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

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REPLY OF THE PRESIDENT.

GENTLEMEN: These assurances of favorable attention to the subjects
I have recommended and of entire confidence in my views make the
impression on me which I ought to feel. I thank you for them both, and
shall continue to rely much for the success of all our measures for the
public good on the aid they will receive from the wisdom and integrity
of your councils.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

DECEMBER 13, 1790.

ADDRESS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TO GEORGE WASHINGTON, PRESIDENT
OF THE UNITED STATES.

SIR: The Representatives of the people of the United States have taken
into consideration your address to the two Houses at the opening of the
present session of Congress.

We share in the satisfaction inspired by the prospects which continue to
be so auspicious to our public affairs. The blessings resulting from the
smiles of Heaven on our agriculture, the rise of public credit, with the
further advantages promised by it, and the fertility of resources which
are found so little burdensome to the community, fully authorize our
mutual congratulations on the present occasion. Nor can we learn without
an additional gratification that the energy of the laws for providing
adequate revenues have been so honorably seconded by those classes of
citizens whose patriotism and probity were more immediately concerned.

The success of the loan opened in Holland, under the disadvantages of
the present moment, is the more important, as it not only denotes the
confidence already placed in the United States, but as the effect of a
judicious application of that aid will still further illustrate the
solidity of the foundation on which the public credit rests.

The preparatory steps taken by the State of Virginia, in concert with
the district of Kentucky, toward the erection of the latter into a
distinct member of the Union exhibit a liberality mutually honorable to
the parties. We shall bestow on this important subject the favorable
consideration which it merits, and, with the national policy which ought
to govern our decision, shall not fail to mingle the affectionate
sentiments which are awakened by those expressed on behalf of our
fellow-citizens of Kentucky.

Whilst we regret the necessity which has produced offensive hostilities
against some of the Indian tribes northwest of the Ohio, we sympathize
too much with our Western brethren not to behold with approbation the
watchfulness and vigor which have been exerted by the executive
authority for their protection, and which we trust will make the
aggressors sensible that it is their interest to merit by a peaceable
behavior the friendship and humanity which the United States are always
ready to extend to them.

The encouragement of our own navigation has at all times appeared to us
highly important. The point of view under which you have recommended
it to us is strongly enforced by the actual state of things in Europe.
It will be incumbent on us to consider in what mode our commerce and
agriculture can be best relieved from an injurious dependence on the
navigation of other nations, which the frequency of their wars renders
a too precarious resource for conveying the productions of our country
to market.

The present state of our trade to the Mediterranean seems not less to
demand, and will accordingly receive, the attention which you have
recommended.

Having already concurred in establishing a judiciary system which opens
the doors of justice to all, without distinction of persons, it will be
our disposition to incorporate every improvement which experience may
suggest. And we shall consider in particular how far the uniformity
which in other cases is found convenient in the administration of the
General Government through all the States may be introduced into the
forms and rules of executing sentences issuing from the Federal courts.

The proper regulation of the jurisdiction and functions which may be
exercised by consuls of the United States in foreign countries, with the
provisions stipulated to those of His Most Christian Majesty established
here, are subjects of too much consequence to the public interest and
honor not to partake of our deliberations.

We shall renew our attention to the establishment of the militia and the
other subjects unfinished at the last session, and shall proceed in them
with all the dispatch which the magnitude of all and the difficulty of
some of them will allow.

Nothing has given us more satisfaction than to find that the revenues
heretofore established have proved adequate to the purposes to which
they were allotted. In extending the provision to the residuary objects
it will be equally our care to secure sufficiency and punctuality in the
payments due from the Treasury of the United States. We shall also never
lose sight of the policy of diminishing the public debt as fast as the
increase of the public resources will permit, and are particularly
sensible of the many considerations which press a resort to the
auxiliary resource furnished by the public lands.

In pursuing every branch of the weighty business of the present session
it will be our constant study to direct our deliberations to the public
welfare. Whatever our success may be, we can at least answer for the
fervent love of our country, which ought to animate our endeavors.
In your cooperation we are sure of a resource which fortifies our
hopes that the fruits of the established Government will justify the
confidence which has been placed in it, and recommend it more and more
to the affection and attachment of our fellow-citizens.

DECEMBER 11, 1790.

REPLY OF THE PRESIDENT.

GENTLEMEN: The sentiments expressed in your address are entitled to my
particular acknowledgment.

Having no object but the good of our country, this testimony of
approbation and confidence from its immediate Representatives must be
among my best rewards, as the support of your enlightened patriotism has
been among my greatest encouragements. Being persuaded that you will
continue to be actuated by the same auspicious principle, I look forward
to the happiest consequences from your deliberations during the present
session.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

DECEMBER 13, 1790.

SPECIAL MESSAGES.

UNITED STATES, _December 23, 1790_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Representatives_:

It appearing by the report of the secretary of the government northwest
of the Ohio that there are certain cases respecting grants of land
within that territory which require the interference of the Legislature
of the United States, I have directed a copy of said report and the
papers therein referred to to be laid before you, together with a copy
of the report of the Secretary of State upon the same subject.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

UNITED STATES, _December 30, 1790_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I lay before you a report of the Secretary of State on the subject of
the citizens of the United States in captivity at Algiers, that you may
provide on their behalf what to you shall seem most expedient.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

UNITED STATES, _January 3, 1791_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I lay before you a copy of an exemplified copy of an act passed by the
legislature of the State of New Jersey for vesting in the United States
of America the jurisdiction of a lot of land at Sandy Hook, in the
county of Monmouth, and a copy of a letter which accompanied said act,
from the governor of the State of New Jersey to the President of the
United States.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

UNITED STATES, _January 17, 1791_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I lay before you an official statement of the appropriation of $10,000,
granted to defray the contingent expenses of Government by an act of the
26th March, 1790.

A copy of two resolutions of the legislature of Virginia, and a petition
of sundry officers and assignees of officers and soldiers of the
Virginia line on continental establishment, on the subject of bounty
lands allotted to them on the northwest side of the Ohio; and

A copy of an act of the legislature of Maryland to empower the wardens
of the port of Baltimore to levy and collect the duty therein mentioned.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

UNITED STATES, _January 17, 1791_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate_:

I lay before you a letter from His Most Christian Majesty, addressed to
the President and Members of Congress of the United States of America.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

_To our very dear friends and allies, the President and Members of
the General Congress of the United States of North America_.

VERY DEAR GREAT FRIENDS AND ALLIES: We have received the letter by which
you inform us of the new mark of confidence that you have shown to
Mr. Jefferson, and which puts a period to his appointment of minister
plenipotentiary at our Court.

The manner in which he conducted during his residence with us has
merited our esteem and entire approbation, and it is with pleasure that
we now give him this testimony of it.

It is with the most sincere pleasure that we embrace this opportunity of
renewing these assurances of regard and friendship which we feel for the
United States in general and for each of them in particular. Under their
influence we pray God that He will keep you, very dear friends and
allies, under His holy and beneficent protection.

Done at Paris this 11th September, 1790.

Your good friend and ally,

LOUIS.

MONTMORIN. [SEAL.]

The UNITED STATES OF NORTH AMERICA.

UNITED STATES, _January 10, 1791_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate_:

I lay before you a representation of the charge d'affaires of France,
made by order of his Court, on the acts of Congress of the 20th of
July, 1789 and 1790, imposing an extra tonnage on foreign vessels,
not excepting those of that country, together with the report of
the Secretary of State thereon, and I recommend the same to your
consideration, that I may be enabled to give to it such answer as may
best comport with the justice and the interests of the United States.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

DOCUMENTS.

JANUARY 18, 1791.

The Secretary of State having received from the charge d'affaires of
France a note on the tonnage payable by French vessels in the ports of
the United States, has had the same under his consideration, and
thereupon makes the following report to the President of the United
States:

The charge d'affaires of France, by a note of the 13th of December,
represents, by order of his Court, that they consider so much of the
acts of Congress of July 20, 1789 and 1790, as imposes an extraordinary
tonnage on foreign vessels without excepting those of France, to be in
contravention of the fifth article of the treaty of amity and commerce
between the two nations; that this would have authorized on their
part a proportional modification in the favors granted to the American
navigation, but that his Sovereign had thought it more conformable to
his principles of friendship and attachment to the United States to
order him to make representations thereon, and to ask in favor of French
vessels a modification of the acts which impose an extraordinary tonnage
on foreign vessels.

