be
procured for them in those quarters. The relations between the United
States and such Indians would still be the same.

Considerations of humanity and benevolence, which have now great weight,
would operate in that event with an augmented force, since we should
feel sensibly the obligation imposed on us by the accommodation which
they thereby afforded us. Placed at ease, as the United States would
then be, the improvement of those tribes in civilization and in all
the arts and usages of civilized life would become the part of a general
system which might be adopted on great consideration, and in which every
portion of our Union would then take an equal interest. These views have
steadily been pursued by the Executive, and the moneys which have
been placed at its disposal have been so applied in the manner best
calculated, according to its judgment, to produce this desirable result,
as will appear by the documents which accompany the report of the
Secretary of War.

I submit this subject to the consideration of Congress under a high
sense of its importance and of the propriety of an early decision on it.
This compact gives a claim to the State which ought to be executed in
all its conditions with perfect good faith. In doing this, however, it
is the duty of the United States to regard its strict import, and to
make no sacrifice of their interest not called for by the compact nor
contemplated by either of the parties when it was entered into, nor
to commit any breach of right or of humanity in regard to the Indians
repugnant to the judgment and revolting to the feelings of the whole
American people. I submit the subject to your consideration, in full
confidence that you will duly weigh the obligations of the compact with
Georgia, its import in all its parts, and the extent to which the United
States are bound to go under it. I submit it with equal confidence that
you will also weigh the nature of the Indian title to the territory
within the limits of any State, with the stipulations in the several
treaties with this tribe respecting territory held by it within the
State of Georgia, and decide whether any measure on the part of Congress
is called for at the present time, and what such measure shall be if any
is deemed expedient.

JAMES MONROE.

APRIL 9, 1824.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I herewith transmit the report of the Secretary of War, with the
accompanying documents, containing the information requested by a
resolution of the House of the 10th ultimo, and which communicates
the accounts of all the generals of the Army, likewise of the
Inspector-General, the chiefs of the Engineer and Ordnance Corps, and
Surgeon-General for the two years preceding the 30th of September last;
also shewing the amount of money paid to each under the different heads
of pay, fuel, straw, quarters, transportation, and all other extra and
contingent allowances; which report, together with the statements
herewith transmitted, furnishes all the information required.

JAMES MONROE.

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

The executive of Virginia having requested payment of the amount of
interest paid by the State for moneys borrowed and paid by it for
services rendered by the militia in the late war, and such claim not
being allowable according to the uniform decisions of the accounting
officers of the Government, I submit the subject to your consideration,
with a report from the Secretary of War and all the documents connected
with it.

The following are the circumstances on which this claim is founded:
From an early stage of the war the squadrons of the enemy entered
occasionally the Chesapeake Bay, and, menacing its shores and those of
the principal rivers emptying into it, subjected the neighboring militia
to calls from the local authorities for the defense of the parts thus
menaced. The pressure was most sensibly felt in 1814, after the attack
on this city and its capture, when the invading force, retiring to its
squadron, menaced alike Baltimore, Norfolk, and Richmond. The attack
on this city had induced a call by the Department of War for large
detachments of the militia of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia,
which, being collected in this quarter, and the enemy bearing, in the
first instance, on Baltimore, were ordered to its defense. As early
as the 31st of August notice was given by the Secretary of War to the
governor of Virginia of the position of the enemy and of the danger to
which Richmond as well as Norfolk and Baltimore were exposed, and he was
also authorized and enjoined to be on his guard, prepared at every point
and in every circumstance to meet and repel the invaders. This notice
was repeated several times afterwards, until the enemy left the bay and
moved to the south.