The Secretary of State, in giving in this paper to the President of the
United States, thinks it his duty to accompany it with the following
observations:

The third and fourth articles of the treaty of amity and commerce
between France and the United States subject the vessels of each nation
to pay in the ports of the other only such duties as are paid by the
most favored nation, and give them reciprocally all the privileges and
exemptions in navigation and commerce which are given by either to the
most favored nations. Had the contracting parties stopped here, they
would have been free to raise or lower their tonnage as they should find
it expedient, only taking care to keep the other on the footing of the
most favored nation. The question, then, is whether the fifth article
cited in the note is anything more than an application of the principle
comprised in the third and fourth to a particular object, or whether it
is an additional stipulation of something not so comprised.

I. That it is merely an application of a principle comprised in the
preceding articles is declared by the express words of the article, to
wit: "_Dans l'exemption ci-dessus est nommement compris_," etc., "_in
the above exemption is particularly comprised_, the imposition of 100
sols per ton established in France on foreign vessels." Here, then, is
at once an express declaration that the exemption from the duty of 100
sols is _comprised_ in the third and fourth articles; that is to say,
it was one of the exemptions enjoyed by the most favored nations, and
as such extended to us by those articles. If the exemption spoken of in
this first member of the fifth article was _comprised_ in the third and
fourth articles, as is expressly declared, then the reservation by
France out of that exemption (which makes the second member of the same
article) _was also comprised_; that is to say, if _the whole_ was
comprised, _the part_ was comprised. And if this reservation of France
in the second member was comprised in the third and fourth articles,
then the counter reservation by the United States (which constitutes the
third and last member of the same article) was also comprised, because
it is but a corresponding portion of a similar whole on our part, which
had been comprised by the same terms with theirs.

In short, the whole article relates to a particular duty of 100 sols,
laid by some antecedent law of France on the vessels of foreign nations,
relinquished as to the most favored, and consequently to us. It is not a
new and additional stipulation, then, but a declared application of the
stipulations comprised in the preceding articles to a particular case by
way of greater caution.

The doctrine laid down generally in the third and fourth articles,
and exemplified specially in the fifth, amounts to this: "The vessels
of the most favored nations coming from foreign ports are exempted from
the duty of 100 sols; therefore you are exempted from it by the third
and fourth articles. The vessels of the most favored nations coming
coastwise pay that duty; therefore you are to pay it by the third and
fourth articles. We shall not think it unfriendly in you to lay a
like duty on coasters, because it will be no more than we have done
ourselves. You are free also to lay that or any other duty on vessels
coming from foreign ports, provided they apply to all other nations,
even the most favored. We are free to do the same under the same
restriction. Our exempting you from a duty which the most favored
nations do not pay does not exempt you from one which they do pay."

In this view, it is evident that the fifth article neither enlarges
nor abridges the stipulations of the third and fourth. The effect of
the treaty would have been precisely the same had it been omitted
altogether; consequently it may be truly said that the reservation by
the United States in this article is completely useless. And it may be
added with equal truth that the equivalent reservation by France is
completely useless, as well as her previous abandonment of the same
duty, and, in short, the whole article. Each party, then, remains free
to raise or lower its tonnage, provided the change operates on all
nations, even the most favored.

Without undertaking to affirm, we may obviously conjecture that this
article has been inserted on the part of the United States from an
overcaution to guard, _nommement, by name_, against a particular
aggrievance, which they thought they could never be too well secured
against; and that has happened which generally happens--doubts have been
produced by the too great number of words used to prevent doubt.

II. The Court of France, however, understands this article as intended
to introduce something to which the preceding articles had not reached,
and not merely as an application of them to a particular case. Their
opinion seems to be founded on the general rule in the construction of
instruments, to leave no words merely useless for which any rational
meaning can be found. They say that the reservation by the United States
of a right to lay a duty equivalent to that of the 100 sols, reserved
by France, would have been completely useless if they were left free
by the preceding articles to lay a tonnage to any extent whatever;
consequently, that the reservation of a part proves a relinquishment
of the residue.

If some meaning, and such a one, is to be given to the last member
of the article, some meaning, and a similar one, must be given to the
corresponding member. If the reservation by the United States of a right
to lay an equivalent duty implies a relinquishment of their right to
lay any other, the reservation by France of a right to continue the
specified duty to which it is an equivalent must imply a relinquishment
of the right on her part to lay or continue any other. Equivalent
reservations by both must imply equivalent restrictions on both.
The exact reciprocity stipulated in the preceding articles, and which
pervades every part of the treaty, insures a counter right to each
party for every right ceded to the other.

Let it be further considered that the duty called _tonnage_ in the
United States is in lieu of the duties for anchorage, for the support of
buoys, beacons, and light-houses, to guide the mariner into harbor and
along the coast, which are provided and supported at the expense of the
United States, and for fees to measurers, weighers, gangers, etc., who
are paid by the United States, for which articles, among many others
(light-house money excepted), duties are paid by us in the ports of
France under their specific names. That Government has hitherto thought
these duties consistent with the treaty, and consequently the same
duties under a general instead of specific names, with us, must be
equally consistent with it. It is not the name, but the thing, which is
essential. If we have renounced the right to lay any port duties, they
must be understood to have equally renounced that of either laying new
or continuing the old. If we ought to refund the port duties received
from their vessels since the date of the act of Congress, they should
refund the port duties they have received from our vessels since the
date of the treaty, for nothing short of this is the reciprocity of
the treaty.

If this construction be adopted, then each party has forever renounced
the right of laying any duties on the vessels of the other coming from
any foreign port, or more than 100 sols on those coming coastwise. Could
this relinquishment be confined to the two contracting parties alone,
the United States would be the gainers, for it is well known that a much
greater number of American than of French vessels are employed in the
commerce between the two countries; but the exemption once conceded by
the one nation to the other becomes immediately the property of all
others who are on the footing of the most favored nations. It is true
that those others would be obliged to yield the same compensation, that
is to say, to receive our vessels duty free. Whether we should gain or
lose in the exchange of the measure with them is not easy to say.

Another consequence of this construction will be that the vessels of the
most favored nations paying no duties will be on a better footing than
those of natives which pay a moderate duty; consequently either the duty
on these also must be given up or they will be supplanted by foreign
vessels in our own ports.

The resource, then, of duty on vessels for the purposes either of
revenue or regulation will be forever lost to both. It is hardly
conceivable that either party looking forward to all these consequences
would see their interest in them.

III. But if France persists in claiming this exemption, what is to
be done? The claim, indeed, is couched in mild and friendly terms;
but the idea leaks out that a refusal would authorize them to modify
proportionally the favors granted by the same article to our navigation.
Perhaps they may do what we should feel much more severely, they may
turn their eyes to the favors granted us by their arrets of December 29,
1787, and December 7, 1788, which hang on their will alone, unconnected
with the treaty. Those arrets, among other advantages, admit our whale
oils to the exclusion of that of all other foreigners. And this monopoly
procures a vent for seven-twelfths of the produce of that fishery, which
experience has taught us could find no other market. Near two-thirds of
the produce of our cod fisheries, too, have lately found a free vent in
the colonies of France. This, indeed, has been an irregularity growing
out of the anarchy reigning in those colonies. Yet the demands of the
colonists, even of the Government party among them (if an auxiliary
disposition can be excited by some marks of friendship and distinction
on our part), may perhaps produce a constitutional concession to them
to procure their provisions at the cheapest market; that is to say,
at ours.

Considering the value of the interests we have at stake and
considering the smallness of difference between foreign and native
tonnage on French vessels alone, it might perhaps be thought advisable
to make the sacrifice asked, and especially if it can be so done as
to give no title to other the most favored nations to claim it. If the
act should put French vessels on the footing of those of natives, and
declare it to be in consideration of the favors granted us by the arrets
of December 29, 1787, and December 7, 1788 (and perhaps this would
satisfy them), no nation could then demand the same favor without
offering an equivalent compensation. It might strengthen, too, the
tenure by which those arrets are held, which must be precarious so
long as they are gratuitous.

It is desirable in many instances to exchange mutual advantages by
legislative acts rather than by treaty, because the former, though
understood to be in consideration of each other, and therefore greatly
respected, yet when they become too inconvenient can be dropped at
the will of either party; whereas stipulations by treaty are forever
irrevocable but by joint consent, let a change of circumstances render
them ever so burdensome.

On the whole, if it be the opinion that the first construction is to be
insisted on as ours, in opposition to the second urged by the Court of
France, and that no relaxation is to be admitted, an answer shall be
given to that Court defending that construction, and explaining in as
friendly terms as possible the difficulties opposed to the exemption
they claim.

2. If it be the opinion that it is advantageous for us to close with
France in her interpretation of a reciprocal and perpetual exemption
from tonnage, a repeal of so much of the tonnage law will be the answer.

3. If it be thought better to waive rigorous and nice discussions of
right and to make the modification an act of friendship and of
compensation for favors received, the passage of such a bill will then
be the answer.

TH. JEFFERSON.

[Translation.]

_L.G. Otto to the Secretary of State_.

PHILADELPHIA, _December 13, 1790_.

SIR: During the long stay you made in France you had opportunities of
being satisfied of the favorable dispositions of His Majesty to render
permanent the ties that united the two nations and to give stability to
the treaties of alliance and of commerce which form the basis of this
union. These treaties were so well maintained by the Congress formed
under the ancient Confederation that they thought it their duty to
interpose their authority whenever any laws made by individual States
appeared to infringe their stipulations, and particularly in 1785,
when the States of New Hampshire and of Massachusetts had imposed an
extraordinary tonnage on foreign vessels without exempting those of the
French nation. The reflections that I have the honor to address to you
in the subjoined note being founded on the same principles, I flatter
myself that they will merit on the part of the Government of the United
States the most serious attention.

I am, with respect, etc.,

L.G. OTTO.

[Translation.]

_L.G. Otto to the Secretary of State_.

PHILADELPHIA, _December 13, 1790_.

NOTE.--The underwritten, charge d'affaires of France, has received the
express order of his Court to represent to the United States that the
act passed by Congress the 20th July, 1789, and renewed the 20th July
of the present year, which imposes an extraordinary tonnage on foreign
vessels without excepting French vessels, is directly contrary to the
spirit and to the object of the treaty of commerce which unites the two
nations, and of which His Majesty has not only scrupulously observed the
tenor, but of which he has extended the advantages by many regulations
very favorable to the commerce and navigation of the United States.

By the fifth article of this treaty the citizens of these States are
declared exempt from the tonnage duty imposed in France on foreign
vessels, and they are not subject to that duty but in the coasting
business. Congress has reserved the privilege of establishing _a duty
equivalent to this last_, a stipulation founded on the state in which
matters were in America at the time of the signature of the treaty.
There did not exist at that epoch any duty on tonnage in the United
States.

It is evident that it was the nonexistence of this duty and the motive
of a perfect reciprocity stipulated in the preamble of the treaty that
had determined the King to grant the exemption contained in the article
fifth; and a proof that Congress had no intention to contravene this
reciprocity is that _it only reserves a privilege of establishing on the
coasting business a duty equivalent to that which is levied in France_.
This reservation would have been completely useless if by the words of
the treaty Congress thought themselves at liberty to lay _any_ tonnage
they should think proper on French vessels.

The undersigned has the honor to observe that this contravention of
the fifth article of the treaty of commerce might have authorized
His Majesty to modify proportionately the favors granted by the same
article to the American navigation; but the King, always faithful to
the principles of friendship and attachment to the United States, and
desirous of strengthening more and more the ties which subsist so
happily between the French nation and these States, thinks it
more conformable to these views to order the undersigned to make
representations on this subject, and to ask in favor of French vessels
a modification of the act which imposes an extraordinary tonnage on
foreign vessels. His Majesty does not doubt but that the United States
will acknowledge the justice of this claim, and will be disposed to
restore things to the footing on which they were at the signature of
the treaty of the 6th February, 1778.

L.G. OTTO.

[Translation.]

_L.G. Otto to the Secretary of State_.

NEW YORK, _January 8, 1791_.

His Excellency M. JEFFERSON,

_Secretary of State_.

SIR: I have the honor herewith to send you a letter from the King to
Congress, and one which M. de Montmorin has written to yourself. You
will find therein the sincere sentiments with which you have inspired
our Government, and the regret of the minister in not having a more near
relation of correspondence with you. In these every person who has had
the advantage of knowing you in France participates.

At the same time, it gives me pain, sir, to be obliged to announce to
you that the complaints of our merchants on the subject of the tonnage
duty increase, and that they have excited not only the attention of the
King but that of several departments of the Kingdom. I have received new
orders to request of the United States a decision on this matter and
to solicit in favor of the aggrieved merchants the restitution of the
duties which have already been paid. I earnestly beg of you, sir, not to
lose sight of an object which, as I have already had the honor to tell
you verbally, is of the greatest importance for cementing the future
commercial connections between the two nations.

In more particularly examining this question you will perhaps find that
motives of convenience are as powerful as those of justice to engage the
United States to give to His Majesty the satisfaction which he requires.
At least twice as many American vessels enter the ports of France as do
those of France the ports of America. The exemption of the tonnage of
duty, then, is evidently less advantageous for the French than for the
navigators of the United States. Be this as it may, I can assure you,
sir, that the delay of a decision in this respect by augmenting the just
complaints of the French merchants will only augment the difficulties.

I therefore beg of you to enable me before the sailing of the packet,
which will take place toward the last of this month, to give to my Court
a satisfactory answer.

I have the honor to be, etc.,

L.G. OTTO.

UNITED STATES, _January 24, 1791_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I lay before you a statement relative to the frontiers of the United
States, which has been submitted to me by the Secretary for the
Department of War.

I rely upon your wisdom to make such arrangements as may be essential
for the preservation of good order and the effectual protection of the
frontiers.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

UNITED STATES, _January 24, 1791_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Representatives_:

In execution of the powers with which Congress were pleased to invest
me by their act entitled "An act for establishing the temporary and
permanent seat of Government of the United States," and on mature
consideration of the advantages and disadvantages of the several
positions within the limits prescribed by the said act, I have by
a proclamation bearing date this day (a copy of which is herewith
transmitted) directed commissioners, appointed in pursuance of the act,
to survey and limit a part of the territory of 10 miles square on both
sides of the river Potomac, so as to comprehend Georgetown, in Maryland,
and extend to the Eastern Branch.

I have not by this first act given to the said territory the whole
extent of which it is susceptible in the direction of the river, because
I thought it important that Congress should have an opportunity of
considering whether by an amendatory law they would authorize the
location of the residue at the lower end of the present, so as to
comprehend the Eastern Branch itself and some of the country on its
lower side, in the State of Maryland, and the town of Alexandria, in
Virginia. If, however, they are of opinion that the Federal territory
should be bounded by the water edge of the Eastern Branch, the location
of the residue will be to be made at the upper end of what is now
directed.

I have thought best to await a survey of the territory before it is
decided on what particular spot on the northeastern side of the river
the public buildings shall be erected.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

UNITED STATES, _January 26, 1791_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I lay before you the copy of a letter from the President of the
National Assembly of France to the President of the United States,
and of a decree of that Assembly, which was transmitted with the
above-mentioned letter.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

UNITED STATES, _January 27, 1791_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Representatives_:

In order that you may be fully informed of the situation of the
frontiers and the prospect of hostility in that quarter, I lay before
you the intelligence of some recent depredations, received since my
message to you upon this subject of the 24th instant.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

UNITED STATES, _February 9, 1791_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I have received from the governor of Vermont authentic documents,
expressing the consent of the legislatures of New York and of the
Territory of Vermont that the said Territory shall be admitted to be a
distinct member of our Union; and a memorial of Nathaniel Chipman and
Lewis R. Morris, commissioners from the said Territory, praying the
consent of Congress to that admission, by the name and style of the
State of Vermont, copies of which I now lay before Congress, with
whom the Constitution has vested the object of these proceedings.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

UNITED STATES, _February 14, 1791_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Representatives_:

Soon after I was called to the administration of the Government I found
it important to come to an understanding with the Court of London on
several points interesting to the United States, and particularly to
know whether they were disposed to enter into arrangements by mutual
consent which might fix the commerce between the two nations on
principles of reciprocal advantage. For this purpose I authorized
informal conferences with their ministers, and from these I do not infer
any disposition on their part to enter into any arrangements merely
commercial. I have thought it proper to give you this information, as it
might at some time have influence on matters under your consideration.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

UNITED STATES, _February 14, 1791_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate_:

Conceiving that in the possible event of a refusal of justice on the
part of Great Britain we should stand less committed should it be made
to a private rather than to a public person, I employed Mr. Gouverneur
Morris, who was on the spot, and without giving him any definite
character, to enter informally into the conferences before mentioned.
For your more particular information I lay before you the instructions
I gave him and those parts of his communications wherein the British
ministers appear either in conversation or by letter. These are two
letters from the Duke of Leeds to Mr. Morris, and three letters of Mr.
Morris giving an account of two conferences with the Duke of Leeds and
one with him and Mr. Pitt. The sum of these is that they declare without
scruple they do not mean to fulfill what remains of the treaty of peace
to be fulfilled on their part (by which we are to understand the
delivery of the posts and payment for property carried off) till
performance on our part, and compensation where the delay has rendered
the performance now impracticable; that on the subject of a treaty of
commerce they avoided direct answers, so as to satisfy Mr. Morris they
did not mean to enter into one unless it could be extended to a treaty
of alliance offensive and defensive, or unless in the event of a rupture
with Spain.