In the course of the war the State had augmented its taxes to meet the
pressure, but the funds being still inadequate, it borrowed money to a
considerable amount, which was applied to the payment of the militia for
the services thus rendered. The calls which had been made, except for
the brigades in this quarter and at Norfolk, being made by the State,
the settlement with those corps and the payment for their services were
made according to the rules and usage of the Department by the State
and not by the United States. On the settlement by the State, after the
peace, with the accounting officers of the Government the reimbursement
of the interest which the State had paid on the sums thus borrowed and
paid to the militia was claimed, but not allowed for the reason above
stated. It is this claim which I now submit to the consideration of
Congress.

It need scarcely be remarked that where a State advances money for the
use of the General Government for a purpose authorized by it that the
claim for the interest on the amount thus advanced, which has been paid
by the State, is reasonable and just. The claim is the stronger under
the circumstance which existed when those advances were made, it being
at a period of great difficulty, when the United States were compelled
to borrow very large sums for the prosecution of the war. Had the State
not borrowed this money the militia, whose services have been recognized
since by the nation, must have been disbanded and the State left without
defense.

The claim is, in my opinion, equally well founded where a State advances
money which it has in its treasury, or which it raises by taxes, to meet
the current demand.

In submitting this claim to your consideration it is proper to observe
that many other States have like claims with those of Virginia, and that
all those similarly circumstanced should be placed on the same footing.

I invite your attention to a principle which is deemed just, and with a
view that the provision which may be made respecting it may be extended
alike to all the States.

JAMES MONROE.

APRIL, 12, 1824.

APRIL, 16, 1824.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of the
8th of April, requesting information whether the fifth section of the
act of the 3d March, 1803, relating to a township of land lying within
John Cleves Symmes's patent, had been executed, and, if not, what
reasons had prevented it, I transmit a report from the Secretary of
the Treasury, which affords the information desired.

JAMES MONROE.

APRIL, 16, 1824.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I transmit to the House of Representatives a report of the Secretary of
War, containing the information requested by a resolution of the House
dated 25th ultimo, shewing the reason why the engineers appointed to
examine the most suitable site for a national armory on the Western
waters have not made their report.

JAMES MONROE.

APRIL, 16, 1824.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I herewith transmit to the House of Representatives a report from
the Secretary of War, which contains the information requested by a
resolution of the 8th instant, respecting the proposals that were made
by certain Indians, therein described, of the Cherokee Nation for the
cession of their lands to the United States.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _April 18, 1824_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of the
13th instant, requesting a detailed account of the disbursement of the
sums appropriated by the acts of the 30th April, 1818, and of the 3d
March, 1819, for making certain improvements in the grounds connected
with the public offices and the President's house, I transmit a report
from the Commissioner of the Public Buildings, which contains the
information desired.

JAMES MONROE.

APRIL, 23, 1824.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In conformity with a resolution of the House of Representatives of
yesterday, I have received a copy of the proceedings of the committee to
whom was referred a communication from Ninian Edwards, lately appointed
a minister plenipotentiary to Mexico, in which it is decided that
his attendance in this city for the purpose of being examined by the
committee on matters contained in the said communication was requisite.
As soon as I was apprised that such a communication had been made to the
House, anticipating that the attendance of Mr. Edwards might be desired
for the purpose stated, I thought it proper that he should be informed
thereof, and instructed him not to proceed on his mission, but to await
such call as might be made on him either by the House or its committee,
and in consequence a letter was addressed to him to that effect by the
Secretary of State.

JAMES MONROE.

APRIL 27, 1824.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In conformity with the resolution of the Senate of the 19th instant,
requesting information whether the Executive, through the agency of
the War Department, borrowed any money during the late war, under the
condition of applying the same to the defense of the State wherein the
said loans were made, to what amount, and whether interest was paid by
the United States for such loans, etc., I herewith transmit a report
from the Secretary of War containing all the information in that
Department in relation to the resolution.

JAMES MONROE.

APRIL, 28, 1824.

_To the House of Representatives_:

The House of Representatives having referred back the accounts and
claims of Daniel D. Tompkins, late governor of New York, to be settled
on the principles established by the report of the committee and the law
founded on it in the last session I have reconsidered the subject, and
now communicate the result.