As to the sending a minister here, they made excuses at the first
conference, seemed disposed to it in the second, and in the last express
an intention of so doing.

Their views being thus sufficiently ascertained, I have directed
Mr. Morris to discontinue his communications with them.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

UNITED STATES, _February 18, 1791_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate_:

The aspect of affairs in Europe during the last summer, and especially
between Spain and England, gave reason to expect a favorable occasion
for pressing to accommodation the unsettled matters between them and us.
Mr. Carmichael, our charge d'affaires at Madrid, having been long absent
from his country, great changes having taken place in our circumstances
and sentiments during that interval, it was thought expedient to send
some person, in a private character, fully acquainted with the present
state of things here, to be the bearer of written and confidential
instructions to him, and at the same time to possess him in full and
frequent conversations of all those details of facts and topics of
argument which could not be conveyed in writing, but which would be
necessary to enable him to meet the reasonings of that Court with
advantage. Colonel David Humphreys was therefore sent for these
purposes.

An additional motive for this confidential mission arose in the same
quarter. The Court of Lisbon had on several occasions made the most
amicable advances for cultivating friendship and intercourse with
the United States. The exchange of a diplomatic character had been
informally, but repeatedly, suggested on their part. It was our interest
to meet this nation in its friendly dispositions and to concur in the
exchange proposed. But my wish was at the same time that the character
to be exchanged should be of the lowest and most economical grade. To
this it was known that certain rules of long standing at that Court
would produce obstacles. Colonel Humphreys was charged with dispatches
to the prime minister of Portugal and with instructions to endeavor to
arrange this to our views. It happened, however, that previous to his
arrival at Lisbon the Queen had appointed a minister _resident_ to the
United States. This embarrassment seems to have rendered the difficulty
completely insurmountable. The minister of that Court in his conferences
with Colonel Humphreys, professing every wish to accommodate, yet
expresses his regrets that circumstances do not permit them to concur
in the grade of charge d'affaires, a grade of little privilege or
respectability by the rules of their Court and held in so low estimation
with them that no proper character would accept it to go abroad. In a
letter to the Secretary of State he expresses the same sentiments, and
announces the appointment on their part of a minister _resident_ to
the United States, and the pleasure with which the Queen will receive
one from us at her Court. A copy of his letter, and also of Colonel
Humphreys's giving the details of this transaction, will be delivered
to you.

On consideration of all circumstances I have determined to accede to
the desire of the Court of Lisbon in the article of grade. I am aware
that the consequences will not end here, and that this is not the
only instance in which a like change may be pressed. But should it be
necessary to yield elsewhere also, I shall think it a less evil than
to disgust a government so friendly and so interesting to us as that
of Portugal.

I do not mean that the change of grade shall render the mission more
expensive.

I have therefore nominated David Humphreys minister resident from the
United States to Her Most Faithful Majesty the Queen of Portugal.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

UNITED STATES, _February 22, 1791_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate_:

I will proceed to take measures for the ransom of our citizens in
captivity at Algiers, in conformity with your resolution of advice of
the 1st instant, so soon as the moneys necessary shall be appropriated
by the Legislature and shall be in readiness.

The recognition of our treaty with the new Emperor of Morocco requires
also previous appropriation and provision. The importance of this last
to the liberty and property of our citizens induces me to urge it on
your earliest attention.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

UNITED STATES, _February 23, 1791_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate_:

Information having been received from Thomas Auldjo, who was appointed
vice-consul of the United States at Cowes, in Great Britain, that his
commission has not been recognized by that Government because it is a
port at which no foreign consul has yet been received, and that it has
been intimated to him that his appointment to the port of Poole and
parts nearer to that than to the residence of any other consul of the
United States would be recognized and his residence at Cowes not
noticed, I have therefore thought it expedient to nominate Thomas Auldjo
to be vice-consul for the United States at the port of Poole, in Great
Britain, and such parts within the allegiance of His Britannic Majesty
as shall be nearer thereto than to the residence of any other consul or
vice-consul of the United States within the same allegiance.

I also nominate James Yard, of Pennsylvania, to be consul for the United
States in the island of Santa Cruz and such other parts within the
allegiance of His Danish Majesty as shall be nearer thereto than to the
residence of any other consul or vice-consul of the United States within
the same allegiance.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

UNITED STATES, _March 4, 1791_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate_:

The act for the admission of the State of Vermont into this Union having
fixed on this as the day of its admission, it was thought that this
would also be the first day on which any officer of the Union might
legally perform any act of authority relating to that State. I therefore
required your attendance to receive nominations of the several officers
necessary to put the Federal Government into motion in that State.[1]

For this purpose I nominate Nathaniel Chipman to be judge of the
district of Vermont; Stephen Jacobs to be attorney for the United
States in the district of Vermont; Lewis R. Morris to be marshal of
the district of Vermont, and Stephen Keyes to be collector of the port
of Allburgh, in the State of Vermont.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

UNITED STATES, _March 4, 1791_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate_:

Pursuant to the powers vested in me by the act entitled "An act
repealing after the last day of June next the duties heretofore laid
upon distilled spirits imported from abroad and laying others in their
stead, and also upon spirits distilled within the United States, and for
appropriating the same," I have thought fit to divide the United States
into the following districts, namely:

The district of New Hampshire, to consist of the State of New Hampshire;
the district of Massachusetts, to consist of the State of Massachusetts;
the district of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, to consist of
the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations; the district of
Connecticut, to consist of the State of Connecticut; the district of
Vermont, to consist of the State of Vermont; the district of New York,
to consist of the State of New York; the district of New Jersey, to
consist of the State of New Jersey; the district of Pennsylvania, to
consist of the State of Pennsylvania; the district of Delaware, to
consist of the State of Delaware; the district of Maryland, to consist
of the State of Maryland; the district of Virginia, to consist of the
State of Virginia; the district of North Carolina, to consist of the
State of North Carolina; the district of South Carolina, to consist of
the State of South Carolina; and the district of Georgia, to consist
of the State of Georgia.

And I hereby nominate as supervisors of the said districts,
respectively, the following persons, viz:

For the district of New Hampshire, Joshua Wentworth; for the district of
Massachusetts, Nathaniel Gorham; for the district of Rhode Island and
Providence Plantations, John S. Dexter; for the district of Connecticut,
John Chester; for the district of Vermont, Noah Smith; for the district
of New York, William S. Smith; for the district of New Jersey, Aaron
Dunham; for the district of Pennsylvania, George Clymer; for the
district of Delaware, Henry Latimer; for the district of Maryland,
George Gale; for the district of Virginia, Edward Carrington; for the
district of North Carolina, William Polk; for the district of South
Carolina, Daniel Stevens; for the district of Georgia, John Mathews.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

[Footnote 1: For proclamation convening Senate in extraordinary session
see p. 587.]

PROCLAMATIONS.

[From a broadside in the archives of the Department of State.]