By the report of the committee, which it was understood was adopted by
the House, it was decided that his accounts and claims should be settled
on the four following principles:

First. That interest should be allowed him on all moneys advanced by
him for the public from the time of the advance to that of his being
reimbursed.

Second. That a reasonable commission should be allowed him on all moneys
disbursed by him during the late war.

Third. That an indemnity should be allowed for all losses which he had
sustained by the failure of the Government to fulfill its engagements
to send him money or Treasury notes within the time specified to be
deposited in certain banks as collateral security for loans procured
by him at the request and on account of the Government.

Fourth. That he should not be held responsible for losses incurred by
the frauds and failures of subagents to whom moneys were advanced
through his hands.

On the first, that of interest on his advances for the public, I have
allowed him $14,438.68. This allowance is made on advances admitted by
the accounting department, and on the declaration of Mr. Tompkins that
the remittances made to him, after his advances and previous to the
24th of December, 1814, when a very large sum was remitted to him, were
applied to public purposes and not to the reimbursement of his advances.

On the second head, that of a reasonable commission for his
disbursements during the late war, I have allowed him 5 per cent on
the whole sum disbursed by him, amounting to $92,213.13. I have made
him this extra allowance in consideration of the aid which he afforded
to the Government at that important epoch in obtaining the loan of a
considerable part of the sums thus disbursed.

On the third head, that of an indemnity for losses sustained by him in
consequence of the failure of the Government to fulfill its engagements
to send him money or Treasury notes within the time specified, I have
allowed him $4,411.25, being the amount of the loss sustained on the
sale of Treasury notes, for which he was responsible.

On the fourth head, that of losses sustained by him by any frauds or
failures of subagents, none such having been shewn no allowance whatever
has been made to him.

From the amount thus allowed to Mr. Tompkins after deducting the sum
paid him under the act of the present session and the moneys charged
to his account there will remain a balance due him of $60,238.46, as
appears by the sketch herewith communicated.

In making a final decision on Mr. Tompkins's claims a question arises,
Shall interest be allowed him on the amount of the commission on his
disbursements? The law of the last session grants to the President
a power to allow interest on moneys advanced by him to the public,
but does not authorize it on the commission to be allowed on his
disbursements. To make such allowance belongs exclusively to Congress.
Had his claims been settled at the end of the last war on the principles
established by the law of the last session a commission on disbursements
would then have been allowed him. This consideration operates with great
force in favor of the allowance of interest on that commission at this
time, which I recommend to Congress.

I think proper to add that the official relation which I bore to
Governor Tompkins at that very interesting epoch, under the highly
distinguished and meritorious citizen under whom we both served,
enabling me to feel very sensibly the value of his services, excites a
strong interest in his favor, which I deem it not improper to express.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _April 30, 1824_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for their constitutional advice with regard
to its ratification, a convention for the suppression of the African
slave trade, signed at London on the 13th ultimo by the minister of the
United States residing there on their part, with the plenipotentiaries
of the British Government on the part of that nation, together with
the correspondence relating thereto, a part of which is included in a
communication made to the House of Representatives on the 19th ultimo,
a printed copy of which is among the documents herewith sent.

Motives of accommodation to the wishes of the British Government
render it desirable that the Senate should act definitively upon
this convention as speedily as may be found convenient.

JAMES MONROE.

APRIL 30, 1824.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I communicate to the Senate a treaty entered into with the Cherokee
Nation as early as 1804, but which, owing to causes not now understood,
has never been carried into effect. Of the authenticity of the
transaction a report from the Secretary of War, with the documents
accompanying it, furnishes the most unquestionable proof. I submit it
to the Senate for its advice and consent as to the ratification.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _May 7, 1824_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I communicate herewith to the Senate a report from the Secretary
of State, with the documents relating to the present state of the
commercial intercourse between the United States and Portugal,
requested by the resolution of the Senate of the 13th ultimo.

JAMES MONROE.

MAY 11, 1824.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I herewith transmit to the House of Representatives a report of
the Secretary of War, containing the information called for by the
resolution of the 10th of March, requesting the names of all the
officers of the Army who have been brevetted, stating their lineal rank
and brevet rank, when brevetted, and the amount of money paid to each
and when paid, which report, with the accompanying documents, contains
the information desired.

JAMES MONROE.

MAY 13, 1824.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the House of Representatives of
the 15th of April, requesting the President to cause to be communicated
to the House a statement of the supplies which have been sent from the
United States to any ports of South America for the use of our squadron
in the Pacific Ocean, of the amount paid for such supplies, with the
names of the owners of the vessels, and other details therein specified,
I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of the Navy, which, with
the documents accompanying it, furnishes the information desired.

JAMES MONROE.

MAY 14, 1824.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I herewith transmit to the House of Representatives a report of the
Secretary of the Navy, together with the proceedings of a court-martial
lately held at Norfolk for the trial of Lieutenant Beverly Kennon, as
requested by a resolution of the House bearing date the 25th of April,
1824.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _May 18, 1824_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I communicate to the House a report, with accompanying documents,
received from Alexander Hamilton, one of the commissioners of land
titles in East Florida, deeming the statements therein contained to be
worthy of the particular attention of the House, and of a nature which
may, perhaps, require their interposition or that of both branches of
the Legislature.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, _May 21, 1824_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

Apprehending from the delay in the decision that some difficulty exists
with the Senate respecting the ratification of the convention lately
concluded with the British Government for the suppression of the slave
trade by making it piratical, I deem it proper to communicate for your
consideration such views as appear to me to merit attention. Charged
as the Executive is, and as I have long been, with maintaining the
political relations between the United States and other nations, I
consider it my duty, in submitting for your advice and consent as to
the ratification any treaty or convention which has been agreed on
with another power, to explain, when the occasion requires it, all
the reasons which induced the measure. It is by such full and frank
explanation only that the Senate can be enabled to discharge the high
trust reposed in them with advantage to their country. Having the
instrument before them, with the views which guided the Executive in
forming it, the Senate will possess all the light necessary to a sound
decision.

By an act of Congress of 15th May, 1820, the slave trade, as described
by that act, was made piratical, and all such of our citizens as might
be found engaged in that trade were subjected, on conviction thereof
by the circuit courts of the United States, to capital punishment. To
communicate more distinctly the import of that act, I refer to its
fourth and fifth sections, which are in the following words:

SEC. 4. _And be it further enacted_, That if any citizen of the United
States, being of the crew or ship's company of any foreign ship or
vessel engaged in the slave trade, or any person whatever, being of the
crew or ship's company of any ship or vessel owned in the whole or part
or navigated for or in behalf of any citizen or citizens of the United
States, shall land from any such ship or vessel, and on any foreign
shore seize any Negro or Mulatto not held to service or labor by the
laws of either of the States or Territories of the United States, with
intent to make such Negro or Mulatto a slave, or shall decoy or forcibly
bring or carry, or shall receive, such Negro or Mulatto on board any
such ship or vessel, with intent as aforesaid, such citizen or person
shall be adjudged a pirate, and on conviction thereof before the circuit
court of the United States for the district wherein he may be brought or
found shall suffer death.