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas the general assembly of the State of Maryland, by an act passed
on the 23d day of December, A.D. 1788, intituled "An act to cede to
Congress a district of 10 miles square in this State for the seat of the
Government of the United States," did enact that the Representatives of
the said State in the House of Representatives of the Congress of the
United States, appointed to assemble at New York on the first Wednesday
of March then next ensuing, should be, and they were thereby, authorized
and required on the behalf of the said State to cede to the Congress of
the United States any district in the said State not exceeding 10 miles
square which the Congress might fix upon and accept for the seat of
Government of the United States;

And the general assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia, by an act
passed on the 3d day of December, 1789, and intituled "An act for the
cession of 10 miles square, or any lesser quantity, of territory within
this State to the United States in Congress assembled, for the permanent
seat of the General Government," did enact that a tract of country not
exceeding 10 miles square, or any lesser quantity, to be located within
the limits of the said State, and in any part thereof, as Congress might
by law direct, should be, and the same was thereby, forever ceded and
relinquished to the Congress and Government of the United States, in
full and absolute right and exclusive jurisdiction, as well of soil as
of persons residing or to reside thereon, pursuant to the tenor and
effect of the eighth section of the first article of the Constitution
of Government of the United States;

And the Congress of the United States, by their act passed the 16th day
of July, 1790, and intituled "An act for establishing the temporary and
permanent seat of the Government of the United States," authorized the
President of the United States to appoint three commissioners to survey
under his direction and by proper metes and bounds to limit a district
of territory, not exceeding 10 miles square, on the river Potomac, at
some place between the mouths of the Eastern Branch and Connogocheque,
which district, so to be located and limited, was accepted by the said
act of Congress as the district for the permanent seat of the Government
of the United States:

Now, therefore, in pursuance of the powers to me confided, and after
duly examining and weighing the advantages and disadvantages of the
several situations within the limits aforesaid, I do hereby declare and
make known that the location of one part of the said district of 10
miles square shall be found by running four lines of experiment in the
following manner, that is to say: Running from the court-house of
Alexandria, in Virginia, due southwest half a mile, and thence a due
southeast course till it shall strike Hunting Creek, to fix the
beginning of the said four lines of experiment.

Then beginning the first of the said four lines of experiment at the
point on Hunting Creek where the said southeast course shall have struck
the same, and running the said first line due northwest 10 miles; thence
the second line into Maryland due northeast 10 miles; thence the third
line due southeast 10 miles, and thence the fourth line due southwest
10 miles to the beginning on Hunting Creek.

And the said four lines of experiment being so run, I do hereby
declare and make known that all that part within the said four lines
of experiment which shall be within the State of Maryland and above
the Eastern Branch, and all that part within the same four lines of
experiment which shall be within the Commonwealth of Virginia and above
a line to be run from the point of land forming the upper cape of the
mouth of the Eastern Branch due southwest, and no more, is now fixed
upon and directed to be surveyed, defined, limited, and located for a
part of the said district accepted by the said act of Congress for the
permanent seat of the Government of the United States (hereby expressly
reserving the direction of the survey and location of the remaining part
of the said district to be made hereafter contiguous to such part or
parts of the present location as is or shall be agreeable to law).

And I do accordingly direct the said commissioners, appointed agreeably
to the tenor of the said act, to proceed forthwith to run the said lines
of experiment, and the same being run, to survey and by proper metes
and bounds to define and limit the part within the same which is
hereinbefore directed for immediate location and acceptance, and
thereof to make due report to me under their hands and seals.

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

[SEAL.]

Done at the city of Philadelphia, the 24th day of January, A.D. 1791,
and of the Independence of the United States the fifteenth.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

By the President:
TH: JEFFERSON.

[From a broadside in the archives of the Department of State.]

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas it hath been represented to me that James O'Fallon is levying
an armed force in that part of the State of Virginia which is called
Kentucky, disturbs the public peace, and sets at defiance the treaties
of the United States with the Indian tribes, the act of Congress
intituled "An act to regulate trade and intercourse with the Indian
tribes," and my proclamations of the 14th and 26th days of August
last founded thereon; and it is my earnest desire that those who have
incautiously associated themselves with the said James O'Fallon may be
warned of their danger, I have therefore thought fit to publish this
proclamation, hereby declaring that all persons violating the treaties
and act aforesaid shall be prosecuted with the utmost rigor of the law.

And I do, moreover, require all officers of the United States whom it
may concern to use their best exertions to bring to justice any persons
offending in the premises.

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

[SEAL.]

Done at the city of Philadelphia, the 19th day of March, A.D. 1791,
and of the Independence of the United States the fifteenth.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

By the President:
TH: JEFFERSON.

[From the Washington Papers (Executive Proceedings), vol. 20, p. 191.]

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas by a proclamation bearing date the 24th day of January of this
present year, and in pursuance of certain acts of the States of Maryland
and Virginia and of the Congress of the United States, therein
mentioned, certain lines of experiment were directed to be run in the
neighborhood of Georgetown, in Maryland, for the purpose of determining
the location of a part of the territory of 10 miles square for the
permanent seat of the Government of the United States, and a certain
part was directed to be located within the said lines of experiment on
both sides of the Potomac and above the limit of the Eastern Branch
prescribed by the said act of Congress;

And Congress by an amendatory act passed on the 3d day of the present
month of March have given further authority to the President of the
United States "to make any part of the territory below the said limit
and above the mouth of Hunting Creek a part of the said district, so as
to include a convenient part of the Eastern Branch and of the lands
lying on the lower side thereof, and also the town of Alexandria":

Now, therefore, for the purpose of amending and completing the location
of the whole of the said territory of 10 miles square in conformity with
the said amendatory act of Congress, I do hereby declare and make known
that the whole of the said territory shall be located and included
within the four lines following, that is to say:

Beginning at Jones's Point, being the upper cape of Hunting Creek, in
Virginia, and at an angle in the outset of 45 degrees west of the north,
and running in a direct line 10 miles for the first line; then beginning
again at the same Jones's Point and running another direct line at a
right angle with the first across the Potomac 10 miles for the second
line; then from the termination of the said first and second lines
running two other direct lines of 10 miles each, the one crossing the
Eastern Branch aforesaid and the other the Potomac, and meeting each
other in a point.

And I do accordingly direct the commissioners named under the authority
of the said first-mentioned act of Congress to proceed forthwith to have
the said four lines run, and by proper metes and bounds defined and
limited, and thereof to make due report under their hands and seals; and
the territory so to be located, defined, and limited shall be the whole
territory accepted by the said acts of Congress as the district for the
permanent seat of the Government of the United States.

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

[SEAL.]

Done at Georgetown aforesaid, the 30th day of March, A.D. 1791, and of
the Independence of the United States the fifteenth.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

THIRD ANNUAL ADDRESS.

UNITED STATES, _October 25, 1791_.

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

I meet you upon the present occasion with the feelings which are
naturally inspired by a strong impression of the prosperous situation of
our common country, and by a persuasion equally strong that the labors
of the session which has just commenced will, under the guidance of a
spirit no less prudent than patriotic, issue in measures conducive to
the stability and increase of national prosperity.

Numerous as are the providential blessings which demand our grateful
acknowledgments, the abundance with which another year has again
rewarded the industry of the husbandman is too important to escape
recollection.

Your own observations in your respective situations will have satisfied
you of the progressive state of agriculture, manufactures, commerce,
and navigation. In tracing their causes you will have remarked with
particular pleasure the happy effects of that revival of confidence,
public as well as private, to which the Constitution and laws of the
United States have so eminently contributed; and you will have observed
with no less interest new and decisive proofs of the increasing
reputation and credit of the nation. But you nevertheless can not fail
to derive satisfaction from the confirmation of these circumstances
which will be disclosed in the several official communications that
will be made to you in the course of your deliberations.

The rapid subscriptions to the Bank of the United States, which
completed the sum allowed to be subscribed in a single day, is among
the striking and pleasing evidences which present themselves, not only
of confidence in the Government, but of resource in the community.

In the interval of your recess due attention has been paid to the
execution of the different objects which were specially provided for
by the laws and resolutions of the last session.

Among the most important of these is the defense and security of the
Western frontiers. To accomplish it on the most humane principles was
a primary wish.

Accordingly, at the same time that treaties have been provisionally
concluded and other proper means used to attach the wavering and to
confirm in their friendship the well-disposed tribes of Indians,
effectual measures have been adopted to make those of a hostile
description sensible that a pacification was desired upon terms of
moderation and justice.

Those measures having proved unsuccessful, it became necessary to
convince the refractory of the power of the United States to punish
their depredations. Offensive operations have therefore been directed,
to be conducted, however, as consistently as possible with the dictates
of humanity. Some of these have been crowned with full success and
others are yet depending. The expeditions which have been completed were
carried on under the authority and at the expense of the United States
by the militia of Kentucky, whose enterprise, intrepidity, and good
conduct are entitled to peculiar commendation.

Overtures of peace are still continued to the deluded tribes, and
considerable numbers of individuals belonging to them have lately
renounced all further opposition, removed from their former situations,
and placed themselves under the immediate protection of the United
States.

It is sincerely to be desired that all need of coercion in future may
cease and that an intimate intercourse may succeed, calculated to
advance the happiness of the Indians and to attach them firmly to
the United States.

In order to this it seems necessary--

That they should experience the benefits of an impartial dispensation
of justice.

That the mode of alienating their lands, the main source of discontent
and war, should be so defined and regulated as to obviate imposition and
as far as may be practicable controversy concerning the reality and
extent of the alienations which are made.

That commerce with them should be promoted under regulations tending
to secure an equitable deportment toward them, and that such rational
experiments should be made for imparting to them the blessings of
civilization as may from time to time suit their condition.

That the Executive of the United States should be enabled to employ the
means to which the Indians have been long accustomed for uniting their
immediate interests with the preservation of peace.

And that efficacious provision should be made for inflicting adequate
penalties upon all those who, by violating their rights, shall infringe
the treaties and endanger the peace of the Union.

A system corresponding with the mild principles of religion and
philanthropy toward an unenlightened race of men, whose happiness
materially depends on the conduct of the United States, would be as
honorable to the national character as conformable to the dictates of
sound policy.

The powers specially vested in me by the act laying certain duties on
distilled spirits; which respect the subdivisions of the districts
into surveys, the appointment of officers, and the assignment of
compensations, have likewise been carried into effect. In a matter
in which both materials and experience were wanting to guide the
calculation it will be readily conceived that there must have been
difficulty in such an adjustment of the rates of compensation as would
conciliate a reasonable competency with a proper regard to the limits
prescribed by the law. It is hoped that the circumspection which has
been used will be found in the result to have secured the last of the
two objects; but it is probable that with a view to the first in some
instances a revision of the provision will be found advisable.

The impressions with which this law has been received by the community
have been upon the whole such as were to be expected among enlightened
and well-disposed citizens from the propriety and necessity of the
measure. The novelty, however, of the tax in a considerable part of the
United States and a misconception of some of its provisions have given
occasion in particular places to some degree of discontent; but it is
satisfactory to know that this disposition yields to proper explanations
and more just apprehensions of the true nature of the law, and I
entertain a full confidence that it will in all give way to motives
which arise out of a just sense of duty and a virtuous regard to the
public welfare.

If there are any circumstances in the law which consistently with
its main design may be so varied as to remove any well-intentioned
objections that may happen to exist, it will consist with a wise
moderation to make the proper variations. It is desirable on all
occasions to unite with a steady and firm adherence to constitutional
and necessary acts of Government the fullest evidence of a disposition
as far as may be practicable to consult the wishes of every part of the
community and to lay the foundations of the public administration in
the affections of the people.

Pursuant to the authority contained in the several acts on that subject,
a district of 10 miles square for the permanent seat of the Government
of the United States has been fixed and announced by proclamation, which
district will comprehend lands on both sides of the river Potomac and
the towns of Alexandria and Georgetown. A city has also been laid out
agreeably to a plan which will be placed before Congress, and as there
is a prospect, favored by the rate of sales which have already taken
place, of ample funds for carrying on the necessary public buildings,
there is every expectation of their due progress.

The completion of the census of the inhabitants, for which provision was
made by law, has been duly notified (excepting one instance in which the
return has been informal, and another in which it has been omitted or
miscarried), and the returns of the officers who were charged with
this duty, which will be laid before you, will give you the pleasing
assurance that the present population of the United States borders on
4,000,000 persons.

It is proper also to inform you that a further loan of 2,500,000 florins
has been completed in Holland, the terms of which are similar to those
of the one last announced, except as to a small reduction of charges.
Another, on like terms, for 6,000,000 florins, had been set on foot
under circumstances that assured an immediate completion.

_Gentlemen of the Senate_:

Two treaties which have been provisionally concluded with the Cherokees
and Six Nations of Indians will be laid before you for your
consideration and ratification.

_Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

In entering upon the discharge of your legislative trust you must
anticipate with pleasure that many of the difficulties necessarily
incident to the first arrangements of a new government for an extensive
country have been happily surmounted by the zealous and judicious
exertions of your predecessors in cooperation with the other branch of
the Legislature. The important objects which remain to be accomplished
will, I am persuaded, be conducted upon principles equally comprehensive
and equally well calculated for the advancement of the general weal.

The time limited for receiving subscriptions to the loans proposed by
the act making provision for the debt of the United States having
expired, statements from the proper department will as soon as possible
apprise you of the exact result. Enough, however, is known already to
afford an assurance that the views of that act have been substantially
fulfilled. The subscription in the domestic debt of the United States
has embraced by far the greatest proportion of that debt, affording at
the same time proof of the general satisfaction of the public creditors
with the system which has been proposed to their acceptance and of the
spirit of accommodation to the convenience of the Government with which
they are actuated. The subscriptions in the debts of the respective
States as far as the provisions of the law have permitted may be said to
be yet more general. The part of the debt of the United States which
remains unsubscribed will naturally engage your further deliberations.

It is particularly pleasing to me to be able to announce to you that the
revenues which have been established promise to be adequate to their
objects, and may be permitted, if no unforeseen exigency occurs, to
supersede for the present the necessity of any new burthens upon our
constituents.

An object which will claim your early attention is a provision for the
current service of the ensuing year, together with such ascertained
demands upon the Treasury as require to be immediately discharged,
and such casualties as may have arisen in the execution of the public
business, for which no specific appropriation may have yet been made;
of all which a proper estimate will be laid before you.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives_:

I shall content myself with a general reference to former communications
for several objects upon which the urgency of other affairs has hitherto
postponed any definitive resolution. Their importance will recall them
to your attention, and I trust that the progress already made in the
most arduous arrangements of the Government will afford you leisure to
resume them with advantage.

There are, however, some of them of which I can not forbear a more
particular mention. These are the militia, the post-office and
post-roads, the mint, weights and measures, a provision for the sale
of the vacant lands of the United States.

The first is certainly an object of primary importance whether viewed in
reference to the national security to the satisfaction of the community
or to the preservation of order. In connection with this the
establishment of competent magazines and arsenals and the fortification
of such places as are peculiarly important and vulnerable naturally
present themselves to consideration. The safety of the United States
under divine protection ought to rest on the basis of systematic and
solid arrangements, exposed as little as possible to the hazards of
fortuitous circumstances.

The importance of the post-office and post-roads on a plan sufficiently
liberal and comprehensive, as they respect the expedition, safety, and
facility of communication, is increased by their instrumentality in
diffusing a knowledge of the laws and proceedings of the Government,
which, while it contributes to the security of the people, serves
also to guard them against the effects of misrepresentation and
misconception. The establishment of additional cross posts, especially
to some of the important points in the Western and Northern parts of
the Union, can not fail to be of material utility.

The disorders in the existing currency, and especially the scarcity
of small change, a scarcity so peculiarly distressing to the poorer
classes, strongly recommend the carrying into immediate effect the
resolution already entered into concerning the establishment of a mint.
Measures have been taken pursuant to that resolution for procuring some
of the most necessary artists, together with the requisite apparatus.

An uniformity in the weights and measures of the country is among the
important objects submitted to you by the Constitution, and if it can be
derived from a standard at once invariable and universal, must be no
less honorable to the public councils than conducive to the public
convenience.

A provision for the sale of the vacant lands of the United States is
particularly urged, among other reasons, by the important considerations
that they are pledged as a fund for reimbursing the public debt;
that if timely and judiciously applied they may save the necessity of
burthening our citizens with new taxes for the extinguishment of the
principal; and that being free to discharge the principal but in a
limited proportion, no opportunity ought to be lost for availing the
public of its right.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

ADDRESS OF THE SENATE TO GEORGE WASHINGTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED
STATES.

THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

SIR: The Senate of the United States have received with the highest
satisfaction the assurances of public prosperity contained in your
speech to both Houses. The multiplied blessings of Providence have not
escaped our notice or failed to excite our gratitude.