SEC. 5. _And be it further enacted_, That if any citizen of the United
States, being of the crew or ship's company of any foreign ship or
vessel engaged in the slave trade, or any person whatever, being of the
crew or ship's company of any ship or vessel owned wholly or in part, or
navigated for or in behalf of, any citizen or citizens of the United
States, shall forcibly confine or detain, or aid and abet in forcibly
confining or detaining, on board such ship or vessel any Negro or
Mulatto not held to service by the laws of either of the States or
Territories of the United States, with intent to make such Negro or
Mulatto a slave, or shall on board any such ship or vessel offer or
attempt to sell as a slave any Negro or Mulatto not held to service as
aforesaid, or shall on the high seas or anywhere on tide water transfer
or deliver over to any other ship or vessel any Negro or Mulatto not
held to service as aforesaid, with intent to make such Negro or mulatto
a slave, or shall land or deliver on shore from on board any such ship
or vessel any such Negro or mulatto, with intent to make sale of, or
having previously sold such Negro or Mulatto as a slave, such citizen or
person shall be adjudged a pirate, and on conviction thereof before the
circuit court of the United States for the district wherein he may be
brought or found shall suffer death.

And on the 28th February, 1823, the House of Representatives, by a
majority of 131 to 9, passed a resolution to the following effect:

_Resolved_, That the President of the United States be requested to
enter upon and prosecute from time to time such negotiations with the
several maritime powers of Europe and America as he may deem expedient
for the effectual abolition of the African slave trade and its ultimate
denunciation as piracy under the law of nations, by the consent of the
civilized world.

By the act of Congress above referred to, whereby the most effectual
means that could be devised were adopted for the extirpation of the
slave trade, the wish of the United States was explicitly declared, that
all nations might concur in a similar policy. It could only be by such
concurrence that the great object could be accomplished, and it was by
negotiation and treaty alone that such concurrence could be obtained,
commencing with one power and extending it to others. The course,
therefore, which the Executive, who had concurred in the act, had to
pursue was distinctly marked out for it. Had there, however, been any
doubt respecting it, the resolution of the House of Representatives,
the branch which might with strict propriety express its opinion, could
not fail to have removed it.

By the tenth article of the treaty of peace between the United States
and Great Britain, concluded at Ghent, it was stipulated that both
parties should use their best endeavors to accomplish the abolition
of the African slave trade. This object has been accordingly pursued
by both Governments with great earnestness, by separate acts of
legislation, and by negotiation almost uninterrupted, with the purpose
of establishing a conceit between them in some measure which might
secure its accomplishment.

Great Britain in her negotiations with other powers had concluded
treaties with Spain, Portugal, and the Netherlands, in which, without
constituting the crime as piracy or classing it with crimes of that
denomination, the parties had conceded to the naval officers of each
other the right of search and capture of the vessels of either that
might be engaged in the slave trade, and had instituted courts
consisting of judges, subjects of both parties, for the trial of the
vessels so captured.

In the negotiations with the United States Great Britain had earnestly
and repeatedly pressed on them the adoption of similar provisions.
They had been resisted by the Executive on two grounds: One, that
the constitution of mixed tribunals was incompatible with their
Constitution; and the other, that the concession of the right of search
in time of peace for an offense not piratical would be repugnant to the
feelings of the nation and of dangerous tendency. The right of search is
the right of war of the belligerent toward the neutral. To extend it in
time of peace to any object whatever might establish a precedent which
might lead to others with some powers, and which, even if confined to
the instance specified, might be subject to great abuse.

Animated by an ardent desire to suppress this trade, the United States
took stronger ground by making it, by the act above referred to,
piratical, a measure more adequate to the end and free from many of
the objections applicable to the plan which had been proposed to them.
It is this alternative which the Executive, under the sanction and
injunctions above stated, offered to the British Government, and which
that Government has accepted. By making the crime piracy the right of
search attaches to the crime, and which when adopted by all nations will
be common to all; and that it will be so adopted may fairly be presumed
if steadily persevered in by the parties to the present convention. In
the meantime, and with a view to a fair experiment, the obvious course
seems to be to carry into effect with every power such treaty as may be
made with each in succession.

In presenting this alternative to the British Government it was made
an indispensable condition that the trade should be made piratical
by act of Parliament, as it had been by an act of Congress. This was
provided for in the convention, and has since been complied with. In
this respect, therefore, the nations rest on the same ground. Suitable
provisions have also been adopted to protect each party from the abuse
of the power granted to the public ships of the other. Instead of
subjecting the persons detected in the slave trade to trial by the
courts of the captors, as would be the case if such trade was piracy by
the laws of nations, it is stipulated that until that event they shall
be tried by the courts of their own country only. Hence there could be
no motive for an abuse of the right of search, since such abuse could
not fail to terminate to the injury of the captor.

Should this convention be adopted, there is every reason to believe
that it will be the commencement of a system destined to accomplish the
entire abolition of the slave trade. Great Britain, by making it her
own, confessedly adopted at the suggestion of the United States, and
being pledged to propose and urge its adoption by other nations in
concert with the United States, will find it for her interest to abandon
the less-effective system of her previous treaties with Spain, Portugal,
and the Netherlands, and to urge on those and other powers their
accession to this. The crime will then be universally proscribed as
piracy, and the traffic be suppressed forever.

Other considerations of high importance urge the adoption of this
convention. We have at this moment pending with Great Britain sundry
other negotiations intimately connected with the welfare and even the
peace of our Union. In one of them nearly a third part of the territory
of the State of Maine is in contestation. In another the navigation of
the St. Lawrence, the admission of consuls into the British islands, and
a system of commercial intercourse between the United States and all the
British possessions in this hemisphere are subjects of discussion. In a
third our territorial and other rights upon the northwest coast are to
be adjusted, while a negotiation on the same interest is opened with
Russia. In a fourth all the most important controvertible points of
maritime law in time of war are brought under consideration, and in
the fifth the whole system of South American concerns, connected with
a general recognition of South American independence, may again from
hour to hour become, as it has already been, an object of concerted
operations of the highest interest to both nations and to the peace
of the world.

It can not be disguised that the rejection of this convention can not
fail to have a very injurious influence on the good understanding
between the two Governments on all these points. That it would place
the Executive Administration under embarrassment, and subject it, the
Congress, and the nation to the charge of insincerity respecting the
great result of the final suppression of the slave trade, and that
its first and indispensable consequence will be to constrain the
Executive to suspend all further negotiation with every European and
American power to which overtures have been made in compliance with the
resolution of the House of Representatives of 28th February, 1823, must
be obvious. To invite all nations, with the statute of piracy in our
hands, to adopt its principles as the law of nations and yet to deny
to all the common right of search for the pirate, whom it would be
impossible to detect without entering and searching the vessel, would
expose us not simply to the charge of inconsistency.

It must be obvious that the restriction of search for pirates to the
African coast is incompatible with the idea of such a crime. It is
not doubted also if the convention is adopted that no example of the
commission of that crime by the citizens or subjects of either power
will ever occur again. It is believed, therefore, that this right as
applicable to piracy would not only extirpate the trade, but prove
altogether innocent in its operation.

In further illustration of the views of Congress on this subject, I
transmit to the Senate extracts from two resolutions of the House of
Representatives, one of the 9th February, 1821, the other of 12th April,
1822. I transmit also a letter from the charge d'affaires of the British
Government, which shows the deep interest which that Government takes
in the ratification of the treaty.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON CITY, _May 22, 1824_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I transmit to the House of Representatives a report of the Secretary of
the Navy, in compliance with their resolution of the 14th of April last,
respecting prize agents, which report contains the information
requested.

JAMES MONROE.

MAY 24, 1824.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of the
13th instant, requesting the President to communicate any information
he may possess in relation to the intercourse and trade now carried on
between the people of the United States (and particularly the people
of the State of Missouri) and the Mexican Provinces, how and by what
route that trade or intercourse is carried on, in what it consists, the
distances, etc., the nations of Indians through which it passes, their
dispositions, whether pacific or otherwise, the advantages resulting or
likely to result from that trade or intercourse, I herewith transmit
a communication from the Department of State, which contains all the
information which has yet been collected in relation to those subjects.

JAMES MONROE.