The benefits which flow from the restoration of public and private
confidence are conspicuous and important, and the pleasure with which
we contemplate them is heightened by your assurance of those further
communications which shall confirm their existence and indicate their
source.

While we rejoice in the success of those military operations which have
been directed against the hostile Indians, we lament with you the
necessity that has produced them, and we participate the hope that the
present prospect of a general peace on terms of moderation and justice
may be wrought into complete and permanent effect, and that the measures
of Government may equally embrace the security of our frontiers and
the general interests of humanity, our solicitude to obtain which will
insure our zealous attention to an object so warmly espoused by the
principles of benevolence and so highly interesting to the honor and
welfare of the nation.

The several subjects which you have particularly recommended and those
which remain of former sessions will engage our early consideration.
We are encouraged to prosecute them with alacrity and steadiness by
the belief that they will interest no passion but that for the general
welfare, by the assurance of concert, and by a view of those arduous
and important arrangements which have been already accomplished.

We observe, sir, the constancy and activity of your zeal for the public
good. The example will animate our efforts to promote the happiness of
our country.

OCTOBER 28, 1791.

REPLY OF THE PRESIDENT.

GENTLEMEN: This manifestation of your zeal for the honor and the
happiness of our country derives its full value from the share which
your deliberations have already had in promoting both.

I thank you for the favorable sentiments with which you view the part I
have borne in the arduous trust committed to the Government of the
United States, and desire you to be assured that all my zeal will
continue to second those further efforts for the public good which are
insured by the spirit in which you are entering on the present session.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

OCTOBER 31, 1791.

ADDRESS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TO GEORGE WASHINGTON, PRESIDENT
OF THE UNITED STATES.

SIR: In receiving your address at the opening of the present session
the House of Representatives have taken an ample share in the feelings
inspired by the actual prosperity and flattering prospects of our
country, and whilst with becoming gratitude to Heaven we ascribe this
happiness to the true source from which it flows, we behold with an
animating pleasure the degree in which the Constitution and laws of
the United States have been instrumental in dispensing it.

It yields us particular satisfaction to learn the success with which the
different important measures of the Government have proceeded, as well
those specially provided for at the last session as those of preceding
date. The safety of our Western frontier, in which the lives and repose
of so many of our fellow-citizens are involved, being peculiarly
interesting, your communications on that subject are proportionally
grateful to us. The gallantry and good conduct of the militia, whose
services were called for, is an honorable confirmation of the efficacy
of that precious resource of a free state, and we anxiously wish that
the consequences of their successful enterprises and of the other
proceedings to which you have referred may leave the United States free
to pursue the most benevolent policy toward the unhappy and deluded race
of people in our neighborhood.

The amount of the population of the United States, determined
by the returns of the census, is a source of the most pleasing
reflections whether it be viewed in relation to our national safety
and respectability or as a proof of that felicity in the situation of
our country which favors so unexampled a rapidity in its growth. Nor
ought any to be insensible to the additional motive suggested by this
important fact to perpetuate the free Government established, with a
wise administration of it, to a portion of the earth which promises such
an increase of the number which is to enjoy those blessings within the
limits of the United States.

We shall proceed with all the respect due to your patriotic
recommendations and with a deep sense of the trust committed to us by
our fellow-citizens to take into consideration the various and important
matters falling within the present session; and in discussing and
deciding each we shall feel every disposition whilst we are pursuing
the public welfare, which must be the supreme object with all our
constituents, to accommodate as far as possible the means of attaining
it to the sentiments and wishes of every part of them.

OCTOBER 27, 1791.

REPLY OF THE PRESIDENT.

GENTLEMEN: The pleasure I derive from an assurance of your attention to
the objects I have recommended to you is doubled by your concurrence in
the testimony I have borne to the prosperous condition of our public
affairs.

Relying on the sanctions of your enlightened judgment and on your
patriotic aid, I shall be the more encouraged in all my endeavors for
the public weal, and particularly in those which may be required on my
part for executing the salutary measures I anticipate from your present
deliberations.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

OCTOBER 28, 1791.

SPECIAL MESSAGES.

UNITED STATES, _October 26, 1791_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives_:

I lay before you copies of the following acts, which have been
transmitted to me during the recess of Congress, viz:

An act passed by the legislature of New Hampshire for ceding to the
United States the fort and light-house belonging to the said State.

An act of the legislature of Pennsylvania ratifying on behalf of said
State the first article of amendment to the Constitution of the United
States as proposed by Congress; and

An act of the legislature of North Carolina granting the use of the
jails within that State to the United States.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

UNITED STATES, _October 26, 1791_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate_:

I have directed the Secretary of War to lay before you for your
consideration all the papers relative to the late negotiations with
the Cherokee Indians, and the treaty concluded with that tribe on the
2d day of July last by the superintendent of the southern district,
and I request your advice whether I shall ratify the same.

I also lay before you the instructions to Colonel Pickering and his
conferences with the Six Nations of Indians. These conferences were for
the purpose of conciliation, and at a critical period, to withdraw those
Indians to a greater distance from the theater of war, in order to
prevent their being involved therein.

It might not have been necessary to have requested your opinion on
this business had not the commissioner, with good intentions, but
incautiously, made certain ratifications of lands unauthorized by
his instructions and unsupported by the Constitution.

It therefore became necessary to disavow the transaction explicitly in a
letter written by my orders to the governor of New York on the 17th of
August last.

The speeches to the Complanter and other Seneca chiefs, the instructions
to Colonel Proctor, and his report, and other messages and directions
are laid before you for your information and as evidences that all
proper lenient measures preceded the exercise of coercion.

The letters to the chief of the Creeks are also laid before you, to
evince that the requisite steps have been taken to produce a full
compliance with the treaty made with that nation on the 7th of
August, 1790.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

UNITED STATES, _October 27, 1791_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives_:

I lay before you a copy of a letter and of sundry documents which I have
received from the governor of Pennsylvania, respecting certain persons
who are said to have fled from justice out of the State of Pennsylvania
into that of Virginia, together with a report of the Attorney-General of
the United States upon the same subject.

I have received from the governor of North Carolina a copy of an act of
the general assembly of that State, authorizing him to convey to the
United States the right and jurisdiction of the said State over 1 acre
of land in Occacock Island and 10 acres on the Cape Island, within the
said State, for the purpose of erecting light-houses thereon, together
with the deed of the governor in pursuance thereof and the original
conveyances made to the State by the individual proprietors, which
original conveyances contain conditions that the light-house on Occacock
shall be built before the 1st day of January, 1801, and that on the Cape
Island before the 8th day of October, 1800. And I have caused these
several papers to be deposited in the office of the Secretary of State.

A statement of the returns of the enumeration of the inhabitants of
the United States which have been received will at this time be laid
before you.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

UNITED STATES, _October 27, 1791_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives_:

I have directed the Secretary of War to lay before you, for your
information, the reports of Brigadier-General Scott and
Lieutenant-Colonel Commandant Wilkinson, the officers who commanded the
two expeditions against the Wabash Indians in the months of June and
August last, together with the instructions by virtue of which the said
expeditions were undertaken. When the operations now depending shall be
terminated, the reports relative thereto shall also be laid before you.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

UNITED STATES, _October 31, 1791_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives_:

I send you herewith the arrangement which has been made by me, pursuant
to the act entitled "An act repealing after the last day of June next
the duties heretofore laid upon distilled spirits imported from abroad
and laying others in their stead, and also upon spirits distilled within
the United States, and for appropriating the same," in respect to the
subdivision of the several districts created by the said act into
surveys of inspection, the appointment of officers for the same, and
the assignment of compensations.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

UNITED STATES, _November 1, 1791_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives_:

I received yesterday from the judge of the district of South Carolina a
letter, inclosing the presentments of the grand jury to him, and stating
the causes which have prevented the return of the census from that
district, copies of which are now laid before you.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

UNITED STATES, _November 10, 1791_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives_:

The resolution passed at the last session of Congress, requesting the
President of the United States to cause an estimate to be laid before
Congress at their next session of the quantity and situation of the
lands not claimed by the Indians nor granted to nor claimed by any of
the citizens of the United States within the territory ceded to the
United States by the State of North Carolina and within the territory of
the United States northwest of the river Ohio, has been referred to the
Secretary of State, a copy of whose report on that subject I now lay
before you, together with the copy of a letter accompanying it.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

UNITED STATES, _November 11, 1791_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives_:

I have received from the governor of Virginia a resolution of the
general assembly of that Commonwealth, ratifying the first article of
the amendments proposed by Congress to the Constitution of the United
States, a copy of which and of the letter accompanying it I now lay
before you.

Sundry papers relating to the purchase by Judge Symmes of the lands on
the Great Miami having been communicated to me, I have thought it proper
to lay the same before you for your information on that subject.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

UNITED STATES, _December 12, 1791_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives_:

It is with great concern that I communicate to you the information
received from Major-General St. Clair of the misfortune which has
befallen the troops under his command.

Although the national loss is considerable according to the scale of the
event, yet it may be repaired without great difficulty, excepting as to
the brave men who have fallen on the occasion, and who are a subject of
public as well as private regret.

A further communication will shortly be made of all such matters as
shall be necessary to enable the Legislature to judge of the future
measures which it may be proper to pursue.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

UNITED STATES, _December 13, 1791_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives_:

I place before you the plan of a city that has been laid out within the
district of 10 miles square, which was fixed upon for the permanent seat
of the Government of the United States.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

UNITED STATES, _December 20, 1791_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives_:

I lay before you the copy of a letter which I have received from the
governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and of sundry documents
which accompanied it, relative to a contract for the purchase of a
certain tract of land bounding on Lake Erie, together with a copy of
a report of the Secretary of State on the same subject.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

UNITED STATES, _December 30, 1791_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives_:

I lay before you a copy of the ratification by the Commonwealth of
Virginia of the articles of amendment proposed by Congress to the
Constitution of the United States, and a copy of a letter which
accompanied said ratification from the governor of Virginia.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

UNITED STATES, _January 11, 1792_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate_:

I lay before you the following report, which has been made to me by the
Secretary of State:

DECEMBER 22, 1791.

The Secretary of State reports to the President of the United States
that one of the commissioners of Spain, in the name of both, has lately
communicated to him verbally, by order of his Court, that His Catholic
Majesty, apprised of our solicitude to have some arrangements made
respecting our free navigation of the river Mississippi and the use
of a port thereon, is ready to enter into treaty thereon at Madrid.

The Secretary of State is of opinion that this overture should be
attended to without delay, and that the proposal of treating at Madrid,
though not what might have been desired, should yet be accepted, and a
commission plenipotentiary made out for the purpose.

That Mr. Carmichael, the present charge d'affaires of the United States
at Madrid, from the local acquaintance which he must have acquired with
persons and circumstances, would be an useful and proper member of the
commission, but that it would be useful also to join with him some
person more particularly acquainted with the circumstances of the
navigation to be treated of.

That the fund appropriated by the act providing the means of
intercourse between the United States and foreign nations will
insufficiently furnish the ordinary and regular demands on it, and is
consequently inadequate to the mission of an additional commissioner
express from hence.

That therefore it will be advisable on this account, as well as for
the sake of dispatch, to constitute some one of the ministers of the
United States in Europe, jointly with Mr. Carmichael, commissioners
plenipotentiary for the special purpose of negotiating and concluding
with any person or persons duly authorized by His Catholic Majesty a
convention or treaty for the free navigation of the river Mississippi
by the citizens of the United States under such accommodations with
respect to a port and other circumstances as may render the said
navigation practicable, useful, and free from dispute, saving to the
President and Senate their respective rights as to the ratification
of the same, and that the said negotiation be at Madrid, or such
other place in Spain as shall be desired by His Catholic Majesty.

TH. JEFFERSON.

In consequence of the communication from the Court of Spain, as stated
in the preceding report, I nominate William Carmichael, present charge
d'affaires of the United States at Madrid, and William Short, present
charge d'affaires of the United States at Paris, to be commissioners
plenipotentiary for negotiating and concluding with any person or
persons who shall be duly authorized by His Catholic Majesty a
convention or treaty concerning the navigation of the river Mississippi
by the citizens of the United States, saving to the President and
Senate their respective rights as to the ratification of the same.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

UNITED STATES, _January 11, 1792_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives_:

I lay before you, in confidence, two reports, made to me by the
Secretary for the Department of War, relatively to the present state
of affairs on the Western frontiers of the United States.

In these reports the causes of the present war with the Indians, the
measures taken by the Executive to terminate it amicably, and the
military preparations for the late campaign are stated and explained,
and also a plan suggested of such further measures on the occasion as
appear just and expedient.

I am persuaded, gentlemen, that you will take this important subject
into your immediate and serious consideration, and that the result of
your deliberations will be the adoption of such wise and efficient
measures as will reflect honor on our national councils and promote
the welfare of our country.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

UNITED STATES, _January 18, 1792_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives_:

I lay before you a copy of an exemplified copy of an act of the
legislature of Vermont, ratifying on behalf of that State the articles
of amendment proposed by Congress to the Constitution of the United
States together with a copy of a letter which accompanied said
ratification.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

UNITED STATES, _January 18, 1792_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate_:

I lay before you the communications of a deputation from the Cherokee
Nation of Indians now in this city, and I request your advice whether an
additional article shall be made to the Cherokee treaty to the following
effect, to wit:

That the sum to be paid annually by the United States to the Cherokee
Nation of Indians in consideration of the relinquishment of lands as
stated in the treaty made with them on the 2d day of July, 1791, shall
be $1,500 instead of $1,000 mentioned in the said treaty.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

UNITED STATES, _January 23, 1792_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives_:

Having received from the governor of Virginia a letter, inclosing a
resolution of the general assembly of that State and a report of a
committee of the House of Delegates respecting certain lands located by
the officers and soldiers of the Virginia line under the laws of that
State, and since ceded to the Chickasaw Indians, I lay copies of the
same before you, together with a report of the Secretary of State on
this subject.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

UNITED STATES, _February 8, 1792_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives_:

An article of expense having occurred in the Department of Foreign
Affairs for which no provision has been made by law, I lay before you a
letter from the Secretary of State explaining the same, in order that
you may do thereon what you shall find to be right.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

UNITED STATES, _March 3, 1792_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives_:

I lay before you a copy of a return of the number of inhabitants in the
district of South Carolina as made to me by the marshal thereof, and a
copy of a letter which accompanied said return.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

UNITED STATES, _March 5, 1792_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives_:

Knowing the friendly interest you take in whatever may promote the
happiness and prosperity of the French nation, it is with pleasure that
I lay before you the translation of a letter which I have received from
His Most Christian Majesty, announcing to the United States of America
his acceptance of the constitution presented to him by his nation.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

_Very Dear Great Friends and Allies_:

We make it our duty to inform you that we have accepted the constitution
which has been presented to us in the name of the nation, and according
to which France will be henceforth governed.

We do not doubt that you take an interest in an event so important
to our Kingdom and to us, and it is with real pleasure we take this
occasion to renew to you assurances of the sincere friendship we bear
you. Whereupon we pray God to have you, very dear great friends and
allies, in His just and holy keeping.

Written at Paris the 19th of September, 1791.

Your good friend and ally,

LOUIS.

MONTMORIN.

The UNITED STATES OF NORTH AMERICA.

UNITED STATES, _March 6, 1792_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate_:

I lay before you the following report, which has been submitted to me by
the Secretary of State:

JANUARY 10, 1792.

The Secretary of State having received information that the merchants
and merchandise of the United States are subject in Copenhagen and other
ports of Denmark to considerable extra duties, from which they might
probably be relieved by the presence of a consul there--

Reports to the President of the United States that it would be expedient
to name a consul to be resident in the port of Copenhagen; that he has
not been able to find that there is any citizen of the United States
residing there; that there is a certain Hans Rudolph Saaby, a Danish
subject and merchant of that place, of good character, of wealth and
distinction, and well qualified and disposed to act there for the United
States, who would probably accept the commission of consul; but that
that of vice-consul, hitherto given by the President to foreigners in
ports where there was no proper American citizen, would probably not be
accepted because in this, as in some other ports of Europe, usage has
established it as a subordinate grade.

And that he is therefore of the opinion that the said Hans Rudolph Saaby
should be nominated consul of the United States of America for the port
of Copenhagen and such other places within the allegiance of His Danish
Majesty as shall be nearer to the said port than to the residence of
any other consul or vice-consul of the United States within the same
allegiance.

THOMAS JEFFERSON.

With a view to relieve the merchants and merchandise of the United
States from the extra duties to which they are or may be subjected in

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