MAY 24, 1824.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the 20th instant, I transmit
herewith to the House of Representatives a report of David Shriver,
superintendent of the Cumberland road, stating the manner in which the
appropriation made at the last session for the repair of that road has
been expended, and also the present condition of the road.

JAMES MONROE.

EIGHTH ANNUAL MESSAGE.

WASHINGTON, _December 7, 1824_.

_Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and of the House of Representatives_:

The view which I have now to present to you of our affairs, foreign and
domestic, realizes the most sanguine anticipations which have been
entertained of the public prosperity. If we look to the whole, our
growth as a nation continues to be rapid beyond example; if to the
States which compose it, the same gratifying spectacle is exhibited.
Our expansion over the vast territory within our limits has been
great, without indicating any decline in those sections from which the
emigration has been most conspicuous. We have daily gained strength by
a native population in every quarter--a population devoted to our happy
system of government and cherishing the bond of union with fraternal
affection. Experience has already shewn that the difference of climate
and of industry, proceeding from that cause, inseparable from such vast
domains, and which under other systems might have a repulsive tendency,
can not fail to produce with us under wise regulations the opposite
effect. What one portion wants the other may supply; and this will be
most sensibly felt by the parts most distant from each other, forming
thereby a domestic market and an active intercourse between the extremes
and throughout every portion of our Union. Thus by a happy distribution
of power between the National and State Governments, Governments which
rest exclusively on the sovereignty of the people and are fully adequate
to the great purposes for which they were respectively instituted,
causes which might otherwise lead to dismemberment operate powerfully
to draw us closer together. In every other circumstance a correct view
of the actual state of our Union must be equally gratifying to our
constituents. Our relations with foreign powers are of a friendly
character, although certain interesting differences remain unsettled
with some. Our revenue under the mild system of impost and tonnage
continues to be adequate to all the purposes of the Government Our
agriculture, commerce, manufactures, and navigation flourish. Our
fortifications are advancing in the degree authorized by existing
appropriations to maturity, and due progress is made in the augmentation
of the Navy to the limit prescribed for it by law. For these blessings
we owe to Almighty God, from whom we derive them, and with profound
reverence, our most grateful and unceasing acknowledgments.

In adverting to our relations with foreign powers, which are always
an object of the highest importance, I have to remark that of the
subjects which have been brought into discussion with them during the
present Administration some have been satisfactorily terminated, others
have been suspended, to be resumed hereafter under circumstances more
favorable to success, and others are still in negotiation, with the hope
that they may be adjusted with mutual accommodation to the interests
and to the satisfaction of the respective parties. It has been the
invariable object of this Government to cherish the most friendly
relations with every power, and on principles and conditions which might
make them permanent. A systematic effort has been made to place our
commerce with each power on a footing of perfect reciprocity, to settle
with each in a spirit of candor and liberality all existing differences,
and to anticipate and remove so far as it might be practicable all
causes of future variance.

It having been stipulated by the seventh article of the convention of
navigation and commerce which was concluded on the 24th of June, 1822,
between the United States and France, that the said convention should
continue in force for two years from the 1st of October of that year,
and for an indefinite term afterwards, unless one of the parties should
declare its intention to renounce it, in which event it should cease
to operate at the end of six months from such declaration, and no
such intention having been announced, the convention having been
found advantageous to both parties, it has since remained, and still
remains, in force. At the time when that convention was concluded many
interesting subjects were left unsettled, and particularly our claim to
indemnity for spoliations which were committed on our commerce in the
late wars. For these interests and claims it was in the contemplation
of the parties to make provision at a subsequent day by a more
comprehensive and definitive treaty. The object has been duly attended
to since by the Executive, but as yet it has not been accomplished. It
is hoped that a favorable opportunity will present itself for opening
a negotiation which may embrace and arrange all existing differences
and every other concern in which they have a common interest upon the
accession of the present King of France, an event which has occurred
since the close of the last session of Congress.

Book of the day: