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VOLVlflE I. 



UKtV£S.>..1 vF PifTSSURSH 






BY WALTER LOWRIE, Secretary of the Senate, 


MATTHEW ST. CL^TR CLARKE, Clerk of the House of Representatives. 






In presenting to the public the reprint of Congressional Documents, the publication 
of which has been sanctioned by the act of March 2d, 1831,* the Secretary of the 
Senate and the Clerk of the House of Representatives deem it proper to explain, briefly, 
the object of the compilation, the plan of its publication, and the advantages which it 
may afford to those who desire to be acquainted with the action of the Government, and 
the Legislative and documentary history of the United States. 

The following reports, heretofore presented to both Houses of Congress, will show 
the plan of the work, and the difficulties which, at its commencement, it had to surmount. 

" To the Senate and House of Representatives of the Congress of the United States.- 

" The Secretary of the Senate and Clerk of the House of Representatives, respectfully make report of their 
proceedings, under the act of Congress of 2d March, 1831, directing a subscription to the compilation of Congres- 
sional documents proposed to be published by Gales & Seaton. 

" Immediately after the adjournment of Congress, we commenced the discharge of the duties imposed by the act 
of Congress. At the very outset, however, we found great difficulty in ascertaining the extent of the duties required 
of us. Messrs. Gales and Seaton, of their own accord, had submitted to Congress a subscription paper, proposing 
to republish the Congressional documents for the first thirteen Congresses; the volume, the type, and the size of the 
page, were designated, as well as the specific sum for each volume when delivered. With these proposals before 
them. Congress directed the Clerk of the House of Representatives to subscribe for seven hundred and fifty copies, 
on two conditions: 1st. The documents to be selected under the directions of the Secretary of the Senate and Clerk 
of the House of Representatives. 2d. The price paid for the printing to be at a rate not exceeding that of the price 
paid to the Printer of Congress for the printing the documents of the two Houses. 

" At the first view, it does not appear difficult to ascertain the specific duties required from us. The docu- 
ments are to be selected by us. It would, therefore, seem that, when we had given the publishers a list of the papers 
to be reprinted, our agency was at an end. Circumstances, however, which we will now explain, rendered it im- 
possible that our duties could stop here. The great mass of these documents were to be found only in (he arcliives 
of the two Houses. No complete set of them existed in any other place. They were contained in one iuindred and 
sixty octavo and folio printed volumes, eighty large folio manuscript records, and in some hundred large files of 
documents. Charged, as we are, with the care and preservation of all these important documents, we could not, for 
a moment, permit them to go into the hands of others over whom we had no control. To make the separation of 
those to be published, without producing disorder, required the knowledge and experience, and the most patient, 
persevering industry of the most able of our assistants, and of ourselves. Had any one, without that knowledge ot 
these things, which can only be obtained by long experience, undertaken to separate and arrange these documents, 
he would have been in great danger of reducing the whole to a heap of confusion. In addition to this, many of these 
documents exist only in the manuscript records of the two Houses, consisting of large folio volumes, substantially 
bound, and in the best state of preservation. We could not suffijr tliese valuable records to be taken apart, and the 
portions selected sent to the printing office. We were also unwilling, either to permit them to be taken troin the 
office to be copied, or to permit strangers to come into the office, and occupy our desks and tables in copying them. 

"From these considerations, (and others of a similar nature not here detailed,) it was evident to us that it was 
our duty, not only to select these documents, but also to prepare them for the press. 

(•) AN ACT making provision for a subscription to a compilation of Congressional Documents. 
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of Amerieain Congress assemble,!, That the Clerk 
of the House of Representatives hereby Is authorized and directed to subscribe for seve.i himdi-ed and fifty copies of the comp^ 
lation of Congressional Documents proposed to be publishedby Gales and Se>.ion:Fromded, That *Vl°<="""='}^^j''^" ^^^.^e 
under the direction of the Secretar} of the Senate and the Clerk of the House of ^^Pve^'^'^^^'^'J ;^''tP'Zf'fA^^^^ 
price paid for the printing of the said copies shall be at a rate not exceeding that of the price paid to the printei of Congress tor 
printing the documents of the two Houses. .VKDREW STEVENSON, 

Speaker of the House of Representatives. 

Fice President of the United States and President of the Senate. 
Approved: March 2, 1831. 



" Another question then arose, What arrangement should be given to these documents in tJie proposed publica- 
tion? Two modes were suggested: 1st. An arrangement strictly chronological: or, 2d, A division into classes, and 
each class to preserve its chronological order. After much examination and reflection, we decided on the second 
mode, and finally adopted the following arrangement: 





Each of these ten series to have its own number, running from one upward, and to be printed chronologically. 
I. Foreign Relations. 

This will embrace our entire Foreign Relations. It presents a subject of much unity; and, from the importance of 
its interest, will be the first series. The annual messages of the President of the United States, from their import- 
ance, claim a prominent place in this compilation; and their proper place is the first of Foreign Relations, to follow 
each other in chronological order. 

II. Indian Affairs. 

1st. All documents accompanying Indian treaties. 

2d. Indian massacres and depredations. 

3d. Indian wars. 

4th. Efforts made for their benefit in civilization, agriculture, and the mechanical arts. 

III. Finances. 

This series embraces more variety, consisting of : 
1st. Public debt and public credit. 

2d. Revenue, direct and indirect taxation, embracing manufactures. 
3d. The currency. 
4th. The Mint of the United States. 

5th. Bank of the United States, and State Banks, so far as connected with the United States. 
6th. General principles of the annual estimates. 
7th. General principles of the expenses of collecting revenue. 
8fh. One table of receipts and expenditures. 

IV. Commerce and Navigation. 

All external matters of this class to be embraced in Foreign Relations. 
1st. Imports and exports, and all communications and reports containing general principles and reasoning. 
2d. The fisheries, and all communications and reports containing general principles and reasoning. 
3d. Light-house establishment. 
4th. Improvement of harbors, rivers, roads, and canals. 

5th. Tonnage, and all communications and reports of committees containing general principles and reasoning. 
6th. Coasting trade, and all communications and reports of committees containing general principles and reasoning. 

V. Military Affairs. 
1st. Army. 4th. Armament, arms. 

2d. Military academy. 5th. National armories. 

3d. Fortifications. 6th. Militia. 

VI. Naval Affairs. 
This presents a subject of much unity. 

VII. Post Office Department. 
This is also a subject in which there is little or no variety. 

VIII. Public Lands. 
This will embrace the whole subject of the public domain, including all claims of individuals and corporations 
for land. 

IX. Claims. 

Embracing all claims against the United States, except claims for land, and claims in which foreign relations or 
finances are directly embraced. 

X. Miscellaneous. 
Embracing all documents proper to be reprinted, not included in the foregoing. 


"There are many advantages attending this arrangement, wiiichare quite apparent.- The class on Indian Affair?, 
for instance, (the printing of which has been finished,) is contained in a single volume; and, in chronological order, 
presents our entire Indian relations, unmixed with other matter. Foreign Relations, Military Affairs, Naval Affairs, 
and the Public Lands, each present distinctions strongly marked from all the others; and the advantage of having 
each of these great interests in a separate series, is very great. Occasionally, however, documents were met with, 
partaking so much of two or more classes, that it was difficult to give them a satisfactory arrangement. This was 
more particularly the case with the series of Finance and Commerce. Some single documents referred less or more 
to both classes. So, also, of the class of Claims. Some of them involved extensive correspondence with foreign 
Governments. These were placed with Foreign Relations. Some of them involved our commercial relations: 
others, the regulations for the sale of public lands. The cases thus described, however, were not numerous; and, 
in every instance of their occurrence, our best judgment was exercised in giving them the proper arrangement. 

" After we had decided on the foregoing as the principles by which the publication should be regulated, we had 
an interview with Messrs. Gales and Seaton. They stated to us at once that they considered the proviso, tluit tin- 
printing should be done at the rate of public printing, as, in a great measure, rescinding the details of their propo- 
sals, and that they stood, in regard to Congress, in something of the relation of public printers. That every thinj 
performed by them, besides the printing, would, of course, be a charge against the Government, to be settled and 
adjusted as Congress might direct. That, as we had the care of the archives of the two Houses, they could not 
expect that we would entrust them to others, either in the selection, copying, or arrangement. That they were 
willing, nay desirous, that we should take the whole control of the publication, as far as the labor and responsibility 
of editors were concerned. That the mechanical part, including the paper, the printing, and the binding, would 
belong to them; and for these they would be responsible. 

" From all these considerations, it was evident to us, that, if we acted at all under the act of Congress, it was our 
duty to assume the whole responsibility of editing the work. Other considerations, besides those mentioned, also 
led to the same conclusion. We stood in an official relation to the two Houses, and had every possible motive to 
devote our entire ability to the proper completion of the work. From long experience, and close application to the 
business of Congress, we had a reasonable confidence in our ability to do the work justice. We had under our 
direction able and industrious men, and whose experience in these things were even greater than our own. Much 
of the usefulness of this work will depend on the indexes; and, for doing justice to this item, we know of none so 
capable as our assistant clerks. We, therefore, did not hesitate, although the responsibility was great, and the labor 
great, to act upon the principles thus indicated. 

" Another important question, of no little embarrassment, was presented in'deciding on the size of the page. The 
joint resolution, of 24th May, 1828, placed that subject under our control; and, after much consideration and reflec- 
tion, and repeated interviews with the publishers, we decided on the folio size. The facility with which the numer- 
ous tables can be inserted on a folio page, was one leading reason for giving it the preference. The volumes of Con- 
gressional documents are becoming too numerous for easy reference, and we find a great difficulty in keeping our 
series perfect. For the public offices, or for large libraries, we believed the folio form altogether the best. 

" In selecting the papers for the class on Foreign Relations, it was found, by the Secretary of the Senate, that some 
important documents, of an early date, were upon the Executive files of the Senate: these papers being under the 
injunction of secrecy, of course, cannot, in this communication, be particularly described. Generally, it may be 
observed, that their publication (should there be no objection to removing the injunction of secrecy) would add 
much to the value and interest of the work. The Secretary of the Senate will bring this subject before the Senate, 
for their decision respecting it. 

" The progress made in the printing will be communicated to Congress by the publishers, and specimens of its 
execution will also, by them, be laid before the two Houses. 

"(All which is respectfully submitted. 


"' December 29, 1831." « M W. ST. CLAIR CLARKE. 

*' To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United Stales: 

"The undersigned respectfully represent, that, encouraged thereto by the act of Congress of the last session, 
authorizing a subscription to the work, they have not only made a beginning, but have made considerable progress, 
in the execution of their proposition for publishing a Compilation of the Public Documents of the United States. 
They have now the pleasure to submit to Congress two volumes, which, excepting the indexes thereto, not yet ready 
for the press, and the title-pages, which are but temporarily composed, they respectfully offer as samples of the 
whole work. 

" In the arrangement, as well as the selection of the materials of this great national work, they have been 
governed by the decisions of the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Representatives, under 
whose directions, moreover, exclusively, the materials of it have been prepared for the press. To their intelligence, 
industry, and discrimination, and that of the gentlemen in their respective offices, it will owe whatever value it 
possesses beyond that of a mere print and reprint of the documents on the files of the two Houses of Congress. The 
caution of Congress, in committing these matters to their ability and discretion, rather than to that of the publish- 
ers, has, in the opinion of the undersigned, been justified in the fullest extent by the order, and the form and pres- 
sure, which have been given to the work. 

" In the arrangement of the documents, the principle of classification has been adopted; the advantages of which 
wdl be apparent upon the slightest examination of the samples of it herewith transmitted. The two volumes now 
transmitted, are not the first in the series, but are those which have been most easily collated. One of them, it will 
be discovered, comprises all the Congressional documents upon Indian .Affairs, (one of the classes,) from the begin- 
ning of the Government up to the commencement of the fourteenth Congress, to which date (4th March, 1815, in- 
3 rou I, 


elusive) the plan of the present series extends. The other is the first volume of the class of Finance, the whole oi 
which occupies two volumes. When indexes, copious and well digested, such as are in preparation, are added to 
these volumes, they will afford a facility to the investigations of our legislators, whether in debates or in committee 
business, which will amply compensate for the expense of the publication, without adverting to their value as 
national memorials, which, of itself, it is respectfully submitted, would liave fully justified the sanction which has 
been given to this undertaking. 

"The two volumes, herewith presented, comprise about one-half of what has been already done in the printing 
of the work, which is in the course of steady prosecution; and of which, it is hoped, eight or ten volumes may be 
ready for delivery before the close of the present Congress. 

"Of the execution of this work, for which, alone, the undersigned have any right to credit, they beg leave to 
observe only, that they have endeavored to make it such as should be creditable to the Government, and as should 
justify the liberal confidence which, by the act of the last session. Congress has reposed in the undertakers. They 
confidently submit its merits to a comparison with those of any other work of the like nature ever published in this, 
or any other country. 

" A superficial examination of these sample volumes will suffice to satisfy the intelligent observer of the import- 
ance of the work to the public service, and to the history of the country. Documents of the highest interest will 
be found in it, which were either before unknown to the present generation, or forgotten by if, though yet of modern 
antiquity. Some, which have lain buried under the mass of less important papers, which it has not been deemed 
useful to include in this publication, are such as enlighten obscure passages in our civil history, and add new motives 
for the veneration with which the memory of the early actors in the Government is habitually cherished. 

" The class of Foreign Relations, first in order, but suspended in its execution to await the decision of the 
Senate, jn regard to the publicity of some of the documents which it would appear properly to comprise, will, when 
completed, be one of the most interesting and instructive works that has issued from the press within the last thirty 
years, possessing all the attraction of fiction, sanctified by all the fidelity of truth. 
" All which is respectfully submitted by the publishers. 


" Washington, December 30, 1831." 

To the information conveyed in these reports little need be added to show the design 
and scope of the work. It will be seen that, soon after its commencement, one portion 
of it was suspended for the purpose of obtaining the sanction of the proper authority to 
the publication of papers originally communicated, by the Executive, under an injunction 
of secrecy, and which remained under the same injunction, although the causes which 
rendered their publication improper had ceased to exist. These papers, throwing light 
on past transactions, were numerous and important; and it was thought that the present 
was, perhaps, the most proper time for their collection and preservation. The circum- 
stances connected with them were, therefore, submitted to the Senate;(*) and having been 

(*) " Office of the Secretary of the Senate, January 13, 1831. 
" To the Senate of the United Slates: 

"The Secretary of the Senate respectfully makes report of his proceedings in relation to the documents on 
the confidential files of the Senate, referred to in the report made to the two Houses on the subject of reprinting the 
Congressional documents. 

" In selecting the documents for the class of Foreign Relations, it became necessary to examine whether there 
were any papers on the executive files of the Senate, from which the injunction of secrecy had been removed, and 
which had not been printed. 

" To effect this object it was proper to compare the papers on file with the Executive Journal, and this necessarily 
brought every document on those files under examination. Although it was discovered that the files were very 
imperfect, arising from the papers having been returned to the Department of State; yet, vvith the permission of 
the head of that Department, all the papers returned were examined there. The examination of these papers led 
to a full conviction that, if tnere be no objection to remove the injunction of secrecy, their publication would add 
much value and interest to the work now reprinting under the act of last session. In these circumstances, the 
Secretary believed it to be his duty to delay the printing of the class on Foreign Relations until the Senate could 
have an opportunity of passing upon the subject. The measures adopted to lessen the labor of any committee of 
the Senate, who might have charge of the subject, will be seen by the following letter of instructions to the Execu- 
tive Clerk of the Senate:" 

"Office of the Secretary of the Senate, June ith, 1831. 
" Dear Sir: 

" In selecting the documents for republication, it is found that some of great importance are on the confiden- 
tial files of the Senate. These, of course, cannot be published until the injunction of secrecy be removed, either by 
the Senate or by the Executive. It is found, also, that many papers and documents which were once before the 
Senate, in their Executive capacity, have been returned to the Department of State. As the Senate will probably 
act upon this subject at their next session, it is desirable that some examination be made before the meeting of 
Congress. This examination will embrace as well those papers which have at any time been before the Senate, as 
those on the files of the Department of State relating to the same subject, but which were not communicated to the 
Senate. Take, for example, the message of the President of the United States submitting for ratification the 
treaty negotiated by Mr. Jay, and the instruction and correspondence accompanying the message. In this case 
the correspondence, as high as No. 22, was laid before the Senate; but, on the files of tlie Department of State, the 
despatches reach as hi"h as No. 32 on the subject of this treaty. Take another example in the corresp'mdence of 
Mr. Morris with the Secretary of State, in 1792, '93. In the letters of Mr. Morris, communicated to the Senate. 
there are numerous blanks. It may be that no reason now exi'.ts to pievent these parts from being furnished, and 
the whole published. 

In an interview with the Secretary of State I have stated this subject to him, and he has given permission for 
the examination of any papers in the Department of State which have at any time been before the Senate. I have 


referred to a Committee of that body, a resolution was reported and passed, (f) removing 
the injunction, under proper restrictions, and virtually authorizing the publication of 
whatever could add interest or value to the work. 

Under this authority, the confidential files of the Senate, and the records of the De- 
partment of State, have been examined with care; and every effort has been used, on 
the part of the compilers, to supply what appeared to be deficient in the original design, 
and to render the work still more deserving of national patronage. 

The present compilation comprehends a period commencing with the first organiza- 
tion of the Government, in 1789, and terminating with the third day of March, 181.5. 

It must be obvious to all who consider the period which it embraces; the structure 
of the Government; the systems to be organized; the principles to be established; and 
the difficulties to be overcome; that this collection of State Papers contains diversified 
and important information not easily derived from any other source. It lays open, during 
a critical and agitating period, every spring of the foreign and domestic policy of the 
United States; it discloses the governing principles of those who first, under Divine 
Providence, put our republican system into motion; it traces the perils, from within and 
from without, by which that system was surrounded; it removes the veil from the designs 
of artful enemies or insidious friends; and it presents for future imitation the integrity 
and constancy, the moderation and wisdom, under which the republican institutions of 
the United States have been seen to gather strength from every succeeding year. 

In this compilation the future historian may find a body of authentic materials ready 
prepared for his hand. To the statesman are presented both warnings to admonish and 
precedents to instruct. The descendants of those who have heretofore filled the most 
important trusts may here find embodied, in an imperishable form, the cherished memo- 
rials of their vigils and their toils. And in proportion as the facts and principles which 
they contain shall be impressed upon the mind, will the breast of every citizen be filled 
with an honorable pride in the institutions of his country, and with gratitude to those who 
have laid the broad and firm foundations of a. nation's welflire. 

WALTER LOWRIE, Secretanj of the Senate. 
January, 1833. Of the House of Representatives. 

to request, therelore, tliat yuu will, in tlie first place, examine the entire dncuments on the confidential files of the 
Senate to the close of the thirteenth Congress. In doing this you will take down such an abstract as will show their 
nature and object. The Secretary of State having already given his consent, you will extend the examination to 
the files of the Department of State, which relate to these different subjects, and make a similar abstract of every 
paper which you may judge of importance. This part of the examination will extend, of coui-se, to such parts of 
letters as have not heretofore been communicated to the Senate. When you are through the examination, you will 
make out a report for the use of the Senate. You will also make a copy of that part of the report which embraces 
papers not communicated to the Senate, which you will deliver to the Secretary of State. 

" I need not remark that all examinations you may make in the Department of State will be subject to the same 
injunction of secrecy as will be required by your situation as the confidential clerk of the Senate. 

"I am. &c. 

"Lewis H. Machen, Esq." " WALTER LOWRIE, Secrelary Senate. 

■ " In pursuance of these instructions, Mr. Machen devoted six months of patient and laborious examination of 
the documents thus designated. The task of taking an abstract of one of these State papers, sufficiently full, to give 
its entire substance, is always difficult; and it is due to this gentleman to state, that the duty assigned to him, diffi- 
cult as it was, has been executed with great ability and clearness. More than five thousand pages were examined, 
and their substance embodied in four hundred and forty-two pages of abstracts. Though aware of the labor it 
would require frota him and his assistant clerk, the Secretary was induced to make this examination, and to submit 
the subject to the Senate, from the consideration that the work ordered to be reprinted by Congress will be one of 
great expense, and that these documents, while they will add little to that expense, will add much to the value of 
the work. 

" All which is respectfully submitted. 

" WALTER LOWRIE, Secretary of the Senate." 

(t) In Senate of the Unitjed States, jlpril 14, 1832. 
Mr. Tazewell, from the Committee on Foreign Relations, to whom was referred, on the 13th of January, a letter 
of the Secretary of the Senate, communicating a statement of his proceedings respecting the confidential docu- 
ments in his office, connected with the publication of State papers by Gales & Seatoti, reported the following 

fieso/«erf. That the injunction of secrecy be removed from such papers belonging to the Executive files of the 
Senate as the Secretary of the Senate may deem proper documents to be included in the present reprint of Con- 
gressional documents: Provided, That no Document be published until the same shall have been submitted to the 
Secretary of State, and the publication thereof approved by him. 


[For the Index, see the close of the Volume.] 

No. P»&e- 

1 Speech, inaugural, of President Washington, and addresses of the Senate and House of . ., „ 

Representatives in reply, - - - - - - - - 1789, April 30, 8 

•2 Speech of President Washington to the two Houses of Congress, and addresses in reply, 1790, January 8, 11 

3 Speech of President Washington, and addresses, ----- 1790, Dec. 8, 13 

4 Same, same, same, - - - - - - 1791, Oct, 25, 16 

5 Same, same, same, ....-- 1792, Nov 6, 18 

6 Speech, inaugural, of President Washington, - - - ^ - - 1793, March 4, 21 

7 Speech of President Washington, and addresses, ... - - 1793, Dec. 3, 21 

8 Same, same, same, ..---- 1794, Nov. 19, 24 

9 Same, same, same, 1795, Dec. 8, 27 

10 Same, same, same, ....-- 1796, Dec. 7, 30 

11 Farewell Address of President Washington, ------ 1796, Sept. 17, 34 

12 Speech, inaugural, of President John Adams, 1797, March 4, 38 

13 Speech of President John Adams to the Senate and House of Representatives, and ad- 

dresses from them, - • - - - 1797, May 16, 40 

14 Speech of President John Adams, and addresses, - . - - - - 1797, Nov. 23, 44 

15 Same, same, same, - - - - - - 1798, Dec. 8, 47 

16 Same, same, same, -.-.-- 1799, Dec. 3, 50 

17 Same, same, same, ...--- 1800, Nov. 22, 53 

18 Speech, inaugural, of President Jefferson, ..-.-- 1801, March 4, 56 

19 Message of President Jefferson, -------- 1801, Dec. 8, 57 

20 Same, same, - - 1802, Dec. 15, 60 

21 Same, same, - - 1803, Oct. 17, 61 

22 Same, same, . - . 1804, Nov. 8, 63 

23 Same, same, - - 1804, March 4, 64 

24 Same, same, - . - - 1805, Dec. 5, 66 

35 Same, same, - - - - - - - - ' - 1806, Dec. 6, 68 

26 Same, same, .-..----- 1807, Oct. 27, 70 

27 Same, same, - - 1808, Nov. 8, 71 

28 Speech, inaugural, of President Madison, - - - - - - 1809, March 4, 73 

29 Message of President Madison, - - - - - - - - 1809, May 2.3, 74 

30 Same, same, -..---.-- 1809, Nov. 29, 7S 

31 Same, same, ---... ^ - - 1810, Dec. 5, 76 

32 Same, same, --.-.---- 1811, Nov. 5, 78 

33 Same, same, - - ■ - - ■ - - - - - 1812, Nov. 4, SO 

34 Speech, inaugural, of President Madison, --..-- 1813. March 4, 82 

35 Message of President Madison, - - - - - - - - 1813, May 25, 83 

36 Same, same, --------- 1813, Dec. 7, 84 

37 Same, same, ---.-.--- 1814, Sept. 20, 87 


40 Message, transmitting papers on the subject of the Eastern boundary of the U. S. - 1790, Feb. 9, 90 

41 Message— Additional papers on the Eastern boundary, ----- 1790, Feb. 18, 99 

42 Report of a committee on the Eastern boundary, . . ^ . - 1790, March 9, 100 

50 Message from the President— Dispositions of Great Britain to enter into a commercial 

treaty with the United States, -------- 1791, Feb. 14, 121 

51 Report of a committee for the protection of the commerce and navigation of the United 

States, against the regulations of Great Britain, . . - - . 1791, Feb. 21, 128 
56 Message— Impressment of American seamen by Great Britain, - - - - 1792, Feb. 8, 131 
60 Message, with an act of the British Parliament to exclude American vessels from car- 
rying the productions of the United States to Great Britain, or her dependencies, - 1792, April 13, 135 

64 Proclamation of American neutrality, - - - - - - - 1793, April 22, 140 

65 Message, with correspondence respecting the instructions of Great Britain interrupting 

the trade in corn and provisions, _---.-- 1793, Dec. 5, 141 

77 Message — Further information on the subject of commercial restrictions, - - 1794, Jan. 22, 315 

80 Message, showing the state of the negotiation with Great Britain, - - - 1794, Feb. 24, 327 
86 Message, transmitting two letters from an American consul, showing the operation of 

the British instructions upon American commerce and navigation, - - - 1794, March 25, 438 

88 Message, transmitting two despatches from the American minister in London, and the 

British Orders of November 6, 1793, and 8th January, 1794, - - - - 1794, April 4, 429 

89 Message, transmitting observations by the British minister on the Order in Council of 

Junes, 1793, - - - - - - - - ■ - 1794, April 12, 432 

90 Message, nominating John Jay minister to Great Britain, as the means of preserving 

peace, - - - " - - - ■ - - - - 1794, April 16, 447 
94 Message, transmitting a represenlation of Mr. Pinckney, a letter of Mr. Hammond, 
and a reply of the Secretary of State, on the British Order in Council, of June 8, 

1793, -.-----.-.. 1794, May 12, 448 


No. Page. 

98 Message, (ransniittiiig a conespontlence between tlie Secretary of State and Mr. Ham- 
mond, on the means supposed to be taken by the Governor of Canada to excite the 
Indian.s within the United States to hostilities, - - - - -, - 1791, May 21. 101 

101 Message, transmitting a letter from Mr. Randolph, in reply to Mr. Hammond, on the 

subject of the encouragement given to Indian hostilities by the Governor of Canada, 1794, June 4, 464 

104 Message— State of relations with Great Britain, ------ 1795, Feb. 28, 169 

106 Message, transmitting the entire negotiation with the British Government, resulting in 

the treaty concluded by Mr. Jay, ------- 1795, June 8, 470 

115 Message, communicating an explanatory article to the British treaty. (Indian trade,) 1796, May 5. 551 


38 Message, communicating a Convention with France, determining the prerogatives of 

Consuls, Vice Consuls, &c. -------- 1789, June 11. S9 

39 Report of the Secrebiry for the Department of Foreign Affairs, on the Consular Con- 

vention with France, --------- 1789, July 25. 89 

46 Message, transmitting a letter from the King of France, - - - - 1791, Jan. 17, 109 

47 Message, transmitting a report of the Secretary of State, and a representation of the 

Charge d'Affaires of France, claiming an exemption from the tonnage duty, - 1791, Jan. 19. 109 

49 Communication from the Secretary of State: "Views of the French Government on Ame- 
rican commerce, - - ------ 1791. Feb- 2, 120 

58 Message, with a letter from the King of France, announcing that he has accepted the 

constitution, - --------- 1792, March 5. 133 

64 Proclamation of American neutrality, ------- 1793, April 22. 140 

65 Message, relating to the conduct of Mr. Genet, the payment of the debt to France, and 

the relations with her, - - - - - - -.".." 1793, Dec. 5, 141 

73 Message, respecting the measures by citizen Genet, in organizing an armed force within 

the United States, .-..----- 1794, Jan. 14, 309 

74 Message, with recent information from Europe, respecting the relations with France, 1794, Jan. 16, 312 

75 Message, communicating the act of the French Government, recalling citizen Genet, 1794, Jan. 20, 314 

76 Report of a committee on remission of tonnage duty, in favor of certain French vessels, 1794, 314 

78 Report of the Secretary of State, communicating the navigation act of France, - 1794, Jan. 28. 316 

79 Message, transmitting despatches from the commission ofGuadaloupe, - - - 1794, Feb. 7, 323 
81 Message, transmitting the correspondence of .Mr. Morris with, the French Government 

and the Secretary of State, showing the relations with France from 1792 to 1794. - 329 
85 ?4essage, transmitting an application by the minister of France for an advance of mo- 
ney, on account of the debt payable to France, ----- 1794, March 18. 427 
88 Message transmitting two conciliatory^ letters of the French minister. - - •• 1794, .A.pril 4, 429 

91 Report of Committee, on anticipating 'the payment of the French debt, - - - 1794, April 17, 447 

92 Address of the Committee of Public Safety to the Congress of the United States, - 1794, April 22, 447 
100 Message, communicating the fact of his having recalled Mr. Morris, in compliance with 

the request of the Executive Piovisory Council, ----- 1794, May 27. 463 

104 Message, slate of relations with France, ------- 1795, Feb. 28, 469 

108 Message, transmitting an address of the Committee of Public Safety of France, intro- 
ducing citizen Adet, and proposing a closer union with France, - - - 1796, Jan. 4, 527 
113 Message, transmitting a letter from Mr. Adet, stating that France has formed treaties 
with the Kings of Prussia and Spain, the Grand Duke of Tuscany, and Landgrave of 
Hesse-Cassel, - - - - - - -. - - - 1796, March 25, 550 

118 Message, transmitting voluminous documents, showing the relations with France; the 

recriminations and replies— Mr. Monroe's correspondence while in Paris, as a sequel, 1797, Jan. 19, 559-748 

119 Report of the Secretary of State, on the extent of French captures of Amei'ican vessels 

and property, ---------- 1798, Feb. 28, 748 

55 Message, nominating Commissioners to Spain, on the subject of the free navigation of 

the Mississippi, ---------- 1792, Jan. 11. 130 

59 Message— Reasons for extending thenegotiations with Spain to the subject of commerce, 1792, Mvach 2, 133 
63 Message— Interference of Spain in the concerns of the United States with the Creek 

Indians, - - - - - - - - - . -. 1792, Nov. 2, 138 

66 Message— Relations with Spain: commerce and the Mississippi; continued protection of 

the Indians, - - ' - - - - - - - - 1793. Dec. 16, 247 

69 Further papers, relating to the affiiirs with Spain, - - ; - - - 1793, Dec. 23. ."504 

71 Message, with an additional letter from the sepresentative of Spain, - •■ - 1793, Dec. 30, 308 

80 Message, relating to affiiirs with Spain, ------- 1794, Feb. 24, 327 

83 Message, transmitting a letter from Mr. Short, showing the views of Spain on the sub- 

jects pending, -----..---- 1794, March 3. 413 

84 Message, transmitting a letter from Messrs. Viar and Jaudenes, with the declaration ot 

war by Spain against France, - 1794, March 12, 425 

89 Message, transmitting correspondence between Messrs. Carmichael and Short, and the 

Spanish Government, - " , ." , ^' ." . :.„,;...'. " !!,^f' ■^!"M' 'o" f^o 

_- -teport on the measures nece 
95 Report of Committee on the 1 


93 Report on the measures necessary to obtain the free navigation of the Mississippi, - 1794, April 23, 448 

95 Report of Committee on the pending negotiations with Spain, respecting the Mississippi, 1794, May 15. 

96 Message, showing the measures adopted to suppress a military expedition from the 

UnitedStates. against the territories of Spain, - - - - -^. - 1794, May 20, 

99 Me.'isage transmitting the form of a certificate without which the vessels of the United 

States cannot be admitted into the ports of Spain, ----- 1794, May 26, 

103 Message, nominating Thomas Pinckney as a special envoy, - - - - 1794, Nov. 21, 

104 Message, state of relations with Spain, ------- 1795. Feb. 28, 469 

111 Message transmitting a treaty with Spain concluded the 27th of October, 1795, and 

correspondence connected with it, ------ - 1~96) t'eb. 26, 


51 Message, reasons for appointing a minister to Portugal, ----- 1791, Feb. 18. 

104 Message, state of relations with Portugal, ------ 1795. Feb. 28, 


104 Message, state of relations with the United Netherlands, - - - - 1795, Feb. 28. 


No. ALGIERS. Vagc. 

■13 Message, resppcting Aineiican citizens held in captivity by Algiei-s, - - - 1790, Dec. 30, 101 
14 Report oF the Secietary of State, oa Ameiican trade with Algier.'j, and other Baibiuy 

States, - - -. - - - - - - - 1791, Jan. 3, 104 

45 Report of committee, respecting Algiers, ----•-. 1791, Jan. 6, 108 

48 Communication from the Secretary of State, on the subject of the Algerine prisoners, - 1791, Jan. 21, 116 

53 Message, respecting the affairs with Algiers, - - - - - - 1791, Feb. 22, 128 

54 Communication from the Secretary of St;ite, with additional papers, concerning tiie 

Algerine captives, - - - - - - - - - 1791, Dec. 9. 129 

57 Report of committee respecting .\lgerine prisoners, - - - - - 1792, March 5, 133 

61 Message pi'oposing questions to the Senate conceriiing the terms of a treaty with Algiers, 1792, May 8. 136 
67 Message, further measures respecting Algiers and Morocco, . .. . - 1793^ j)cc. 16. 288 

82 Message, with papers, relating to a treaty with Algiers, ",---- 1794, March 3, 413 

109 Message transmitting a treaty with Algiers, ------ 1796, Feb. 15, 528 

112 Report on the treaty with Algiers, ------- 1796, Feb. 29, 549 

116 Message— Deficiency, and state of the fund provided for the fulfilment of the treaty 

with Algiers. - - - - - - - -..".- 1"97, Jan.9, 553 

117 Report of a con'mittee on the fumls rcq'iired to carry the treat.y with Algiers into effect, 1797, Jan. 16, r)58 


67 Message, respecting the recognition of the treaty with Morocco, - - 1793, Dec. 16, 288 

104 Message, state of relations with Morocco, ...... 1795, Feb. 28, 469 

107 Message, transmitting an oi-iginal letter from (he Emperor of Moniccf), recogisizing the 

treaty with his father, --------- 1795, Dec. 21, 526 


44 Report of the Secretary of State— The extent and value of the -American trade in the 

Mediterranean— The obstructions, and the means of resuming and protecting, - 1791, Jan. 3, 104 

45 Report of a committee on the Mediterranean trade, - - - - - 1791. Jan. 6, 108 

62 Document showing the administration of the fund for foreign intercourse, - - - - 137 
64 Proclamation of neutrality and instructions enforcing, ----- 1793, April 22, 140 

68 Report of the Secretary of State (Jefferson) on the privileges and restrictions of the 

commerce of the United States in foreign countries^ - " - - - - 1793, Dec. 16, 300 

70 Supplementary report of the Secretary of State, (Jefterson) on the commercial restric- 
tions of foreign nations, --------- 1793, Dec. 30, 306 

72 Report of a committee respecting the emigrants from St. Domingo, - - - 1794, Jan. 10, 308 

83 Report of the Secretary of State, (Randolph) on the spoliations committed on the com- 

merce of the United States. -------- 1694, March 5, 423 

87 Message recommending an embargo, - - - - - - - 1794, March 28, 429 

98 Report of the Secretary of State, with an abstract of the spoliations and vexations com- 
mitted on the commerce of the United States. ------ 1794, May 20, 461 

105 Message respecting the appointment of, and allowance to, consuls, on the Barbary coast, 1795, March 2, 470 
114 Message to the House of Representatives, declining to communicate the correspondence 

relating to the British treaty, - - - - - - - - 1796, March 30, 550 

120 Report ot the Secretary of State, on the inadequacy of the protection afforded to -Ameri- 
can seamen, --..--.--. 1797, Feb. 28, 761 







1st Congress.] No. 1. [1st Session. 



Fellow-citizens of the Senate 

and of the House of Representatives: 

Among the vicissitudes incident to life, no event could have filled me with greater anxieties than that of which 
the notification was transmitted by your order, and received on the fourteenth day of the present month. On the 
one hand, I was summoned by my country, whose voice I can never hear but with veneration and love, from a 
retreat which I had chosen with the fondest predilection, and, in my flattering hopes, with an immutable decision, 
as the asylum of my declining years — a retreat which was rendered every day more necessary as well as more dear 
to me, by the addition of habit to inclination, and of frequent interruptions in my health to the gradual waste com- 
mitted on it by time. On the other hand, the magnitude and diificulty of the trust to which the voice of my country 
called me, being sufiicient to awaken in the vnsest and most experienced of her citizens a distrustful scrutiny into 
his qualifications, could not but overwhelm wth despondence, one, who, inheriting inferior endowments from 
nature, and unpractised in the duties of civil administration, ought to be peculiarly conscious of his own deficiencies. 
In this conflict of emotions, all I dare aver, is, that it has been my faithful study to collect my duty from a just 
appreciation of every circumstance by which it might be affected. All I dare hope, is, that if, in executing this task, 
I nave been too much swayed hj a grateful remembrance of former instances, or by an affectionate sensibility to this 
transcendent proof of the confidence of my fellow citizens, and have thence too little consulted my incapacity as 
well as disinclination, for the weighty and untried cares before me; my error will be palliated by the motives which 
misled me, and its consequences be judged by my countiy with some share of the partiality in wliich they originated. 

Such being the impressions under which I liave, in obedience to the public summons, repaired to the present 
station, it would be peculiarly improper to omit, in this first official act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty 
Being who rules over the universe; who presides in the councils of nations; and whose providential aid can supply 
every human defect; that his benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the People of the United 
States, a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes, and may enable every instrument employed 
in its administration, to execute with success the functions allotted to his charge. In tendering this homage to the 
Great Author of every public and private good, I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my 
own; nor those of my fellow citizens at large less than either. No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore 
the invisible hand which conducts the affairs of men, more than tlie people of the United States. Every step by 
which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token 
of providential agency. And in the important revouition just accomplished in the system of their united govern- 
ment, the tranquil deliberations and voluntary consent of so many distinct commumties. from which the event has 
resulted, cannot be compared with the means by which most governments have been established, without some 
return of pious gratitude, along with an humble anticipation of the future blessings which the past seem to presage- 
These reflections, arising out of the present crisis, have forced themselves too strongly on my mind to be suppressed. 
You will join with me, I trust, in thinking that there are none under the influence of which the proceedings of a new 
and free government can more auspiciously commence. 

By the article establishing the Executive Department, it is made the duty of the President " to recommend to 
your consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient." The circumstances under which I 
now meet you will acquit me from entering into that subject, further than to refer to tlie gi-eat constitutional charter 
under which you are assembled, and which, in defining your powers, designates the objects to which your attention 
is to be given. It will be more consistent with those circumstances, and far more congenial with the feelings which 
actuate me, to substitute, in place of a recommendation of particular measures, the tribute that is due to the talents, 
the rectitude, and the patriotism, which adorn the characters selected to devise and adopt them. In these honorable 
qualifications, I behold the surest pledges that, as on one side no local prejudices or attachments — no separate views, 

2 VOL. I. 


nor paity animosities, will misdirect the comprehensive and equal eye wliich ought to watch over this great assem- 
blage of communities and interests; so on another, that the foundations of our national policy vnll be laid in the 
pure and immutable principles of private morality, and the pre-eminence of free government be exemplified by all 
the attributes which can win the aftections of its citizens, and command the respect of tlie world. I dwell on this 
prospect with every satisfaction which an ardent love for my country can inspire : since there is no trutli more 
thoroughly established, than that there exists in the economy and course of nature, an indissoluble union between 
virtue and happiness; between duty and advantage; between the genuine maxims of an honest and magnanimous 
policy, and tlie solid rewards of public prosperity and felicity : snice we ought to be no less persuaded that the 
propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, 
■which Heaven itself has ordained : and since tlie preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the 
republican model of government, are justly considered as deeply, perhaps SiS, finally, staked on the experiment en- 
trusted to iJie hands of die American People. 

Besides the ordinary objects submitted to your care, it will remain %vith your judgment to decide how far an 
exercise of the occasional power, delegated by the fifth article of the constitution, is rendered expedient at the 
present juncture; by the nature of objections wliich have been urged against the system, or by the degree of inquie- 
tude which has given birdi to them. Instead of undertaking paiticular recommendations on this subject, in which 
I could be guided by no lights derived from official opportunities, I shall again give way to my entire confidence in 
jrour discernment and pursuit of tlie public good: for I assure myself, that, whilst you carefully avoid every altera- 
tion wliich might endanger the benefits of an united and eftective government, or which ought to await the future 
lessons of experience, a reverence for the characteristic rights of freemen, and a regai-d for the public harmony, will 
sufficiently influence your deliberations on tlie question, how far the fonner can be more impregnably fortified, or 
the latter be safely and advantageously promoted. 

To the preceding observations I have one to add, which will be most properly addressed to the House of Repre- 
sentatives. It concerns myself, and will therefore be as brief as possible. When I was fij^t honored with a call 
into the service of my couutiy, then on tlie eve of an arduous stru^le for its liberties, tlie light in winch I contem- 
plated my duty, required that I should renounce every pecuniary compensa.tion. From this resolution I have in no 
instance depai-ted. And being still under the impressions which produced it, I must decline, as inapplicable to my- 
self, any share in the personal emoluments whicli may be indispensably included in a permanent provision for the 
Executive Departineut; and must accordingly pray, that tiie pecuniary estimates for the station in wliich I am 
placed, may, during my continuance in it, be limited to such actual expenditures as the public good may be tliought 
to require. 

Having thus imparted to you my sentiments, as tliey have been awakened by the occasion which brings us 
together, I shall take my present leave ; but not \rithout resoi-ting once more to the benign Parent of the human 
race, in humble supplication, that, smce he has been pleased to favor the American People v/ith opportunities for 
deliberating in pertect tranquillity, and dispositions for deciding wth unparalleled unanimity on a tonn of govern- 
ment for the security of tlieir union, and the advancement of tlieir happiness, so his divine blessing may be equally 
conspicuous in the enlarged views, die temperate consultations, and the v.dse measures, on which the success of this 
Government must depend. 


^pnl 30. 

On Monday, May 18, 1789, the Senate waited on the President of the United States, and the Vice Pre- 
sident, in their name, delivered to him the following 



We, the Senate of the United States, return you our sincere thanks for your excellent speech delivered to 
both Houses of Congress; congratulate you on the complete organization of the Federal Government; and felicitate 
ourselves and our feflow-citizens on your elevation to the office of President — an office liigldy important by the 
powers constitutionally annexed to it, and extremely honorable from the manner in which the appointment is made. 
The unanimous suSrage of tiie elective body in your favor, is peculiarly expressive of the gratitude, confidence, and 
aftection, of tlie citizens of America, and is tlie highest testimonial, at once of your ment and their esteem. We 
are sensible, sir, that uotliing but the voice of your fellow-citizens could have called you from a retieat, chosen with 
the fondest predilection, endeared by habit, and consecrated to tlie repose of declining years. We rejoice, and with 
us all Amenca, tliat, in obedience to die call of our common country, you have returned once more to public life. 
In you all parties confide; in you all interests unite; and we have no doubt that your past services, great as they 
have been, will be equalled by your future exertions; and that your prudence and sagacity as a statesman wll tend 
to avert tiie dangers to whicli we were exposed, to give stability to tlie present government, and dignity and splen- 
dor to tiiat country \\'hich your skill and valor, as a soldier, so eminently contributed to raise to independence and 

When we contemplate the coincidence of circumstances, and wonderful combination of causes, which gradually 
prepared the People of tliis country for independence: when we contemplate the rise, progress, and temnnation of 
tiie late war, which gave them a name among die nations of tlie eai-th; we ai-e, with you, unavoidably led to acknow- 
ledge and adore the Great Arbiter of die universe, by whom empires rise and fall. A review of the many sjgnal 
instances of divine interposition in favor of this countiy, claims our most pious gratitude; and permit us, sir, to 
observe, that, among the gi-eat events wliich have led to die formation and establishment of a Federal Government, 
we esteem your acceptance of the office of President as one of die most propitious and important. 

In the execution of the trust reposed in us, we shall endeavor to pursue that enlai-ged and liberal policy to wliich 
your speech so happily directs. We are conscious that tiie prosperity of each State is inseparably connected with 
the welfare of all ; and tiiat, in promoting the latter, we shall effectually advance die fonner. In full persuasion of 
tliis tmtii, it shall be our invariable aini to divest ourselves of local prejudices and attachments, and to view tiie 
great assemblage of communities and interests committed to our charge widi an equal eye. We feel, sir, tiie force, 
and acknowledge tiie justiiess of the obser\'ation, tiiat the foundation of our national policy should be laid in private 
morality. If individuals be not influenced by moral prmciples, it is in vain to look for public vii-tue; it is, tiiere- 
fore, die duty of lerislators to enforce, both by precept and example, the utility, as well as tiie necessity, of a strict 
adherence to the rules of distributive justice. We beg you to be assured that the Senate will, at all times, cheerfully 
co-operate in eveiy measure wiiich may strengthen the Union, conduce to the happiness, or secure and perpetuate 
the hberties of tiiis great confederated republic. 

We commend you, sir, to the protection of Almighty God, earnestly beseeching liim long to preserve a life so 
valuable and dear to die People of the United States, and that your administration may be prosperous to tiie nation 
and glorious to yourself. 

To which the President oj the United States replied as follows : 

I thank you for your address, in which the most affectionate sentiments are expressed in tiie most obliging 
terms. The coincidence of circumstances which led to tliis auspicious crisis ; die confidence reposed in me by 
my fellow-citizens; and tiie assistance I may expect from counsels which will be dictated by an enlarged and 
liberal policy; seem to presage a more prosperous issue to my administration than a diffidence of ray abilities had 
taught me to anticipate. I now feel myseU inexpressibly happy in a belief tiiat Heaven, which has done so much 
for our infant nation, will not withdraw its providential influence before our political felicity shall have been com- 


pleted, and in a conviction tliat the Senate will at all times co-operate in every measure which may tend to promote 
the welfare of this confederated republic. Thus supported by a firm trust m the Great Arbiter of the universe, 
aided by the collected wisdom of the Union, and implorin" the divine benediction on our joint exertions in the 
service of our country, I readily engage with you in the arduous but pleasing task of attempting to make a nation 


On Friday, May 8, 1789, the Speaker, attended by tlie members of the House of Representatives, waited 
on the President of the United States, and presented to him the following 


The Representatives of the People of the United States present their congratulations on the event by which 
your fellow -citizens have attested the pre-eminence of your merit You have long held tlie first i)lace in tlieir 
esteem. You have often received tokens of theii- affection. You now possess the only proof that remained of their 
gratitude for your services, of tlieir reverence for your wisdom, and of tlieir confidence in your vii-tues. You enjoy 
the highest, because the truest honor of being tlie first Magistrate, by tlie unanimous choice of the freest people on 
the face of tlie earth. . , , r 

We well know the anxieties with which you must have obeyed a summons from the repose reserved lor your 
declining years, into public scenes, of wliich you had taken your leave for ever. But the obedience was due to the 
occasion. It is already applauded by the universal joy which welcomes you to your station. And we cannot doubt 
that it will be rewarde'd with all the satisfaction witli which an ardent love for your fellow -citizens must review 
successful efforts to promote tlieir happiness. 

This anticipation is not justified merely by tlie past experience of your signal services: it is particularly sug- 
gested by the pious impressions under which you commence your administration, and the enlightened maxims by 
which you mean to conduct it. We feel with you the strongest obligations to adore the invisible hand wliich has 
led the American People through so many difiiculties, to cherish a conscious responsibility for tlie destiny of repub- 
lican liberty; and to seek the only sure means of preserving and recommending the precious deposite in a system 
of legislation founded on the principles of an honest policy, and directed by the spirit of a diffusive patriotism. 

The question arising out of the fifth article of the constitution will receive all die attention demanded by its im- 
portance; and will, we trust, be decided under the influence of all tlie considerations to which you allude. 

In forming the pecuniary provisions for the Executive depaiiment, we shall not lose sight of a wish resulting 
from motives which give it a peculiar claim to our regard. Your resolution, in a moment critical to the libei-ties 
of your country, to renounce all personal emolument, was among the many presages of your patriotic services, which 
have been amply fulfilled: and your scrupulous adherence now to the law then imposed on yourself, cannot fail to 
demonstrate the purity, wliilst it increases the lustre, of a character which has so many titles to admiration. 

Such are the sentiments which we have thought tit to address to you. Tiiey flow from our own hearts, and we 
verily believe, that, among the millions we represent, there is not a virtuous citizen whose heart will disown them. 

All that remains is, that we join in our fei-vent supplications for the blessings of Heaven on our country, and 
that we add our own for the choicest of these blessings on the most beloved of her citizens. 

To which the President of the United States made the following reply: 


Your very affectionate address produces emotions which I know not how to express. I feel that my past 
endeavors in the service of my country are far overpaid by its goodness; and I fear much that my future ones 
may not fulfil your kind anticipation. All that I can promise, is, that they will be invariably directed by an 
honest and an ardent zeal; of tiiis resource my heart assures me; for all beyond, I rely on the wisdom and patriotism 
of those with whom I am to co-operate, and a continuance of the blessings of Heaven on our beloved country. 


No. 2. [2d Session. 


delivered on FRIDAY, JANUARY 8, 1790. 

Fellow-citizens of the Senate 

and House of Representatives: 

I embrace, wth great satisfaction, the opportunity which now presents itself of congratulatin|^you on the present 
favorable prospects of our public affairs. The recent accession of the important State of North Carolina to the con- 
stitution of the United States, (of wliich official information has been received ;} the rising credit and respectability 
of our country; the general and increasing goodwill towards the government of the Union; and the concord, peace, 
and plenty, with which we are blessed, are circumstances auspicious in an eminent degree to our national prospenty. 

In resuming your consultations for the general good, you cannot but derive encouragement from the reflection, 
that the measures of the last session have been as satisfactory to your constituents, as the novelty and difficulty of 
the work allowed you to hope. Still further to realize their expectations, and to secure tiie blessings which a gra- 
cious Providence has placed within our reach, will, in the course of the present impoi-tant session, call for the cool 
and deliberate exertion of your patriotism, firmness, and wisdom. 

Among the many interesting objects which will engage your attention, that of providing tor the common defence 
■.vill merit particular regard. To be prepared for war, is one of the most effectual means ot preserving peace. 

A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined; to which end, a uniform and well digested plan is 
requisite: and their safety and interest require that they should promote such manufactones as tend to render them 
independent on others for essential, pai-ticularly for military supplies. 

The proper establishment of the troops which may be deemed indispensable, wU be entitled to mature considera- 
tion. In the arrangements which may be made respecting it, it wll be of importance to conciliate the comfortable 
support of the officers and soldiers, witii a due regai-d to economy. rx j- 

There was reason to hope that the pacific measures adopted with regard to certain hostile tnbes ot Indians, would 
have relieved the inhabitants of our southern and western frontiers from their depredations; but you will perceive, 
from the infonnation contained in the papers wliich I shall direct to be laid before you, (compreliending a commu- 
nication from the Commonwealth of Virginia) that we ought to be prepared to afford protection to those parts of the 
Union, and, if necessary, to punish aggressors. 

The interests of the United States require, that our intercourse with other nations should be facilitated by such 
provisions as will enable me to fulfil my duty in that respect, in the manner which circumstances may render most 
conducive to the public good; and to this end, that the compensations to be made to the persons who may be em- 



ployed, should, according to the nature of their appointments, be defined by law; and a competent fund designated 
tor defraying the expenses incident to the conduct of our foreign affairs. 

Various considerations also render it expedient that the terms on which foreigners may be admitted to the rights 
of citizens, should be speedily ascertained by a uniform rule of naturalization. 

Unifom\ity in the currency, weights, and measures, of the United States, is an object of great importance, and 
will, I am persuaded, be duly attended to. 

The advancement of agriculture, commerce, and manufactures, by all proper means, will not, I trust, need 
recommendation; but I cannot forbear intimating to you the expediency of giving eifectual encouragement, as well 
to the introduction of new and useful inventions from abroad, as to tlie exertions of skill and genius in producing 
them at home; and of facilitating the intercourse between the distant parts of our country by a due attention to the 
post office and post roads. 

Nor am I less persuaded, that you wU agree with me in opinion, that there is nothing which can better desen-e 
your patronage, than tlie promotion of science and literature. Kno\yledge is, in every country, the surest basis of 
public happiness. In one in which the measures of government receive their impression so immediately from the 
sense of uie community as in ours, it is proportionably essential. To tlie security of a free constitution it contri- 
butes in various ways: by convincing those who are entrusted with the public administration, that every valuable 
end of government is best answered by the enlightened confidence of the people; and by teaching the people them- 
selves to know and to value their own rights; to discern and provide against invasions of them; to distinguish 
between oppression and tlie necessary exercise of lavvful authority; between burthens proceeding from a disregard 
to their convenience, and those resulting from the inevitable exigences of society: to discriminate the spirit of 
liberty from that of licentiousness — cherishing the first, avoiding the last; and uniting a speedy but temperate 
vigilance against encroachments, wth an inviolable respect to the laws. 

Whether this desirable object will be best promoted by affording aids to seminaries of learning already established ; 
by tlie institution of a national university; or by any other expedients, will be well worthy of a place in the delibe 
rations of the Legislature. 

Gentlemen of the House of Representatives: 

I saw, wth peculiar pleasure, at the close of the last session, the resolution entered into by you, expressive of your 
opinion that an adecjuate provision for the support of the public credit, is a matter of high importance to the national 
honor and prosperity. In this sentiment I entirely concur. And, to a perfect confidence in your best endeavors 
to devise such a provision as will be truly consistent with the end, I add an equal reliance on the cheerful co-operation 
of the other branch of the Legislature. It would be superfluous to specify inducements to a measure in wtiich the 
character and permanent interests of the United States are so obviously and so deeply concerned, and which has 
received so explicit a sanction from your declaration. 

Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Representatives: 

I have directed the proper oSicers to lay before you, respectively, such papers and estimates as regard the affairs 
particularly recommended to your consideration, and necessary to convey to you that information of the state of the 
Union which it is my duty to afford. 

The welfare of our country is the great object to which our cares and efforts ought to be directed. And I shall 
derive great satisfaction from a co-operation wth you in the pleasing, though arduous task, of ensuring to our fellow- 
citizens the blessings which they have a right to expect from a free, efficient, and equal government 


United States, January 8, l^QO. 

On Thursday, Januaiy 14, 1790, the Senate waited on the President of the United States, and the Vice 
President, in their name, "delivered to him the following 

To the President of the United States : 

We, the Senate of the United States, return you our thanks for your speech delivered to both Houses of 
Congress. The accession of the State of North Carolina to the constitution of^ the United States, gives us much 
pleasure; and we offer you our congratulations on that event, which, at the same time, adds strength to our Union, 
and affords a proof that tlie more the constitution has been considered, the more the goodness ot it lias appeared. 
The information which we have received, tliat the measures of the last session have been as satisfactory to our con- 
stituents as we had reason to expect from the difficulty of the work in which we were engaged, will aftbrd us much 
consolation and encouragement in resuming our deliberations, in the present session, for the public good ; and every 
exertion on our part shall be made to realize and secure to our countiy, those blessings which a gracious Providence 
has placed within her reach. We are persuaded that one of the most effectual means of preserving peace, is to be 
prepared for war; and our attention shall be directed to the objects of common defence, and to the adoption of such 
plans as shall appear the most likely to prevent our dependence on other countries for essential supplies. In the 
arrangements to be made respecting the establishment of such troops as may be deemed indispensable, we shall, 
with pleasure, provide for tiie comfortable support of the officers and soldiers, with a due regard to economy. We 
regret that the pacific measures adopted by Government, wth regard to certain hostile tribes of Indians, liave not 
been attended witli the beneficial eftects towards the inhabitants of our southern and western frontiers which we had 
reason to hope ; and we shall cheerfully co-operate in providing the most effectual means for their protection, and, 
if necessary, for the punishment of aggressors. The uniformity of the currency, and of weights and measures ; the 
introduction of new and useful inventions from abroad, and the exertions of skill and genius in producing them at 
home; the facilitating tiie communication between the distant parts of our country, by means of the post office and 
■ ■ " ' - , ^ . - ■ ..... ^^j ^ uniform rule of naturalization, 

post roads; a provision for the support of tiie Department of Foreign Attairs; ar 
by which foreigners may be admitted to the rights of citizens; are objects which shall receive such early attention as 
their respective importance requires. Literature and science are essential to tiie preservation of a free constitution: 
the measures of government should, tiierefore, be calculated to strengthen the confidence that is due to that impor- 

tant truth. Agriculture, commerce, and manufactures, forming the basis of the wealth and strength of our confede- 
i-ated republic, must be the frequent subject of our deliberation, and shall be advanced by all proper means in our 
power. Public credit being an object ot great importance, we shall cheerfully co-operate in all proper measures for 
its support Proper attention shall be given to such papers and estimates as you may be pleased to lay before us. 
Our cares and efforts shall be directed to the welfare of our country; and we have the most perfect dependence 
upon your co-operating witli us, on all occasions, in such measures as mil ensure to our fellow-citizens the blessings 
which they have a right to expect from a free, efficient, and equal government. 

To which the President of the United States replied as follows : 

I thank you for your address, and for the assurances which it contains of attention to the several matters 
suggested by me to your consideration. 

Relying on the continuance of your exertions for the public good, I anticipate for our country tiie salutary effects 
of upright and prudent counsels. 



On Thursday, January 14, 1790, the Speaker, attended by the House of Representatives, waited on the 
President of the United States, and delivered to him the following 



The Representatives of the People of the United States have taken into consideration your speech to both 
Houses of Congress, at the opening 9f the present session. 

We reciprocate your congratulations on the accession of the State of North Carolina—an event which, while it 
is a testimony of the increasing good will towards the Government of tlie Union, cannot fail to give additional dig- 
nity and strength to the American republic, already rising in the estimation of the world, in national character and 

The information that our measures of the last session have not proved dissatisfactory to our constituents, affords 
us much encouragement at this juncture, when we are resuming the arduous task of legislating for so extensive an 

Nothing can be more gratifying to the Representatives of a free People, than the reflection that their labors are 
rewarded by the approbation ot their fellow-citizens. Under this impression, we shall make every exertion to realize 
their expectations, and to secure to them those blessings which Providence has placed within their reach. Still 
prompted by the same desire to promote their interests which then actuated us, we shall, in the present session, 
diligently and anxiously pursue tliose measures which shall appear to us conducive to that end. 

We concur with you in the sentiment, that agriculture, commerce, and manufactures, are entitled to legislative 
protection, and that the promotion of science and literature will contribute to the security of a free government; in 
flie progress of our deliberations, we shall not lose sight of objects so worthy of our regard. 

The various and weighty matters which vou have judged necessary to recommend to our attention, appear to us 
essential to the tranquillity and welfare of the Union, and claim our early and most serious consideration. We 
shall proceed, without delay, to bestow on them that calm discussion which their importance requires. 

We regret that the pacific arrangements pursued with regard to certain hostile tribes of Indians, have not been 
attended wth that success which we had reason to expect from them. We shall not hesitate to concur in such 
further measures as may best obviate any ill effects which might be apprehended from the failure of those nego- 

Your approbation of the vote of this House, at the last session, respecting the provision for the public creditors, 
is very acceptable to us. The proper mode of carrying that resolution mto effect, being a subject in which the future 
character and happiness of these States are deeply involved, will be among the first to deserve our attention. 

The prosperity of the United States is the primary object of all our defiberations; and we cherish the reflection 
that everv measure which we may adopt for its advancement, will not only receive your cheerful concurrence, but 
will, at the same time, derive from your co-operation, additional efficacy, in ensuring to our fellow-citizens the 
blessings of a free, efficient, and equal government 

To which the President of the United States made the following reply : 


I receive with pleasure the assurances you give me, that you will diligently and anxiously pursue such mea- 
sures as shall appear to you conducive to the interests of your constituents; and that an early and serious considera- 
tion will be given to the various and weighty matters recommended by me to your attention. 

I have full confidence that your deliberations will continue to be directed by an enlightened and virtuous zeal for 
the happiness of our country. 


1st Congress.] No. 3. [3d Session. 


delivered on WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 8, 1790. 

Fellow-citizens oftlie Senate 

and House of Representatives : 

In meeting you again, I feel much satisfaction in being able to repeat my congratulations on the favorable pros- 
pects which continue to distinguish our public affairs. The abundant fruits of another year have blessed our country 
•with plenty, and with the means of a flourishing commerce. The progress of public credit is witnessed by a consi- 
derable rise of American stock, abroad as Avell as at home; and the revenues allotted for this and other national 
purposes, have been productive beyond the calculations by which they were regulated. This latter circunistance 
IS the more pleasing, as it is not only a proof of the fertility of our resources, but as it assuresusof a furtfier increase 
of the national respectability and credit; and, let me add, as it bears an honorable testimony to the patriotism and 
integrity of the mercantile and marine part of our citizens. The punctuality of the former in discharging their 
engagements has been exemplary. 

In conforming to the powers vested in me by acts of the last session, a loan of three millions of florins, towards 
which some provisional measures had previously taken place, has been completed in Holland. As well the celerity 
with which it has been filled, as the nature of the tenns, (considering the more tiian ordinary demand for borrowing, 
created by the situation of Europe, ) give a reasonable hope that the further execution of those powers may proceed 
with advantage and success. The Secretary of the Treasury has my direction to communicate such further particu- 
lars as may be requisite for more precise information. 

Since your last sessions, I have received communicationSj by which it appears that the district of Kentucky, at 
present a part of Virginia, has concurred in certain propositions contained in a law of that State ; in consequence 
of which, the district is to become a distinct member of the Union, in case the requisite sanction of Congi-ess be 
added. For this sanction application is now made. I shall cause the papers on this very important ti-ansaction to 
be laid before you. The liberality and harmony with wiiich it has been conducted, will be found to do great honor 
to both the parties; and the sentiments of warm attachment to the Union and its present government, expressed by 
our fellow citizens of Kentucky, cannot fail to add an afl'ectionate concern for their particular welfare to the great 
national impressions under which you will decide on the case submitted to you. 

It has been heretofore known to Congress, that frequent incursions have been made on our frontier settlements 
by certain banditti of Indians from the northwest side of the Ohio. These, with some of the tribes dwelling on and 
near the Wabash, have of late been particularly active in their depredations ; and, being emboldened by tlie impu- 
nity of their crimes, and aided by such parts of the neighboring tribes as could be seduced to join in their hostilities. 



or aflford them a retreat for their prisoners and plunder, they have, instead of listening to the humane invitations 
and overtures made on the part ot the United States, renewed their \iolences with fresh alacrity and gi-eater efiect. 
The lives of a number of valuable citizens have thus been sacrificed, and some of tliem under circumstances pecu- 
liaily shocking; whilst others have been carried into a deplorable captivity. 

These aggravated provocations rendered it essential to the safety of the western settlements that the aggressors 
should be made sensible that the government of the Union is not less capable of punishing their crimes, than it is 
disposed to respect their rights and reward their attachments. As tliis object could not be effected by defensive 
measures, it became necessary to put in force the act which empowers the President to call out the militia for the 
protection of the frontiers; and I have accordingly authorized an expedition, in which the regular troops in that 
quarter are combined with such draughts of militia as were deemed sufficient: the event of the measure is yet unknown 
to me. The Secretary of War is directed to lay before you a statement of the infonnation on which it is founded, 
as well as an estimate of the expense with which it will be attended. 

The disturbed situation of Europe, and paiiicularly the critical posture of the great maritime Powers, whilst it 
ought to maKe us the more thankful for the general peace and secunty enjoyed by the United States, reminds us, 
at the same time, of the circumspection with wliich it becomes us to preserve these blessings. It requires, also, 
that we should not overlook the tendency of a war, and even of preparations for a war, among the nations most con- 
cerned in active commerce wth this country, to abridge the means, and thereby at least enhance tlie price of trans- 
porting its valuable productions to their proper markets. I recommend it to your serious reflections, how far, and 
m what mode, it may be expedient to guard against embarrassments from these contingencies, by such encourage- 
ments to our own navigation as will render our commerce and agriculture less dependent on foreign bottoms, which 
may fail us in the very moments most interesting to both of these great objects. Our fisheries, and the transporta- 
tion of our own produce, offer us abundant means for guarding ourselves against this evil. 

Your attention seems to be not less due to that particular branch of our trade which belongs to the Mediterranean. 
So many circumstances unite in rendering the present state of it distressful to us, that you will not think any deli- 
berations misemployed which may lead to its relief and protection. 

The laws you have already passed for the establishment of a judiciary system, have opened the doors of justice 
to all descriptions of persons. You will consider, in your wisdom, whether improvements in that system may yet 
be made; and particularly whether an uniform process of execution, on sentences issuing from the federal courts, 
be not desirable through all the States. „ , ^ , 

The patronage of our commerce, of our merchants, and seamen, has called for the appointment of consuls in 
foreign countries. It seems expedient to regulate by law the exercise of that jurisdiction, and those functions which 
are permitted them, either by express convention, or by a friendly indulgence in the places of tlieir residence. The 
consular convention, too, with His Most Christian Majesty, has stipulated, in certain cases, the aid of tlie national 
authority to his consuls established here. Some legislative provision is requisite to carry these stipulations into full 

The establishment of the militia, of a mint, of standards of weights and measures, of the post office and post 
roads, are subjects which I presume you will resume of course, and which are abundantly urged by their own im- 

Gentlemen of (he House of Representatives: 

The sufficiency of the revenues you have established for the objects to which they are appropriated, leaves no 
doubt that the residuary provisions will be commensurate to the other objects for which the public faitli stands 
now pledged. Allow ine, moreover, to hope that it will be a favorite policy with you, not merely to secure a payment 
of the interest of the debt funded, but, as far and as fast as' the growing resources of the country will permit, to 
exonerate it of the principal itself. The appropriation you have made of the western lands, explains your dispositions 
on this subject; and I am persuaded the sooner that valuable fund can be made to contnbute, along with other 
means, to the actual reduction of the public debt, the more salutary will the measure be to every public interest, 
as well as the more satisfactory to our constituents. 

Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Representatives: 

In pursuing the various and weighty business of the present session, I indulge the fullest persuasion tliat your 
consultations will be equally marked widi wisdom, and animated by the love of your country. In whatever belongs 
to my duty, you shall have all the co-operation which an undiminished zeal for its welfare can inspire. It will be 
happy for us both, and our best reward, if, by a successful administration of our respective trusts, we can make the 
established government more and more instrumental in promoting the good of our fellow-citizens, and more and more 
the object oi their attachment and confidence. 


United States, December 8, l^O. 

On Monday, December 13, 1790, the Senate waited on the President of the United States, and the Vice 
President, in their name, delivered to him tlie following 


To the President of the United States of America: 

We receive, sir, vith particular satisfaction, the communications contained in your speech, which confirm to us 
the progressive state of the public credit, and afford, at the same time, a new proof of tlie solidity of the foundation 
on which it rests; and we cheerfully join in the acknowledgment which is due to tiie probity and patriotism of the 
mercantile and marine part of our fello\v-citizens, whose enlightened attachment to the principles of good govern- 
ment is not less conspicuous in this than it has been in other important respects. 

In confidence that every constitutional preliminary has been observed, we assure you of our disposition to concur 

in giving the requisite sanction to the admission of Kentucky as a distinct member of the Union; in doing which 
we shall anticipate the happy effects to be expected from the sentiments of attachment to\ - ■ ^^ • 
present government, which nave been expressed by the patriotic inliabitants of that district 

While we regret that tiie continuance and increase of the hostilities and depredations which have distressed our 
northwestern frontier, should have rendered offensive measures necessary, we feel an entire confidence in tlie 
sufficiency of the motives which have produced them, and in the wsdom of the dispositions wiiich have been con- 
certed in pursuance of tlie powers vested in you; and, whatever may have been tlie event, we shall cheerfully 
concur in the provisions which the expedition that has been undertaken may require on the part of the Legislature, 
and in any other which the future peace and safety of our frontier settlements may call for. 

The critical posture of the European Powers will engage a due portion of our attention; and we shall be ready 
to adopt any measures which a prucfent circumspection may suggest, for the preservation of the blessings of peace. 
The navigation and the fisheries of the United States are objects too interesting not to inspire a disposition to pro- 
mote them by all the means which shall appear to us consistent with their natural progress and permanent prosperity. 

Impressed %vith the importance of a free intercourse with the Mediterranean, we shall not think anv deliberations 
misemployed which may conduce to t]ic adoption of proper measures for removing tlie impediments that obstruct it. 

The improvement of the judiciary system, and the other important objects to wliich you have pointed our atten- 
tion, will not fail to engage the consideration tliey respectively merit 


In the course of our deliberations upon every subject, we shall rely upon that co-operation which an undimi- 
nished zeal and incessant anxiety for the public welfare, on your part, so thoroughly ensurej and as it is our sinxious 
desire, so it shall be our constant endeavor, to render the established Government more and more instrumental in 
promoting the good of our fellow-citizens, and more and more the object of tlieir attachment and confidence. 

To which the President of the United States replied as follows: 


These assurances of favorable attention to the subjects I have recommended, and of entire confidence in 
mv views, make tlie impression on me which I ought to feel. I thank you for them both, and shall continue to 
relv 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 counsels. 


On Monday, December 13, 1790, the Speaker, attended by the House of Representatives, waited on the 
President of the United States, and delivered to him tlie following 



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, Avith the further 
advantages promised by it; and the fei-tility of resources whicli are found so little burdensome to the communitj^; fully 
authorize our mutual congratulations on the present occasion. Nor can we learn, without an additional gratihcation, 
tliat 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. 

of that aid wll still further illusti-ate the solidity of the foundation on which the public credit rests. 

""' ' ■■"■■•-■■- ■ I concert wth the Distiict of Kentucky, towards the erection 

ot that aia wu sUll further lUusti-ate the solidity ot the toi 

The preparatory steps taken by the State of Virginia, in ( 

of the latter into a distinct member of the Union, exhibit a lib 

as it not only denotes the confidence already placed in the United States, but as the effect of a judicious application 

ia^ ., 

,1 liberality mutually honorable to the parties. We shall bestow 
on this important subject tlie favorable consideration which it merits; and wth the national policy which ought to 
govern our decision, shall not fail to mingle tlie affectionate sentiments which are awakened by those expressed on 
behalf of our fellow-citizens of Kentucky. 

Whilst we regret tlie necessity which has produced offensive hostilities against some ofthe Indian tribes northwest 
of the Ohio, we sympatliise too much with our western brethren, not to behold with approbation the watchfulness 
and vigor which have been exerted by tlie 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 
whichuie United States are always ready to extend to them. 

The encouragement of our own navigation has at all times appeared to us highly important. Tlie point of viev/ 
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 agnculture can be best relieved from an injurious 
dependence on the navigation of otlier nations, wliich tlie 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, Avithout 
distinction of persons, it will be our dispositon to incorporate every improvement wliich experience may suggest. And 
we shall consider in particular how far the uniformity, which, in other cases, is found convenient in the administration 
of tlie General Government through all the States, may be introduced into tlie 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, wth 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 v/ith all tlie despatch which tlie magnitude of all, and tlie 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 tlie 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 tlie policy of diminisliing the public debt as fast as the increase of the public resources 
"will permit; and are particularly sensible of tlie 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 co-operation 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. 

To which the President of the United States made the following reply: 


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 

featest encouragements. Being persuaded that you will continue to be actuated by the same auspicious principle, 
look forward to the happiest consequences from your deliberations during the present session. 



£d Congress.] No. 4. [1st Session-. 



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 tlie 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 witli 
which another year has again rewarded the industry of the husbandman is too important to escape recollection. 

Your own observations in your respective situations vrill have satisfied you of the progressive state of agricul- 
ture, 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 
Taws 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, cannot fail to 
derive satisfaction from the confirmation of these circumstances, which will be disclosed in the several ofiicial com- 
munications that will be made to you in the course of your deliberations. ; 

The rapid subscription 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 pro^aded for by the laws and resolutions of the last session. 

Among the most important of these, is the defence 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 provision- 
ally 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. 

These 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 omjosition, 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 fiiture 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 regu- 
lated 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 
towards 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 *o 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, towards an unenlightened race of 
men, whose happiness materially depends on the conduct ot 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 subdi- 
visions of the districts into surveys, the appointinent of officers, and the assignment of compensations, have like- 
wise been carried into effect. In a matter in which both materials and experience were wanting to guide the calcu- 
lation, it will be readily conceived that there must have been difficulty in such an adjustment of the rates of com- 
pensation as would conciliate a reasonable competency yvitli a proper regard to the limits prescribed by the law. It is 
hoped that the circumspection wliich 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 particualr 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 ail, 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 ot 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 admimstration in the affections of the People. 
Pursuant to the authority contained in the several acts on that subject, a district of ten miles square, for the 
permanent seat of the Government of the United States, has been fixed, and announced by proclamation ; which 
district vrill 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, lor 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 mis- 
carried.) 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 ot the United States borders on four millions of persons. 


It is proper also to inform you, that a further loan of two millions and a half of 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 six millions of florins, had been set on foot under circumstances that assured 
an immediate completion. 

Gentlemen of the Senate: 

Two treaties, wliich 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 farst arrangements of a new government for an extensive country, have been 
happily surmounted by the zealous and judicious exertions of your predecessors, in co-operation with the other 
branch of the Legislature. The important objects which remain to be accomplished, will, I am persuaded, be con- 
ducted upon principles equally compreliensive, 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, howeverj is already known, to afford an assurance that the views of that act have been sub- 
stantially 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 tlie 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 wliich they are actuated. The subscriptions in the debts of the respective States, as far as the 
provisions of the law have permitted, mav 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, tor 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, \vill 
afford you leisure to resume them with advantage. 

There are, however, some of them, of which I cannot forbear a more particular mention. These are: tlie militia; 
the post office and post roads; the mint; weights and measures; a pro^^sion 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 connexion 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 hazai-ds of fortuitous 

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 the instrumentality in diffusing a knowledge 
of the laws and proceedings of the Government; which, while it contributes to the security of the peoplej serves also 
to guard them against the effects of misrepresentation and misconception. The establishment of additional cross 
posts, especially to some of tlie important points in the western and northern parts of the Union, cannot 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 elect 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 ancf universal, must be no less honora- 
ble 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 ot its right. 


United States, October 9,5, 1791. 

On Monday, October 31, 1791, the Senate waited on the President of the United States, and the Vice 
President, in their name, delivered to him the following 


To the President of the United States: 

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 
laued 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 commumcations 
which shall confirm their existence and indicate their source. 

Whilst 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 tliat the presentj)rospect 
u ^ 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 ensure our zealous attention to an object so waiinly espoused by the 
pnnciples of benevolence, and so highly interesting to the honor and welfare of the nation. 

Ihe 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. 

3 VOL. I. 


We observe, sir, the constancy and activity of your zeal for tlie public good. The example A'.ill animate our 
eftbrts to promote the happiness of our countiy. 

To which the President of the Uxited States made the following reply: 


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

I tiiank you tor the favorable sentiments with which you view the part I have borne in the arduous ti-ust com- 
mitted to the Government of tlie United States, and desire you to be assured that all my zeal will continue to 
Second those further eftbrts for the public good v.hich are ensured by the spirit in wliich you are entering on the 
present session. 


On Friday, October 28, ir91, the Speaker, attended by the House of Representatives, waited on the 
President of the United States, and delivered to him the followng 



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 countryj and wliilst, 
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 
insh'umental 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 ani 
good conduct of the militia, whose services were called for, is an honorable confirmation of the efficacy of tliat precious 
resource of a free State. And we anxiously wish that the consecjuences 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 
towards 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 m 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 sucli an increase of the number which is to 
enjoy those blessings witliin 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, wliilst 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 pai-t of them. 

To which the President of the United States replied as follows: 


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 boi-ne 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. 


. Congress.] No. 5. [2d_SE 


delivered on TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 1792. 

FcUow-citizcns of the Senate 

and of the House of Representatives: 

It is some abatement of the satisfaction with which I meet you on the present occasion, that, in felicitating you 
on a continuance of tlie national prosperity, generally, I am not able to add to it information that the Indian hostili- 
ties, which have, for some time past, distressed our northwestern frontier, have terminated. 

You vill. I am persuaded, learn, with no less concern than I communicate it, that reiterated endeavors towards 
effecting a pacification, have hitherto issued only in new and outrageous proofs of persevering hostility on the part 
of the tiibes w\i\\ whom we are in contest. An earnest desire to procure tranquillity to the frontier; to stop the 
further effusion of blond; to arrest the progress of expense; to forward the prevalent ^^ ish of the nation for peace, 
has led to strenuous efforts, through vaiious channels, to accomplish these desirable purposes: in making which 
efforts, I consulted less my own anticipations of the event, or the scruples which some considerations were calcu- 
lated to inspire, than the wish to find the object attainable; or, if not attainable, to ascertain unequivocally that such 

A detail of the measures whicli have been pursued, and of their consequences, which will be laid before you, 
while it will confirm to you the want of success, thus far, will, I trust, evince that means as proper and as effica- 
cious as could have been devised have been employed. The issue of some of tliem, indeed, is still depending; but 
a favorable one, though not to be despaired of, is not promised by any tiling that has yet happened. 

In tlie course of the attempts which have been made, some valuable citizens have fallen victims to their zeal for 
the public service. A sanction, commonly respected even among savages, has been found, in this instance, insuffi- 
cient to protect from massacre the emissaries of peace. It will, I presume, be duly considered whetlier the occasion 
does not call for an exercise of liberality towards the families of the deceased. 


It must add to your concern to be informed, that, besides the continuation of hostile appearances among the 
tribes north of the Ohio, some threatening symptoms have of late been revived among some of those south of it. 

A part of the Cherokees, known by tlie name of Cliickamagas, inhabiting five villages on the Tennessee liver 
have long been in the practice of committing depredations on the neighboring settlements. ' 

It was hoped that tlie treaty of Holston, made with the Cherokee nation in July, 1791, would have prevented 
a repetition of such depredations. But the event has not answered this hope. The Chickamaeas, aided by some 
banditti of another tiibe in their vicinity, have recently perpetrated wanton and unprovoked Tiostilities upon the 
citizens of the United States in that quarter. The information which has been received on this subject will be laid 
before you. Hitherto, defensive precautions only have been strictly enjoined and observed. 

It is not understood that any breach of treaty, or aggression whatsoever, on the part of the United States or 
their citizens, is even alleged as a pretext for the spirit of hostility in this quarter. "' 

I have reason to believe that every practicable exertion has been made (pursuant to the provision by lav/ for that 
purpose) to be prepared for the alternative of a prosecution of the war, in the event of a failure of pacific overtures. 
A large proportion of the troops authorized to be raised have been recruited, though the number is still incomplete' 
and pains have been taken to discipline and put them in condition for the particular kind of service to be performed.' 
A delay of operations (besides being dictated by the measures which were pursuing towards a pacific termination of 
the war) has been in itself deemed preferable to immature ettbrts. A statement from the proper department, with 
regard to the number of troops raised, and some other points which have been suggested, will aflibrd more precise 
information as a guide to the legislative consultations^ and, among other tilings, will enable Congress to jud^e 
whether some additional stimulus to the recruiting service may not be advisable. ° 

In looking forward to the future expense of the operations which may be found inevitable, I derive consolation 
from the information I receive, that the product of the revenues for the present year is likely to supersede the neces- 
sity of additional burthens on the community for the service of the ensuing year. This, however, will be better 
ascertained in the course of the session ; and it is proper to add, that the inlormation alluded to proceeds upon the 
supposition of no material extension of the spirit of hostility. 

I cannot dismiss the subject of Indian affairs, without again recommending to your consideration the expediency 
of more adequate provision for giving energy to the laws throughout our interior frontier; and for restraining the 
commission of outrages upon tlie Indians; wthout which, all pacific plans must prove nugatory. To enable, by 
competent rewards, the employment of qualified and trusty persons to reside among them, as agents, would also con- 
tribute to the preservation of peace and good neighborhood. If, in addition to these expedients, an eligible plan 
could be devised for promoting civilization among tlie friendly tribes, and for carrying on trade with them, upon a 
scale equal to their wants, and under regulations calculated to protect them from imposition and extortion, its 
influence in cementing their interests with ours could not but be considerable. 

The prosperous state of our revenue has been intimated. This would be still more the case, were it not ibr the 
impediments which, in some places, continue to embarrass the collection of the duties on spirits distilled within the 
United States. These impeciiments have lessened, and are lessening, in local extent; and, as applied to the com- 
munity at large, tlie contentment with the law appears to be progressive. 

But symptoms of increased opposition having lately manifested themselves in certain quarters, I judged a special 
intei-position on my pai-t proper and advisable; and, under tliis impression, have issued a proclamation, warning 
against ail unlawful combinations and proceedings, having for their object or tending to obstruct the operation of 
the law in question, and announcing that all lawful ways and means would be strictly put in execution for bringing 
to justice tlie infractors thereof, and securing obedience thereto. 

Measures have also been taken for the prosecution of offenders ; and Congress may be assured, that notliing 
within constitutional and legal limits, which may depend on me, shall be wanting to assert and maintain the just 
authority of the laws. In fulfilling this trust, I shall count entirely upon the full co-operation of the other depart- 
ments of the Government, and upon the zealous support of all good citizens. 

I cannot forbear to bring again into the view of the Legislature the subject of a revision of the judiciary system. 
A representation from the judges of the supreme court, which will be laid before you, points out some of the 
inconveniences that are experienced. In the course of the execution of the laws, considerations arise out of the 
structure of that system, which, in some cases, tend to relax their efficacy. As connected with this subject, pro- 
visions to facilitate the taking of bail upon processes out of the courts of the United States, and a supplementary 
definition of offences against the constitution and laws of tlie Union, and of the punishment for such offences, will, 
it is presumed, be found worthy of particular attention. 

Observations on the value of peace with other nations are unnecessary. It would be wise, however, by timely 
provisions, to guard against those acts of our own citizens wliich might tend to disturb it, and to put ourselves in a 
condition to give that satisfaction to foreign nations which we may sometimes have occasion to require from them. I 
particularly recommend to your consideration the means of preventing those aggressions by our citizens on the ter- 
ritory of other nations, and other infractions of the law of nations, which, furnishing just subject of complaint, might 
endanger our peace with them; and, in general, the maintenance of a friendly intercourse with foreign Powers will 
be presented to your attention by the expiration of the law for that purpose, which takes place, if not renewed, at 
the close of the present session. 

In execution of the authority given by the Legislature, measures have been taken for engaging some artists from 
abroad to aid in the establishment of our mint ; others have been employed at home. Provision 'has been made for 
the requisite buildings, and these are now putting into proper condition for the purposes of the establishment. There 
has also been a small beginning in the coinage of half dimes, the want of small coins in cuxulation calling the first 
attention to them. 

The regulation of foreign coins, in coiTespondency with the principles of our national coinage, as being essential 
to their due operation, and to order in our money concerns, will, I doubt not, be resumed and completed. 

It is represented that some provisions in the law which establishes the post office, operate, in experiment, against 
the transmission of newspapers to distant parts of the country. Should this, upon due inquiry, be found to be the 
met, a full conviction of the importance oi facilitating the circulation of political intelligence and information, will, 
I doubt not, lead to the application of a remedy. 

The adoption of a constitution for the State of Kentucky has been notified to me. The Ledslature v- ill sliai-e 
with me in the satisfaction which arises from an event interesting to the happiness of the part of the nation to which 
it relates, and conducive to the general order. 

It is proper like\vise to inform you, that, since my last communication on the subject, and in further execution of 
the acts severally making provision for the public debt and for the reduction tiiereof, three new loans have been effected, 
each for three millions ot florins; one at Antwerp, at the annual interest of four and one half per cent, with an 
allowance of four per cent, in lieu of all charges; and the otlier two at Amsterdam, at the annual interest of four 
per cent, with an allowance of five and one half per cent, in one case, and of five per cent, in the other, in lieu of 
all charges. The rates of these loans, and the circumstances under which they have been made, are confirmations 
of the high state of our credit abroad. 

Among the objects to which these funds have been directed to be applied, the payments of the debts due to 
certain foreign officers, according to the provision made during the last session, has been embraced. 

. Gentlemen of the House of Representatives: 

I entertain a strong hope tliat the state of the national finances is now sufficiently matured to enable you to enter 
upon a systematic and effectual ai;rangement for tlie regular redemption and discharge of the public debt, according 
to the right which has been reserved to the Government; no measure can be more desirable, whether viewed with 
an eye to its intrinsic importance, or to the general sentiment and wsh of the nation. 


Provision is likewise requisite for the reimbursement of the loan which lias been made of the Bank of the United 
States, pursuant to the eleventh section of the act by which it is incorporated. In fulfilling the public stipulations 
in tliis particular, it is expected a valuable saving will be made. 

Appropriations for the current service of the ensuing year, and for such extraordinaries as may require provision, 
will demand, and I doubt not will engage, your early attention. 

Gentlemen of the Senate and of the Hou&e of Representatives: 

I content myself with recalling your attention, generally, to such objects, not particularized in my present, as 
have been suggested in my former communications to you. 

Various temporary laws wll expire during the present session. Among these, that which regulates trade and 
intercourse with the Indian tribes will merit particular notice. 

The results of your common deliberations hitherto, will, I trust, be productive of solid and durable advantages 
to our constituents; such as, by conciliating more and more their ultimate suffrage. vnW tend to strengthen and 
confirm their attachment to that constitution of government, upon which, under divine Providence, materially depend 
their union, their safety, and their happiness. 

Still furtlier to promote and secure these inestimable ends, there is nothing which can have a more powerful 
tendency than the careful cultivation of harmony, combined with a due regard to stability in the public councils. 


United States, November 6, 1792. 

On Friday, November 9, 179Z, the Senate waited on the President of the United States, and the President 
pro tempore, in their name, delivered to him the following 


To the President of the United Stales: 

Accept, sir, our gi'ateful acknowledgments for your address at the opening of the present session. We partici- 
pate with you in the satisfaction arising from the continuance of the general prosperity of the nation: but it is not 
without the most sincere concern that we are informed that the reiterated effbrts which have been made to establish 
peace with the hostile Indians have hitherto failed to accomplish that desired object. Hoping that the measures still 
depending may prove more successful than those which have preceded them, we shall nevertlieless concur in every 
necessary preparation for the alternative; and should the Indians ou either side of the Ohio persist in their hostili- 
ties, fidelity to the Union, as well as affection for our fellow-citizens on the frontiers, will ensure our decided co- 
operation in every measure which shall be deemed requisite for their protection and safety. 

At the same time that we avow the obligation of the Government to afford its protection to every part of the 
Union, we cannot refrain from expressing our regret that even a small portion of our fellow-citizens, in any quarter 
of it, should have combined to oppose the operation of the law for the collection of duties on spirits distilled within 
the United States — a law repeatedly sanctioned by the authority of the nation, and, at this juncture, materially con- 
nected with the safety and protection of those who oppose it. Should the means already adopted fail in securing 
obedience to this law, such fiirther measures as may be thought necessary to carry the same into complete operation 
cannot fail to receive the approbation of the Legislature, and the support of every patriotic citizen. 

It yields us pai-ticular pleasure to learn that the productiveness ot the revenue of the present year will probably 
supersede the necessity of any additional tax for the service of the next. 

The organization of the government of the Stite of Kentucky being an event peculiarly interesting to a part of 
our fellow-citizens, and conducive to the general order, affords us particular satisfaction. 

We are happy to learn, that the high state of our credit abroad has been evinced by the terms on which the new 
loans have been negotiated. 

In the course ot the session we shall proceed to take into consideration the several objects which you have been 
pleased to recommend to our attention; and, keeping in view the importance of union and stability in the public 
councils, we shall labor to render our decisions conducive to the safety and happiness of our country. 

We repeat, with pleasure, our assurances of confidence in your administration, and our ardent wish that your 
unabated zeal for the public good may be rewarded by the durable prosperity of the nation, and every ingredient of 
personal happiness. 


President pro tempore. 

To which the President of the United States made the following reply: 

I derive much pleasure, gentlemen, from your very satisfactory address. The renewed assurances of your con- 
fidence in mv administration, and the expression of your wish for my personal happiness, claim and receive my 
particular acknowledgments. In my future endeavor "for the public welfare, to which my duty may call me, I shall 
not cease to count upon the firm, enlightened, and patriotic support of the Senate. 


On Monday, November 12, 1792, the Speaker, attended by the House of Representatives, waited on the 
President of the United States, and delivered to him the following 



. Tl^J House of Representatives, who always feel a satisfaction in meeting you, are much concerned, that the 
occasion for mutual felicitation, afforded by the circumstances favorable to the national prosperity, should be 
abated by a continuance of the hostile spirit of many of the Indian tribes; and particularly, that the reiterated efforts 
for effecting a general pacification with them, should have issued in new proofs of their persevering enmity, and the 
barbarous sacnfice of citizens, who. as the messengers of peace, were distinguisliing themselves by their zeal for the 

public service. In our deliberations on tliis important department of our affairs, "we shall be disposed to pursue 
every measure that may be dictated by the sincerest desire, on one hand, of cultivating peace, and manifesting, by 
every practicable regulation, our benevolent regard for the welfare of those misguided people: and by the duty we 

feel, on the other, to provide effectually for the safety and protection of our fellow-citizens. 

While with regret we learn, that symptoms of opposition to the law imposing duties on spirits distilled within the 
United States have manifested themselves, we reflect with consolation, that they are confined to a small portion of 
our tellow-citizens. It is not more essential to the presei-vation of true liberty, that a government should be always 
ready to listen to the representations of its constituents, and to accommodate its measures to the sentiments and 
wishes ot every part of them, as fiir as will consist with th"6 good ot the whole, tlian it is, that the just authority of 
the aws should be steadfastly maintained. Under this impression, every department of the Government, and all 
good citizens, must approve the measures you have taken, and the purpose you have formed, to execute this part of 
your trust with firmness and energy; and be assured, sir, of every constitutional aid and co-operation which may 
become requisite on our part. And we hope that, while the progress of contentment under the law in question is as 
obvious as itis rational, no particular part of the community may be permitted to withdraw from the general burthens 
ot the country, by a conduct as irreconcileable to national justice, as it is inconsistent with public decency. 


The productive state of the public revenue, and the confirmation of the credit of the United States abroad, 
evinced by tlie loans at Antwerp and Amsterdam, are communications the more gratifying, as they enforce the obli- 
gation to enter on systematic and effectual arrangements for discharging the public debt, as fast as the conditions of it 
will permit; and we take pleasure in the opportunity to assure you of our entire concurrence in the opinion, that no 
measure can be more desirable, whether viewed with an eye to the urgent wish of tlie community, or the intrinsic 


importance of promoting so happy a change in our situation. 

The adoption of a constitution for the State of Kentucky, is an event, on which we join in all the satisfaction 
ou have expressed. It may be considered as particularly interesting, since, besides tlie immediate benefits resulting 
_rom it, it is another auspicious demonstration of the facility and success with wliich an enlightened people is capable 
of providing, by free and deliberate plans of government, for their own safety and happiness. 

The operation of the law establisliing tlie post ofhce, as it relates to the transmission of newspapers, will merit 
our particular inquiry and attention — the circulation of political intelligence, through these vehicles, being justiy 
reckoned among the surest means of preventing the degeneracy of a free government, as well as of recommending 
every salutary public measure to the confidence and co-operation of all virtuous citizens. 

The several other matters which you have communicated and recommended, will, in their order, receive the 
attention due to them, and our discussions will, in all cases, we trust, be guided by a proper respect for harmony 
and stability in the public councils, and a desire to conciliate, more and more, the attachment of our constituents 
to the constitution, oy measures accommodated to the true ends for which it was established. 

To which the President of the United States made the following reply: 

Gentlemen : 

It gives me pleasure to express to you the satisfaction which your address affords me. I feel, as I ought, the 
approbation you mamfest of the measures I have taken, and the purpose I have formed, to maintain, pursuant 
to the trust reposed in me by the constitution, the respect which is due to the laws ; and the assurance which you, 
at the same time, give me, of every constitutional aid and co-operation that may become requisite, on your part. 
This is a new proof of that enlightened solicitude for the establishment and confirmation of public order, which, 
embracing a zealous regard for the principles of true liberty, has guided the deliberations of the House of Repre- 
sentatives — a perseverance in which can alone secure, under the divine blessing, the real and permanent felicity of 
our common country. 


No. 6. 



1 am again called upon, by the voice of my country, to execute the functions of its Chief Magistrate. When 
the occasion proper for it shall arrive, I shall endeavor to express the high sense I entertain of this distinguished 
honor, and'of the confidence which has been reposed in me by the People ot United America. 

Previous to the execution of any official act of the President, the constitution requires an oath of office. This 
oath I am now about to take, and in your presence; that, if it should be found, during my administration of the 
Government, I have, in any instance, violated willingly or knowingly, the injunction thereof , I may, (besides incur- 
ring constitutional punishment) be subject to the upbraidings of all who are now witnesses of the present solemn 

3d Congress.] No 7. [1st Session. 



Fellow-citizens of the Senate 

and of the House of Representatives: 
Since the commencement of the term for which I have been again called into office, no fit occasion has arisen 
for expressing to my fellow-citizens at large the deep and respectful sense which I feel of the renewed testimony of 
public approbation. While, on the one hand, it awakened my gratitude for all those instances of affectionate 
partiality with which I have been honored by my country; on the other, it could not prevent an earnest wish for 
that retirement from which no private consideration should ever have torn me. But, influenced by the belief that 
my conduct would be estimated according to its real motives, and that the People, and the authorities derived from 
them, would support exei-tions having nothing personal for their object, I have obeyed the suffrage wliich com- 
manded me to resume the Executive power; and I humbly implore that Being, on whose will the fate of nations 
depends, to crown with success our mutual endeavors for the general happiness. 

As soon as the war in Europe had embraced those Powers with whom the United States have the most extensive 
relations, there was reason to apprehend that our intercourse with them miglit be interrupted, and our disposition 
for peace drawn into question by the suspicions too often entertained by belligerent nations. It seemed, therefore, 
to be my duty to admonish our citizens of the' consequences of a contraband Ixade, and of hostile acts to any of the 
parties; and to obtain, by a declaration of the existing legal state of thin";s, an easier admission of our right to the 
immunities belonging to our situation. Under these impressions, the proclamation wliich will be laid before you 
was issued. 

In this posture of affairs, both new and delicate, I resolved to adopt general rules, which should conform to the 
treaties, and assert the privileges, of the United States. These were reduced into a system, which will be commu- 


nicated to you. Although I have not thought myself at liberty to forbid the sale of tlie prizes, permitted by our 
treaty of commerce with France to be brought into our ports, I have not refused to cause them to be restored when 
they were taken witliin the protection of our territory, or by vessels commissioned or equipped in a warlike form 
wthin the limits of the United States. 

It rests wth the wisdom of Congress to correct, improve, or enforce, this plan of procedure; and it will probably 
be found expedient to extend the legal code and the jurisdiction of tlie courts of the United States to many cases 
which, though dependent on principles already recognized, demand some further provisions. 

Where individuals shall, within tlie United States, array themselves in hostility against any of the Powers at 
war; or enter upon militaiy expeditions or enterprises within the jurisdiction of the United States; or usurp and 
exercise judicial authority within the United States; or where the penalties on violations of the law of nations may 
have been indistinctly marked, or are inadequate: these offences cannot receive too early and close an attention, 
and require prompt and decisive remedies. 

Whatsoever those remedies may be, they will be well administered by tlie judiciary, who possess a long established 
course of investigation, effectual process, and officers in the habit of executing it. 

In like manner, as several of the courts have doubted, under particular circumstances, tlieii- power to liberate 
the vessels of a nation at peace, and even of a citizen of the United States, although seized under a false color of 
being hostile property, and have denied their power to liberate certain captures within the protection of our territory, 
it would seem proper to regulate their jurisdiction in these points; but if the Executive is to be the resort in either 
of the two last mentioned cases, it is hoped tliat he will be authorized by law to have facts ascertained by the courts, 
when, for his o.wn information, he shall request it. 

I cannot recommend to your notice measures for the fulfilment of our duties to the rest of the world, without 
again pressing upon you the necessity of placing ourselves in a condition of complete defence, and of exacting from 
them the fulfilment of their duties towards us. The United States ought not to indulge a persuasion, that, contrary 
to the order of human events, they will forever keep at a distance those painful appeals to arms with which the 
history of every otlier nation abounds. There is a rank due to the United States, among nations, which will be 
withheld, if not absolutely lost, by the reputation of weakness. If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to 
repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be 
known that we ai-e at all times ready for war. The documents which will be presented to you will shew the amount 
and kinds of arms and military stores now in our magazines and arsenals; and yet an addition even to these supplies 
cannot, with prudence, be neglected, as it would leave nothing to the uncertainty of procuring a warlike appai'atus 
in the moment of public danger. 

Nor can such arrangements, with such objects, be exposed to the censure or jealousy of the waimest friends of repub- 
lican government. They are incapable of abuse in the hands of the militia, who ought to possess a pride in being the 
depositary of the force ofthe republic, and may be trained to a degree of energy equal to every military exigency of the 
United States. But, it is an inquiry which cannot be too solemnly pursued, whether the act " more effectually to 
provide for tlie national defence, by establishing an uniform militia throughout the United States," has organized 
them so as to produce theii- full effect; whether your own experience in the several States has not detected some 
imperfections in the scheme; and whether a material feature, in an improvement of it, ought not to be, to afford an 
opportunity for the study of those branches of the military art winch can scarcely ever be attained by practice alone? 

The connexion of the United States witli Europe has become extremely interesting. The occurrences which 
relate to it and have passed under the knowledge of the Executive, will be exhibited to Congress in a subsequent 

WHien we contemplate the war on our frontiers, it may be truly affirmed that every reasonable eflTort has been 
made to adjust the causes of dissension with the Indians north of the Ohio. The instructions given to the commis- 
sioners eviiice a moderation and equity proceeding from a sincere love of peace and a liberality having no restriction but 
the essential interests and dignity of the United States. The attempt, however, of an amicable negotiation, having 
been frustrated, the troops have marched to act offensively. Although the proposed treaty did not ai-rest the progress 
of military preparation, it is doubtful how far the advance of the season, before good faith justified active movements, 
may retard them, during the remainder of the year. From the papers and intelligence which relate to this important 
subject, you will determine, whether the deficiency in the number of troops, granted by law, shall be compensated 
by succors of militia, or additional encouragement shall be proposed to recruits. 

An anxiety has been also demonstrated by the Executive for peace with the Creeks and the Cherokees. The 
former have been relieved with corn and with clothing, and offensive measures against them prohibited during the 
recess ofCongress. To satisfy the complaints of the latter, prosecutions have been instituted tor the violences com- 
mitted upon them. But the papers which will be delivered to you disclose the critical footing on which we stand in 
regard to both those tribes; ana it is wth Congress to pronounce what shall be done. 

" After they shall have provided for the present emergency, it will merit their most serious labors to render tran- 
quillity with the savages permanent, by creating ties of interest. Next to a rigorous execution of justice on the 
violaters of peace, the establishment of commerce with the Indian nations, in behalf of the United States, is most 
likely to conciliate their attachment. But it ought to be conducted without fraud, without extoi-tion, with constant 
and plentiful supplies ; with a ready market for the commodities of the Indians, 'and a stated price for what they give 
in payment and receive in exchange. Individuals will not pursue such traffic, unless they be allured by the hope of 
profit ; but it mil be enough for the United States to be reimbursed only. Should this recommendation accord Avith 
the opinion of Congress, they will recollect that it cannot be accompltshed by any means yet in the hands of the 

Gentlemen of the House of Representatives: 

The commissioners, charged with the settlement of accounts between the United States and indi\idual States, 
concluded their important functions within the time limited by law ; and the balances struck in their report, which 
will be laid before Congress, have been placed on the books of the Treasury. 

On the first day of June last, an instalment of one million of florins became payable on the loans of the United 
States in Holland. This was adjusted by a prolongation of the period of reimbursement, in nature of a new loan, 
at an interest of five per cent, for the term of ten years ; and the expenses of this operation were a commission of 
three per cent. 

The first instalment of the loan of two millions of dollars, from the Bank of tlie United States, has been paid, as 
was directed by law. For the second it is necessaiy that provision should be made. 

No pecuniary consideration is more urgent than the regular redemption and discharge of the public debt; on 
none can delay be more injurious, or an economy of time more valuable. 

The productiveness of the public revenues liiithertq, has continued to equal the anticipations which were formed 
of it; but it is not expected to prove commensurate with all the objects which have been suggested. Some auxiliary 
provisions will, tlieretore, it is presumed, be requisite; and it is hoped that these may be made, consistently witli a 
due regard to the convenience of our citizens, who cannot but be sensible of the true wisdom of encountering a 
small present addition to their contributions, to obviate a future accumulation of burthens. 

But here I cannot forbear to recommend a repeal of the tax on the transportation of public prints. Tliere is no 
resource so firm for the Government of the United States as the affections of the people, guided by an enlightened poli- 
cy; and to this primary good nothing can conduce more than a faitliful representation of public proceedings, diffused 
without restraint, throughout the United States. 

An estimate of the appropriations necessary for the current sei-vice of the ensuing year, and a statement of a 
purchase of arms and military stores, made during the recess, will be presented to Congress. 


Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives: 

The several subjects to which I have now referred, open a wide range to your deliberations, and involve some 
of the choicest interests of our common county. Permit me to bring to your remembrance the magnitude of your 
task. Without an unprejudiced coolness, the welfai-e of the Government may be hazarded; without harmony, as 
far as consists witli freedom of sentiment, its dignity may be lost. But, as the legislative proceedings of the United 
States will never, I trust, be reproached for the want of temper or of candor, so shall not the public happiness 
languish from the want of my strenuous and warmest co-operation. 


Philadelphia, December 3, 1793. 

On Tuesday, December 10, 1793, the Senate waited on the President of the Uinted States, and the Vice 
President, in their name, delivered to him the followng 


To the President of the United States: 

Accept, sir, the thanks of the Senate for your speech delivered to both Houses of Congress at the opening of the 
session. Your re-election to the chief magistracy of the United States gives us sincere pleasure. We consider it 
as an event every way propitious to the happiness of our country; and your compliance with the call, as a fiesh 
instance of the patriotism which has so repeatedly led you to sacrifice private inclination to the public good. In the 
unanimity whicii a second time marks this important national act, we trace, with pai-ticular satisfaction, besides the 
distinguished tribute paid to the virtues and abilities which it recognizes, another proof of that just discernment, 
and constancy of sentiments and views, wliich have liitherto characterized the citizens of the United States. 

As the European Powers with whom the United States have the most extensive relations were involved in wai-, 
in which we had taken no pai-t, it seemed necessary that the disposition of the nation for peace should be promul- 
gated to the world, as well for the purpose of admonishing our citizens of the consequences of a contraband trade 
and of acts hostile to any of the belligerent partieSj as to obtain, by a declaration of the existing legal state of tilings, 
an easier admission of our riglit to the immunities of our situation : we therefore contemplate with pleasure the 
proclamation by you issued, and give it our hearty approbation. We deem it a measure well timea, and wise; 
manifesting a watclilul solicitude for the welfare of the nation, and calculated to promote it. 

The several important matters presented to our consideration will, in the course of the session, engage all the 
attention to which they are respectively entitled; and as the public happiness will be the sole guide of our delibe- 
rations, we are perfectly assured of receiving your strenuous and most zealous co-operation. 

Vice President of the United States, and President of the Senate. 

To which the President of the United States made the following reply : 


The pleasure expressed by the Senate on my re-election to the station wliich I fill, commands my sincere and 
warmest acknowledgments. If this be an event which promises the smallest addition to the happiness of our coun - 
try, as it is my duty, so shall it be my study, to realize the expectation. 

The decided approbation which the proclamation now receives from your House, by completing the proof that 
this measure is considered as manifesting a vigilant attention to the welfare of the United States, brings with it a 
peculiar gratification to my mind. 

The other important subjects wliich have been communicated to you, will, I am confident, receive a due discus- 
sion; and the result \vill, I trust, prove fortunate to the United States. 


On Saturday, December 7, 1793, the Speaker, attended by the House of Representatives, waited on the 
President of the United States, and delivered to him the following 



The Representatives of the People of the United States, in meeting you, for tlie first time since you have 
been again called, by an unanimous suffrage, to your present station, find an occasion, wliich they embrace with 
no less sincerity than promptitude, for expressing to you their congratulations on so distinguished a testimony of 
public approbation, and their entire confidence in the purity and patriotism of the motives which have produced 
this obedience to the voice of your country. It is to virtues which have commanded long and universal reverence, 
and services from wliich have flowed great and lasting benefits, that the tribute of praise may be paid, without the 
reproach of flattery; and it is from the same sources that the fairest anticipations may be derived in favor of the 
public happiness. 

The United States having taken no part in the war which had embraced in Europe the Powers with whom they 
have the most extensive relations, the maintenance of peace was justly to be regarded as one of the most impor- 
tant duties of the magisti-ate charged with the faitliiul execution of the laws. We accordingly witness, wth appro- 
bation and pleasure, the vigilance with which you have guarded against an interruption of that blessing, by your 
proclamation, admonishing our citizens of the consequences of illicit or hostile acts towards the belligerent parties; 
and promoting, by a declaration of the existing legal state of things, an easier admission of our right to the immuni- 
ties belonging to our situation. 

The connexion of the United States mth Europe has evidently become extremely interesting. The communica- 
tions which remain to be exhibited to us, will, no doubt, assist in giving us a fuller view of the subject, and in guid- 
ing our deliberations to such results as may comport wth the rights and tme interests of our country. 

We learn, with deep regret, (hat the measures, dictated by a love of peace, for obtaining an amicable tennination 
of the aiflicting war on our frontiers, have been frustrated; and that a resort to offensive measures should have again 
become necessary. As the latter, however, must be rendered more satisfactory, in proportion to the solicitude for 
peace, manifested by the former, it is to be hoped they will be pursued under the better auspices, on that account, ' 
and be finally crowned with more happy success. 

In relation to the particular tribes of Indians, against whom offensive measures have been proliibited, as M'ell as on 
all the other important subjects wliich you have presented to our view, we shall bestow the attention which they 
claim. We cannot, however, refrain, at tliis time, from particularly expressing our concurrence in your anxiety for 
the regular discharge of the public debts, as fast as circumstances and events will permit ; and in the policy of re- 
moving any impediments that may be found in the way of a faithfiil representation of public proceedings tlu-oughout 
the United States: being persuaded, with you, that, on no subject, more than the former, can delay be more injiui- 
ous, or an economy of time more valuable; and that, with respect to the latter, no resource is so firm for the Govern- 
ment of the United States, as the affections of the People, guided by an enlightened policy. 

Throughout our deliberations we shall endeavor to cherish every sentiment which may contribute to render them 
conducive to the dignity as well as to the welfare of the United States. And we join with you in imploiing tiiat 
Being, on whose will the fate of nations depends, to crown with success our mutual endeavors. 

To wliich the President of the United States made the following reply: 



I shall not aftect to conceal the cordial satisfaction which I derive from the address of the House of Repre- 
sentatives. Wliatsoever those services may be, which you have sanctioned by your favor, it is a sufficient reward that 
they have been accepted as they were meant. For the fulfilment of your anticipations of the future, 1 can give no 
other assurance than that the motives which you approve shall continue unchanged. 

It is truly gi-atitying to me to learn that the proclamation has been considered as a seasonable guard against the 
interruption ot the public peace. Nor can I doubt, that the subjects which I have recommended to your attention, 
as depending on legislative provisions, will receive a discussion suited to their importance. With every reason, 
then, it may be expected that your deliberations, under the Divine blessing, will be matured to the honor and happi- 
ness of the United States. 


3d Congress.] No. 8. [2d Session. 


delivered on WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 1794. 

Fellow-citizens of the Senate 

and of the House of Representatives: 

When we call to mind the gracious indulgence of Heaven, by which the American People became a nation; 
when we survey the general prosperity of our country, and look forward to the riches, power, and happiness, to 
which it seems destined; with the deepest regret do I announce to you that, during your recess, some of the citi- 
zens of the United States have been found capable of an insurrection. It is due, however, to the character of our 
Government, and to its stability, which cannot be shaken by the enemies of order, freely to unfold the course of 
this event. 

During the session of the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety, it was expedient to exercise the legislative 
power, granted by the constitution of the United States, " to lay and collect excises." In a majority of the States, 
scarcely an objection was heard to this mode of taxation. In some, indeed, alarms were at first conceived, until 
they were banished by reason and patriotism. In the four western counties of Pennsylvania, a prejudice, fostered 
and embittered by the artifice of men, who labored for an ascendency over the will of others, by the guidance of 
their passions, produced symptoms of riot and violence. It is well known, that Congress did not hesitate to examine 
the complaints which were presented; and to relieve them, as far as justice dictated, or general convenience would 
permit. But, the impression which this moderation made on the discontented, did not correspond with what it 
deserved. The arts of delusion were no longer confined to the efforts of designing individuals. The very forbear- 
ance to press prosecutions was misinterpreted into a fear of urging the execution of tiie laws, and associations 9f 
men began to denounce threats against the officers employed. From a belief, that, by a more formal concert, their 
operation might be defeated, certain self-created societies assumed the tone of condemnation. Hence, while the 
greater part of Pennsylvania itself were conforming themselves to the acts of excise, a few counties were resolved 
to frustrate them. It was now perceived, that every expectation from the tenderness which had been hitherto pur- 
sued was unavailing, and that further delay could only create an opinion of impotency or irresolution in the Go- 
vernment Legal process was therefore delivered to the marshal against the rioters and delinciuent distillers. 

No sooner was he understood to be engaged in this duty, than the vengeance of armed men was aimed at his 
person, and the person and property of the inspector of the revenue. They fired upon the marshal, arrested him, 
and detained him, for some time, as a prisoner. He was obliged, by the jeopardy of his life, to renounce the service 
of other process, on the west side of the Allegheny mountain; and a deputation was afterwards sent to him to 
demand a suirender of that which he had served. A numerous body repeatedly attacked the house of the inspector, 
seized his papers of office, and filially destroyed by fire his buildings and whatsoever they contained. Both of these 
officers, from a just regard to their safety, lied to the seat of government — it being avowed, that the motives to such 
outrages were to compel the resignation of the inspector; to withstand by force of arms the authority of the United 
States; and thereby to extort a repeal of t\\e laws of excise, and an alteration in the conduct of Government 

Upon the testimony of these facts, an associate justice of the supreme court of the United States notified to me 
that, "in the counties of Washington and Allegheny, in Pennsylvania, laws of the United States were opposed, and 
the execution thereof obstructed, by combinations too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial 
proceedings, or by the powers vested in the marshal of that district" On this call, momentous in the extreme, I 
sought and weighed what might best subdue the crisis. On the one hand, the judiciary was pronounced to be stripped 
of its capacity to enforce the laws; crimes, which reached the very existence of social order, were perpetrated 
without control; the friends of government were insulted, abused, and overawed into silence, or an apparent acqui- 
escence; and, to yield to the treasonable fury of so small a portion of the United States, would be to violate the 
fundamental principle of our constitution, which enjoins that the will of the majority shall prevail. On the other, 
to array citizen against citizen, to publish the dishonor of such excesses, to encounter the expense, and other em- 
barrasments, of so distant an expedition, were steps too delicate, too closely interwoven with many affecting con- 
siderations, to be lightly adopted. I postponed, therefore, the summoning of the militia immediately into the field; 
but I required them to be held in readiness, that, if ray anxious endeavors to reclaim the deluded, and to convince 
the malignant of their danger, should be fruitless, military force might be prepared to act, before the season should 
. be too far advanced. 

My proclamation of the 7th of August last was accordingly issued, and accompanied by the appointment of coni- 
missioners, who were charged to repair to the scene of insurrection. They were authorized to comer wth any bodies 
of men or individuals. They were instructed to be candid and explicit in stating the sensations which had been 
excited in the Executive, and his earnest wish to avoid a resort to coercion; to represent, however, that, without sub- 
mission, coercion must be the resort ; but to invite them, at the same time, to return to the demeanor of faithfiil 
citizens, by such accommodations as lay within the sphere of Executive power. Pardon, too, was tendered to them 
by the Government of the United States, and that of Pennsylvania, upon no other condition than a satisfactory assur- 
ance of obedience to the laws. 

Although the report of the commissioners marks their firmness and abilities, and must unite all virtuous men, by 
shewng that the means of conciliation have been exhausted, all of those who had committed or abetted the tumults 
did not subscribe the mild form which was proposed as the atonement; and the indications of a peaceable temper 
were neither sufficiently general nor conclusive to recommend or warrant the farther suspension of the march of the 

Thus, the painful alternative could not be discarded. I ordered the militia to march, after once more admon- 
isUng the insurgents, in my proclamation of tiie 25th of September last 


It was a task too difficult to ascertain with precision tlie lowest degree of force competent to the quelling of the 
insurrection. From a respect, indeed, to economy, and the ease of my fellow-citizens belonging to the nnlitia, it 
would have gratitied me to accomplish such an estimate. My very reluctance to ascribe too much importance to the 
opposition, had its extent been accurately seen, would have been a decided inducement to the smallest efficient num- 
bers. In this uncertainty, therefore, I put into motion fifteen thousand men, as being an army which, according to 
all human calculation, would be prompt and adequate in every view, and might, perhaps, by rendering resistance 
desperate, prevent the eftiision of blood. Quotas had been assigned to the States of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Mary- 
land, and Virginia; the Governor of Pennsylvania having declared, on this occasion, an opinion which justified a 
requisition to the other States. 

As commander in chief of the militia, when called into the actual service of the United States, I have visited the 
places of general rendezvous, to obtain more exact information, and to direct a plan for ulterior movements. Had 
there been room for a persuasion, that the laws were secure from obstruction; that the civil magistrate was able to 
bring to justice such of the most culpable as have not embraced the proffered terms of amnesty, and may be deemed 
fit objects of example; that the friends to peace and good government were not in need of that aid and countenance 
which they ought always to receive, and, 1 trust, ever willreceive, against the vicious and turbulent; I should have 
caught witii avidity the opportunity of restoring the militia to their families and home. But, succeeding intelligence 
has tended to manifest the necessity of what has been done; it being now confessed by those, who were not inclined 
to exaggerate the ill conduct of the insurgents, that their malevolence was not pointed merely to a particular law, 
but that a spirit, inimical to all order, has actuated many of the offenders. If the state of things had afibrded reason 
for the contmuance of my presence with the army, it would not have been withholden. But every appearance assuring 
such an issue as will redound to the reputation and strength of the United States, I have judged it most proper to 
resume my duties at the seat of government, leaving the chief command with the Governor of Virginia.' 

Still, however, as it is probable that, in a commotion like the present, whatsoever may be the pretence, the pur- 
poses of mischief and revenge may not be laid aside, the stationing of a small force, for a certain period, in the four 
western counties of Pennsylvania will be indispensable, whether we contemplate the situation of those who are con- 
nected with the execution of the laws, or of others, who may have exposed themselves by an honorable attachment 
to them. Thirty days from the commencement 9f this session being tlie legal limitation of the employment of the 
militia. Congress cannot be too early occupied with this subject. 

Among the discussions which may arise from this aspect of our affairs, and from the documents which will be 
submitted to Congress, it will not escape their observation, that not only the inspector of the revenue, but other offi- 
cers of the United States, in Pennsylvania, have, from their fidelity in the discharge of their functions, sustained 
material injuries to their property. The obligation and policy of indemnifying them are strong and obvious. It 
may also merit attention, whether policy will not enlarge this provision to the retaibution of other citizens, who, 
though not under the ties of office, may have sufl'ered damage by their generous exertions for upholding the constitu- 
tion and the laws. The amount, even if all the injured were included, would not be great; and on future emer- 
gencies, the Government would be amply repaid by the influence of an example, that he, who incurs a loss in its 
defence, shall find a recompence in its liberality. 

While there is cause to lament that occurrences of this nature should have disgraced the name, or interrupted 
the ti-anqiiillity, of any part of our community, or should have diverted, to a new application, any portion ot the 
public resources, there are not wanting real and substantial consolations for the misfortune. It has demonstrated, 
that our prosperity rests on solid foundations, by furnishing an additional proof, that my fellow-citizens understand 
the true principles of government and liberty; that they feel their inseparable union; that, notwithstanding all the 
devices which nave been used to sway them from their interest and duty, they are now as ready to maintain the 
authority of the laws against licentious invasions, as they were to defend their rights against usurpation. It has 
been a spectacle, displaying to the highest advantage the value of republican government, to behold the most and 
the least wealthy of our citizens standing in the same ranks, as private soldiers, pre-eminently distinguished by being 
the army of the constitution; undeterred by a march of three hundred miles over rugged mountains, by the approach 
of an inclement season, or by any other discouragement. Nor ought I to omit to acknowledge the efficacious and 
patriotic co-operation which I have experienced from the Chief Magistrates of the States to which my requisitions have 
been addressed. 

To eveiy description, indeed, of citizens, let praise be given. But let them persevere in their affectionate \igilance 
over that precious depository of American happiness, the constitution of the United States. Let them cherish it, 
too, for the sake of those who, from every clime, are daily seeking a dwelling in our laud. And when, in the calm 
moments of reflection, they shall have retraced the origin and progress of the insurrection, let them determine whe- 
ther it has not been fomented by combinations of men, who, careless of consequences, and disregarding the unerring 
truth, that those who rouse cannot always appease a civil convulsion, have disseminated, from an ignorance or per- 
version of facts, suspicions, jealousies, and accusations, of the whole Government. 

Having thus fulfilled the engagement which I took, when I entered into office, "to the best of my ability to pre- 
serve, protect, and defend, the constitution of the United States," on you, gentlemen, and the people by whom you 
are deputed, I rely for support. 

In the arrangements to which the possibility of a similar contingency will naturally draw your attention, it ought 
not to be forgotten that the militia laws have exhibited such striking defects as could not have been supplied but by 
the zeal of our citizens. Besides the extraordinary expense and waste, which are not the least of the defects, every 
appeal to those laws is attended with a doubt on its success. 

The devising and establishing of a well regulated militia would be a genuine source of legislative honor, and a 
perfect title to public gratitude. I, therefore, entertain a hope, that the present session will not pass, without car- 
rying, to its full energy, the power of organizing, arming, and disciplimng, the militia; and thus providing, iu the 
language of the constitution, for calling them fSrth to execute the laws ot the Union, suppress insurrections, and 
repel invasions. 

As auxiliary to the state of our defence, to which Congress can never too frequently recur, they will not omit to 
inquire, whether the fortifications, which have been already licensed by law, be commensurate with our exigencies. 

The intelligence from the army under the command of General Wayne is a happy presage to our military operations 
against the hostile Indians north of the Ohio. From the advices which have been forwarded, tie advance which he 
has made must have damped the ardor of the savages, and weakened their obstinacy in waging war against the United 
States. And yet, even at this late hour, when our power to punish them cannot be questioned, we shall not be 
unwilling to cement a lasting peace, upon terms of candor, equity, and good neighborhood. 

Towards none of the Indian tribes have overtures of fnendship been spared. The Creeks, m particular, are 
covered from encroachment by the interposition of the G eneral Government and that of Georgia. From a desire, 
also, to remove the discontents of the Six Nations, a settlement meditated at Presqu' isle, wi Lake Erie, has been 
suspended; and an agent is now endeavoring to rectify any misconception into which they may have fallen. But, 
I cannot refrain from again pressing upon your deliberations the plan wliich I reconmiended at the last session, for 
the improvement of harmony with all the Indians within our limits, by the fixing and conducting of trading houses 
upon the principles then expressed. 

Gentlemen of the House of Representatives: 

The time which has elapsed since the commencement of our fiscal measures has developed our pecuniary resources, 
so as to open the way for a definitive plan for the redemption of the public debt. It is believed that the result is such 
as to encourage Congress to consummate this work without delay. Nothing can more promote the permanent welfare 
of the nation, and nothing would be more grateful to our constituents. Indeed, w'hatsoever is unfinished of our 
system of public credit, cannot be benefited by procrastination; and, as far as may be practicable, we ought to place 
4 vol.. I. 



that credit on "Tounds which cannot be disturbed, and to prevent tliat progressive accumulation of debt, which 
must ultimatefy endanger all governments. . , j. ,, ,., • ^ .• ^ ,. u j • u , 

An estimate of the necessary appropnations. including the expenditures into which we have been driven by tlie 
insurrection, vvill be submitted to Congress. 

Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives: 

The mint of the United States has entered upon the coinage of the precious metals, and considerable sums of 
defective coins and bullion have been lodged with the director, by individuals. There is a pleasing prospect that 
the institution will, at no remote day, realize the expectation which was originally formed of its utility. 

In subsequent communications, certain circumstances of our intercourse with foreign nations will be transmitted 
to Congress. However, it may not be unseasonable to announce that my policy, in our foreign transactions, has been 
to cultivate peace with all the world; to observe treaties with pure and absolute faith; to check every deviation 
from the line of impartiality; to explain what mav have been misapprehended, and correct what may have been 
injurious to any nation; and, having thus acquired the right, to lose no time in acquiring the ability, to insist upon 
justice being done to ourselves. , , . , , 

Let us unite, therefore, in imploring the Supreme Ruler of nations to spread his holy protection over these 
United States; to turn the machinations of the wicked to the confirming of our constitution; to enable us, at. all 
times, to root out internal sedition, and put invasion to flight; to perpetuate to our country that prosperity, wliich 
his goodness has already conferred; and to verify the anticipations of this government being a safeguard to human 

"^^^^' . GEO. WASHINGTON. 

United States, November 19, 1794. 

On Saturday, November 22, 1794, the Sexate waited on the President of the United States, and the Vice 
President, in their name, delivered to him the following 


We receive with pleasure your speech to the two Houses of Congress. In it we perceive renewed proofs 
of that vigilant and paternal concern for the prosperity, honor, and happiness of our country, which has unifonnly 
distinguislied your past administration. ■ r 

Our anxiety arising from the licentious and open resistance to the laws in the western counties of Pennsylvania, 
has been increased by the proceedings of certain self-created societies, relative to the laws and administration of the 
government — proceedings, in our apprehension, founded in political error, calculated, if not intended, to disorganize 
our Government; and which, by inspiring delusive hopes of support, have been influential in misleading our fellow- 
citizens in the scene of insurrection. 

In a situation so delicate and important, the lenient and persuasive measures which you adopted, merit and 
receive our affectionate approbation. These failing to procure their proper effect, and coercion having become 
inevitable, we have derived the highest satisfaction from the enlightened patriotism and animating zeal with which 
the citizens of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, have rallied around the standard of Government, 
in opposition to anarchy and insurrection. 

Our warm and cordial acknowledgments are due to you, sir, for tlie wisdom and decision with wliicli you arrayed 
the militia to execute the public will; and to them, for the disinterestedness and alacrity with wliich they obeyed 
your summons. ,/-,.,, 

The example is precious to the theory of our Government, and confer^ the bnghtest honor upon the patriots who 
have given it 

We shall readily concur in such farther provisions for the security of internal peace and a due obedience to tlie 
laws, as the occasion manifestly requires. 

The effectual organization of the militia, and a prudent attention to tne fortifications of our ports and harbors, 
are subjects of great national importance, and, together with the other measures you have been pleased to recom- 
mend, will receive our deliberate consideration. 

The success of the troops under the command of General Wayne, cannot fail to produce essential advantages. 
The pleasure with which we acknowledge the merits of that gallant general and army, is enhanced by the hope that 
their victories will lay the foundation of a just and durable peace witli tlie Indian tnbes. 

At a period so momentous in the affairs of nations, the temperate, just, and firm policy that you have pursued, 
in respect to foreign Powers, has been eminently calculated to promote the great and essential interest of our countiy, 
and has created the fairest title to the public gratitude and thanks. 

Vice President of the United States and President of the Senate. 

To which the President of the United States made the followng reply: 

Gentlemen: -^ 

Among the occasions which have been afforded for expressing my sense of the zealous and steadfast co- 
operation of the Senate, in the maintenance of government, none has yet occurred more forcibly demanding my 
unqnalified acknowledgments than the present 

Next to the consciousness of upright intentions, it is tlie highest pleasure to be approved by the enlightened 
representatives of a free nation. With the satisfaction, therefore, which arises from an unalterable attachment 
to public order, do I learn that the Senate discountenances those proceedings which would arrogate the direction 
of our affairs wthout any degree of authority derived from tiie People. 

It has been mon; than once the lot of our Government to be thrown into new and delicate situations; and of these, 
the insurrection has not been the least important Having been compelled, at length, to lay aside my repugnance to 
resort to arms, I derive, much happiness from being confirmed by your judgment in the necessity of decisive mea- 
sures, and from the support of my fellow-citizens of the militia, who were the patriotic instruments of that necessity. 

With such demonstrations of affection for our constitution; with an adequate organization of the militia; wth 
the establishment of the necessary fortifications; with a continuance of those judicious and spirited exertions which 
have brought victory to our western army: with a due attention to public credit; and an unsullied honor towai-ds all 
nations; we may meet, under every assurance of success, our enemies from within and from without 


On Saturday, November 29, 1704, the Speaker, attended by the House of Representatives, waited on the 
President of the United States, and delivered to him the following 



The House of Representatives, calling to mind the blessings enjoyed by the People of the United States, 
and especially the happiness of living under constitutions and laws which rest on their authority alone, could not 
learn, with other emotions than those you have expressed, that any part of our fellow-citizens should have shewn 
themselves capable of an insurrection. And we learn, with the greatest concern, that any misrepresentations what- 
ever, of the Government and its proceedings, either by individuals or combinations of men, should have been made, 


and so far credited, as to foment the flagrant outrage which has been committed on the laws. We feel, with you the 
deepest regret at so painful an occurrence in the annals of our country. As men regardful of the tender interests of 
humanity, we look with grief at scenes which might have stained our land with civil blood. As lovers of public 
order, we lament that it has suffered so flagrant a violation. As zealous friends of republican government we 
deplore eveiy occasion which, in the hands ot its enemies, may be turned into a calumny against it. ' 

This aspect of the crisis, however, is happily not the only one which it presents. There is another, Avhich yields 
all the consolations which you have drawn trom it It has demonstrated to the candid world, as well as to the 
American People themselves, that the great body of them, every where, are equally attached to the luminous and 
rital principle of our constitution, which enjoins that the wll of the majority shall prevail; tliat they understand 
the indissoluble union between true liberty and regular Government; that they feel their duties no less than they 
are watchful over their rights; that they will be as ready, at all times, to crush licentiousness, as they have been to 
defeat usurpation ; in a word, that they are capable of carrying into execution that noble plan of self-government 
wliich they nave chosen, as the guarantee of their own happiness, and the asylum for that of all, from every clime 
who may wish to unite their destiny with ours. ' 

These ai-e the just inferences flowing from the promptitude with which the sunuhons to the standard of the laws 
has been obeyed, and from the sentiments which have been witnessed, in every description of citizens, in every 
quarter of the Union. The spectacle, therefore, when viewed in its true light, may well be affirmed to display in 
equal lustre, the virtues of the American chaiacter, and the value of republican government. All must particular- 
ly acknowledge and applaud the patriotism of that portion of citizens who have freely sacrificed every thin" less 
dear than the love of their country to the meritorious task of defending its happiness. * 

In the part which you have yourself borne through this delicate and distressing period, we trace the additional 
proofs it has afforded of your solicitude for the public good. Your laudable and successful endeavors to render leni- 
ty in executing the laws conducive to their real energy, and to convert tumult into order, mthout the effusion of 
blood, form a particular title to the confidence and praise of your constituents. In all that may lie found necessary, 
on our part, to complete this benevolent purpose, and to secure the ministers and friends of the laws against the re- 
mains of danger, our due co-operation will be afforded. 

The other subjects which you have recommended, or communicated, and of wliich several are peculiarly interestin<' 
will all receive the attention which they demand. We are deeply impressed with the importance of an effectual 
organization of the militia. We rejoice at the intelligence of the advance and success of the army under the com- 
mand of General Wayne, whether we regard it as a proof of the perseverance, prowess, and superiority, of our 
troops, or as a happy presage to our military operations against the hostile Indians, and as a probable prelude to the es- 
tablishment of a lasting peace, upon terms of candor, equity, and good neighborhood. We receive it with the great- 
er pleasure, as it increases the probability of sooner restoring a part of the public resources to the desirable object of 
reducing the public debt. 

We shall, on this, as on all occasions, be disposed to adopt any measure which may advance the safety and pros- 
perity of our country. In nothing can we more cordially unite with you, than in imploring the Supreme Ruler of 
nations to multiply his blessings on these United States; to guard our free and hapgy constitution against every 
macliination and danger; and to make it the best source of public happiness, by verifying its character of being the 
best safeguard of human rights. 

To which the President of the United States made the following reply : 

I anticipated, witli confidence, the concurrence of the House of Representatives in the regret produced by 
the insurrection. Every effort ought to be used to discountenance what has contributed to foment it, and thus dis- 
courage a repetition of like attempts: for, notwithstanding the consolations which may be drawn from the issue of 
this event, it is far better that the artful approaches to such a situation of things should be checked by the vi<dlant 
and duly admonished patiiotism of our fellow-citizens, than that the evil should increase until it becomes necessary 
to crush it by the strength of their arm. 

I am happy, that the part which I have myself borne on this occasion receives the approbation of your House 
For the discharge of a constitutional duty, it is a sufficient reward to me to be assured that you will unite in con- 
summating what remains to be done. 

I feel, also, great satisfaction in learning that the other subjects which I have communicated or recommended 
will meet with due attention; that you are deeply impressed with the importance of an effectual organization of the 
militia; and that the advance and success of the army under the command of General Wayne is regarded by you 
no less than myself, as a proof of the perseverance, prowess, and superiority, of our troops. ' 


4th Congress. 1 ]Vo. 9. [1st Session. 



Fellow-citizens of the Senate 

and of the House of Representatives: 

I trust I do not deceive myself, while I indulge the persuasion that I have never met you at an/ period, when, 
more than at the present, the situation of our public affairs has afforded just cause for mutual congratulation, and 
for inviting you to join with me in profound gratitude to the author of all good for the numerous and extraordinary 
blessings we enjoy. 

The termination of the long, expensive, and distressing war in which we have been engaged with certain Indians 
nortliwest of the Oliio, is placed in the option of the United States, by a treaty wliich the commander of our army 

f ^""'^Inded provisionally with the hostile tribes in tliat region. In the adjustment (/ the terms, the satisfaction 
ot the Indians was deemed an object wortliy no less of the policy than of the liberalit;' of the United States, as the 
necessary basis of durable tranquillity. This object, it is believed, has been fully attained. The articles agreed 
upon will immediately be laid before the Senate, for their consideration. 

A ^ - ^^'^^^ ^"^^ Cherokee Indians, who, alone, of tlie southern tribes, had annoyed our frontier, have lately confirm- 
ed their pre-existing treaties wth us, and were giving evidence of a sincere disposition to carry them into effect, by 
the surrender ot the prisoners and property they had taken. But we have to lament, that the fair prospect in this 
quarter has been once more clouded by wanton murders, which some citizens of Georgia are represented to have 
recently perpetrated on hunting parties of the Creeks, which have a^ain subjected that frontier to disquietude and 
danger; which will be productive of further expense, and may occasion more effusion of blood. Measures are pur- 


suin" to prevent or mitigate the usual consequences of such outrages, and with the hope of their succeeding, at least 

° ^\ letter from the Emperor of Morocco announces to me his recognition of our treaty made with his father, the 
la-'e Emperor and, consequently, the continuance of peace with that Power. With peculiar satisfaction I add, that 
information has been received from an agent deputed on our part to Algiers, importing that the terms of a treaty with 
the Dev and Regency of that country had been adjusted in such a manner as to authorize the expectation of a speedy 
neace and the restoration of our unfortunate fellow-citizens froin a grievous captivity. . . , , , , 

The latest advices from our envoy at the court of Madnd, a\e, moreover, the pleasing inlonnation that he had 
received assurances of a speedy and satisfactory conclusion ofliis negotiation. While the event, depending upon 
unadjusted particulars, cannot be regarded as ascertained, it is agreeable to cherish the expectation ot an issue, which, 
secunn<' amicably very essential interests of the United States, will, at tlie same time, lay the foundation of lasting 
harmony mth a Power whose fiiendsMp we have uniformly and sincerely desired to cultivate. 

Though not before officially disclosed to the House of Representatives, you, gentlemen, are all apprised that a 
treaty of amity, commerce, and navigation, has been negotiated with Great Britain, and that the Senate nave advised 
and consented to its ratification, upon a condition which excepts part of one article. Agreeably thereto, and to the 
best judgment I was able to form of the public interest, after full and mature deliberation, I have added my sanction. 
Tlie result on the part of His Britannic Majesty is unknown. When received, the subject will, without delay, be 

^ ^ This interesting summary of our affairs, with regard to the foreign Powers between whom and the United States 
controversies have subsisted; and with regard, also, to those of our Indian neighbors with whom we have been in a 
state of enmity or misunderstanding; opens a wide field for consoling and gratifying reflections. If, by prudence 
and moderation on every side, the extinguishment of all the causes of external discord, wliich have heretofore menaced 
our tranquillity on terms compatible with our national rights and honor, shall be the happy result, how firm and how 
precious a foundation will have been laid for accelerating, maturing, and establishing, the prosperity of our country 
Contemplating the internal situation, as well as the external relations, of the United States, we discover equal 
cause for contentment and satisfaction. AVhile many of the nations of Europe, with their American dependencies, 
liave been involved in a contest unusually bloody, exhausting, and calamitous, in which the evils ot foreign war have 
been aggravated by domestic convulsion and insurrection; in which many of the arts most useful to society have 
been e^osed to discouragement and decay; in which scarcity of subsistence has embittered other suifenngs, while 
even the anticipations of a return of the blessings of peace and repose are alloyed by the sense of heavy and accumu- 
latin<' burthens which press upon all the departments of industry, and threaten to clog the future springs of Go- 
vernment: our'favored country, happy in a striking contrast, has enjoyed general tranquillity— a tranquillity the 
more satisfactory, because maintained at the expense of no duty. Faithful to ourselves, we have violated no obliga- 
tion to others. Our agriculture, commerce, and manufactures, prosper beyond former example; the molestations «r 
our trade (to prevent a continuance of which, however, very pointed remonstrances have been made,) being over- 
balanced by the aggregate benefits which it derives from a neutral position. Our population advances with a celerity 
which, exceeding the most sanguine calculations, proportionally augments our strength and resources, and giiaraii- 
ties our future security. Every part of the Union displays indications of rapid and various improvement; and, with 
burthens so light as scarcely to be perceived; with resources fully adequate to our present exigencies; \vith govern- 
ments founded on the genuine principles of rational liberty; and \vith mild and wholesome laws; is it too much to 
say, that our country exhibits a spectacle of national happiness, never surpassed, if ever before equalled? 

Placed in a situation every way so auspicious, motives of commanding force impel us, with sincere acknowledg- 
ment to Heaven, and pure love to our countiy, to unite our efforts to preserve, prolong, and improve, our immense 
advantages. To co-operate with you in this desirable work, is a fervent and favorite wish of my heart. 

It is a valuable ingredient in the general estimate of our welfare, that the part of our country which was lately 
the scene of disorder and insurrection, now enjoys the blessings of quiet and order. The misled have abandoned 
their errors, and pay the respect to our constitution and laws which is due from good citizens to the public authori- 
ties of the society. These circumstances have induced me to pardon, generally, the offenders here referred to, and 
to extend forgiveness to those who had been adjudged to capital punishment: for, though I shall always think it a 
sacred duty to exercise with firmness and energy the constitutional powers with which I am vested, yet it appears 
to me no less consistent witli the public good, than it is with my personal feelings, to mingle m the operations of 
government every degree of moderation and tenderness which the national justice, aignity, and safety, may permit. 


Among the objects which will claim your attention in the course of the session, a review of our mili- 
tary establishment is not tlie least important. It is called for by tlie events which have changed, and may be expected 
stif! further to change, the relative situation of our frontiers. In this review you will doubtless allow due wei^t 
to the considerations, that the questions between us and certain foreign Powers are not yet finally adjusted; that 
the war in Europe is not yet terminated; and that our western posts, when recovered, will demand provision for 
garrisoning and securing them. A statement of our present military force will be laid before you by the Department 
of War. 

With the review of our army establishment is naturally connected that of the militia. It will merit inquiry, what 
imperfections in the existing plan further experience may have unfolded. The subject is of so much moment, in 
my estimation, as to excite a constant solicitude that the consideration of it may be renewed, till the greatest attain- 
able perfection shall be accomplished. Time is weaiingaway some advantages for forwarding the object, while none 
better deserves the persevering attention of the public councils. 

While we indulge tlie satisfaction which the actual condition of our western borders so well authorizes, it is 
necessary that we should not lose sight of an important truth, which continually receives new confirmations, namely, 
that the provisions heretofore made with a view to the protection of the Indians from the violences of the lawless 
part of our frontier inhabitants, are insufficient. It is demonstrated that these violences can now be perpetrated with 
inipunity. And it can need no argument to prove that, unless the murdering of Indians can be restrained, by bring- 
ing the murderers to condign punishment, all the exertions of the Government to prevent destructive retaliations by 
the Indians, will prove fruitless, and all our present agreeable prospects illusory. The frequent destruction of inno- 
cent women and children, who are chiefly the victims of retaliation, must continue to shock humanity, and an enor- 
mous expense to drain the Treasury of the Union. 

To enforce, upon the Indians the observance of justice, it is indispensable that there shall be competent means of 
rendering justice to them. If these means can be devised by the wisdom of Congress, and especially if there can 
be added an adeq'iate provision for supplying the necessities of the Indians, on reasonable terns, (a measure, the 
mention of which \ the more readily repeat, as, in all the conferences with them, they urge it with solicitude,) I 
should not hesitate to entertain a strong hope of rendering our tranquillity permanent. I add, with pleasure, that 
the probability even of their civilization is not diminished by the experiments which have been thus far made under 
the auspices of Governmexvt. The accomplishment of this work, if practicable, will reflect undecaying lustre on our 
national character, and adninister the most grateful consolations that virtuous minds can know. 

Gentlemen of the Hoyge of Representatives: 

The state of our revenue, wi^h the sums which have been borrowed and reimbursed, pursuant to different acts of 
Congiess, will be subinitted from the proper department, together with an estimate of the appropriations necessary 
tp be made for the service of the ensuing year. 

Whether measures may not be advisaWe to reinforce the provision for the redemption of the public debt will 
naturally engage your examination. Congress have demonstrated their sense to be, and it were superfluous to repeat 
mincj that whatsoever will tend to accelerate ihe honoraf)le extinction of our public debt, accords as much with the 
true interest of our country as with the general sense of our constituents. 


Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Representatives: 

The statements which will be laid before you relative to the mint, will show the situation of that institution, and 
the necessity of some further legislative provisions for carrying the business of it more completely into effect, and 
for checking abuses which appear to be arising in particular cjuai'ters. 

The progress in providing materials for the frigates, and in building them; the state of tiie fortifications of our 
harbors; the measures which have been pursued for obtaining proper sites for arsenals, and for replenishing our 
magazines wth military stores; and the steps which have been taken towards the execution of the law for opening 
a trade with the Indians, will likewise be presented for the information of Congress. 

Temperate discussion of the important subjects wliicli may arise in the course of the session, and mutual forbear- 
ance where there is a difference of opinion, aie too obvious and necessary for the peace, happmess, and welfare, of 
our country, to need any recommendation of mine. 


United States, Becember 8, 1795. 

On Saturday, December 12, 1795, the Senate waited on the President of the United States, and the Vice 
President, in their name, delivered to him the following 


Sir: It is with peculiar satisfaction that we are informed by your speech to the two Houses of Congress, that the 
long and expensive war in wWch we have been engaged with the Indians northwest of the Ohio is in a situation to be 
finally terminated ; and though we view with concern the danger of an interruption of the peace so recently con- 
firmed with the Creeks, we indulge the hope that the measures that you have adopted to prevent the same, if followed 
by those legislative provisions that justice and humanity equally demand, will succeed in laying the foundation of a 
lasting peace with the Indian tribes on the southern as well as on the western frontiers. 

The confirmation of our treaty with Morocco, and the adjustment of a treaty of peace with Algiers, in consequence 
of which our captive fellow-citizens shall be delivered from slavery, are events that will prove no less interesting to 
the public humanity, than they will be important in extending and securing the navigation and commerce of our 

As a just and equitable conclusion of our depending negotiations with Spain will essentially advance the interest 
of both nations, and thereby cherish and confirm the good understanding and friendship which we have at all times 
desired to maintain, it wll afford us real pleasure to receive an early confirmation of our expectations on this subject. 

The interesting prospect of our afiairs, with regard to the foreign Powers between whom and the United States 
controversies have subsisted, is not more satisfactory than the review of our internal situation. If from the former 
we derive an expectation of the extinguishment of all the causes of external discord that have heretofore endangered 
our tranquillity, and on terms consistent }vith our national honor and safety, in the latter we discover those numerous 
and wde spread tokens of posperity, which, in so peculiar a manner, distinguish our happy country. 

Circumstances thus every way auspicious, demand our gratitude and sincere acknowledgments to Almighty 
God, and require that we should unite our efforts in imitation of your enlightened, firm, and persevering example, 
to establish and preserve the peace, freedom, and prosperity, of our country. 

The objects which you have recommended to the notice of the Legislature, will, in the course ot the session, re- 
ceive our careful attention; and, with a true zeal for the public welfare, we shall cheerfully co-operate in every 
measure that shall appear to us best calculated to promote the same. 

Vice President of the United States and President of the Senate. 

To which the President of the United States made the following reply: 


With real pleasure I receive your address, recognizing the prosperous situation of our public affairs, 
and giving assurances of your careful attention to the objects demanding legislative consideration; and that, vnth 
a true zeal for the public welfai-e, you will cheerfully co-operate in every measure which shall appear to you best 
calculated to promote the same. 

But I derive peculiar satisfaction from your concun-ence with me in the expressions of gratitude to Almighty 
God, which a review of the auspicious circumstances that distinguish our happy country have excited ; and I trust 
that the sincerity of our acknowledgments will be evidenced by a union of efforts to establish and preserve its peace, 
freedom, and prosperity. 


On Thursday, December 17, 1795, the Speaker, attended by the House of Representatives, waited on the 
President of the United States, and delivered to him the following 


To the President of the United States : 

As the Representatives of the People of the United States, we cannot but participate in the sti-ongest sensi- 
bility to every blessing which they enjoy, and cheerfully join with you in profound gratitude to the auHior of all 
good, for the numerous and extraordinary blessings which he has conferred on our favored country. 

A final and formal termination of the distressing war wliicb has ravaged our northwestern frontier, will be an 
event which must afford a satisfaction proportionate to the anxiety with which it has long been sought ; and in the 
adjustment of the terms, we perceive the true policy of making them satisfactory to the Indians as well as to the 
United States, as the best basis of a durable tranquillity. The disposition of such of the southern tribes as had, also, 
heretofore annoyed our frontier, is another prospect in our situation, so important to the interest and happiness of the 
United States, that it is much to be lamented that any clouds should be thrown over it, more especially by excesses 
on the part of our own citizens. 

Wliile our population is advancing with a celerity which exceeds the most sanguine calculations; while every 
part, of the United States displays indications of rapid and various improvement; wliile we are in the enjoyment of 
protection and security, by mild and wholesome laws, administered by governments founded on the genuine princi- 
ples of rational liberty; a secure foundation will be laid for accelerating, maturing, and establishing, the prosperity 
of our country, if, by treaty and amicable negotiation, all those causes of external discord which heretofore menaced 
our tranquillity, shall be extinguished, on terms compatible vrith our national rights and honor, and with our consti- 
tution and great commercial interests. 

Among the various circumstances in our internal situation, none can be viewed with more satisfaction and exulta- 
tion, than that the late scene of disorder and insurrection has been completely restored to the enjoyment of order and 
repose. Such a triumph of reason and of law is worthy of the free government under which it happened, and was 
justly to be hoped from the enlightened and patriotic spirit which pervades and actuates the People of the United 

In contemplating that spectacle of national happiness which our country exhibits, and of which you, sir, have 
been pleased to make an interesting summary, permit us to acknowledge and declare the very great share which your 


zealous and faithful services have contributed to it, and to express the affectionate attaciiment which we feel for your 
character. .,..„. 

The several interesting subjects wluch you recommend to our consideration, will receive every degi'ee of attention 
which is due to them. And whilst we feel the obligation to temperance and mutual indulgence in all our discussions, 
we trust and pray that the result to the happiness and welfare of our country may correspond with the pure affec- 
tion we bear to it. 

To which the President of the United States made the following reply: 


Coming, as you do, from all parts of the United States, I receive great satisfaction from the concurrence of 
your testimony in the justness of the interesting summaiy of our national happiness, which, as the result of my inqui- 
ries, I presented to your view. The sentiments we have mutually expressed, of profound gratitude to the source of 
those numerous blessings, the author of all good, are pledges of our obligations to unite our sincere and zealous 
endeavors, as the instruments of Divine Providence, to preserve and perpetuate them. 

Accept, gentlemen, my thanks for your declaration, that to my agency you ascribe the enjoyment of a great share 
of these benetits. So far as my services contribute to the happiness of my country, the acknowledgment thereof by 
my fellow citizens, and their affectionate attachment, will ever prove an abundant reward. 


4thCoN-GREss.] No. 10. [2d Session. 


delivered on WEDNESDAY. DECEMBER T, ir96. 

Fellow-citizens of the Senate 

and of the House of Representatives: 

In recurring to the internal situation of our country, since I had last the pleasure to address you, I find ample 
reason lor a renewed expression of that gratitude to the Ruler of the Universe, which a continued series of prosperity 
has so often and so justly called forth. 

The acts of the last session, which required special arrangements, have been, as far as circumstances would ad- 
mit, carried into operation. 

Measures calculated to ensure a continuance of the friendship of the Indians, and to preserve peace along the 
extent of our interior frontier, have been digested and adopted. In the framing of these, care has been taken to 
guard, on the one hand, our advanced settlements from the predatoiy incursions of those unruly individuals who 
cannot be restrained by their tribes: and on tiie other hand to protect the rights secured to the Indians by treaty; 
to draw them nearer to the civilized state; and inspire them with correct conceptions of the power as well as jus- 
tice of the Government. 

The meeting of the deputies from the Creek nation at Colerain, in the State of Georgia, v/hich had for a princi- 
pal object the purchase of a parcel of their land by that State, broke up without its being accomplished — the nation 
having, previous to their departure, instructed them against making any sale; the occasion however, has been im- 
proved, to confirm, by a new treaty with the Creeks, their pre-existing engagements with the United States, and 
to obtain their consent to the establishment of trading houses and military posts wthin their boundary; by means 
of which, their friendship, and the general peace, may be more effectually secured. 

The period during the late session at which the appropriation was passed for canying into effect the treaty of amitv, 
commerce, and navigation, between tlie United States and his Britannic Majesty, necessarily procrastinated tiie 
reception of the posts stipulated to be delivered, beyond the date assigned for that event. As soon however, as the 
Governor Genera! of Canada could be addressed with propriety on the subject, arrangements were cordially and 
promptly concluded for their evacuation, and the United States took possession of the principal of tliem, compre- 
hending Oswego, Niagara, Detroit, Michilimakinac, and Fort Miami, where such repairs and additions have been 
ordered to be made, as appeared indispensable. 

The Commissioners appointed on the part of the United States and of Great Britain, to determine which is the 
river St. Croix, mentioned in the treaty of peace of 1783, agreed in the choice of Egbert Benson, Esq. of New York, 
for the third commissioner. The whole met at St. Andrew's, in Passamaquoddy, Bay, in the beginning of October, 
a"nd dii-ected surveys to be made of th.e rivers in dispute; but, deeming it impracticable to have tliese surveys com- 
pleted before the next year, they adjourned, to meet at Boston, in August, 1797, for the final decision of the question. 

Other commissioners, appointed on the part of the United States, agreeably to the seventh article of the treaty 
with Great Britain, relative to captures and condemnation of vessels and other property, met the commissioners of 
his Britannic Majesty, in London, in August last, when John TnimbuU, Esq. was chosen by lot, for the fifth com- 
missioner. In October following, the Board were to proceed to business. As yet, there has been no communica- 
tion of commissioners on the part of Great Britain, to unite with those who have been appointed on the part of the 
United States, for carrying into effect the sixth article of the treaty. 

The treaty wth Spain required that the commissioners for running the boundaiy line bet\\een the territory of 
the United States and his Catholic Majesty's provinces of East and West Florida should meet at the Natchez be- 
fore the expiration of six months after the exchange of the ratifications, which was effected at Aranjuez on the t\;-en- 
ty-fifth day of April; and the troops of his Catholic Majesty occupying any posts witliin the limits of the United 
States, were, within the same period, to be withdrawn. The commissioner of the United States, therefore, com- 
menced his journey for the Natchez in September; and troops were ordered to occupy the posts from which the 
Spanish garrisons should be withdrawn. Information has been recently received of the appointment of a commis- 
sioner on the part of his Cadiolic Majesty, for running tlie boundaiy line; but none of any appointment for the 
adjustment ot the claims of our citizens whose vessels were captured by the armed vessels of Spain. 

In pursuance of the act of Congress passed in the last session, for the protection and relief of American seamen, 
agents were appointed, one to reside in Great Britain, and the other in die West Indies. The effects of the agency 
in the West Indies are not yet fully ascertained^ but those wliich have been communicated afford grounds to believe 
the measure vnW be beneficial. The agent destined to reside in Great Britain declining to accept tlie appointment, 
the business has consequently devolved on the Minister of the United States in London, ana will command his 
attention until a new agent shall be appointed. 

After many delays and disappointments, arising out of the European war, the final arrangements for fulfilling the 
engagements made to the Dey and Regency of Algiers, will, in all present appearance, be crowned with success ; 
but under great, tliough inevitable disadvantages, in tlie pecuniary transactions, occasioned by that w^ar, wliich will 


render a further provision necessary. The actual liberation of all our citizens w lio were prisoners in Algiers, while 
it gratifies every feeling heart, is itself an earnest of a satisfactory termination of the whole negotiation. Measures 
are in operation for effecting treaties with the Regencies of Tunis and Tripoli. 

To an active external commerce, the protection of a naval force is indispensable. This is manifest with regard 
to wars in which a State is itself a party. But besides this, it is in our own experience, that the most sincere neu- 
trality is not a sufficient guard against the depredations of nations at war. To secure respect to a neutral flag 
requli-es a naval force, organized and ready to vindicate it from insult or aggression. This may even prevent the 
necessity of going to war, by discouraging belligerent Powers from committing such- violations of the nghts of the 
neutral party, as may, first or last, leave no other option. From the best information I have been able to obtain it 
would seem as if our trade to the Mediterranean, without a protecting force, will always be insecure, and our citizens 
exposed to the calamities from, which numbers of them have but just been relieved. 

These considera,tions invite the United States to look to the means, and to set about the gradual creation of a 
navy. The increasing progress of their navigation proniises them, at no distant period, the requisite supply of sea- 
men; and their means, m other respects, favor the undertaking. It is an encouragement, likewise, that their parti- 
cular situation will give weight and influence to a moderate naval force in their hands. Will it not then be advisa- 
ble to begin, without delay, to provide and lay up the materials for the building and equipping of ships of war. and 
to proceed in the work, by degrees, in proportion as our resources shall render it piacticable witliout inconvenience; 
so that a future war of Europe may not hnd our commerce in the same unprotected state in \vhich it was found hy 
the present .'' 

Congress have repeatedly, and not without success, directed their attention to the encouragement of manufac- 
tures. The object is of too much consequence not to ensure a continuance of their efforts in every way v/hich shall 
appear eligible. As a general rule, manufactures on public account are inexpedient; but where the state of things 
in a country leaves little hope that certain branches of manufactures will, for a great length of time, obtain; when 
these are of a nature essential to the furnishing and equipping of the public forc^, in time of war; are not establish- 
ments for procuring them on public account, to tlie extent ot the ordmary demand for the public service, recom- 
mended by strong considerations of national policy, as an exception to the general rule .'' Ought our country to 
remain in such cases dependent on foreign supply, precarious, because liable to be interrupted ? If the necessary 
ai-ticle should, in this mode, cost more in time of peace, will not the security and independence thence arising, form 
an ample compensation ? Establishments of this sort, commensurate only with the calls of the public service in time 
of peace, will, in time of war, easily be extended in jjroportion to the exigencies of the Government, and may even 
perhaps be made to yield a surplus for the supply of our citizens at large, so as to mitigate the privations from the 
interruption of their trade. If adopted, the plan ought to exclude all tliose branches -ivhich are already or likely 
soon to be established in the country ; in order that there may be no danger of interference with pursuits of indivi- 
dual industry. 

It will not be doubted that, with reference either to individual or national welfare, agriculture is of primary im- 
portance. In proportion as nations advance in population and other circumstances of maturity, tliis truth becomes 
more apparent, and renders the cultivation of the soil more and more an object of public patronage. Institutions for 
promoting it, grow up, supported by the public purse: and to what object can it be dedicated with greater propriety .*' 
Among the means which have been employed to tliis end, none have been attended ^vith greater success than the 
establishment of Boards, composed of proper characters, charged with collecting and diSiising information, and 
enabled, by premiums and small pecuniary aids, to encourage and assist a spirit of discovery and improvement. 
This species of establishment contributes doubly to the increase of improvement, by stimulating to enterprise and 
experiment, and by drawing to a common centi-e the results every where of iniliviclual skill and observation, and 
spreading them thence over the whole nation. Experience accordingly has shown, that they are very clieap instru- 
ments of immense national benefits. 

I have heretofore proposed to the consideration of Congress, the expediency of establishing a national university, 
and also a military academv. The desirableness of both these institutions has so constantly increased with every 
new view I have taken of the subject, that I cannot omit the opportunity of once for all recalling your attention to 

The assembly to which I address myself, is too enlightened not to be fully sensible hovv- much a flourishing state 
of the arts and sciences contributes to national prosperity and reputation. True it is, that our country, much to its 
honor, contains many seminaries of learning, highly respectable and useful ; but the funds upon which they rest are 
too narrow to command the ablest professors in the different departments of liberal knowledge, for the institution 
contemplated, though they would be excellent auxiliaries. 

Amongst the motives to such an institution, the assiinilation of the principles, opinions, and manners, of our coun- 
trymen, by the common education of a portion of our youth from every quarter, well deserves attention. The 
more homogeneous our citizens can be made in these particulai-s, the greater will be our prospect of permanent 
union ; and a primaiy object of such a national institution should be, the education of our youth in the science of 
government. In a republic, what species of knowledge can be equally important ? and what duty more pressing on 
its legislature, than to patronize a plan for communicating it to those who aie to be the future guardians of the liber- 
ties of the country .'' 

The institution of a military academy is also recommended by cogent reasons. However pacific the general 
policy of a nation may be, it ought never to be without an adequate stock of military knowledge for emergencies. 
The fii-st would impair the energy of its character, and both would hazard its safety, or expose it to greater evils 
when war could not be avoided. Besides, that war might often not depend upon its own choice. In proportion as 
the observance of pacific maxims might exempt a nation from the necessity of practising the rules of the military 
art, ought to be its care in preserving and transmitting, by proper establishments, the knowledge of that art. "What- 
ever argument may be drawn from particular examples, superficially viewed, a thorough examination of the subject 
will evince, that the art of war is at once comprehensive and complicated; that it demands much previous study; 
and that the possession of it, in its most improved and perfect state, is always of great moment to the security of a 
nation. This, therefore, ought to be a serious care of every government; and for tliis purpose an academy, where 
a regular course of instruction is given, is an obvious expedient, which different nations have successfully employed. 
The compensations to the officers of the United States, in various instances, and in none more than in respect 
to the most important stations, appear to call for legislative revision. Tiie consequences of a defective provision 
are of serious import to the Government. If private wealth is to supply the defect of puWic retribution, it will 
greatly contract the sphere within which the selection of character for office is to be made, and "ill proportionally 
diminish the probability of a choice of men able as well as upright. Besides, that it would be repugnant to tiie vital 
principles of our Government, virtually to exclude from public trusts, talents and virtue, unless accompanied by 

While, in our external relations, some serious inconveniences and embarrassmen-'s have been overcome, and 
others lessened, it is with much pain and deep regret I mention, that circumstances of •"; very unwelcome nature have 
lately occurred. Our trade has suffered, and is suffering, extensive injuries in the West Indies, from the cruisers 
and agents of the French republic; and communications have been received fro'-' its minister here, which indicate 
the danger of a further disturbance of our commerce by its authority ; and ^'"icn are. m other respects, far from 

It has been my constant, sincere, and earnest wish, in conformity wi-'"! that of our naticai, to maintain cordial 
harmony and a perfectly friendly understanding with that republic. TAis v ish remains unabated; and I shall per- 
severe m the endeavor to fulfil it, to the utmost extent of what shaU be consistent vritii a just and indispensable re- 
gard to the rights and honor of our country ; nor will I easily cease to cherish the expectation, that a spirit of justice, 
candor, and friendship, on the part of the republic, will eventually ensure success. 


In pursuing this course, liowever, I cannot forget what is due to tlie character of our government and nation ; or 
to a fuU and entire confidence in the good sense, patriotism, self-respect, and fortitude, of my countrymen. 
I reserve for a special message a more particular communication on this interesting subject. 

Gentlemen of the House of Representatives: 

I have directed an estimate of the appropriations, necessary for the service of the ensuing year, to be submitted 
from the proper department^ with a view of the public receipts and expenditures to the latest period to which an 
account can be prepared. 

It is with satisfaction I am able to inform you, tliat the revenues ot the United States continue m a state of pro- 
gressive improvement. ■ 

A reinforcement of the existing provisions for discharging our public debt was mentioned in my address at the 
opening of the last session. Some preliminary steps were taken towards it, the maturing of which will, no doubt, 
engage your zealous attention during the present. I will only add, that it will afford me a heartfelt satisfaction to 
concur in such further measures as will ascertain to our country the prospect of a speedy extinguishment of the debt. 
Posterity may have cause to regret, if, from any motive, intervals of tranquillity are left unimproved for accelerating 
this valuable end. 

Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives: 

My solicitude to see the militia of the United States placed on an efficient establishment, has been so often and so 
ardently expressed, that I shall but barely recall the subject to your view on die present occasion; at the same time 
that I snail submit to your inquiry, whether our harbors are yet sutficiently secured? 

The situation in which I now stand, for the last time, in the midst of the Representatives of the People of the 
United States, naturally recalls the period when the administration of the present form of government commenced; 
and I cannot omit tiie occasion to congratulate you, and my country, on the success of the experiment; nor to repeat 
my fervent supplications to the Supreme Ruler of the universe and Sovereign Arbiter of nations, that liis providential 
care may still be extended to the United States; that the virtue and liappiness of the People maybe preserved; and 
that the government wliich they have instituted for the protection of their liberties may be perpetual. 


United States, December 7, 1796. 

On Monday, December 12, 1796, the Senate waited on tlie President of the United States, and tlie Vice 
President, in their name, delivered to him the following 


We thank you, sir, for your faithful and detailed exposure of the existing situation of our country-; and we 
sincerely join in sentiments of gratitude to an overruling Providence for the distinguished share of public prosperity 
and private happiness which the People of the United States so peculiarly enjoy. 

We are fully sensible of the advantages that have resulted from the adoption of measures (which you have suc- 
cessfully carried into effect) to preserve peace, cultivate friendship, and promote civilization, amongst the Indian 
tribes on the western frontiers: feelings of humanity, and the most solid political interests, equally encourage the 
continuance of this system. 

We observe, with pleasure, that the delivery of the military posts, lately occupied by the British forces, within 
the territory of the United States, was made wth cordiality and promptitude, as soon as circumstances would admit; 
and that tlie other provisions of our treaties with Great Britain and Spain, that were objects of eventual arrangement, 
are about being carried into effect, with entire harmony and good faith. 

The unfortunate but unavoidable difficulties that opposed a timely compliance with the terms of the Algerine 
treaty, are much to be lamented; as they may occasion a temporary suspension of the advantages to be derived from 
a solid peace with that Power, and a perfect security from its predatoiy warfare; at the same time, the lively impres- 
sions that affected the public mind on the redemption of our captive fellow-citizens, afford the most laudable incen- 
tive to our exertions to remove the remaining obstacles. 

We perfectly coincide with you in opinion, that the importance of our commerce demands a naval force for its 
protection against foreign insult and depredation, and our solicitude to attain that object will be always proportionate 
to its magnitude. 

The necessity of accelerating the establishment of certain useful manufactures, by the intervention of legislative 
aid and protection, and the encouragement due to agriculture by the creation of Boards, (composed of intelligent 
individuals) to patronize this primary pursuit of society, are subjects which will readily engage our most serious 

A national university may be converted to the most useful purposes: the science of legislation being so essentially 
dependent on the endowments of the mind, the public interests must receive effectual aid from the general difRisioii 
of knowledge; and the United States wU assume a more dignified station among the nations of the earth, by the 
successful cultivation of the higher branches of literature. 

A military academy may be likewise rendered equally important To aid and direct the physical force of the 
nation, by cherishing a imlitary spirit, enforcing a proper sense of discipline, and inculcating a scientific system of 
tactics, is consonant to the soundest maxims of public policy. Connected with, and supported by, such an esta 
blishment, a well regulated militia, constituting the natural defence >9f the country, would prove the most effectual, 
as well as economical, preservative of peace. 

We cannot but consider, with serious apprehensions, the inadequate compensations of the public officers, espe- 
cially of those in the more important stations. It is not only a violation of the spirit of a public contract, but is an 
evil so extensive in its operation, and so destructive in its consequences, that we trust it will receive the most pointed 
legislative attentiun. 

We sincerely lanwnt, that, whilst the conduct of the United States has been uniformly impressed with the character 
of equity, moderation, and love of peace, in the maintenance of all their foreign relationships, our trade should be 
so harassed by the cruisers and agents of the republic of France, throughout the extensive departments of the West 

Whilst we are confidant that no cause of complaint exists that could authorize an interruption of our tranquillity, 
or disengage that republic from the bonds of amity, cemented by the /aith of treaties, we cannot but express our 
deepest regrets that officral cotnmunications have been made to you, indicating a more serious disturbance of our 
commerce. Although we cherisli the expectation that a sense of justice, and a consideration of our mutual interests, 
will moderate their councils, we are not unmindful of the situation in w hich events may place us, nor unprepared 
to adopt that system of conduct, wttK-li, compatible wth the dignity of a respectable nation, necessity may compel 
us to pursue. 

We cordially acquiesce in the reflectiiA», that the United States, under the operation of the Federal Government, 
have expenenced a most rapid aggrandizement and prosperity, as well political as commercial. 

VVliilst contemplating the causes that produce this auspicious result, we must acknowledge the excellence of the 
constitutional system, and the wisdom of the legislative i)rovisions ; but ^ve should be deficient in gratitude and 
justice, did we not attribute a great portion of these advantages to the virtue, firmness, and talents, of your admi- 
nistration; which have been conspicuously displayed in tlie most trying times, and on the most critical occasions. 
It is, therefore, with the sincerest regret that we now receive an official not^ification of your intentions to retire from 
the public employments of your country. 



When we review the various scenes of your public life, so long and so successfully devoted to the most arduous 
services civil and military, as well during the struggles of the American Revolution, as the convulsive penods ot 
a recent' date we cannot look forward to your retirement without our warmest affections and most anxious regards 
accompanying you, and without mingling with our fellow-citizens at large in the sincerest wishes lor your personal 
happiness tliat sensibility and attachment can express. . , ^ ^ . - r ^u • ^ 

Tlie most effectual consolation that can offer for the loss we are about to sustain, arises from the animating 
reflection that the influence of your example will extend to your successors, and the Umted States thus continue to 
enjoy an able, upright, and energetic administration. JOHN ADAMS 

Vice President of the United States and President of the Senate. 

To which tlie President of the United States made the following reply: 


It aftbrds me great satisfaction to find in your address a concurrence in sentiment with me on the various 
topics wliich 1 presented for your information and deliberation; and that the latter will receive from you an atten- 
tion proportioned to their respective importance. , . , . , r i , ■ 

For the notice you take of my public services, civil and military, and your kind wishes for my personal happi- 
ness, I beg you to accept my cordial thanks. Those services, and greater, had I possessed ability to render them, 
were due to the unanimous calls of my country; and its approbation is my abundant reward. t i- i 

When contemplating the period of my retirement, I saw virtuous and enlightened men, among whom I relied 
on the discernment and patriotism of my fellow- citizens to make tlie proper choice of a successor—men who would 
require no influential example to ensure to the United States "an able, upright, and energetic administration. " To 
such men I shall cheerfully yield the palm of genius and talents to serve our common country; but, at the same 
time, I hope I may be indulged in expressing the consoling reflection, (which consciousness suggests, ) and to bear it 
with me to my grave, that none can serve it with purer intentions than 1 have done, or with a more disinterested zeal. 


On Friday, December 16, 1796, the Speaker, attended by the House of Representatives, waited on the 
President of the United States, and delivered to him the following 



The House of Representatives have attended to your communication respecting the state of our country, with 
all the sensibility that the contemplation of the subject and a sense of duty can inspire. 

We are gratified by the information that measures calculated to ensure a continuance of the friendship of the In- 
dians, and to maintain the tranquillity of the western frontier, have been adopted; and we indulge the hope that these, 
by impressing the Indian tribes with more correct conceptions of the justice as well as power of tlie United States, 
will be attended with success. 

While we notice, with satisfaction, the steps that you liave taken, in pursuance of the late treaties with several 
foreign nations, the liberation of our citizens who were prisoners at Algiers is a subject of peculiar felicitation. We 
shall cheerfully co-operate in any further measures tliat shall appear, on consideration, to be requisite. 

We have ever concurred with you in the most sincere anof uniform disposition to preserve our neutral relations 
inviolate; and it is, of course, with anxiety and deep regret we hear that any inten-uption of our harmony with the 
French republic has occurred: for we feel, with you, and with our constituents, the cordial and unabated wish to 
maintain a perfectly friendly understanding with that nation. Your endeavors to fulfil that wish, and by all honora- 
ble means to preserve peace, and to restore that harmony and affection which have heretofore so happily subsisted 
between the French republic and the United States, cannot fail, therefore, to interest our attention. And wliile 
we participate in the full reliance you have expressed on the patriotism, self-respect, and fortitude, of our countiy- 
men, we cherish the pleasing hope, that a mutual spirit of justice and moderation will ensure the success of your 

The various subjects of your communication will respectively meet with the attention that is due to their im- 

When we advert to the internal situation of the United States, we deem it equally natural and becoming to 
compare the present period witli that immediately antecedent to the operation of tlie Government, and to contrast 
it with the calamities in which the state of war still involves several of the European nations; as the reflections 
deduced from both tend to justify as well as to excite a warmer admiration of our free constitution, and to exalt 
our minds to a more fervent and grateful sense of piety towards Almighty God, for the beneficence of his providence 
by wliich its administration has been hitherto so remarkably distinguished. 

And while we entertain a grateful conviction, that your wise, firm, and patriotic administration, has been signally 
conducive to the success of the present form of government, we cannot forbear to express the deep sensations of 
regret with which we contemplate your intended retirement from office. 

As no other suitable occasion may occur, we cannot suffer the present to pass, without attempting to disclose 
some of the emotions which it cannot fail to awaken. 

The gratitude and admiration of your countrymen are still drawn to the recollection of those resplendent virtues 
and talents which were so eminently instrumental to the achievement of the Revolution, and of which that glorious 
event will ever be the memorial. Your obedience to the voice of duty and your country, when you quitted, reluc- 
tantly, a second time, the retreat you had chosen, and first accepted the Presidency, afforded a new proof of the 
devotedness of your zeal in its service, and an earnest of the patriotism and success which have characterized your 
administration. As the grateful confidence of the citizens in tiie virtues of their Chief Magistrate, has essentially 
contributed to that success, we persuade ourselves that the millions whom we represent participate with us in the 
anxious solicitude of the present occasion. 

Yet we cannot be unmindful, that your moderation and magnanimity, twice displayed, by retiring from your 
exalted stations, afford examples no less rare and instructive to mankind than valuable to a republic. 

Although we are sensible that this event, of itself, completes the lustre of a character already conspicuously unri- 
valled by the coincidence of virtue, talents, success, and public estimation ; yet we conceive we owe it to you, sir, 
and still more emphatically to ourselves and to our nation, (of the language of whose hearts we presume to think 
ourselves, at this moment, the faithful interpreters,) to express the sentiments with which it is contemplated. 

The spectacle of a free and enlightened nation offering, by its Representatives, the tribute of unfeigned approba- 
tion to its first citizen, however novel and interesting it may be, derives all its lustre (a lustre which accident or 
enthusiasm could not bestow, and wliich adulation would tarnish,) from the transcendent merit of which it is the 
voluntary testimony. 

May you long enjoy that liberty which is so dear to you, and to which your name will ever be so dear. May 
your own virtues, and a nation's prayers, obtain the happiest sunshine for the decline of your days, and the choicest 
of future blessings. For our country's sake; for the sake of republican liberty; it is our earnest wish that your 
example may be the guide of your successors; and thus, after being the ornament and safeguard of the present age, 
become the patrimony of our descendants. 


To which the Prf.sidknt oi.- the United States made the following reply: 

To a citizen whose views were unambitious; who preferred the shade and tranquillity of private life to 
the splendor and solicitude ot elevated stations; and whom the voice of duty and his country could alone have 
<irawn from his chosen retreat; no reward for his public services can be so grateful as public approbation, accompa- 
nied by a consciousness, that, to render those services useful to that country, has been his single aim. And when 
this approbation is expressed by the Representatives of a free and enlightened nation, the reward will admit of no 
addition. Receive, gentlemen, my sincere and aftectionate thanks for this signal testimony that my services have 
been acceptable and useful to my country. The strong confidence of my fellow-citizens, while it animated all my 
actions, ensured their zealous co-operation, which rendered those services successful. The virtue and wisdom of my 
successors, joined with the patriotism and intelligence of the citizens who compose the other branches of Govern- 
ment, I firmly trust will lead them to the adoption of measures, which, by the beneficence of Providence, wll give 
stability to our system of government, add to its success, and secure to ourselves and to posterity tliat liberty wliich 
is to all of us so dear. 

While I acknowledge with pleasure the sincere and uniform disposition of the House of Representatives to pre- 
serve our neutral relations inviolate, and witli them deeply regret any degree of interruption of our good understand- 
ing with the French renublic, I beg you, gentlemen, to rest assured, that my endeavors will be earnest and unceasing, 
by all honorable means, to preserve peace, and to restore that harmony and affection which have heretofore so happily 
subsisted between our two nations ; and, with you, I cherish the pleasing hope, that a mutual spirit of justice and 
moderation will crown those endeavors with success. 

I shall cheerfully concur in the beneficial measures whicli your deliberations shall mature on the various subjects 
demanding your attention. And, while directing your labors to advance the real interests of our country, you receive 
its blessings, with perfect sincerity my individual wishes will be offered for your present and future felicity. 


No. 11. 



Friends and Fellow-citizens: 
The period for a new election of a citizen to administer the Executive Government of the United States being not 
far distant, and the time actually arrived when your thoughts must be employed in designating the person who is tu 
be clothed with that important trust, it appears to me proper, especially as it may conduce to a more distinct expres- 
sion of tlie public voice, that I should now apprize you of the resolution I have formed, to decline being considered 
among the number of those out of whom a choice is to be made. 

I beg you, at the same time, to do me the justice to be assured, that this resolution has not been taken without a 
strict regard to all the considerations appertaining to the relation which binds a dutiful citizen to his country; and 
that, in withdrawing the tender of service, which silence, in my situation, might imply, I am influenced by no dimi- 
nution of zeal for your future interest; no deficiency of grateful respect for your past kindness; but am supported 
by a full conviction that the step is compatible witli both. 

The acceptance of, and continuance liitlierto in, the ofiice to which your suffrages have twice called me, have been 
a uniform sacrifice of inclination to the opinion of duty, and to a deference for what appeared to be your desire. I 
constantly hoped, that it would have been much earlier in my power, consistently -vvim motives which I was not at 
liberty to disregard, to return to that retirement from which I had been reluctantly drawn. The stren^tli of my 
inclination to do this, previous to the last election, had even led to the preparation of an address to declare it to you: 
but mature reflection on the then perplexed and critical posture of our affairs with foreign nations, and the unani- 
mous advice of persons entitled to my confidence, impelled me to abandon the idea. 

I rejoice that tlie state of your concerns, external as well as internal, no longer renders the pursuit of inclination 
incompatible with the sentiment of duty or propriety; and am persuaded, whatever partiality may be retained for 
my services, that, in the present circumstances of our country, you vnU. not disapprove my determination to retire. 

The impressions with which I first undertook the ai-duous trust, were explained on the proper occasion. In the 
discharge of this trust, I will only say, that I liave with good intentions contributed towards the organization and 
administration of the Government the best exertions of which a very fallible judgment was capable. Not unconscious, 
in the outset, of the inferiority of my qualifications, experience in my own eyes, perhaps still more in the eyes of 
others, has strengthened the motives to diflidence of myself; and every day the increasing weight of years admon- 
ishes me more and more that the shade of retirement is as neccssaiy to me as it will be welcome. Satisfied that, if 
any circumstances have given peculiar value to my services, they were temporary, I have the consolation to believe, 
that, while choice and prudence invite me to quit tlie political scene, patriotism does not forbid it. 

In looking forv/ard to the moment which is intended to terminate the career of my public life, my feelings do not 
permit me to suspend the deep acknowledgment of that debt of gratitude which I owe to my beloved country, for the 
many honors it has conferred upon me; still more for the steadfast confidence with which it has sujjported me; and 
for the opportunities I have thence enjoyed of manifesting _my inviolable attachment, by services faithful and perse- 
vering, though in usefulness unequal to my zeal. If benefits liave resulted to our country from these services, let it 
always be remembered to your praise, and as an instructive example in our annals, that, under circumstances in 
which the passions, agitated in every direction, were liable to misleati; amidst appearances sometimes dubious; vicis- 
situdes of fortune often discouraging; in situations in which not unfrequently want of success has countenanced tlie 
spirit of criticism; the constancy of your support was the essential prop of the efforts and a guarantee of the plans 
by which they were effected. Profoundly penetrated with this idea, I shall carry it with me to my grave, as a strong 
incitement to unceasing vows, that Heaven may continue to you the choicest tokens of its beneficence; that youi- 
union and brotherly aftection may be perpetual; that the free constitution, which is the work of your hands, may be 
sacredly maintained; that its administration, in every department, may be stamped with wisdom and virtue; that, 
in fine, the happiness of the People of these States, under the auspices of liberty, may be made complete, by so care- 
ful a preservation, and so pi-udent a use of this blessing, as will acquire to them the glory of recommending it to the 
applause, the affection, and the adoption, of every nation which is yet a stranger to it. 

Here, perhaps. I ought to stop: but a solicitude for your welfare, which cannot end but with my life, and the 
apprehension of danger, natural to that solicitude, urge me, on an occasion like the present, to offer to your solemn 
contemplation, and to recommend to your frequent review, some sentiments, which are the result of much reflec- 
tion, of no inconsiderable observation, and which appear to me all important to the permanency of your felicity as a 
people. These will be afforded to you with tlie more freedom, as you can only see in them tlie disinterested warnings 


of a pai-ting friend, who can possibly iiave no personal motive to bias his counsel : nor can I forget, as an encourage- 
ment to it, your indulgent reception of my sentiments on a former and not dissimilar occasion. 

Interwoven as is the love ot liberty with every ligament of your hearts, no recommendation of mine is necessary 
to fortify or confirm the attachment. 

The unity of government, which constitutes you one people, is also now dear to you. It is justly so: for it is a 
main pillar in the edifice of your real independence; the support of your tranquillity at home; your peace abroad; of 
your safety; of your prosperity; of that very liberty which you so highly prize. But as it is easy to foresee, that, 
from different causes and trom different quarters, much pains will be taken, many artifices employed, to weaken, in 
your minds, the conviction of this truth; as this is the point in your political fortress against which the batteries of 
internal and external enemies will be most constantly and actively (though often covertly and insidiously) directed, 
it is of infinite moment, that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national union to your collec- 
tive and individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and immoveable attachment to it; accus- 
toming yourselves to thuik and speak ot it as of the palladium of your political safety and prosperity; watcliing for 
its preservation with jealous anxiety; discountenancing whatever may suggest even a suspicion that it can in any 
event be abandoned; and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of 
our country fi-om the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts. 

For this you have every inducement of sympathy and interest Citizens by birth or choice, of a common coun- 
try, that country has a right to concentrate your attections. The name of American^ which belongs to you in your 
national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local dis- 
criminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political princi- 
ples. You have, in a common cause, fought and triumphed together: the independence and liberty you possess, are 
the work of joint councils, and joint efforts, of common dangers, sufferings, and successes. 

But these considerations, however powerfully they address themselves to your sensibilitj', are greatly out- 
weighed by those which apply more immediately to your interest: here every portion of our country finds the most 
commanding motives for carefully guarding and preserving the union of the whole. 

The North, in an unrestrained intercourse with the South, protected by the equal laws of a common govern- 
ment, finds, in the productions of the latter, great additional resources of maritime and commercial enterprise, and 
precious materials of manufacturing industry. The South, in the same intercourse, benefiting by the agency of the 
North, sees its agriculture grow, and its commerce expand. Turning, partly into its own channels, the seamen of 
the North, it finds its particular navigation invigorated: and while it contributes, in different ways, to nourish and 
increase the general mass of the national na,vigation, it looks forward to the protection of a maritime strength, to which 
itself is unequally adopted. The East, in like intercourse with the West, already finds, and in the progi-essive 
improvement of interior communication, by land and water, will more and more find, a valuable vent for the com- 
modities which it brings from abroad, or manufactures at home. The West derives from the £ast supplies requi- 
site to its growth and comfort; and what is, perhaps, of still greater consequence, it must, of necessity, owe the 
secure enjoyment of indispensable outlets for its own productions, to the weight, influence, and the future maritime 
strength of the Atlantic side of the Union, directed by an indissoluble community of interest as one nation. Any 
other tenure by which the West can hold this essential advantage, whether derived from its own separate strength, 
or from an apostate and unnatural connexion with any foreign Power, must be intrinsically precarious. 

While, then, every part of our country thus feels an immediate and particular interest in union, all the parties 
combined cannot fail to find, in the united mass of means and efforts, greater strength, greater resource, proportion- 
ably greater security from external danger; a less frequent interruption of theii- peace by foreign nations; and what 
is of inestimable value, they must derive from union, an exemption from those broils and wars between themselves, 
which so frequently afliict neighboring countries, not tied together by the same government; which their own rival- 
ships alone would be sufficient to produce, but which opposite foreign alliances, attachments, and intrigues, would 
stimulate and embitter. Hence, likewise, they will avoid the necessity of those overgrown military establishments, 
which, under any form of government, ai-e inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hos- 
tile to republican liberty; in this sense it is, that your union ought to be considered as a main prop of your liberty, and 
that the love of tlie one ought to endear to you the preservation of the other. 

These considerations speak a persuasive language to every reflecting and virtuous mind, and exhibit the continu- 
ance of the Union as a arimary object of patriotic desire. Is there a doubt, whether a common government can 
embrace so large a sphere? Let experience solve it, To listen to mere speculation, in such a case, were criminal. 
We are authorized to hope, that a proper organization of the whole, with the auxiliary agency of governments for 
the respective subdivisions, will afford a happy issue to the experiment. It is well worth a fair and full experiment. 
With such powerful and obvious motives to union, affecting all parts of our country, while experience shall not have 
demonstiated its impracticability, there will always be reason to distrust the patriotism of those, who, in any quarter, 
may endeavor to weaken its bands. 

In contefn plating the causes which may disturb our union, it occurs, as a matter of serious concern, that any 
ground should have been furnished for characterizing parties by geographical discriminations: Northern and South- 
ern— Mantic and Western; whence designing men may endeavor to excite a belief that there is a real difference of 
local interests and views. One of the expedients of party to acquire influence witliin particular districts, is to mis- 
represent the opinions and aims of other districts. You cannot sliield yourselves too much against the jealousies and 
heart burnings winch spring from these misreprasentitions: they tend to render alien to each other those who ought 
to be bound together by fraternal affection. The inhabitants of our Western country have lately had a useful lesson 
on this head; tliey have seen, in the negotiation by the Executive, and in the unanimous ratification by the Senate, 
ot the treaty with Spain, and in the universal satisfaction at that event, throughout the United States, a decisive 
proof how unfounded were the suspicions propagated among them, of a policy in the General Government, and in the 
Atlantic States, unfriendly to their interests in regard to the Mississippi: they have been witnesses to the formation 
of two treaties, that with Great Britain and that with Spain, whicli secure to tliem every thing they could desire, in 
respect to our foreign relations, towards confirming their prosperity. Will it not be their wisdom to rely for the pre- 
servation of these advantages on the union by which they were procured? Will they not henceforth be deaf to those 
advisers, if such there are. who would sever them from their brethren and connect them with aliens.? 

To the efficacy and permanency of your union, a government for the whole is indispensable. No alliance, how- 
ever strict, between the parts, can be an adequate substitute; they must inevitably experience the infractions and 
interruptions which all alliances in all times have experienced. Sensible of tliis momentous truth, you have im- 
proved upon your first essay, by the adoption of a constitution of government, better calculated than your former, 
tor an intimate union and tor the efficacious management of your common concerns. This government, the offspring 
<)f our own choice, uninfluenced and unawed, adopted upon full investigation and mature deliberation, completely 
free in its principles, in the distribution of its powers, uniting security with energy, and containing within itself a pro- 
vision for its own amendment, has a just claim to your confidence anil your support. Respect for its authority, compli- 
ance wth its laws, acquiescence in its measures, are duties enjoined by the fundamental maxims of true liberty. The 
basis of our political systems is the right of the People to make and to alter their constitutions of government : but, the 
constitution which at any time exists, till changed by an explicit, an authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly 
obligatory upon all. The very idea of the power aiid the right of the people to establish government, presupposes 
the duty of every individual to obey the established government. 

All obstructions to the execution of the laws; all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, 
^ylth the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authori- 
ties, are destructive to this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction; to give it an 
:irtihcial and extraordinary force; to put in the place of the delegated will of the nation, the will of a party, often a small 
but artful and enterprising minority of the communitv; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, 
to make the public administration the mirror of the ill -concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the 
organ of consistent and wholesome plans, digested by common counsels, and modified bv mutual interests. 


However combinations or associations of the above description may no\y and then answer popular ends, they are 
likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by wliich cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled 
men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people, and to usurp, for themselves, tlie reins of government; 
destroying, afterwards, the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion. 

Towards the preservation ot your government, and the permanency of your present happy state, it is requisite, 
not only that you speedily discountenance irregular oppositions to its acknowledged authority, but also that you 
resist with care the spirit of innovation upon its principles, however specious the pretexts. One method of assault 
may be to effect, in the forms of the constitution, alterations which will impair the energy of the system, and thus 
to undermine what cannot be directly overthrown. In all the changes to wliich you may lie invited, remember that 
time and habit are at least as necessary to fix the true character of governments, as of other human institutions; 
that experience is the surest standard by which to test the real tendency of the existing constitution of a country; 
that facility in changes, upon the credit of mere hypothesis and opinion, exposes to perpetual change, from the end- 
less variety of hypothesis and opinion; and remember, especially, that, for the efBcient management of your com- 
mon interests, in a country so extensive as ours, a government of as much vigor as is consistent with the perfect 
security of liberty, is indispensable. Liberty itself will find, in such a government, with powers properly distributed 
and adjusted, its surest guardian. It is, indeed, little else than a name, where the government is too feeble to 
withstand the enterprises of faction, to confine each member of the society within the limits prescribed by the laws, 
and to maintain all in the secure and tranquil enjoyment of the rights of person and property. 

I have already intimated to you, the danger of pai-ties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of 
them on geograpliical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and wai'n you, in the m.ost 
solemn manner, against the baneful effects of the spii-it of party, generally. 

This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human 
mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but in those 
of the populai- form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy. 

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sliarpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissen- 
sion, which, in different ages and countries, has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despot- 
ism. But this leads, at length, to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which 
result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose mthe absolute power of an individual, and, 
sooner or later, the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this dis- 
position to the purposes of his own elevation on the ruins of public liberty. 

Without looking forward to an extremity of tliis kind, (wliich nevertheless ou^it not to be entirely out of sight) 
the common and continual iniscliiefs of the spiiit of pai-ty are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise 
people to discourage and restrain it. 

It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the commu- 
nity with ill founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against anotlier; foments occa- 
sionally, riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which find a facilitated access 
to the government itself, tlirough the channels of paiiy passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are 
subjected to the policy and will of another. 

There is an opinion, that parties, in free counti-ies, are useful checks upon the administiation of the government, 
and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This, ^vithm certain limits, is probably true; and, in governments of a 
nionaixhical cast, patriotism may look with indulgence, if not witli favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of 
the popular chai-acter, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural ten- 
dency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And there being constant 
danger of excess, the effort ought to be, by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be 
quenched; it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should 

It is important, likewise, that the habits of thinking, in a free country, sliould inspire caution in those entmsted 
with its administration, to confine themselves within their respective constitutional spheres, avoiding, in the exercise 
of the powers of one department, to encroach upon another. The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the 
powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create, wliatever the form of government, a real despotism. A 
just estimate of that love of power, and proneness to abuse it, wliich predominates in the human heart, is suflicient to 
satisfy us of the truth of this position. The necessity of reciprocal checks in the exercise of political power, by di- 
viding and distributing it into different depositaries, and constituting each the guardian of the public weal, against 
invasions by tiie others, has been evinced by experiinents ancient and modern: some of them in our own country, 
and under our own eyes. To preserve tliem must be as necessary as to institute them. If, in the opinion of the 
people, the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers, be, in any particular, v/rong, let it be corrected 
by an amendment in the way which the constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation: for 
though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good", it is the customary weapon by which tree governments 
are destroyed. The precedent must always greatly overbalance, in permanent evil, any partial or transient benefit 
which the use can at any time yield. 

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable sup- 
ports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert tliese great pillars of 
human happiness — these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious 
man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connexions with private and public 
felicity. liCt it simply be asked, where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious 
obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice.'' And let us with caution 
indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influ- 
ence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both, forbid us to expect that national 
morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle. 

'Tis substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule indeed 
extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who, that is a sincere friend to it, can look 
with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric? 

Promote, then, as an object of priinaiy importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In pro- 
portion as the sti-ucture of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be 

As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is to use 
it as sparingly as possible; avoiding occasions of expense, by cultivating peace, but remembeiing also that timely dis- 
bursements to prepare for danger, frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it; avoiding, likewise, the 
accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertions, in time of peace, to dis- 
charge the debts which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the bur- 
then which we ourselves ought to bear. The execution of theSe maxims belongs to your representatives, but it is ne- 
cessary that public opinion should co-operate. To facilitate to them the performance of their duty, it is essential 
that you should practically bear in mind, that, towards the payment of debts, there must be revenue; that to have 
revenue there must be taxes: that no taxes can be devisecf which are not more or less inconvenient and unpleasant; 
that the intrinsic embarrassment, inseparable from the selection of the proper objects, (which is always a choice of 
difficulties) ought to be a decisive motive for a candid construction of the conduct of the Government in making it, 
and for a spirit of acquiescence in the measures for obtaining revenue which the public exigencies may at any time 

Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion and morality 
enjoin this conduct; and can it be that good policy does not equally enjoin it.? It will be worthy of a free, enlight- 
ened, and, at no distant period, a great nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a 
people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence. Who can doubt that, in the course of time and things, 


the fruits of such a plan would richly repay any temporary advantages which miglit be lost by a steady adherence to it? 
Can it be, that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a nation with its virtue? The experiment, at 
least, is recommended by every sentiment which ennobles human nature. Alas! is it rendered impossible by its 
vices? . .... 

In the execution of such a plan, nothing is more essential than that permanent mveterate antipathies against par- 
ticular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and ami- 
cable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another an habitual hatred^ or 
an habitual fondness, is, in some degree, a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of wliich is 
sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest. Antipathy in one nation against another, disposes each 
more readily to offer insult and injury, to lay hold of slight causes of umbrage, and to be haughty and intractable, 
when accidental or trifling occasions of dispute occur. Hence frequent collisions; obstinate, envenomed, and bloody 
contests. The nation, prompted by ill-will and resentment, sometimes impels to war the government, contrary to 
the best calculations ot policy. The government sometimes participates in the national propensity, and adopts, 
through passion, what reason would reject; at other times, it makes the animosity of the nation subservient to pro- 
jects of hostility, instigated by pride, ambition, and other sinister and pernicious motives. The peace, often, some- 
times, perhaps, the liberty of nations has been the victim. 

So, likewise, a passionate attachment of one nation to another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the fa- 
vorite nalion, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest, in cases where no real common interest exists, 
and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the 
latter, without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite nation of privileges 
denied to others, which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions; by unnecessarily paiting with what 
ought to have been retained, and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom 
equal privileges are withheld: and it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to 
the favorite nation) facility to betray or sacrifice tlie interest of their own country, witiiout odium, sometimes even 
wth popularity; gilding with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a c9mmendable deference for public 
opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation. 

As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly 
enlightened and independent patriot. How many opportunities do they afford to tamper with domestic factions, to 
practice the art of seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe tiie public councils! Such an attachment 
of a small or weak, towards a great and powerful nation, dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter. 

Against tiie insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me fellow;citizens) the jealousy of a 
free people ought to be constantly awake; since history and experience prove tha.t foreign influence is one of the most 
banetul foes of republican government. But tliat jealousy, to be useful, must be impartial ; else it beconies the instru- 
ment of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defence against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation, 
and excessive dislike for another, cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil 
and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots, who may resist the intrigues of the favorite, are 
liable to become suspected and odious; while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to 
surrender their interests. 

The great rale of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is, in extending our commercial relations, to have 
\v ith them as little political connexion as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be ful- 
filled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop. 

Europe has a set of primary interests, wliich to us have none, or a very remote relation. Hence she must be en- 
gaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it 
must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves, by artificial ties, in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordi- 
nary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities. 

Our detached and distant situation invites, and ennables us to pursue, a different course. If we remain one people, 
under an efficient government, the period is not far off when we may defy material injury from external annoyance; 
when we may take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality we may at any time resolve upon, to be scrapulously 
respected; when belligerent nations, under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us, will not lightly hazard 
the giving us provocation; when we may choose peace or war, as our interest, guided by justice, shall counsel. 

Why forego the advantages of so peculiar a situation? Why quit our own, to stand upon foreign ground? Why, 
by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of Euro- 
pean ambition, rivalship, interest, humor, or caprice? 

'Tis our tme policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world — so far, I mean, 
as we are now at liberty to do it: for let me not be understood as capable of patronising infidelity to existing engage- 
ments. I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is always the best policy. 
I repeat it, therefore, let those engagements be observed in their genuine sense. But, in my opinion, it is unneces- 
saiy^ and would be unwise, to extend them. 

Taking care alwayg to keep ourselves, by suitable establishments, on a respectable defensive posture, we may 
s:ifely trust to temporary alliances for extraordinai-y emergencies. 

Harmony, and a liberal intercourse with all nations, are recommended by policy, I'.unianity, and interest. But 
even our commercial policy should hold an equal and impartial hand; neither seeking nor granting exclusive favors 
or preferences; consulting the natural course of things; diffusing and diversifying, by gentle means, the streams of 
commerce, but forcing nothing; establishing, with Powers so clisposed, in order to give trade a stable course, to 
to define the rights of our merchants, and to enable the Government to support them, conventional rules of inter- 
course, the best that present circumstances and mutual opinion will permit, but temporary, and liable to be, from 
time to time, abandoned or varied, as experience and circumstances shall dictate; constan'.iy keeping in view, that 
'tis folly in one nation to look for disinterested favors from another; that it must pay with a portion of its independ- 
ence for whatever it may accept under that character; that by such acceptance it may place itself in the condition of 
having given equivalents for nominal favors, and yet Avith being reproached wdtii ingratitiide for not giving more. 
There can be no greater error than to expect or calculate upon real favors from nation to nation. 'Tis all illusion, 
which experience must cure — ^which a just pride ought to discard. 

In ottering to you, my countrymen, these counsels of an old and afl'ectionate friend, I dare not hope they will 
make the strong and lasting impression I could wish; that they will control the usual current of the passions, or pre- 
vent our nation from running the course which has hitherto marked the destiny of nations: but if I may even flatter 
myself that they may be productive of some partial benefit, some occasional good ; that they may now and then recur 
to moderate the fury of party spirit, to warn against the mischiefs of foreign intrigues, to guard against the impostures 
of pretended patriotism; this hope will be a full recompense for the solicitude for your welfare by wliich they have 
been dictated. 

How far, in the discharge of my official duties, i have been guided by the principles which have been delineated, 
the public records and other evidences of my conduct must witness to you and to the world. To myself, the assur- 
ance of my own conscience is, that I have at least believed myself to be guided by them_. 

In relation to the still subsisting war in Europe, my proclamation of the 22d of April, 1793, is the index to my 
plan. Sanctioned by your a]iproving voice, and by that of your Representatives in both Houses of Congi-ess, the 
spirit of that measure has continually governed me, uninfluenced by any attempts to deter or divert me from it. 

After deliberate examination, with the aid of the best lights I cimld obtain, I was well satisfied that our country, 
under all the circumstances of the case, had a right to take, and was bound in duty and interes^t to take, a neutral 
position. Having taken it, I determined, as far as should depend upon me, to maintain it with moderation, perse- 
verance, and firmness. 

The considerations which respect the right in hold (his conduct, it is not necessary on this occasion to detail. I 
will only observe, that, according to my understanding of the matter, that right, so far from being denied by any of 
the belligerent Powers, has been virtually admitted by all. 


The duty of holding a neutral conduct may be inferred, without any thing more, from the obligation which justice 
and humanity impose on every nation, in cases in which it is free to act, to maintain inviolate the relations ot peace 
and amity towards other nations. 

The mducements of interest, for observing that conduct, will best be referred to your own reflections and expe- 
rience. With me a predominant motive has been to endeavor to gain time to our country to settle and mature its 
yet recent institutions} and to progress, without interruption, to that degree of strength and consistency, which is ne- 
cessary to give it, humanly speaking, the command of its own fortunes. 

Though in reviewing the incidents of my administration, I am unconscious of intentional error, I am nevertheless 
too sensible of my defects, not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors. Whatever they may be, 
I fervently beseech the Almighty to avert or mitigate the evils to which they may tend. I shall_ also carry with me 
the hope that my country will never cease to view them with indulgence; and that, after forty-five years of my life 
dedicated to its service, with an upright zeal, the faults of incompetent abilities will be consigned to oblivion, as myself 
must soon be to the mansions of rest. 

Relying on its kindness in this as in other things, and actuated by that fervent love towards it which is so natural 
to a man, who views in it the native soil of himself and his progenitors for several generations; I anticipate, with 
pleasing expectation, that retreat, in which I promise myself to realize, without alloy, the sweet enjoyment of pai-tak- 
ing, in the midst of my fellow-citizens, the benign influence of good laws under a tree government — the ever favor- 
ite object of my heart; and the happy reward, as I trust, of our mutual cares, laboi-s, and dangers. 


United States, ITth September, 1796. 

5th Congress.] No. 12. 



When it was first perceived, in early times, that no middle course for America remained, between unlimited 
submission to a foreign legislature and a total independence of its claims; men of reflection were less apprehensive of 
danger, from the fonnidable power of fleets and annies they must determine to resist, than from those contests 
and dissensions, which would certainly arise, concerning the forms of government to be instituted, over the whole, 
and over the parts of this extensive country. Relying, however, on the purity of their intentions, the justice of their 
cause, and the integrity and intelligence of the People, under an over-ruling Providence, which had so signally pro- 
tected this country from the first, the representatives of this nation, then consisting of little more than half its present 
numbers, not only broke to pieces the chains which were forging, and the rod of iron that was lifted up, but frankly 
cut asunder the ties which had bound them, and launched into an ocean of uncertainty. 

The zeal and ardor of the People, during the Revolutionary war. supplying the place of government, commanded 
a degi-ee of order, sufficient at least for the temporary preservation of society. The Confederation, which was early 
felt to be necessary, was prepared from the models "ot the Batavian and Helvetic confederacies, the only examples 
which remain, with any detail and precision, in history, and certainly the only ones which the people at large had 
ever considered. But, reflecting on the striking difference, in so many particulars, between this country and those 
where a courier may go from the seat of government to the frontier in a single day, it was then certainly foreseen 
Ijy some, who assisted in Congress at the formation of it, that it could not be durable. 

Negligence of its regulations, inattention to its recommendations, if not disobedience to its authonty, not only in 
individuals but in States, soon appeared, with their melancholy consequences — universal languor; jealousies; rivalries 
of States; decline of navigation and commerce; discouragement of necessary manufactures; universal fall in the 
value of lands and their produce; contempt of public and private faith; loss of consideration and credit ot foreign 
nations; and, at length, in discontents, animosities, combinations, partial conventions, and insurrection: threatening 
some great national calamity. , , , , . , , r • j 

In this dangerous crisis the people of America were not abandoned by their usual good sense, presence ot mind, 
resolution, or integrity. Measures were pursued to concert a plan to form a more perfect luiion, establish justice, 
ensure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings 
of liberty. The public disquisitions, discussions, and deliberations, issued in the present happy constitution of go- 
Employed in the service of my country abroad, during the whole course of these transactions, I first saw the 
constitution of the United States in a foreign country. Irritated by no literary altercation, animated by no public 
debate, heated by no party animosity, I read it with great satisfaction, as a result of good heads, prompted by good 
hearts; as an experiment," better adapted to tlie genius, character, situation, and relations ot this nation and country, 
than any which had eve: been proposed or suggested. In its general principles and great outlines, it was conforma- 
ble to such a system of government as I had ever most esteemed, and in some States, my own native State in particu- 
lar, had contributed to establish. Claiming a right of suffrage in common with my fellow-citizens, in the adoption 
or rejection of a constitution, which was to rule ine and my posterity, as well as tiiem and theirs, I did not hesitate to 
express my approbation of it. on all occasions, in public and in private. It was not then, nor has been since, any ob- 
jection to it, in my mind, that the Executive and Senate were not more permanent. Nor have I ever entertained 
a tliought of promoting any alteration in it, but such as the people themselves, in the course of their experience, should 
see and feel to be necessary or expedient, and by their representatives in Congress and the State Legislatures, ac- 
cording to the constitution itself, adopt and ordain. . ^ , T . Wl 1 

Returning to the bosom of my country, after a painful separation from it, for ten years. I had the honor to be 
elected to a station under the new order ot things, and I have repeatedly laid myselt under the most serious obliga- 
tions to support the constitution. The operation of it has equalled the most sanguine expectations ot its Inends; 
and, from an habitual attention to it, satisfaction in its administration, and delight in its effects, upon the peace, order, 
prosperity, and happiness, of tiie nation. I have acquired an habitual attachment to it, and veneration tor it. 
What other fonn ot government, indeed, can so well deserve our esteem and love? 

There may be littie solidity in an ancient idea, that congregations of men into cities and nations, are the most 
pleasing objects in the sight of superior intelligencies: but this is veiy certain, that, to a benevolent human mmd, there 
can be no spectacle presented by any nation, more pleasirig, more noble, majestic, or august, than an assembly like 
tliat which has so often been seen in this and the other chamber of Congress; of a government, m which the Executive 
authority, as well as that of all the branches of the Legislature, are exercised by citizens, selected at regular periods by 
their neighbors, to make and execute laws for the general good. Can any thing essential, any thing more than mere 
ornament and decoration, be added to tliis by robes or diamonds? Can authonty be more amiable or re^spectable, 
when it descends from accidents or institutions established in remote antiquity, than \ylien it spnngs tresh from the 
hearts and judgments of an honest and enlightened people? For, it is the People only that are represented: it is then- 
power antl m;ijesty that is reflected, and only for their good, in every legitimate government, under whatever torm it 
may appear. The existence of such a government as ours, for any length of time, is a iuU proot ot a general dissemi- 


nation of knowledge and virtue throughout the whole body of the people. And what object or consideration more 
pleasing than this can be presented to the human mind.'' If national pride is ever justifiable or excusable, it is v/hen 
it springs, not from power or riches, grandeur or glory, but from conviction of national innocence, information, and 
benevolence. i -r 

In the midst of these pleasing ideas, we should be unfaithful to ourselves if we should ever lose sight of the 
danger to our liberties, if any thing partial or extraneous should infect the purity of our free, fair, virtuous, and in- 
dependent elections. If an election is to be determined by a majority of a single vote, and that can be procured 
by a party, through artifice or corruption, the government may be the choice ot a party, ior its own ends — not of the 
nation, for the national good. If that solitary suifrage can be obtained by foreign nations, by flattery or menaces; by 
fraud or violence; by terror, intrigue, or venality; the government may not be the choice of the American People, 
but of foreign nations. It may be foreign nations who govern us, and not we, the people, who govern ourselves. 
And candid men will acknowledge, that, in such cases, choice would have little advantage to boast of, over lot or 
chance. v • i 

Such is the amiable and interesting system of government (and such are some ot the abuses to which it inaj; be 
exposed) which the People of America have exhibited to the admiration and anxiety of the wise and virtuous of all 
nations, for eight years; under the administration of a citizen, who, by a long course of great actions, regulated by 
prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude — conducting a people, inspired with the same virtues, and animated 
with the same ardent patriotism and love of liberty, to independence and peace, to increasing wealth and unex- 
ampled prosperity — ^has merited the gratitude of liis lellow-citizens, commanded the highest praises of foreign nations, 
and securea immortal glory with posterity. . „ • r 

In that retirement which is his voluntary choice, may he long live to enjoy the delicious recollection of his ser- 
vices, the gratitude of mankind; the happy fruits of them to himself and the world, which are daily increasing; and 
that splendid prospect of the future fortunes of his country, which is opening from year to year. His name may 
be stiU a rampart, and the knowledge that he lives a bulwark, against all open or secret enemies of his country's 

Tliis example has been recommended to the imitation of his successors, by both Houses of Congress, and by the 
voice of the Legislatures and the People, throughout the nation. 

On this subject it might become me better to be silent, or to speak with diffidence; but, as sometliing may be 
expected, the occasion, I hope, will be admitted as an apology, it I venture to say, that, if a preference, upon 
pnnciple, of a free republican government, formed upon long and serious reflection, after a diligent and impartial 
inquiry after truth; if an attachment to the constitution of the United States, and a conscientious determination to 
support it, until it shall be altered by the judgments and wishes of the People, expressed in the mode prescribed in 
it; if a respectful attention to the constitutions of the individual States, and a constant caution and delicacy towards 
the State Governments; if an equal and impartial regard to the rights, interests, honor, and happiness, of all the 
States in the Union, without preference or regard to a northern or southern, an eastern or western position, their 
various political opinions on unessential points, or their personal attachments; if a love of virtuous men of all parties 
and denominations; if a love of science and letters, and a wish to patronise every rational effort to encourage schools, 
colleges, universities, academies, and every institution for propagating knowledge, virtue, and religion, among all 
classes 9f the people — not only for their benign influence on the happiness of life, in all its stages and classes, and of 
society in all its forms, but as the only means of preserving our constitution from its natural enemies, the spirit of 
sophistry, the spirit of party, the spirit of intrigue, profligacy, and corruption, and the pestilence of foreign influence, 
which is the angel of destruction to elective governments; if a love of equal laws, of justice and humanity, in the 
interior administration; if an inclination to improve agriculture, commerce, and manufactures for necessity, conve- 
nience, and defence I if a spirit of equity and humanity towards the aboriginal nations of America, and a disposi- 
tion to meliorate their condition, by inclining them to be more friendly to us, and our citizens to be more friendly 
to them; if an inflexible determination to maintain peace and inviolable faith, with all nations, and that system of 
neutrality and impartiality among the belligerent Powers of Europe, which has been adopted by this Government, 
and so solemnly sanctioned by both Houses of Congress, and applauded by the Legislatures of the States and the 
public opinion, until it shall be otherwise ordained by Congress; if a personal esteem for the French nation, formed 
in a residence of seven years, cliiefly among them, and a sincere desire to preserve the friendsliip which has been so 
much for the honor and interest of both nations; if, while the conscious honor and integrity of the people of America, 
and the internal sentiment of their own power and energies must be preserved — an earnest endeavor to investigate 
every just cause, and remove every colorable pretence of complaint; if an intention to pursue, by amicable nego- 
tiation, a reparation for the injuries that have been committed on the commerce of our fellow citizens, by whatever 
nation, and, if success cannot be obtained, to lay the facts before the Legislature, tliat they may consider what further 
measures the honor and interest of the Government and its constituents demand; if a resolution to do justice, as far 
as may depend upon me, at all times, and to all nations, and maintain peace, friendship, and benevolence, with all 
the world; if an unshaken confidence in the honor, spirit, and resources of the American People, on which I have 
so often hazarded my all, and never been deceived; if elevated ideas of the high destinies of this country, and of 
my own duties towards it, founded on a knowledge of the moral principles and intellectual improvements of the 
people, deeply engraven on my mind in early life, and not obscured but exalted by experience and age; and, with 
humble reverence, I feel it to be my duty to add, if a veneration for the religion of a people, who profess and call them- 
selves Christians, and a fixed resolution to consider a decent respect for Christianity among the best recommenda- 
tions for the public service; — can enable me, in any degree, to comply with your wishes, it shall be my strenuous 
endeavor, that tliis sagacious injunction of the two Houses shall not be without eifect. 

With this great example before me; with the sense and spirit, the faith and honor, the duty and interest of tlie 
same American People pledged to support the constitution of the United States, I entertain no doubt of its con- 
tinuance in all its energy; and my mind is prepared, without hesitation, to lay myself under the most solemn obliga- 
tions to support it to the utmost of my power. 

And may that Being, who is supreme over all, the patron of order, the fountain of justice, and the protector, in 
all ages of the world, of virtuous liberty, continue his blessing upon this nation and its Government, and give it all 
possible success and duration, consistent with the ends of his Providence. 



No. 13. [1st SESSIO>f. 



Gentlemen of the Senate, 

and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives: 

The personal inconveniences to the members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives, in leaving their 
families and private aftairs, at this season of the year, are so obvious, that I the more regret the extraordinary occa- 
sion wliich lias rendered tlie convention of Congress indispensable. 

It would have afforded me the highest satislaction to have been able to congratulate you on a restoration of peace 
to the nations of Europe, whose animosities have endangered our tranquillity: but we have still abundant cause of 
gratitude to the Supreme Dispenser of national blessings, for general health and promising seasons; for domestic 
and social happiness; for the rapid progress and ample acquisitions of industry, through extensive territories; for 
civil, political, and religious liberty. Wlule other States are desolated with foreign war, or convulsed with intestine 
divisions, the United States present the pleasing prospect of a nation governed by mild and equal laws, generally 
satisfied with the possession of their rights; neither envying tlie advantages, nor fearing the power of other nations; 
solicitous only for tlie maintenance of order and justice, and the preservation of liberty ; increasing daily in their 
attachment to a system of government, in proportion to their experience of its utility; yielding a ready and general 
obedience to laws flowing irom the reason, and resting on the only solid foundation, the affections of the People. 

It is with extreme regret that I shall be obliged to turn your thoughts to other circumstances, which admonish us 
that some of these felicities may not be lasting. But, if the tide of our prosperity is full, and a reflux commencing, 
a vigilant circumspection becomes us, that we may meet our reverses with fortitude, and extricate ourselves from 
their consequences, with all the skill we possess, and all the efforts in our power. 

In giving to Congress information of the state of the Union, and recommending to their consideration such mea- 
sures as appear to me to be expedient or necessary, according to my constitutional duty, the causes and the objects 
of the present extraordinary session will be explained. 

After the President of the United States received information that the French Government had expressed serious 
discontents at some proceedings of the Government of these States, said to affect the interests of France, he thought 
it expedient to send to that country a new minister, fully instructed to enter on such amicable discussions, and to 
give such candid explanations, as might happily remove the discontents and suspicions of the French Govern- 
ment, and vindicate the conduct of the United States. For this purpose he selected from among his fellow citizens, 
a character, whose integrity, talents, experience, and services, had placed him in the rank of the most esteemed and 
i-espected in the nation. The direct object of his mission was expressed in his letter of credence to the French Re- 
public; being " to maintain that good understanding which, from the commencement of the alliance, had subsisted 
between tlie two nations; and to efface unfavorable impressions, banish suspicions, and restore that cordiality, which 
was at once the evidence and pledge of a friendly union :" and his instructions were to the same effect, " faithfully 
to represent the disposition of the Government and People of the United States, (their disposition being one) to 
remove jealousies and obviate complaints, by showing that they were groundless ; to restore that mutual confidence 
which had been so unfortunately and injunously impaired ; and to explain the relative interests of both countries, 
and the real sentiments of his own. " 

A minister thus specially commissioned, it was expected would have croved the instrument of restoring mutual 
confidence between the two republics. The first step of the French Government corresponded with that expec- 

A few days before his arrival at Paris, the French minister of foreign relations informed the American minister 
then resident at Paris, of the formalities to be observed by himself in taking leave, and by his successor, preparatory 
to his reception. These formalities they observed ; and on the ninth of December, presented, oflicially, to tlie minis- 
ter of foreign relations, the one a copy of his letters of recall, the other a copy of liis letters of credence: these 
were laid before the Executive Directory. Two days afterwards, the minister of foreign relations informed the 
recalled American minister that the Executive Du'ectory had determined not to receive another minister plenipo- 
tentiary from the United States, until after the redress of grievances demanded of the American Government, and 
which the French republic had a right to expect from it. The American minister immediately endeavored to 
ascertain, whether, by refusing to receive him, it was intended that he should retire from the territories of the 
French republic; and verbal answers were given that such was the intention of the Directory. For his own justi- 
fication, he desired a written answer, but obtained none until towards the last of January; when receiving notice, 
in writing, to quit the territories of the republic, he proceeded to Amsterdam, where he proposed to wait for in- 
structions from this Government. During his residence at Paris, cards of hospitality were refused him, and he was 
threatened with being subjected to the jurisdiction of the minister of police; but, \vith becoming firmness, he in- 
sisted on the protection of the law of nations, due to him as the known minister of a foreign Power. You \v\\\ derive 
further information from his despatches, which will be laid before you. 

As it is often necessary that nations should treat for the mutual advantage of their affairs, and especially to 
accommodate and terminate differences, and as they can treat only by Ministers, the right of embassy is well 
known and established by the law and usage of nations. The refusal on the part of France to receive our minister, 
is then the denial of a right; but the refusal to receive him until we have acceded to their demands, without dis- 
cussion and without investigation, is to treat us neither as allies, nor as friends, nor as a sovereign State. 

With this conduct of the French Government, it will be proper to take into view the public audience given to 
the late minister of the United States, on his taking leave of the Executive Directory. The speech of the President 
discloses sentiments more alarming than the refusal of a minister, because more dangerous to our independence and 
union ; and at the same time studiously marked with indignities towards the Government of the United States. It 
evinces a disposition to separate the people of the United States from the Government ; to persuade them that they 
have different affections, principles, and interests, from those of their fellow citizens, whom they themselves have 
chosen to manage their common concerns; and thus to produce divisions fatal to our peace. Such attempts ought 
to be repelled with a decision which shall convince France, and the world, that we are not a degraded people, hu- 
miliateti under a colonial spirit of fear and sense of infenority; fitted to be the miserable instruments of foreign 
influence ; and regardless of national honor, character, arid interest. 

I should have been happy to have thrown a veil over these transactions, if it had been possible to conceal them; 
but they have passed on the great theatre of the world, in the face of all Europe and America, and with such cir- 
cumstances of publicity and solemnity that they cannot be disguised, and will not soon be forgotten: they have in- 
flicted a wountl in the American breast; it is my sincere desire, however, that it may be healed. It is my desire, and 
in this I presume I concur with you and our constituents, to preserve peace and friendship with all nations; and 
believing that neither the honor nor the interest of the United States absolutely forbid the repetition of advances for 
securing these desirable objects with France, I shall institute a fresh attempt at negotiation, and shall not fail to 
promote and accelerate an accommodation, on terms compatible with the rightSj duties^ interests, and honor of the 
nation. If we have committed errors, and these can be demonstrated, we shall be willing to correct them. If we 


have done injuries, we shall be willing, on conviction, to redress them: and equal measures of justice we Iiave a 
right to expect from France and every other nation. 

The diplomatic intercourse between the United States and France being at present suspended, the Government 
has no means of obtaining official information irom that country; nevertheless there is reason to believe, that the 
Executive Directory passed a decree, on the second of March last, contravening, in part, the treaty of amity and 
commerce of one thousand seven hundred and seventy-eight, injurious to our lawtul commerce, and endangering the 
lives of our citizens. A copy of this decree will be laid before you. 

While we are endeavoring to adjust all our difterences with France by amicable negotiation, the progress of the 
war in Europe, the depredations on our commerce, the personal injuries to our citizens, and the general complexion 
of aftiiirs, render it my indispensable duty to recommend to your consideration effectual measures of defence. 

The commerce of the United States has become an interesting object of attention, whedier we consider it in 
relation to the wealth and finances, or the strength and resources of the nation. With a sea-coast of near two 
thousand miles in extent, opening a wide field for fisheries, navigation, and commerce, a great portion of our citizens 
naturally apply their industry and enterprise to these objects. Any serious and permanent injury to commerce 
would not tail to produce the most embarrassing disorders: to prevent it from being undermined and destroyed, 
it is essential that it receive an adequate protection. 

The naval establishment must occur to every man who considers the injuries committed on our commerce, the 
insults offered to our citizens, and the description of the vessels by which these abuses have been practised. As the 
suft'erings of our mercantile and seafaiing citizens cannot be ascribed to the omission of duties demandable, consi- 
dering the neutral situation of our country, they are to be attiibuted to the hope of impunity arising from a supposed 
inability on our part to afford protection. To resist the consequences of such impressions on the minds of foreign 
nations, and to guard against the degradation and servility which they must finally stamp on the American character, 
is an important duty of Government. 

A naval power, next to the militia, is the natural defence of the United States. The experience of the last wai- 
would be sufficient to show, that a moderate naval force, such as would be easily within the present abilities of the 
Union, would have been sufficient to have baffled many formidable transportations of troops from one State to ano- 
ther, which were then practised. Our sea-coasts, from their great extent, are more easily annoyed and more easily 
defended by a naval force than any other. With all the materials, our country abounds; in skill, our naval archi- 
tects and navigators are equal to any; and commanders and seamen will not be wanting. 

But although the establishment of a permanent system of naval defence appears to be requisite. I am sensible it 
cannot be formed so speedily and extensively as the present crisis demands. Hitlierto I have thought proper to 
prevent the sailing of armed vessels, except on voyages to the East Indies, where general usage, and the danger 
from pii-ates, appeared to render the permission proper; yet the restriction has originated solely from a wish to prevent 
collisions with the Powers at war, contravening the act of Congress of June, one thousand seven hundred and ninety- 
four, and not from any doubt entertained by me of the policy and propriety of permitting our vessels to employ 
means of defence, while engaged in a lawful foreign commerce. It remains for Congress to prescribe such regula- ' 
tions as will enable our seafaring citizens to defend themselves against violations of the law of nations, and at 
the same time restrain them from committing acts of hostility against the Powers at war. In addition to this volun- 
tary provision for defence, by individual citizens, it appears to me necessary to equip the frigates, and pro^de other 
vessels of inferior force, to take under convoy such merchant vessels as shall remain unaimed. 

The greater part of the cruisers, whose depredations have been most injurious, have been built, and some of them 
partially equipped, in the United States. Although an eftectual remedy may be attended with difficulty, yet I have 
thought it my duty to present the subject generally to your consideration. If a mode can be devised by the wisdom 
of Congress, to prevent the resources of the United States from being converted into the means of annoying our 
trade, a great evil will be prevented. With the same view, I think it proper to mention, that some of our citizens 
resident abroad, have fitted out privateers, and others have voluntarily taken the command, or entered on board of 
them, and committed spoliations on the commerce oi the United States. Such unnatural and iniquitous practices 
can be resti'ained only by severe punishments. 

But besides a protection of our commerce on the seas, I think it highly necessary to protect it at home, where it 
is collected in our most important ports. The distance of the United States from Europe, and the well known 
promptitude, ardor, and courage of the people in defence of their country, happily diminish the probability of inva- 
sion; nevertheless, to guard against sudden and predatoiy incursions, the situation of some of^our principal sea- 
ports demands your consideration: and as our country is vulnerable in other interests besides those of its commerce, 
you will seriously deliberate whether the means of general defence ought not to be increased, by an addition to the 
regular artillery and cavalry, and by arrangements for forming a provisional army. 

With the same view, and as a measure which, even in time of universal peace, ought not to be neglected, I 
recommend to your consideration a revision of the laws for organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia, to render 
that natural and safe defence of the country efficacious. 

Although it is very true that we ought not to involve ourselves ill the political system of Europe, but to keep 
ourselves always distinct and separate from it, if we can; yet, to effect this separation, early, punctual, and continual 
information of the current chain of events, and of the political projects in contemplation, is no less necessary than 
if we were directly concerned in them: it is necessary, in order to the discovery of the eflbrts made to draw us into 
the vortex, in season to make preparation against them. However we may consider ourselves, the maritime and 
commercial Powers of the world will consider the United States of America as forming a weight in that balance of 
power in Europe, which never can be forgotten or neglected. It would not only be against our interest, but it would 
be doing wrong to one half of Europe at least, if we should voluntarily throw ourselves into either scale. It is a 
natural policy for a nation that studies to be neutral, to consult with other nations, engaged in the same studies and 
pursuits a.t the same time; that measures might) be pursued with this view, our treaties v/ith Prussia and Sweden, 
one of which is expired, and the other near expiring, might be renewed. 

Gentlemen of the House of Representatives: 
It is particularly your province to consider the state of the public finances, and to adopt such measures respect- 
ing tliem, as exigencies shall be found to require. The preservation of public credit, the regular extinguishment of 
the public debt, and a provision of funds to defray any extraordinary expenses, will, of course, call for your serious 
attention. Althougli the imposition of new burthens cannot be, in itself, agreeable, yet there is no gi-ound to doubt 
that the American People will expect from you such measures as their actual engagements, their present security. 
and future interests, demand. 

Gentlemen of the Senate, and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives: 

The present situation of our country imposes an obligation on all the departments of Government, to adopt an ex- 
plicit and decided conduct. In my situation, an exposition of the principles by which my administration will be go- 
verned, ought not to be omitted. 

It is impossible to conceal from ourselves, or the world, what has been before observed, that endeavors have 
been employed to foster and establish a division between the Government and People of the United States. To 
investigate the causes which have encouraged the attempt, is not necessary; but to repel, by decided and united 
councils, insinuations so derogatory to the honor, and aggressions so dangerous to the constitution, union, and even 
independence of the nation, is an indispensable duty. 

It must not be permitted to be doubted, whether the People of the United States will support the Government 
established by their voluntary consent, and appointed by their free choice; or whether, by surrendering themselves 
to the direction of foreign and domestic factions, in opposition to their own Government, they wll forfeit the honor- 
able station they have hitherto maintained. 

6 VOL. I. 


For myself, having never been indifterent to what concerned the interests of my country; devoted the best part 
of my life to obtain and support its independence; and constantly wtnessed the patriotism, fidelity, and persever- 
ance of my fellow citizens, on the most trying occasions, it is not for me to hesitate, or abandon a cause in which 
my heart has been so long engaged. 

Convinced that the conduct ot the Government has been just and impai-tial to foreign nations; that those internal 
regulations which have been established by law for the preservation of peace, are, in their nature, proper, and that 
they have been fairly executed; nothing will ever be done by me to impair the national engagements; to innovate 
upon principles which have been so deliberately and uprightly established ; or to surrender, in any manner, the 
rights of the Government. To enable me to maintain this declaration, I rely with entire confidence, under God, 
on the firm and enlightened support of the National Legislature, and upon the virtue and patriotism of my fellow 


On Wednesday, May 24, IT97, the Senate waited on the President of the United States, and the Vice 
President, in their name, delivered to him the following 



The Senate of the United States request you to accept their acknowledgments for the comprehensive and 
interesting detail you have given, in your speech to b9th Houses of Congress, on the existing state of the Union. 

While we regret the necessity of the present meeting of the Legislature, we wish to express our entire approba- 
tion of your conduct in convening it on tliis momentous occasion. 

The superintendence of our national faith, honor, and dignity, being in a great measure constitutionally deposited 
with the Executive, we observe, with singular satisfaction, the vigilance, firmness, and promptitude, exhibited by 
you, in this critical state of our public affairs, and from thence derive an evidence and pledge of the rectitude and 
integrity of your administration. And we are sensible it is an object of primary importance, that each branch of the 
government should adopt a language and system of conduct, which shall be cool, just, and dispassionate; but finn, 
explicit, and decided. 

We are equally desirous, with you, to preserve peace and friendship with all nations, and are happy to be informed, 
that neither the honor or interests of the United States forbid advances for securing those desirable objects, by ami- 
cable negotiation with the French republic. This method of adjusting national difterences is not only the most mild 
but the most rational and humane, and, with governments disposed to be just, can seldom fail of success, when fairly, 
candidly, and sincerelv, used. If we have committed errors, and can be made sensible of them, we agi-ee with you 
in opinion that we ougnt to correct them, and compensate the injuries which may have been consequent thereon; 
and we ti-ust the French republic will be actuated by the same just and benevolent principles of national policy. 

We do, therefore, most sincerely approve of your determination to promote and accelerate an accommodation of 
our existing difterences with that republic, by negotiation, on terms compatible with the rights, duties, interests, 
and honor, of our nation. And you may rest assured of our most corclial co-operation, so far as it may become 
necessary, in this pursuit. 

Peace and harmony with all nations is our sincere wish; but, such being the lot of humanity, that nations will 
not always reciprocate peaceable dispositions, it is our firm belief, that ettectual measures of defence will tend to 
inspire tliat national selt-respect and confidence at ho7ne, which is the unfailing source of respectability abroad, to 
check aggression, and prevent war. 

While we are endeavoring to adjust our differences wth the French republic, by amicable negotiation, the pro- 
gress of the war in Europe, the depredations on our commerce, the personal injuries to our citizens, and the general 
coniplexion of affairs, prove to us your vigilant care, in recommending to our attention effectual measures of defence. 
Those which you recommend, whether they relate to external defence, by permiting our citizens to arm for the 
purpose of repelling aggressions on their commercial rights, and by providing sea convoys; or to internal defence, 
by increasing the establishments of artillery and cavalry, by forming a provisional army, by revising the militia laws, 
and fortifying, more completely, our ports and harbors; will meet our consideration, under the influence of the same 
just regard for the security, interest, and honor, of our country, which dictated your recommendation. 

Practices so unnatural and iniquitous, as those you state, of our own citizens converting their property and per- 
sonal exertions into the means of annoying our trade, and injuring their fellow-citizens, desei-ve legal severity com- 
mensurate with their turpitude. 

Although the Senate believe that the prosperity and happiness of our country does not depend on general and 
extensive political connexions with European nations, vet we can never lose sight of the propriety as well as neces- 
sity of enabling the Executive, by sufficient and liberal supplies, to maintain, and even extend, our foreign inter- 
course, as exigencies may require, reposing full confidence in the Executive, in whom tlie Constitution has placed the 
powers of negotiation. 

We leani, with sincere concern, that attempts are in operation to alienate the affections of our fellow-citizens 
from their Government. Attempts so wicked, wherever they exist, cannot fail to excite our utmost abhorrence. 
A government chosen by the People for their own safety and happiness, and calculated to secure both, cannot 
lose their affections, so long as its administration pursues the principles upon which it was erected. And your reso- 
lution to observe a conduct just and impartial to all nations; a sacred regard to our national engagements; and not 
to impair the riglits of our Government; contains principles which cannot fail to secure to your administration the 
support of the National Legislature, to render abortive every attempt to excite dangerous jealousies among us, and 
to convince the world that our Government, and your administi-ation of it, cannot be separated from the alfectionate 
support of every good citizen. And the Senate cannot suffer tlie present occasion to pass, without thus publicly 
and solemnly expressing their attatchment to the constitution and Government of their country; and as they hold 
themselves responsible to their constituents, their consciences, and their God, it is tjieir determination, by all their 
exertions, to repel every attempt to alienate the affections of the People from the Government, so highly injurious to 
the honor, safety, and independence, of the United States. 

We are happy, since our sentiments on tlie subject are in perfect unison with yours, in this public manner to 
declare, that we believe the conduct of the Government has been just and impartial to foreign nations, and that those 
internal regulations which have been established for the presei-vation of peace, are in tlieir nature proper, and have 
been fairly executed. 

And we are equally happy in possessing an entire confidence in your abilities and exei-tions in your station to 
maintain untarnished the honor, preserve the peace, and support the independence of our country; to acquire and 
establish which, in connexion with your fellow-citizens, has been the virtuous effort of a principal part of your life. 
To aid you in these arduous and honorable exertions, as it is our duty, so it shall be our faithful endeavor. And 
we flatter ourselves, sir, that the proceedings of the present session of Congi-ess will manifest to the world, that, 
although the United States love peace, they will be independent. That they are sincere in their declarations to be 
just to the French, and all other nations, and expect the same in return. 

If a sense of justice, a love of moderation and peace, shall influence their councils, which we sincerely hope, we 
shall have just grounds to expect peace and amity between the United States and all nations will be preserved. 

But if we are so unfortunate as to experience injuries from any foreign Power, and the ordinary methods by 
which differences are amicably adjusted between nations shall be rejected, the determination "not to surrender in 
any manner the rights of the Government" being so inseparably connected with the dignity, interest, and indepen- 
dence of our country, shall by us be steadily and inviolably supported. 

J'ice President of the United Slates and President of the Senate. 


To which the President of the United States made the following reply: 

Mr. Vice President, and Gentlemen of the Senate : 

It would be an affectation in me to dissemble the pleasure I feel on receiving this kind address. 

My long experience of the wisdom, fortitude, and patriotism, of the Senate ot the United States, enhances in my 
estimation tlie value of those obliging expressions of your approbation of my conduct, wliich are a generous reward 
for the past, and an affecting encouragement to constancy and preseverance in future. 

Our sentiments appear to be so entirely in unison, that I cannot but believe them to be the rational result of the 
understandings and me natural feelings of the hearts of Americans in general, on contemplating the present state of 
the nation. 

While such principles and affections prevail, they will form an indissoluble bond of union, and a sure pledge 
that our country has no essential injury to apprehend from any portentous appearances abroad. In a humble refi- 
ance on Divine Providence, we may rest assured, that, while we reiterate with sincerity our endeavors to accommo- 
date all our differences with France, the independence of our country cannot be diminished, its dignity degraded, or 
its glory tarnished, by any nation or combination of nations, whether friends or enemies. 


On Saturday, June 3, 1797, the Speaker, attended by the House of Representatives, waited on the Presi- 
dent OF THE United States, and delivered to him the following 



The interesting details of those events which have rendered the convention of Congress at this time indis- 
pensable, (communicated in your speech to both Houses) have excited in us the strongest emotions. Whilst we 
regret the occasion, we cannot omit to testify our approbation of the measure, and pledge ourselves that no consider- 
ations of private inconvenience shall prevent, on our part, a faithful discharge of the duties to which we are called. 

We have constantly hoped that the nations of Europe, whilst desolated by foreign wars, or convulsed by intestine 
divisions, would have left the United States to enjoy that peace and tranquillity, to which the impartial conduct of 
our Government has entitled us; and it is now with extreme regret, we find the measures of tlie French Republic 
tending to endanger a situation so desirable and interesting to our country. 

Upon this occasion we feel it our duty to express, in the most explicit manner, the sensations which the present 
crisis has excited; and to assure you of our zealous co-operation in those measures which may appear necessary for 
our security or peace. 

Although it is the earnest wish of our hearts that peace may be maintained with the French republic, and witli all 
the world, yet we never will surrender those rights which belong to us as a nation. And whilst we view, with satis- 
faction, the wisdom, dignity, and moderation, which have marked the measures of the supreme Executive of our 
country, in its attempt to remove, by candid explanations, the complaints and jealousies of France, we feel the full 
force of that indignity which has been offered our country in the rejection of its minister. No attempts to wound 
our rights as a sovereign State will escape the notice of our constituents: they will be felt with indignation, and 
repelled with that decision which shall convince the world that we are not a degraded people ; that we can never 
submit to the demands of a foreign Power without examination and without discussion. 

Knowing as we do the confidence reposed by the People of the United States in their Government, we cannot 
hesitate in expressing our indignation at any sentiments tending to derogate from that confidence. Such sentiments, 
wherever entertained, serve to evince an imperfect knowledge of the opinions of our constituents. An attempt to 
separate the People of the United States from their Government, is an attempt to separate them from themselves : 
and although foreigners, who know not the genius of our country, may have conceived the project, and foreign emis- 
saries may attempt the execution, yet the united efforts of our fellow-citizens will convince the world of its imprac- 

Sensibly as we feel the wound which has been inflicted by the transactions disclosed in your communications, 
yet we think with you, that neither the honor nor the interest of the United States forbid the repetition of advances 
for preserving peace. We therefore receive, with the utmost satisfaction, your information that a fresh attempt at 
negotiation will be instituted, and we cherish the hope, that a mutual spirit of conciliation, and a disposition on the 
part of France to compensate for any injuries which may have been committed upon our neutral rights; and on the 
part of the United States to place France on grounds similar to those of other countries, in their relation and connexion 
with us, (if any inequalities shall be found to exist) will produce an accommodation compatible with the engage- 
ments, rights, duties, and honor, of the United States. Fully, however, impressed with the uncertainty of the result, 
we shall prepare to meet, with fortitude, any unfavorable events which may occur, and to extricate ourselves from 
their consequences, with all the skill we possess, and all the efforts in our power. Believing, with you, that the 
conduct of the Government has been just and impartial to foreign nations; that the laws for the preservation of 
peace have been proper, and that they have been fairly executed, the Representatives of the People do not hesitate 
to declare, that they will give their most cordial support to the execution of prinm'ples so deliberately and uprightly 

The many interesting subjects wliich you have recommended to our consideration, and which are so sti-ongly en- 
forced by this momentous occasion, will receive every attention which their importance demands ; and we trust, that, 
by the decided and explicit conduct wliich will govern our deliberations, e>ery insinuation will be repelled which is 
derogatory to the honor and independence of our country. 

Permit us, in offering this address, to express our satisfaction at your promotion to the first office in the Govern- 
ment, and our entire confidence that the pre-eminent talents and patriotism which have placed you in this distin- 
guished situation, will enable you to discharge its various duties wi^h satisfaction to yourself and advantage to our 
common country. 

To which the President of the United States made the following reply: 

Mr. Speaker, and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives: 

I receive, with great satisfaction, your candid approbation of the convention of Congress; and I thank you for 
your assurances that the interesting subjects recommended to your consideration, shall receive the attention which 
their importance demands; and that your co-operation may be expected in those measures which may appear neces- 
sary for our security or peace. 

The declarations of the Representatives of this nation, of their satisfaction at my promotion to the first office in 
this Government, and of their confidence in my sincere endeavors to discharge the various duties of it wth advan- 
tage to our common country, have excited my most grateful sensibility. 

I pray you, gentlemen, to believe, and to communicate such assurance to our constituents, that no event, which 
1 can foresee to be attainable by any exertions in the discharge of my duties, can aftbrd me so much cordial satisfac- 
tion, as to conduct a negotiation with the French republic to a removal of prejudices, a correction of errors, a dis- 
sipation of umbrages, an accommodation of all difterences, and a restoration of harmony and aflection, to the mutual 
satisfaction of both nations. And whenever the legitimate organs of intercourse shall be restored, and the real senti- 
ments of the two Governments can be candidly communicated to each other, althougli strongly impressed with the 
necessity ot collecting ourselves into a manly postiire of defence, I nevertheless entertain an encouraging confidence 
that a mutual spirit ot conciliation, a disposition to compensate injuries, and accommodate each other in all our rela- 
tions and connexions, will produce an agreement to a treaty, consistent with the engagements, rights, duties, and 
honor, of both nations. 



5th Congress.] No. 14. [2(1 Session. 



Gentlemen of the Senate, 

and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives: 

1 was for some time apprehensive that it would be necessary, on account of the contagious sickness which afflicted 
the city of Philadelphia, to convene the National Legislature at some otlier place. This measure it was desirable 
to avoid, because it would occasion much public inconvenience, and a considerable public expense, and add to the 
calamities of the inhabitants of this city, whose suHerings must have excited the sympatliy of all their fellow-citizens; 
therefore, after taking measures to ascertain the state and decline of the sickness, I postponed my determination: 
having hopes, now happily realized, that, without hazard to the lives or healtli of the members, Congi-ess might 
assemble at this place, where it was next by law to meet. I submit, however, to your consideration, whether a 
power to postpone the meeting of Congress, without passing the time fixed by the constitution, upon such occasions, 
would not be a useful amendment to the law of one thousand seven hundred and ninety-four. 

Although 1 cannot yet congratulate you on the re-establishment of peace in Europe, and the restoration of secu- 
rity to the persons and properties of our citizens from injustice and violence at sea; we have, nevertheless, abundant 
cause of gratitude to the Source of Benevolence and Influence, for interior tranquillity and personal security, for pro- 
pitious seasons, prosperous agriculture, productive fisheries, and general inprovements; and, above all, for a rational 
spirit of civil and religious liberty, and a calm but steady determination to support our sovereignty, as well as our 
moral and religious principles, against all open and secret attacks. 

Our envoys extraordinary to the French republic embarked, one in July, the other early in August, to join their 
colleague in Holland. I have received intelligence of the arrival of both of them in Holland, from whence they all 
proceeded on their journeys to Paris, wthin a few days of the i9th of September. Whatever may be the result of 
this mission, I trust that nothing will have been omitted, on my part, to conduct the negotiation to a successful con- 
clusion, on such equitable terms as may be compatible with the safety, honor, and interests, of the United States. 
Nothing, in the mean time, will contribute so much to the preservation of peace, and the attainment of justice, as a 
manifestation of that energy and unanimity, of which, on many former occasions, the People of the United States have 

fiven such memorable proofs; and the exertion of those resources for national defence, which a beneficent Provi- 
ence has kindly placed within their power. 
It may be confidently asserted that nothing has occun-ed, since the adjournment of Congress, wliich renders inex- 
pedient those precautionary measures recommended by me to the consideration of the two Houses, at tiie opening of 
your late extraordinary session. If that system was then prudent, it is more so now, as increasing depredations 
strengthen the reasons for its adoption. 

Indeed, whatever may be the issue of the negotiation with France, and whether tlie war in Europe is, or is not, 
to continue, I hold it most certain, that permanent tranquillity and order will not soon be obtained. The state of 
society has so long been disturbed, the sense of moral and religious obligations so much weakened, public faith and 
national honor have been so impaired, respect to treaties has been so diminishedj and the law of nations has lost so 
much of its force; while pride, ambition, avarice, and violence, have been so long unrestrained, there remains no 
reasonable ground on which to raise an expectation that a commerce wthout protection or defence will not be plun- 

The commerce of the United States is essential, if not to their existence, at least to their comfort, their gi-owtli, 
prosperity, and happiness. The genius, character, and habi ts, of the People, are highly commercial ; their cities have 
been formed and exist upon commerce; our agiiculture, fisheries, arts, and manufactures, are connected with and 
depend upon it. In short, commerce has made tliis country what it is, and it cannot be destroyed or neglected 
without involving the People in poverty and distress. Great numbers are directly and solely supported by naviga- 
tion ; the faith ot society is pleclged for the presei-vation of the rights of commercial and sea-faring, no less than of 
the other citizens. Under this view of our anairs, I should hold myself guilty of a neglect of duty, if I forbore to 
recommend that we should make every exertion to protect our commerce, and to place our country in a suitable 
posture of defence, as the only sure means of preserving both. 

I have entertained an expectation that it would have been in my power, at the opening of this session, to have 
communicated to you the agreeable information of the due execution of our treaty with his Catholic Majesty, respect- 
ing the withdrawing of his troops from our territory, and the demarcation of the line of limits ; but by the latest 
authentic intelligence, Spanish garrisons were still continued witiiin our country, and tiie running of the boundary line 
had not been commenced; these circumstances are the more to be regretted, as they cannot fail to affect the Indians 
in a manner injurious to the United States. Still, however, indulging the hope that the answers wliich have been 
given will remove the objections offered by the Spanish officers to the immediate excution of the treaty, I have judged 
it proper that we should continue in readiness to receive the posts, and to run the line of limits. lurther iidbrma- 
tion on this subject \vill be communicated in the course of the session. 

In connexion with this unpleasant state of things on our Western frontier, it is proper for me to mention the 
attempts of foreign agents to alienate the affections of the Indian nations, and to excite them to actual hostilities 
against the United States. Great activity has been exerted by these persons, who have insinuated themselves among 
the Indian tribes residing within the territory of the United States, to influence them to transfer their affections and 
force to a foreign nation, to form them into a confederacy, and prepare them for war against the United States. 7^1- 
thougli measures have been taken to counteract these infractions of our rights, to prevent Indian hostilities, and to 
preser^'e entire their attachment to the United States, it is my duty to observe, tliat, to give a better effect to these 
measures, and to obviate the consequences of a repetition of such practices, a law, providing adequate punishment 
for such offences may be necessary. 

The commissioners appointed under the fifth ai'ticle of the treaty of amity, commerce, and navigation, between 
the United States and Great Britain, to ascertain the river which was truly intended under the name of the river 
St. Croix, mentioned in the treaty of peace, met at Passamaquoddy bay, in October, one thousand seven hundred 
and ninety -six, and viewed the mouths of the rivers in question, and the adjacent shores and islands; and being of 
opinion, that actual surveys of both rivers, to their sources, were necessary, gave to the agents of the two nations 
instructions for that purpose, and adjourned to meet art Boston in August. They met; but the surveys requiring 
more time than had been supposed, and not being then completed, the commissioners again adjourned, to meet at 
Providence, in the State of Rhode Island, in June next, when we may expect a final examination and decision. 

The commissioners appointed in pursuance of the sixth article ot the treaty met at Philadelphia in May last, to 
examine the claims of British subjects for debts contracted before the peace, and still remaining due to tliem from 
citizens or inhabitants of the United States. Vai'ious causes have hitherto prevented any detenninations ; but the 
business is now resumed, and doubtless will be prosecuted without interruption. 

Several decisions on the claims of citizens of the United States for losses and damages, sustained by reason of 
irregular and illegal captures or condemnations of their vessels or other property, have been made by the commis- 
sioners in London, conformably to tlie seventh article of the treaty. The sums awarded by the commissioners have 


been paid by the British Government; a considerable number of other claims, where costs and damages, and not 
captured property, were the only objects in question, have been decided by arbitration, and the sums awarded to the 
citizens of the United States have also been paid. 

The commissioners appointed agreeably to the twenty-first article of our treaty with Spain, met at Philadelphia, 
in the summer past, to examine and decide on the clanns of our citizens for losses they have sustained, in conse- 
quence of tlieir vessels and cargoes having been taken by the subjects of his Catholic Majesty, during the late war 
between Spain and France. Their sittings have been interi-upted, but are now resumed. 

The United States being obligated to make compensation for the losses and damages sustained by British subjects, 
upon the award of the commissioners, acting under the sixth article of the ti-eaty with Great Britain, and for the losses 
and damages sustained by British subjects, by reason of the capture of their vessels and merchandise, taken within 
the limits and jurisdiction of the United States, and brought into their ports, or taken by vessels originally armed in 
ports of the United States, upon the awards of tlie commissioners, acting under the seventh article of the same 
treaty, it is necessary that provision be made for fulfilling these obligations. 

The numerous captures of American vessels by the cruisers of the French republic, and of some by those of 
Spain, have occasioned considerable expenses in making and supporting the claims of our citizens before their tribu- 
nals. The sums required for tliis purpose have, in divers instances, been disbursed by the consuls of the United 
States. By means of the same captures, great numbers of our seamen have been thrown ashore in foreign countries, 
destitute of all means of subsistence, and the sick, in particular, have been exposed to grievous sufferings. The 
consuls have, in these cases, also advanced moneys for their relief: for these advances they reasonably expect reim- 
bursements from the United States. 

The consular act, relative to seamen, requires revision and amendment; the provisions for their support in 
foreign countries, and for their return, are found to be inadequate and ineft'ectual. Another provision seems neces- 
sary to be added to the consular act; some foreign vessels have been discovered sailing under the flag of the United 
States, and with forged papers; it seldom happens that the consuls can detect this deception, because they have no 
authority to demand an inspection of tlie registers and sea letters. 

Gentlemen of the House of Hepresentatives: 

It is my duty, to recommend to your serious consideration those objects, which, by the constitution, ai-e placed 
particularly within your sphere — the national debt and taxes. 

Since the decay of the feudal system, by wliich the public defence was provided for, cliiefly at the expense of 
individuals, the system of loans has been introduced; ancf as no nation can raise within the year, by taxes, sufficient 
sums for its defence and military, operations in time of war, the sums loaned and debts contracted have necessarily- 
become the subjects, of what have been called funding systems. The consequences aiising from the continual accu- 
mulation of public debts in other countries, ought to admonish us to be careiul to prevent their growth in our own. 
The national defence must be provided for, as well as the support of government; but both should be accomplishedj 
as much as possible, by immediate taxes, and as little as possible by loans. 

Tlie estimates for the service of the ensuing yeai- will, by my direction, be laid before you. 

Gentlemen of the Senate, mid Gentlemen of the House of Representatives: 
We are met together at a most interesting period. The situations of the principal Powers of Europe are singular 
and portentous. Connected with some by treaties, and with all by commerce, no important event there, can be indif- 
ferent to us. Such ciicumstances call wth peculiar importunity, not less for a disposition to unite in all those mea- 
sures, on which the honor, safety, and prosperity, of our country depend, than for all the exertions of wisdom and 

In all such measures, you may rely on my zealous and hearty concurrence. 


On Tuesday, November 28, 1797, the Senate waited on the President of the United States, and the Presi- 
dent pro tempore, in their name, delivered to him the following 


To the President of the United States: 

The communications you thought proper to make in your speech to both Houses of Congress, on tiie opening 
of their present session, afford additional proofs of the attention, integiity, and firmness, wliich "have always marked 
your official character. 

We cannot but approve of the measures you had taken to ascertain the state and decline of the contagious sick- 
ness, which has so lately afflicted the city of Philadelphia; and the pleasing circumstance that Congress is now 
assembled at that place, without hazard to tlie health of its members, exinces the propriety of your having postponed a 
determination to convene the National Legislature at another place. We shall take into consideration the law of 
1794, on this subject, and will readily concur in any amendment which may be deemed expedient. 

It would have given us much pleasure to have received your congratulations on the re-establishment of peace in 
Europe, and the restoration of security to the persons and property of our citizens from injustice and violence at sea. 
But, though these events, so desirable to our country and the world, have not taken place, yet, we have abundant 
cause of gratitude to the Great Disposer of human events, for interior tranquillity and personal security, for propitious 
seasons, prosperous agriculture, productive fisheries, and general improvement; and. above all, for a rational spirit 
of civil and religious liberty, and a calm but steady determination to support our sovereignty against all open and 
secret attacks. 

We learn, with satisfaction, that our envoys extraordinary to the French Republic had safely anived in Europe, 
and were proceeding to the scene of negotiation; and, whatever may be the result of the mission, we are perfectly 
satisfied that nothing on your part has been omitted, which could, in any way, conduce to a successful conclusion of 
the negotiation, upon terms compatible wth the safety, honor, and interest, of the United States; and we are fiilly 
convinced that, in the mean time, a manifestation of that unanimity and energy of wliich the People of the United 
States have given such memorable proofs, and a proper exertion of those resources of national defence, which we 
possess, will essentially contribute to the preservation of peace and the attainment of justice. 

We think, sir, with you, that the commerce of the tfnited States is essential to the growth, comfort, and pros- 
perihr, of our country; and that the faith of society is pledged for the preservation of the rights of commerciaf and 
sea-faring, no less than of other citizens. And even if our negotiation with France should terminate favorably, and 
the war in Europe cease, yet the state of society, which unhappily prevails in so great a portion of the world, and the 
experience of past times, under better circumstances, unite in warning us that a commerce so extensive, and which 
holds out so many temptations to lawless plunderers, can never be safe -svithout protection; and we hold ourselves 
obliged, by every tie of^ duty which binds us to our constituents, to promote and concur in such measures of marine 
defence, as may convince our merchants and seamen that their rights are not sacrificed, nor their injuries forgotten. 

We regret, that, notwithstanding the clear and explicit terms of the treaty between the United States and his 
Catholic Majesty, the Spanish garrisons are not yet withdrawn from our territory, nor the running of the boundary 
line commenced. The United States have been faithiiil in the performance of their obligations to Spain, and had 
reason to expect a compliance equally prompt on the part of that Power. We still, however, indulge the hope that 
the convincing answers, which have been given to the objections stated by the Spanish officers, to the immediate 
execution of the treaty, will have their proper effect; and that this treaty, so mutually beneficial to the contracting 


parties, will be finally observed with good faith. We therefore entirely approve of your determination to continue 
in readiness to receive the posts, and to run the line of partition between our territory and that of the King of Spain. 

Attempts to alienate the aftections of the Indians; to form them into a confederacy, and to excite them to actual 
hostility against the United States; whether made by foreign agents, or by others, are so injurious to our interests at 
large, and so inhuman %vith respect to our citizens inhabiting the adjacent territory, as to deserve the most exem- 
plary punishment; and we will cheerfully aftbrd our aid in framing a law, which may prescribe a punishment ade- 
quate to the commission of crimes so heinous. 

The several objects you have pointed out to the attention of the Legislature, whether they regard our internal or 
external relations, shall receive from us that consideration which they merit; and we will readily concur in all such 
measures as may be necessary, either to enable us to fulfil our engagements at home, or to cause ourselves to be re- 
spected abroad. And, at this portentous period, when the Powers of Europe, with whom we are connected by treaty 
or commerce, ai-e in so critical a situation, and when the conduct of some of those Powers towards the United States 
is so hostile and menacing, the several branches of the Government are, in our opinion, called upon, witli peculiar 
importunity, to unite, and, by union, not only to devise and carry into effect those measures on which the safety and 
prosperity of our country depend, but also to undeceive those nations who, regarding us as a weak and divided peo- 
ple, nave pursued systems of aggression inconsistent with a state of peace between independent nations. And, sir, 
we beg leave to assure you, that we derive a singular consolation from the reflection that, at such a time, the execu- 
tive part of our government has been committed to your hands: for, in your integrity, talents, and firmness, we place 
the most entire confidence. 

President of the Senate pro tempore. 

To which the President of the United States made the follo^^^ng reply: 

Gentlemen of the Senate: 

I thank you for this address. When, after the most laborious investigation, and serious reflection, witliout pai-tial 
considerations, or personal motives, measures have been adopted or recommended, I can receive no higher testimony 
of their rectitude, than the approbation of an assembly, so independent, pati'iotic, and enlightened, as the Senate of 
the United States. 

Nothing has afforded me more entire satisfaction, tlian the coincidence of your judgment with mine, in the 
opinion of die essential importance of our commerce, and the absolute necessity of a maritime defence. What is it, 
that has drawn to Europe the superfluous riches of the three other quarters of the globe, but a marine.'' What is it 
that has drained the wealth of Europe itself into the cofters of two or tliree of its principal commercial Powers, but a 

The world has fiirnished no example of a flourishing commerce, without a maritime protection: and a moderate 
knowledge of man and his history will convince any one, that no such prodigy ever can arise. A mercantile marine 
and a military marine must grow up together: one cannot long exist without the other. 


United States, November 28, 1797. 

On Wednesday, November 29, 1797, the Speaker, attended by the House of Representatives, waited on the 
President of the United States, and delivered to him the following 


While our sympathy is excited by the recent sufferings of the citizens of Philadelphia, we pai-ticipate ;n the 
satisfaction which you are pleased to express, that the duration of tlie late calamity was so limited as to render 
unnecessary the expense and inconvenience that would have been incident to the convention of Congress in another 
place; and we shall readily attend to every useful amendment to the law, which contemplates the event of conta- 
gious sickness at the seat of Government. 

In lamenting the increase of the injuries offered to the persons and property of our citizens at sea. we gratefully 
acknowledge the continuance of interior tranquillity, and the attendant blessings of which you remind us, as allevi- 
ations of these fatal effects of injustice and violence. 

Whatever may be the result of the mission to the French republic, your early and uniform attachment to the 
interest of our country; your important services in the struggle for its independence; and your unceasing exertions 
for its welfare, afford no room to doubt of the sincerity of your eftbrts to conduct the negotiation to a successful con- 
clusion, on such terms as may be compatible with the safety, honor, and interest, of the United States. We have 
also a hrm reliance upon the energy and unanimity of the People of these States, in the assertion of tlieir rights, and 
on their determination to exert, upon all proper occasions, their ample resources in providing for the national defence. 
The importance of commerce, and its beneficial influence upon agriculture, arts, and manufactures, have been 
verified in the growth and prosperity of our country. It is essentially connected with the other great interests of 
the community. They must flourish and decline together; and while the extension of our navigation and trade na- 
turally excites the jealousy, and tempts the avarice of other nations, we are firmly persuaded, that the numerous and 
deserving class of citizens engaged in these pursuits, and dependent on them for tJieir subsistence, has a strong and 
indisputable claim to our support and protection. 

The delay of the Spanish oflScers to fulfil tlie treaty existing with his Catholic Majesty, is a source of deep re- 
gret. We learn, however, with satisfaction, that you still indulge hopes of removing the objections which have been 
made to its execution, and that you have continued in readiness to receive the posts. Disposed to perform, with 
fidelity, our national engagements, nothing shall be wanting, on our part, to obtain the same justice from others, 
which we exercise towards them. 

Our abhoiTcnce cannot be too strongly expressed, of the intrigues of foreigii agents to alienate the affections of the 
Indians, and to rouse them to acts of hostility against the United States. No means in our power should be omit- 
ted, of providing for the suppression of such cruel practices, and for the adequate punishment of their atrocious 

Upon the other interesting subjects noticed in your address, we shall bestow the requisite attention. To pre- 
sei-ve inviolable the public faith, by providing for the due execution of our treaties^ to indemnify those who may have 
just claims to retribution upon the United States, for expenses incurred in defending the property and relieving the 
necessities of our unfortunate fellow-citizens; to guard against evasions of tlie laws intended to secure advantages 
to the navigation of our own vessels; and especially to prevent, by all possible means, an unnecessary accumulation 
of the public debt, are duties which we shall endeavor to keep in view, and discharge with assiduity. 

We regard, with gieat anxiety, the singular and portentous situation of the principal Powers of Europe. It were 
devoutly to be wished, that the United States, remote frtom this seat of war and discord; unambitious of conquests; 
respecting the rights of other nations; and desirous merely to avail themselves of their natural resources, might be 
permitted to behold the scenes which desolate that quarter of the globe, with only those sympathetic emotions which 
are natural to the lovers of peace, and friends of the human race. But we are led, by events, to associate with these 
feelings a sense of the dangers which menace our security and peace. We rely upon your assurances of a zealous 
and hearty concurrence in such measures as may be necessary to avert these dangers; and nothing on our part shall 
be wanting to repel them, which the honor, safety, and prosperity, of our country may require. 


To which the President of the United States made the following reply: 

Gentlemen of the House of Representatives: 

I receive this address from the House of Representatives of the United States with peculiar pleasure. 

Your approbation of the meeting of Congi-ess in this city, and of those other measures of the Executive authority 
of Government, communicated in my address to both Houses at the opening of the session, afford me great satisfac- 
tion: as the strongest desire of my heart is to give satisfaction to the People and their Representatives by a faithful 
discharge of my duty. . • i • • ^ i 

The confidence you express in the sincerity of my endeavors, and m the unanimity of the People, does me 
much honor, and gives me great jov. , „ , , , r- xl ^ , ■ 

I rejoice in that harmony which appears in the sentiments of all the branches ot the Orovemment, on the impor- 
tance of our commerce, and our obligations to defend it, as well as in all the other subjects recommended to your 
considerationj and sincerely congratulate you, and our fellow-citizens at large, on this appearance, so auspicious to 
the honor, interest, and happiness, of the nation. ^^^.^. 


United States, November 29, \T9T. 

5th Congress.] No. 15. [Sd Session. 



Gentlemen of the Senate, 

and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives: 

While with reverence and resignation we contemplate the dispensations of Divine Providence, in the alarming 
and destructive pestilence with which several of our cities and towns have been visited, there is cause for gratitude 
and mutual congratulations that tlie malady has disappeared, and that we are again permitted to assemble in safety 
at the seat of Government, for the discharge of our important duties. But, when we reflect that this fatal disorder 
has, within a few years, made repeated ravages in some of our principal sea ports, and with increased malignancy; 
and, when we consider the magnitude of the evils arising fi-om the intermption of public and private business, 
whereby the national interests are deeply affected, I think it my duty to invite the Legislature of the Union to ex- 
amine the expediency of establishing suitable regulations in aid of the health laws of the respective States: for, these 
being formed on the idea that contagious sickness may be communicated through the channels of commerce, there 
seems to be a necessity that Congi-ess, who alone can regulate trade, should frame a svstem which, while it may 
tend to preserve the general health, may be compatible with the interests of commerce and the safety of the revenue. 
While we think on this calamity, and sympathize with the immediate suiferers, we have abundant reason to pre- 
sent to the Supreme Being our annual oblations of gratitude for a liberal participation in the ordinary blessings of his 
providence. To the usual subjects of giatitude, I cannot omit to add one of the first importance to our well being 
and safety — I mean that spirit which has arisen in our country against the menaces and aggression of a foreign nation. 
A manly sense of national honor, dignity, and independence, has appeared, which^ if encouraged and invigorated by 
every branch of the Government, will enable us to view, undismayed, the enterpnses of any foreign Power, and be- 
come the sure foundation of national prosperity and gloiy . 

The course of the transactions in relation to the United States and France, which have come to my knowledge 
during your recess, will be made the subject of a future communication. That communication jyill confirm the ulti- 
mate failure of the measures which have been taken, by the Government of the United States, towards an amicable 
adjustment of differences with that Power. You will, at the same time, perceive that the French Government 
appears solicitous to impress the opinion that it is averse to a rupture with tliis country, and that it has, in a qualified 
manner, declared itself willing to receive a minister from the United States, for the purpose of restoring a good un- 
derstanding. It is unfortunate for professions of this kind, that they should be expressed in terms which may coun- 
tenance the inadmissible pretension of a right to prescribe the qualifications which a minister from the United States 
should possess; and that, while France is asserting the existence of a disposition, on her part, to conciliate witli sin- 
cerity the differences which have arisen, the sincerity of a like disposition, on the part of the United States, of which 
so many demonstrative proofs have been given, should even be indirectly questioned. It is also worthy of observa- 
tion that the decree of the Directory, alleged to be intended to restrain the depredations of French cruisers on our 
commerce, has not given, and cannot give, any relief; it enjoins them to conform to all the laws of France relative 
to cruising and prizes, while these laws are themselves the sources of the depredations of which we have so long, so 
justly, and so fruitlessly complained. 

The law of France, enacted in January last, which subjects to capture and condemnation neutral vessels and their 
cargoes, if any portion of the latter are of British fabric or produce, although the entire property belong to neutrals, 
instead of being rescinded, has lately received a confirmation, by the failure of a proposition for its repeal. While 
this law, which is an unequivocal act of war on the commerce of the nations it attacks, continues in force, those 
nations can see in the French Government only a Power regardless of their essential rights, of their independence, 
and sovereignty; and if they possess the means, they can reconcile nothing with their interest and honor but a firm 

Hitherto, therefore, nothing is discoverable in the conduct of France which ought to change or relax our measures 
of defence; on the contrary, to extend and invigorate them is our true policy. We have no reason to regret that 
these measures have been thus far adopted and pursued; and, in proportion as we enlarge our view of the portentous 
and incalculable situation of Europe, we shall discover new and cogent motives for the full development of our ener- 
gies and resources. 

But, in demonstrating by our conduct, that we do not fear war in the necessary protection of our rights and 
honor, we shall give no room to infer that we abandon the desire of peace. An efficient preparation for war can 
alone ensm-e peace. It is peace that we have uniformly and perseveringly cultivated; and harmony between us and 
France may be restored at her option. But to send another minister, without more determinate assurances that he 
would be received, would be an act of humiliation to which the United States ought not to submit. It must, there- 
fore, be left with France (if she is, indeed, desirous of accommodation) to take the requisite steps. The United 
States will steadily observe the maxims by which they have hitherto been governed. They will respect the sacred 
rights of embassy; and, with a sincere disposition, on the part of France, to desist from hostility, to make reparation 
for the injuries heretofore inflicted on our commerce, and to do justice in future, there wll be no obstacle to the 
restoration of a friendly intercourse. In making to you this declaration, I give a pledge to France, and the world, 
that the Executive authority of this country still adheres to the humane and pacific policy, which has invariably go- 
verned its proceeding, in conformity with the wishes of the other branches of the Government, and of the People of 
the United States. But, considering the late manifestations of her policy towards foreign nations, I deem it a duty. 


deliberately and solemnly to declare my opinion, that, whether we negotiate with her or not, vigorous preparations 
for war wil'l be alike indispensable. These alone will give to us an equal treaty, and ensure its observance. 

Among the measures of preparation whicli appear expedient, I take the liber^ to recall your attention to the naval 
establishment. The beneficial effects of the small naval armament provided under the acts of the last session, are 
known and acknowleged. Perhaps no country ever experienced more sudden and remarkable advantages from any 
measure of policy, than we have derived from the arming for our maritime protection and defence. We ought, with- 
out loss of time, to lay the foundation for an increase of our navy to a size sufficient to guard our coast, and pro- 
tect our trade. Such a naval force, as it is doubtless in the power of the United States to create and maintain, would 
also afford to them tlie best means of general defence, by facilitating the safe transpoi-tation of troops and stores to 
every part of our extensive coast. To accomplish tliis important object, a prudent foresight requires that systematical 
measures be adopted for procuring, at all times, the requisite timber and other supplies. In what manner this shalf 
be done, I leave to your consideration. 

I will now advert, gentlemen, to some matters of less moment, but proper to be communicated to the National 

After the Spanish ganisons had evacuated the posts they occupied at the Natchez and \Valnut-Hills, the com- 
missioner of the United States commenced his observations to ascertain (he point near the Mississippi, v.'hich termi- 
nated the Northernmost part of the thirty -first degree of North latitude. From thence he proceeded to run the 
boundary line between the United States and Spain. He was afterwards joined by the Spanish commissioner, when 
the work of the former was confirmed; and they proceeded together to the demarcation of the line. Recent informa- 
tion renders it prol)able that the Southern Indians, either instigated to oppose the demarcation, or jealous of the con- 
sequences of suffering white people to run a line over lands to which the Indian title had not been extinguished, have, 
ere this time, stopped the progi-ess of the commissioners. And considering the mischiefs which may result from con- 
tinuing the demarcation, in opposition to the will of the Indian tribes, the great expense attending it, and that the 
boundaries which the commissioners have actually established, probably extend at least as far as the Indian title has 
been extinguished, it will perhaps become expedient and necessary to suspend further proceedings, by recalling our 

The commissioners appointed in pursuance of the fifth article of the treaty of amity, commerce, and navigation, 
between the United States and his Britannic Majesty, to determine what river was truly intended under the name 
of the river St. Croix, mentioned in the treaty of peace, and forming a part of the boundary therein described, have 
finally decided that question. On the 25th of October they made their declaration that a river called Scoodiac, 
whicli falls into Passamaquoddy Bay at its Northwestern quai-ter, was the true St. Croix intended in the ti-eaty of 
peace, as far as its H-eat fork, where one of its stieams comes from the westward, and the other from the north- 
ward, and that the latter stream is the continuation of the St. Croix to its source. This decision, it is understood, 
will preclude all contention among individual claimants, as it seems that the Scoodiac and its northern branch bound 
the grants of lands wliich have been made by the respective adjoining governments. A subordinate question, how- 
ever, it has been suggested, still remains to be determined. Bet^veen the mouth of the St. Croix, as now settled, 
and what is usually called the Bay of Fundy, lie a number of valuable islands. The Commissioners have not con- 
tinued the boundary line through any channel of these islands, and unless the Bay of Passamaquoddy be a part of the 
Bay of Fundy, this further adjustment of boundary will be necessary: but it is apprehended that this will not be a 
matter of any difficulty. 

Such progress has been made in the examination and decision of cases of captures and condemnations of Ameri- 
can vessels, which were the subject of the seventh article of the treaty of amity, commerce, and navigation, between 
the United States and Great Britain, that it is supposed the commissioners will be able to bring their business to a 
conclusion in August of the ensuing year. 

The commissioners acting under the twenty-fifth ai-ticle of the treaty between the United States and Spain, have 
adjusted most of the claims of our citizens, for losses sustained in consequence of their vessels and cargoes having 
been taken by the subjects of his Catholic Majesty, during the late war between France and Spain. 

Various circumstances have concurred to delay the execution of the law for augmenting the military establish- 
ment — among these, the desire of obtaining the fullest information to direct the best selection of officers. As this 
object will now be speedily accomplished, it is expected that the raising and organizing of the troops will proceed 
without obstacle and with effect. 

Gentlemen of the House of Bepresentatives: 

I have directed an estim.ate of the appropriations, which will be necessaiy for the service of the ensuing year, to 
be laid before you, accompanied with a view of the public receipts and expenditures to a recent period. It vrill 
aftbrd you satisfaction to infer the great extent and solidity of the public resources, from the prosperous state of the 
finances, notwithstanding the unexampled embarrassments which have attended commerce. W hen you reflect on 
the conspicuous examples of patriotism and liberality which have been exhibited by our mercantile fellow-citizens, 
and how great a proportion of the public resources depends on their enterprise, you will naturally consider whether 
their convenience cannot be promoted and reconciled with the security ot the revenue, by a revision of the system 
by which the collection is at present regulated. 

During your recess, measures have been steadily pursued for effecting the valuations and returns directed by the 
act of the last session, preliminary to the assessment and collection of a direct tax. No otlier delays or obstacles have 
been experienced, except such as were expected to arise from the great extent of our country, and the magnitude 
and novelty of the operation, and enough has been accomplished to assure a fulfilment of the views of the Legislature. 

Gentlemen of the Senate, and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives: 
I cannot close this address without once more adverting to our political situation, and inculcating the essential 
importance of uniting in the maintenance of our dearest interests; and I trust that, by the temper and wisdom of 
your proceedings, and by a haimony of measures, we shall secure to our country that weight and respect to which it 
IS so justly entitled. 


On Wednesday, December 12, 1798, the Senate waited on the President of the United States, and the 
President pro tempore, delivered to him the following 


To the President of the United States: 

The Senate of the United States join you in thapks to Almighty God for the removal of the late afflicting 
dispensations of his providence, and for the patriotic spuit and general prosperity of our country. Sympathy for 
the .sufferings of our fellow-citizens from disease, and the impoi-tant interests of the Union, demand of the National 
Legislature a ready co-operation wth the Stale Governments in the use of such means as seem best calculated to 
prevent the return of this fatal calamity. 

Although we have sincerely wished that an adjustment of our differences with the republic of France might be 
effected on safe and honorable terms, yet the information you have given us of the ultimate failure of the negotiation 
has not suprised us. In the general conduct of that republic, we have seen a design of universal influence, incom- 
patible with the self-government, and destructive of the independence, of other States. In its conduct towards these 
United States, we have seen a plan of hostility pursued with unremitted constancy — equally disregarding the obliga- 
tions of treaties and the rights of individuals. We have seen two embassies, formed for the purpose of mutual expla- 


nations, and clothed with the most extensive and liberal powers, dismissed without recognition and even without a 
hearing. The Government of France has not only refused to repeal, but has recently enjoined the observance of its 
former edict, respecting merchandise of British fabric or produce, the property of neutrals, by wliich the interrup- 
tion of our lawful commerce, and the spoliation of the property of our citizens, have again received a public sanction. 
These facts indicate no change of system or disposition; they speak a more intelligible language than professions of 
solicitude to avoid a rupture, Tiowever ardently made. But if, after the repeated proofs ^ye have given of a sincere 
desire for peace, these professions should be accompanied by insinuations, implicating the integrity with which it has 
been pursued; if, neglecting and passing by the constitutional and authorized agents of the Government, they are 
made through the medium of individuals, without public character or authority; and, above all, if they carry with 
them a claim to prescribe the political qualifications of the minister of the United States to be employed in the nego- 
tiation; they are not entitled to attention or consideration, but ought to be regarded as designed to separate the 
People from their Government, and to bring about by intrigue that which open force could not effect. 

We are of opinion with you, sir, that there has nothing yet been discovered in the conduct of France which can 
justify a relaxation of the means of defence, adopted during the last session of Congress, the happy result of which is 
so strongly and generally marked. If the force by sea and land, which the existing laws authorize, should be judged 
inadequate to the public defence, we will perform the indispensable duty of bringing forward such other acts as 
will effectually call forth the resources and force of our country. 

A steady adherence to this wise and manly policy; a proper direction of the noble spirit of patriotism which has 
arisen in our country, and which ought to be cherished and invigorated by every branch of the Government; will 
secure our liberty and independence against all open and secret attacks. 

We enter on the business of the present session with an anxious solicitude for the public good, and shall bestow 
that consideration on the several objects pointed out in your communication, which they respectively merit. 

Your long and invportant services; your talents and firmness, so often displayed in the most trying times and most 
critical situations; afford a sure pledge of a zealous co-operation in every measure necessary to secure us justice and 

President of the Senate pro tempore. 

To which the President of the United States made the follov/ing reply: 
To the Senate of the United States: 

I thank you for this address, so conformable to the spirit of our constitution, and the established character 
of the Senate of tne United States, for wisdom, honor, and virtue. 

I have seen no real evidence of any change of system or disposition in the French republic to wai'ds the United 
States. Although the officious interference of individuals, without public character or authority, is not entitled to 
any credit, yet it deserves to be considered, whether that temerity and impertinence of individuals affecting to inter- 
fere in public affairs, between France and the United States, whether by their secret correspondence or otherwise, 
and intended to impose upon the People, and separate them from their Government, ought not to be inquired into 
and corrected. 

I tliank you, gentlemen, for your assurances that you will bestow that consideration on the several objects pointed 
out in my communication which they respectively merit. 

If I have participated in that understanding, sincerity, and constancy, which have been displayed by my fellow- 
citizens and countrymen, in the most trying times and critical situations, and fulfilled my duties to them, I am 
happy. The testimony of the Senate of the United States in my favor, is an high and honorable reward, which 
receives, as it merits, my grateful acknowledgments. My zealous co-operation in measures necessary to secure us 
justice and consideration may be always depended on. 


Deceinber 12, 1798. 

On Friday, December 14, 1798, the Speaker, attended by the members of the House of Representatives, 
waited on the President of the United States, and delivered to him the following 


To John Adams, President of the United States: 

The House of Representatives unite with you in deploring the effects of the desolating malady by which the 
seat of Government, and other parts of our country, have recently been visited. In calling our attention to the fatality 
of its repeated ravages, and inviting us to consider the expediency of exercising our constitutional powers in aid of 
the health laws of the respective States, your recommendation is sanctioned by the dictates of humanity and liberal 
policy. On this interesting subject, we feel the necessity of adopting every wise expedient for preventing a calamity 
so distressing to individual sufferers, and so prejudicial to our national commerce. 

That our finances are in a prosperous state, notwithstanding the commercial derangements resulting from this 
calamity and from external embarrassments, is a satisfactory manifestation of the great extent and solidity of the 
public resources. Connected with this situation of our fiscal concerns, the assurance that the legal provisions for 
obtaining revenue by direct taxation will fulfil the views of the Legislature, is peculiarly acceptable. 

Desirous as we aie, that all causes of hostility may be removed by the amicable adjustment of national differences, 
we learn with satisfaction, that, in pursuance of our treaties with Spain and with Great Britain, advances have been 
made for definitively settling the controversies relative to the Southern and Northeastern limits of the United States. 
With similar sentiments have we received your information that the proceedings under commissions authorized by 
the same treaties, afford, to a respectable portion of our citizens, the prospect of a final decision on their claims for 
maritime injuries committed by subjects of those Powers. 

It would be the theme of mutual felicitation, were we assured of experiencing similar moderation and justice 
from the French republic, between wliich and the United States differences have unhappily arisen. But this is 
denied us by the ultimate Jailure of the measures which ^have been taken by this Government towai'ds an amicable 
ad justmentof those differences, and by the various inadmissible pretensions on the part of that nation. 

The continuing in force the decree of January last, to wliich you have more pai-ticularly pointed our attention, 
ought, of itself, to be considered as demonstrative of the real intention of the French Government. That decree 
proclaims a predatory warfare against the unquestionable rights of neutral commerce, which, with our means of 
defence, our interest and our honor command us to repel. It, therefore, now becomes the United States to be as 
determined in resistance, as they have been patient in suffering, and condescending in negotiation. 

While those who direct the affairs of France persist in the enforcement of decrees so hostile to our essential rights, 
their conduct forbids us to confide in any of their professions of amity. 

As, therefore, the conduct of France hitherto exhibits nothing which ought to change or relax our measures of 
defence, the policy of extending and invigorating those measures demands our sedulous attention. The sudden and 
remarkaJble advantages which this country has experienced from a small naval armament, sufficiently prove the 
utility of its establishment. As it respects the guai-ding of our coast, the protection of our trade, and the facility of 
safely transporting the means of territorial defence to every part of our maritime frontier, an ade(^uate naval force 
must be considered as an important object of national policy. Nor do we hesitate to adopt tlie opinion that, whether 
negotiations with France are resumed or not, vigorous preparations for war will be alike indispensable. 

7 VOL. I. 


Iq this conjuncture of affairs, while with you we recognize our abundant cause of gratitude to the Supreme Disposer 
of events for the ordinary blessings of Providence, we regard, as of high national importance, the manifestation, in 
oui- country, of a magnanimous spirit of resistance to foreign domination. This spirit merits to be cherished and invi- 
gorated by eveiy branch of Government, as the estimable pledge of national prosperity and glory. 

Disdaining a reliance on foreign protection; wanting no foreign guarantee ot oui' liberties; resolving to maintain 
our national independence against every attempt to despoil us of this inestimable treasure; we confide, under Provi- 
dence, in the patnotism and energies of the People of these United States for defeating the hostile enterprises of any 
ibreign Power. 

To adopt, with prudent foresight, such systematical measures as may be expedient for calling forth those energies 
wherever the national exigencies may require, whether on the ocean, or on our own territory, and to reconcile with 
the proper security of revenue, the convenience of mercantile enterprise, on which so great a proportion of the public 
resources depends, are objects of moment which shall be duly regarded in the course of our deliberations. 

Fully as we accord with you in the opinion that the United States ought not to submit to the humiliation of send- 
ing another minister to France, without previous assurances sufficiently determinate that he will be duly accredited, 
we have heard, with cordial approbation, the declaration of your purpose steadily to observe those maxims of humane 
and pacific policy by which the United States have hitherto been governed. While it is left with France to take the 
requisite steps for accommodation, it is worthy the Chief Magistrate of a free People to make known to the world, that 
justice, on tne part of France, will annihilate every obstacle to the restoration of a friendly intercourse, and that the 
Executive authority of this country will respect the sacred rights of embassv. At the same time, the wisdom and 
decision which have characterized yoi»r past administration, assure us that no illusory professions wi{\ seduce you into 
any abandonment ot the rights which belong to the United States as a free and independent nation. 

To which the President of the United States made the following reply : 
To the House of Representatives of the United States of America: 

My sincere acknowledgments are due to the House of Representatives of the United States for this excel- 
lent addresSj so consonant to the character of Representatives of a great and free People. The judgment and feel- 
ings of a nation, I believe, were never more truly expressed by their Representatives, than those of our constituents 
by your decided declaration, that, with our means of defence, our interest and honor command us to repel a preda- 
tory warfare against the unquestionable rights of neutral commerce; that it becomes the United States to be as 
detennined in resistance, as they have been patient in suffering, and condescending in negotiation; that, while tliose 
who direct the affairs of France persist in the enforcement of decrees so hostile to our essential rights, their conduct 
forbids us to confide in any of their professions of amity; that an adequate naval force must be considered as an 
important object of national policy; and that, whether negotiations with France ai-e resumed or not, vigorous prepa- 
rations for war will be alike mdispensable. 

The generous disdain you so coolly and deliberately express, of a reliance on foreign protection, wanting no 
foreign guarantee of our liberties, resolving to maintain our national independence against every attempt to despoil 
us 01 this inestimable treasure, will meet the full approbation of every sound understanding, and exulting applauses 
from the heart of every faithful American. 

I thank you, gentlemen, for your candid approbation of my sentiments on the subject of negotiation, and forthe 
declaration of your opinion that the policy of extending and invigorating our measures of defence, and the adoption, 
with prudent foresight, of such systematical measures as may be expedient for calling forth the energies of our coun- 
try, wherever the national exigencies may require, whether on the ocean, or on our own territory, wll demand your 
sedulous attention. 

At the same time, I take the liberty to assure you it shall be my vigilant endeavor that no illusory professions 
shall seduce me into any abandonment of the rignts which belong to the United States as a free and independent 


December 14, 1798. 

6th Congress.] No. 16. [1st Session. 


delivered on TUESDAY, DECEMBER 3, 1799. 

Gentlemen of the Senate, 

and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives: 

It is with peculiar satisfaction that I meet the Sixth Congress of the United States of America. Coming from 
all parts of the Union at this critical and interesting period, the members must be fully possessed of tlie sentiments 
and^ wishes of our constituents. 

The flattering prospects of abundance, from the labors of the people, by land and by sea; the prosperity of our 
extended commerce, notwithstanding inten-uptions occasioned by the belligerent state of a great part of the world; 
the return of health, industry, and trade, to those cities which have lately been afllicted vrith disease; and the 
various and inestimable advantages, civil and religious, which, secured under our happy frame of government, are 
continued to us impaired; demand of the whole American People sincere thanks to a Denevolent Deity for the mer- 
ciful dispensations of l\is providence. 

But, while these numerous blessings are recollected, it is a painful duty to advert to the ungrateful return wliich 
has been made for them, by some of the people, in cei-tain counties of Peiuisylvania, wliere, seduced by the arts and 
misrepresentations of designing men, they have openly resisted the law directing the valuation of houses and lands. 
Such defiance was given to the civil authority as rendered hopeless all further attempts, by judicial process, to en- 
force the execution of the law; and it became necessary io direct a military force to be employed, consisting of some 
companies of regular troops, volunteers, and militia, by whose zeal and activity, in co-operation with the judicial 
power, order and submission were restored, and many of the offenders arrested. Of these some have been convicted 
of misdemeanors, and others, charged with various crimes, remain to be tried. 

To give due effect to the civil administration of government, and to ensure a just execution of the laws, a revi- 
sion and amendment of the judiciary system is indispensably necessary. In this extensive country, it cannot but 
happen, that numerous questions respecting the interpretation of the laws and the rights and duties of officers and 
citizens must arise. On the one hand, the laws should be executed; on the other, individuals sliould be guarded 
from oppression: neither of these objects is sufficiently assured under the present organization of the judicial de- 
partment. I therefore earnestly recommend the subject to your serious consideration. 


Persevering in the pacific and humane policy which had been invariably professed, and sincerely pursued, by 
the Executive authority of the United States, when indications were made, on the part of the French republic, of 
a disposition to accommodate the existing differences between the two countries, I felt it to be my duty to prepare 
for meeting their advances, by a nomination of ministers, upon certain conditions, which the honor of our country 
dictated, and which its moderation had given it a right to prescribe. The assurances wliich were required of the 
French Government, previous to the departure of our envoys, have been given, through their minister of foreign re- 
lations; and I have directed them to proceed on their mission to Paris. They have full power to conclude a treaty, 
subject to the constitutional advice and consent of the Senate. The characters of these gentlemen are sure pledges 
to their country, that nothing incompatible with its honor or interest, nothing inconsistent witli our obligations of 
good faith or friendship to any other nation, will be stipulated. 

It appealing probable, from the information I received, that our commercial intercoiirse with some ports in the 
island of St. Domingo might safely be renewed, I took such steps as seemed to me expedient to ascertain that point. 
The result being satisfactory, I then, in conformity with the act of Congress on the subject, directed the restraints 
and prohibitions of that intercourse to be discontinued, on terms which were made known by proclamation. Since 
the renewal of this intercourse, our citizens trading to those ports, %vith their property, have been duly respected, 
and privateering from those ports has ceased. 

In examining the claims of British subjects by the commissioners at Philadelphia, acting under the sixth article of 
the ti'eaty of amity, commerce, and navigation, with Great Britain, a difference of opinion, on points deemed essen- 
tial, in the interpretation of that article, has arisen between the commissioners appointed by the United States, and 
the other members of that Board, from wliich the former have thought it^tlieir duty to withdraw. It is sincerely to 
be regretted, that the execution of an article produced by a mutual spirit of amity and justice should have been thus 
unavoidably interrupted. It is, however, confidently expected, that the same spirit of amity, and the same sense of 
justice, in which it originated, will lead to satisfactory explanations. In consequence of the obstacles to the progress 
of the commission in Pliiladelphia, liis Britannic Majesty has directed the commissioners appointed by liim, under 
the 7th article of the treaty, relating to the British captures of American vessels, to withdraw from the Board sitting 
in London; but with the express declaiation of his determination to fulfil, with punctuality and good faith, the en- 
gagements wliich liis majesty has contracted by his treaty with the United States; and that they will be instructed 
to resume their functions whenever the obstacles wliich impede the progress of the commission at Philadelphia shall 
be removed. It being, in like manner, my sincere determination, so fai- as the same depends on me, that, with 
equal punctualitv and good faith, the engagements contracted by the United States, in their treaties with his Bri- 
tanic Majesty, shall be fulfilled, 1 shall immediately instruct our minister at London to endeavor to obtain the ex- 
planations necessary to a just performance of those engaganents on the part of the United States. With such dis- 
positions on both sides, I cannot entertain a doubt, that all difficulties -mil soon be removed, and that the two Boards 
will then proceed and biing the business committed to them respectively to a satisfactory conclusion. 

The act of Congress relative to the seat of the government of the United States requiring that, on the first Monday 
of December next, it should be transferred from Philadelpliia to the District chosen for its permanent seat, it is 
proper for me to inform you that the commissioners appointed to provide suitable buildinw for the accommodation 
ot Congress, and of the President, and of the public offices of the Government, have made a report of the state of 
the buildings designed for those purposes in the City of Washington; from which they conclude, that the removal of 
the seat of government to that place, at the time required, will be practicable, and the accommodation satisfactory. 
Their report will be laid before you. 

Gmtlemen of the House of Representatives: 

I shall direct the estimates of the appropriations necessary for the service of tlie ensuing year, together with an 
account of the revenue and expenditure, to be laid before you. During a period in wliidi a great portion of the 
civilized world has been involved in a war unusually calamitous and destructive, it was not to be expected that the 
United States could be exempted from extraordinary burthens. Although the period is not airived when the mea- 
sures adopted to secure our country against foreign attacks can be renounced, yet it is alike necessaiy to the honor 
of the Government and the satisfaction of the community, that an exact economy should be maintained. I invite 
i^ou, gentlemen, to investigate the different branches of the public expenditure; the examination will lead to bene- 
ficial retrenchments, or produce a conviction of the wisdom of the measures to which the expenditure relates. 

Gentlemen of the Senate, and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives: 

At a period like the present, when momentous changes are occurring, and every hour is preparing new and gi-eat 
events in the political world; when a spirit of war is prevalent in almost every nation, with whose affairs the interests 
of the United States have any connexion; unsafe and precarious would be our situation, were we to neglect the 
means of maintaining our just rights. The result of the mission to France is uncertain; but, however it may termi- 
nate, a steady perseverance in a system of national defence, commensurate with our resources and the situation of 
our countiy, IS an obvious dictate of \visdom: for, remotely as we are placed from the belligerent nations, and 
desirous as we are, by doing justice to all, to avoid offence to any, nothing short of the power of repelling aggressions, 
will secure to our country a rational prospect of escaping the calamities of war, or national degradation. A.S to* 
myself, it is my anxious desire so to execute the trust reposed in me, as to render the People of Sie United States 
prosperous and happy. I rely, with entire confidence, on your co-operation in objects equally your care; and that 
our mutual labors will serve to increase and confirm union among our fellow-citizens, and an unshaken attachment 
to our Government. 

TT c. « i J JOHN ADAMS. 

United States, December Sd, 1799. 

On Tuesday, December 10, 1799, the Senate waited on the President of the United States, and the 
President pro tem.pore, in their name, delivered to him the following 


To the President of the United States: 

Accept, sir, the respectful acknowledgments of the Senate of the United States for your speecii delivered to 
both Houses of Congress at the opening of the present session. 

MHiile we devoutly join you in offering our thanks to Almighty God for the return of health to our cities, and for 
the general prosperity of the country, we cannot refrain from lamenting that the arts and calumnies of factious, de- 
signing men have excited open rebellion a second time in Pennsylvania, and thereby compelled the employment of 
a military force to aid the civil authority in the execution of the laws. We rejoice tliat your vigilance, energy, and 
well-timed exertions, have crushed so daring an opposition, and prevented the spreading of such treasonable combi- 
nations. The promptitude and zeal displayed by the troops called to suppress this insurrection deserve our lughesl 
commendation and praise, and afford a pleasing proof of the spirit and alacrity with which our fellow-citizens are 
read^ to maintain the authority of our excellent Government. 

knowing, as we do, that the United States are sincerely anxious for a fair and liberal execution of the treaty of 
amity, commerce, and navigation, entered into with Great Britain, we learn, with regret, that the progress of adjust- 
ment has been interrupted by a difference of opinion among the commissioners. We hope, however, that the jus- 
tice, the moderation, and the obvious interests of both parties will lead to satisfactory explanations, and that the 
business will then go forwai-d to an amicable close of all differences and demands between the two countries. We 


are fully persuaded tliat the Legislature of the United States will cheerfully enable you to realize your assurances 
of performing, on our part, all engagements under our treaties with punctuality, and the most scrupulous good faith. 

When we reflect upon the uncertainty of the result of the late mission to France; and upon the uncommon nature, 
extent, and aspect, of the war now raging in Europe; which affects materially our relations with the Powers at wai-, ana 
which has changed the condition of their colonies in our neighborhood: we are of opinion, with you, that it would 
be neither wise nor safe to relax our measures of defence, or to lessen any of our preparations to repel aggression. 

Our inquiries and attention shall be carefully dii-ected to the various other important subjects which you have 
recommended to our consideration; and from our experience of your past administration, we anticipate, with the 
highest confidence, your strenuous co-operation in all measures which have a tendency to promote and extend our 
national interests and happiness. 

President of the Senate pro tempore. 

To which the President of the United States made the following reply: 
Gentlemen of the Senate: 

I thank you for this address. I \vish you all possible success and satisfaction in your deliberations on the means 
which have a tendency to promote and extend our national interests and happiness; and I assure you that, in all your 
measures directed to those great objects, you may, at all times, rely with the highest confidence on my cordial co- 

The praise of the Senate, so judiciously conferred on the promptitude and zeal of the troops called to suppress 
the insurrection, as it falls from so high authority, must make a deep impression — both as a terror to the disobeclient, 
and an encouragement of such as do well. 


United States, Dec. 10, 1799. 

On Tuesday, December 10, 1799, the Speaker, attended by tiie House of Representatives, waited on the 
President of the United States, and delivered to liim the follo\ving 

To the President of the United States: 

While the House of Representatives contemplate the flattering prospects of abundance from the labors of the 

Eeople by land and by sea; the prosperity of our extended commerce, notwithstanding the interi-uptions occasioned 
y the belligerent state of a great pai-t of the world; the return of health, industry, and trade, to those cities which 
have lately been afflicted with disease; and the various and inestimable advantages, civil and religious, which, 
secured under our happy frame of Government, are continued to us unimpaired; we cannot fail to offer up to a 
benevolent Deity our sincere thanks for these, the merciful dispensations ol his protecting providence. 

That any portion of the People of America should permit themselves, amid such numerous blessings, to be 
seduced by the arts and misrepresentations of designing men, into an open resistance of a law of the United States, 
cannot be heard without deep and serious regret. Under a constitution where the public burthens can only be im- 
posed by the People themselves, for their own benefit, and to promote their own objects, a hope might well have 
been indulged that the general interest would have been too well understood, and the general welfare too highly 
prized, to have produced, in anv of our citizens, a disposition to hazard so much felicity, by the criminal effort of a 
part to oppose, with lawless violence, the will of the whole. While we lament that depravity wliich could produce a 
defiance of the civil authority, and render indispensable the aid of the military force of the nation, real consolation is to 
be derived from the promptness and fidelity with which that aid was afforded. That zealous and active co-operation 
with the judicial power, of the volunteers and militia called into service, which has restored order and submission 
to the laws, is a pleasing evidence of the attachment of our fellow-citizens to their own free Government, and of 
the truly patriotic alacrity with which they will support it. 

To give due effect to the civil administration of Government, and to ensure a just execution of the laws, are ob- 
jects oisuch real magnitude as to secure a proper attention to your recommendation of a revision and amendment 

Highly approving, as we do. the pacific and humane policy which has been invariably professed, and sincerely 
pursued by the Executive authority of the United States — a policy which our best interests enjoined, and of wliich 
honor has permitted the observance — we consider as the most unequivocal proof of your inflexible perseverance in 
the same well chosen system, your preparation to meet the first indications on the part of the French republic, of a 
disposition to accommodate the existing differences between the two countries, by a nomination of ministers on 
ceiiain conditions, which the honor of our country unquestionably dictated, and which its moderation had certainly 
given it a right to prescribe. When the assurances thus required of the French Government, previous to the de- 
parture of our envoys, had been given through their minister of foreign relations, the direction that they should 
proceed on their mission was, on your part, a completion of the measure, and manifests the sincerity with which it 
was commenced. We offer up our fervent prayers to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe for tiie success of their 
embassy, and that it may be productive of peace and happiness to our common country. The uniform tenor of your 
, conduct through a life useful to your fellow-citizens and honorable to yourself, gives a sure pledge of the sincerity 
*' with which the avowed objects of the negotiation -will be pursued on your part, and we eainestly pray that similar 
dispositions may be displayed onthe part of France. The differences which unfortunately subsist between the two 
nations cannot fail, in that event, to be happily terminated. To produce tliis end. to all so desirable, firmness, 
moderation, and union at home, constitute, we ai-e persuaded, the surest means. The character of the gentlemen 
you liave deputed, and still more the character of the Government which deputes them, are safe pledges to their 
country that nothing incompatible with its honor or interest, nothing inconsistent with our obligations of good faith 
or friendship to any other nation, will be stipulated. _ • , . 

We learn, with pleasure, that our citizens, witli their property, trading to those ports of St. Domingo with which 
commercial intercourse has been renewed, have been duly respected, and that privateering from those ports has 

With you . we sincerely regret that the execution of the sixth ai-ticle of the treaty of amity, commerce, and navi- 
gation, with Great Britain — an article produced by a mutual spirit of amity and justice — should have been unavoida- 
bly interrupted. We doubt not that the same spirit of amity, and the same sense of justice in which it originated, 
will lead to satisfactory explanations; and we hear with approbation that our minister at London will be immediately 
instructed to obtain them. While the engagements which America has contracted by her treaty with Great 
Britain ought to be fulfilled with that scrupulous punctuality and good faith to which our Government has ever so 
tenaciously adhered; yet no motive exists to induce, and every principle forbids us to adopt, a consti-uction which 
might extend them beyond the instrument by which the?y are created. We cherish the hope that the Government 
of Great Britain wll disclaim such extension, and by cordially uniting with that of the United States for the re- 
moval of all difficulties, will soon enable the Boards, appointed under the sixth and seventh articles of our treaty 
with that nation, to proceed, and bring the business committed to them, respectively, to a satisfactory conclusion. 
The buildings for the accommodation of Congress, and of the President, and for the public offices of the Govern- 
ment, at its permanent seat, being in such a state as to admit of a removal to that District by the time prescribed 
by the act of Congress, no obstacle, it is presumed, will exist to a compliance witli the law. 

With you, sir. we deem the present period critical and momentous. The important changes which are occur- 
ring: the new and great events which are eveiy hour preparing in the political world; tlie spirit of war which is 


prevalent in almost every nation with whose affairs the interests of the United States have any connexion; demon- 
strate how unsafe and precarious would be our situation should we neglect the means of obtaining our just rights. 
Respecting, as we have ever done, the rights of others, America estimates too correctly the value of her own, and 
has received evidence, too complete, that they are only to be preserved by her own vigilance, ever to permit herself 
to be seduced by a love of ease, or by other considerations, into that deadly disregard of the means of self-defence, 
which could only result from a carelessness, as criminal as it would be fatal, concerning the future destinies of our 
growing republic. The result of the mission to France is, indeed, sir, uncertain. It depends not on America alone. 
The most pacific temper will not always ensure peace. We should, therefore, exhibit a system of conduct as indis- 
creet as it would be new in the history of the world, if we considered the negotiation happily terminated, because 
we have attempted to commence it; and peace restored, because we wish its restoration. But, sir, however this 
mission may terminate, a steady perseverance in a system of national defence, commensurate with our resources 
and the situation of our country, is an obvious dictate of duty. Experience, the parent of wisdom, and the great 
instructor of nations, has established the truth of your position, that, remotely as we are placed from the belligerent 
nations, and desirous as we are, by doing justice to all, to avoid offence to any, yet nothing short of the power of 
repelling aggressions will secure to our country a rational prospect of escaping the calamities of war, or national 
degradation. . ... 

In the progress of the session^ we shall take into our serious consideration the various and nnportant matters 
recommended to our attention. 

A life devoted to the service of your country; talents and integrity which have so justly acquired, and so long 
retained, the confidence and affection of your fellow-citizens; attest tlie sincerity of your declaration that it is your 
anxious desire so to execute the trust reposed in you as to render the People of the United States prosperous and 

To which the President of the United States made the following reply: 

Gentlemen of the House of Representatives: 

This very respectful address from the Representatives of the People of the United States, at their first assembly 
after a fresh election, under the strong impression of the public opinion and national sense, at this interesting and 
singular crisis of our public affairs, has excited my sensibility, and receives my sincere and grateful acknowledg- 

As long as we can maintain, with harmony and affection, the honor of our country, consistently with its peace, 
externally and internally, while that is attainable; or in war, when that becomes necessary, assert its real inclepen- 
dence and sovereignty, and support the constitutional energies and dignity of its Government; we may be perfectly 
sure, under the smiles ot Divine Providence, that we shall effectually promote and extend our national interest and 

The applause of the Senate and House of Representatives, so justly bestowed upon the volunteers and militia, 
for their zealous and active co-operation with the judicial power, which has restored order and submission to the 
laws, as it comes with peculiar weight and propriety from the Legislature, cannot fail to have an extensive and per- 
manent effect, for the support of Government, upon all those ingenuous minds who receive delight from the approv- 
ing and animating voice of their country. 


United States, December 10, 1799. 

6th Congress.] No. 17. [2d Session. 


delivered on SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 1800. 

Gentlemen of the Senate, 

and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives: 

Immediately after the adjournment of Congress at their last session in Philadelpliia, I gave directions, in compli- 
ance with the laws, for the removal of the public offices, records, and property. These directions liave been exe- 
cuted, and the public officers have since resided and conducted the ordinary business of the Government in this 

I congratulate the People of the United States on the assembling of Congress at the permanent seat of their Go- 
vernment; and I congratulate you, gentlemen, on the prospect of a residence not to be changed. Although there is 
cause to apprehend that accommodations ai-e not now so complete as might be wished, yet there is great reason to 
believe that this inconvenience will cease with the present session. 

It would be unbecoming the Representatives ot this nation to assemble, for the first time, in this solemn temple, 
without looking up to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, and imploring his blessing. 

May this territory be the residence of virtue and happiness! In this city may that piety and vii-tue, that wisdom 
and magnanimity, that constancy and self-government which adorned the great character whose name it bears, be 
forever held in veneration! Here, and throughout our countiy, may simpfe manners, pure morals, and true reli- 
gion, flourish forever! 

_ It is with vou. gentlemen, to consider whether the local powers over the District of Columbia, vested by the con- 
stitution in the Congress of the United States, shall be immediately exercised. If, in your opinion, this important 
trust ought now to be executed, you cannot fail, while performing it, to take into view the future probable situation 
of the territory for the happiness of which you are about to provide. You will consider it as the capital of a great 
nation, advancing, with unexampled rapidity, in arts, in commerce, in wealth, and in population; and possessing, 
within itself, those energies and resources, which, if not thrown away, or lamentably misdirected, secure to it a long 
course of prosperity and self-government. 

In compliance wth a law of the last session of Congress, the officers and soldiers of the temporary army have 
been discharged. It affords real pleasure to recollect the honorable testimony they gave of the pabiotic motives 
which brought them into the serMce of their country, by the readiness and regularity with which they returned to 
the station of private citizens. 

It is, in every point of view, of such primary impoi-tance to carry the laws into prompt and faithful execution, and 
to render that part of the administration of justice which the constitution and laws devolve on the federal courts, as 
convenient to the People as may consist with their present circumstances, that I cannot omit once niore to recom- 
mend to your serious consideration the judiciary system of the United States. No subject is more interesting tlian 
this to the public happiness, and to none can those improvements which may have been suggested by experience be 
more beneficially applied. 


A treaty of amity and commerce with tiie King of Prussia has been concluded and ratified. The ratifications 
have been exchanged, and I have directed the treaty to be promulgated by proclamation. 

The difficulties which suspended the execution of the sixth article of our tieaty of amity, commerce, and naviga- 
tion, with Great Britain, have not yet been removed. The negotiation on tiiis subject is still depending. As it must 
be for the interest and honor of both nations to adjust tJiis diiference with good faith, I indulge confidently the expec- 
tation that the sincere endeavors of the Government of the United States to bring it to an amicable termination will 
not be disappointed. 

The envoys extiaordiuary and ministers plenipotentiaiy from the United States to France, were received by the 
First Consul with the respect due to then- character; and three persons, witli equal powers, were appointed to treat 
with tliem. Altliough, at the date of the last official intelligence, the negotiation had not tenninated, yet it is to be 
hoped that our efforts to effect an accommodation wll at length meet with a success proportioned to the sincerity 
with wliich they have been so often repeated. 

While our best endeavors for the preservation and harmony with all nations wll continue to be used, the expe- 
rience of the world, our own experience, admonish us of the insecurity of tmsting too confidently to their success. 
We cannot, without committing a dangerous imprudence, abandon those measures of self protection which ai-e 
adapted to our situation, and to wliich, notwithstanding our pacific policy, the violence and injustice of others may 
again compel us to resort. While our vast extent of sea coast, the commercial and agricultural habits of our People, 
the great capital they will continue to trust on the ocean, suggest the system of defence wliich wll be most benefiQial 
to ourselves, our distance from Europe and our resources for maritime strength, will enable us to employ it wth 
effect. Seasonable and systematic arrangements, so fai- as our resources will justify, for a navy adapted to defen- 
sive war, and wliich may, in case of necessity, be quickly brought into use, seem to be as much recommended by a 
wise and true economy as by a just regard for our future tranquillity, for the safety of our shores, and for the protec- 
tion of our property committed to the ocean. 

The present navy of the United States, called suddenly into existence, by a great national exigency, has raised 
us in our own esteem; and by the protection afforded to our commerce, has effected, to the extent of our expecta- 
tions, the objects for wliich it was created. 

In connexion with a navy ought to be contemplated the fortification of some of our principal sea ports and har- 
bors. A variety of considerations, which wUl readily suggest themselves, urge an attention to this measure of pre- 
caution. To give security to our principal ports, considerable sums have already been expended, but the works remain 
incomplete. It is for Congress to determine whether additional appropriations shall be made, in order to render 
coiivpetent to the intended purposes the fortifications which have been commenced. 

The manufacture of arms witMn the United States still invites the attention of the National Legislature. At a 
considerable expense to the public, this manufactoiy has been brought to such a state of maturity, as, with continued 
encouragement will supersede the necessity of future importations from foreign countiies. 

Gentlemen of the House of Representatives: 

I shall dii-ect the estimates of the appropriations necessary for tiie ensuing yeai", together with an account of the 
public revenue and expenditure, to a late period, to be laid before you. 

I observe with mucli satisfaction that the product of the reveune, during the present year, has been more con- 
siderable than during any former equal period. Tliis result affords conclusive evidence of the great resources of tiiis 
country, and of the wisdom and efficiency of the measures which have been adopted by Congress for the protection 
of commerce and preservation of public credit. 

Gentlemen of the Senate, and Gentlemen of the House of Bepresentatives: 
As one of the grand community of nations, our attention is irresistibly dra^vn to the important scenes which sur- 
round us. If they have exhibited an unconimom poi-tion of calamity, it is the province of humanity to deplore, and 
of wisdom to avoid the causes which may have produced it If, turning our eyes homeward, we find reason to rejoice 
at the prospect which presents itself; if we perceive the interior of our countiy prosperous, free^ and happy; if all 
enjoy, in safety, under the protection of laws emanating only from the general will, the fraits of their own labor; we 
ought to fortify and cling to those institutions which have been tiie source of such real felicity; and resist, wth una- 
bating perseverance, tiie progress of those dangerous innovations wliich may diininish their influence. 

To your patriotism, gentlemen, has been confided the honorable dutv of guarding the public interests; and 
while tiie past is to your countiy a sure pledge that it will be faithfiilly dischai-ged, permit me to assure you that your 
labors to promote the general happiness will receive from me the most zealous co-operation. 

•^ "^ JOHN ADAMS. 

United States, November- 22, 1800. 

On Wednesday, November 26, 1800, the Senate waited on the President of the United States, and the 
President pro tempore, in their name, delivered to him the following 


To the President of the United States: 

Impressed with the important truth that the heaits of rulers and people are in the hand of the Almighty, the 
Senate of the United States most cordially join in your invocations for appropriate blessings upon the Government 
and People of this Union. 

We meet you. sir, and the otiier branch of tiie National Legislature, in the city which is honored by the name of 
our late hero and sage, the illustrious Washington, with sensations and emotions which exceed our power of 

While we congratulate ourselves on the convention of tiie Legislature at the permanent seat of Government, and 
ardently hope that peimaiience and stability may be communicated as well as to the Government itself as to its seat, 
our minds are irresistibly led to deplore the death of him who bore so honorable and efficient a pai't in the establish- 
ment of both. Great indeed woukl liave been our gratification if liis sum of earthly happiness had been completed 
by seeing the Government thus peaceably convened at this place; but we derive consolation from a belief that the 
moment in which we were destined to experience the loss we deplore, was fixed by tiiat Being whose counsels cannot 
err; and from a hope that, since in tiiis seat of Government, which beai-s his name, his earthly remains will be depo- 
sited, the members of Congress, and all who inhabit the city, with these memorials before them, will retain his 
virtues in lively recollection, and make iiis patriotism, morals, and piety, models for imitation. And permit us 
to add, sir, that it is not among the least of our consolations that you, who have been his companion and friend from 
the dawning of our national existence, and trained in the same school of exei-tion to effect our independence, are still 
presei-ved by a gracious Providence in health and activity /to exercise the functions of Cliief Magistrate. 

The question whether tiie local powers over tiie District of Columbia, vested by the constitution in the Congress 
of the United States, shall be immediately exercised, is of gieat impoi-tance, and in deliberating upon it, we shall 
naturally be led to weigli the attending circumstances and every probable consequence of the measures which may 
be proposed. 

The several subjects for legislative consideration, contained in your speech to both Houses of Congress, shall 
receive from the Senate all the attention which they can give, when contemplating those objects, both in respect to 
their national importiince, and the additional weight that is given them by your recommendation. 

We deprecate, with you, sir, all spirit of innovation, from whatever quaiter it may arise, which may impair the 
sacred bond tliat connects the different parts of this empire: and we trust, that, under tiie protection of Divine Pro- 


vidence. the wisdom and virtue of the citizens of tlie United States will deliver our national compact unimpaired to 
a grateftil posterity. 

From past experience, it is impossible for the Senate of the United States to doubt of your zealous co-operation 
with tlie Legislature in every effort to promote the general happiness and tranquillity of the Union. 
Accept, sir, our warmest wishes for your health and happiness. 

President of the Senate pro tempore. 

To wliich the President of the United States replied as follows: 

Mr. President, and Gentlemen of the Senate: 

For this excellent address, so respectful to the memory of my illustrious predecessor, which I receive fi-om the 
Senate of the United States, at this time, and in this place, with peculiar satisfaction, I pray you to accept of my 
unfeigned acknowledgments. With you I ardently hope, that permanence and stability will be communicated, 
as well to the Government itself, as to its beautiful and commodious seat. With you 1 deplore the death of that 
hero and sage who bore so honorable and efficient a part in the establishment of both. Great indeed would have 
been my gratification, if his sum of earthly happiness had been completed by seeing the Government thus peaceably 
convened at this place, himself at its head. But, wliile we submit to the decisions of Heaven, whose counsels are 
inscrutable to us, we cannot but hope, that the members of Congress, the officers of Government, and all who 
inhabit the city or the country, -will retain his virtues in lively recollection, and make his patriotism, morals, and 
piety, models for imitation. 

1 thank you, gentlemen, for your assurance that the several subjects for legislative consideration, recommended 
in my communication to both Houses, shall receive from the Senate a deliberate and candid attention. 

With you, gentlemen, I sincerely deprecate all spirit of innovation which mav weaken the sacred bond tliat con- 
nects the different parts of this nation and Government; and with you, I trust, that, under the protection of Divine 
Providence, the wisdom and virtue of our citizens will deliver our national compact unimpaired to a free, prosperous, 
happy, and grateful posterity. To this end it is my fervent prayer, that, in this city, the fountains of wsdom may 
be always open, and the streams of eloquence forever flow. Here may the youth of this extensive country forever 
look up, without disappointment, not only to the monuments and memorials of the dead, but to the examples of the 
living, in the members of Congress and officers of Government, for finished models all those virtues, graces, 
talents, and acconiplishmentSj which constitute the dignity of human nature, and lay the only foundation tor the 
prosperity or duration of empires. 


City of Washington, November 26, 1800. 

On Thursday, November 27, 1800, the Speaker, attended by the House of Representatives, waited on the 
President of the United States, and delivered to liim the following 


To John Adams, President of the United States: 

The House of Representatives have received with great respect the communication wliich you have been 
pleased to make to the two Houses of Congress, at the commencement of the present session. 

The final establishment of the seat of National Government which has now taken place within the District of 
Columbia, is an event of no small importance in the political transactions of our country; and we cordially unite our 
wishes with yours, that this territory may be the residence of happiness and virtue. 

Nor can we, on this occasion, omit to express a hope, that the spirit which animated the great founder of this city 
may descend to future generations; and that the wisdom, maguammity, and steadiness, which marked the events oi 
his public life, may be imitated in ail succeeding ages. 

A consideration of those powers which have been vested in Congress over the District of Columbia will not 
escape our attention; nor shall we forget that, in exercising these powers, a regard must be had to those events which 
will necessaiily attend the capital of America. 

The cheerfulness and regularity with which tiie officers and soldiers of the temporary army have returned to the 
condition of private citizens, is a testimony clear and conclusive of the purity of those motives which induced them 
to engage in the public service; and wll remain a proof, on all future occasions, that an army of soldiers, drawn from 
the citizens of our country, deserve our confidence and respect. 

No subject can be more important than that of the judiciary, which you have again recommended to our con- 
sideration, and it shall receive our early and deliberate attention. 

The constitution of the United States having confided the management of our foreign negotiations to the control 
of tlie Executive power, we cheerfully submit to its decisions on this important subject. And in respect to the nego- 
tiations now pending with France, we sincerely hope that the final result may prove as fortunate to our country as 
the most ardent mind can wish. 

So long as a predatory war is carried on against our commerce, we should sacrifice the interests and disappoint 
the expectations of our constituents, should we, ftir a moment, relax that system of maritime defence, which has 
resulted in such beneficial effects. At this period it is confidently believed that few persons can be found witliin the 
United States, who do not admit that a navy, well organized, must constitute the natural and efficient defence of 
this counti-y against all foreign hostility. 

The progress which has been made in the manufacture of arms, leaves no doubt that the public patronage has 
already placed this country beyond all necessaiy dependence on foreign markets for an article so indispensable for 
defence; and gives us assurances that, under the encouragement which Government will continue to extend to this 
important object, we shall soon rival foreign countries, not only in the number, but in the quality of amis completed 
from our own manufactories. 

Few events could have been more pleasing to our constituents, than that great and rapid increase of revenue 
which has arisen from permanent taxes. AVhilst this event explains the gi-eat and increasing resources of our coun- 
tiy, it carries along with it a proof which cannot be resisted, that those measures of maritime defence which were 
calculated to meet our enemy upon the ocean, and which have produced such extensive protection to our commerce, 
were founded in wsdom and policy. The mind must, in our opinion, be insensible to the plainest truths, which 
cannot discern the elevated ground on which this policy has placed our country. That national spirit, which alone 
could vindicate our common rights, has been roused, and those latent energies which had not been fiilly known, were 
unfolded and brought into view, and our fellow-citizens were prepared to meet every event which national honor or 
national security could render necessary. Nor have its effects been much less impoitant in other respects. 

Whilst many of the nations of the earth have been impoverished and depopulated by internal commotions and 
national contests, our internal peace has not been materially impaired; our commerce has extended, under the pro- 
tection of our infant navy, to every part of the globe; wealth has flowed without intermission into our sea-ports; and 
the labors of the husbandman have been rewarded by a ready market for the productions of the soil. 

Be assured, sir, that the various and important subjects recommended to oui*consideration, shall receive our 
early and deliberate a:ttention; and, confident of your co-operation in every measure which may be calculated to 
promote the general interest, we shall endeavor, on our part, to testify, by our industry and despatch, the zeal and 
sincerity vnth which we regard the public good . 


To which the President of the United States made the following reply: 

Mr. Speaker, and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives: 
Compelled by the habits of a long life, as well as by all the principles of society and government which I could 
ever understand and believe, to consider the great body of the People as the source of all legitimate authority, no less 
than of all efficient power, it is impossible for me to receive this address from the immediate Representatives of the 
American People, at this time and in tliis place, wthout emotions wliich it would be improper to express, if any lan- 
guage could convey them. 

May the spirit which animated the great founder of tliis city descend to future generations; and may the wisdom, 
magnanimity, and steadiness, which marked the events of his public life, be imitated in all succeeding ages. 
1 tliank you, gentlemen, for your assurance that the judiciary system shall receive your deliberate attention. 
With you, gentlemen, 1 sincerely hope, that the final result of the negotiations now pending with France may 
prove as fortunate to our country as they have been commenced with sincerity and prosecuted with deliberation and 
caution. With you, I cordially agree, that, so long as a predatory war is earned on against our commerce, we should 
sacrifice the interests and disappoint the expectations of^our constituents, should we for a moment relax that system 
of maritime defence, which has resulted in such beneficial effects. With you, I confidently believe that few persons 
can be found within the United States, who do not admit that a navy, well organized, must constitute the natural 
and efficient defence of this country against all foreign hostility. 

Those who recollect the distress and danger to tins country, in former periods, from the want of arms, must exult 
in the assurance, from their Representatives, that we shall soon rival foreign countries, not only in the number but in 
the quality of arms completed from our own manufactories. 

With you, gentlemen, I fully agree, that the great increase of revenue is a proof that the measures of maritime 
defence were founded in wisdom. This policy has raised us in the esteem of foreign nations. That national spirit 
and those latent energies which had not been and are not yet fully known to any, \yere not entirely forgotten by those 
who had lived long enough to see, in former times, their operation, and some of their effects. Our fellow-citizens were 
undoubtedly prepared to meet every event which national honor or national security could render necessary. These 
it is to be hoped are secured at the cheapest and easiest rate: if not, they will be secured at more expense. 

I thank you, gentlemen, for your assurance that the various subjects recommended to your consideration shall 
receive your deliberate attention. No further evidence is wanting to convince me of the zeal and sincerity with 
which the House of Representatives regard the public good. 

I pray you, gentlemen, to accept of my best wishes for your health and happiness. 

*^ ' ^ ^ JOHN .U)AMS, 

Washington, November 27, 1800. 

7th Congress.] No. 18. 



Friends and Fellow-citizens: 

Called upon to undertake the duties of the first Executive office of our country, I avail myself of the presence 
of that portion of my fellow -citizens which is here assembled, to express my grateful tlianks for the favor with which 
they have been pleased to look towards me; to declare a sincere consciousness that the task is above my talents; 
and that I approach it with those anxious and awful presentiments wliich the greatness of the charge, and the 
weakness of my power, so justly inspire. Arising nation, spread over a wide and fruitful land; traversing all 
the seas wth the rich productions of their industry; engaged in commerce with nations who feel power and forget 
right; advancing rapidly to destinies beyond the reach of mortal eye ; — when I conteniplate these ti-anscendent objects, 
and see the honor, the happiness, and the hopes of this beloved country committed to the issue and the auspices of 
this day, I shrink from the contemplation, and humble myself before the magnitude of the undertaking. Utteriy 
indeed should I despair, did not the presence of many, whom I here see, remind me, that, in the other high authori- 
ties provided by our constitution, I shall find resources of wisdom, of vii-tue, and of zeal, on wliich to rely under all 
difficulties. To you, then, gentlemen, who are charged with the sovereign functions ot legislation, and to those 
associated with you, I look with encouragement for that guidance and support which may enable us to steer with 
safety the vessel in wliich we are all enibaiked, amidst the conflicting elements of a troubled world. 

During the contest of opinion thiough which we have past, the animation of discussions and of exei-tions has some- 
times worn an aspect which might impose on strangers unused to think freely, and to speak and to write what they 
think; but tliis being now decided by the voice of the nation, announced according to the rules ot the constitution, 
all will of course arrange themselves under the wll of tlie law, and unite in common efforts for the common good. 
All too will bear in mind this sacred principle, that, though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will, 
to be rightful, must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rightSj which equal law must protect, and to 
violate would be oppression. Let us then, fellow citizens, unite with one heart and one mind — let us restore to 
social intercourse that harmony and affection, without which, liberty, and even life itself, are but dreaiy tilings. And let 
us reflect that, having banished from our land that religious intolerance under which mankind so long bled and suffered, 
we have yet gained little, if we countenance a political intolerance, as despotic, as wicked, and capable of as bitter 
and bloody persecutions. During the throes and convulsions of the ancient world; during the agonizing spasms of 
infuriated man, seeking, through blood and slaughter, liis long lost liberty; it was not wonderful that the agitation of 
the billows should reach even this distant and peaceful shore; that tliis should be more felt and feai-ed by some, and 
less by others; and should divide opinions as to measures of safety: but every difference of opinion is not a difterence 
of principle. We have called by different names brethren of the same principle. We are all Republicans: we are 
all Federalists. If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union, or to change its republican form, 
let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated, where reason is 
left free to combat it. I know, indeed, that some lionest men fear that a republican government cannot be strong; 
that this government is not strong enough. But would the honest patnot, in the full tide of successful experiment, 
abandon a Government which has so far kept us free and firm, on the theoretic and visionary fear, that tliis Govern- 
ment, the worid's best hope, may, by possibility, want energy to preserve itself.? I trust not. I believe tins, on the 
contrary, the strongest government on earth. I believe it the only one, where every man, at the call of the law, 
would fly to the standard of the law, and would meet invasions of the public order as his own personal concern. 
Sometimes it is said that man ctnnot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he then be trusted with the 
government of others? Or have we found angels, in the form of kings, to govern him? Let history answer this question. 
Let us then \vith courage and confidence pursue our own federal and republican principles; our attachment to 
union and representative government. Kindly separated by nature and a wide ocean from tlie exterminating havoc 
of one quarter of the globe; too high minded to endure the degradations of the others; possessing a chosen country, 


with room enough for our descendants to the thousandth and thousandth generation; entertaining a due sense of our 
equal right to the use of our own faculties, to the acquisitions of our own industry, to honor and confidence from our 
fellow -citizens, resulting not from birth, but from our actions and their sense of them; enlightened by a benign religion, 
professed indeed and practised in various forms, yet all of them inculcating honesty, truth, temperance, gratitude, 
and the love of man; acknowledging and adoring an overruling Providence, wliich, by all its dispensations, proves that 
it delights in the happiness of man here, and his greater happiness hereafter; — with all these blessmgs, what more is ne- 
cessary to make us a happy and prosperous jeople? Still one thingmorefellow-citizens: awise and frugal Government, 
which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of 
industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of 
good government; and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities. 

About to enter, fellow-citizens, on the exercise of duties which comprehend every thing dear and valuable to you, 
it is proper you should understand what I deem the essential principles of our government, and consequently those 
which ought to shape its administration. I will compress them within the narrowest compass they will bear, stating 
the general principle, but not all its limitations. Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion, 
religious or political: peace, commerce, and honest friendship, with all nations, entangling alliances with none; 
the support of the State Governments in all theii- rights, as the most competent administrations for our domestic con- 
cerns, and the surest bulwarks against anti-republican tendencies; the preservation of the General Government in 
its whole constitutional vigor, as the sheet anchor of our peace at home, and safety abroad; a jealous care of the 
right of election by the People, a mild and safe corrective of abuses which are lopped by the sword of revolution where 
peaceable remedies are unprovided; absolute acquiescence in the decisions of the majority, the vital principle of re- 
publics, from which is no appeal but to force, the vital principle and immediate parent of despotism; a well dis- 
ciplined militia, our best reliance in peace, and for the first moments of war, till regulars may relieve them; the su- 
premacy of the civil over the military authority; economy in the public expense, that labor may be lightly bur- 
thened; the honest payment of our debts, and sacred preservation of the public faith; encouragement of agriculture, 
and of commerce as its handmaid; the diffusion of information, and arraignment of all abuses at the bar of the public 
reason; fi-eedom of religion, freedom of the press, and freedom of person, under the protection of the habeas cor- 
pus; and trial by juries impartially selected. These principles form the bright constellation, which has gone before 
as, and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation. The wisdom of our sages, and blood of our 
heroes, have been devoted to their attainment; they should be the creed of our political faith, the text of civic in- 
struction, the touchstone by which to try the services of those we trust; and, should we wander from them in mo- 
ments of error or of alarm, let us hasten to retrace our steps, and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty, 
and safely. 

Irepair, then, fellow-citizens, to the post you have assigned me. With experience enough in subordinate offices 
to have seen the difficulties of this, the greatest of all, I have learnt to expect that it will rarely fall to the lot of im- 
perfect man to retire from this station with the reputation and the favor wliich bring him into it. Without preten- 
sions to that liigh confidence you reposed in our first and greatest revolutionary character, whose pre-eminent 
services had entitled him to the first place in his country's love, and destined for him the fairest page in the volume of 
faithful history, I ask so much confidence only as may give firmness and effect to the legal administration of your 
affairs. I shall often go wrong, through defect of judgment. When right, I shall often be thought vtrong, by those 
whose positions will not command a view of the whole ground. I ask your indulgence for my own errors, wliich will 
never be intentional; and your support against the errors of others, who may condemn what they would not, if seen 
in all its parts. The approbation implied by jrour suffrage, is a great consolation to me for the past; and my future 
solicitude will be, to retain the good opinion of those who have bestowed it in advance, to conciliate that of others by 
doing them all the good in my power, and to be instrumental to the happiness and freedom of all. 

Relying, then, on the pati-onage of your good will, I advance with obedience to the work, ready to retire from it 
whenever you become sensible how much better choices it is in your power to make. And may that infinite Power, 
which rules the destinies of the universe, lead our counsels to what is best, and give them a favorable issue for your 
peace and prosperity. 


7th Congress.] No. 19. [1st Session. 



The Honorable the Speaker of the House of Representatives: 

The circumstances under which we find ourselves, at this place, rendering inconvenient the mode heretofore 
practised, of making by personal address the first communications between the Legislative and Executive branches. 
I have adopted that by message, as used on all subsequent occasions tlirough the session. In doing this, I have had 
principal regard to the convenience of the Legislature; to the economy of their time; to their relief from the embar- 
rassment of immediate answers on subjects not yet fully before them; and to the benefits thence resulting to the public 
affairs. Trusting that a procedure founded in these motives will meet their approbation, I beg leave, tlu'ough you. 
Sir, to communicate the enclosed message, with the documents accompanying it, to the Honoraole the House of Re- 
presentatives; and pray you to accept, for yourself and them, the homage of my high respect and consideration. 

December 8, 1801. 

[A similar letter was transmitted to the President of the Senate.] 

Fellow-citizens of the Senate 

and House qf Representatives: 

It is a circumstance of sincere gratification to me, that, on meeting the a-eat council of our nation, I am able to an- 
nounce to diem, on grounds of reasonable certainty, that the wars and troubles which have for so many years afflicted 
our sister nations, have at length come to an end, and that the communications of peace and commerce are once more 
openmg among them. Whilst we devoutly return thanks to the beneficent Being who has been pleased to breathe into 
them the spirit of conciliation and forgiveness, we are bound, with peculiar gratitude, to be thankfiil to him, that our 
own peace has been preserved through so perilous a season, and ourselves permitted quietly to cultivate the earth, and 
to practise and improve those arts which tend to increase our comforts. The assurances, indeed, of fiiendly disposi- 

8 VOL. I. 


tion received from all the Powers with whom we have principal relations, had inspired a confidence that our peace 
with them would not have been disturbed. But a cessation of irregularities which had affected the commerce of 
neutral nations, and of the irritations and injuries produced by them, cannot but add to this confidence, and strength- 
ens, at the same time, the hope, that wrongs committed on unoffending friends, under a pressure of circumstances, will 
now be reviewed with candor, and will be considered as founding just claims of retribution for the past, and new as- 
surance for the future. 

Among our Indian neighbors, also, a spirit of peace and friendship generally prevails; and I am happjr to inform 
you that the continued eiforts to introduce among them the implement and the practice of husbandry, ana ot the house- 
hold arts, have not been without success; that they are becoming more and more sensible of the superiority of this 
dependence, for clothing and subsistence, over the precarious resources of hunting and fishing; and already we are 
able to announce that, instead of that constant diminution of their numbers, produced by their wars and their wants, 
some of them begin to experience an increase of population. 

To this state of general peace wth which we have been blessed, one only exception exists. Tripoli, the least con- 
siderable of the Barbary States, had come forward with demands, unfounded either in right or in compact, and had per- 
mitted itself to denounce war, on our failure to comply before a given day. The style of the demand admitted but 
one answer. I sent a small squadron of frigates into the Mediterranean, with assurances to that Power of our sincere 
desire to remain in peace; but with orders to proctect our commerce against the threatened attack. The measure was 
seasonable and salutary. The Bey had already declared war in fonn. His cruisers were out. Two had arrived at 
Gibraltar. Our commerce in the Mediterranean was blockaded; and that of the Atlantic in peril. The arrival of 
our squadron dispelled the danger. One of the Tripolitan cruisers having fallen in with and engaged the small 
schooner Enterprise, commanded by Lieutenant Sterret, which had gone out as a tender to our lai-ger vessels, was 
captured after a heavy slaughter of her men, without the loss of a single one on our part. The bravery exhibited by our 
citizens on that element will, I trust, be a testimony to the world that it is not the want of that virtue, which makes us 
seek their peace; but a conscientious desire to direct the energies of our nation to the multiplication of the human 
race, and not to its destruction. Unauthorized by the constitution, without the sanction of Congress, to go beyond 
the line of defence, the vessel, being disabled from committing further hostilities, was liberated, with its crew. The 
Legislature will doubtless consider whether, by authorizing measures of offence also, they will place our force on 
an equal footing with that of its adversaries. I communicate all material information on this subject, that, in the 
exercise of this important function, confided by the constitution to the Legislature exclusively, their judgment may- 
form itself on a knowledge and consideration of every circumstance of weight. 

I wish I could say that our situation with all the other Barbary States was entirely satisfactory. Discovering that 
some delays had taken place in the performance of certain articles stipulated by us, I thought it my duty, by imme- 
diate measures for fulfilling them, to vindicate to ourselves the right ol considering the effect of departure irom stipu- 
lation on their side. From the papers wliich will be laid before you, you wA\ be enabled to judge whether our treaties 
ai'e regarded by them as fixing at all the measure of their demands, or as guarding from the exercise offeree our 
vessels within their power; and to consider how far it will be safe and expedient to leave our affau-s with them in their 
present posture. 

I lay before you the result of the census lately taken of our inhabitants, to a conformity with which we are now to re- 
duce the ensuing ratio of representation and taxation. You will perceive tliat the increase of numbers, during the 
last ten years, proceeding in geometrical ratio, promises a duplication in little more than twenty -two years. We con- 
template this rapid growth, and the prospect it holds up to us, not with a view to the injuries it may enable us to do to 
others, in some future day, but to the settlement ot the extensive country still remaining vacant within our limits; to the 
multiplication of men, susceptible of happiness, educated in the love of order, habituated to self-government, and 
valuing its blessings above all price. 

Other circumstances, combined with the increase of numbers, have produced an augnientation of revenue arising 
from consumption, in a ratio far beyond that of population alone; and though the changes in foreign relations now tak- 
ing place, so desirably for the whole worldj may for a season affect this branch of revenue, yet, weigliing all probabili- 
ties of expense as well as of income, there is reasonable ground of confidence that we may now safely dispense with all 
the internal taxes, comprehending excisCj stamps, auctions, licences, carriages, and refined sugars; to which the 
postage on newspapers may be added, to facilitate the progress of information; and that the remaining sources of re- 
venue will be sufficient to provide for the support of Government, to pay the interest of the public debts, and to dis- 
charge the principals within shorter periods than the laws, or the general expectation, had contemplated. War,indeed, 
and untoward events may change this prospect of things, and call for expenses which the imposts could not meet. 
But sound principles will not justify our taxing the industry of our fellow-citizens, to accumulate treasure for ware to 
happen we know not when, and which might not perhaps happen but from the temptations offered by that treasure. 

These views, however, of reducing our burthens, are formed on the expectation that a sensible^ and at the same 
time a salutary reduction, may take place in our habitual expenditures. For this purpose, those of the civil govern- 
ment, the army, and the navy, will need revisal. When we consider that this Government is charged with the 
external and mutual relations only of these States; that the States themselves have principal care of our persons, 
our property, and our reputation, constituting the great field of human concerns; we may well doubt whether our 
organization is not too complicated, too expensive; whether ofliices and officers have not been multiplied unneces- 
sarily, and sometimes injuriously to the service they were meant to promote. I will cause to be laid before you an 
essay towards a statement of those who, under public employment of various kinds, draw money from the Treasury, 
or from our citizens. Time has not permitted a perfect enumeration, the ramifications of office being too multiplied 
and remote to be completely traced in a first trial. Among those who are dependent on Executive discretion, I nave 
begun the reduction of what was deemed unnecessary. Tlie expenses of diplomatic agency have been considerably 
diminished. The inspectors of internal revenue, who were found to obstruct the accountability of the institution, 
have been discontinued. Several agencies, created by Executive authority, on salaries fixed by that also, have been 
suppressed, and should suggest the expediency of regulating that power by law, so as to subject its exercises to le- 
gislative inspection and sanction. Other reformations of the same kind will be pursued Avith that caution which is 
requisite, in removing useless things, not to injure what is retained. But the great mass of public offices is established 
by law, and therefore by law alone can be abolished. Should the Legislature think it expedient to pass this roll in 
review, and to try all its parts by the test of public utility, they may be assured of every aid and light which Execu- 
tive information can yield. Considering the general tendency to multiply offices and clependencies, and to increase 
expense to the ultimate term of burthen which the citizen can bear, it behooves us to avail ourselves of every occa- 
sion which presents itself for taking oft' the surcharge; that it never may be seen here that, after leaving to labor the 
smallest portion of its earnings on which it can subsist, Government shall itself consume the whole residue of what 
it was instituted to guard. 

In our care, too, of the public contributions entrusted to our direction, it would be prudent to multiply barriers 
against their dissipation by appropriating specific sums to every specific purpose susceptible of definition; by disal- 
lowing all applications of money vaiying from the appropriation in object, or transcending it in amount; by reducing 
the undefined field of contingencies, and thereby circumscribing discretionary powers over money; and by bringing 
back to a single department all accountabilities for monfey, where the examinations may be prompt, efficacious, and 

An account of the receipts and expenditures of the last year, as prepared by the Secretary of the Treasury, will, 
as usual, be laid before you. The success which has attended the late sales of the public lands shows that, with at- 
tention, they may be made an important source of receipt. Among the payments, those made in discharge of the 
principal and interest of the national debt, will show that the public faith has been exactiy maintained. To these 
will be added an estimate of appropriations necessary for the ensuing year. This last will of course be affected by 
such modifications of the system ot expense as you shall think proper to adopt. 

A statement has been formed by the Secretary of War, on mature consideration, of all the posts and stations 
where garrisons will be expedient, and of the number of men requisite for each garrison. The whole amount is con- 


siderably short of the present militaiy establishment. For tlie surplus, no particular use can be pointed out. For 
defence against invasion, their number is as nothing; nor is it considered needful or safe that a standing army should 
be kept up, in time of peace, for that purpose. Uncertain as we must ever be of the particular point in our ciicum- 
ference where an enemy may choose to invade us, the only force which can be ready at eveiy point, and competent 
to oppose them, is the body of neighboring citizens, as formed into a militia. On these, collected from the parts 

most convenient, in numbers proportioned to the invading force, it is best to rely, not only to meet the first attack, 
but, if it threatens to be permanent, to maintain the defence until regulars may be engaged to relieve them. These 
considerations render it important that we should, at every session, continue to amend the defects which, fi'om time 

to time, show themselves, in the laws for regulating the militia, until they ai-e sufliciently perfect: nor should we now, 
or at any time, sepai-ate, until we can say we have done every thing for the militia which we could do, were an ene- 
my at our door. 

The provision of military stores on hand will be laid before you, that you may judge of the additions still re- 

With respect to the extent to which our naval preparations should be carried, some difference of opinion may be 
expected to appear; but just attention to the circumstances of every part of the Union will doubtless reconcile all. 
A small force will probably continue to be wanted, for actual service, in the Mediterranean. Whatever annual 
sum beyond that you may think proper to appropriate to naval preparations, would perhaps be better employed in 
providing those ai-ticles which may be kept without waste or consumption, and be in readiness when any exigence 
calls them into use. Progi-ess has been made, as will appear by papers now communicated, in providing materials 
for seventy -four gun ships, as directed by law. 

How far the authority given by the Legislature for procuring and establishing sites for naval purposes, has been 
perfectly understood and pursued in the execution, admits of some doubt. A statement of the expenses already in- 
curred on that subject is now laid before you. I have, in certain cases, suspended or slackened these expendi- 
tures, that tlie Legislature might determine whether so many yards are necessary as have been contemplated. The 
works at this place are among those permitted to go on: and five of the seven frigates directed to be laid up, have 
been brought and laid up here, where, besides the safety of their position, they are under the eye of the Executive 
administration, as well as of its agents, and where yourselves also will be guided by your own view, in the legislative 
provisions respecting them, which may, from time to time, be necessary. They are preserved in such condition, as 
well the vessels as whatever belongs to them, as to be at all times ready for sea on a snort warning. Two others are 
yet to be laid up, so soon as they shall have received the repairs requisite to put them also into sound condition. As 
a superintending officer will be necessary at each yard, his duties and emoluments, hitherto fixed by the Executive, 
will be a more proper subject for legislation. A communication will also be made of our progiess in the execution of 
the law respecting the vessels directed to be sold. 

The forafications of our haibors, more or less advanced, present considerations of great difficulty. While some 
of them are on a scale sufficiently propoi-tioned to the advantages of their position, to the efficacy of their protection, 
and the importance of the points within it; others are so extensive, will cost so much in their first erection, so much 
in their maintenance, and require such a force to garrison them, as to make it questionable what is best now to be 
done. A statement of those commenced or projected, of the expenses already incurred, and estimates of their future 
cost, as far as it can be foreseen, shall be laid before you, that you may be enabled to judge whether any alteration 
is necessary in the laws respecting this subject. 

Agriculture, manufactures, commerce, and navigation, the four pillars of our prosperity, are then most thriving, 
when left most free to individual enterpnse. Protection from casual embarrassments, however, may sometimes be 
seasonably interposed. If, in the course of your obser\;ations or inquiries, they should appear to need any aid, within 
the limits of our constitutional powers, your sense of; their importance is a sufficient assurance they will occupy your at- 
tention. We cannot, indeed, but all feel an anxious solicitude for the difficulties under which our carrying trade 
will soon be placed. How far it can be relieved, otherwise than by time, is a sulDJect of important consideration. 

The judiciaiy system of the United States, and especially that portion of it recently erected, will, of course, pre- 
sent itself to the contemplation of Congress; and that they may be able to judge of the proportion which the institu- 
tion bears to the business it has to perform, I have caused to be procured from the several States, and now lay before 
Congress, an exact statement of all the causes decided since the first establishment of the courts, and of those which 
were depending when additional courts and judges were brought in to their aid. 

And while on the judiciaiy organization, it will be worthy your consideration whether the protection of the ines- 
timable institution of juries has been extended to all the cases involving the security of our persons and property. 
Their impartial selection also being essential to their value, we ought further to consider whether that is sufficiently 
secured in those States where they are named by a marshal depending on Executive \vill, or designated by the court, 
or by officers dependant on them. 

1 cannot omit recommending a revisal of the laws on the subject of naturalization. Considering the ordinary 
< liances of human life, a denial of citizensliip under a residence of fourteen years, is a denial to a great proportion of 
tJiose who ask it, and controls a policy pursued from their first settlement, by many of these States, and still believed 
of consequence to their prosperity. And shall we refuse to the unhappy fugitives from distress, that hospitality 
which the savages of the wilderness extended to our fathers arriving in this land? Shall oppressed humanity find 
no asylum on this globe? The constitution, indeed, has wisely provided that, for admission to certain offices of 
important trust, a residence shall be required sufficient to develop character and design. But might not the gene- 
ral character and capabilities of a citizen be safely communicated to every one manifesting a bona Jicle purpose of 
embarking his life and fortunes permanently with us? with restrictions, perhaps, to guard against the fraudulent usur- 
pation of our flag — an abuse which brings so much embarrassment and loss on the genuine citizen, and so much 
danger to the nation of being involved in war, that no endeavor should be spared to detect and suppress it. 

These, fellow-citizens, are the matters respecting the state of the nation, which I have thought of importance to 
be submitted to your consideration at tliis time. Some others, of less moment, or not yet ready for communication, 
will be the subject of separate messages. I am happy in this opportunity of committing the arduous affairs of our 
Government to the collected wisdom of the Union. Nothing shall be wanting on iny part to inform, as far as in my 
power, tlie legislativejudgment,nor to carry that judgmentinto faithful execution. The prudence and temperance of 
your discussions will promote, within your own walls, that conciliation which so much befriends rational conclusion; 
and, by its example, will encourage among our constituents that progi-ess of opinion, which is tending to unite them 
in object and in wll. That all should be satisfied with any one order of things is not to be expected; but I indulge 
the pleasing persuasion that the gi'eat body of our citizens will cordially concur in honest ancl disinterested efforts, 
which have for their object to preserve the General and State Governments in their constitutional form and equili- 
brium; to maintain peace abroad, and order and obedience to the laws at home; to establish principles and practices 
of administration favorable to the security of liberty and property, and to reduce expenses to what is necessary for 
the useful purposes of Government. 


Becemler 8, 1801. 


7thCoN-GREss.] No. 20. [2d Session. 



To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States: 

When we assemble together, fellow-citizens, to consider the state of our beloved counti-y, our just attentions 
are first drawn to tliose pleasing circumstances which mark the goodness of that Being from whose favor they flow, and 
the large measure of thankfulness we owe for his bounty. Another year has come around, and finds us still blessed 
with peace and friendship abroad; law, order, and religion, at home; good affection and harmony with our Indian 
neighbors; our burtliens lightened, yet our income suflicient for the public wants; and the produce of the year great 
beyond example. These, fellow-citizens, are the circumstances under which we meet; and we remark, with special 
satisfaction, those which, under the smiles of Providence, result from the skill, industry, and order, of our citizens, 
managing their own aft'airs in their own way, and for their own use; unembarrassed by two much regulation, unop- 
pressed by fiscal exactions. 

On the restoration of peace in Europe, that poi-tion of the general carrying trade which had fallen to our share during 
the war, was abridged by the returning competition of the belligerent Powers. This was to be expected, and was just. 
But, m addition, we find, in some parts of Europe, monopolizing discriminations, which, in the form of duties, tend 
effectually to prohibit the carrying thither our own produce in our own vessels. From existing amities, and a spirit 
of justice, it is hoped that friendly discussion will produce a fair and adequate reciprocity. But should false calcu- 
lations of interest defeat our hope, it rests with the Legislature to decide whether tney will meet inequalities abroad 
with countervailing inequalities at home, or provide for the evil in any other way. 

It is with satisfaction I lay before you an act of the British Parliament, anticipating this subject so far as to autho- 
rize a mutual abolition of the duties and countervailing duties permitted under the treaty of 1794. It shews, on 
their part, a spirit of justice and friendly accommodation, which it is our duty and our interest to cultivate with all 
nations. Whether this would produce a due equality in the navigation between the two countiies, is a subject for 
your consideration. 

Another circumstance which claims attention, as directly affecting the very source of our navigation, is the defect 
or the evasion of the law providing for the return of seamen, and particularly of those belonging to vessels sold abroad. 
Numbers of them, discharged in foreign ports, have been thrown on the hands of our consuls, who, to rescue them 
from the dangers into wliich their distresses might plunge them, and save tliem to their country, have found it neces- 
sary, in some cases, to return them at the public charge. 

The cession of the Spanish province of Louisiana to France, which took place in the course of the late war, will, 
if carried into effect, make a change in the aspect of our foreign relations, which wU doubtless have just weight in 
any deliberations of the Legislature connected with that subject. 

There was reason, not long since, to apprehend that the warfare in which we were engaged with Tripoli, might 
be taken up by some other of the Barbaiy Powers. A reinforcement, therefore, was immediately ordered to the ves- 
sels already there. Subsequent information, however, has removed these apprehensions for the present. To secm-e 
our commerce in that sea, vrith the smallest force competent, we have supposed it best to watch strictly the harbor of 
Tripoli. Still, however, the shallowness of their coast, and the want of smaller vessels on our part, has permitted 
some cruisers to escape unobserved: and to one of these an American vessel unfortunately fell a prey. The captain, 
one American seaman, and two others of color, remain prisoners with them, unless exchanged under an agreement 
formerly made with the Bashaw, to whom, on the faith of^ that, some of his captive subjects had been restored. 

The convention with the State of Georgia has been ratified by their Legislature, and a re-purchase from tlie Creeks 
has been consequently made of a part of the Tallahassee countiy. In this purchase has been also comprehended a 
part of the lands within die fork of Oconee and Oakmulgee rivers. The paiticulars of the contract will be laid before 
Congress so soon as they shall be in a state for communication. 

In order to remove every ground of difference possible witli our Indian neighbors, I have proceeded in the work 
of settling with them, and marking the boundaries between us. That with the Choctaw nation is fixed in one part, 
and will be through the whole within a short time. The country to which their title had been extinguished before the 
Revolution, is sufficient to receive a very respectable population, which Congress will probably see the expediency 
of encouraging, so soon as the limits shall be declared. We are to view this position as an outpost of tlie United 
States, surrounded by strong neighbours, and distant from its support. And how far that monopoly, which prevents 
population, should here be guarded against, and actual habitation made a condition of tlie continuance of title, will 
be for your consideration. A prompt settlement, too, of all existing rights and claims within tliis territory, presents 
itself as a preliminary operation. . . • • <■ ■ 

In that part of the Indiana territory which includes Vincennes, the lines settled with the neighboring tribes fix the 
extinction of their title at a breadth of twenty-four leagues from east to west, and about the same length parallel 
with, and including, the Wabash. They have also ceded a tract of four miles square, including the salt springs near 
the mouth of that river. 

In the department of finance, it is with pleasure I inform you that the receipts of external duties, for the last 
twelve months, have exceeded those of any former year, and that the ratio of increase has been also greater than 
usual. This has enabled us to answer all the regular exigencies of Government; to pay from the Treasury, within 
one year, upwards of eight millions of dollars, pnncipal and interest, of tlie public debt, exclusive of upwards of one 
million paid by the sale of bank stock, and making, in the whole, a reduction of nearly five millions and a half of 
principal, and to have now in the Treasury, four millions and a half of dollars, which are in a course of application 
to the further discharge of debt, and current demands. Experience, too, so far, authorizes us to believe, if no extra- 
ordinary event supervenes, and the expenses, which will be actually incurred, shall not be greater than were con- 
templated by Congress, at their last session, tiiat we shall not be disappointed in the expectations then formed. But, 
nevertheless, as the'^effect of peace on the amount of duties is not yet fully ascertained, it isthe more necessary to 
practise every useful economy, and to incur no expense which may be avoided without prejudice. 

The collection of the internal taxes having been completed in some of the States, the officers employed in it are, of 
course, out of commission ; in others they wilfbe so shortly. But in a few, where the arrangements for the direct tax had 
been retarded, it will still be some time before the system is closed. It has not yet been thought necessary to employ 
the agent, authorized by an act of the last session, for transacting business in Europe, relative to debts and loans. Nor 
have we used the power, confided by the same act, of prolonging the foreign debt by re-loans, and of redeeming, instead 
thereof, an equal sum of the domestic debt. Should, however, the difficulties of remittance on so large a scale, render 
it necessary at any time, the power shall be executed, and the money, thus unemployed abroad, shall, in confoiinity 
with that law, be faithfully applied here, in an equivalent extinction of domestic debt. When effects, so salutary, 
result from the plans you have already sanctioned; when, merely by avoiding false objects of expense, we are able, 
without a direct tax, without internal taxes, and without borrowing, to make large and effectual paj-ments towards 
the discharge of our public debt, and the emancipation of our postenty from that mortal canker; it is an encourage- 
ment, fellow-citizens, of the highest order, to proceed, as we have begun, in substituting economy for taxation, and 
in pursuing what is useful for a nation placed as we are, rather than what is practised by others under different cir- 
cumstances. And, whensoever we are destined to meet events which shall call forth all the energies of our country- 


men, we have the firmest reliance on those energies, and the comfort of leaving for calls like these, the extraordinary 
resources of loans and internal taxes. In tlie mean time, by payments of the principal of our debt, we are liberat- 
ing, annually, portions of the external taxes, and forming, I'rom them, a growing fund, still further to lessen the 
necessity of recurring to extraordinary resources. 

The usual account of receipts and expenditures for the last year, with an estimate of the expenses of the ensuing 
one, will be laid before you by tlie Secretary of tlie Treasury. 

No change being deemed necessary in our military establishment, an estimate of its expenses for the ensuing year, 
on its present footing, as also of the sums to be employed in fortifications, and other objects within that department, 
has been prepared by the Secretary of War, and will make a part of the general estimates which will be presented 

Considering that our regular troops are employed for local purposes, and that the militia is our general reliance 
for great and sudden emergencies, you will, doubtless, think this institution worthy of a review, and give it those 
improvements of which you find it susceptible. 

Estimates for the naval department, prepared by the Secretary of the Navy, for another year, will, in like man- 
ner, be communicated with the general estimates. A small force in the Mediterranean will still be necessary to 
restrain the Tripoline cniisers; and the uncertain tenure of peace with some other of the Barbaiy Powers, may, 
eventually, requii-e that force to be augmented. The necessity of procuring some smaller vessels ibr that service, 
will raise the estimate; but the difference in their maintenance will soon make it a measure of economy. 

Presuming it will be deemed expedient to expend, annually, a convenient sum towards providing the naval de- 
fence which our situation may require, I cannot but recommend that the first appropriations for that purpose may 
go to the saving what we already possess. No cares, no attentions, can preserve vessels from rapid decay, which 
lie in water, and exposed to the sun. These decays require great and constant repairs, and will consume, if 
continued, a great portion of the moneys destined to naval purposes. To avoid this waste of our resources, it 
is proposed to add to our navy yard here, a dock, within which our present vessels may be laid up dry, and under 
cover from the sun. Under these circumstances, experience proves that works of wood will remain scarcely at all 
affected by time. The great abundance of running water, which this situation possesses, at heights far above the 
level of the tide, if employed, as is practised for lock navigation, furnishes the means for raising and laying up our 
vessels on a dry and sheltered bed. And, should the measure be found useful here, similar depositories for laying 
up, as well as for building and repairing vessels, may, hereafter, be undertaken at other navy yards, offering the same 
means. The plans and estimates of the work, prepared by a person of skill and experience, will be presented to 
you Avithout delay: and, from these, it will be seen, that scarcely more than has been the cost of one vessel, is neces- 
sary to save the whole, and that the annual sum to be employed towards its completion, may be adapted to the views 
of the Legislature, as to naval expenditure. 

To cultivate peace, and maintain commerce and navigation, in all their lawful enterprises; to foster our fisheries 
as nurseries of navigation, and for the nurture of man, and protect the manufactures adapted to our circumstances; 
to preserve the faith of the nation by an exact discharge of its debts and contracts; expend the public money with 
the same care and economy we would practise with our own, and impose on our citizens no unnecessary burthens; 
to keep, in all things, within the pale of our constitutional powers, and cherish the Federal Union, as the only rock 
of safety; these, fellow-citizens, are the landmarks by whicn we are to guide ourselves in all our proceedings. By 
continuing to make these the rule of our action, we shall endear to our countrymen the true principles of their consti- 
tution, and promote an union of sentiment and of action, equally auspicious to their happiness and safety. On my 
part, you may count on a cordial concurrence in every measure for the public good, and on all the information I 
possess which may enable you to discharge to advantage the high functions with which you are invested by your 


15th December, 1802. 

I Congress.] Nq. 21. [Ist Session . 



To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States: 

In calling you together, fellow-citizens, at an earlier day than was contemplated by the act of the last session 
of Congress, I have not been insensible to the personal inconveniences necessarily resulting from an unexpected 
change m your arrangements. But matters of great public concernment have rendered tliis call necessary, and the 
interest you feel in these, will supersede, in your minds, all private considerations. 

Congress witnessed, at their late session, the extraordinary agitation produced in the public mind, by the sus- 
pension of our right of deposite at the port of New Orleans, no assignment of another place having been made, accord- 
ing to treaty. They were sensible, that the continuance of that privation would be more injurious to our nation 
than any consequences which could flow from any mode of redrpss; but, reposing just confidence in the good faith 
of the Government, whose officer had committed the wrong, friendly and reasonable representations were resorted 
to, and the right of deposite was restored. 

Previous, however, to this period, we had not been unav/are of the danger to which our peace would be per- 
petual W exposed, whilst so important a key to the commerce of the western country remained under foreign power. 
Difficulties too were presenting themselves as to the navigation of other streams, which, arising within our terntories, 
pass through those adjacent. Propositions had therefore been authorized for obtaining, on fair conditions, tlie 
sovereignty of New Orleans, and of other possessions in that quarter, interesting to our quiet, to such extent as was 
deemed practicable; and the provisional appropriation of two millions of dollars, to be applied and accounted for, by 
the President of the United States, intended as part of the price, was considered as conveying the sanction of Con- 
gress to the acquisition proposed. The enlightened Government of France saw, widi just discernment, the import- 
^1*^^? to both nations, of such liberal arrangements as might best and permanently promote the peace, interests, and 
inendship of both; and the property and sovereignity of all Louisiana, which had been restored to them, has, on 
certain conditions, been transferred to the United States, by instruments bearing date the 30th of April last. When 
these shall have received the constitutional sanction of the Senate, they will, without delay, be communicated to 
the Representatives for the exercise of their functions, as to those conditions which are witliin the powers vested by 
the constitution in Congi-ess. Whilst the property and sovereignty of the Mississippi and its waters secure an in- 
dependent outlet for the i<roduce of the Western States, and an uncontrolled navigation through their whole course, 
iree trom collision with other Powers, and the dangers to our peace from that source, the fertifity of the country, its 
climate and extent, promise in due season important aids to our treasury, an ample provision for our posterity, and 
a wide spread for the blessings of freedom and equal laws. 


With the wisdom of Congi-ess it will rest, to take those ulterior measures which may be necessary for tlie imme- 
diate occupation and temporary government of the countiy; for its incorporation into our Union; for rendering the 
change of Government a blessing to our newly adopted brethren; for securing to them the rights of conscience and 
of property; for confirming to the Indian inhabitants their occupancy and self-government, establishing friendly and 
commercial relations with them, and for ascertaining the geography of the country acquired. Such materials for 
your information, relative to its aftkirs in general, as the short space of time has permitted me to collect, will be laid 
before you when the subject shall be in a state for your consideration. 

Another important acquisition of territory has also been made since the last session of Congress. The friendly 
tribe of Kaskaskia Indians, with which we have never had a difference, reduced by the wars and wants of savage 
life to a few individuals, unable to defend themselves against the neighboring tribes, has transferred its countiy to 
the United States, reserving only for its members what is sufficient to maintain them in an agricultural way. The 
considerations stipulated are, that we shall extend to them our patronage and protection, and give them certain an- 
nual aids, in money, in implements of agriculture, and other articles of their choice. This country, among the most 
fertile within our limits, extending along tiie Mississippi from the moudi of the Illinois to, and up the Ohio, though 
not so necessary as a barrier since the acquisition of the other bank, may yet be well worthy of being laid open 
to immediate settlement, as its inhabitants may descend with rapidity in support of the lower countiy, should future 
circumstances expose that to foreign enterprise. As the stipulations in this treaty also involve matters within 
the competence ot both Houses only, it will be laid before Congress as soon as the Senate shall have advised its 

With many of the other Indian tribes, improvements in agriculture and household manufacture are advancing, 
and with all, our peace and friendship are established on grounds much firmer than heretofore. The measure 
adopted, of establishing trading houses among them, and of furnishing them necessaries in exchange for tlieir com- 
modities, at such moderate prices as leave no gain, but cover us from loss, has the most conciliatory and useful effect 
on them, and is that which will best secure their peace and good will. 

The small vessels authorized by Congress, with a view to the Mediterranean sei-vice, have been sent into that 
sea, and will be able more efiectually to confine the Tripoline cruisers within their harbors, and supersede the ne- 
cessity of convoy to our commerce in tliat quarter. They will sensibly lessen the expenses of that service the en- 

A further knowledge of the ground, in the northeastern and nordiwestern angles of the United States, has 
evinced that the boundaries, established by the ti-eaty of Paris, betweeen the Britisli territories and ours in those 
parts, were too imperfectly described to be susceptible of execution. It has Aerefore been thought worthy of atten- 
tion, for preserving and cherishing the hannony and useful intercourse subsisting between the two nations, to re- 
move, by timely arrangements, what unfavorable incidents might otherwise render a ground of future misunder- 
standing. A convention has therefore been entered into, which provides for a practicable demarcation of those limits 
to the satisfaction of both parties. 

An account of the receipts and expenditures of the year ending 30th September last, with the estimates for the 
sei-vice of the ensuing year, will be laid before you by the Secretary of the Ireasury, so soon as the receipts of the 
last quarter shall be returned from the more distant States. It is already ascertained tliat the amount paid into the 
treasury, for that year, has been between eleven and twelve millions of dollars, and that the revenue accrued during 
the same term, exceeds the sum counted on as sufficient for our current expenses, and to extinguish the public debt 
-within the period heretofore proposed. 

The amount of debt paid, for the same year, is about three millions one hundred tliousand dollais, exclusive of 
interest, and making, with the payment of the preceding year, a discharge of more than eight millions and a half of 
dollars, of the principal of that debt, besides the accruing interest; and there remain in the treasury neaily six mil- 
lions of dollars. Of these, eight hundred and eighty thousand have been reserved for payment of the first instal- 
ment due under the British convention of January 8th, 1802; and two millions are what have been before mentioned 
as placed by Congress under the power and accountability of the President, towards the price of New Orleans and 
other territories acquired, which, remaining untouched, are still applicable to tliat object, and go in diminution of 
die sum to be funded for it. 

Should die acquisition of Louisiana be constitutionally confirmed and carried into effect, a sum of nearly tliirteen 
millions of dollais will then be added to our public debt, most of which is payable after fifteen years; before which 
term the present existing debts will all be discharged by the established operation of the sinking fund. When we 
contemplate the ordinary annual augmentation of impost, from increasing population and wealth, the augmentation 
of the same revenue, by its extension to the new acquisition, and the economies which may still be introduced into 
our public expenditures, I cannot but hope tliat Congi-ess, in reviewing their resources, will find means to meet the 
intermediate interest of this additional debt without recurring to new taxes; and applying to this object only the 
ordinary progression of our revenue, its extraordinary increase in times of foreign war, will be the proper and suffi- 
cient fund for any measures of safety or precaution, which that state of tilings may render necessary in our neutral 

Remittances for the instalments of our foreign debt having been found practicable without loss, it has not been 
thought expedient to use the power, given by a toi-mer act of Congress, of continuing them by re-loans, and of re- 
deeming, instead tiiereof, equal sums of domestic debt, although no difficulty was found in obtaining that accommo- 
dation. . J J rrn 

The sum of fifty thousand dollars, appropriated by Congress for providing gun boats, remains unexpended. The 
favorable and peaceable turn of affairs, on the Mississippi, rendered an immediate execution of that law unnecessary; 
and time was desirable, in order that the institution ot that branch of our force might begin on models the most ap- 
proved by experience. The same issue of events dispensed with a resort to the appropriation of a million and a half 
of dollars, contemplated for purposes which were effected by happier means. 

We have seen, with sincere concern, the flames of war lighted up again in Europe, and nations, with \yhich we 
have the most friendly and useful relations, engaged in mutual destruction. While we regret the miseries in which 
we see otliers involved, let us bow with gratitude to that kind Providence, which, inspiring with wisdom and mode- 
ration our late legislative councils, while placed under the urgency of the greatest wrongs, guarded us from hastily 
entering into the sanguiiiiiry contest, and left us only to look on, and to pity its ravages. Tliese will be heaviest on 
tliose immediately engaged. Yet the nations pursuing peace will not be exempt from all evil. In the course of tliis 
conflict, let it be our endeavor, as it is our interest and desire, to cultivate the friendship of the belligerent nations 
by every act of justice,' and of innocent kindness; to receive their armed vessels with hospitality from the distresses 
of the sea, but to administer the means of annoyance to none; to establish in our harbors such a police as may main- 
tain law and order; to restrain our citizens from embarking individually in a war, in which their countiy takes no 
part; to punish severely those persons, citizen or alien, who shall usurp the cover of our flag for vessels not entitled 
to it, infecting thereby with suspicion those of real Americans, and committing us into controversies for the redress 
of wrongs not our own; to exact from every nation the observance towards our vessels and citizens of those princi- 
ples and practices which all civilized people acknowledge; to merit the character of a just nation, and maintain that 
of an independent one, preferring every consequence to insult and habitual wrong. Congress will consider whether 
the existing laws enable us efficaciously to maintain this course, with our citizens in all places, and with others, 
while widiin the limits of our jurisdiction; and will give them the new modifications necessary tor these objects. 
Some contraventions of right have already taken place, boUi within our jurisdictional limits and on the high seas. 
The friendly disposition of tiie governments from whose agents they have proceeded, as well as their \Msdom and 
regard for justice, leave us in reasonable expectation, that tiiey will be rectified and prevented m future; and that 
uo act will be countenanced by them which threatens to disturb our friendly intercourse. Separated by a wide 
ocean from the nations of Europe, and from the political interests wliich entangle them togedier, with productions 
and wants which render our commerce and friendship useful to them, and theirs to us, it cannot be the interest of 
any to assail us, nor ours to disturb them. We should be most unwise, indeed, were we to cast away the singular 


blessings of the position in which nature has placed us, the opportunity she has endowed us with, of pursuing, at a 
distance from foreign contentions, the paths of industry, peace and happiness; of cultivating general friendship, and 
of bringing collisions of interest to the umpire of reason rather than of force. How desirable then must it be, in a 
Government like ours, to see its citizens adopt individually the views, the interest, and the conduct, wliich their 
country should pursue; divesting themselves of those passions and partialities which tend to lessen useful iriend- 
ships, and to embarrass and embroil us in the calamitous scenes of Europe. Confident, fellow-citizens, that you 
will duly estimate the impoi-tance of neutral dispositions towards the obsei-vance of neutral conduct; that you will 
be sensible how much it is our duty to look on the bloody arena spread before us with commiseration, indeed, but 
with no other wish than to see it closed, I am persuaded you wU cordially cherish these dispositions, in all discus- 
sions among yourselves, and in all communications with your constituents; and I anticipate with satisfaction the 
measures ot wisdom wliich the gi-eat interests, now committed to you, will give you an opportunity of providing 
and myself thiLt of approving and of carrying into execution with the fidelity I owe to my country. "' 

^ . ,o«<, 'r"^ JEFFERSON. 

October 17, 1803. 

8th Congress.] ]Vo. 22. 



To the Senate mid House of Bepresentatives of the United States: 

To a People, fellow-citizens, who sincerely desire the happiness and prosperity of other nations; to those who 
justly calculate that their own well being is advanced by that of the nations with wliicii they have intercourse- it 
will be a satisfaction to observe that the war which was lighted up in Europe a little before our last meeting, has not 
yet extended its flames to other nations, nor been marked by the calamities which sometimes stain the footsteps of 
war. The iiregularities too, on the ocean, which generally harass the commerce of neutral nations, have, in distant 
parts, disturbed ours less than on former occasions. But, in the American seas, they have been greater, from pecu- 
liai- causes; and, even within our harbors and jurisdiction, infringements on the authority of the laws have been com- 
mitted, which have called for serious attention. The friendly conduct of the Governments from whose officers and 
subjects these acts have proceeded, in other respects, and in places more under their observation and control gives 
us confidence that our representations on this subject will have been properly regarded. ' 

While noticing tlie iiregularities committed on the ocean by others, those on our own part should not be omitted 
nor left unprovided for. Complaints have been received, that persons residing within the United States have taken 
on themselves to arm merchant vessels, and to force a commerce into certain -ports and countries, in defiance of the 
laws of those countries. That individuals should undertake to wage private war, independently of the authority of 
their country, cannot be permitted in a well ordered society. Its tendency to produce aggression on the laws and 
rights of other nations, and to endanger the peace of our own, is so obvious, that I doubt not you will adopt measures 
for restraining it effectually in future. 

Soon after the passage of the act of the last session, authorizing the establishment of a district and port of entry 
on the waters ot the Mobile, we learnt that its object was misunderstood on the part of Spain. Candid explanations 
were immediately given, and assurances that, reserving our claims in that quarter as a subject of discussion and ar- 
rangement with Spain, no act was meditated, in the mean time, inconsistent with the peace and friendship existin'' 
between the two nations; and that, conformably to these intentions, would be the execution of the law That Go*^ 
vernment, however, had thought proper to suspend the ratification of the convention of 1 802. But the explanations 
which would reach them soon after, and still more the confirmation of them by the tenor of the instrument establish- 
ing the port and distnct, may reasonably be expected to replace them in the dispositions and views of the whole sub- 
ject which onginally dictated the convention. 

I have the satisfaction to inform you, that the objections which had been urged by that Government a'^ainst the va- 
lidity of our tide to the country of Louisiana, have been withdrawn— its exact limits, however still remainin-- to be 
settled between us. And to this is to be added, that, having prepared and delivered the stock created in exe^'cution 
of the convention of Pans of AprU 30th, 1803, in consideration ot the cession of that country, we have received 
from the Government of France an acknowledgment, in due form, of the fulfilment of that stipulation. 

With the nations of Eurojie, m general, our friendship and intercourse are undistiirbed; and, from the Govern- 
ments of the belligerent Powers, especially, we continue to receive those friendly manifestations which are iustlv 
due to an honest neutrality, and to such good offices, consistent with that, as we have opporhinities of renderin'- 

rhe activity and success of the small force employed in the Mediterranean in the early part of the present year 
the reinforcement sent into that sea, and the energy of the officers having command in the several vessels, vnlh I 
trust, by the suttenngs of war, reduce the barbanans of Tripoli to the desire of peace on proper terms Great iniurv 
hoyvever, ensues to ourselves as well as to others interested, from the distance to which prizes must be brou-ht for 
adjudication, and from the impracticability of bringing hither such as are not seaworthy 

The Bey oi Tunis having made requisitions unauthorized by our treaty, their rejection has produced from him 
some expressions of discontent. But to those who expect us to calculate whether a compliance wiith unjust demands 
wll not cost us less than a war. we must leave as a question of calculation for them also, whether to retire from 
unjust demands will not cost them less than a war. We can do to each other very sensible injuries by war; but 
tJie mutual advantages of peace make that the best interest of both. 

Peace and intercourse with the other Powers on the same coast continue on the footing on which they are esta- 
blished by treaty. * •' 

In pursuance of the act providing for the temporary government of Louisiana, the necessary officers for the ter- 
ntory of Orieans were appointed in due time to commence the exercise of their functions on the first day of October 
1 he distance, however, ot some of them, and indispensable previous arrangements, may have retarded its commence- 
ment in some of its parts. Ihe form of government thusprovided, having been considered but as temporarv, and 
open to such future improvements as further information of^the circumstances of our brethren there inisht su-'eest it 
will, ot course, be subject to your consideration. 

In the district of Louisiana, it has been thouglit best to adopt the division into subordinate distiicts which had 
been estabhshed under its former government. These being five in number, a commanding officer has been appoint- 
ed to each, according to the provisions of the law, and so soon as they can be at their stations, that district will also 
nI^.11J. fi ® !-^^'^ of organization. In the mean time, theirplaces are supplied by the officers before commanding there, 
ana me runctions of the governor and judges of Indiana having commenced, the government, we presume is pro- 
ThP ."pnm-t nr™^"^ ^'*''"'- " '^i'^'^'^n '?''?^' '"^ *''^* .wf"?^' f?'' *" P"^ ^ '"PP'^ 0*' ^^""^ '"etal as to merit attention. 
occupXn anTtiS'""'"*^'^ ™ ^''" necessity of immediate inquiry into their 

With the Indian tiibes established within our newly acquired limits, I have deemed it necessary to open confer- 
ences tor the purpose of establishing a good understanding, and neighboriy relations between us. So far as we have 


yet learned, we have reason to believe that their dispositions are geiierally favorable a^ friendly. And, with these 
dispositions on their part, we have in our own hands means which cannot fail us, for preserving their peace and 
friendship. By pursuing an uniform course of justice towards them; by aiding them in all the improvements which 
may better their condition; and especially by establishing a commerce on terms which shall be advantageous to them, 
and only not losing to uSj and so regulated as that no incendiaries, of our own or any other nation, may be permitted 
to disturb the natural effects of our just and friendly offices; we may render ourselves so necessary to their comfort 
and prosperity, that the protection of our citizens from their disorderly members, will become their interest and their 
voluntary care. Instead, therefore, of an augmentation of military force, proportioned to our extension of frontier, 
I propose a moderate enlargement of the capital employed in that commerce, as a more effectual, economical, and 
humane instrument for preserving peace and good neighborhood with them. 

On this side the Mississippi an important relinquishment of native title has been received from the Delawares. 
That tribe, desiring to extinguish in their people the spirit of hunting, and to convert superfluous lands into the 
means of improving what they retain, have ceded to us all the country between the Wabash and Ohio, south of, and 
including, the road from the rapids towards Vincennes: for which they are to receive annuities in animals and 
implements for agriculture, and in other necessaries. Tliis acquisition is important, not only for its extent and fer- 
tility, but as, fronting three hundred miles on the Ohio, and near half that on the Wabash, the produce of the settled 
country descending those rivers will no longer pass in review of the Indian frontier, but in a small portion; and, 
with the cession heretofore made by the Kaskaskias, nearly consolidates our possessions north of the Ohio, in a very- 
respectable breadth, from Lake Erie to the Mississippi. The Piankeshaws having some claim to the country ceded 
by the Delawares, it has been thought best to quiet that by fair purchase also. So soon as the treaties on this subject 
shall have received their constitutional sanctions, they shall be laid before both Houses. 

The act of Congress, of February 28, 1803, for building and employing a number of gun boats, is now in a course 
of execution to the extent there provided for. The obstacle to naval enterprise which vessels of this constructioa 
offer for our seaport towns, their utility towards supporting witliin our waters the authority of the laws, the prompt- 
ness with which they will De manned by the seamen and militia of the place in the moment they are wanting, the 
facility of their assembling from different parts of the coast to any point where they are required in gi-eater force than 
ordinary, the economy of their maintenance and preservation from decav, when not in actual service, and the com- 
petence of our finances to this defensive provision, without any ne\\f burthen, are considerations which will have due 
weight with Congress in deciding on the expediency of adding to their number, from year to year, as experience shall 
test their utility, until all our important harbors, by these and auxiliary means, shall be secured against insult and 
opposition to the laws. 

No circumstance has arisen, since'your last session, which calls for any augmentation of our regular military force. 
Should any improvement occur in the militia system, that will be always seasonable. 

Accounts of the receipts and expenditures of the last year, with estimates for the ensuing one, will, as usual, be 
laid before you. 

The state of our finances continues to fulfil our expectations. Eleven millions and a half of dollars, received in 
the course of the year ending on the thirtieth of September last, have enabled us, after meeting all the ordinary ex- 
penses of the year, to pay three millions six hundred thousand dollars of the public debt, exclusive of interest. This 
payment, with those of the two preceding years, has extinguished upwards of twelve millions of the principal, and a 
greater sum of interest, within that period; and, bv a proportionate diminution of interest, renders already sensible 
tiie effijct of the growing sum yeariy applicable to the discharge of the principal. 

It is also ascertained that the revenue accrued during the last year, exceeds that of the preceding; and the proba- 
ble receipts of the ensuing year may safely be relied on as sufficient, with the sum already in the treasury, to meet 
all the current demands of the year, to discharge upwards of three millions and a half of the engagements incurred 
under the British and French conventions, and to advance in the further redemption of the funded debt as rapidly 
as had been contemplated. , . , ^ ■ , . ■ . • • 

These, fellow-citizens, are the principal matters which I have thought it necessary, at this time, to communicate 
for your consideration and attention. Some others will be laid before you in the course of the session. But, in the 
discharge of the great duties confided to you by our country, you will take a broader view of the field of legislation. 
Whether the great interests of agriculture; manufactures, commerce, or navigation, can. within the pale of your con- 
stitutional powers, be aided in any of their relations? whether laws are provided in all cases where they are want- 
ing? whether those provided are exactly what they should be? whether any abuses take place in their adminis- 
tration or in that of the public revenues ? whether the organization of the public agents or of the public forcej is 
perfect in all its parts ? in fine, whether any tiling can be done to advance the general good ?— are questions within 
the limits of your functions, which will necessarily occupy your attention. In these and all other matters, which 
you, in your wisdom, may propose for the good of our country, you may count with assurance on my hearty co- 
operation and faithful execution. ^^ JEFFERSON. 

Novembers, 1804. 

9th Congress.] No. 23. 



Proceeding, fellow-citizens, to that qualificaMon which the constitution requires, before my entrance on the 
charge again conferred on me, it is my duty to express the deep sense I entertain of this new proof of confidence 
from my° fellow -citizens at large, and the zeal with which it inspires me, so to conduct myself as may best satisfy 
their just expectations. , , , ... . . . t , ,- , • i . , ... 

On taking this station on a former occasion, I declared the principles on which 1 believed it my duty to admmis- 
ter the affairs of our commonwealth. My conscience tells me I have, on every occasion, acted up to that decla- 
ration, according to its obvious import, and to the understanding of every candid mind. 

In the transaction of your foreign affairs, we have endeavored to cultivate the fnendship of all nations, and es- 
pecially of those with which we have the most important relations. We have done tliem justice on all occasions, 
favored where favor was lawful, and cherished mutuil interests and intercourse on fair and equal terms. We are 
firmly convinced, and we act on that conviction, that with nations, as with individuals, our interests, soundly calcu- 
lated, will ever be found inseparable from our moral duties; and lustory bears witness to the fact, that a just nation 
is trusted on its word, when recourse is had to armaments and wars to bndle others. 

At home, fellow-citizens, you best know whether we have done well or ill. The suppre^ion of unnecessary of- 
fices, of useless establishments and expenses, enabled us to discontinue our internal taxes. These, covenng our land 
with officers, and opening our doors to their intrusions, had already begun that process of domiciliary vexation 
which, once entered, is scarcely to be restrained from reaching successively every aiticle of property and produce. 
If among these taxes some minor ones fell which had not been inconvenient, it was because their amount would not 


have paid the officers who collected them, and because, if they had any merit, the State authorities might adopt them, 
instead of others less approved. 

The remaining revenue on the consumption of foreign articles is paid chiefly by those who can afford to add 
foreign luxuries to domestic comforts. Being collected on our seaboard and frontiers only, and incorporated with the 
transactions of our mercantile citizens, it may be the pleasure and the pride of an American to ask, what farmer, 
what mechanic, what laborer, ever sees a tax-gatherer of the United States.'' These contributions enable us to sup- 
port the current expenses of the Government, to fulfil contracts with foreign nations, to extinguish the native right of 
soil within our limits, to extend those limits, and to apply such a surplus to our public debts, as places at a short day 
their final redemption; and that redemption, once effected, the revenue thereby liberated may, by a just repartition of it 
among tlie States, and a corresponding amendment of the constitution, be applied, in time of peace, to rivers, canals, 
roads, arts, manufactures, education, and other great objects"^ within each State. In time ofivar — if injustice by our- 
selves or others, must sometimes produce war — increased as the same revenue will be by increased population and 
consumption, and aided by other resources reserved for that crisis, it may meet within the year all the expenses of 
the year, without encroaching on the rights of future generations by burthening them with the debts of the past. War 
will then be but a suspension of useful works, and a return to a state of peace a return to the progress of improvement. 
I have said, fellow-citizens, that the income reserved had enabled us to extend our limits; but that extension may 
possibljf pay for itself before we are called on, and in the mean time may keep down the accniing interest; in all e- 
vents, it van replace the advances we shall have made. I know that the acquisition of Louisiana has been disapproved by 
some, from a candid apprehension tliat the enlargement of our territory would endanger its Union. But who can 
limit the extent to which the federative principle inay operate eSectively ? The larger our association, the less wOl it 
be shaken by local passions; and in any view, is it not better that the opposite bank of the Mississippi should be set- 
tled by our own brethren and children, than by strangers of anotlier family? With whicii should we be most likely 
to live in harmony and friendly intercourse.' 

In matters of religion, I have considered that its free exercise is placed by the constitution independent of the pow- 
ers of the General Government. I have therefore undertaken, on no occasion, to prescribe the religious exercises suit- 
ed to it ; but have left them, as the constitution found them, under the direction and discipline of^he State or church 
authorities, acknowledged by the several religious societies. 

The aboriginal inhabitants of these countries I have regarded with the commiseration their history inspires. En- 
dowed with the faculties and the rights of men, breathing an ardent love of liberty and independence, and occupying 
a country which left them no desire but to be undisturbed, the stream of overflowing population fiom other regions 
directed itself on these shores; without power t(? divert, or habits to contend against it, tliey have been overwhelmed by 
the current, or driven before it; now reduced within limits too narrow for the hunter state, humanity enjoins us to 
teach them agriculture and the domestic arts; to encourage them to that industry which alone can enable them to 
maintain their place in existence, and to prepare them in time for that state of society, which, to bodily comforts, 
adds the improvement of the mind and morals. We have tlierefore liberally furnislied them with the implements of 
husbandry and household use; we have placed among them instructors in the ai'ts of first necessity; and they are 
covered with the ffigis of the law against aggressors from among ourselves. 

But the endeavors to enlighten them on the fate which awaits their present course of life, to induce them to ex- 
ercise their reason, follow its dictates, and change their pursuits witli the change of circumstances, have powerful ob- 
stacles to encounter; they are combatted by the habits of their bodies, prejudice of their minds, ignorance, pride, 
and the influence of interested and crafty individuals among them, who feel themselves something in the present or- 
der of things, and fear to become nothing in any other. These persons inculcate a sanctimonious reverence for tlie 
customs of their ancestors; that whatsoever they did must be done through all time; that reason is a false guide, and 
to advance under its counsel in tlieir physical, moral, or political condition, is perilous innovation; that theii- duty is 
to remain as their creator made them, ignorance being safety, and knowledge full of danger; in short, my friends, 
among them also is seen the action and counteraction of good sense and of bigotiy; they too have their anti-philoso- 
phists, who find an interest in keeping things in tlieir present state, who dread reformation, and exert all their facul- 
ties to maintain the ascendancy of^habit over the duty of improving our reason and obeying its mandates. 

In giving diese outlines, I do not mean, fellow-citizens, to arrogate to myself the merit of the measures. That is 
due, in the first place, to the reflecting character of our citizens at large, who, by the weight of public opinion, in- 
fluence and sti-engthen the public measures; it is due to the sound discretion with which they select from among 
themselves those to whom they confide the legislative duties; it is due to the zeal and wisdom of the characters thus 
selected, who lay the foundations of public happiness in wholesome laws, the execution of which alone-remains for ' 
others; and it is due to the able and faithflil auxiliaries, whose patriotism has associated them with me in the Execu- 
tive functions. 

During tliis course of administration, and in order to disturb it, the artillery of the press has been levelled against 
us, chai-ged with whatsoever its licentiousness could devise or dare. These abuses of an institution so important to 
freedom and science ai-e deeply to be regretted, inasmuch as they tend to lessen its usetiilness, and to sap its safety; 
they miglit indeed have been corrected by the wholesome punishments resei-ved to, and provided by, the laws of the 
several States against falsehood and defamation; but public duties more urgent press on the time of" public servants, 
and the offenders have tlierefore been left to find their punishment in the public indignation. 

Nor was it uninteresting to the world that an experiment should be fairly and fully made, whether freedom of dis- 
cussion, unaided by power, is not sufficient for the propagation and protection of truth? whether a government, 
conducting itself in the time spirit of its constitution, with zeal and purity, and doing no act which it would be un- 
willing the whole world should wtness, can be written down by falsehood and defamation? The experiment has been 
tiled; you have witnessed the scene. Our fellovv^-citizens looked on. cool and collected. They saw the latent 
source from which these outrages proceeded; they gathered around their public functionaries: and when tlie consti- 
tubon called them to the decision by suffrage, they pronounced their verdict, honorable to tliose who had served them, 
and consolatory to the friend of man. who believes that he may be trusted with the control of his own affairs. 

No inference is here intended, that the laws, provided by the States against false and defamatory publications, 
should not be enforced; he who has time, renders a service to public morals and public tranquillity, m refonning 
these abuses by the salutaiy coercions of the law ; but the experiment is noted to prove, that, since trudi and reason 
have maintained their ground against false opinions in league with false facts, the press, confined to truth, needs no i 
other legal restraint. The public judgment wll coiTect false reasonmp'and opinions on a full heaiing of all parties; 
and no other definite line can be drawn between the inestimable liberty of the press and its demoralizing licentious- 
ness. If there be still improprieties which this rule would not restrain, its supplement must be sought in the censor- 
ship of public opinion. 

Contemplating the union of sentiment now manifested so generally, as auguring harmony and happiness to our fu- 
ture course, I offer to our countiy sincere congratulations. With those, too, not yet rallied to the same point, the dis- 
position to do so IS gaining strength; facts are piercing through tlie veil drawn over them; and our doubting bretli- 
ren will at length see, that the mass of their fellow-citizens, with whom they cannot yet resolve to act, as to princi- 
ples and measures, think as they think, and desire what they desire; that our wish, as well as theirs, is, that the pub- 
lic ettorts may be directed honestly to the public good; that peace be cultivated; cm\ and religious liberty unassail- 
ed ; law and order preserved ; equality of rights maintained ; and that state of property, equal or unequal , which results 
to every man from his own industry or that of his fathers. When satisfied of these views, it is not in human nature 
',"^t they should not approve and support them; in the mean time, let us cherish them with patient affection; let us 
Uo them justice, and more than justice, in all competitions of interest; and we need not doubt that trutli, reason, and 
their own interests, will at length prevail — will gather them into the fold of their country, and \vill complete that 
entire union of opinion, which gives to a nation the blessing of harmony, and die benefit of all its strength. 

1 shall now enter on the duties to wliich my fellow-citizens have again called me; and shall proceed in tlie spirit 
ot those principles which diey have approved. I fear not that any motives of interest may lead me astray. I am 
sensible ol no passion which could seduce me knowngly from the path of justice. But the weaknesses of human nature 

y VOL. I. 


and the limits of tny own understanding will produce errors of judgment, sometimes injurious to your interests. I 
shall need tlierefore all the indulgence which I have heretofore experienced from my constituents; the want of it will 
certainly not lessen with increasing years. I sliall need, too, the favor of that Being in whose hands we are; who led 
our fathers, as Israel of old, from their native land, and planted them in a country flowing wth all the necessaries 
and comforts of life; who has covered our infancy with tiis providence, and our riper years with his wisdom and 
power; and to whose goodness I ask you to join in supplications with me, that he will so enlighten the minds of your 
servants, guide their councils, and prosper their measures, that whatsoever they do shall result in your good, and 
shall secure to you the peace, friendship, and approbation, of all nations. 


9th Congress.] No. 24. [1st Session. 



To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America: 

At a moment when the nations of Europe are in commotion, and arming against each other; when those with 
whom we have principal intercourse are engaged in the general contest; and when the countenance of some of them 
towards our peaceable country threatens that even that may not be unaffected by what is passing on the general theatre; 
a meeting of^the Representatives of the nation in both Houses of Congi-ess has become more than usually desirable. 
Coming Iron every section of our country, they bring with them the sentiments and the information of the whole, and 
will be enabled to give a direction to the public afl'airs, wliich the wU and the wisdom of tlie whole will approve and 

In taking a view of the state of our country, we, in the first place, notice the late afBiction of two of our cities 
under the fatal fever which, in latter times, has occasionally visited our shores. Providence, in his goodness, gave it 
an early termination on this occasion, and lessened the number of victims which have usually fallen before it. In 
tlie course of the several visitations by this disease, it has appeared that it is strictly local, incident to cities and on 
tlie tide waters only, incommunicable in the country, either Dy persons under the disease, or by goods carried from 
diseased places; that its access is with the autumn, and it disappears with the early frosts. These restrictions within 
narrow limits of time and space give security, even to our maritime cities, during three fourths of the year, and to the 
countiy always. Although from these facts it appears unnecessary, yet, to satisfy the fears of foreign nations, and 
cautions on their part, not to be complained of in a danger whose limits are yet unknown to them, I have strictly 
enjoined on the officers at the head of the customs to certify, with exact truth, for every vessel sailing for a foreign 
port, the state of health respecting this fever which prevails at the place from which she sails. Under every motive 
from character and duty to certify the truth, I have no doubt they have faithfully executed this injunction. Much 
real injury has, however, been sustained from a propensity to indentify with tliis endemic, and to call by the same 
name, fevers ol^very different kinds, which have been known at all times and in all countries, and never have been 
placed among those deemed contagious. As we advance in our knovyledge of this disease, as facts develop the 
source from which individuals receive it, the State authorities, charged with the care of the public health, and Congress 
with that of the general commerce, will become able to regulate with eiiect tiieir respective functions in these depart- 
ments. The burthen of quarantines is felt at home as well as abroad; their efficacy merits examination. Although 
tlie health laws of the States should be found to need no present revisal by Congress, yet commerce claims that then- 
attention be ever awake to them. 

Since our last meeting, the aspect of our foreign relations has considerably changed. Our coasts have been in- 
fested and our harbors watched by private armed vessels, some of them without commissions, some with illegal com- 
missions, others with those of legal form, but committing piratical acts beyond the authority of their commissions. 
They have captured, in the very entrance of our hai-bors, as well as on the high seas, not only the vessels of our friends 
commg to trade with us, but our own also. They have carried them off, under pretence of legal adjudication; but, 
not daring to approach a court of justice, they nave plundered and sunk them by the way, or in obscure places-, 
where no evidence could arise against them, maltreated the crews, and abandoned them in boats in the open sea, or 
on desert shores, v/ithout food or covering. These enormities appearing to be unreached by any control of their swe- 
reigns, I found it necessaiy to equip a force to cruise within our own seas, to arrest all vessels of these descriptions 
found hovering on our coasts, witlun the limits of the Gulf Stream, and to bring the offenders in for trial as pirates. 
The same system of hovering on our coasts and harbors, under color of seeking enemies, has been also carried on 
by public armed sliips, to the great annoyance and oppression of our commerce. New principles, too, have been 
interpolated into the law of nations, founded neither in justice nor the usage or acknowledgment of nations. Accord- 
ing to these, a belligerent takes to itself a commerce with its own enemy which it denies to a neutral, on the ground 
of its aiding that enemy in the war. But reason revolts at such an inconsistency, and the neutral, having equal right 
with the belligerent to decide the question, the interests of our constituents, and the duty of maintaining the authonty 
of reason, tlie only umpire between just nations, impose on us tlie obligation of providing an effectual and determined 
opposition to a doctrine so injurious to the rights of peaceable nations. Indeed, the confidence we ought to have in 
tlie justice of others still countenances the hope that a sounder view of those rights will, of itself, induce from every 
belligerent a more con-ect observance of them. 

With Spain, our negotiations for a settlement of differences have not had a satisfactory issue. Spoliations during 
a former war, tor which she had formally acknowledged herself responsible, have been refused to be compensated 
but on conditions affecting other claims, in nowise connected with them. Yet the same practices are renewed in the 
present war, and are already of great amount. On the Mobile, our commerce passing through that nver continues 
to be obstructed by arbitrary duties and vexatious searches. Propositions for adjusting amicably tlie boundaries of 
Louisiana have not been acceded to. While, however, the right is unsettled, we have avoided changing the state of 
things, by taking new posts, or strengthening ourselves in the disputed territories, in the hope that the other Power 
would not, by a contrary conduct, oblige us to meet their example, and endanger conflicts of authority, the issue of 
which may not be easily controlled. But in this hope we have now reason to lessen our confidence. Inroads have 
been recently made into the territories of Orleans and the Mississippi; our citizens have been seized, and their pro- 
perty plundered, in the very parts of the former which had been actually delivered up by Spain, and this by the regular 
officers and soldiers of that Government. I have therefore found it necessary, at length, to give orders to our tioops 
on that frontier to be in readiness to protect our citizens, and to repel by arms any simdar agressions in future. 
Other details, necessary for your full information of the state of things between this country and that, shall be tlie 
subject of another communication. In reviewing these injuries from some of the belligerent Powers, the modera- 
tion, the firmness, and the wisdom, of the Legislature will all be called into action. We ought still to hope that 
time, and a more correct estimate of interest, as well as of character, ■will produce the justice we are bound to expect. 
But should any nation deceive itself by false calculations, and disappoint that expectation, we must join in the unpro- 


fitable contest of trying which party can do the 9ther the most harm. Some ot these injuries may perhaps admit a 
peaceable remedy. Where that is competent, it is always the most desirable. But some of them are of a nature to 
be met by force only, and all of them may lead to it. I cannot, therefore, but recommend such preparations as cir- 
cumstances call for. The first object is to place our seaport towns out of the danger of insult. Measures have 
been already taken for furnishing them with heavy cannon for the service of such land batteries as may make a part 
of their defence a^nst armed vessels approaching them. In aid of these, it is desirable we sliould have a competent 
number of gun-boats; and the number, to be competent, must be considerable. If immediately begun they may be 
in readiness for service at the opening of the next season. Whether it will be necessary to augment our land forces 
will be decided by occurrences probably in the course of your session. In the mean time, you will consider whether 
it would not be expedient, for a state of peace as well as of war, so to organize or class the militia as would enable 
us on any sudden emergency, to call for the services of the younger portions, unincumbered with the old and those 
having families. Upwards of three hundred thousand able bodied men, between the ages of eighteen and twenty-six 
yeai-s, which the last census shews we may now count within our limits, will furnish a competent number for 
offence or defence, in any point where thev may be wanted, and will give time for raising regular forces after the 
necessity of them shall become certiiin; and the reducing to the early period of life all its active servicej cannot but 
be desirable to our younger citizens, of the present as well as future times, inasmuch as it engages to them in more 
advanced age a quiet and undisturbed repose in the bosom of their families. I cannot, then, but earnestly recom- 
mend to your early consideration the expediency of so modifying our militia system as, by a separation of the more 
active part from that which is less so, we may draw from it, when necessary, an efficient corps, fit for real and active 
service, and to be called to it in regular rotation. 

Considerable provision has been made, under former authorities from Congress, ot materials for the construction 
of ships of war ot seventy-four guns. These materials are on hand, subject to the further will of the Legislature. 
An immediate prohibition ot the exportation of arms and ammunition is also submitted to your determination. 
Turning from these unpleasant views of violence and wrong, I congratulate you on the liberation of our fellow- 
citizens who were stranded on the coast of Tripoli and made prisoners of war. In a government bottomed on the 
will of all, the life and liberty of every individual citizen become interesting to all. In the treaty, therefore, which 
has concluded our warfare witli that State, an article for the ransom of our citizens has been agreed to. An opera- 
tion by land, by a small band of our countrymen, and others engaged for the occasion, in conjunction with the troops 
of the ex -bashaw of that country, gallantly conducted by our late consul Eaton, and their successful enterprise on 
the city of Derne, contributed, doubtless, to the impression which produced peace; and the conclusion of this, pre- 
vented opportunities of which the officers and men of our squadron, destined for Tripoli, would have availed them- 
selves, to emulate tlie acts of valor exhibited by their brethren in the attack of the last year. Reflecting with high 
satisfaction on the distinguished bravery displayed, whenever occasions permitted, in the late Mediterranean service, 
I think it would be an useful encouragement, as well as a just reward, to make an opening for some present promo- 
tion, by enlarging our peace establishment of captains and lieutenants. 

With Tunis, some misunderstandings have arisen, not yet sufficiently explained; but friendly discussions with 
their lambassador, recently arrived, and a mutual disposition to do whatever is just and reasonable, cannot fail of 
dissipating these. So that we may consider our peace on that coast, generally, to be on as sound a footing as it has 
been at any preceding time. Still, it will not be expedient to withdraw, immediately, the whole of our force from 
that sea. 

The law providing for a naval peace establishment fixes the number of frigates which shall be kept in constant service 
in time of peace, and prescribes that they shall be manned by not more than two-thirds of their complement of seamen 
and ordinary seamen. Whether a frigate may be trusted to two-thirds only of her proper complement of men, must de- 
pend on the nature of the service on which she is ordered. That may sometimes, for her safety, as well as to ensure her 
object, require her fiillest complement. In adverting to this subject, Congress will, perhaps, consider whether the 
best limitation on the Executive discretion in this case, would not be by the number of seamen which may be em- 
ployed in the whole service, rather than by the number of vessels. Occasions oftener arise for the employment of 
small than of large vessels, and it would lessen risk as well as expense, to be authorized to employ them of prefer- 
ence. The limitation suggested by the number of seamen would admit a selection of vessels best adaptecl to the 

Our Indian neighbors are advancing, many of them with spirit, and others beginning to engage, in the pursuits of 
agriculture and household manufacture. They are becoming sensible that the earth yields subsistence with less labor 
and more certainty than the forest, and find it their interest from time to time to dispose of parts of their surplus 
and waste lands for the means of improving those they occupy, and of subsisting their families while they are prepar- 
ing their farms. Since your last session the northern tribes have sold to us the lands between the Connecticut reserve 
and the former Indian boundary; and those on the Ohio, from the same boundary to the Rapids, and for a considera- 
ble depth inland. The Chickasaws and Cherokees have sold us the country between, and adjacent to, the two 
districts of Tennessee; and the Creeks, the residue of their lands in the forkfof Ocmulgee, up to the Ulcofauhatchee. 
The three former purchases are important, inasmuch as they consolidate disjoined parts of our settled country, and 
render their intercourse secure; and the second particularly so, as, with the small point on the river which we 
expect is by this time ceded by the Piankeshaws, it completes our possession of the whole of both banks of the Oliio, 
from its source to near its mouth, and the navigation of that river is thereby rendered forever safe to our citizens 
settled and settling on its extensive waters. The purchase from the Creeks, too, has been for some time pai-ticulai-ly 
interesting to the state of Georgia. 

The several treaties which liave been mentioned will be submitted to both Houses of Congress for the exercise of 
their respective functions. 

Deputations now on their way to the seat of government from various nations of Indians, inhabiting the Missouri 
and other parts beyond the Mississippi, come charged with assurances of their satisfaction with the new relations in 
which they are placed with us, of their dispositions to cultivate our peace and friendship, and their desire to enter 
into commercial intercourse with us. 

A state ot our progress in exploring the principal rivers of that country, and of the information respecting them 
hitherto obtained, will be communicated as soon as we shall receive some further relations which we liave reason 
shortly to expect. 

The receipts at the treasury, during the year ending on the 30th day'.of September last, have exceeded the sum of 
thirteen millions of dollars, which, with not quite five millions in the treasury at the beginning of the year, have 
enabled us, alter meeting other demands, to pay nearly two millions of the debt contracted under the British treaty 
and convention, upwards of four millions of principal of the public debt, and four millions of interest. These payments, 
with those which had been made in three years and a half preceding, have extinguished of the funded debt neai-ly 
eighteen millions of principal. 

Congress, by their act of November 10, 1803, authorized us to borrow one million seven hundred and fifty thou- 
sand dollars towards meeting the claims of our citizens assumed by the convention with France. We have not 
however made use of this authority; because the sum of four millions and a half, which remained in the treasury on 
the same 30th day of September last, with the receipts which we may calculate on for the ensuing year, besides pay- 
ing the annual sum of eight millions of dollars, appropriated to the funded debt, and meeting all the current demands 
which may be expected, will enable us to pay the whole sum of three millions seven hundred and fifty tliousand 
oollars, assumed by the French convention, and still leave us a surplus of nearly a million of dollars at our tree 
tlisposal. Should you concur in the provisions of arms and armed vessels recommended by tiie circumstances of the 
(^' +v 1"'^^"* ^^'11 furnish the means of doing so. 

Un this farst occasion of addressing Congi-ess, since, by the choice of my constituents. I have entered on a second 
term ot administration, I embrace the opportunity to give this public assurance that I will exert my best endeavors 
to aumimster faithfully the Executive department, and will zealously co-operate with you in every measure which 


may tend to secure the liberty, property, and personal safety, of our fellow-citizens, and to consolidate the republican 
forms and principles of our government. 

In the course of your session you shall receive all Ihe aid which I can give for the despatch of public busmess, 
and all the information necessary for your deliberations, of which the interests of our own countiy and the confidence 
renosed in us by others will admit a communication. 

December 3, 1805. 

9th Congress.] No. 25. 



To the Senate and House (tf Representatives 

of the United States of America in Congress assembled: 
It would have given me, fellow-citizens, great satisfaction to announce, in the moment of your meeting, that the 
difficulties in our foreign relations, existing at the time of your last separation, had been amicably and justly termi- 
nated. I lost no time in taking those measures which were most likely to bring them to such a termination, by spe- 
cial missions, charged with such powers and instructions as, in the event of failure, could leave no imputation on 
either our moderation or forbearance. The delays wliich have since taken place in our negotiations with the British 
Government, appear to have proceeded from causes which do not forbid the expectation that, during the course of 
the session, I may be enabled to lay before you their final issue. What will be that of the negotiations for settling our 
differences with Spain, nothing wHich had taken place, at the date of the last despatches, enables us to pronounce. 
On the western side of the Mississipi, she advanced in considerable force, and took post at the settlement of Bayou 
Pierre, on tlie Red river. This village was originally settled by France, was held by her as long as she held Louis- 
iana, and was delivered to Spain only as a part of Louisiana. Being small, insulated, and distant, it was not observed, 
at the moment of re-delivery to France and the United States, that she continued a guai-d of half a dozen men, which 
had been stationed there. A proposition, however, having been lately made, by our commander in cliief, to assume 
the Sabine river as a temporary line of separation between the troops of the two nations, until the issue of our nego- 
tiation shall be known, this has been referi-ed by the Spanish commandant to his superior, and, in the mean time, lie 
has wthdrawn his force to the western side of the Sabine river. The correspondence on this subject, now commu- 
nicated, will exhibit more particularly the present state of things in that quarter. 

The nature of that country requires indispensably that an unusual proportion of the force employed there should 
be cavalrv, or mounted infanti-y. In order, therefore, that the commanding officer might be enabled to act with 
effect, I had authorized him to call on the Governors of Orleans and Mississippi, for a corps of five hundred volun- 
teer cavalry. The temporary arrangement he has proposed, may, perhaps, render this unnecessary. But I inform 
you, witli great pleasure, of the promptitude with which the inhabitants of those territories have tendered their services 
in defence of their country. It lias done honor to themselves, entitled them to the confidence of their fellow-citizens 
in every part of the Union, and must strengthen the general determination to protect tjiem efficaciously under all 
circumstances which may occur. 

Having received infonnation that, in another part of the United States, a gi-eat number of private individuals were 
combining together, arming and organizing themselves, contraiy to law, to carry on a military expedition against the 
territories of Spain, I thought it necessary, by proclamation, as well as by special orders, to take measures for 
preventing and suppressing this enterprise, for seizing the vessels, arms, and other means provided for it, and for 
arresting and bringmg to justice its authors and abettors. It was due to that good faith, winch ought ever to be tlie 
rule of action in public as well as in private ti-ansactions; it was due to good order and regular govermnent, that, 
while the public force ivas acting strictly on the defensive, and merely to protect our citizens from aggression, the 
criminal attempts of private individuals to decide, for their country, the question of peace or war, by commencing 
active and unauthorized hostilities, should be promptly and efficaciously suppressed. 

Whether it will be necessary to enlarge our regular force, will depend on the result of our negotiations with Spain. 
But as it is uncertain when that result will be known, the provisional measures requisite for that, and to meet any 
pressure intervening in that quarter, will be a subject for your early consideration. 

The possession of both banks of the Mississippi reducing to a single point the defence of that river, its waters, and 
the country adjacent, it becomes highly necessary to provide for that point a more adequate security. Some position 
above its mouth, commanding the passage of the river, should be rendered sufficiently strong to cover the armed 
vessels which may be stationed there for defence; and, in conjunction with them, to present an insuperable obstacle 
to any force attempting to pass. The approaches to tlie city of New Orleans, from the eastern quai-ter also, will 
require to Ije examined, and more effectually guarded. For the internal support of the countiy, the encouragement 
of a strong settlement on the western side of the Mississippi, within reach of New Orleans, will be worthy the 
consideration of the Legislature. . ... 

The gun boats, authorized by an act of the last session, are so advanced that they will be ready for service in the 
ensuing spring. Circumstances pennitted us to allow the time necessary for their more solid construction. As a 
much larger number will still be wanting, to place our seaport towns and waters in that state of defence to wjuch we 
are competent, and they entitled, a similar appropriation for a further provision of them is recommended for the 
ensuing year. . ; c 

A further appropriation will also be necessary for repairing fortifications already established, and the erection of 
such other works as may have real effect in obstructing the approach of an enemy to our seaport towns, or then- 
remaining before them. . 

In a country whose constitution is derived from the will of the People, du-ectly expressed bv their free suffrages; 
where the principal Executive functionaries, and those of the Legislature, are renewed by them at short periods; 
where, under the character of jurors, they exercise in person the greatest portion of the judiciary powers; where tlie 
laws are consequently so formed and administered as to bear with equal weight and favor on all, restraining no man 
in the pursuits of honest industry, and securing to every one the property wliich that acquires, it would not be 
supposed that any safeguards could be needed against insuirection, or enterprise on the public peace or autionty. 

The laws, however, aware that these should not be trusted to moral restraints only, have wsely provided pumsh- 
ment for these crimes when committed. But would it not be salutary to give also tlie means of preventing their 
commission.^ Where an enterprise is meditated by private individuals against a foreign nation, in aimty with the 
United States, powers of prevention, to a certain extent, are given by the laws. Would they not be as r^sonable 
and useful, where the enterprise preparing is against the United States? While adverting to this branch of law, it 
is proper to observe, that in enterprises meditated against foreign nations, the ordinary process of binding to the 
observance of the peace and good behavior, could it be extended to acts to be done out of the jurisdiction of the 
United States, would be effectual in some cases where the offender is able to keep out of sight every indication of his 
purpose which could draw on him the exercise of the powers now given by law. ■..r-.. 

The States on the coast of Barbary seem generally disposed at present to respect our peace and fnendship. W ith 
Tunis alone, some uncertainty remains. Persuaded tliat it is oui- interest to maintain our peace wth them on equal 


terms, or not at all, I propose to send, in due time, a reinforcement into the Mediterranean, unless previous infor- 
mation shall shew it to be unnecessary. 

We continue to receive proofs of the growing attachment of our Indian neighbors, and of their disposition to place 
all their interests under the patronage ot the United States. These dispositions are inspired by their confidence in 
our justice, and in the sincere concern we feel for their welfare. And as long as we discharge these high and honor- 
able functions with the integrity and good faith which alone can entitle us to their continuance, we may expect to 
reap the just reward in their peace and friendship. 

The expedition of Messrs. Lewis and Clai-k, for exploring the river Missouri, and the best communication from 
that to the Pacific Ocean, has had all the success which could have been expected. They have traced the Missouri 
nearly to its source, descended the Columbia to the Pacific Ocean, ascertained witli accuracy the geography of that 
interesting communication across our continent, learnt the character of the country, of its commerce and inhabitants; 
and it is but justice to say, that Messrs. Lewis and Clark, and their brave companions, have, by this arduous service, 
deserved well of their country. 

The attempt to explore the Red river, under the direction of Mr. Freeman, though conducted wth a zeal and 
prudence meriting entire approbation, has not been equally successful. After proceeding up it about six hundred 
miles, nearly as far as the P rench settlements had extended, while the country was in their possession, our geogra- 
phers were obliged to return without completing tlieir work. 

Very useful additions have also been made to our knowledge of the Mississippi, by Lieut Pike, who has ascend- 

ed it to its source, and whose journal and map, giving the details of his journey, will shortly be ready for communi- 
cation to both Houses of Congress. Those of Messrs. Lewis, Clark, and Freeman, will require further time to be 
digested and prepared. These iinportant surveys, in addition to those before possessed, furnish materials for com- 
mencing an accurate map of the Mississippi and its western waters. Some principal rivers, however, remain still to 
be explored, towards which, the authorization of Congress, by moderate appropriations, will be requisite. 

I congratulate you, fellow-citizens, on the approach of tlie period at which you may inteipose your authority 
constitutionally, to withdraw the citizens of the United States from all further participation in those violations of 
human rights wliich have been so long continued on the unoffending inhabitants of Africa, and which the morality, 
the reputation, and the best interests of our country, have long been eager to proscribe. Although no law you may 
pass can take proliibitory effect till the first day of the year one thousand eiglit hundred and eight, yet the inter- 
vening period is not too long to prevent, by timely notice, expeditions wliich cannot be completed before that day. 

The receipts at the treasury, during the year ending on the thirtieth day of September last, have amountecl to 
near fifteen millions of dollars; which have enabled us, after meeting the current demands, to pay two millions seven 
hundred thousand dollars of the American claims, in part of the price of Louisiana; to pay, of the funded debt, up- 
wards of three millions of principal, and nearly four of interest, and, in addition, to reimburse, in the course of the 
present month, near two millions ot five and a half per cent, stock. These payments and reimbursements of the 
funded debt, with those which had been made in the four years and a half preceding, mil, at the close of the present 
year, have extinguished upwards of twenty-three millions of principal. 

The duties composing the Mediterranean fund will cease, by law, at the end of the present session. Consider- 
ing, however, that tliey are levied chiefly on luxuries, and that we have an impost on salt, a necessary of life, the 
free use of which otherwise is so important, I recommend to vour consideration the suppression of the duties on 
salt, and the continuation of the Mediterranean fund, instead thereof, for a short time, after which that also will 
become unnecessary for any purpose now within contemplation. 

When both of these branches of revenue shall, in this way, be relinquished, there will still, ere long, be an accu- 
mulation of moneys in the treasury, beyond the instalments of public debt which we are permitted by contract to 
pay. They cannot, then, without a modification assented to by the public creditors, be applied to the extinguishment 
of tliis debt, and the complete liberation of our revenues, the most desirable of all objects: nor, if our peace continues 
will they be wanting for any other existing purpose. The question, therefore, now comes forward, to what other 
objects shall these surplusses be appropriated, and the whole surplus of impost, after the entire discharge of the pub- 
lic debt, and during those intervals when the purposes of war shall not call for them.? Shall we suppress the impost, 
and give that advantage to foreign over domestic manufactures? On a few articles of more general and necessary 
use, the suppression, in due season, will doubtless be right; but the great mass of the articles, on which impost is 
paid^ are foreign luxuries, purchased by those only who are rich enough to afford themselves the use of them. Their 
patnotism would certainly prefer its continuance, and application to the great purposes of the public education 
roads, nvers, canals, and such other objects ot public improvement as it may be thought proper to add to the consti- 
tutional enumeration of Federal powers. By these operations, new channels of communication will be opened be- 
tween tlie States; the lines of separation will disappear; theii- interests will be identified, and their union cemented 
by new and indissoluble ties. Education is here placed among the articles of public care; not that it would be pro- 
posed to take its ordinaiy branches out of the hands of private enterprise, which manages so much better all the 
concerns to which it is equal; but a public institution can alone supply those sciences which, though rarely called 
for, are yet necessary to complete the circle, all the parts of which contribute to the improvement of the country, 
and some of them to its preservation. The subject is now proposed for the consideration of Congress, because, if 
approved by the time the State Legislatures shall have deliberated on tliis extension of the Federal trusts, and the 
laws shall be passed, and otlier arrangements made for tlieir execution, the necessary funds will be on hand, and with- 
out employment. I suppose an amendment to the constitution, by consent of the States, necessary, because the 
objects now recommended are not among those enumerated in the constitution, and to wliich it permits the public 
moneys to be applied. 

The present consideration of a national establishment for education particularly, is rendered proper by tiiis cir- 
cumstance also, that if Congress, approving the proposition, shall yet think it more eligible to found it on a donation 
of lands, they have it now m their power to endow it with those which will be among the eariiest to produce the 
necessary income. Tins foundation would have the advantage of being independent on war, which may suspend 
other improvements by requiring, for its own purposes, the resources destined for them. 

This, fellow-citizens, is the state of the public interests at the present moment, and according to tlie information 
now possessed. But such is the situation of the nations of Europe, and such, too, the predicament in wliich we stand 
wth some of them, that we cannot rely with certainty on the present aspect of our affairs, that may change from 
moment to moment, during the course of your session, or after you shall have separated. Our duty is, therefore, to 
act upon things as they are, and to make a reasonable provision for whatever they may be. Were armies to be raised 
whenever a speck of" war is -vasible in our horizon, we never should have been without them. Our resources would 
have been exhausted on dangers wliich have never happened, instead of being reserved for what is really to take 
place. A steady, perhaps a quickened pace, in preparations for the defence of our seaport towns and waters, an 
eariy settlement of the most exposed and vulnerable parts of our country, a militia so organized that its effective 
portions can be called to any pomt in the Union, or volunteers instead of them, to serve a sufiicient time, are means 
which may always be ready, yet never preying on our resources until actually called into use. They wll maintain 
the public interests, while a more permanent force shall be in a course of preparation. But much will depend on 
the promptitude witli wliich these means can be brought into activity. If war be forced upon us in spite of our 
long and vain appeals to the justice of nations, rapid and vigorous movements, in its outset, will go far towards 
securmg us in its course and issue, and towards tlu-owing its burthens on those who render necessary the resort from 
reason to force. 

The result of our negotiations, or such incidents in their course as may enable us to infer their probable issue; 
such further movements also, on our western frontier, as may shew whether war is to be pressed there, while nego- 
tiation is protracted elsewhere, shall be communicated to you from time to time, as they become kno«Ti to me, vvath 
whatever other information I possess or may receive, which may aid your deliberations on the great national interests 
comnutted to your charge. 

December 2, me. TH: JEFFERSON. 


10th Congress.] No. 26. [1st Session. 



To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States: 

Circumstances, fellow-citizens, which seriously threatened the peace of our country, have made it a duty to 
convene you at an earlier period than usual. The love of peace, so much cherished in the bosoms of our citizens, 
which has so long guided the proceedings of their public councils, and induced forbearance under so many wrongs, 
may not ensure our continuance in the quiet pursuits of industry. The many injuries and depredations committed 
on our commerce and navigation, upon the high seas, for years past; the successive innovations on those principles 
of public law which have been established by the reason and usage of nations as the mle of their intercourse, and 
the umpire and security of their rights and peace, and all the circumstances which induced the extraordinary mis- 
sion to London, are already known to you. The instructions given to our ministers were framed in the siiicerest 
spirit of amity and moderation. They accordingly proceeded, in conformity therewith, to propose arrangements 
which might embrace and settle all the points in difference between us; which might bring us to a mutual under- 
standing on our neutral and national rights, and provide for a commercial intercourse on conditions of some equality. 
After long and fruitless endeavors to effect the purposes of their mission, and to obtain arrangements within the 
limits of their instructions, they concluded to sign such as could be obtained, and to send them for consideration, 
candidly declaring to the other negotiators, at the same time, that they were acting against their instructions, ana 
that their Government, therefore, could not be pledged for ratification. Some of the articles proposed, might have 
been admitted on a principle of compromise, but others were too highly disadvantageous, and no sufficient provision 
was made against the principal source of the irritations and collisions which were constantly endangering tlie peace of 
the two nations. The question, therefore, whether a treaty should be accepted in tliat form, could have admitted 
but of one decisionj even had no declarations of the other party impaired our confidence in it. Still anxious not to 
close the door against friendly adjustment, new modifications were framed, and further concessions authorized, 
than could before have been supposed necessary; and our ministers were instructed to resume their negotiations on 
these grounds. On this new reference to amicable discussion we were reposing in confidence, when, on the twenty- 
second day of June last, by a formal order from a British admiral, the frigate Chesapeake, leaving her port for a 
distant service, was attacked by one of those vessels which had been Ijing in our harbors under the indulgences of. 
hospitality, was disabled from proceeding, had several of her crew killed, and four taken away. On this outrage 
no commentaries are necessary. Its character has been pronounced by the indignant voice of our citizens, with an 
emphasis and unanimity never exceeded. I immediately, by proclamation, interdicted our hai'bors and waters to 
all British armed vessels, forbade intercourse with them, and, uncertain how far hostilities were intended, and the 
town of Norfolk, indeed, being threatened with immediate attack, a sufficient force was ordered for the protection 
of that place, and such other preparations commenced and pursued as the prospect rendered proper. An armed 
vessel of the United States was despatched with instructions to our ministers at London to call on that Government 
for the satisfaction and security required by the outrage. A very short interval ought now to bring the answer, 
which will be communicated to you as soon as received. Then, also, or as soon after as the public interests shall be 
found to admit, the unratified treaty, and proceedings relative to itj shall be made known to you. 

The aggression, thus begun, has been continued on the part of the British commanders, by remaining wthin our 
waters, in defiance of the authority of the country, by habitual violations of its jurisdiction, and at length by putting 
to death one of the persons whom they had forcibly taken from on board the Chesapeake. These aggravations ne- 
cessarily lead to the policy, either of never admitting an armed vessel into our harbors, or of maintaining, in every 
harbor, such an armed force as may constrain obedience to the laws, and protect the lives and property of our citi- 
zens against their armed guests; but the expense of such a standing force, and its inconsistence with our principles, 
dispense with those courtesies which would necessarily call for it, and leave us equally free to exclude the navy, as 
we are the army, of a foreign Power, from entering our limits. 

To former violations of maritime rights, another is now added, of very extensive effect: the Government of that 
nation has issued an order interdicting all trade by neutrals between ports not in amity with them; and, being now 
at war with nearly every nation on the Atlantic and Mediterranean seas, our vessels are required to sacrifice their car- 
goes at the first port they touch, or to return home without the benefit of going to any other market. Under this new 
Taw of the ocean, our trade on the Mediterranean has been swept away by seizures and condemnations, and that in 
other seas is threatened with tlie same fate. 

Our differences with Spain remain still unsettied, no measure having been taken on her part, since my last com- 
munications to Congress, to bring them to a close. But, under a state of things, which may favor reconsideration, 
they have been recentiy pressed, and an expectation is entertained that they may now soon be brought to an issue of 
some sort. With their subjects on our borders, no new collisions have taken place, nor seem immediately to be ap- 
prehended. To our former grounds of complaint, has been added a very serious one, as you \vill see by the decree, 
a copy of which is now communicated. Whether this decree, which professes to be conformable to that of the 
French Government, of November twenty -first, one thousand eight hundred and six, heretofore communicated to 
Congress, will also lie conformed to that in its construction and application in relation to the United States, had not 
been ascertained at the date of our last communications. These, however, gave reason to expect such a conformity. 
With the other nations of Europe our harmony has been uninterrupted, and commerce and friendly intercourse 
have been maintained on their usual footing. 

Our peace with the several States on the coast of Barbary appears as firm as at any former period, and as likely 
to continue as that of any other nation. 

Among our Indian neighbors, in the northwestern quarter, some fermentation was observed, soon alter the 
late occurrences, threatening the continuance of our peace. Messages were said to be interchanged, and tokens to 
be passing, which usually denote a state of restiessness among them, and the character of the agitators pointed to 
the sources of excitement. Measures were immediately taken for providing against tiiat danger; instructions were 
given to require explanations, and, with assurances of our continued friendship, to admonish the tribes to remain 
quiet at home, taking no part in quarrels not belonging to them. As far as we are yet informed, the tribes in our 
vicinity who are most advanced in the pursuits of industry, are sincerely disposed to adhere to their friendship with 
us, and to their peace with all others; while those more remote do not present appearances sufficiently quiet to jus- 
tify the intermission of military precaution on our part. 

The great tribes on our southwestern quarter, much advanced beyond the others in agriculture and household 
arts, appear tranquil, and identifying their views with ours, in proportion to their advancement. With the whole of 
these People, in every quarter, I shall continue to inculcate peace and fnendship with all their neighbors, and per- 
severance in those occupations and pursuits which will best promote their own well being. 

The appropriations of the last session, for the defence of our sea-port towns and harbors, were made under 
expectation that a continuance of our peace would permit us to proceed in that work according to our convenience. 
It has been thought better to apply the sums then given, towards the defence of New York, Charieston, and New 
Orleans, chiefly, as most open and most likely first to need protection; and to leave places less immediately in dan- 
ger to the provisions of the present session. 


The gun boats, too, already provided, have, on a like principle, been chiefly assigned to New York, New Or- 
leans, and the Chesapeake. Whether our moveable force on the water, so material in aid of the defensive works on 
the land, should be augmented in this or any other form, is left to the wisdom of the Legislature. For the purpose 
of manning these vessels, in sudden attacks on our harbors, it is a matter for consideration, whether the seamen of 
the United States may not justly be formed into a special militia, to be called on for tours of duty, in defence of the 
harbors where tl\ey shall happen to be; the ordinary militia of the place furnishing that portion which may consist of 

The moment our peace was threatened, I deemed it indispensable to secure a greater provision of those articles 
of military stores, with which our magazines were not sufficiently furnished. To have awaited a previous and spe- 
cial sanction by law, would have lost occasions which might not be retrieved. I did not hesitate, therefore, to au- 
tliorize engagements for such supplements to our existing stock as would render it adequate to the emergencies 
threatening us; and I trust that the Legislature, feeling the same anxiety for the safety of our country, so materially 
advanced by this precaution, will approve, when done, what they would have seen so important to be done if then 
assembled. Expenses, also unprovided for, arose out of the necessity of calling all our gun-boats into actual service, 
for the defence of our harbors, of all which, accounts will be laid before you. 

Whether a regular army is to be raised, and to what extent, must depend on the information so shortly expected. 
In the meantime, I have called on the States for quotas of militia, to be in readiness for present defence; and have, 
moreover, encouraged the acceptance of volunteers; and I am happy to inform you that these have offered them- 
selves with gi-eat alacrity, in every part of the Union. They are ordered to be organized, and ready at a moment's 
warning, to proceed on any senice to which they maybe called; and every preparation witliin the Executive powers 
has been made, to ensure us the benefit of early exertions. 

I informed Congi-ess, at their last session, of the enterprises against the public peace, which were believed to be 
in preparation by Aaron Burr and his associates; of the measures taken to defeat them, and to bring the offenders 
to justice. Their enterprises were happily defeated, by the patriotic exertions of the militia, whenever called into 
action, by the fidelity of^ the army, and energy of the commander-in-chief, in promptly arranging the difficulties 
presenting themselves on the Sabine, repairing to meet those arising on the Mississippi, and dissipating, before their 
explosion, plots engendering there. I shall think it my duty to la.y before you the proceedings, and the evidence 
publicly exliibited on the arraignment of the principal offenders before the circuit court of Virginia. You will be 
enabled to judge whether the defect was in the testimony, in the law, or in the administration of the law; and, 
wherever it shall be found, the Legislature alone can apply or originate the remedy. The framers of our constitu- 
tion certainly supposed tliey had guarded, as well their Government against destruction by treason, as their citi- 
zens against oppression, under pretence of it; and, if these ends are not attained, it is of importance to inquire by 
what means, more effectual, they may be secured. 

The accounts of the receipts of revenue, during the year ending on the thirtieth day of September last, being not 
yet made up, a correct statement will be hereafter transmitted from the treasury. In the meantime, it is ascer- 
tained tliat the receipts have amounted to near sixteen millions of dollars; which, with the five millions and a half in 
the Treasury at the beginning of the year, have enabled us, after meeting the current demands, and interest incurred, 
to pay more than four millions of the principal of our funded debt. These payments, with those of the preceding 
five and a half years, have extinguished of the funded debt twenty -five millions and a half of dollars, being the whole 
which could be paid or purchased within the limits of the law, and of our contracts, and have left us in the treasury 
eight millions and a halt of dollars. A portion of this sum may be considered as a commencement of accumulation 
of the sui-plusses of revenue, wliich, after paying the instalments of debt, as they shall become payable, will remain 
without any specific object It may partly, indeed, be applied towards completing the defence of the exposed 
points of our country, on such a scale as shall be adapted to our principles and circumstances. This object is, 
doubtless, among the first entitled to attention, in such a state of our finances, and it is one which, whether we have 
peace or war, will provide security where it is due. Whether what shall remain of this, with the future surplusses, 
may be usefully applied to purposes already authorized; or, more usefully, to others requiring new authonties, or 
how otherwise tliey shall be disposed of, are questions calling for the notice of Congress; unless, indeed, they shall 
be superseded by a change in our public relations, now awaiting the determination of others. Whatever be that de- 
termination, it is a great consolation tliat it will become known at a moment when the Supreme Council of the Na- 
tion is assembled at its post, and ready to give the aids of its wisdom and authority to whatever course the good of 
our country shall then call us to pursue. 

Matters of minor importance will be the subjects of future communications; and nothing shall be wanting on my 
part, which may give information or despatch to the proceedings of the Legislature in the exercise of their liigh du- 
ties, and at a moment so interesting to the public welfare. 


October 27, 1807. 

10th CONGRESS.1 No, 27. [2d St 



To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States: 

It would have been a source, fellow-citizens, of much gratification, if our last communications from Europe had 
enabled me to mtorm you that the belligerent nations, whose disregard of neutral rights has been so destructive to 
our commerce, had become awakened to the duty and true policy of revoking their unrighteous edicts. That no 
means might be omitted to produce this salutary effect, I lost no time in availing myself of the act authorizing a sus- 
pension, in whole or in part, of the several embargo laws. Our ministers at London and Paris were instructed to 
explain to the respective Governments there, our disposition to exercise the authority in such manner as would with- 
draw the pretext on which the aggressions were originally founded, and open the way for a renewal of that commer- 
cial intercourse which it was alleged, on all sides, had been reluctantly obstructed. As each of those Governments 
V^P'^dged its readiness to concur in renouncing a measure, which reached its adversaiy througli the incontestible 
ngbts ot neutrals only, and as the measure had been assumed by eacli as a retaliation for an asserted acquiescence in 
the aggressions of the other, it was reasonably expected that the occasion would have been seized by both, forevinc- 
T^ • !"^'^^r'ty of their professions, and for restoring to the commerce of tlie United States its legitimate freedom. 
1 he instructions to our ministers, with respect to tlie different belligerents, were necessarily modified with a refer- 
ence to their different circumstances, and to the condition annexed by law to the Executive power of suspension, re- 
quiring a degi-ee of security to our commerce which would not result from a repeal of the decrees of France, 
instead ot a pledge, therefore, for a suspension of the embargo as to her, in case of such a repeal, it was presumed 
that a sutticient inducement might be found in other considerations, and particularly in the change produced by a 


compliance with our just demands by one belligerent, and a refusal by the other, in the relations between the other 
and the United States. To Great Britain, whose power on the ocean is so ascendant, it was deemed not inconsist- 
ent with that condition, to state explicitly, that, on her rescinding her orders in relation to tlie United States, their 
trade would be opened with her, and remain slmt to her enemy, in case of his failure to rescind his decrees also. 
From France, no answer has been received, nor any indication that the requisite change in lier decrees is contem- 
plated. The favorable reception of die proposition to Great Britain was the less to be doubted, as her orders of coun- 
cil had not only been referred for their vindication to an acquiescence on the part of the United States, no longer to 
be pretended, but as the arrangement proposed, whilst it resisted the illegal decrees of France, involved, moreover, 
substantially, the precise advantages professedly aimed at by the British orders. The arrangement has, nevertlieless, 
been rejected. 

Tliis candid and liberal experiment having thus failed, and no other event having occurred on which a suspension 
of the embargo bv the Executive was authorized, it necessarily remains in the extent originally given to it. We have 
the satisfaction, however, to reflect, that, in return for the privations imposed by the measure, and which our fellow- 
citizens in general, have borne with pati-iotism, it has had the important effects of saving our mariners, and our vast 
mercantile property, as well as of affording time for prosecuting the defensive and provisional measui-es called for by 
the occasion. It has demonstrated to foreign nations the moderation and firmness which govern our councils, and to 
our citizens the necessity of uniting in support of the laws and the rights of their counti-y^ and has thus long frustrated 
those usurpations and spoliations \vliich, if resisted, involved war; it submitted to, sacrificed a vital principle of our 
national independence. 

Under a continuance of the belligerent measures, wliich, in defiance of laws wliich consecrate the rights of neu- 
trals, overspread the ocean with danger, it \vill rest wth the ^v^sdom of C ongress to decide on the course best adapted 
to sucli a state of things; and bringing with them as they do, from every part of the Union, the sentiments of our 
constituents, my confidence is strengtliened that, in forming this decision, they will, with an unerring regard to the 
essential rigfits and interests of the nation, weigh and compare the painful alternatives out of which a choice is to be 
made. Nor should I do justice to the virtues, which, on othei- occasions, have maiked the character of our fellow- 
citizens, if I did not cherish an equal confidence that the alternative chosen, whatever it may be, will be maintained 
with all the fortitude and patriotism which the crisis ought to inspire. 

The documents, contaiiung the correspondences on the subject of the foreign edicts against our commerce, with 
the instructions given to our ministers at London and Paris, are now laid before you. 

The communications made to Congress at their last session, explained the posture in which the close of the dis- 
cussions relating to the attack by a British ship of war on the frigate Chesapeake, left a subject on which the nation 
had manifested so honorable a sensibility. Every view of what had passed, authorized a belief, that immediate steps 
would be taken by the British Government for redressing a wrong, which, the more it was investigated, appeared the 
more clearly to require what had not been provided for in the special mission. It is found that no steps have been 
taken for the purpose. On the contrary, it will be seen in the documents laid before you, that the inadmissible 
preliminarv, which obstructed the adjustment, is still adhered to; and, moreover, that it is now brought into con- 
nexion witn the distinct and irrelative case of the orders in council. The instructions which had been given to our 
minister at London, with a view to facilitate, if necessary, the reparation claimed by the United States, ai-e included 
in the documents communicated. 

Our relation with the other Powers of Europe liave undergone no material changes since your last session. The 
important negotiations with Spain, wliich had been alternately suspended and resumed, necessarily experience a 
pause, under the extraordinary and interesting crisis which distinguishes her internal situation. 

With the Barbary Powers we continue in harmony, with the exception of an unjustifiable proceeding of the Dey 
of Algiers towards our consul to that Regency. Its character and circumstances are now laid before you, and will 
enable you to decide how far it may either now or hereafter call for any measures not within the limits of the Exe- 
cutive authority. 

With our Indian neighbors the public peace has been steadily maintained. Some instances of individual vvrong 
have, as at other times, taken place, but in no wise implicating the will of the nation. Beyond the Mississippi, tlie 
loways, the Sacs, and the Alabamas, have delivered up for trial and punishment individuals from among themselves, 
accused of murdering citizens of the United States. On this side the Mississippi, the Creeks are exerting them- 
selves to arrest offenders of the same kind; and theChoctaws have manifested their readiness and desire for amicable 
and just arrangements respecting depredations committed by disorderly persons of their tribe. And generally, 
from a conviction that we consider them as a part of ourselves, and cherish with sincerity their rights and interests, 
the attachment of the Indian tribes is gaining strength daily; is extending from the nearer to the more remote, and 
will amply requite us for the justice and friendship practised towards them. Husbandry and household manufacture 
are advancing among them, more rapidly with the Southern than Northern tribes, from circumstances of soil and 
climate; and one of the two great divisions of the Cherokee nation have now under consideration to solicit the citi- 
zenship of the United States, and to be identified with us in laws and Government, in such progressive manner as 
we shall think best. 

In consequence of the appropriations of the last session of Congress, for the security of our seaport to^vns and 
harbors, such works of defence nave been erected as seemed to be called for by the situation of the several places, 
their relative importance, and the scale of expense indicated by the amount of the appropriation. These works will 
chiefly be finished in the course of the present season, except at New York and New Orleans, where most was to 
be done; and although a great proportion of the last appropnation has been expended on the former place, yet some 
further views will be submitted to Congress for rendering its security entiiely adequate against naval enterprise. 
A view of what has been done at the several places, and of what is proposed to be done, shall be communicated as 
soon as the several reports are received. 

Of the |un boats authorized by the act of December last, it has been thought necessary to build only one hun- 
dred and three in the present year. These, with those before possessed, are sufficient for the harbors and waters 
most exposed, and the residue will require little time for their construction, when it shall be deemed necessary. 

Under the act of the last session, for raising an additional military force, so many ofl[icers were immediately ap- 
pointed as were necessary for carrying on the business of recruiting, and, in proportion as it advanced, others have 
been added. We have reason to believe their success lias been satisfactory, although such returns have not yet been 
received as enable me to present you a statement of the numbers engaged. 

I have not thought it necessary, in the course of the last season, to call for any general detachments of militia or 
of volunteers, under the laws passed for that purpose. For the ensuing season, however, they will be required to be 
in readiness, should their service be wanted. Some small and special detachments have been necessary to maintain 
the laws of embargo on that portion of our northern frontier which offered peculiar facilities for evasion, but these 
were replaced, as soon as it could be done, by bodies of new recruits. By tlie aid of these, and of the armed vessels 
called into service in other quarters, the spint of disobedience and abuse, which manifested itself early, and with 
sensible effect, wliile we were unprepared to meet it, has been considerably repressed. 

Considering the extraordinarv character of the times in wliich we live, our attention should unremittingly be fixed 
on the safetjr of our country. For a people who are free, and who mean to remain so, a well organized and armed 
militia is their best security. It is therefore incumbent on us, at every meeting, to revise the condition of the militia, 
and to ask ourselves if it is prepared to repel a powerful enemy at every point of our teiritories exposed to invasion. 
Some of the States have paid a laudable attention to this object, but every degree of neglect is to be found among 
others. Congress alone having the power to produce an uniform state of prepaiation in this great organ of defence, 
the interests wliich they so deeply feel in their own and their country's secunty, will present this as among the most 
impoi-tant objects of their deliberation. 

Under the acts of March eleventh and April twenty-third, respecting arms, the difficulty of procuring them from 
abroad, during the_present situation and dispositions of Europe, induceu us to direct our whole efforts to the means of 
internal supply. The public factories have therefore been enlarged, additional machineries erected, and, in propor- 


tion as artificers can be found or formed, their effect, already more than doubled, may be increased so as to keep 
pace with the yearly increase ot the militia. The annual sums appropriated by the latter act have been directed to the 
encouragement of private factories of arms, and contracts have been entered into with individual undertakers to near- 
ly the amount of the first year's appropriation. 

The suspension of our foreign commerce, produced by the injustice of the belligerent Powers, and the consequent 
losses and sacrifices of our citizens, are subjects of just concern. The situation into which we have thus been forced, 
has impelled us to apply a portion of our industry and capital fo internal manufactures and improvements. The ex- 
tent of this conversion is daily increasing, and little doubt remains that the establishments formed and forming, will 
under the auspices of cheaper materials and subsistence, the freedom of labor from taxation with us, and of protecting 
duties and prohibitions, become permanent. The commerce with the Indians, too, within our own boundaries, is 
likely to receive abundant aliment from the same internal source, and will secure to them peace and the progress of 
civilization, undisturbed by practices hostile to both. 

The accounts of the receipts and expenditures during tlie year ending on the thirtieth day of September last, 
being not yet made up, a correct statement will hereafter be transmitted from the ti-easury. In the mean time, it is 
ascertained that the receipts have amounted to near eighteen millions of dollars, which, with the eight millions and 
a half in the treasury at the beginning of the year, have enabled us, after meeting the current demands, and inter- 
est incurred, to pay two millions three hundred thousand dollars of the principal of our funded debt, and left us in 
the treasury, on that day, near fourteen millions of dollars. Of these, hve millions three hundred and fifty thou- 
sand dollars will be necessary to pay what will be due on the first day of Januaiy next, which will complete the 
reimbursement of the eight per cent, stock. These payments, with those made in the six years and a half preceding, 
will have extinguished thirty -three millions five hundred and eighty thousand dollars of the principal of the funded 
debt, being the whole which could be paid or purchased within the limits of the law and of our contracts: and the 
amount ol principal thus discharged will have liberated the revenue from about two millions of dollars of interest, 
and added that sum annually to the disposable surplus. The probable accumulation of the surplusses of revenue be- 
yond what can be applied to the payment of the public debt, whenever the freedom and safety of our commerce shall 
be restored, merits the consideration of Congress. Shall it lie unproductive in the public vaults? shall the reve- 
nue be reduced? or, shall it not rather be appropriated to the improvements of roads, canals, rivers, education, and 
other great foundations of prosperity and union, under the powers which Congress may already possess, or sucii 
amendment of the constitution as may be approved by the States? While uncertain of the course of things, the 
time may be advantageously employed in obtaining the powers necessary for a system of improvement, should that 
be thought best. 

Availing myself of this, the last occasion which will occur, of addressing the two Houses of Legislature at their 
meeting, I cannot omit the expression of my sincere gratitude for the repeated proofs of confidence manifested to me 
by themselves and their predecessors since my call to the administration, and the many indulgences experienced at 
their hands. The same grateful acknowledgments are due to my fellow-citizens generally, whose support has been 
my great encouragement under all embarrassments, '-■ *'— * '■' r ^i ■ , ■ t . f 

lents. In the transaction of their business I cannot have escaped 
But I may say with truth, my errors have been of the understanding. 

error. It is incident to our imperfect nature, .... , . o, 

not of intention, and that the advancement of their rights ancl interests has 6een the constant motive for every mea- 
sure. On these considerations I solicit their indulgence. Looking forward with anxiety to their future destinies, I 
trust, that, in their steady character, unshaken by difficulties, in their love of liberty, obedience to law, and support 
of the public authorities, I see a sure guarantee of the permanence of our republic; and retiring from the charge of 
their anairs, I carry with me the consolation of a firm persuasion that Heaven has in store for our beloved country, 
long ages to come of prosperity and happiness. 

November 8, 1808. 

11th Congress.] ^O. 28. 



Unwilling to depart from examples of the most revered authority, I avail myself of the occasion now presented, 
to express the profound impression made on me by the call of my country to the station, to the duties of which I am 
about to pledge myself, by the most solemn of sanctions. So distinguished a mark of confidence, proceeding from 
the deliberate and tranquil suffrage of a free and virtuous nation, would, under any circumstances, have commanded 
my gratitude and devotion, as well as filled me with an awful sense of the trust to be assumed. Under the various 
circumstances which give peculiar solemnity to the existing period, I feel that both the honor and the responsibility 
allotted to me are inexpressibly enhanced. 

The present situation of the world is indeed without a parallel; and that of our own country full of difficulties. The 
pressure of these two is the more severely felt, because they have fallen upon us at a moment when the national pros- 
penty being at a height not before attained, the conti-ast resulting from the change has been rendered the more strik- 
ing. Under the benign influence ot our republican institutions, and the maintenance of peace with all nations, 
whilst so many of them were engaged in bloody and wasteful wars, the fruits of a just policy were enjoyed in an 
unrivalled growth of our faculties and resources. Proofs of this were seen in the improvements of agriculture; in the 
successful enterprises of commerce; in the progress ot manufactures and useful arts; in the increase of the public 
revenue and the use made of it in reducing the public debt; and in the valuable works and establishments every where 
multiplying over the face of our land. 

It IS a precious reflection, that the transition from this prosperous condition of our countiy to the scene which has 
tor some time been distressing us, is not chargeable on any unwarrantable views, nor, as I trust, on any involuntary 
errors in the public councils. Indulging no passions which trespass on the rights or the repose of other nations, it 
has been the true glory of the United States to cultivate peace by observing justice, and to entitle themselves to the 
respect of the nations at war, by fulfilling their neutral obligations with the most scrupulous impartiality. If there 
be candor m the world, the truth of these assertions will not be questioned. Posterity at least will do justice to them. 
This unexceptionable course could not avail against the injustice and violence of the belligerent Powers. In theii- 
i-age against each other, or impelled by more direct motives, principles of retaliation have been introduced, equally 
contrary to universal reason and acknowledged law. How long their arbitrary edicts will be continued, in spite of 
the demonstration^, that not even a pretext lor them has been given by the United States, and of the fair and liberal 
attempt to induce a revocation of them, cannot be anticipated. Assuring myself that, under every \'icissitude, the 
determined spirit and united councils of the nation will be safeguards to its honor and its essential interests, I 
repair to the post assigned me with no other discouragement than what springs from my own inadequacy to its high 
duties. It 1 do not sink under the weight of this deep conviction, it is because I find some support in a conscious- 
ness ot the puiposes, and a confidence in the principles, which I bring with me into this arduous service. 

10 VOL. I. 


To cherish peace and friendly intercourse with all nations having correspondent dispositions; to maintain sincere 
neutrality towards belligerent nations; to prefer, in all cases, amicable discussions and reasonable accommodation of 
diflerences, to a decision of them by an appeal to arms; to exclude foreign intrigues and foreign partialities, so 
dcradin" to all countries and so baneful to free ones; to foster a spirit of independence, too just to invade the rights 
of others^too proud to surrender our own, too liberal to indulge unworthy prejudices ourselves, and too elevated not 
to look down upon them in others; to hold the union of the Stales as the basis of their peace and happiness; to sup- 
port the constitution, which is the cement of the Union, as well in its limitations as in its authorities; to respect the 
rights and authorities reserved to the States and to the People, as equally incorporated with, and essential to the suc- 
cess of, the general system; to avoid the slightest interference with the rights of conscience or the functions of reli- 
fion, so wisely exempted from civil jurisdiction; to preserve in their full energy the otlier salutary provisions in be- 
alf of private and personal rights, and of the freedom of the press; to observe economy in public expenditures; to 
liberate the public resources by an honorable discharge of the public debts; to keep within the requisite limits a stand- 
ing military force, always remembering that an armed and trained militia is the firmest bulwark of republics, that, 
without standing armies, their liberty can never be in danger, nor with large ones safe; to promote, by authorized 
means, improvements friendly to agriculture, to manufactures, and to external as well as internal commerce; to 
favor, in like manner, the advancement of science and the diffusion of information, as the best aliment to tnie liberty; 
to carry on the benevolent plans which have been so meritoriously applied to the conversion of our aboriginal neigh- 
bors from the degradation and wietchediiess of savage life to a participation of the improvements of which the 
human mind and manners are susceptible in a civilized state; — ^as far as sentiments and intentions such as these can 
aid the fulfilment of my duty, they will be a resource which cannot fail me. 

It is my good fortune, moreover, to have the path in which I am to tread lighted by examples of illustrious servi- 
ces. successtuUy rendered in the most trying difiiculties, by those who have marched before me. Of those of my im- 
mediate predecessor, it might least become me here to speak; I may, however, be pardoned for not suppressing the 
sympathy, \vith which my heart is full, in the rich reward he enjoys in the benedictions of a beloved country, grate- 
fully bestowed for exalted talents, zealously devoted, through a long career, to the advancement of its highest interest 
and happiness. But the source to which I look for tlie aids, wliich alone can supply my deficiencies, is in the well 
tried intelligence and virtue of ray fellow-citizens, and in the counsels of those representing them in the other depart- 
ments associated in the care of the national interests. In these, my confidence will, under every difficulty, be best 
placed, next to that which we have all been encouraged to feel in the guardianship and guidance of that Almighty Being, 
whose power regulates the destiny of nations, whose blessings have been so conspicuously dispensed to this rising 
republic, and to whom we are bound to address our devout gratitiide for the past, as well as our fervent supplica- 
tions and best hopes for the future. ,.„„ ,, ^^ , 


11th Congress.] No. 29. [1st Sessiom. 



Fellow-citizens of the Senate 

and of the House of Representatives: 

On this first occasion of meeting you, it affords me much satisfaction to be able to communicate the commence- 
ment of a favorable change in our foreign relations; the critical state of which induced a session of Congress at this 

In consequence of the provisions of the act interdicting commercial intercourse witli Great Britain and France, 
our ministers at London and Paris were, without delay, instructed to let it be understood by the French and British 
Governments, that the authority vested in the Executive, to renew commercial intercourse witli their respective 
nations, would be exercised in the case specified by that act. . . , ^ . . . ^ 

Soon after these instructions were despatched, it was found that the British Government, anticipatrng, from early 
proceedings of Congress, at their last session, the state of our laws which has had the effect of placing the two t)elli- 
gerent Powers on a footing of equal restrictions, and relying on the conciliatory disposition of the United States, iiad 
transmitted to their legation here provisional instructions, not only to offer satisfaction for the attack on the frigate 
Chesapeake, and to make known the determination of His Britannic Majesty to send an envoy extraordinary, with 
powers to conclude a treaty on all points between the two countnes, but, moreover, to signify his willingness, in 
the mean time, to withdraw his orders in council, in the persuasion that the intercourse with Great Britain would be 
renewed on the part of the United States. , . , ■ i , r 

These steps of the British Government led to the correspondence and the proclamation now laid betore you; by 
virtue of which the commerce between the two countries will be renewable after the tenth day of June next. 

Whilst I take pleasure in doing justice to the councils of His Britannic Majesty, which, no longer adhering to the 
policy which made an abandonment by France of her decrees, a prerequisite to a revocation of the British orders, 
have substituted tlie amicable course which has issued thus happily, I cannot do less than refer to the proposal here- 
tofore made on the part of tiie United States, embracing a like restoration of the suspended commerce, as a proof of 
the spirit of accommodation which has at no time been intermitted, and to the result which now calls for our congra- 
tulations, as corroborating the principles by which the public councils have been guided, during a penod of tlie most 
trying emban-assments. . , , • , > . 

The discontinuance of the British orders, as tliey respect the United States, having been thus arranged, a com- 
munication of the event has been forwarded, in one of our public vessels, to our minister plempotentiaiy at Pans, 
with instructions to avail himself of the important addition thereby made to the considerations which press on the 
justice of the French Government a revocation of its decrees, or such a modification of them as that they shall cease 
to violate the neutral commerce of the United States. 

The revision of our commercial laws, proper to adapt them to the arrangement which has taken place with Great 
Britain, will doubtless engage the early attention of Congress. It will be worthy, at the.same time, of then- just and 
provident care, to make such further alterations in the laws as will more especially protectand fpster the several bran- 
ches of manufacture, whicii liave been recently instituted or extended by the laudable exertions of our citizens. 

Under the existing aspect of our affairs, I have thought it not inconsistent with a just precaution, to have the gun 
boats, with the exception of those at New Orleans, placed in a situation incurnne no expense beyond that requisite 
for their preservation and conveniency for future service; and to have the crews of those at New Orleans reduced to 
the number required for their navigation and safety. , , , , , , 

I have thought, also, that our citizens, detached in quotas of militia, amounting to one hundred thousand, under 
tlie act of March, one thousand eight hundred and eight, might, not improperly, be relieved from the state m which 
they were held for immediate service. A discharge of them has been accordingly directed. 


The progress made in i-aising and organizing the additional military force, for which provision was made by the 
act of April, one thousand eight hundred and eight, together with the disposition of the troops, will appear by a re- 
port wliich the Secretary of War is preparing, and wiiicli will be laid before you. 

Of the additional frigates required, by an act of the last session, to be fitted tor actual service, two are m readi- 
ness, one nearly so, and the fourth is expected to be ready in the month of July. A report, which the Secretary of 
the Navy is preparing on the subject, to be laid before Congress, will show at the same time the progress made in 
officering ancl manning these ships. It will show also the degree in which the provisions of the act relating to the 
other public armed ships have been carried into execution. . 

It will rest with the judgment of Congress to decide how far the change in our external prospects may authorize 
any modifications of the laws relating to the army and navy establishments. . • ■ , r 

The works of defence for our sea-port towns and harbors have proceeded with as much activity as the season of 
the year and other circumstances would admit. It is necessary, however, to state, that the appropriations hitherto 
made, being found to be deficient, a further provision will claim the early consideration ot Longi-ess 

The whole of the eight percent stock remaining due by the United States, amounting to five millions three hun- 
dred thousand dollars, had been reimbursed on the last day of the year 1808. And on the farst day of April last, 
the sum in the treasury exceeded nine and a half millions ol' dollars. This, together wth the receipts ot the current 
year on account of former revenue bonds, will probably be nearly, if not altogether sufhcient to defray the expenses 
of the year. But the suspension of exports, and the consequent decrease ot impoi-tations, during the last twelve 
months, will necessarily cause, a great diminution in the receipts of the year one thousand eight hundred and ten. 
After that year, should our foreign relations be undisturbed, the revenue will again be more than commensurate to 
all the expenditures. . ., t c ^ ^ u ^i. ^ 

Aware of the inconveniences of a protracted session at the present season of the year, 1 forbear to call the atten 
tion of the Legislature to any matters not particularly urgent. It remains, therefore, only to assure you ot the fide- 
lity and alacrity with which I shall co-operate for the welfare and happiness of our country; and to pray that it may 
experience a continuance of the divine blessings, by which it has been so signally favored. MAniSON 

nth CoNGHESs.] • No. 30. [2d Session. 



Fellow-citizens of the Senate 

and of the House of Representatives: 
At the period of our last meeting, I had the satisfaction of communicating an adjustment with one of the princi- 
pal belligerent nations, highly important in itself, and still more so as presaging a more extended accommodation. 
ft is with deep concern I am now to inform you, that the favorable prospect has been overclouded, by a refusal ot 
the British Government to abide by the act of its minister plenipotentiary, and by its ensuing policy towards the 
United States, as seen through the communications of the minister sent to replace him. ... 

Whatever pleas may be urged for a disavowal of engagements formed by diplomatic functionanes, in cases where, 
by the terms of the engagements, a mutual ratification is reserved; Or where notice at the time may have been given, 
of a departure from instiuctions; or in extraordinary cases, essentially violating the principles ot equity; a disavowal 
could not have been apprehended in a case where no such notice or violation existed; where no such ratification 
was reserved; and more especially, where^ as is now in proof, an engagement, to be executed without any such rati- 
fication, was contemplated by the instructions given, and where it had, with good faith, been earned into immediate 
execution on the part of the United States. 

These considerations not having restrained the British Government from disavowing the arrangement, by virtue 
of which its orders in council were to be revoked, and the event authorizing the renewal of commercial intercourse 
having thus not taken place, it necessarily became a question of equal urgency and importance, whether the act pro- 
hibiting that intercourse was not to be considered as remaining in legal force. This question being, alter due delibe- 
ration, determined in the affirmative, a proclamation to that eftect was issued. It could not but happen, however, 
that a return to this state of things, from that which had followed an execution of the anan§ement by the United 
States, would involve difficulties. With a view to diminish these as much as possible, the insti-uctions from the 
Secretary of the Treasury, now laid before you, were transmitted to the Collectors ot the several norts. If, m per- 
mitting British vessels to depart, without giving bonds not to proceed to their own ports, it should appear tliat the 
tenor of legal authority has not been strictly pursued, it is to be ascribed to the anxious desire which was felt, that 
no individuals should be injured by so unforeseen an occurrence; and I rely on the regard ot Congress tor the equi- 
table interests of our own citizens, to adopt whatever further provisions may be found requisite for a general renus- 
sion of penalties involuntaiily incurred. ... 

The recall of the disavowed minister having been followed by the appointment of a successor, hopes were indulg- 
ed that the new mission would contribute to alleviate the disappointment which had been produced, and to remove 
the causes which had so long embarrassed the good understanding of the two nations. It could not be doubted, that 
it would at.least be charged with conciliatory explanations of the step which had been taken, and with proposals to 
be substituted for the rejected arrangement. Reasonable and universal as this expectation was, it also has not been 
fulfilled. From the first official disclosures of the new minister, it was found that he had received no authonty to 
enter into explanations relative to either branch of the arrangement disavowed, nor any authonty to substitute pro- 
posals as to that branch which concerned the British orders in council. And finally, that his proposals wntii 
respect to the other branch, the attack on the frigate Chesapeake, were founded on a presumption, repeatedly declar- 
ed to be inadmissible by the United States, that the first step towards adjustment was due from them; the proposals, 
at the same time, omitting even a reference to the officer answerable for the murderous a^ession, and asserting a 
claim not less contrary to the British laws, and British practice, than to the principles and obligations of the Umted 

The correspondence between the Department of State and this minister, will show how unessentially the features 
presented in its commencement have been varied in its progress. It will show also, that, forgetting the respect due 
to all governments, he did not refrain from imputations on tliis, which required that no further communications 
should be received from him. The necessity of this step will be made known to lus Bntannic Majesty through the 
minister plenipotentiary of the United States in London. And it would indicate a want of the confidence due to a 
government which so well understands and exacts what becomes foreign ministers near it, not to infer that the mis- 
conduct of its own representative \vill be viewed in the same light in which it has been regai-ded liere. 1 he British 
Government will learn, at the same time, tiiat a ready attention will be given to communications, through any chan- 
nel which may be substituted. It will be happy if the change in this respect should be accompanied by a favorable 
revision of the unfriendly policy, which has been so long pursued towards the United States. 


With France, the other belligerent, whose trespasses on our commercial rights have long been the subject of our 
just remonstrances, the posture of our relations does not correspond with the measures, taken on tlie part of the 
United States, to effect a favorable change. The result of the several communications made to her government, in 
pursuance of the authorities vested by Congress in the Executive, is contained in the correspondence of our minister 
at Paris, now laid before you. 

By some of the other belligerents, although professing just and amicable dispositions, injuries materially affecting 
our commerce have not been duly controlled or repressed. In these cases, the interpositions deemed proper on our 
part have not been omitted. But it well deserves the consideration of the Legislature, how far both tne safety and 
the honor of the American flag may be consulted, by adequate provisions against that collusive prostitution of it by 
individuals, unworthy of the American name, which has so much favored the real or pretended suspicions under 
which the honest commerce of their fellow-citizens has suffered. 

In relation to the Powers on the coast of Barbary, nothing has occurred which is not of a nature rather to inspire 
confidence than distrust, as to the continuance of the existing amity. With our Indian neighbors, the just and 
benevolent system continued towards them, has also preserved peace, and is more and more advancing habits favor- 
able to their civilization and happiness. 

From a statement which will be made by the Secretary of War, it will be seen that the fortifications on our mari- 
time frontier are in many of the ports completed, affording the defence which was contemplated; and that a further 
time will be required to render complete the works in the harbor of New York, and in some other places. By the 
enlargement of the works, and the employment of a greater number of hands at the public armories, the supply of 
small arms of an improving quality appears to be annually increasing, at a rate, that, with those made on private con- 
tract, may be expected to go far towards providing for the public exigency. 

The act of Congress providing for the equipment of our vessels ot war having been fully carried into execution, I 
refer to the statement of the Secretary of the Navy for the information which may be proper on that subject. To tliat 
statement is added a view of the transfers of appropriations, authorized by the act of the session preceding the last, 
and of the grounds on which the transfers were made. 

Whatever may be the course of your deliberations on the subject of our militaiy establishments, I should fail in 
my duty in not recommending to your serious attention the importance of giving to our militia, the great bulwark of 
our security and resource of our power, an organization the best adapted to eventual situations for which the United 
States ought to be prepai-ed. 

The sums which had been previously accumulated in the treasury, together with the receipts during the year 
ending on the 30th of September last, (and amounting to more than nine millions of dollars) have enabled us to fulfil 
all our engagements, and to defray the current expenses of government without recurring to any loan. But the in- 
security of our commerce, and the consequent diminution of the public revenue, will probably produce a deficiency 
in the receipts of the ensuing year, for which, and for other details, I refer to the statements which will be transmit- 
ted from the treasury. 

In the state which has been presented of our affairs with the great parties to a disastrous and protracted war, 
carried on in a mode equally injurious and unjust to the United States as a neutral nation, the wisdom of the national 
Legislature will be a^ain summoned to the important decision on the alternatives before them. That these will 
be met in a spirit worthy the councils of a nation, conscious both of its rectitude'and of its rights, and careful as well 
of its honor as of its peace, I have an entire confidence. And that the result will be stamped by a unanimity becom- 
ing the occasion, and be supported by every portion of our citizens, with a patriotism enlightened and invigorated by 
experience, ought as little to be doubted. 

In the midst of the wrongs and vexations experienced from external causes, there is much room for congi-atula- 
tion on the prosperity and happiness flowing from our situation at home. The blessing of health has never been 
more universal. The fruits of the seasons, though in particular articles and districts short of their usual redundancy, 
are more than sufficient for our wants and our comforts. The face of our country .every where presents the evidence of 
laudable enterprise, of expensive capital, and of durable improvement. In a cultivation of the materials, and the ex- 
tension of useful manufactures, more especially in the general application to household fabrics, we behold a rapid 
dimmution of our dependence on foreign supplies. Nor is it unworthy of reflection, that this revolution in our pur- 
suits and habits is in no slight degree a consequence of those impolitic and arbitrary edicts, by which the contending 
nations, in endeavoring each of them to obstruct our trade with the other, have so far abridged our means of procur- 
ing the productions and manufactures, of which our own are now taking the place. 

Recollecting always, that for every advantage which may contribute to distinguish our lot, from tliat to which others 
are doomed by the unhappy spirit of the times, we are indebted to that Divine Providence whose goodness has been 
so remarkably extended to this rising nation, it becomes us to cherish a devout gratitude, and to implore fi-om the 
same omnipotent source a blessing on the consultations and measures about to be undertaken for the welfare of our 
beloved country. 

November 29, 1809. 

llthCoNGRESs.1 ]^Q_ 3J_ [3d Session. 



Fellow-citizens of the Senate 

and of the House of Representatives: 
The embarrassments which have prevailed in our foreign relations, and so much employed the deliberations of 
Congress, make it a primary duty, in meeting you, to communicate whatever may have occurred in that branch of 
our national affairs. 

The act ot the last session of Congress, "concerning the commercial intercourse between the United States and 
Ureat Bntam and France, and their dependencies," having invited, in a new form, a termination of their edicts 
against our neutral commerce, copies of the act were immediately forwarded to our ministers at London and Paris, 
with a view that its object might be within the early attention of the French and British Governments. 

Jiy tlie communication received through our minister at Paris, it appeared, that a knowledge of the act by the 
l"rench Government, was followed by a declaration that the Beriin and Milan decrees- were revoked, and would 
cease to have effect on the hrst day of November ensuing. These being the only known edicts of France, within the 
description ot tlie act, and the revocation of them being such that they ceased, at that date, to violate our neutral 
vemw'^^' "* prescribed by law, was announced by a proclamation bearing date the second day of No- 

It would hav^e well accorded with the conciliatoi-y views, indicated by this proceeding, on the part of France, to 
nave extent ed them to all the grounds of just complaint, which now remain unadjusted with the United States. It 
was particularly anticipated that, as a further evidence of just dispositions towards them, restoration would have been 


immediately made of the property of our citizens seized under a misapplication of the principle of reprisals, com- 
bined with a misconstruction of a law of the United States. This expectation has not been fulfilled. 

From the British Government no communication on tiie subject of the act has been received. To a communica- 
tion from our minister at London- of the revocation, by the French Government, of its Berlin and Milan decrees, it 
was answered that the British system would be relinquished as soon as the repeal of the French decrees should have 
actually taken effect, and the commerce of neutral nations have been restored to the condition in which it stood pre- 
viously to the promulgation of those decrees. This pledge, although it does not necessarily import, does not exclude 
the intention of relinquishing, along with the orders in council, the practice of those novel blockades which have a 
like effect of interrupting our neutral commerce. And this further justice to the United States is the rather to be 
looked for, inasmuch as the blockades in question, being not more contrary to the established law of nations, than 
inconsistent with the rules of blockade formally recognised by Great Britain herself, could have no alleged basis, 
other than the plea of retaliation, alleged as the basis of the orders in council. Under the modification of the origi- 
nal orders of November, 1807, into the orders of April, 1809, there is indeed scarcely a nominal distinction between 
the orders and the blockades. One of those illegitimate blockades, bearing date in May, 1806, having been express- 
ly avowed to be still unrescinded, and to be, in effect, comprehended in the orders in council, was too distinctly 
brought within the purview of the act of Congress, not to be comprehended in the explanation of the requisites to a 
compliance with it The British Government was accordingly apprized by our minister near it, that such was the 
light in wliich the subject was to be regarded. 

On the other important subjects depending between the United States and that Government, no progress has been 
made, from which an early and satisfactory result can be relied on. 

In this new posture of our relations with those Powers, the consideration of Congress will be properly turned 
to a removal of doubts which may occur in the exposition, and of difficulties in the execution of the act above cited. 

The commerce of the United States with the north of Europe, heretofore much vexed by licentious cruisers, par- 
ticularly under the Danish flag, has latterly been visited with fresh and extensive depredations. The measures pur- 
sued in behalf of our injured citizens not havin^obtained justice for them, a further and more formal interposition 
wth the Danish Government is contemplated. The principles which have been maintained by that Government, in 
relation to neutral commerce, and the friendly professions of his Danish Majesty towards the United States, are va- 
luable pledges in favor of a successful issue. 

Among the events growing out of the state of the Spanish monarchy, our attention was imperiously attracted to 
the change, developing itself in tliat portion of West Florida, which, though of right appertaining to the United 
States, had remained in the possession of Spain, awaiting the result of negotiations for its actual delivery to them. 
The Spanish authority was subverted, and a situation produced, exposing the country to ulterior events, which might 
essentially affect the rights and welfare of the Union. In such a conjuncture, I did not delay the interposition re- 
quired for the occupancy of the territory west of the river Perdido; to which the title of the United States extends, 
and to which the laws, provided for the territory of Orleans, are applicable With this view, the proclamation, of 
which a copy is laid before you, was confided to the Governor of that territory, to be carried into effect. The 
legality and necessity of the course pursued, assure me of the favorable light in which it will present itself to the 
Legislature; and of the promptitude with which they will supply whatever provisions may be due to the essential rights 
and equitable interests of the people thus brought into the bosom of the American family. 

Our amity with the Powers of Barbary, with the exception of a recent occurrence at Tunis, of which an explana- 
tion is just received, appears to have been uninterrupted, and to have become more firmly established. 

With the Indian tribes, also, the peace and friendship of the United States are found to be so eligible, that the 
general disposition to preserve both, continues to gain strength. 

I feel particular satisfaction in remai-king, that an interior view of our country presents us with grateful proofs of 
its substantial and increasing prosperity. 1 o a thriving agriculture, and the improvements related to it, is added a 
highly interesting extension of useful manufactures — the combined product of professional occupations and of house- 
hold industry. Such, indeed, is the experience of economy, as well as of policy, in these substitutes for supplies 
heretofore obtained by foreign commerce, that, in a national view, the change is justly regarded as of itself more 
than a recompense for those privations and losses resulting from foreign injustice, which furnished the general impulse 
required for its accomplishment How far it may be expedient to guard the infancy of this improvement in the dis- 
ti-ibution of labor, by regulation of the commercial tariff, is a subject which cannot fail to suggest itself to your pa- 
triotic reflections. 

It will rest witli the consideration of Congi-ess, also, whether a provident, as well as fair encouragement, would 
not be given to our navigation, by such regulations as wll place it on a level of competition with foreign vessels, 
particularly in transporting the important and bulky productions of our own soil. The failure of equality and recipro- 
city in the existing regulations on this subject, operates, in our ports, as a premium to foreign competitors; and the 
inconvenience must increase, as these may be multiplied, under more favorable circumstances, by the more than coun- 
tervailing encouragements now given them, by the laws of their respective countries. 

_ Whilst it is universally admitted that a well instructed people alone can be permanently a free people; and whilst 
it IS evident that the means of diffusing and improving useful knowledge form so small a portion of the expenditures 
for nabonal purposes; I cannot presume it to be unseasonable, to invite your attention to tlie advantages of superadd - 
mg to the means of education provided by the several States, a seminary of learning, instituted by the National 
Legislature, within the limits of their exclusivejurisdiction; the expense of which might be defrayed, or reimbursed, 
out of the vacant grounds which have accrued to the nation within those limits. 

Such an institution, though local in its legal character, would be universal in its beneficial effects. By enlighten- 
ing the opinions; by expanding the patriotism; and by assimilating the principles, the sentiments, and tlie manners, 
of those who might resort to this temple of science, to be re-distributecf, in due time, through every part of the com- 
munity; sources of jealousy and prejudice would be diminished, the features of national character would be multi- 
plied, and greater extent given to social harmony. But above all, a well constituted seminary, in the centre of the 
nation, is recommended by the consideration, that the additional instruction emanating from it would contribute not 
less to strengthen the foundations, than to adorn the structure of our free and happy system of government. 

Among the commercial abuses still committed under the American flag, and leaving in force my former reference 
to that subject, it appeai-s that American citizens are instrumental in carrying on a traffic in enslaved Africans, equally 
in violation of the laws of humanity, i.nd in defiance of those of their own country. The same just and benevo- 
lent motives which produced the interdiction in force against this criminal conduct, will doubtless be felt by Congress, 
in devising further means of suppressing the evil. 

In the midst of uncertainties, necessarily connected with the gi-eat interests of the United States, pioidence re- 
T"Tvf ^ continuance of our defensive and precautionary arrangement The Secretary of War and Secretary of 
the Navy will submit the statements and estimates whicli may aid .Congress in their ensuing provisions for tlie land 
and naval forces. The statements of the latter will include a view of the transfers of appropriations in the naval 
expenditures, and the grounds on which they were made. 

. The fortifications for the defence of our maritime frontier have been prosecuted according to the plan laid down 
in 1808. The works, with some exceptions, are completed, and furnished with ordnance. "Those for the security 
of the city of New York, though far advanced towards completion, will require a further time and appropriation. 

^'/^ • ^^^® ^^'^ ^ ^^^ others, either not completed, or in need of repairs. 

1 he improvements, in quality and quantity, made in the manufacture of cannon, and of small anns, both at tlie 
public armories, and private factories, warrant additional confidence in the competency of these resources for sud- 
plying the public exigencies. . 

These preparations for anning the militia having thus far provided for one of the objects contemplated by the 
power vested in Congress, with respect to that great bulwark of the public safety, it is for tlieir consideration, whe- 
ther lurther provisions are not requisite for the otlier contemplated objects of organization and discipline. To give 
to this great mass of physical and moral force the efficiency wliich it merits and is'capable of receiving, it is indispen- 


sable that they should be instructed and practised in the rules by which they are to be governed. Towards an accom- 
plishment of this important work, Irecommend, for the consideration of Congress, the expediency of instituting a 
system, which shall, in the first instance, call into the field, at the public expense, and for a given time, certain por- 
tions of the commissioned and non-commissioned officers. The instruction and discipline thus acquired, would 
gradually diffuse through the entire body of the militia that practical knowledge and promptitude for active service, 
which are the great ends to be pursued. Experience has lett no doubt either of the necessity or of the efficacy of 
conipetent military skill, in those portions of an army, in fitting it for the final duties which it may have to perform. 

The corps of engineers, with the military academy, are entitled to the early attention of Congress. The build- 
ings at the seat, fixed by law, for the present academy, are so far in decay as not to afford the necessary accommo- 
dation. But a revision of the law is recommended, principally with a view to a more enlarged culnvation and 
diffusion of the advantages of such institutions, by providing professorships for all the necessary branches of military 
instruction, and by the establishment of an additional academy, at the seat of government or elsewhere. The 
means by which war, as well for defence as for ofl'ence, are now carried on, render these schools of the more scien- 
tific operations an indispensable part of every adequate system. Even among nations whose large standing armies 
and frequent wars afford every other opportunity of instruction, these establishments are found to be indispensable 
for the due attainment of the branches of military science wliich require a regular course of study and experiment. 
In a government, happily without the other opportunities, seminaries,' where the elementary principles of the art of 
war can be taught without actual war, and without the expense of extensive and standing armies, have the precious 
advantage of uniting an essential preparation against external danger, with a scrupulous regard to internal safety. 
In no other way, probably, can a provision, of equal efficacy for the public defence, be made at so little expense, or 
more consistently with the public liberty. 

• The receipts into the treasury during the year ending on the thirtieth of September last (and amounting to more 
than eight millions and a half of dollars) have exceeded the current expenses of the Government, including the 
interest on the public debt. For the purpose of reimbursing, at the end of the year, three millions seven hundred and 
fifty thousand dollars of the principal, a loan, as authorized by law, had been negotiated to that amount, but has since 
been reduced to two millions seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars; the reduction being permitted by the state 
of the trea;sury, in which there will be a balance remaining, at the end of the year, estimated at two millions of 
dollars. For the probable receipts of the next year, and other details, I refer to statements which will be transinit- 
ted from the treasury, and which will enable you to judge what further provisions may be necessary for the ensuing 

Reserving for future occasions, in the course of tlie session, whatever other communications may claim your 
attention, I close the present by expressing my reliance, under the blessing of Divine Providence, on the judgment 
and patriotism which will guide your measures, at a period particularly calling for united counsels and inflexible 
exertions for the welfare of our country, and by assuring you of the fidelity and alacrity witli which my co-operation 
will be afforded. 


Washington, December 5, 1810. 

12th CoNGREss.1 ]Vo. 32. [1st Session. 



Fellow-citizens of the Senate 

and of the House of Representatives: 

In calling you together, sooner than a separation from your homes would otherwise have been required, I yielded 
to considerations drawn from the posture of our foreign affairs; and in fixing the present, for the time of your meet- 
ing, regard was had to the probability of further developments of the policy of the belligerent Powers towards this 
country, which might the more unite the national councils in the measures to be pursued. 

At the close of the last session of Congress, it was hoped that the successive confirmations of the extinction of 
the French decrees, so far as they violated our neutral commerce, would have induced the Government of Great 
Britain to repeal its orders in council, and thereby authorize a removal of tlie existing obstructions to her commerce 
Avith the Umted States. 

Instead of this reasonable step towards satisfaction and friendship between tlie two nations, the orders were, at 
a moment when least to have been expected, put into more rigorous execution; and it was communicated through 
the British envoy just arrived, tliat, whilst the revocation of the edicts of France, as officially made known to the 
British Government, was denied to have taken place; it was an indispensable condition of the repeal of the British 
orders, that commerce should be restored to a footing that would admit the productions and manufactures of Great 
Britain, when owned by neutrals, into markets shut against them by her enemy: the United States being dven to 
understand that, in the meantime, a continuance of their non -importation act would lead to measures of retaliation. 

At a later date, it has indeed appeared, that a communication to the British Government, of fresh evidence of 
the repeal of the French decrees against our neutral trade, was followed by an intimation, that it had been trans- 
mitted to the British plenipotentiary here, in order that it might receive full consideration in the depending discus- 
sions. This communication appears not to have been received; but the transmission of it hither, instead of founding 
on it an actual repeal of the orders, or assurances that the repeal would ensue, will not permit us to rely on any 
effective change in the British cabinet. To be ready to meet with cordiality, satisfactory proofs of such a changCj and 
to proceed in the mean time in adapting our measures to the views wliich nave been disclosed through that minister, 
will best consult our whole duty. 

In the unfriendly spirit of those disclosures, indemnity and redress for other wrongs have continued to be with- 
held; and our coasts, and the mouths of our harbors, have again witnessed scenes not less derogatory to the dearest 
of our national rights, than vexatious to the regular course of our trade. 

Among the occurrences produced by the conduct of British ships of war hovering on our coasts, was an encounter 
between one of them and the American frigate commanded by Captain Rodgers, rendered unavoidable on the pai-t of 
the latter, by a fire, commenced without cause, by the former; whose commander is, therefore, alone chargeable with 
the blood unfortunately shed in maintaining the honor of the American flag. The proceedings of a court of inquiry, 
requested by Captain Rodgers, are communicated; together with the correspondence relating to the occurrence be- 
tween the Secretary of State and his Britannic Majesty's envoy. To these are added the several correspondences 
which have passed on the subject of the British orders in council; and to both, the coiTCspondence relating to the 
Floridas, in which Congress will be made acquainted with the interposition which the Government of Great Britain 
has thought proper to make against the proceeding of the United States. 


The justice and fairness which have been evinced on the part of the United States towards France, both before 
and since the revocation of her decrees, authorized an expectation that her Government would have followed up that 
measure by all such others as were due to our reasonable claims, as well as dictated by its amicable professions. 
No proof, however, is yet given of an intention to repair the other wrongs done to the United States; and particularly 
to restore the great amount of American property seized and condemned under edicts which, though not aftecting our 
neutral relations, and therefore not entering into questions between the United States and other belligerents, were 
nevertheless founded in such unjust principles that the reparation ought to have been prompt and ample. 

In addition to this and other demands of strict right on that nation, the United States have much reason to be 
dissatisfied with the rigorous and unexpected restrictions to which their trade with the French dominions has been 
subjected; and wliich, if not discontinued, will require at least corresponding restrictions on importations from 
France into the United States. . . t> ■ u • j -.u i • 

On all those subjects, our minister plenipotentiary, lately sent to Pans, has earned with him tlie necessary 
instructions; the result of which will be communicated to you, and by ascertaining the ultenor policy of the 
French Government towards the United States, will enable you to adapt to it that of the United States towards 

Ourother foreign relations remain without unfavorable changes. With Russia they are on the best footing of 
friendship. The ports of Sweden have aftbrded proofs of friendly dispositions towards our commerce, in the councils 
of that nation also. And the information irom our special minister to Denmark shows, that the mission had been 
attended with valuable effects to our citizens, whose property had been so extensively violated and endangered by 
cruisers under the Danish flag. , , ^^ .• -^ u i * .- wu -^ a ^ 

Under the ominous indications which commanded attention, it became a duty to exert the means committed to 
the Executive Department, in providing for the general security. The works of defence on our mantime frontier 
have accordingly been prosecuted with an activity leaving little to be added for the completion of the most impor- 
tant ones ; and, as particularly suited for co-operation in emergencies, a portion of the gun boats have, in particular 
harbors, been ordered into use. The ships ot war before in commission, with the addition of a frigate, have been 
chiefly employed as a cruising guard to the rights of our coast And such a disposition has been made of our land 
forces as vas tliought to promise the services most appropriate and important. In this disposition is included a force, 
consisting of regulars and militia, embodied in the Indiana territory, and marched towards our Northwestern fron- 
tier. Tms measure was made requisite by several murders and depredations committed by Indians, but more 
especially by the menacing preparations and aspect of a combination of them on the Wabash, under the influence 
and direction of a fanatic of the Shawnese tribe. With these exceptions, the Indian tribes retain their peaceable 
dispositions towards us, and their usual pursuits. 

I must now add, that the period is arrived which claims from the legislative guardians of the national rights a 
system of more ample proxisions for maintaining them. Notwithstanding the scrupulous justice, the protracted 
moderation, and the multiplied efforts, on the jpart of the United States, to substitute for the accumulating dangers 
to the peace of the two countries all the mutual advantages of re-established friendship and confidence, we have, seen 
that the British cabinet perseveres, not only in withholding a remedy for other wrongs so long and so loudly calling 
for it, but in the execution, brought home to the threshold of our territory, of measures which, under existing cir- 
cumstances, have the character, as well as the effect, of war on our lawful commerce. 

Witii this e\idence of hostile inflexibility, in trampling on rights which no independent nation can relinquish, 
Congress will feel the duty of putting the United States into an armor and an attitude demanded by the crisis, 
and corresponding with the national spirit and expectations. 

I recommend, accordingly, that adequate provision be made for filling the ranks and prolonging the enlistments 
of the regular troops; for an auxiliary force to be engaged for a more limited tenn; for the acceptance of volunteer 
corps, whose patriotic ardor may court a participation in urgent services; for detachments, as they may be wanted, 
of other portions of the militia; and for such a preparation of the great body as will proportion its usefulness to its 
intrinsic capacities. Nor can the occasion fail to remind you of the importance of those military seminaries, which, 
in every event, will form a valuable and frugal part of our military establishment. 

The manufacture of cannon and small arms has proceeded with due success; and the stock and resources of all 
the necessary munitions are adequate to emergencies. It wll not be inexpedient, however, for Congress to autho- 
rize an enlargement of them. 

Your attention will of course be drawn to such provisions on the subject of our naval force as may be required 
for the services to which it may be best adapted. I submit to Congress the seasonableness, also, of an authority to 
augment the stock of such materials as are imperishable in their nature, or may not at once be attainable. 

In contemplating the scenes which distinguish this momentous epoch, and estimating their claims to our attention, 
it is impossible to overlook those developing themselves among the great communities which occupy the Southern 
portion of our o\vn hemisphere, and extend into our neighborhood. An enlarged philanthropy, ana an enlightened 
forecast, concur in imposing on the national councils an obligation to take a deep interest in their destinies; to 
cherish reciprocal sentiments of good will: to regard the progress of events; and not to be unprepared for whatever 
order of things may be ultimately established. 

Under another aspect of our situation, the early attention of Congress will be due to the expediency of further 
guards against evasions and infractions of our commercial laws. The practice of smuggling, which is odious every 
where, and pai-ticularly criminal in free governments, where, the laws being made by all for the good of all, a fraud 
is committed on every individual as wellas on the State, attains it utmost guilt when it blends, with a pursuit of 
ignominious gain, a treacherous subserviency, in the transgressors, to a foreign policy adverse to that of their own 
country. It is then that the virtuous indignation of the public should be enabled to manifest itself through the 
regular animadversions of the most competent laws. 

To secure greater respect to our mercantile flag, and to the honest interests which it covers, it is expedient, also, 
that it be made punishable in our citizens to accept licences from foreign governments, for a trade unlawfully inter- 
dicted by them to other American citizens, or to trade under false colors or papers of any sort. 

A prohibition is equally called for, against the acceptance, by our citizens, of special licences, to be used in a 
trade with the United States; and against the admission into particular ports of the United States, of vessels from 
foreign countries, authorized to trade with particular ports only. 

Although other subjects will press more immediately on your deliberations, a portion of them cannot but be well 
bestowed on the just and sound policy of securing to our manufactures the success they have attained, and are still 
attaining in some degree, under the impulse of causes not permanent; and to our na^igation. the fair extent of which 
it is at present abridged, by the unequal regulations of foreign governments. 

Besides the reasonableness of saving our manufactures from sacrifices, which a change of circumstances might 
bring on tiiem, the national interest requiresj that, with respect to such articles, at least, as belong to our defence, 
and our primary wants, we should not be lett in unnecessary dependence on external supplies. And whilst foreign 
governments adhere to the existing discriminations in their ports against our navigation, and an equality or lesser dis- 
crimination is enjoyed by their navigation, in oiir ports, the effect cannot be mistaken, because it has been seriously 
felt by our shipping interests; and in proportion as this takes place, the advantages of an independent conveyance of 
our products to foreign markets, and of a growing body of mariners, trained by their occupations for the service of 
their country in times of danger, must be diminished. 

. The receipts into the treasury, during the year ending on the thirtieth of September last, have exceeded thirteen 
millions and a half of dollars, and have enabled, us to defray the current expenses, including the interest on the public 
debt, and to reimburse more than five millions of dollars of the principal, without recurring to the loan authorized 
by the act of the last session. The temporary loan obtained in the latter end of the year one thousand eight hun- 
dred and ten, has also been reimbursed, and is not included in that amount. 

The decrease, of revenue, arising from the situation of our commerce and the extraordinary expenses which have 
and may become necessary, must he taken into view, in making commensurate provisions for the ensuing year. 


And I recommend to your consideration, the propriety of ensuring a sufficiency of annual revenue, at least to defray 
the ordinary expenses of Government, and to pay the interest on the public debt, including that on new loans which 
may be autliorized. .... 

I cannot close this communication without expressing my deep sense of the crisis in which you are assembled; 
my confidence in a wise and honorable result to your deliberations; and assurances of the faithful zeal with which 
my co-operating duties will be discharged; invoking, at the same time, the blessing of Heaven on our beloved coun- 
try, and on fill the means that may be employed, in vindicating its rights and advancing its welfare. 


Washington, November 5, 1811. 

12th Congress.] No. 33. • [2d Session. 


communicated on WEDNESDAY, NOV. 4, 1812. 

Felloiv-citizens of the Senate 

and of the House of Representatives: . 

On our present meeting it is my first duty to invite your attention to the providential favors which our country 
has experienced, in the unusual degree of health dispensed to its inhabitants, and in the rich abundance with-^vliich the 
eartli has rewarded the labors bestowed on it. In the successful cultivation of other branches of industry, and in 
the progiess of general improvement favorable to the national prosperity, there is just occasion, also, for our mutual 
congratulations and thankfulness. ,...,., 

With these blessings are necessarily mingled the pressures and vicissitudes incident to the state of war into 
which the United States have been forced, by the perseverance of a foreign Power in its system of injustice and 
aggression. ^ • , ^ 

Previous to its declaration, it was deemed proper, as a measure oi precaution and forecast, that a considerable 
force should be placed in the Michigan territory, with a general view to its security, and, in the event of war, to 
such operations in the uppermost Canada as would intercept the hostile influence of Great Britain over the savages, 
obtain tlie command of the lake on which that part of Canada borders, and maintain co-operating relations with such 
forces as might be most conveniently employed against other parts. Brigadier General Hull was cliarged with this 
provisional service, having under his command a body of troops composed of regulars, and of volunteers from the 
State of Ohio. Having reached his destination, after his knowledge of the war, and possessing discretionary authority 
to act ofttjnsively, he passed into the neighboring territory of the enemy, with a prospect of easy and victorious 
progress. The expedition nevertheless terminated unfortunately, not only in a retreat to the town and fort of De- 
troit, but in the surrender of both, and of the gallant corps commanded by that officer. The causes of this painful 
reverse will be investigated by a military tribunal. 

A distinguishing feature in the operations which preceded and followed this adverse event, is the use made by the 
enemy of the inercfless savages under their influence. Whilst the benevolent policy of the United States invanably 
recommended peace, and promoted civilization among that wretched portion of the human race, and was making 
exertions to dissuade them trom taking either side in the war, the enemy has not scrupled to call to his aid their ruth- 
less ferocity, armed with the horrors of those instruments of carnage and torture, which' are known to spare neither 
age nor sex. In this outrage against the laws of honorable war, and against the feelings sacred to humanity, the 
British commanders cannot resort to a plea of retaliation: for it is committed in the face of our example. They can- 
not mitigate it by calling it a self defence against men in arms: for it embraces the most shocking butcheries of 
defenceless families. Nor can it be pretended that they are not answerable for the atrocities perpetrated; since the 
savages are employed with a knowledge, and even with menaces, that theii- fury could not be controlled. Such is 
the spectacle which the deputed authorities of a nation, boasting its religion and morality, have not been restrained 
from presenting to an enlightened age. ,.„. t m jl • i 

The misfortune at Detroit was not, however, wthout a consoling effect. It was lollowed by signal proofs, that 
the national spirit rises according to the pressure on it. The loss of an important post, and of the brave men surren- 
dered with it, inspired every where new ardor and determination. In the States and districts least remote, it was 
no sooner known, tiian every citizen was ready to fly with his arms, at once to protect his brethren against the blood - 
tliirsty savages let loose by tlie enemy on an extensive frontier, and to convert a partial calamity into a source of 
invigorated efforts. This patriotic zeal, which it was necessary rather to limit than excite, has embodied an ample force 
from the States of Kentucky and Ohio, and trom parts of Pennsylvania and Virginia. It is placed, with tlie addition 
of a few regulars, under the command of Brigadier General Harrison, who possesses the entire confidence of his 
fellow soldiers, among whom are citizens, some of them volunteers in the ranks, not less distinguished by their politi- 
cal stations than by their personal merits. The greater portion of this force is proceeding on its destination, towards 
the Michigan terntory, having succeeded in relieving an important frontier post, and in several incidental opera- 
tions against hostile tribes of savages, rendered indispensable by the subserviency into which they had been sediiced 
by the enemy — a seduction tiie more cruel, as it could not fail to impose a necessity of precautionary severities against 
those who yielded to it. ,,<-,,, 

At a recent date, an attack was made on a post of the enemy near Niagara, by a detachment of the regular and 
other forces under the command of Major General Van Rensselaer, of the militia ot the State of New York. The 
attack, it appears, was ordered in compliance with the ardor of the troops, who executed it with distinguished gal- 
antry, and were for a time victorious; but not receiving the expected support, they were compelled to yield to rein- 
forcements of British regulars and savages. Our loss has been considerable, and is deeply to be lamented. That of 
the enemy, less ascertained, will be the more felt, as it includes among the killed the commanding general, who was 
also the Governor of the province; and was sustained by veteran troops, from unexperienced soldiers, who must daily 
improve in the duties of the field. 

Our expectation of gaining the command of the lakes, by the invasion of Canada from Detroit, having been disap- 
pointed, measures were instantly taken to provide on them a naval force superior to that of the enemy. From the 
talents and activity of the officer charged with this object, every thing that can be done may be expected. Should 
the present season not admit of complete success, the progress made will ensure for the next a naval ascendancy, 
where it is essential to our permanent peace with, and confrol over the savages. 

Among the incidents to the measures of the war, I am constiained to advert to the refusal of the Governors of 
Massachusetts and Connecticut to furnish the required detachments of militia towards the defence of the maritime 
frontier. The refusal was founded on a novel and unfortunate exposition of the provisions of the constitution relat- 
ing to the militia. The correspondences which will be before you, contain the requisite information on the subject. 
It is obvious that, if the authority of the United States to call into service and command the militia for the public 
defence, can be tlius fi-ustrated, even in a state of declared war, and of course under apprehensions of invasion preced- 
ing war, they are not one nation for the purpose most of all requiring it; and that the public safety may have no other 
resource, than in those large and permanent military establishments, which are forbidden by the principles of our free 
government, and against the necessity of which the militia were meant to be a constitutional bulwark. 


On the coasts, and on the ocean, the war has been as Successful as circumstances inseparable from its early stages 
could promise. Our public ships and private cruisers, by their activity, and, where there was occasion, by their 
intrepidity, have made the enemy sensible of tlie difference between a reciprocity of captures, and the long confine- 
ment of them to their side. Our trade, with little exception, has safely reached our ports, having been much favored 
in it by the course pursued by a squadron of our frigates, under the command of Commodore Rodgers. And in 
the instance in which skill and bravery were more particularly tried with those of the enemy, the American flag had 
an auspicious triumph. The frigate Constitution, conimanded by Captain Hull, after a close and short engagement, 
completely disabled and captured a British frigate; gaining for that officer and all on board a praise which cannot be 
too liberally bestowed: not merely for the victory actually achieved, but for that prompt and cool exertion of com- 
manding talents, whicn, giving to courage its highest character, and to the force applied its full effect, proved that 
more could have been done in a contest requiring more. 

Anxious to abridge the evils from which a state of war cannot be exempt, I lost no time, after it was declared, in 
conveying to the Bntish Government the terms on which its progress might be arrested, without awaiting the delays 
of a formal and final pacification. And our charge d'affaires at London was, at the same time, authorized to agree 
to an armistice founded upon them. These terms required that the orders in council should be repealed as tiiey 
affected the United States, without a revival of blockacles violating acknowledged rules; and that there should be an 
immediate discharge of American seamen from British ships, and a stop to impressment from American ships, with 
an understanding that an exclusion of the seamen of each nation from the ships of the other, should be stipulated; and 
that the armistice should be improved into a definitive .and comprehensive adjustment of depending controversies. 
Although a repeal of the orders susceptible of explanations meeting the views of this government, had taken place 
before this pacific advance was communicated to that of Great Britain, the advance was declined, from an avowed 
repugnance to a suspension of the practice of impressments during the armistice, and without any intimation that the 
arrangement proposed with respect to seamen would be accepted. Whether the subsequent communications from 
this Government, affording an occasion for re-considering the subject, on the part of Great Britain, will be viewed in 
a more favorable light, or received in a more accommodating spirit, remains to be known. It would be unwise to 
relax our measures, in any respect, on a presumption of such a result. 

The documents from the Department of State, which relate to this subject, will give a view also of the proposi- 
tions for an armistice, . which have been received here, one of them from the authorities at Halifax and in Canada, 
the other from the British Government itself, through Admiral Warren, and of the grounds on which neither of them 
could be accepted. 

Our affairs with France retain the posture which they held at my last communications to you. Notwithstanding 
the authorized expectations of an early as well as favorable issue to the discussions on foot, these have been pro- 
crastinated to the latest date. The only intervening occurrence meriting attention, is the promulgation of a French 
decree, purporting to be a definitive repeal of the Berlin and Milan decrees. This proceeding, although made the 
ground of tlie repeal of the British orders in council, is rendered, by the time ana manner of it, liable to many 

The final communications from our special minister to Denmark, afford further proofs of the good effects of his 
mission and of the amicable disposition of the Danish Government. From Russia we have the satisfaction to receive 
assurances of continued friendship, and that it will not be affected by the rupture between the United States and 
Great Britain. Sweden also professes sentiments favorable to the subsisting harmony. 

With the Barbary Powers, excepting that of Algiers, our affairs remain on the ordinary footing. The consul 
general, residing vrith that regency, has suddenly and without cause been banished, together with all the American 
citizens found there. Whether this was the transitory effect of capricious despotism, or tlie first act of prede- 
termined hostility, is not ascertained. Precautions were taken by the consul on the latter supposition. 

The Indian tribes, not under foreign instigations, remain at peace, and receive the civilizing attentions which 
have proved so beneficial to them. 

With a view to that vigorous prosecution of the war to which our national faculties are adequate, the attention of 
Congress will be particularly drawn to the insufficiency of existing provisions for filling up the military establish- 
ment. Such is the happy condition of our country, arising from the facility of subsistence and the high wages for 
every species of occupation, that, notwithstanding the augmented inducements provided at the last session, a partial 
success only has attended the recruiting service. The deficiency has been necessarily supplied, during the cam- 
paign, by other than regular troops, with all the inconveniences and expense incident to them. The remedy lies in 
establishing, more favorably for the private soldier, the proportion between his recompense and the term of his 
enlistment. ' And it is a subject whicn cannot too soon or too seriously be taken into consideration. 

The same insufficiency has been experienced in the provisions for volunteers made by an act of the last session. 
The recompense for the service required in this case is stjll less attractive than in the other. And although patriot- 
ism alone has sent into the field some valuable corps of that description, those alone who can afford the sacrifice can 
be reasonably expected to yield to that impulse. 

It will merit consideration, also, whether, as auxiliary to the security of our frontiers, corps may not be advanta- 
geously organized, with a restriction of their services to particular districts convenient to them. And vv hether 
the local and occasional services of mariners, and others in the seaport towns, under a similar organization, would 
not be a provident addition to tlie means of their defence. 

I recommend a provision for an increase of the general officers of the army, the deficiency of which has been 
illustrated by the number and distance of separate commands, which the course of the war and the advantage of the 
service have required. 

And I cannot press too strongly on the earliest attention of the Legislature the importance of the reorganization 
of the staff establishment, with a view to render more distinct and definite the relations and responsibilities of its 
several departments. That there is room for improvements which will materially promote both economy and suc- 
cess, in what appertains to the army and the war, is equally inculcated by the examples of other countries, and by 
the experience of our own. 

A revision of the mijitia laws, for the purpose of rendering them more systematic, and better adapting tliem to 
emergencies of the war, is, at this time, particularly desirable. 

Of the additional ships authorized to be fitted for service, two will be shortly ready to sail; a third is under repaii-, 
and delay will be avoided in the repair of the residue. Of the appropriations for the purchase of materials for ship- 
building, the greater part has been applied to that object, and the purchase will be continued vvith the balance. 

The enterprising spirit which has characterised our naval force, and its success both in restraining insults and 
depredations on our coasts, and in reprisals on the enemy, will not fail to recommend an enlargement of it. 

There being reason to believe, that the act prohibiting the acceptance of British licences, is not a sufficient guard 
against the use of them, for purposes favorable to the interests and views of the enemy, further provisions on that 
subject are highly important. Nor is it less so, that penal enactments should be provided for cases of corrupt and 
perfidious intercourse with the enemy, not amounting to treason, nor yet embraced by any statutory provisions. 

A considerable number of American vessels, which were in England when tlie revocation of the orders in council 
took place, were laden with British manufactuws, under an erroneous impression that the non-importation act wouitl 
immediately cease to operate, and have arrived in the United States. It did not appear proper to exercise, on 
unforeseen cases of such magnitude, the ordinary powers vested in the Treasuiy Department to mitigate forfeitures, 
without previously affording to Congress, an opportunity of making on the subject such provision as they way think 
proper. In their decision they will doubtless equally consult what is due to equitable considerations and to the 
public interest. 

The receipts into the treasury, during the year ending on the 30th of September last, have exceeded sixteen 
pii'lions and a half of dollars, which have been sufficient to defray all the demands on the treasury to that day, 
including a necessary reimbursement of near three millions of the principal of the public debt. In these receipts is 
included a sum of near five millions eight hundred and fifty thousand dollars, received on account of the loans au- 


thorized by the acts of the last session; the whole sum actually obtained on loan amounts to eleven millions of dol- 
lars, the residue of which being receivable subsequent to the 30th of September last, will, together with the current 
revenue, enable us to defray all the expenses of this year. 

The duties on the late unexpected importations of British manufactures will render the revenue of the ensuing 
year more productive than could have been anticipated. 

The situation of our country, fellow-citizens, is not without its difficulties, though it abounds in animating con- 
siderations, of which the view here presented of our pecuniary resources is an example. With more than one 
nation we have serious and unsettled controversies; and with one, powerful in the means and habits of war, we are 
at war. The spirit and strength of the nation are, nevertheless, equal to the support of all its rights, and to carry it 
through all its trials. They can be met in that confidence. Above all, we nave the inestimable consolation of 
knowing that the war in which we are actually engaged, is a war neither of ambition nor of vain glory ; that it is waged, 
not in violation of the rights of others, but in the maintenance of our own; that it was preceded by a patience without 
example, under wrongs accumulating without end; and that it was finally not declared until every hope of averting 
it was extinguished, by the transfer of the British sceptre into new hands clinging to former counsels, and until 
declarations were reiterated to the last hour, through the British envoy here, that the hostile edicts against our com- 
mercial rights and our maritime independence would not be revoked; nay, that they could not be revoked, without 
violating tlie obligations of Great Britain to other Powers, as well as to her own interests. To have shrunk, under 
such circumstances, from manly resistance, would have been a degradation blasting our best and proudest hopes. It 
would have struck us from the high rank wliere the virtuous struggles of our fathers had placed us, and have betrayed 
the magnificent legacy which we hold in trust for future generations. It would have acknowledged that, on the 
element which forms three-fourths of the globe we inhabit, and where all independent nations have equal and com- 
mon rights, the American People were not an independent people, but colonists and vassals. It was at this moment, 
and with such an alternative, that war was chosen. The nation felt the necessity of it, and called for it. The 
appeal was accordingly made, in a just cause, to the just and all-powerful Being who holds in his hand the chain of 
events and the destiny of nations. It remains only, that, faithful to ourselves, entangled in no connexions with the 
views of other Powers, and ever ready to accept peace from tlie hand of justice, we prosecute the war with united 
counsels, and with the ample faculties of the nation, until peace be so obtained, and as the only means, under the 
divine blessing, of speedily obtaining it. 


Washington, Nov. 4, 1812. 

No. 34. 



About to add the solemnity of an oath to the obligations imposed by a second call to the station in which my 
country heretofore placed me, I find, in the presence of this respectable assembly, an opportunity ofpublicly repeat- 
ing my profound sense of so distinguished a confidence, and of the responsibility united with it. The impressions 
on me are strengthened by such an evidence, that my faithful endeavors to discharge my arduous duties have been 
favorably estimated, and by a consideration of the momentous period at which the trust has been renewed. From 
the weight and magnitude now belonging to it, I should be compelled to shrink, if I had less reliance on the support 
of an enlightened and generous people, and felt less deeply a conviction tliat the war with a powerful nation, which 
forms so prominent a feature in our situation, is stamped witli that justice which invites the smiles of Heaven on the 
means ofconducting it to a successful termination. 

May we not cherish this sentiment without presumption, when we reflect on the characters by which tliis war is 

It was not declared on the pai-t of the United States until it had been long made on them, in reality though not 
in name; until arguments and expostulations had been exhausted; until a positive declaration had been received, 
that the wrongs provoking it would not be discontinued; nor until this last appeal could no longer be delayed, with- 
out breaking down the spirit of the nation, destroying all confidence in itself and in its political institutions, and 
either perpetuating a state of disgraceful suffering, or regaining, by more costly sacrifices and more severe struggles, 
our lost rank and respect among independent Powers. 

On the issue of the war are staked our national sovereignty on the high seas, and the security of an important 
class of citizens, whose occupations give the proper value to those of every other class. Not to contend for such a 
stake, is to surrender our equality with other Powers on the element common to all; and to violate the sacred title 
which every member of the society has to its protection. I need not call into view the unlawfulness of the practice 
by which our mariners are forced, at the will of every cruising officer, from their own vessels into foreign ones; nor 
paint the outrages inseparable from it. The proofs are in the records of each successive administration of our 
Government; and the cruel sufferings of that portion of the American People have found tlieir way to every bosom 
not dead to the sympathies of huimn nature. 

As the war was just in its origin, and necessary and noble in its objects, we can reflect, with a proud satisfaction, 
that, in carrying it on, no principle of justice or honor, no usage of civilized nations, no precept of courtesy or 
humanity, haveljeen infringed. The war has been waged, on our part, with scrupulous regard to all these obliga- 
tions, and in a spirit of liberality which was never surpassed. 

How little has been the effect of this example on tlie conduct of the enemy! 

They have retained as prisoners of war citizens of the United States, not liable to be so considered under the 
usages of war. 

They have refused to consider as prisoners of war, and threatened to punish as traitors and deserters, persons, 
emigrating without restraint to the United States, incorporated by naturalization into our political family, and fight- 
ing under the authority of their adopted country, in open and honorable war, for the maintenance of its rights and 
safetv. Such is the avowed purpose of a government which is in the practice of naturalizing, by thousands, citizens 
of other countries, and not only of permitting but compelling tliem to fight its battles against their native country. 

They liave not, it is true, taken into their own hands the hatchet and the knife, devoted to indiscriminate mas- 
sacre; but they have let loose the savages, armed with these cruel instruments; have allured them into their service, 
and carried them to battle by their sides, eager to glut their savage thirst with the blood of the vanquished, and to 
finish iVie work of torture and death on maimed and defenceless captives. And, what was never before seen, British 
commanders have extorted victory over the unconquerable valor of our troops, by presenting to the sympathy of tlieir 
chief, awaiting massacre from their savage associates. 

And now we find them, in further contempt of the modes of honorable warfare, supplying the place of a conquer- 
ing force, by attempts to disorganise our political society — to dismember our confederated Republic. Happily, like 
others, these will recoil on the authors; but they mark the degenerate counsels from which they emanate; and if 
they did not belong to a series of unexampled inconsistencies, mi^ht excite tlie greater wonder, as proceeding from a 


government which founded the very war in which it has been so long engaged on a charge against the disorganising 
and insurrectional policy of its adversary. ,. , ^ . -x f n j 

To render the justice of the war on our part the more conspicuous, the reluctance to commence it was followed 
by the earliest and strongest manifestations of a disposition to arrest its progress. The sword was scarcely out of its 
scabbard, before the enemy was apprised of the reasonable terms on which it would be re-sheathed. Still more pre- 
cise advances were repeated, and have been received in a spirit forbidding every reliance not placed on the military 
resources of the nation. ^ ^ • ■ , ., 

These resources are amply sufficient to bnng the war to an honorable issue. Uur nation is in number more than 
half that of the British isles. It is composed of a brave, a free, a virtuous, and an intelligent people. Our country 
abounds in the necessaries, the arts, and the comforts of life. A general prosperity is visible in the public counte- 
nance. The means employed by the British cabinet to undermine it, have recoiled on themselves; have given to our 
national faculties a more rapid development; and, draining or diverting the precious metals from British circulation 
and British vaults, have poured them into those of the United States. It is a propitious consideration that an una- 
voidable war should have found this seasonable facility for the contributions required to support it. \yhen the public 
voice called for war, all knew, and still know, that without them it could not be carried on through the period which 
it might last; and the patriotism, the good sense, and the manly spirit of our fellow-citizens, are pledges for the 
cheerfulness with which they will bear each his share of the common burden. To render the war short, and its suc- 
cess sure, animated and systematic exertions alone are necessary; and the success of our arms now may long pre- 
serve our country from the necessity of another resort to them. Already have the gallant exploits of our naval heroes 
proved to the world our inherent capacity to maintain our rights on one element. If the reputation of our arms has 
been thrown under clouds on the other, presaging flashes of heroic enterpnse assure us that nothing is wanting to 
correspondent triumphs there also, but the discipUne and habits which are in daily progress. 


13th Congress.] No. 35. [ 1st Session. 



Fellow-citizens of the Senate 

and of the House of Representatives: 

At an early day after the close of the last session of Congress, an offer was formally communicated from his Im- 
perial Majesty the Emperor of Russia, of his mediation, as the common friend of the United States and Great Bri- 
tain, for the purpose of facilitating a peace between them. The high character of the Emperor Alexander being a 
satisfactory pledge for the sincerity and impartiality of liis offer, it was immediately accepted: and, as a further 
proof of the disposition, on the part of the United States, to meet their adversary in honorable experiments for 
terminating the war, it was determined to avoid intermediate delays, incident to the distance of the parties, by a defi- 
nitive provision for the contemplated negotiation. Three of our eminent citizens were accordingly commissioned, 
with the requisite powers to conclude a treaty of peace with persons clothed with like powers on the part of Great 
Britain. They are authorized, also, to enter into such conventional regulations of the commerce between tlie two 
countries, as may be mutually advantageous. The two envoys who were in tiie United States at the time of their 
appointment, have proceeded to join their colleague, already at St. Petersburg. 

The envoys have received another commission, authorizing them to conclude with Russia a treaty of commerce, 
with a view to strengthen the amicable relations, and improve the beneficial intercourse, between the two countries. 

The issue of this friendly interposition of the Russian Emperor, and this pacific manifestation on the part of the 
United States, time only can decide. That the sentiments of Great Britain towards that sovereign wdl have pro- 
duced an acceptance of his offered mediation, must be presumed. That no adequate motives exist to prefer a ran- 
tinuance of war with the United States, to the terms on which they are willing to close it, is certain. The 
British cabinet also must be sensible that, with respect to the important question of impressment, on which 
the war so essentially turns, a search for, or seizure of, British persons or property, on board neutral vessels, 
on the high seas, is not a belligerent right derived from the law of nations; and it is ob-vnous, that no visit 
or search, or use of force, for any purpose, on board the vessels of one independent Power, on the high seas, 
can, in war or peace, be sanctioned by the laws or authority of another Power. It is equally obvious that, for the 

Eurpose of preserving to each State its seafaring members, by excluding them from the vessels of the other, the mode 
eretofore proposed by the United States, and now enacted by them as an article of municipal policy, cannot for a 
moment be compared with the mode practised by Great Britain, without a conviction of its title to preference; inas- 
much as the latter leaves the discrimination between the mariners of the two nations, to officers exposed, by unavoid- 
able bias, as well as by a defect of evidence, to a wrong decision, under circumstances precluding, for tlie most part, 
the enforcement of controlling penalties, and where a wrong decision, besides the irreparable violation of the sacred 
rights of persons, might frustrate the plans and profits of entire voyages; whereas, the mode assumed by the United 
States, guards, with studied fairness and efficacy, against errors in such cases, and avoids tlie effect of casual errors 
on the safety of navigation, and the success of mercantile expeditions. i • f ici 

If the reasonableness of expectations, drawn from these considerations, could guaranty their fulhlment, a just 
peace would not be distant. But it becomes the wisdom of the National Legislature to keep in mind the true policy, 
or rather the indispensable obligation, of adapting its measures to the supposition, that the only course to that 
happy event, is in the vigorous employment of the resouicesof war. And, painful as the reflection is, this duty is 
particularly enforced by the spirit and manner in which the war continues to be waged by the enemy; \yho, umn- 
nuenced by the unvaried examples of humanity set them, are adding to the savage fury of it, on one frontier, a sys- 
tem of plunder and conflagration, on the other, equally forbidden by respect for national character, and by the es- 
tablished rules of civilized warfare. 

As an encouragement to persevering and invigorated exertions to bring the contest to a happy result, I have the 
satisfaction of being able to appeal to the auspicious progress of our arms, both by land and on the water. 

In continuation of the brilliant achievements of our infant navy, a signal triumph has been gained by Captain 
Lawrence and his companions, in the Hornet sloop of war, wliich destroyed a British sloop of war, witn a celenty 
so unexampled, and with a slaughter of the enemy so dispropoi-tionate to the loss in tlie Hornet, as to claim for the 
conquerors the highest praise, and the full recompense provided by Congress in preceding cases. Our public ships 
of war, in general, as well as the private armed vessels, have continued also their activity and success against the 
commerce of the enemy, and by their vigilance and address have greatly frustrated the efforts of the hostile squad- 
rons distributed along our coasts to intercept them returning into port, and resuming their cruises. 

The augmentation of our naval force, as authorized at the last session of Congress, is in progress. On the Lakes, 
our superiority is near at hand, where it is not already established. 


The events of the campaign, so far as they are known to us, furnish matter of congratulation, and shew that, 
under a wise organization and efficient direction, the army is destined to a glory not less brilliant than that which 
already encircles the navy. The attack and capture of York is, in that quarter, a presage of future and greater 
victories; while, on the western frontier, the issue of the late seige of Fort Meigs leaves us nothing to regret but a single 
act of inconsiderate valor. 

The provisions last made for filling the ranks and enlarging the staff of the anny, have had the best effects. It 
will be for the consideration of Congress, whether other provisions, depending on their authority, may not still fur- 
ther improve the military establishment and the means of defence. , 

The sudden death ot the distinguished citizen who represented the United States in France, without any special 
arrangements by him for such a contingency, has left us without the expected sequel to his last communications; nor 
has the French Government taken any measures for bringing the depending negotiations to a conclusion, through its 
representative in the United States. This failure adds to delays, before so unreasonably spun out. A successor to 
our deceased Minister has been appointed, and is ready to proceed on his mission; the course which he will pursue 
in fulfilling it, is that prescribed by a steady regard to the true interest of the United States, which equally avoids 
an abandonment of their just demands, and a connexion of their fortunes with the systems of other Powers. 

The receipts into the treasury, from the 1st of October to the 31st day of March last, including the sums 
received on account of treasury notes, and of the loans authorized by the acts of the last and the preceding sessions 
of Congress, have amounted to fifteen millions four hundred and twelve thousand dollars. The expenditures, during 
the same period, amounted to fifteen millions nine hundred and twenty thousand dollars, and left in the treasury, 
on the 1st of April, the sum of one million eight hundred and fifty-seven thousand dollars. The loan of sixteen 
millions of dollars, authorized by the act of the 8th of February last, has been contracted for. Of that sum, more 
than a million of dollars had been paid into the treasury, prior to the 1st of April, and formed a part of the receipts 
as above stated. The remainder of that loan, amounting to near fifteen millions of dollars, with the sum of five 
millions of dollars authorized to be issued in treasury notes, and the estimated receipts from the customs and the 
sales of public lands, amounting to nine millions three hundred thousand dollars, and making, in the whole, 
twenty-nine millions three hundred thousand dollars, to be received during the last nine months of the 
present year, will be necessary to meet the expenditures already authorized, and the engagements contracted 
in relation to the public debt. These engagements amount, during that period, to ten millions five hundred 
thousand dollars; which, with near one mdlion for the civil, miscellaneous, and diplomatic expenses, both 
foreign and domestic, and seventeen millions eight hundred thousand dollars for the military and naval expenditures, 
including the ships of war building and to be built, will leave a sum in the treasury, at the end of the present year, 
equal to that on the 1st of April last. A part of this sum may be considered as a resource for defraying any extraor- 
dinary expenses already authorized by law, beyond the sums above estimated; and a further resource, for any emer- 
gency, may be found in the sum of one million of dollars, the loan of which to tlie United States has been authorized 
by the State of Pennsylvania, but which has not yet been brought into effect. 

This view of our finances, whilst it shews that due provision has been made for the expenses of the current year, 
shews, at the same time, by the limited amount of the actual revenue, and the dependence on loans, the necessity of 
providing more adequately for the future supplies of the treasury. Tliis can be best done by a well digested system 
of internal revenue, in aid of existing sources; which will have the effect, both of abridging the amount of neces- 
sary loans, and, on that account, as well as by placing the public credit on a more satisfactory basis, of improving 
the terms on which loans may be obtained. The loan of sixteen millions was not contracted for at a less interest 
than about seven and a half per cent. And although other causes may have had an agency, it cannot be doubted, 
that, with the advantage of a more extended and less precarious revenue, a lower rate of interest might have sufficed. 
A longer postponement of this advantage could not fail to have a still greater influence on future loans. 

In recommending to the National Legislature this resort to additional taxes, I feel great satisfaction in the as- 
surance, that our constituents, who have already displayed so much zeal and firmness in the cause of their country, 
will cheerfully give any other proof of their patriotism which it calls for. Happily, no People, with local and tran- 
sitory exceptions, never to be wholly avoided, are more able than the People of the United States, to spare, for the 
public wants, a portion of their private means, whether regard be had to the ordinary profits of industry, or the ordi- 
nary price of subsistence in our country, compared with those in any other. And in no case could stronger reasons 
be telt for yielding the requisite contributions. By rendering the public resources certain, and commensurate to the 
public exigencies, the constituted authorities will be able to prosecute the war the more rapidly to its proper issue; 
every hostile hope, founded on a calculated failure of our resources, will be cut off; and by adding to tlie evidence of 
bravery and skill, in combats on the ocean and on the land, an alacrity in supplying the tieasure necessary to give fhem 
their fullest effect, and thus demonstrating to the world the public energy which our political institutions combine 
with the personal liberty distinguishing them, the best security will be provided against future enterprises on the 
rights or tne peace of the nation. 

The contest in which the United States are engaged, appeals for its support to every motive that can animate ;iii 
uncoiTupted and enlightened People; to the love of country; to the pride of liberty; to an emulation ot the glorious 
founders of their independence, by a successful vindication of its violated attributes; to the gratitude and sympall.y 
which demand security from the most degrading wrongs, of a class of citizens who have proved themselves so worthy 
the protection of country, tjy their lieroic zeal in its defence; and finally, to the sacred obligation of transmit- 
ting, entire, to future generations, that precious patrimony of national rights and independence, which is held in trust 
by the present, from the goodness of Divine Providence. . 

Being aware of the inconveniences to which a protracted session at tliis season would be liable. I limit the present 
communication to objects of primary importance. In special messages, which may ensue, regard will be had to the 
same consideration. 

Washington, May 25, 1813. 

13th Congress.] No. 36. [2d Session. 



J'ellow-citizens of the Senate 

and of the House of Representatives: 
In meeting you at the present interesting conjuncture, it would have been highly satisfactory if I could have com- 
municated a favorable result to the mission charged with negotiations for restoring peace. It was a just expectation 
from the respect due to the distinguished sovereign who had invited them by his orter ot mediation, Irom the readiness 
with which the invitation was accepted on the part of the United States, and from the pledge fq be found in an act of 
their Legislature, for the liberality which tlieir plenipotentiaries would carry into the negotiations, that no tinie 
would be lost by the British Government in embracing the experiment for hastening a stop to the effusion of blood. 
A prompt and cordial acceptance of the mediation on that side was the less to be doubted, as it was of a nature not 


to submit rights or pretensions on either side to the decision of an umpire, but to afford merely an opportunity, hon- 
orable and desirable to both, for discussing, and, if possible, adjusting them for the interest of both. 

The British cabinet, either mistaking our desire of peace for a dread flf Britisli power, or misled by other falla- 
cious calculations, has disappointed this reasonable anticipation. No communications from our envoys having reached 
us, no information on the subject has been received from that source. But it is known that the mediation was 
declined in the first instance, and there is no evidence, notwithstanding the lapse of time, that a change of disposi- 
ti(m in the British councils has taken place, or is to be expected. 

Under such circumstances, a nation proud of its rights, and conscious of its strength, has no choice but an exer- 
tion of the one in support of the other. 

To this determination, the best encouragement is derived from the success with which it has pleased the Al- 
mighty to bless our arms, both on the land and on the water. 

whilst proofs have been continued of the enterprise and skill of our cruisers, public and private, on the ocean, 
and a new trophy gained in the capture of a British by an American vessel of war, after an action giving celebrity 
to the name of the victorious commander; the great inland waters, on which the enemy were also to be encountered, 
have presented achievements of our naval arms, as brilliant in their character as they have been important in their 

On lake Erie, the squadron under command of Captain Perry, having met the British squadron, of superior force, 
a sanguinai-y conflict ended in the capture of the whole. The conduct of that officer, adroit as it was daring, and 
which was so well seconded by his comrades, justly entitles them to the admiration and gratitude of their country; 
and will fill an early page in its naval annals, with a victory never surpassed in lustre, however much it may have 
been in magnitude. 

On lake Ontario, the caution of the British commander, favored by contingencits, frustrated the efforts of the 
American commander to bring on a decisive action. Captain Chauncey was able, however, to establish an ascen- 
dancy on that important theatre; and to prov€, by the manner in which he effected every thing possible, that 
opportunities only were wanted for a more shining display of his own talents, and the gallantry of those under his 

The success on lake Erie having opened a passage to the territory of the enemy, the officer commanding the 
northwestern army transferred the war thither; and rapidly pursuing the hostile troops, fleeing with their savage 
associates, forced a general action, wliich quickly terminated in the capture of the British, and dispersion of the 
savage force. 

This result is signally honorable to Major General Harrison, by whose military talents it was prepared; to Col. 
Johnson and his mounted volunteers, whose impetuous onset gave a decisive blow to the ranks of the enemy; 
and to the spirit of the volunteer militia, equally brave and patriotic, who bore an interesting part in the scene; 
more especially to the cliief magistrate ot Kentucky at the head of them, whose heroism, signalized in the war which 
established the independence of his country, sought, at an advanced age, a share in hardships and battles, for main- 
taining its rights and its safety. 

The eflFect of these successes has been to rescue the inhabitants of Michigan from their oppressions, aggravated 
by gross infractions of the capitulation which subjected them to a foreign Power; to alienate the savages of numerous 
tribes from the enemy, by whom they were disappointed and abandoned ; and to relieve an extensive region of 
country from a merciless warfare, which desolated its frontiers, and imposed on its citizens the most harassing 

In consequence of our naval superiority on lake Ontario, and the opportunity afforded by it for concentrating 
our forces by water, operations, which had been provisionally planned, were set on foot against the possessions of 
the enemy on the St. Lawrence. Such, however, was the delay produced in the first instance by -.dverse weather, 
of unusual violence and continuance, and such tlie circumstances attending the final movements of the army, that 
tlie prospect, at one time so favorable, was not realized. 

The cruelty of the enemy, in enlisting the savages into a war with a nation desirous of mutual emulation in miti- 
gating its calamities, has not been confined to any one quarter. Wherever they could be turned against us, no 
exertions to effect it have been spared. On our soutliwestern border, the Creek tribes, who, yielding to our perse- 
vering endeavors, were gradually acquiring more civilized habits, became the unfortunate victims of seduction. A 
war in that quarter has been the consequence, infuriated by a bloody fanaticism recently propagated among them. 

It was necessary to crush such a war before it could spread among the contiguous tribes, and before it could 
favor enterprises of the enemy into that vicinity. With this view a force was called into the service of the United 
States from the States of Georgia and Tennessee, wliich, with the nearest regular troops, and other corps from the 
Mississippi Territory, might not only chastise the savages into present peace, but make a lasting impression on their 

The progress of the expedition, as far as is yet known, corresponds with the martial zeal with which it was 
espoused; and the besthopes of a satisfactory issue are authorized by the complete success with ^y}licha well planned 
enterprise was executed against a body of hostile savages, by a detachment of the volunteer militia of Tennessee, 
under the gallant command of General Coii'ee; and by a still more important victory over a larger body of them, 
gained under the immediate command of Major General Jackson, an officer equally distinguished for his patriotism 
and his military talents. 

The systematic perseverance of the enemy in courting the aid of the savages in all quarters, had the natural eftect 
of kindling their ordinary propensity to war into a passion, which, even among those best disposed towards the 
United States, was ready, it not employed on our side, to be turned against us. A departure from our protracted 
forbearance to accept the services tendered by them, has thus been forced upon us. But, in yielding to it, the 
retaliation has been mitigated as much as possible, both in its extent and in its character; stopping far short of the 
example of the enemy, who owe the advantages they have occasionally gained in battle, chietiy to the number of 
their savage associates, and who have not controlled them either from their usual practice of indiscriminate massa- 
cre on defenceless inhabitants, or from scenes of carnage without a parallel, on prisoners to the British arms, guard- 
ed by all the laws of humanity and of honorable war. For these enormities, the enemy are equally responsible, 
whether with the power to prevent them they want the will, or, with a knowledge of a want of po\ver, they still avail 
tJieinselves of such instruments. 

In other respects, the enemy are pursuing a course which threatens consequences most afflicting to humanity. 

A standing law of Great Britain naturalizes, as is well known, all aliens complying with conditions limited to a 
shorter period than those required by the United States: and naturalized subjects are, in war, employed by her 
government in common with native subjects. In a contiguous British province, regulations promulgated since the 
commencement of the war, compel citizens of the United States, being there under certain circumstances, to bear 
arms; whilst of the native emigrants from the United States, who compose much of the population of the province; 
a number have actually borne arms against the United States within their limits; some of whom, after liaving done 
80, have become prisoners of war, and are now in our possession. The British commander in that province, never- 
theless, witli the sanction, as appears, of his government, thought proper to select from American prisoners of wai-, 
and send to Great Britain for trial, as criminals, a number ot individuals who had emigrated from the British domi- 
nions long prior to the state of war between the two nations, who had incorporated themselves into our political society, 
in the modes recognized by the law and the practice of Great Britain, and who were made prisoners of war under 
tlie banners of their adopted country, fighting for its rights and its safety. 

The protection due to these citizens requiring an enectual interposition in their behalf, a like number of British 
prisoners of war were put into confinement, with a notification that they would experience whatever voilence might 
be committed on the American prisoners of war sent to Great Britain. 

It was hoped that tliis necessary consequence of the step unadvisedly taken on the part of Great Britain, would 

have led her government to reflect on the inconsistencies ot its conduct, and that a sympthy with the British, if not 
sufferers, would have arrested the cruel career opened by its example. 

with the American i 


This was unhappily not the case. In violation both of consistency and of humanity, American officers and non- 
commissioned officers, in double the number of the British soldiers confined here, were ordered into close confine- 
ment, with formal notice, that, in the event of a retaliation for the death wliich might be inflicted on the prisoners 
of war sent to Great Britain for trial, the officers so confined would be put to death also. It was notified, at the 
same time, that the commanders of the British fleets and armies on our coasts are instructed, in the same event, to 
proceed with a destructive severity against our towns and their inhabitants. 

That no doubt might be left with the enemy of our adherence to the retaliatory resort imposed upon us, a coiTes- 
pondent number of British officers, prisoners of war in our hands, were immediately put into close confinement, to 
abide the fate ot those confined by the enemy; and the British Government has been apprized of the determination 
of this government to retaliate any other proceedings against us contrary to the legitimate modes of w arfare. 

It is as fortunate for tlie United States that they have it in their power to meet the enemy in this deplorable con- 
test, as it is honorable to them that they do not join in it but under the most imperious obligations, and with the 
humane purpose of effectuating a return to the established usages of war. 

The views of the French Government on the subjects which have been so long committed to negotiation, have 
received no elucidation since the close of your late session. The minister plenipotentiary of the United States at 
Paris had not been enabled, by proper opportunities, to press the objects of liis mission, as prescribed by his 

The militia being always to be regarded as the great bulwark of defence and security for free States, and the 
constitution having wisely committea to the national authority a use of that force as the best provision against an 
unsafe military establishment, as well as a resource peculiarly adapted to a country having the extent and the expo- 
sure of the United States, I recommend to Congress a revision of the militia laws, for the purpose of securing more 
effectually the services of all detachments called into the employment and placed under the government of the 
United States. 

It will deserve the consideration of Congress, also, whether, among other improvements in the militia laws, jus- 
tice does not require a regulation, under due precautions, for defraying the expense incident to the first assembling 
as well as the subsequent movements of detachments called into the national service. 

To give to our vessels of war, public and private, the requisite advantage in their cruises, it is of much importance 
that they should have, both for themselves and their prizes, the use of the ports and markets of friendly Powers. 
With this view I recommend to Congress the expediency of such legal provision as may supply the defects, or remove 
the doubts of the Executive authority to allow to the cruisers of otlier Powers, at war with enemies of the United 
States, such use of the American ports as may correspond with the privileges allowed by such powers to American 

During the year ending on the 30th of September last, the receipts into the treasury have exceeded thirty-seven 
millions and a half of dollars, of which nearly twenty -four millions were the produce of loans. Alter meetingall the 
demands for the public service, there remained in tlie treasury, on that day, nearly seven millions of dollars. Under the 
authority contained in the act of the second of August last, for borrowing seven millions and a half of dollars, that 
sum has been obtained, on terms more favorable to the United States than those of the preceding loan made during 
the present year. Further sums, to a considerable amount will be necessary to be obtained in the same way during 
the ensuing year; and, from the increased capital of the country, from the fidelity with which the public engagements 
have been kept, and the public credit maintained, it may be expected on good grounds that the necessary pecuniary 
supplies will not be wanting. 

The expenses of the current year, from the multiplied operations falling within it, have necessarily been exten- 
sive. But, on a just estimate of the campaign, in which the mass of them has been incurred, the cost will not be 
found disproportionate to tlie advantages which have been gained. The campaign has, indeed, in its latter stages, 
in one quarter, been less favorable than was expected; but, in addition to the importance of our naval success, the 
progress of the campaign has been filled M'itli incidents highly honorable to the American arms. 

The attacks of the enemy on Craney Island, on Fort Meigs, on Sackett's Harbor, and on Sandusky, have been 
vigorously and successfully repulsed; nor have they in any case succeeded on either frontier, excepting when directed 
against the peaceable dwellings of individuals, or villages unprepared or undefended. 

On the other hand, the movements of the American army have been followed by the reduction of York, and of 
Forts George, Erie, and Maiden; by the recovery of Detroit, and the extinction of the Indian war in the west; and 
by the occupancy or command of a large portion of Upper Canada. Battles have also been fought on the borders of 
the St. Lawrence, which, though not accomplishing their entire objects, reflect honor on the discipline and prowess 
of our soldiei-y, the best auguries of eventual victoiy. In the same scale are to be placed the late successes in the 
south, over one of the most powerful, which had become one ot the most hostile also, of the Indian tribes. 

It would be improper to close this communication without expressing a thankfulness, in which all ought to unite, 
for the numerous blessings with which our beloved country continues to be favored; for the abundance which over- 
spreads our land, and the prevailing health of its inhabitants; for the presers'ation of our internal tranquillity, and the 
stability of our free institutions; and, above all, for the light of divine truth, and the protection of eveiy man's con- 
science in the enjoyment of it And although among our blessings we cannot number an exemption from the evils 
of war, yet these will never be regarded as the greatest of evils, by the friends of liberty and of the rights of nations. 
Our country has before preferred them to the degraded condition which was the alternative, when the sword was 
drawn in the cause which gave birth to our national independence; and none who contemplate the magnitude, and 
feel the value of that glorious event, will shrink from a struggle to maintain the high and happy ground on wluch it 
placed the American People. 

With all good citizens, the justice and necessity of resisting \vrongs and usurpations, no longer to be borne, will 
sufficiently outweigh the privations and sacrifices inseparable from a state of war. But it is a reflection, moreover, 
peculiarly consoling, that, whilst wars are generally aggravated by their baneful effects on the internal improvements 
and permanent prosperity of the nations engaged in them, such is the favored situation of the United States, that the 
calamities of the contest into which they have been compelled to enter, are mitigated by improvements and advanta- 
ges of which the contest itself is the source. 

If the war has increased the interruptions of our commerce, it has at the same time cherished and multiplied our 
manufactures, so as to make us independent of all other countries for tiie more essential branches, for which we ought 
to be dependent on none; and is even rapidly giving them an extent, which will create additional staples in our future 
intercourse with foreign markets. j 1 1 • u • 

If much treasure has been expended, no inconsiderable portion of it has been applied to objects durable in their 
value, and necessary to our permanent safety. i i i ■ u 

If the war has exposed us to increased spoliations on the ocean, and to predatory incursions on the land, it has 
developed the national means of retaliating the former, and of providing protection against the latter; demonstrating 
to all, that every blow aimed at our maritime independence is an impulse accelerating the growth of our maritime 

By diffusing through the mass of the nation the elements of military discipline and instructions by augmenting and 
distributing warlike preparations, applicable to future use; by evincing the zeal and valor with which they wili be em- 
ployed, and the cheerfulness with which every necessary burden will be borne; a greater respect for our rights, and a 
longer duration of our future peace, are promised, than could be expected without these proofs of the national 
character and resources. 

The war has proved, moreover, tiiat our free government, like other free governments, though slow in its eai-ly 
movements, acquires in its progress a force proportioned to its freedom; and that the union of these States, the guar- 
dian of the freedom and safety of all and of each, is strengthened by every occasion that puts it to the test. 

In fine, the war, with all its vicissitudes, is illustrating the capacity and the destiny of the United States to be a 
great, a flourishing, and a powerful nation, worthy of the friendship which it is disposed to cultivate with all otliers; 


and authorized^ by its own example, to require from all an observance of the laws of justice and reciprocity. Beyond 
these, their claims have never extended^ and, in contending for these, we behold a subject for our congratulations in 
the daily testimonies of increasing harmony throughout the nation, and may humbly repose our trust in the smiles of 
Heaven on so righteous a cause. 

Washington, i5ec€w6er 7, 1813. 

13th Congress.] No. 37. [3d Session. 



Fellow-citizens of the Senate 

and of the House of Representatives: 

Notwithstanding the early day which had been fixed for your session of the present year, I was induced to 
call you togetlier still sooner, as well that any inadequacy in the existing provisions for the wants of the treasury 
might be supplied, as that no delay might happen in providing for the result of the negotiations on foot with Great 
Bntain, whether it should require arrangements adapted to a return of peace, or further and more effective provi- 
sions for prosecuting the war. 

That result is not yet known. If, on one hand, the repeal of the orders in council, and the general pacification 
in Europe, which withdrew the occasion on which impressments from American vessels were practised, suggest 
expectations that peace and amity may be re-established; we are compelled, on the other hand, by the refusal of the 
British Government to accept the oftered mediation of the Emperor of Russia; by the delays in giving effect to its 
own proposal of a direct negotiation: and, above all, by the principles and manner in which the war is now avowedly 
carried on, to infer that a spirit of hostility is indulged, more violent than ever, against the rights and prosperity of 
this country. 

This increased violence is best explained by the two important circumstances, that the great contest in Europe 
for an equilibrium guarantying all its States against the ambition of any, has been closed without any check on the 
overbearing power of Great Britain on the ocean; and that it has left in her hands disposable armaments, with which, 
forgetting the difficulties of a remote war against a free people, and yielding to the intoxication of success, wth the 
example of a great victim to it before her eyes, she cherishes hopes of still further aggrandizing a power, already 
formidable in its abuses to the tranquillity ot the civilized and commercial world. 

But, whatever may have inspired the enemy with these more violent purposes, the public councils of a nation, 
more able to maintain than it was to acquire its independence, and with a devotion to it rendered more ardent by 
the experience of its blessings, can never deliberate but on the means most effectual for defeating the extravagant 
views or unwaiTantable passions, with which alone the war can now be pursued against us. 

In the events of the present campaign, the enemy, with all his augmented means, and wanton use of them, has 
little ground for exultation, unless he can fed it in the success of his recent enterprises against this metropolis and 
the neighboring town of Alexandria; from both of which his retreats were as precipitate as his attempts were bold 
and fortunate. In lus other incursions on our Atlantic frontier, his progress, often checked and chastised by the 
martial spirit of the neighboring citizens, has had more effect in distressing individuals, and in dishonoring his arms, 
than in promoting any object of legitimate warfare. And in the two instances mentioned, however deeply to be 
regretted on our part, he will find in his transient success, which interrupted for a moment only the ordinary public 
business at the seat of government, no compensation for the loss of character with the world, by his violations of 
private property, and by his destruction of public edifices, protected, as monuments of the arts by the laws of 
civilised warfare. 

On our side we can appeal to a series of achievements, which have given new lustre to the American arms. 
Besides the brilliant incidents in the minor operations of the cainpaign, the splendid victories gained on the Cana- 
dian side of the Niagara, by the American forces under Major General Brown and Brigadiers Scott and Gaines, 
have gained for these heroes, and their emulating companions, the most unfading laurels; and, having triumphantly 
tested the progressive discipline of the American soldiery, have taught the enemy that the longer he protracts his 
hostile efforts, the more certain and decisive will be his final discomfiture. 

On our southern border, victory has continued also to follow the American standard. The bold and skilful 
operations of Major General Jackson, conducting troops drawn from the militia of the States least distant, pai-ticu- 
larly of Tennessee, have subdued the principal tribes of hostile savages, and, by establishing a peace witn them, 
preceded by recent and exemplary chastisement, has best guarded against the mischief of their co-operation with the 
British enterprises which may be planned against that quarter of our country. Important tiibes of Indians on our 
northwestern frontier have also acceded to stipulations which bind them to the interests of tlie United States, and to 
consider our enemy as theirs also. 

In the recent attempt of the enemy on the city of Baltimore, defended by militia and volunteers, aided by a small 
body of regulars and seamen, he was received with a spirit which produced a rapid retreat to his ships; v hilst a 
concurrent attack by a large fleet was successfully resisted by the steady and well-directed fire of the fort and 
batteries opposed to it. 

In another recent attack, by a powerful force, on our troops at Plattsburg, of which regulars made a part only, 
the enemy, after a perseverance for many hours, was finally compelled to seek safety in a hasty retreat, with our 
gallant bands pressing upon him. 

On the lakes, so much contested throughout the wai-, the great exertions for the command, made on our part, 
have been well repaid. On lake Ontario our squadron is now, and has been for some time, in a condition to confine 
that of the enemy to his own port, and to favor the operations of our land forces on that frontier. 

A pai-t of the squadron on lake Erie has been extended into lake Huron, and has produced the advantage of dis- 
playing our command on that lake also. One object of the expedition was the reduction of Mackinaw, which failed 
with, the loss of a few brave men, among whom was an officer justly distinguished for his gallant exploits. The 
expedition, ably conducted by both the land and the naval commanders, was otherwise highly valuable in its 

On lake Champlain, where our superiority had for some time been undisputed, the British squadron lately came 
into action with the American, commanded by Captain Macdonough. It issued in the capture of the yvhole of the 
enemy's ships. The best praise for this officer and his intrepid comrades is in the likeness of his triumph to the 
illustrious victory which immortalised another officer; and established, at a critical moment, our command of 
another lake. 

On the ocean, the pride of our naval arms has been amply supported. A second frigate has indeed fallen into 
the hands of the enemy, but the loss is hidden in the blaze of neroism with which she was defended. Captain 
Porter, who commanded her, and whose previous career had been distinguished by daring enterprise and by fertility 
of genius, maintained a sanguinary contest against two ships, one of them superior to his own, and under other 


severe disadvantages, till humanity tore down the colors which valor had nailed to the mast. This officer and his 
brave comrades have added much to the rising glory of the American flag, and have merited all the eifiisions of 
gratitude which their country is ever ready to bestow on the champions ot its rights and of its safety. 

Two smaller vessels of war have also become prizes to the enemy, but by a superiority of force which sufficiently 
vindicates the reputation of their commanders; whilst two others, one commanded by Captain Warrington, the 
other by Captain Blakeley, have captured Britisii ships of the same class, with a gallanti-y and good conduct which 
entitle them and their companions to a just share in the praise of their country. 

In spite of the naval force of tlie enemj, accumulated on our coasts, our private cruisers also have not ceased to 
annoy his commerce, and to bring their nch prizes into our ports; contributing thus, with other proofs, to demon- 
strate the incompetency and iUegalitv of a blockade, the proclamation of wliich is made the pretext for vexing and 
discouraging the commerce of neutral Powers with the United States. 

To meet the extended and diversified warfare adopted by the enemy, great bodies of militia have been taken 
into service for the public defence, and great expenses incurred. That the defence every where may be both more 
convenient and more economical. Congress will see the necessity of immediate measures for filling the ranks of the 
regular army, and of enlarging tlie provision for special corps, mounted and unmounted, to be engaged for longer 
periods of service than are due from the militia. I earnestly renew, at the same time, a recommendation of such 
changes in the system of the militia, as, by classing and disciplining for the most prompt and active service the 
portions most capable of it, will give to that great resource for the public safety, all the requisite energy and 

The moneys received into the treasury during the nine months ending on the thirtieth day of June last, amounted 
to thirty -two millions of dollars, of which near eleven millions were the proceeds of the public revenue, and the 
remainder derived from loans. The disbursements for public expenditures during the same period exceeded thirty- 
four millions of dollars, and left in the treasury, on the first day of July, near five millions of dollars. The 
demands during the remainder of the present year, already authonzed by "Congress, and the expenses incident to 
an extension of the operations of the war, will render it necessary that large sums should be provided to meet 

From this view of the national affairs. Congress will be urged to take up, without delay, as well the subject of 
pecuniary supplies as that of military force, and on a scale commensurate with the extent and the character which 
the war has assumed. It is not to be disguised, that the situation of our country calls for its greatest efforts. Our 
enemy is powerful in men and in money; on the land and on the water. Availing himself of fortuitous advantages, 
he is aiming, with his undivided force, a deadly blow at our growing prosperity, perhaps at our national existence. 
He has avowed liis purpose of trampling on the usages of civilized warfare, and given earnests of it in the plunder 
and wanton destruction of private property. In lus pride of maritime dominion, and in his thirst of commercial 
monopoly, he strikes with peculiar animosity at the progress of our navig^ition and of our nianufactures. His barbarous 
policy has not even spared those monuments of the arts and models ot taste, with which our country had enriched 
and embellished its infant metropolis. From such an adversary, hostility in its greatest force, and in its worst 
forms, may be looked for. The American People will face it with the undaunted spirit which, in their Revolutionary 
struggle, defeated his unrighteous projects. His threats and his barbarities, instead of dismay, will kindle in every 
bosom an indignation not to be extinguished but in the disaster and expulsion of such cruel invaders. In providing 
the means necessary, the National Legislature will not distrust the heroic and enlightened patriotism of its consti- 
tuents. They will cheerfully and proudly bear every burden of every kind, which the safety and honor of the 
nation demand. We have seen them every where paying their taxes, direct and indirect, with the greatest prompt- 
ness and alacrity. We see them rushing with enthusiasm to the scenes where danger and duty call. In oftenng 
their blood, they give the surest pledge that no other tribute will be withheld. 

Having forborne to declaie war until to other aggressions had been added the capture of nearly a thousand Ame- 
rican vessels, and the impressment of thousands of American seafaring citizens, and until a final declaration had 
been made by the Government of Great Britian, that her hostile orders against our commerce would not be revoked, 
but on conditions as impossible as unjust; whilst it was known that these orders would not otherwise cease but with 
a war which had lasted nearly twenty years, and wliich, according to appearances at that time, might last as many 
more; having manifested, on every occasion, and in eveiy proper mode, a sincere desire to arrest the effusion of 
blood, and meet our enemy on the ground of justice and reconciliation; our beloved country, in still opposing to his 
persevering hostility, all its energies, with an undiminished disposition towards peace and friendship on honorable 
terms, must carry with it the good wishes of tlie impartial world, and the best hopes of support from an omnipotent 
and kind Providence. 


Washington, September 20, 1814. 




1st Congress.] • • No. 38. [1st Session. 


Message from the President relative to the Consular Convention unth France. 

Gentlemen of the Senate: 

A convention between His Most Christian Majesty and the United States, for the purposes of determining and 
fixing the functions and prerogatives of their respective consuls, vice consuls, agents, and commissaries, was 
signed by their respective plenipotentiaries on the 29th of July, 1784. 

It appearing to the late Congress that certain alterations in that convention ought to be made, they instructed 
their minister at the court of France to endeavor to obtain them. It has accordingly been altered in several 
respects, and, as amended, was signed by the plenipotentiaries of tlie contracting Powers, on the 14th of Novem- 
ber^ 1788. 

The 16th article provides that it shall be in force during the term of twelve years, to be counted from the day of 
the excliange of ratifications, which shall be given in proper form, and exchanged on both sides wthin the space of 
one year, or sooner if possible. 

I now lay before you the original, by the hands of Mr.Jay, for your consideration and advice. The papers 
relative to this negotiation are in his custody, and he has my orders to communicate to you wliatever oflBcial papers 
and information on the subject he may possess, and you may require. 


President United States. 

New York, /wne llM, 1789. 

1st Congress.] ]Vo. 30. [ 1st Session-. 


Report of the Secretary of Foreign Jiffairs on the Consular Convention uith France. — Commiinicaied to the Senate 

Jidy 27, 1789. 

Office for Foreign Affairs. Z5th July, 1789. 

The Secretary of the United States for the Department of Foreign Affairs, under tlie former Congress, in pursu- 
ance of the following resolution, viz; 

"In Senate, 2ind July, 1789. 
"Whereas a convention referred this day to the Senate, bears reference to a convention pending between the 
-^*ost Christian King and the United States, previous to the adoption of our present constitution: 

Resolved, That the Secretary of Foreign Atfairs under the former Congress be requested to peruse the said 
convention, and to give his opinion how far he conceives the faith of the United States to be engaged, either by 
former agreed stipulations or negotiations entered into by our minister at the court of Versailles, to ratify in its 
present sense or form the convention now referred to the Senate"— Reports: 
12 vou I. 


That he has compared the two conventions of 1784 and 1788; that the copies of them received from Mr. Jeffer- 
son, and now before the Senate, are so printed, and then- variations so clearly marked, as that he cannot contrast 
them in a manner better calculated for an easy and accurate comparison. 

That, in his opinion, there exist in the convention of 1788 no variations from the original scheme sent to Doctor 
Franklin in 1782, nor from the convention of 1784, but such as render it less ineligible tlian either of the other two. 

That, although he apprehends that this convention will prove more inconvenient than beneficial to the United 
States, yet he thinks that the circumstances under which it was formed, render its bemg ratified by them indis- 

The circumstances alluded to are these: 

The original scheme of 1782, however exceptionable, was framed and agreed to by Cong 

The convention of 1784 was modelled by that scheme, but, in certain instances, deviat 
them were to be perpetual in their duration. 

On account of those deviations, Congress refused to ratify it, but promised to ratify one corresponding with the 
scheme, provided its duration was limited to eight or ten years; but they, afterwards, extended it to twelve. 

By an instruction to Mr. Jefferson, of 3d October, 1786, he was, among other things, directed to propose to the 
King, " Tliat the said convention be so amended as perfectly to correspond with the scheme, in eveiy part, where a 
deviation from the same is not permitted by the said act of 1782; and, further, that he represent to his Majesty the 
desire of Congress to make the said Convention probationary, by adding a clause, for limiting its duration to eight or 
ten years. Inat he assure his Majesty of the determination of Congress to obsei-ve, on aU occasions, the highest 
i-espect for candor and good faith in all their proceedings, and that, on receiving the convention, so amended, and 
with such a clause, they will immediately ratiiy it." 

In the letter which accompanied these instructions is the following paragraph: 

" The original scheme of the convention is far from being unexceptionable, but a former Congress having agreed to 
it, it would be improper now to recede; and, therefore. Congress are content to ratify a convention made conform- 
able to that scheme, and to their act of 25th of January 1782, provided a clause limiting its duration be added." 

On the 27th July, 1787, Congress gave to Mr. Jefferson a commission in general terms, to negotiate and conclude 
with His Most Christian Majesty a convention for regulating the privileges, &c. of their respective consuls. 

In one of- the letters then written to him, is this paragraph: 

" Congress confide fully in your talents and discretion, and they will ratify any convention that is not liable to 
more objections than the one already in part concluded, provided that an article, limiting its duration to a term 
not exceeding twelve years, be inserted." 

As the convention in questioii is free from several objections to which the one of 1784 was liable, and is in 
every respect preferable to it, and as it contains a clause limiting its duration to twelve years, it seems to follow, 
as ot necessary consequence, that the United States ought to ratify it. 

All which is submitted to the wisdom of the Senate. 


No. 40. • [2d Session. 


Message from the President of the United States relative to differences ivith Great Britain respecting- the Eastern 
Boundary. — Communicated February 9, 1790. 

Gentlemen qf the Senate: 

You \n\\ perceive from the papers herewith delivered, and which are enumerated in the annexed list, that a dif- 
ference subsists between Great Britain and the United States, relative to the boundary line between our Eastern, 
and their territories. A plan for deciding tliis difference was laid before the late Congress; and whether that, or 
some other plan of a like kind, would notnow be eligible, is submitted to your consideration. 

In my opinion, it is desirable that all questions between this and other nations be speedily and amicably settled; 
and in this instance, I think it advisable to postpone any negotiations on the subject, until I shall be infonned of the 
result of your deliberations, and receive your advice as to tlie propositions most proper to be offered oh the part of 
the United States. 

As I am taking measures for learning the intentions of Great Britain respecting the further detention of our posts, 
&c. I am the more solicitous that the business now submitted to you may be prepared for negotiation, as soon as the 
other important affairs which engage your attention will permit. ■ „„,^„.p^^ 

[Papers refeired to in the foregoing message.] 

Commonwealth of MASSACHUSErrs. 

Resolve for appointing Jlgents to repair to the Eastern part of this State, to inform themselves of encroachments 
made by British subjects, and instructing them hoiv to proceed. — July 7, 1784. 

Whereas the United States in Congress assembled,- on the twenty-sixth day of January last past, recommended 
to the Governor of this Commonwealth to cause inquiry to be made whether encroachments had actually been made 
on the territories of this State by the subjects of his Britamiic Majesty, from the Government of Nova Scotia; and 
it appearing that great encroachments have been made on the said terntories: 

Resolved, That three gentlemen be appointed by the General Court, whose duty and business it shall be to repair 
to the eastern part of this State, and. there inform themselves what encroachments have been made by his said Bri- 
tannic Majesty's subjects, on the territories of this commonwealth; and if they find such have been made, that they 
make representation thereof to the Governor of Nova Scotia, and request him, in a iriendly manner, and as a proof 
of that disposition for peace and harmony which should subsist between neighboring States, to recall from oft the said 
territory the said subjects of his Britannic Majesty, so found to have encroached thereon; that they receive any com- 
munications on the said subject which may be made by the said Governor oi Nova Scotia, and make report ot then- 
proceedings herein to the General Court. , , ^ , , . 

Resolved, That His Excellency tlie Governor make a commission, under the seal of the commonwealth, to the 
agents to be appointed as aforesaid, to transact the said business, and transmit to tlie said Governor ot Nova Scotia 
a copy of these resolves. 

Deposition of John Mitchell, dated October 9, 1784. 
The subscriber, an inhabitant of Chester, in the State of New Hampehire, voluntarily makes the following decla- 
ration, to wit: That I was employed by His Excellency Francis Bernard, Esq. Governor ot the Province of Massa- 


chusetts Bay, in April, 1764, as a surveyor, in company with Mr. Israel Jones, as my deputy, Mr. Nathan Jones, 
as commanding officer of a party of troops, and Captain Fletcher, as Indian interpreter, to repair to the bay of Pas- 
samaquoddy, to assemble the Indians usually residing there, and from them to ascertain the river known by the name 
of the St. Croix. We accordingly assembled upwards of forty of the principal Indians upon an island then called 
L'Atereel in the Said bay of Passamaquoddyi After having fully and freely conversed with them upon the subject 
of our mission, the chief commissioned three Indians to show us the said river St. Croix, which is situated neaily 
six miles north, and about three degrees east of hai-bor L'Tete, and east northeast of the bay or river Schoodick, and 
distant from it about nine miles upon a right line. The aforesaid three Indians, after having shewn us the river, and 
being duly informed of the nature and importance of an oath, did, in a solemn manner, depose to the truth of their 
information respecting the identity of the said river St. Croix-, and that it was the ancient and only river known 
amongst them by that name. We proceeded conformably to this information in our surveys; and in August follow- 
ing, I delivered to Governor Bernard, three plans of the said river St. Croix, and the said baj; of Passamaquoddy. 


Suffolk, ss. Boston, October 9, 17'84. 

• The.above named John Mitchell personally appeared, and on solemn oath, declared that the above by him sub- 

Before me, EZEKIEL PRICE, Justice of the Peace. 

True copy. Attest, 

JOHN AVERY, Jun. Secretary. 

Report of Generals Lincoln and Knox to the Governor of Massachusetts, dated Boston, October 19, 1784. 

Sir: In obedience to your Excellency's commission, bearing date July 12, 1784, the subscribers, two of the com- 
missioners named therein, proceeded, the latter end of August, to the bay of Passamaquoddy. and there endeavored 
to inform themselves of what encroachments had been made by the subjects of his Britannic Majesty on the territo- 
ries of this commonwealth. 

They beg leave to inform your Excellency, that a very considerable number of British subjects are settled at a 
place called St. Andrews, on the eastern bank of the river Schoodick, which, in the opinion of your commissioners, 
IS clearly within'the limits of this State. 

By your Excellency's leave, they will recite a short state of facts on which this opinion was formed. 

There are three very considerable rivers which empty themselves into the bay of Passamaquoddy, which is from 
five to seven leagues wide. The eastern river faills into the bay about a league from the head of itj and perpendicu- 
lar to the eastern side ; the middle river falls into the bay far on the westerly side of the head of it, and in a direc- 
tion parallel therewith; the western river falls into the bay about six leagues from the head of it, on the westerly side, 
and nearly perpendiculai- to it: all of which, in late British maps, are called St. Croix. The firstis, by the Indians, 
called Maggacadava, the second Schoodick, and the third Cobbscook. 

From every information the subscribers could obtain, on an inquiry of the Indians and otherSj, the eastern river was 
the original St. Croix. This is about three leagues east of St. Andrews, where the British inhabitants have made a 
settlement. Soon after the subscribers received their commission, they wrote to Mr. Jay, requesting him to give them 
information whether the commissioners for negotiating the peace confined themselves, in tracing the boundaries of 
the United States, to any particular map, and if any one, to what? Since their return, they received his answer, 
mentioning that Mitchell's map was the only one that the commissioners used, and on that they traced the bounda- 
ries agreed to. This, in the opinion of the subscribers, is a fact which must facilitate an equitable decision of the 
matter; though Mitchell's map is not accurate, at least in the description of the eastern parts of this State. He has 
described but two, instead of three rivers, which empty themselves Jnto the bay of Passamaquoddy. The eastern of 
those he has placed at the head of the bay, near the centre of it, and calls it St. Croix. The western river he has 
called by the name of Passamaquoddy. Hence it is plain, that though the map is inaccurate, yet the eastern river, 
which empties itself into the bay, is, in the opinion of Mr. Mitchell, the St. Croix. This opinion is further support- 
ed by the deposition of Mr. Mitchell accompanying this report. The subscribers are informed that the Mr. Jones, 
mentioned in the deposition, is soon expected in this town, who will depose the same facts. 

The subscribers iurther represent, that they find, in the maps of a quarto volume, published in Paris, in 1744, from 
Charlevoix' voyage to North America, made in 1604, two rivers delineated at the head of the bay of Passamaquoddy, 
the western of which is called Passamaquoddy, the eastern St. Croix. 

Although the mouth of the river St. Croix is but little more than three leagues east of the banks of the Schoo- 
dick, on v/Tiich the British subjects are settled, yet, fi-om the different courses of the two rivers, the source of the 
western branch of the Schoodick is nearly an hundred miles from the source of the St. Croix. 

From a view of the rapid improvements made by the British subjects on the banks of the Schoodick, the subscri- 
bers could not but suppose that the idea of their removal would always embarrass a settlement of the line agreeably 
to the treaty of peace. They therefore have thought it their duty to suggest the propriety of quieting such British 
settlers in their possessions, who ai-e desirous of becoming inhabitants ofttie United States. That the General Court 
might have time to take this matter into their consideration, they have deferred writing to the Governor of Nova 
Scotia, though they, could not have done this until within a few days past, from the necessary delays which have at- 
tended the procuring the evidence relative to the ancient St. Croix. Want of health prevented the .attendance of 
Mr. Partridge. 

We have the honor to be, sir, &c. 

• True copy. Attest, 

JOHN AVERY, Jun. Secretary. 

Extract of a letter from His Excellency John Mams, Esq. to His Honor Lieutenant Governor Cashing. 

AuTEUiL, near Pans, October 25, 1784. 

In writing upon the subject of the line between Massachusetts and Nova Scotia he observes as follows: 
" We had before us, through the whole negotiation, a variety of maps, but it was Mitchell's map upon which 
was marked out the whole of the b3undary lines of the United States; and the river St Croix, which we fixed on, 
was upon that map the nearest river to St. Johns; sa that in all equity, good conscience, and honor, the river next 
to St. Johns should be the boundary. I am glad tiie General Court are taking early measures, and hope they will 
IjH^^"«*nemsteadily until the point is settled, which it may be now, amicably; if neglected long, it maybe more 

Attest, JOHN AVERY, jun. Secretary. 


Letter from Governor Hancock to Governor Parr, of Nova Scotia. 

Boston, November 12, 1784. 

I have the honor to enclose to your Excellency a resolution and proclamation of Congress respecting the 
boundary line at the eastern part of this commonwealth j and am to inform you, that, agreeably to the said resolution, 
an inquiry has been made by a respectable committee, appointed .by this government for that purpose, who have re- 
ported, that, upon a most careful examination of the evidence respecting the ancient boundary between Nova Scotia 
and this State, they found the most easterly of the three rivers which empty themselves into the bay of Passamaquoddy 
to be the ancient line, and now the boundary established by the late treaty so happily concluded between the crown of 
Great Britain and these States. The committee also report, that the subjects of his Britannic Majesty have made 
encroachments upon the territory of this Commonwealth, a large number of whom are now possessing themselves of 
lands on tlie western side of the said river. 

The government of this State, sir, is no less desirous than the United States in Congress assembled, of cultivating 
that peace and harmony which I hope will ever subsist between the citizens of the States and the subjects of his 
Majesty: wherefore, in pursuance ot the resolution of Congress, I am to request your Excellency will be pleased 
to recall from offthe said territory those subjects of his Majesty who have removed themselves from his dominions, 
and planted themselves within this commonwealth. 

I shall be ahvays ready to give immediate attention to ■such communications as your Excellency shall be pleased 
to make upon this or any other subject. 

I have the honor to be, &c. 


I had the honor of a verbal message from your Excellency by Mr. Gregory Townsend, respecting the probate pa- 
pers in the hands of Mr. Hutchinson at Halifax, that they were packing up and would be sent by the first opportu- 
nity. I have since received no tidings of them. I take the liberty to request your Excellency's kind interposition, 
that they may be forwarded before the bad season comes on, more especially as they are papers of great consequence, 
and are much wanted. 

His Excellency John Parr, Esq. 

Governor and Commander in Chief of the Province of Nova Scotia, at Halifax. 

Letter from Governor Parr to Governor Hancock. 

Halifax, December 7, 1784. 

I had the honor of your letter, dated 12th November, enclosing a copy of a resolution of Congress 29th Jan- 
uary last, witli a proclamation dated 14th of the same month; all which I have forwarded to the Governor of New 
Brunswick, within whose government are the lands in dispute; and I have transmitted copies of them to Lord Sid- 
ney, one of his Majesty's principal Secretaries of State. 

I have the honor to be, &c J. PARR. 

His Excellency John Hancock, 

Govei-nor of the State of Massachusetts. 


Letter from Rvfus Putnam to the Committee of Massachusetts. 

Rutland, December 27, 1784. 

As the plan I fiirnished you on my return from the eastern country, was much more extensive than what 
was barely necessary for the delineation of the lands which I surveyed for government, comprehending so much of 
the Passamaquoddy country as I thought sufficient to give a pretty clear idea of the grounds in dispute between thi.s 
commonwealth and Nova Scotia, respecting our eastern boundary, if it is not my duty as a servant of the public, I 
ask their indulgence as a citizen, to mention several matters by way of information and explanation of my plan, and 
also to make a few observations on the respective claims of the two nations in that quarter. 

From Mr. Jones, who is the principal surveyor employed by the British in that quarter, since the peace toojc 
place, I learned that they consider the Schoodick as the St. Croix intended in the treaty; that they fix the mouth of 
that river at the Devil's Head, which you will see marked in township No. V. in my plan ; and the bays of Schoodick, 
St. Andrews, Cobbscook, &c. &c. formerly comprehended under the general nalne of Passamaquoddy, they con- 
sider as arms of the sea, or parts of the bay of Fundy. Here then, say they, that is, at the Devil's Head, the follow- 
ing description in the treaty begins, viz. "bounded east by a line to be drawn along the middle of the river St. 
Croix, from its mouth in the bay of Fundy to its source." 

Again, a line drawn from the mouth of St. Cioix, at Devil's Head, to the mouth of St. Mary's river, between 
Georgia and East Florida, they consider as a boundary, to the eastward of which we have no claim on the main land 
or among the islands, nor yet to the islands westward of such a line, except they lie within 20 leagues of the sea 
coast or main land, and have not been granted by the government of Nova Scotia. Again, in consequence of their 
claiming the Schoodick ri\-er for the St. Croix, all the lands to the eastward of it, as high as the first falls above 
Mill Island, marked in my plan, are surveyed and granted to the refugees, and others, after a judgment of escheat 
being passed on them: for they were formerly granted to others, as may be seen in the copy of the Halifax plan. 

A straight line, says Mr. Jones, drawn from the Devil's Head to the mouth of St. Mary's river, as above men- 
tioned, will fall on the sea coast or north shore of the bay of Fundy, about the mouth of little Machias river. The 
direction of this line across my plan, is marked on the southern edge of it, and in consequence of their claiming such 
■ a line, not only all the islands in the bay of Passamaquoddy, wheflier granted before the peace, or since, tliey claim 
as theirs; but the Island of Grand Manan has been granted by the Governor of Nova Scotia to certain proprietors; 
and on the same principle, a few days before I left the country, Mr. Jones began the survey of Seward's Neck. 

Their settlements keep pretty equal pace with their surveys. The island of Grand Manan has several settlers 
on it already, as well as a number ot smaller islands in the eastern part of Passamaquoddy Bay. The town of St. 
Andrews has between two and threehundred houses; and a town at present called Schoodick, near the head of navi- 
gation, has near one hundred houses; besides which there is a township at the head of Oak Bay granted to a company 
of associates, at the head of which isa Mr. Norwood from Cape Ann; another township, west of this, is surveyed for 
a company from Connecticut; and these companies obtain the same supplies of provision as the refugees do. 

The reason why they have made no surveys on the main land between the Devil's Head and Pleasant Point, or on 
Moose Island, 1 presume is because they consider these lands as the property of Sir Francis Bernard and his asso- 
ciates, and that no judgment of escheat respecting them has yet taken place. 

Upon supposition that the Maggacadava river, or eastern St. Croix, from the falls, makes a north course up to rts 
source, and the river Schoodick does the same from the upper pond marked in my plan, then the tract of land, be- 
tween the two rivers in dispute, will be in extent east and west neariy thirty-six miles, and by a London map, pub- 
lished immediately after the peace, at least 120 miles nortli and south; so that the two rivers in all probability make 
a difference of 120 townships of 6 miles square, within which there is no doubt a great quantity of good lands. 


Again, to draw a line as they propose from the Devil's Head, will cut off at least a quantify of land equal to four 
or five townships of 6 miles square, besides the island of Grand Manan, and the small islands on the southern side 
of it, which are equal to three or four such townships together, with Moose Island and some others, wliose quanti- 
ties are marked in my plan or report. But besides the value of the lands cut off by this proposed line, it is well to 
consider that the remainder of the lands bordering on the Schoodick and Cobbscook rivers wdl be of little value to 
their owners, if they have no communication with the sea but what depends on the courtesy of their British neighbors. 
The bay of Passamaquoddy at present affords great plenty of fish; but if we are to possess no islands in that bay for 
curing them, it must prove very injurious to the subjects of America, who are or jnay be employed in taking fish in 
that quarter. The island of Grand Manan has a good harbor towards the southeast part of it, and its southern shore 
is lined with a number of smiU islands, among which, and in the vicinity of them, gre it plenty of fish are taken; and 
the quality of the lands in Grand Manan and some of those smaller islands it is said are not inferior to those in the 
bay of Passamaquoddy; so that in respect of both farming and fishing these islands are of no small consequence. 

But where the gentlemen of Nova Scotia have ^ot the idea that the United States are bounded by a line drawn 
through the Atlantic ocean, from the mouth of St. Mary's river to the mouth of the St. Croix, is hard to conceive. 
For my own part I cannot find a single hint of such a boundary in all the treaty. Yet, as absurd as this idea ap- 
pears to be, not only Mr. Jones, and other refugees, are fallen into tlie mistake; but Governor Parr must have done 
so too, or otherwise he would not have patented the island of Grand Manan; for, as Mr. Jones told me, it had never 
been granted before, it cannot now possibly belong to Nova Scotia, on any other principle but the establisliment of 
such a line. 

With respect to the islands, the words of the treaty are these: "comprehending all islands within twenty leagues 
of any part of the shores of the United States, and lying between lines to be drawn due east from the points where 
the aforesaid boundary between Nova Scotia on the one part, and East Florida on the other, shall respectively touch 
the bay of Fundy and the Atlantic ocean, excepting such islands," &c. Now, whenever we can find that point, viz. 
the middle of the mouth of St. Croix river, in the bay of Fundy, we are to draw a line due east from that spot, and 
all islands lying to the south of such line (and to the north of a line drawn due east from the middle of the mouth 
of St. Mary's river) and within twenty leagues of the shore or main lands of the United States, are by the treaty ceded 
to them, "except such islands as now are, or heretofere have been, within the limits of said province of Nova Scotia." 
Now although at present it may be uncertain where to fix this point, viz. the middle of the mouth of the river St. 
Croix in the bay of Fundy, yet, if we attend to the bearing of Grand Manan from west passage, as marked in my 
plan, it is certain that if you fix it any where about the bay of Passamaquoddy, a line drawn due east from thence 
will leave the whole island of Grand Manan to the south; and this island, lying within much less than twenty leagues 
of the shore or main land, of course belongs to the United States: therefore. Governor Parr could never grant this 
island on any other principle but the one 1 have mentioned. The survey then made on Seward's Neck may be of 
a much more serious nature than was at first apprehended. If the Schoodick be the St. Croix intended in the 
treaty, I agree with the Nova Scotia gentlemen tllat the real mouth of that river is at the Devil's Head; but I by no 
means admit this to be the mouth intended by the commissioners who formed the treaty: for to draw a line due east 
from thence, not only crosses over a tract of main land before it touches the bay of Fundy proper, and would give 
every island in the bay of Passamaquoddy to the United States; but also, all the islands along the shore to the east- 
ward of Passamaquoddy for several leagues, which I can by no means suppose to be intended. And if we fix this 
point in the real mouth of the Maggacadava, or eastern St. Croix, we shall be involved in the same difficulties as 
before; so that, whichever be the St. Croix intended, the point mentioned in the treaty must be in some other place 
than either of these I have mentioned; and the most probable opinion I have been able to form of the matter is, that 
the commissioners considered the whole bay of Passamaquoddy as the mouth of the river St. Croix; and that their 
real intention was, that a line beginning in the middle of this mouth, at a point where it joins the bay of Fundy, that 
is, on a line drawn from the west to the east cape or head land that forms the bay of Passamaquoddy, and from 
thence, drawn through the middle of this bay or mouth, and along the middle of the St. Croix to its source, &c. &c. 
should be our eastern boundary. My reasons for this opinion are these: from this point, wherever it is, a line is to 
be drawn due east, in order to determine what islands belong to the United States, and what not. Now, to draw 
such line from any point within the eastern cape, or head land, must cross oyer a tract of main land before it can 
touch the bay of Fundy proper, and involve us m all those difficulties respecting the islands near the eastern shore 
beyond Passamaquoddy which I have before mentioned. Again, the bay of Passamaquoddy is not mentioned in all 
the treaty, although noticed in Mitchell's map and all the maps of that country in the American atlas; wherefore the 
commissioners I conceive must consider it as a part of the bay of Fundy, or as the mouth of the St. Croix. We 
have already observed the absurdities of considering it as part of the bay of Fundy, and fixing the mouth of the St. 
Croix at the Devil's Head, or any where else within the eastern cape; therefore, they must consider it as the mouth 
of the St. Croix, or they could have no respect to it whatever. But if we carefully inspect Mitchell's map, and 
those in the American atlas, and compare these draughts with the whole description of our eastern boundaiy, my hypo- 
thesis appears to me the only intelligible and consistent one that can take place. For instance, if we consult 
Mitchell's map, a line drawn from tiie eastern and western capes, and bisected in the middle, strikes me as tlie 
identical point intended by the commissioners; from hence, a line drawn due east escapes the eastern cape, and 
determines to whom the islands belong in a rational and consistent manner; from hence also, a line drawn through the 
middle of the bay. and up the St. Croix, will make a pretty equal division of the bay of Passamaquoddy, and the 
islands therein, which it is natural to suppose was intended; and if we inspect the several maps in tlie American 
atlas, the same ideas naturally arise; and upon this principle most if nut all Campobello, and a great part of Deer 
Island, belongs to us; for the exceptions are respecting those islands only which are situate between lines drawn 
due east from certain points mentioned in the treaty. 

With respect to the river intended by the commissioners, as the boundaiy between us and Nova Scotia, I think 
they alone must determine: for as they are entirely silent with respect to any description but the bare name of St. 
Croix, and as the Passamaquoddv and Maggacadava have both obtained -that name, I think it impossible to detennine 
which is the river intended by the description they have given us. It may, however, be well to observe, that the 
river Schoodick, or a river by the name ot Schoodick, is not to be found in Mitchell's map, the American atlas, or 
any other draught that I have seen. Mitchell, at the head of his St. Croix, has a lake which lie calls Koneaki. This 
is evidently an Indian name, but it is not the name of either of the lakes or ponds on the Schoodick that I have 
heard of. Mr. Jeffers, author of the American atlas, in one of his maps, which he tells us is a new one made from 
various surveys, and corrected from divers astronomical observations, has given us two rivers by the name of St. 
Croix; the eastern one he has contended as the dividing line between us and Nova Sooda, and is undoubtedly the 
Maggacadava; the western river he calls Passamaquoddy or St. Croix. You will please to obsenc, that in my plan 
just above the last falls I have marked the mouth of a river coming in on the right, neaily as large as the Schoodick, 
called by the natives Passamaquoddy. Now, if the treaty should be explained to intenil the western St. Croix, yet 
the boundary line cannot follow the river now known by the name of the Schuodick to its source, but must be con- 
fined to the Passamaquoddy or eastern branch of the western St. Croix; for with what propriety they should claim 
beyond this, and follow the Schoodick (a river not known in any map) above the forks, I cannot conceive; and I 
think it highly probable that the name of Schoodick was by the natives originally confined to the western branch, 
and that the name of Passamaquoddy extended from the forks quite down to the bay of the same name: for otlier- 
wise there is no connexion between the river and bay which bear the same name, and which probably were derived 
the one from the other, which is commonly, if not always the case. 

I am, gentlemen, yours, &c. 

To Messrs. Phillips, Wells, and Dane, Committee. 

True copy. Attest, 

JOHN AVERY, Jun. Secretary. 



Report of the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, respecting the Eastern Boundary. 

Office for Foreign Affairs, 21s/ April, 1785. 

The Secretary of the United States for the Department of Foreign Affairs, to whom was referred the papers here- 
with enclosed, respecting the eastern boundary line of said States, reports: 

That in his opinion, effectual measures should be immediately taken to settle all disputes with the crown of 
Great Britain, relative to that line. 

He thinks that copies of the said papers should be transmitted to the minister plenipotentiary of the United 
States at that court, with instructions to present a proper representation of the case, and to propose that commis- 
sioners be appointed to hear, and finally decide those disputes. 

If this measure should appear expedient to Congress, your secretary would suggest the following hints on the 
subject, viz. • ■ -.i 

That the number of commissioners should be six, or eight, or ten, or twelve, at the election of his Britannic Ma- 
jesty; the exact number not being important. 

That two commissions of the like tenor, to be agreed upon between our and their ministers, be issued to the 
whole number, viz. one by the United States, and the other by his Britannic Majesty. 
That each party shall name the one half of the whole number. 

That they shall all be foreigners, or all be persons of the two na:tions, at the election of his Britannic Majesty; it 
not being important. . ... 

If he should prefer having them of the two nations, then that he shall name the one half of them being inhabitants 
of any of his dominions, except those which are situated in and to the west and south of the gulf of St. Lawrence; 
and that the United States shall name the other half, from any of their countries except Massachusetts. 

That the commissioners, if of the two countries, shall sit in North America, but it foreigners, in Europe, at any 
place which may be agreed upon by our and their ministers. That previous to their proceeding to biisiness, they 
shall respectively take an oath, fairly, impartially, and justly, without tear, favor, or affection, to hear and decide the 
said matters in difference, according to the best of their skill and understanding, agreeably to the directions, true 
intent and n^eaning of the said commissions. 

That in case of the death or refusal to act of any of the said commissioners', previous to their opening and 
proceeding to execute the said commission (but not afterwards) the place of such, so dying or refusing, shall be sup- 
plied by the party who named him, and that a certiiicate thereof, under the seal of Great Britain, or of the United 
States, as the case may be, directed to the said commissioners, by the style of " The commissioners for settling the 
boundaiy line between his Britannic Majesty and the United States, on the easterly side of the latter," shall be full 
evidence of such appointment. 

That a majority of the whole number shall be a quorum for every purpose -committed to them expressly, or neces- 
sarily implied in their commissions; such as choosing their chairman, appointing secretaries and surveyors, adjourn- 
ing from day to day, or for a longer term, which should not exceed ten days, deciding on matters of evidence, and 
finally determining the matters in difference, &c. 

That they keep regular minutes of their proceedings. That all evidence, whether oral or ^Yritten, be entered at 
large in them. That copies of all maps and surveys admitted as evidence be made and kept with their papers. 

That their chairman for the time being, shall have power to administer oaths. That contempts offered to the 
board, while convened and sitting on the business of the commission, shall pe punishable as contempts committed 
in a court of justice; and that a certificate by the chairman, of such contempt, delivered to any civil magistrate, shall 
make it the duty of such magistrate to apprehend and commit the offender to prison, there to remain until thence 
delivered in due course of law. 

That both parlies shall have free access to the public offices and records of the other, and be supplied with 
copies or exemplifications of any parts thereof, on paying the accustomed fees. 

That both tne parties shall produce to the board whatever they may have to offer, within three months after the 
opening of the said commission by a quorum of the commissioners, at the place to be appointed, who shall sit and be 
ready to do business during the whole of that term, unless the parties shall, by writing, under the hands of their 
agent or agents, sooner declare that they have nothing further to offer. 

That, on receiving such declarations, from both the parties, if within the said three months, or from and imme- 
diately after the expiration of that term, whichsoever of those events shall first happen, the commissioners shall 
within two days thereafter deliver their judgment in writing under their hands and seals, or the hands and seals of a 
majority of them, to the agents of both parties, viz. one copy for each party; and that the said judgment shall be 
absolute, final, and conclusive, between the said parties. 

That, on having given judgment as aforesaid, or as soon as may be within two months thereafter, they shall 
annex transcripts of all their minutes, proceedings, and maps or surveys above mentioned, to each of the said com- 
missioners, and under their hand* and seals, or the hands and seals of a majority of them, shall return the same, 
the one issued by his Britannic Majesty, to his Britannic Majesty; and the one by the United States, to the United 
States in Congress assembled; and that the delivery of the same to their respective agents shall be deemed and ad- 
judged to be a good and sufficient return. 

That the allowance to be made the said commissioners for service and expenses be fixed by our and their minister, 
and that each party pay the one half thereof. 

. That it be expressly stipulated, that his Britannic Majesty shall, within six months after the day on which the 
judgment shall be delivered to the agents as aforesaid, cause the United States to be put in full possession of all the 
territories, lands, and islands, which by the said judgment may be adjudged to the said States, and then being in the 
possession of his Majesty; and on the other hand, that the United States shall, within six months after the day on 
which the judgment shall be delivered as aforesaid, cause his Britannic Majesty to be put in full possession of all 
the territories, lands, and islands, which by the said judgment may be adjudged to him, an** *^"" ^■^'- — ■" *^-^ ""= 
session of the Upited States. All which is humbly submitted to the wisdom of Congress. 


Deposition of Nathan Jones, dated March 17, 1785. 

I, Nathan Jones, of Goldsborougli, in the county of Lincoln, and Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Esq. testify 
and say, that, in the year 1764, I was employed by Sir Francis Bernard, then Governor of tlie Province of Massa- 
chusetts Bay, as commander of a party employed to explore the woods and view the rivers and bays, particulaily 
that of Passamaquoddy, in the eastern parts of said province; and to ascertain the river St. Croix dividing the said 
province from the government of Nova Scotia; and to perform a survey thereof. Accordingly we proceeded, and 
assembled upwards of forty of the Indians on an island called L'Tete; and after having fully and freely conversed 
with them upon the subject of our mission, the chief commissioned three Indians to show us the said river St. 
Croix, which is situated nearly six miles north, and about three degrees east of the harbor of L'Tete, and east north 
east of the bay or river Schoodick, and distant from it about nine miles upon a right line. The aforesaid three 
Indians, after having shown us the said river, and being duly informed of the nature and importance of an oath, did 
make solemn oath to the truth of their information respecting the identity of the said river St. Croix, and that it 
was the river known amongst them by that name; which river is the eastern river in the bay of Passamaquoddy, 
and now known by the name of the Maggacadava. We proceeded according to this information in our surveys, 
and agreeably thereto, in August following, made return of^our doings to the said Governor Bernard. 



Suffolk, ss. Boston, March 17, 1785. — The above named Nathan Jones personally appeared, and on oath de- 
clared, that the above by him subscribed is true. 

Before me, EZEKL. PRICE, Just. Peace. 

True copy. Attest, 

JOHN AVERY, Jun. Secretary. 

Copy of a Letter from Governor Carleton to Governor Hancock. 

St. Johns, New Brunswick, June 21, 1785. 

In consequence of a letter from your Excellency to the Governor of Nova Scotia, which has been transmitted 
to his Majesty's ministers, respecting the boundary between this province and the State of Massachusetts Bay, I 
have it in charge to inform your Excellency that the great St. Croix, called Schoodick by the Indians, was not only 
considered by the court of Great Britain as the river intended and agreed upon by the treaty, to form a part of that 
boundary, but a numerous body of the loyal refugees, immediately after the peace, built the town of St. Andrews 
on the eastern bank thereof. And in fact, it is the only river on that side of the province, of either such magnitude 
or extent as could have led to the idea of proposing it as a limit between two large and spacious countries. 

In making this communication concernmg a point of great public importance, I cannot entertain a doubt, sir, 
of your Excellency's concurrence with me in contributing to the complete observance of the treaty subsisting 
between Great Britain and the United States of America, as far as may in any instance immediately respect the State 
of Massachusetts and the Province of New Brunswiclc; and I hope, and 4m persuaded, that if any further question 
on this subject should arise between us, it will be considered on both sides with a temper and attention essential for 
the preservation of national peace and harmony. 

I have tlie honor to be, &c. 

His Excellency Gov. Hancock. 

Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In Senate, July 1, 1785. 

Resolved, That His Excellency the Governor be desired to transmit a copy of the foregoing letter to the delegates 
of this State in Congress, to be by them communicated to the United States in Congress assembled. 
Sent down for concurrence. 

SAMUEL PHILLIPS, Jun. President. 
In the House of Representatives, July 1, 1785. 
Read and concurred. 


A true copy. Attest, 

JOHN AVERY, Jun. Secretary. 

Letter from James £very to Governor Bowdoin. 

Passamaquoddy, August 23, 1785. 

Being at tliis place on some private business of my own, I was informed that the government of New Bruns- 
wick had asserted their claims to Moose Island, Dudley and Fred Isle, all lying to the westward of Schoodick 
river. These islands were surveyed last season by General Putnam, by order of the committee on eastern lands, 
and the two last mentioned sold by them to Colonel Allan, who has, with Mr. De Lesdernier settled thereon, built 
houses and stores, and cleared up the lands at a great expense. Moose Island is large, and well situated for trade, 
and has a number of worthy inhabitants settled on it. A few days ago Mr. Wier, high sheriff for Charlotte county, 
posted up advertisements on Moose Island, directing the inhabitants to attend the courts at St. Andrews as jury- 
men. Tnis alarmed the inhabitants, as they were threatened, in case of refusal, to be deprived of their estates. 
Some weak and designing minds were for complying; others determined not, at all events. Application was made 
to me by Colonel Allan, the naval officer, Colonel Crane. Major Trescott, with a number of other principal gentle- 
men, to do something to counteract the proceedings of Mr. Wier; as it would be very detrimental to the claims of 
our Government in settling the boundary in regard to the islands, for the inhabitants to obey and acknowledge the 
jurisdiction of Great Britain; tlierefore I went on to the island, and warned them (as a Justice of tlie PeaceT that, 
as thev were subjects of this commonwealth, not to obey the orders of any other power whatever. This I con- 
ceived my duty to do, more particularly as it is part of my district as collector of excise, and I have a deputy on the 
same island. This matter is of the utmost consequence to our Government: for, should the British take in these 
islands, we should be entirely cut off from going up the river Schoodick. And likewise, these islands having been 
surveyed by order of the commonwealth, and two of them sold to gentlemen \vho liave laid out as much as five or 
six hundred pounds in buildings and improvements, our Government must in honor protect them, or repay what 
damages they may suffer. Since this matter has taken place, I was up to St. Andrews on some business of my own, 
and had a long conversation with Mr. Wier, the high sheriff, Mr. Pagan, and other principal persons. They say 
they acted by advice and directions of Judge Ludlow, who is of opinion that all the islands in the Bay of Passama- 
quoddy belong to New Brunswick, and are determined to support their claim; and should the inhabitants refuse to 
obey their summons, they may depend on being punished. They also let me see a long letter from Lord Sidney, 
wherein he informs, that notwithstanding the opinion of the Massachusetts, and the report of Generals Knox and 
Lincoln (which was then before him) his Majesty's servants were fully clear that Schoodick \yas the boundary; and 
his Majesty's subjects settled between that and the Madecadawie (or what we call St. Croix) might fully rely on 
their protection. Mr. Wier made use of many arguments to show the propriety of their claims to all the islands: 
among others he said, before the ^yal■, the inhabitants on all of them, in any of their disputes, applied to magistrates 
belonging to Nova Scotia for redress, and acknowledged themselves subjects of tliat Province; .and the Massachu- 
setts not asserting any right over them was tacitly acknowledging it to be so. _ • 

I hope your Excellency will not think I have been too forward. I acted from a principle of public good. Agree- 
ably to the principle they advance, (as well as Lord Sheffield's ideas in his publications) if the inhabitants should 
acknowledge the jurisdiction of that government, it would more fully support tlieir claims, which I hope now will not 
be the case. The time was so short it would not admit of the inhabitants receiving any orders from your Excellency 
on the subject before the time they were directed to attend. I shall continue to keep a deputy collector of excise on 
Moose Island toregulate that business, until I receive orders from your Excellency to the contrary. 

I have the honor to be, &c. 

His Excellency James Bowdoin, Esq. 

A true copy of the original letter. 

Attest, W. HARRIS, Dep. Secretary. 


Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 

Mvice of Council respecting encroachments at the Eastward. — September 9, 1785. 

His Excellency the Governor laid before the Council a letter from James Avery, Esq. relative to the Government 
of New Brunswick asserting their claims to Moose Island, Dudley and Fred Island, all lying to the westward of 
Schoodick river, and requested their advice upon the subject: Thereupon advised. That His Excellency the Go- 
vernor acquaint James Avery, Esq. that the Governor and Council highly approve of his vigilant attention to the im- 
portant interest of the commonwealth; and that the said James Avery be directed to inform the inhabitants of the 
said islands that the said islands are within the jurisdiction of this commonwealth^ and that this Government, confid- 
ing in their fidelity, expect and require the inhabitants of the same to conduct themselves in every respect as be- 
comes true and faithful subjects of this commonwealth; that a letter be wrote by his Excellency the Governor to the 
Governor of New Brunswick, upon the subject of these encroachments; and that a copy of the letter from James 
Avery be sent to our delegates at Congress, with the proceedings of the Governor and Council upon this business, to 
be laid before Congress. . 

Letter from Governor Bowdoin to Governor Carleton. 

Boston, September 9. 1785. 
Sir: • . . 

I am informed by a gentleman who is an inhabitant in the eastern part of this commonwealth, that the Go- 
vernment of New Brunswick hath asserted a claim to Moose Island, Dudley and Fred Island; but I flatter myself 
he has extended his ideas beyond the real fact: for he mentions only the conduct of the sheriff of your county of 
Charlotte, (Mr. Wier) grounded on the advice and direction of Judge Ludlow, in advertising and directing the in- 
habitants of Moose Island to attend the courts at St. Andrews, as jurymen, upon pain, in case of refusal, of" forfeit- 
ing their estates. 

As I am not informed that your Excellency has interposed your authority, I am inclined to believe that my in- 
formant had been premature in forming an opinion that the Government of New Brunswick had given its sanction 
to a measure altogether unexpected and unsupportable. I have, however, given your Excellency this information, 
assuring myself that your Excellency will take order effectually to prevent tiie above mentioned, and every other, en- 
croachment on the territorial rights and sovereignty of this commonwealth and of the United States. 

With regard to the lands lying to the eastward of the river Schoodick, and between that and the river St. Croix, 
or, as the Indians call it, Maggacadava, relative to which some of tlie subjects of Great Britain under your immedi- 
ate government appear to have adopted an improper opinion, it is a matter before Congress, who, I am assured, will 
give instructions to their minister at the court of London to assert and maintain their just claims, as set forth in the 
treaty agreed to between the two nations. 

I have the honor to be, &c. 

His Excellency Thomas Carleton, Esq. 

Governor of the Province of Neio Brunswick. 

Report of the Secretary for Foreign .iffairs. 

Office for Foreign Affairs, September '33,, 1785. 

The Secretary of the United States for the Depai'tment of Foreign Affairs, to whom was referred certain official 
papers delivered to Congress by the delegates of Massachusetts, on the 19th instant, relative to attempts of the pro- 
vince of New Brunswick to extend their jurisdiction to Moose Island, &c. reports — 

Tiiat, in his opinion, the advice given by the Council to his Excellency the Governor of Massachusetts, on the 9th 
instant, was proper; and that, as one unopposed encroachment always paves the way for another, the commonwealth 
of Massachusetts be advised by Congress to proceed, wthout noise or delay, to garrison such places in their actual 
possession as may be most exposed. 

Your Secretary proposes by these garrisons to support the inhabitants in their allegiance, and to overawe New 
Brunswick peace officers, whom impunity might tempt to be insolent and troublesome. He thinks these garrisons 
should not be so large as to give alarm; tnat they should be under select and discreet officers; that they should be 
formed by immediate detachments from the militia of some of the other counties; be at continental charge, and be, 
as soon as may be, relieved by detachments from the continental troops raised or to be raised for the frontiers; that 
they should be ordered never to pass our limits, and to act only on the defensive, or when called upon to support the 
civil authority. However delicate this measure may appear, it may, in the opinion of your Secretary, be safely con- 
fided to the prudence of die Governor and Council of Massachusetts. 

Nothing should be done to provoke hostilities on the one hand, and, on the other, it must be remembered, that 
too great and manifest reluctance to assert our rights by arms, usually invites insult and offence. 

Your Secretary is veiy apprehensive that, to permit these disputes to remain unsettled, will be to risk mutual 
acts of violence, which niay embroil the two nations in a war. He therefore takes the liberty of calling the attention 
of Congress to a report he had the honor of making to Congress on this subject the 21st of April last. 

Your Secretary thinks that no nation can, consistent with the experience of all ages, expect to enjoy peace and 
security any longer than they may continue prepared for wai-; and he cannot forbear expressing his fears that the 
United States are not at present in that desirable situation. 

As the 11th article of thetreaty of alliance between his Most Christian Majesty and the United States contains an 
explicit and perpetual guaranty of all the possessions of the latter, your Secretary thinks it would be advisable to ap- 
pnze the court of France of the disputes in question, tliat his Majesty may co-operate with the United States in mea- 
sures proper to bring about a settlement of them. In his opinion, these measures shoujd be formed and pursued in 
concert with France, and in such a manner as that she may liave no just cause to be dissatisfied, or to say, that, as 
we acted without her concurrence, we alone are to be responsible for the consequences. All which is submitted to 
the wisdom of Congress. 


United States in Congress assembled, October 13, 1785. 

Resolved, That copies of the papers and documents received from (he Governor of the State of Massachusetts, 
respecting the encroachment made by certain subjects of his Britannic Majesty upon the territories of that State, and 
within the boundaries of the United States, be transmitted to the minister plenipotentiaryof the United States at the 
court of London, to the end that effectual measures should be immediately taken to settle all disputes with the crown 
of Great Britain relative to that line. 

Resolved, That the said minister plenipotentiary be, and hereby is, instructed to present a proper representation 
of this case; and if any adjustment, consistent with (he true meaning of the definitive articles of^ peace and friendship 


between the United States and his Britannic Majesty cannot, by such representation, be obtained in the ordinary 
mode of negotiation; that he propose a settlement and final decision of the said dispute by commissaries mutually ap- 
pointed for that purpose; for the appointment of whom, and for all purposes incident to the final determination of the 
said dispute, by commissaries conformably to the laws of nations, the said minister plenipotentiary is hereby vested 
with full powers on behalf of the United States of America. 


Copy of a letter from the H071. John Jay to the Hon. John JIdams. 

New York, November 1, 1785. 
Dear Sir: I have the honor of transmitting to you, herewith enclosed, an act of Congress of the 13th ult. respecting 
British claims and encroachments on our eastern boundaries, and instructing and authorizing you to take proper 
measures for amicably settling the disputes thence arising. You will also find herewith enclosed the several papers 
and documents referred to in that act, and of which a list is hereto subjoined. 

It also appears to me expedient to send you copies of two reports which I have made to Congress respecting these 
matters, not for your direction, but that you may thereby be tully informed of my sentiments on this interesting 
subject. With gi-eat regard, I am, &c. " 

Hon. John Adams. 

To the President, the Senate, and House of Representatives of the United States of Jlmerica, in Congress assembled: 
The petition of James Boyd, of Boston, in the county of Suffolk, and commonwealth of Massachusetts, esquire, 
humbly showith. That your petitioner was possessed, from the year 1767 to the beginning of our contest with Great 
Britain, of very large j)roperty in lands situated on the eastern bank of the river Schoodick, granted him by the Bri- 
tish Government ot Nova Scotia; and that, during said period, he introduced many families on the same lands, at 
his own charge, and expended much property in getting the same under considerable improvement and cultivation; 
but, feeling himself attached to the cause of America, he took such an active part in their favor that the resentment 
of the British subjects in that province compelled him to leave the country, and flee to the protection of the United 
States; and that, in consequence thereof, he has suffered poverty and distress from that day to the present time; that 
the said lands which your petitioner held are on the western side of the river St. Croix, ami within the dominions of 
the United States, but unjustly now held in possession by British subjects; that the facts aforesaid and your peti- 
tioner's situation have been particularly set forth to Congress by the legislature of this commonwealth, in a letter of 
instructions to their delegates, in the year 1786, signed arid transmitted by the then Governor Bowdom, and whicli 
is now on the files of Congress, accompanied with a number of letters from Governor Bowdoin, the present Governor 
Hancock, and others, upon the subject to which your excellency and honors will please to be referred; that your pe- 
titioner, by his thus quitting the British and joining the American interest, has been subjected to peculiar hardships 
and difiiculties, which, with a large family, he has with great anxiety sustained. But, confiding in the power and 
disposition of the present Congress of the United States to do him complete justice, he requests them to put him in 
possession of his lands aforesaid, now held by British subjects, though on this side the line between the two domi- 
nions, or otherwise recompense your petitioner, who has lost the wh'ole of his propertv and means of procuring a 
comfortable subsistence, in consequence of his attachment as aforesaid. ' ° 

Your petitioner begs leave to add, that he is possessed of papers, and that John Mitchell, Esq. of the State of New- 
Hampshire, (now an old man about 76 years ot age) is also possessed of papers that may be useful in determining the 
real situation of the river St. Croix, intended by tlie late treaty of peace to be the dividing line bet^veen the dominions 
of the United States and Great Britain, as will appear by a plan taken in the yeai- 1764, by the said Mitchell and 
another taken by the surveyor general of Nova Scotia the year following, and now In the possession of your petition- 
er, who, as in duty bound, will ever pray, &c. 

/ o, , on JAMES BOYD. 

Boston, November 27, 1789. 

True ropy: Gf.ougk Taylor, jun. Chief Clerk in the Department of Slate. 

Commonwealth ok Massachusetts. 

Letter of Instruelinn to the Delegates at Congress, respecting James Boyd, to be signed and forwarded by the Go- 
vernor. — November 10, 1786. 

On the petition of James Boyd, Esq. a letter of instmction to the delegates of this commonwealth at Congress: 
„ .^ having been represented to this Court by James Boyd, Esq. now resident in Boston, that he obtained from the 
British Government, in the year 1767, a grant of fifty thousand acres of land, lying on the banks of the rivei- Schoo- 
(lick, and that the said Boyd went on, and possessed the said lands, introducing at his own charge a large number of 
families, and that he was at great expense for cattle and farming utensils of all sorts, as well as in the erecting of ne- 
cessary mills and water works; but, in the beginning of the late war between Great Britain and these States,1ie took 
such an active and decided part in favor of the latter, that he soon became very obnoxious to the resentment of the 
Bntish, and was obliged to leave all his property and possessions, and flee to" the protection of the United States- 
that he has resided in Boston until the present time in hopes that his aforementioned lands would fall within the 
bounds ot this State, and that he should be reinstated in Ihem; that the whole of his lands are on the western side of 
that river, which we suppose to be the St. Croix, mentioned in the treaty, and the boundary line between Nova Sco- 
tia anc these States; but that, as the British subjects are at present in the possession of those lands, the said Boyd is 
unjustly prevented from returning there to occupy and improve them: As we esteem him to have been a good friend 
to this country, and still to remain such, and one who is at present deprived of the possession of a large interest in 
consequence of his attachment to it, we instruct you to recommend him to the attention and favor of Congress and 
to move that honorable body to afford hiin such relief as they may think proper. 

Read, and ordered, That the aforegoing letter be transmitted, and that his Excellency the Governor be requested 
to sign and transmit the same to the delegates from this commonwealth in Congress. 

Observations on the western limits of thai part of Nova .S'co/w now railed Nenf lintnsnnrk, Sfc 

^i ■ .^*if"'^''*^' ^'le Governor of Massachusetts Bay, in the year 1764, caused a survey of the bay of Passama- 
quoddy to be made, and proposed making grants of land as being within his government. The next year Mr Wil- 
,'nn .'irv h' w^If"'' "i ^""^^ ^"""^'^i' ^^""i ^^^ chief land surveyor to make a survey of ihat bay, when, upon full 

. , It was found there were tliree rivers called St. Croix, all emptying into that bay; that the river called by the 
IS i.oDscook, was anciently called by the French. St. Croix; and on examining into the original grants of Nova 
, It appears, the grant made by King Charies II. to his brother the Duke of York, in 1663, (called the 
ot York s territory) was bounded by the river St. Croix, to the eastward, and by the river Kennebec, to the 


13 VOL. I. 


westward ; and on the 1 2th of August, the same year, Sir William Alexander obtained a grant of Nova Scotia, bounded 
westerly as far as the river St Croix, and to the furthermost source or spring which first comes from the west to min- 
gle its waters with those of the river St. Croix, and from thence running towards the north, &c. &c. All the islands 
in Passamaquoddy Bay are included in this grant, and have ever since been deemed to belong to Nova Scotia. 
Upon Governor Wilmot's transmitting to Governor Bernard the plans and reports made hy the surveyor of Nova 
Scotia, in 1765, Governor Bernard the same year applied to, and obtained a grant from, the Governor of Nova Sco- 
tia, of one hundred thousand acres, including Moose Island, for himself and associates, Thomas Pownal, John 
Mitchell, Thomas Thornton, and Richard Jackson, between Cobscook and Schoodick rivers on the western side of 
Passamaquoddy Bay; and the remainder of the principal islands in that bay were granted by the Governor of Nova 
Scotia the same year; and the whole of Passamaquoddy Bay, together with Grand Manan, and all the islands in the 
bay, have been deemed to be within the limits of Nova Scotia until the separation of New Brunswick from it. 

By the definitive treaty of peace, signed at Paris, September 3, 1783, the eastern limits or boundaries of the 
United States are thus described : 

East by a line to be drawn along tlie middle of the river St. Croix, from its mouth in the bay of Fundy, to its 
source, and from its source north to the highlands, comprehending all islands within twenty leagues of any part of 
the shores of the United States, and lying between lines to be drawn due east from the points where the afore- 
said boundaiy between Nova Scotia on the one part, and East Florida on the other part, shall respectively touch the 
bay of Fundy, and the Atlantic ocean, excepting such islands as now are, or heretofore have been, deemed \vithin 
the limits of Nova Scotia. 

Thus it is clearly evident, that Grand Manan, Passamaquoddy, Great Island now called Campo Bello, Deer 
Island, Moose Island, and all the islands lying within that bay, whether on the southern or nonhern side the line 
drawn due east from the mouth of St. Croix nyer, should, as lormerly, belong to Nova Scotia or New Brunswick. 

Whether Schoodick, or whether Cobscook is the river that this treaty fixes on for the boundary, I will not pre- 
sume to say; but from the manner in which these boundaries are described, I sliould deem that river to be the river 
St. Croix intended, whose source should be found farthest into the country westward and northward toward the 
high land mentioned in the treaty being conformable to the old grants before named; and if my conjecture is 
well founded, the St. Croix mentioned in the treaty cannot be properly ascertained, until accurate surveys are 
made, and proper commissioners appointed to determine thereupon. 
Remarks for Capt. Browell, 1789. 

Extract from the Journals of Congress, January 29, 1784. 

On the report of a committee, consiting of Mr. Jefferson, Mr. Osgood, and Mr. Williamson, to whom were re- 
ferred a letter of the 25th December, 1783, from John Allen, and the papers therein enclosed: 

Resolved, I'hat a copy of said letter be sent to the Governor of Massachusetts, witli a recommendation that he 
cause inquiry to be made, whether the encroachments therein suggested, have'been actually made on the territories 
of the State of Massachusetts, by the subjects of his Britannic Majesty, from the government of Nova Scotia; and if 
he shall find any such to have been made, that he send a representation thereof to the British Governor of Nova 
Scotia, with a copy of the proclamation of the United States, of the 14th instant,* which is to be enclosed to the Go- 
vernor of Massachusetts, tor that purpose, requesting him in a friendly manner, and as a proof of that disposition for 
peace and harmony which should subsist between neighboring States, to recall from oft" the said territory, the said 
subjects of his Britannic Majesty, so found to have encroached thereon: and that the Governor of Massachusetts be 
requested to inform Congress ot his proceedings herein, and the result thereof. 

Extracts from Douglass^ Summary, Historical and Political, of the First Planting, Progressive Improvements, 
and Present Slate of the British Settlements in North .America. — London, printed 1760, page 320, section7th, 
first volume. 

"As the Cape Sable and St. Jones Indians persisted in their hostilities against the subjects of Great Britain, in 
November, 1744, the government of Massachusetts Bay declares war against them, declaring them enemies and 
rebels; because they had joined the French enemy in blocking up Annapolis; had killed some British subjects, 
and had committed other depredations. The Passamaquoddy, Penobscot, Noridgewog, Pigwockit, and other Indians 
westward of St. Jones, are forbid to have any correspondence with thoseindian rebels. For all Indians eastward of 
a line, beginning at three miles east of Passamaquoddy, and running north to St. Lawrence river, the government 
settles for a short time premiums, viz: £100 new tenor for a male of 12 .^t. and upwards scalped, and £105 new 
tenor if captivated; for women and children £.50 scalps, £55 captives. Sometime afterwards it was found that 
the Penobscot and Noridgwog Indians also joined with the French." 

Page 330, sect. 7th. " When Massachusetts Bay colony obtained a new charter, (their former charter was taken 
away at the same time with many corporation charters in England, in the end of Charles II. and beginning of the 
like or more arbitrary reign of James II.) 7th of October, 1691, Nova Scotia, at that time in possession of the trench, 
was annexed (as was also .Sagadahock, or Duke of York's property) to the Massachusetts jurisdiction, to keep up 
the claim of Great Britain. Nova Scotia has since been constituted a separate government, and has continued about 
forty years, to this time, a nominal British province, without any British settlement, only an insignificant preventive, 
but precarious fort and garrison. As this country is rude, a geographical description of it cannot be expected. It 
is a large extent of territory, bounded westward by the bay of Fundy, and a line running northward from St. Jones 
river to St. Lawrence or Canada great river; northward it is bounded by the said St. Lawrence and gut of Canso, 
which divides from the island of Cape Britain; and southeasterly it is bounded by Cape Sable shore, settled at the 
treaty of Utrecht, 1713." 

Page 332, sect. 7. " Upon the opposite or westerly shore of the bay of Fundv, are the rivers Passamaquoddy and 
St. Croix, being about seventeen leagues northwest from the gut or entrance of the basin of Annapolis. The river of 
St. Croix is the boundary between Nova Scotia and the territory of Sagadahock, or the Duke of York's property, 
annexed to the neighboring New England province of Massachusetts Bay." 

Extracts from a Treatise, entitled Tlie Beginning, Progress, and Conclusion of the late War, printed in Eombn 

in the year 1770. 

' ' France having by the treaty concluded at Aix-la-Chapelle, in October, 1 748, obtained restitution of Cape Breton, 
her ministers soon formed and began to execute a design to divide and impair the British American empire; and to 
enable her farther to distress their trade and fishery by extending her territories from the river Canada through the 
main land to the Atlantic ocean, westward as far as the river Kennebec, and eastward so as to include all the 
main land of Nova Scotia, leaving to the English only part of the peninsula: for the illustration whereof, with other 
matters, a map is hereto annexed. And although Nova Scotia has so often passed fr9m nation to nation, the pre- 
tensions of France amounted to this, that Great Britain was to hold by the last cession made to her only a small 

• Proclamation ratifying treaty of peace, 1783. 


part of the same country whicli had passed to France by former cessions. Having already observed that all Nova 
Scotia or Acadia, with its ancient boundaries, was ceded by the Utrecht treaty to Great Britain, let us here add, 
that, wlien this country was first named Nova Scotia, tlie following boundaries were given to it in the grant to Sir 
William Alexander, to wit: All and singular the lands of the continent, and the islands in America within Cape 
Sable, lying in forty-three degrees north latitude, or thereabouts; thence along the coast to St. Mary's Bay, and 
thence passing northward by a right line across the gulf or bay now called Fundy, to the river St. Croix, and to 
the remotest western spring head of the same; whence, by an imaginary line conceived to run through the land 
northward to the next road of Ship's River or Spring, discharging itself into the great river of Canatfa, and pro- 
ceeding thence eastward along the shores of the sea of the said river of Canada to the road, haven, or shore, com- 
monly called Gaspick, and thence southeastward [versus euronotum,] to the islands called Baccalaos or Cape 
Breton, leaving the said islands on the right, and the gulf of the said great river of Canada, and the lands of New- 
foundland, with the islands to those lands pertaining, on the left, and thence to the promontory of Cape Breton 
aforesaid, lying near or about the latitude of forty -five degrees, and from the said promontory of Cape Breton 
towards the south and west, to the aforesaid Cape Sable, where the perambulation began. " ' 


No. 41. 2d Session. 


Message from the President of the United States, relative to the Eastern Boundary of the United States. 

„ , „ United States, February 18, 1790. 

Gentlemm of the Senate: 

By the mail of last evening I received a letter from His Excellency John Hancock, Governor of the common- 
wealth of Massachusetts, enclosing a resolve of the Senate and House of Representatives of that commonwealth, 
and sundry documents relative to the eastern boundary of the United States. 

I have directed a copy of the letter and resolve to be laid before you. The documents which accompanied them, 
being but copies of some of the papers which were delivered to you with my communication of tiie 9tli of this 
month, I have thought it unnecessary to lay them before you at this time. They will be deposited in the office of 
the Secretary of State, together with the originals of the above mentioned letter and resolve. 


Boston, February 10, 1790. 

At the request of the Senate jnd House of Representatives of this commonwealth, I have the honor to enclose 
you some papers evidential of the'encroachments, made by the subjects of the King of England, upon the eastern 
frontier of^this commonwealth. 

If the papers transmitted do not give satisfactory proof upon this point, I wish that Congress would direct a 
mode in which a proper and speedy inquiry may be made. 

A speedy investigation of this dispute may have a tendency to prevent a disagreeable contention, which is likely 
to take place between the people on tlie frontiers of the two nations. 

I have the honor to be, &c. 

George Washington. 

President of the United States. 

United States, February ISth, 1790. 
I do hereby certify that tlie foregoing is a true copy of the letter from His Excellency John Hancock to the 
President of the United States. 

Secretary to the President of the United States. 

Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 

In Senate, Febmary 1, 1790. 
Resolved, That His Excellency the Governor be, and he is hereby, requested to write to the President of the 
United States, in behalf of this commonwealth, informing him that the subjects of his Britannic Majesty have made, 
and still continue to make, encroachments on the eastern boundary of tliis commonwealth, in the opinion of the 
legislature contrary to the treaty of peace; and that His Excellency be further requested to forward such documents 
as may be necessary to substantiate the facts. 

Sent down for concurrence. 

In the House of Representatives, February 1, 1790. 

Read and concurred. 

THOMAS DAWES, President pro tenu 


A true copy. Attest, 

JOHN AVERY. Jun. Secretary. 

United States, February 18, 1790. 
I do hereby certify, that the foregoing is a true copy of the resolve ti-ansmitted to the President of the United 
States, by His Excellency John Hancock. 

Secretary to the President of the United States. 


1st Congress.] IVo. 42. [2d Sessiow. 


Report of a Committee, communicated to the Senate March 9, 1790. 

The committee to whom the President's Messages of the 9th and 18th of February, relating to the differences 
subsisting between Great Britain and the United States, relative to the Eastern Boundary of the said States, were 
committed, beg leave to report: 

That effectual measures should be taken, as soon as conveniently may be, to settle all disputes with the crown 
of Great Britain, relative to that line. 

That it would be proper to cause a representation of the case to be made to the court of Great Britain, and if 
the said disputes cannot be otherwise amicably adjusted, to propose that commissioners be appointed to hear, and 
finally decide those disputes, in the manner pointed out in the report of the late Secretary of the United States for 
tiie Department of Foreign x\ffairs, of the 21st of April, 1785, a copy of which report accompanied the first of the 
said messages. 

And that measures should be taken to perpetuate the testimonies of John Mitchell and Nathan Jones, who were 
appointed by the late Governor Bernard, in 1764, to ascertain the river St. Croix; and of any other persons who may 
have useful information on tliis subject. 

1st Congress.] No. 43. [3d Session- 


Message from the President of the United States to Congress, communicating a report of the Secretary of State, 
in relation to American prisoners at .Algiers. 

United States, December SO, 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 cap- 
tivity at Algiers, that you may provide on their behalf, what to you shall seem most expedient. 


The Secretary of State, having had under consideration the situation of the citizens of the United States ia 
captivity at Algiers, makes the following report thereupon to the President of the United States: 

When the House of Representatives, at their late session, were pleased to refer to the Secretary of State, the 
petition of our citizens in captivity at Algiers, there still existed some expectation that certain measures, which 
had been employed to effect their redemption, the success of which depended on their secrecy, might prove effec- 
tual. Information received during the recess of Congress lias so far weakened those expectations, as to make it 
now a duty to lay before the President of the United States, a full statement of what has been attempted for the 
relief of these our suffering citizens, as well before, as since he came into office, that he may be enabled to decide 
what further is to be done. 

On the 23th of July, 1785, the schooner Maria, captain Stevens, belonging to a Mr. Foster, of Boston, was 
taken off Cape St. Vincents, by an Algerine corsair; and, five days afterwards, (he ship Dauphin, captain O'Brien, 
belonging to Messieurs Irvins of Philadelphia, was taken by another Algerine, about fifty leagues westward of 
Lisbon. These vessels, with their cargoes and crews, twentv-one persons in number, were carried into Algiers. 

Congress had some time before commissioned ministers plenipotentiary ibr entering into treaties of amity and 
commerce with the Barbary Powers, and to send to them proper agents for preparing such treaties. An agent was 
accordingly appointed for Algiers, and his instructions prepared, when the IMinisters Plenipotentiaiy received in- 
formation of these captures. Though the ransom of captives was not among the objects expressed in their commis- 
sions, because at their dates the case did not exist, yet they thought it their duty to undertake that ransom, fearing 
that the captives might be sold and dispersed through the interior and distant countries of Africa, if the pi-evious 
orders of Congress should be waited for. They theretore added a supplementary instruction to the agent to nego- 
tiate their ransom. But, while acting thus without authority, they thought themselves bound to offer n price so mo- 
derate as not to be disapproved. They therefore restrained him to two hundred dollars a man: which was some- 
thing less than had been just before paid for about three hundred French captives, by the ISIathurins, a religious 
order of France, instituted in ancient times for the redemption of Christian captives irom the infidel Powers. On 
the arrival of the agent at Algiers, the Dey demanded fifty-nine thousiind four hundred and ninety-six dollars for 
the twenty-one captives, and could be brought to abate but little from that demand. The agent, therefore, 
returned in 1786, without having effected either peace or ransom. 

In the beginning of the next year, 1787, the minister plenipotentiary of the United States at Paris procured an 
interview with the general of the religious order of Mathurins, before mentioned, to engage him to lend his agency, 
at the expense of the United States, tor the redemption of their captive citizens. He proffered at once, all the ser- 
vices he could render, with the liberality and the zeal which distinguish his charactef. He observed, that he had 
agents on the spot, constantly employed in seeking out and redeeming the captives of their own country; that these 
should act for us, as for themselves; tliat nothing could be accepted for their agency; and that he would only expect 
that the price of redemption should be ready on our part, so as to cover the engagement into which he should enter. 
He added, that, by the time all expenses were paid, their last redemption had amounted to near two thousand five 
hundred livres a man, and that he could by no means flatter us that they could redeem our captives as cheap as 
tiieir own. The pirates would take advantage of its being out of their ordinary line. Still he was in hopes they 
would not be much higher. 

The proposition was then submitted to Congress, that is to say, in Febniary, 178; , and on the 19th of September, 
in the same year, their minister plenipotentiary at Paris received their orders to embrace the oftt^rs of the Mathu- 
rins. This he immediately notified to the general, observing, however, that he did not desire him to enter into any 
engagements till a sufficient sum to cover them should be actually deposited in Paris. The general wished that the 
whole might be kept rigorously secret, as, should the barbarians suspect him to be acting for the United States, they 


would demand such sums as he could never agree to give, even with our cpnsent, because it would injure his future 
purchases from them. He said he had information from his agent at Algiers, that our captives received so 
liberal a daily allowance as to evince that it came from a public source. He recommended that this should be dis- 
continued; engagng that he would have an allowance administered to them, much short indeed of what they had 
hitherto received, but such as was given to his own countrymen, quite sufficient for pliysical necessities and more 
likely to prepare the opinion, that as they were subsisted by his chanty, they were to be redeemed by it also These 
ideas, suggested to him by the danger of raising his market, were approved by the minister plenipotentiary be- 
cause, this being the first instance ot a redemption by the United States, it would form a precedent, because a'high 
price given by us might induce these pirates to abandon all other nations in pursuit of Americans; whereas the con- 
trary would take place, could our price of redemption be fixed at the lowest point. ' ' 

To destroy, therefore, every expectation of a redemption by the United States, the bills of the Spanish consul at 
Algiers, who had made the kind advances before spoken of for the sustenance of our captives, were not answered 
On the contrary, a hint was given that these advances had better be discontinued, as it was not known that thev 
would be reimbursed. It was necessary even to go further, and to suffer the captives themselves and (heir friends 
to believe for a while, that no attention Avas paid to them, no notice taken of (heir letters. They are still under (hii 
impression. It would have been unsafe to trust them with a secret, the disclosure of which might for ever nrevent 
their redemption, by raising the demands of tne captors to sums which a due regard for cur seamen, still in freed(im 
would forbid us to give. This was the most trying of all circumstances, and drew from them (he most afflictin<' re' 
proaches. '^ 

It was a twelve month afterwards before the money could be deposited in Paris, and the negotiation be actually 
put into train. In the mean time the general had received iniormation from Algiers of a very considerable chanee 
of prices there. Within the last two or three years the Spaniards, the Neapolitans, and the Russians, had redeemed 
at exorbitant sums. Slaves were become scarce, and would hardly be sold at any price. Still he entered on th-^ 
business wi{h an assurance of doing the best in his power; and he was authorized to offer as far as three (hou'-and 
livres, or five hundred and fifty-five dollars a man. He wrote immediately to consult a confidential a^ent at Mar 
seilles, on the best mode of carrying this business into effect; from wham he received the answer No. 2 hereto 
annexed. ' ' 

Nolhing further was known of his progress or prospects, when (he House of Representatives were pleased at 
their last session, to reler the petition of our captives at Algiers to (he Secretary of State. The preceding- m'rra 
five shows that no report could have then been made without risking (he object, of which some hopes were stiU 
entertained. Later advices, however, from the charge des afiiiires of the United States, at Paris, informs us f hat 
these measures, (hough not yet desperate, are not to be counted on. Besides the exorbitance of price before iearpd 
the late transfer of the lands and revenues of the clergy in France to the public, by withdrawing (he mean= cee.iis 
to have suspended the proceedings ot the Mathurins in the purposes of their institution. "' " 

It is time, therefore, to look about for something more promising, without relinquisliing, in the mean while (he 
chance of success through them. Endeavors to collect information, which have been continued a cons'de-able time 
as to the ransmis which would probably be demanded from us, and those actually paid by other nations enable iHp 
Secretary of State to lay before the President the following short view, collected from original papers now in his n « 
session, or from information delivered to him personally. Passing over the ransoms of the Mathurin'-' which a pp 
kept far below the common level by special circumstances: ' " <"e 

In 1786, the dey ot Algiers demanded from our agent 59,496 dollars for 21 captives, which was 2 833 dollars 
in. The agent flattered himself they could be ransomed for 1 ,200 dollars apiece. His secretary informprl >,= tTl', 
Tie time, that Spain had paid 1,600 dollars. 

In 1787, the Russians redeemed at 1,546 dollars ; 

same time, thlt Spain had paid 1,600 dollars. • ' ' secretary informed us, at the 

[r. Logie, the English consul at Algiers, informed a person who wished to ransom one of our rommnr. 
sailors, that he would cost from 450 to 500 pounds sterling, the mean of which is 2,137 dollars In December ih 
same year, captain O'Brien flunks our men will now cost 2,920 dollars each, though a Jew merchant believ-s Hp pamIH 
get them for 2,264 dollars. "^ ^ i-ouiu 

1790, July 9th, a Mr Simpson, of Gibraltar, who, at some particular request, had taken pains to find for what 
iir captives could be redeemed, finds that the fourteen will cost 34,792.28 dollars, whxh is 2 485 linuT 
..,.*... At the same date, one of them, a Scotch boy, a common mariner, was actually redeemed at 8 000 I i v. "^ 
equal to 1,481 dollars winch is within 19 dollars of (lie price Simpson states for common men: snd tlie'chaigJdes 
affaires of the Umted States at Pans is informed that the whole may be redeemed at that rate, addinefiffv i^r cpn- 
on the captains, winch would bring it to 1,571 dollars a man. ^ ^ *^ ' '^'^"'• 

It is found then (hat the prices are 1,200. 1,237, 1,481, 1,546, 1,571, 1,600, 1.800 2 137 9 ofi4 o ao- 
2,833, and 2,920 dollars a man, not noticing that of 4,074 dollars, because it was for a captain ' ' ' ' 

In 17-86, there were 2,200 captives m Algiers, which, in 1789, had been reduced by death or ransom to fi'55 Of 
ours SIX have died, and one has been ransomed by his friends. "' 

From these facts and opinions, some conjecture may be formed of the terms on which the liberty of our citivpn^ 
may be obtained. •' cuiz.ens 

But should it be thought better to repress force by force, another expedient for their liberation mav Deriians offpr 
Captures made on the enemy may perhap.-, put us into possession of some of their mariners, and exchan-e b? siih«f i 
tuted for ransom. It is not indeed a fixed usage with (hem to exchange prisoners. It is rather their custom to refuse 
it. However, such exchanges are sometimes effected, by allowing them more or less of advantage Thpv hW 
sometimes accepted ot two Moors for a Christian, at others they have refused five or six for one. Arhans T,irH«h 
captives may be objects ot greater partiality with them, as their government is entirely in the hands of links whn 
are treated in every instance as a superior order of beings. Exchange, too, wU be more practicable in our case a a 
our captives have not been sold to pnvate individuals, but are retained in the hands of (he Government 

Tlie liberation of our citizens has an intimate connexion with the liberation of our commerce in the MeditPm 
nean, now under the consideration of Congress. The distresses of both proceed from the same cause, and (he mea' 
sures winch shall be adopted for the relief of the one, may, very probably, involve the relief oi the other. 

Dec. 28, 1790. '^"= JEFJ ERSON. Secretary 'of Slate, 

No. 1. 

Extract of a Letter from Mr John Lamb, dated May 20, 1786. 

I here give your excellency an account of the prices of our unfor(unate people, and it is as follows viV 
3 Captains, - - - 6.000 dolls, each per head, - - - $18 000 ' 

2 Mates, - - - 4,000 do. - do. - - - - g oQO 

2 Passengers, - - - 4,000 do. - do. - - - . e'ooo 

14 Sailors, - - - 1,400 do. - do. - - - . ig'eoo 

21 amounts to the enormous sum of 


Eleven per cent, to be added, according to custom, 5 

Is Spanish milled dollars 59496 



So that, your excellency sees how fai- beyond your expectation the sum amounts, which renders me incapable of act 
ing until further orders. The price the Spaniards are giving for their people is little short of what is charged us; and they 
have eleven hundred men and some upwards in Algiers. It will cost Spain more than one million and one half of 
dollars for their slaves only. The peace of Spain, and their slaves will amount to more than tliree millions of 
ilollars. " 

No. 2. 
Answer of the Jigent of the Mathurins to his General. 

Aix, Aug. 19, 1789, 

M Y Lo RD : Being at Aix for some time in order to make use of the baths, I there received the letter which you did 
me the honor to write me. I find some great difficulties in the way of executing the redemption about which you 
speak. It does not appear to me possible to give such color to our proceedings with the Algerines, as to make them 
believe that the United States take no part in the negotiation, while tlieir subjects only should be redeemed. As to 
the price of 2,500 livres per head, it will not suffice for the voracity of these covetous people, either because they have 
more need of slaves than money, since the general redemption of the French and Spanish captives, or that, having 
humilitated Spain, and fearing little from France, they have arbiti-arily raised the rate of the slaves; and notwith- 
standing the tenor of the treaties with France, the office at Marseilles was, the last year, obliged to pay for one 
slave 4,000 livres. It is true that the number redeemed by France in 1785 did not amount to 100 louis per head, but 
the king made the agreement in his own name, and iti a favorable moment he obtained a piece of politeness from the 
dey; a politeness wmch we cannot flatter ourselves with seeing again renewed, especially at a time when the regency 
carries its pretensions so highly against France, as to lead us to fear lest some rupture should follow, which can 
perhaps be avoided only by new sacrifices. Supposing these difficulties removed, you cannot take upon yourselves 
the said redemption without a permission from the court, especially if you wish to appear as acting by virtue of the 
order for the redemption. I am persuaded that the ministry being first informed, will not refuse you the said 
permission. ■ . 

It will then be necessary to have a confidential person on the spot to act secretly, so as not to irritate the French 
slaves, who might rise against the nation, and sound the Intentions of the regency ^vith respect to the price. The 
Fere Terillo governor of the hospital is a Spaniard, and unfit for this negotiation. M. Paret, the only French 
merchant and manager of the house of Messrs. Gimen, at Algiers, might execute the commission, but this house will 
always create a suspicion, that the United States are about agreeing for the redemption. 

I hardly venture to propose an idea which strikes me, but it is the best I have. Could you not send a religious 
person, not as a redemptioner, but only as chaplain of the hospital of slaves, for which he might jjerform the neces- 
sary functions? M. Gache appears to me the most proper ana best calculated to conduct an affair, the success of 
which I so much desire, as well on account of the interest you take in it as for the satisfaction of Mr. Jefferson. I 
would not wish to put myself in the way, on account of my age, though I speak Italian and Spanish, which is used 
at Algiers, and especially in the hospital. However, if you should not find a better person, I shall still undertake 
this voyage in order to give you some marks of my submission, and the desire \\hlch I have to concur in your zeal 
for the love of redemption and good of humanity. 

The voyage of a religious person would occasion some expense, but it cannot be considerable, because he might 
lodge in the hospital, and there would be no commission fees to pay in case of success. Not being near enough to 
confer with M. Gache, I address the present to him, that he may transmit it to you with the observations he may 

make upon it. „ „ 

^ PERRIN. Depidxj General 

No. 3. 

Extract from a letter of June 4, 1790,/ro?)i TFilliam Short, Esq. Charge des Affaires for the United States at the 
Court of France, to the. Secretary of State. 

" The affair of our captives, I fear will never be arranged in the present channel. Immediately on the receipt 
of your letter I wrote to the general of the Mathurins to let him know how much you had this affair at heart, and to 
beg he would inform me how it stood at present. He was gone into the country, but I suppose I shall hear from him 
in a few days." 

Extract of a letter from the same to the same, dated June 25, 1790. 

" Since my last I have seen the general of the Mathurins, who ^ves little hopes of any thing being done for our 
captives through his channel, altliough he continues assurances of his zeal in case of any opportunity presenting 
itself; and I am persuaded he may be counted on as to these assurances. He had begun by transmitting a small 
sum of money to a person of confidence at Algiers, to relieve the more pressing necessities of the captives. The 
person who was charged with this commission, found, on inquiry, that the captives received a daily allowance, which 
rendered this relief unnecessary, and therefore returned the money. He found, also, that the opinion at Algiers 
wiis that the allowance of the prisoners was made by the United States; an opinion which would necessarily 
augment the difficulty of their redemption. The general added, that the critical situation in which the religious 
orders had been for some time, had rendered it impossible for him to take any step in this business; that he hoped, 
however, some arrangement would be soon made which would enable him to resume those pious occupations; and 
that he should be always ready to offer his ministiy in behalf of the American captives. The supplies which they 
have received came certainly from the Spanish consul. I transmitted some time ago to Mr. Jay an account of them, 
which was sent me by one of the captives. ., ,, ^, ,, •, 

•' The general of the Mathurins considered those supplies too considerable, as they would necessarily excite at 
the same time the suspicions and the avarice of the Algerines. It would have the appearance of cruelty to forbid 
further supplies from any person whatsoever, and to let the prisoners depend as it were on the charity of the Mathu- 
rins, who might be furnished with small sums from time to time for that pui-pose; but it is perhaps the only means 
of shortening their captivity. Whoever remains here should be authorized fully to act according to circumstances 
\nih respect to the captives." 

Extract of a letter from the same to the same, dated July 7, 1790. 

"My last letters will have informed you of the present situation of the business, relative to the American cap- 
tives at Algiers. You will have seen that nothing has been done, or possible to be done, for their redemption; still 
I will leave nothing untried, and will write you regularly, as you desire, respecting it. 

'• I omitted mentioning above that the number of our prisoners at Algiers is now reduj:ed to fourteen, a Scotch 
boy who was among them, having been redeemeil by the intervention of the English consul. 'The price was somewhat 
more than seven thousand livres; but additional and unavoidable expenses raised it, on the whole, to about eight 
thousand livres. The person, of whom I spoke in the beginning of this letter, told me that he thought the remaining 
captives might be redeemed at the same pnce for the common sailors, and about twelve thousand Rvres for each of 
the captains. He added, that the Spanish consul was at present in the greatest favor with the regency, and would be 


the most proper person for being charged with such a commission. The same person told me that he had understood 
the present emperor of Morocco had begun his reign by showing dispositions to observe tlie treaties made by his 
predecessor. He thought it probable that ours would be continued. In general, however, I have understood that 
»ve should be obliged to renew it. This is the opinion also of Mr. Carraichael." 

Extract of a letter from Mr. John Lamb to the Honorable Tliomas Jefferson, dated Mgiers, March 29, 1786. 

"I am sure, by the best information, the sum will by no means answer our object if the amount is not greatly aug- 
mented. It is my duty to advise to abandon the undertaking, as it will be entn-ely in vain to persevere. It is lost 
money, the expenses that arise on the attempt. The last amount that I can give, please to let me know. I shall wait 
at Carthagena for the same. The people will cost for their redemption at least twelve hundred hard dollars per head . 
The number is twenty -one. Your excellency sees how feeble we are." 

No. 5. 

Extract of a letter from Mr. Paul Randal to the Honorable Thomas Jefferson, dated Meant, April 2, 1786. 

"As the money is paid according to the treaty, the Dey has set the sum of 3,600 dollars on every Spanish cap- 
tain; 3,000 for each mate or pilot, and 1,200 for the private seamen and soldiers." 

No. 6. 

Extract of a letter from Richard O'Brien to the Honorable Thomas Jefferson, dated Algiers, June 2, 1788. 

" If any one is redeemed, it is at a very exorbitant price. A few days ara an old Savoy captain of a merchant 
vessel, was redeemed for the sum of 2,150 Algerine chequins, which is equal to £967 lO.s. sterling, and even with 
that price it was with much time the Dey was prevailed on to let him be redeemed; and I think that sailors will be 
as high as £400 sterling, as they are very scarce here at present, and much wanted to do the duty for the public." 

No. 7. 

Extract of a letter from Richard O' Brien to the Honorable Thomas Jefferson, dated Algiers, Dec. 12, 1789. 

" In December, 1789, there are in Algiers 2 masters, at the Dey's price, 

2 mates, at 4,000 dollars each, ...... 

11 mariners, at 1,500 dollars each, ...... 

20 per cent, duty on slaves, 

Agreeable to the Dey's price in 1786, the whole cost is - . . . SJ38,325 

"A Mr. Joseph Cowen Bockerie, the principal Jew merchant of Algiers, assures me that he will engage, and well 
knows that he could obtain the Americans' release from slavery on the following terms, viz: 

For £ masters, at 2,000 sequins each, ------ $8,000 

2 mates at 3,000 dollars each --..-- 6,000 

11 maiiners, at 1,300 dollars each, ------ 14,300 

First cost, - ... - $28,300 

Fees and duties to the regency, amounting to 20 per cent. - - - 1,415 

Spanish dollars, . . . - $29,715 

"Mr. Bockerie says that, at the very furthest, he would procure us at 2,000 dollars each, which would be in all 
30,000 dollars, or 6,750 pounds sterling; and the Dutch and Spanish consuls are of the same opinion." 

No. 8. 

Extract of a letter from James Simpson, dated Gibraltar, August 25, 1790. 

" Having lately been desired to in<|uire, by means of my correspondents at Algiers, how many Americans re- 
mained there, and the sum [that] would be demanded for their ransom, I take the liberty of enclosing for your in- 
formation copy of the return made me, and to say, that, as tlie gentleman encharged me to make this inquiry, wrote 
in a style as it the generous and humane idea of ransom flowed from a private source, I much fear, as the sum de- 
manded is considerable, I shall not have the happiness of being encharged by them with directions for cairying it 
into execution." 

List of American Prisoners at Algiers, Jidy 9, 1790, with the sums demanded by the Regency for their ransom. 

Crew of the ship Dolphin, captured July 30, 1785. 

Richard O'Brien, captain — ransom demanded, ..... 2,000 

Andrew Montgomery, mate, ....--. 1,500 

Jacob Tessanior, French passenger, ------. 2,000 

William Paterson,, seaman (keeps a tavern) - - - - - - 1.500 

Philip Sloan, - . . ' . -• - - . - 725 

PelegLorin, .-.-.--.. 70- 

John Robertson, ..------- 725 

James Hall, ....--... 705 


Crew of the schooner Mary, taken July 25, 1785. 

- Isaac Stephens, captain, - - - - - - - ' . 2,000 

Alexander Forsyth, mate, ------.. i,goo 

James Cathcart, seaman (keeps a tavern) .--... 900 

George Smith (in the king's house) .--... 7-35 

John Gregory, ----.-... 7-25 

James Hermet, --------- 725 

Algerine zequins, - - - - 16,475 

Duty on the above sum, 10 percent. ------ 1,6475 

Sunchy gratifications to officers of the Dey's household and regency, equal to 17 1-6 zs. each person, 240s 

34,792 28-38 Mexican dollars, at 38 mozunas each, are, zequins, - - - - 18,362| 

1st Congress.] No. 44. [ 3d Skssion. 


Report of the Secretary of State relative to the Mediterranean Trade. Communicated to the House of Representa- 
tives, December 30, 1790, and to the Senate, January 3, 1791. 

The Secretary of Stiite, to whom was referred by the House of Representatives so much of the speech of the 
President of the United States to both Houses of Congress, as relates to the trade of the United States in the 
Mediterranean, with instructions to report thereupon to the House, has liad the same under consideration, and 
thereupon makes the following report: 

The loss of the records of the custom houses in several of the States, which took place about the commencement 
and during the course of the late war, has deprived us of official information as to the extent of our commerce and 
navigation in the Mediterranean sea. According to the best which may be obtained from other sources meriting 
respect, it may be concluded, tiiat about one-sixth of the wheat and flour exported from the United States, and 
about one-fourth in value of their dried and pickled fish, and some rice, found their best markets in the Mediterra- 
nean ports; that these articles constituted the principal part of what we sent into that sea; that, that commerce loaded 
outwards, from eighty to one hundred ships, annually, of twenty thousand tons, navigated by about twelve hundred 
seamen. It was abandoned early in the war. And after the peace which ensued, it was obvious to our merchants, 
that their adventures into that sea would be exposed to the depredations of (he piratical States on the coast of 
Barbary. Congress, too, was very early attentive to this danger, and by a commission of tlie 12th of May, 1784. 
authorized certain persons, named ministers pleiiipotentiary for that purpose, to conclude treaties of peace and 
amity with the Barbary Powers. And it being afterwards found more expedient that the negotiations should be 
carried on at the residences of those Powers, Congress, by a further commission, bearing date the 11th of March, 
1785, empowered the same ministers plenipotentiary to appoint agentsj to repair to the said Powers at their proper 
residences, and there to negotiate such ti'eaties. The whole expenses were limited to eighty thousand dollars. 
Agents were accordingly sent to Morocco and Algiers. 

Before the appointment of the one to Morocco, it was known that a cruiser of that State had taken a vessel of the 
United States; and that the Emperor, on the friendly interposition of the court of Madrid, had liberated the crew, 
and made restitution of the vessel and cargo, as far as tlieir condition admitted. This was a happy presage of the 
liberal treaty he afterwards concluded with our agent, still under the friendly mediation of Spain, and at an expense 
of between nine and ten thousand dollars only. On his death, which lias taken place not long since, it becomes 
necessary, according to their usage, to obtain immediately a recognition of the treaty by liis successor, and conse- 
quently, to make provision for the expenses which may attend it. The amount of the former furnishes one ground 
of estimate; but the character and dispositions of the successor, which are unknown here, may influence it materially. 
Tiie friendship of this Power is important, because our .Atlantic as well as I^lediterranean trade is open to his annoy- 
ance, and because we cany on a useful commerce with his nation. 

The Algerines had also taken two vessels of the United States, with twenty-one persons on board, whom they 
retained as slaves. On the arrival of the agent sent to that regency, the Dey );etused utterly to treat of peace on any 
terras, and demanded 59,496 dollai-s for the ransoin of our captives. This mission therefore proved ineffectual. 

While these negotiations were on foot at Morocco and Algiers, an ambassador from Tripoli arrived in London. 
The ministers plenipotentiary of the United States met him in person. He demanded for the peace of that State 
thirty thousand guineas; and undertook to engage that of Tunis for a like sum. These demands were beyond the 
limits of Congress and of reason, and nothing was done. Nor was it of importance, as, Algiers remaining hostile, 
the peace of Tunis and Tripoli was of no value; and when that of the former should be obtained, theirs would soon 

Our navigation, then, into the Mediterranean, has not been resumed at all since the peace. The sole obstacle 
has been the unprovoked war of Algiers; and the sole remedy must be to bring that war to an end, or to palliate its 
eftects. Its effects may, perhaps, be palliated by ensuring our ships and cargoes destined for that sea,_and by forming 
a convention with the regency, for the ransom of our seamen, according to a fixed tariff. That tariff will, probably, 
be high, and the rate of ensurance so settled, in the long run, as to pay for the vessels and cargoes captured, and 
something more. What propoi-tion will be captured, nothing but experience can determine. Our commerce differs 
from that of most of tlie nations with whom the predatory States are in habits of war. Theirs is spread all over the 
lace of the Mediterranean, and therefore must be sought for all over its face. Ours must all enter at a strait only 
five leagues wide; so that their cruisers, taking a safe and commanding position near the strait's mouth, may very 
effectually inspect whatever enters it. So safe a station, with a certainty of receiving for their prisoners a good and 
stated price, may tempt their cupidity to seek our vessels particularly. Nor is it certain that our seamen could be 
induced to engage in that navigation, thougli witii the security of Algerine faith that they would be liberated on the 
payment of a fixed sum. The temporary deprivation of liberty, perliaps chains, the dange.- of the pest, the perils 
of the engagement preceding their surrender, and possible delays of the ransom, might turn elsewhere the choice of 
men, to whom all die rest of the world is open. In every case, these would be embarrassments which would enter 
into the merchant's estimate, and endanger liis preference of foreign bottoms not exposed to them. And upon the 
wh.ole, this expedient does not fulfil our wish of a complete re-establishment of our commerce in that sea. 

A second plan might be, to obtain peace by purchasing it For this we have the example of rich and powerful 
nations, in this instance counting their interest more than their honor. If, conforming to their example, we deter- 
mine to purchase a peace, it is proper to inquire what that peace may cost. This being merely a matter of conjecture, 
we can only compare together such opinions as have been obtained, and from them form one for ourselves. 


Mr. Wolf, a respectable Irishman, who had resided very long at Algiers, thouglit a peace might be obtained from 
that regency, and the redemption of our captives included, for sixty or seventy thousand pounds sterling. His 
character and opinion both, merited respect. Yet his estimate being the lowest of all who have hazarded an opinion 
on this subject, one is apt to feai- his judgment might have been biassed by the hope he enteitained that the United 
States would charge him with this negotiation. 

Captain O'Brien, one of our captives, who had been in Algiers four years and a half at the date of his last letter, a 
very sensible man, and to whom we are indebted for very minute information, supposes that peace alone might be 
bought for that sum, that is to say, for three hundred and twenty-two thousand dollars. 

The Tripoline ambassador, before mentioned, thought that peace could be made with the three smaller Powers 
for ninety thousand pounds sterling, to wliich were to be added the expenses ot the mission and other incidental 
expenses. But he could not answer for Algiers: they would demand more. The ministers plenipotentiary who 
conferred with him, had judged that as much must be paid to Algiers as to the other three Powers together; and 
consequently, that, according to this measure, the peace of Algiers would cost from an hundred to an hundred and 
twenty-five thousand pounds sterling; or from four hundred and sixty to five hundred and seventy-five thousand 

The latter sum seemed to meet tlie ideas of the Count de Vergennes, who, from a very long residence at Constan- 
tinople, was a good judge of whatever related to the Porte, or its dependencies. 

A person whose name is not free to be mentioned here, a native of the continent of Europe, who had long lived, 
and still lives at Algiers, with whom the minister plenipotentiary of the United States at Paris had many and long 
conversations, and found his information full, clear, and consistent, was of opinion the peace of Algiers could not 
be bought by the United States for less than a mdlion of dollars. And when that is paid, all is not done. On 
the death of a Dey (and the present one is between seventy and eighty years of age) respectable presents must be 
made to the successor, that he may recognise the treaty; and very often he takes the liberty of altering it. When a 
consul is sent or changed, new presents must be made. If these events leave a considerable intei^al, occasion must 
be made of renewing presents. And with all this they must see that we are in condition to chastise an infraction of 
the treaty; consequently, some marine force must be exhibited in their harbor from time to time. 

The late peace of Spain with Algiers is said to have cost from three to five millions of dollars. Having received 
the money, they take the vessels of tifiat nation on the most groundless pretexts; counting, that the same force, which 
bowed Spain to so hard a treaty, may break it vsdth impunity. 

Their treaty with France, which had expired, was about two years ago renewed for fifty years. The sum given 
at the time of renewal is not known. But presents are to be repeated every ten years, and a tribute of one hundred 
thousand dollars to be annually paid. Yet perceiving that France, embarrassed at home with her domestic affairs, 
was less capable of acting abroad, they took six Aessels of that nation in the course of the last year, and retain the 
captives, forty-four in number, in slavery. 

It is the opinion of Captain O'Brien, that those nations are best treated who pay a smaller sum in the beginning, 
and an annual tribute afterwards. In this way he informs us that the Dutch, Danes, Swedes, and Venetians pay 
to Algiers from twenty-four to thirty thousand dollars a year, each; the two first in naval stores, the two last 
chiefly in money. It is supposed that the peace of the Barbary States costs Great Britain about sixty thousand 
guineas, or two hundred and eighty thousand dollars a year. But it must be noted that these facts cannot be authen- 
tically advanced; as, from a principle of self condemnation, the governments keep them from the public eye as much 
as possible. 

Nor must we omit finally to recollect, that the Algerines, attentive to resei-ve always a sufiicient aliment for 
their piracies, will never extend their peace beyond certain limits, and consequently that we may find ourselves in 
the case of those nations to whom they refuse peace at any price. 

The third expedient is to repel force by force. Several statements are hereto annexed of the naval force of Al- 
giers, taken in 1785, 1786, 1787, 1788, and 1789, differing in small degrees, but concurring in the main. From 
these it results, that they have usually had about nine chebecks of from ten to tliirty-six guns, and four galleys, 
which have been reduced by losses to six chebecks and four galleys. They have a forty gun frigate on the stocks, 
and expect two cruisers from the Grand Seignior. The character of their vessels is, that they are sharp built and 
swift, but so light as not to stand the broadside of a good frigate. Their guns are of different calibres, unskilfully 
pointed and worked. The vessels illy manoeuvred, but crowded with men — one third Turks, the rest Moors, of 
determined bravery, and resting their sole hopes on boarding. But two of these vessels belong to the government, 
the rest being private property. If they come out of harbor together, they separate immediately in quest of prey; 
and it is said they were never known to act together in any instance. Nor do they come out at all, when they know 
there are vessels cruising for them. They perform tlu'ee cruises a year, between the middle of April and Novem- 
ber, when they unrig and lay up for the winter. When not confined within the straits, they rove northwardly to 
the channel, and westwardly to the Western Islands. 

They are in peace at present witli France, Spain, England, Venice, the United Netherlands, Sweden, and Den- 
mark; and at war with Russia, Austria, Portugal, Naples, Sardinia, Genoa, and Malta. 

Should the United States propose to vindicate their commerce by arms, they would, perhaps, tliink it prudent to 
possess a force equal to the whole of that which may be opposed to them. What that equal force would be, will 
belong to another department to say. 

At the same time it might never be necessary to draw out the whole at once, nor perhaps any proportion of it, but 
for a small part of the year; as it is reasonable to presume that a concert of operation might be arranged among the 
powers at war with the Barbary States, so as that, each performing a tour of a given duratioUj and in given order, a 
constant cruise during the eight temperate months of every year, may be kept up before the harbor of Algiers, till 
the object of such operations be completely obtained. Portugal has singly, for several years past, kept up such a 
cruise before the straits of Gibraltar, and by that means has confined the Algerines closely within. But two of 
their vessels have been out of the straits in the last five years. Should Portugal effect a peace with theni, as has 
been apprehended for some time, the Atlantic will immediately become the principal scene of their piracies; their 
peace with Spain having reduced the profits of their Mediteiranean cruises below tne expenses of equipment. 

Upon the whole, it rests with Congress to decide between war, tribute, and ransom, as the means of re-esta- 
blishing our Mediterranean commerce. If war, they will consider how far our own resources shall be called forth, 
and how far they will enable the Executive to engage, in the forms of the constitution, the co-operation of other 
Powers. If tribute or ransom, it will rest with them to limit and provide the amount; and with the Executive, 
observing the same constitutional forms, to make arrangements for employing it to the best advantage. 


December 28, 1 790. Secret wy of State. 

Extract of a letter from likhard O'Brieu, one of the American captives at Algiers, to Congress, doled Algiers, 

December 26, 1789. 

" It was the opinion of Mr. John Wolf, who resided many years in (his city, that the United States of America 
may obtain a peace for one hundred years with this regency, for the sum of sixty or seventy thousand pounds ster- 
ling, and the redeniption of fifteen Americans included. Mr. Wolf was the British charge des affaires in Algiers, 
and was much the friend of America, but he is no more. 

14 VOL. I. 


" I have now been four years and a half in captivity, and I have much reason to think that America may obtain a 
peace with Algiers for the sum of sixty-five or seventy thousand pounds, considering the present state of Algiers. 
That this reaiency would find it their interest to take two or three American cruisers in part payment for making a 
peace; and also would take masts, yards, plank, scantling, tar, pitch, and turpentine, and Philadelphia iron, as a 
part payment: all to be regulated at a certain fixed price by treaty." 

No. 2. 

Extract of a letter from the Honorable John Mams, Minister Plenipotentiary for the United States at London^ to 
the Honorable John Jay, Secretary for Foreign Jlffairs, dated London, February 22, 1786. 

" On Monday evening another conference was held with the Tripolitan ambassador. , When he began to explain 
himself concerning his demands, he said they would be different, according to the duration of the treaty. If that 
were perpetual, they would be greater; if for a term of years, less; his advice was, that it should be perpetual. 
Once signed by the Bashaw, Dey, and other ofiicers, it would be indissoluble and binding for ever upon all their 
successors. But if a temporary treaty were made, it might be difiicult and expensive to revive it For a perpetual 
treaty, sucli as they had now with Spain, a sum of thirty thousand guineas must be paid upon the delivery of the 
articles signed by the Dey and other officers. If it were agreed to, he would send his secretary by land to Mar- 
seilles, and from thence by water to Tripoli, who should bring it back by the same route, signed by the Dey, &c. 
He had proposed so small a sum in consideration of the circumstances, but declared it was not half of what had 
been lately paid them by Spain. If we chose to treat upon a different plan, he would make a treaty perpetual, upon 
the payment of twelve thousand five hundred guineas for the first year, and three thousand guineas annually, until 
the thirty thousand guineas were paid. It was observed that these were large sums, and vastly beyond expectation; 
but his excellency answered, that they never made a treaty for less. Upon the airival of a prize, the Dey and the 
other officers are entitled, by their laws, to large shares, by which they might make greater profits than these sums 
amounted to, and they never would give up this advantage for less. 

"• He was told, that although there was a full power to treat, the American ministers were limited to a much smal- 
that it would be impossible to do any thing, until ^ 

ler sum; so that it would be impossible to do any thing, until we could write to Congress and know their plcaouic. 
Colonel Smith was present at this, as he had been at the last conference, and agreed to go to Paris to communicate 
all to Mr. Jefferson, and persuade him to come here, that we may join in further conferences, and transmit the result 
to Congress. 

" The ambassador believed that Tunis and Morocco would treat upon the same terms, but could not answer for 
Algiers. They would demand more. When Mr. Jefferson arrives we shall insist upon knowing the ultimatum, 
and transmit it to Congress. 

" Congress will perceive that one hundred and twenty thousand guineas will be indispensable to conclude with 
the four Powers at this rate, besides a present to the ambassadors, and their incidental charges. Besides this, a 
present of five hundred guineas is made, upon the arrival of a consul in each State. No man wishes more fei-vently 
that the expense could be less, but the fact cannot be altered, and the truth ought not to be concealed. 

" It may be reasonably concluded that this great affair cannot be finished for much less than two hundred thou- 
sand pounds sterling. " 

No. 3. 

Extract of a letter from the Honorable Thomas Jefferson, Minister Plenipotentiary for the United States at Paris, 
to the Honorable John Jay, Secretary for Foreign .Affairs, dated Paris, May 23, 1786. 

" Letters received both from Madrid and Algiers, while I was in London, having suggested that treaties with the 
States of Barbary would be much facilitated by a previous one with the Ottoman Porte, it was agreed between Mr. 
Adams and myself, that, on my return 1 should consult, on this subject the Count DeVergennes, whose long resi- 
dence at Constantinople rendered him the best judge of its expediency. Various circumstances have put it out of my 
power to consult him till to-day. I stated to him the difficulties we were likely to meet with at Algiers, and asked 
his opinion, what would be the probable expense of a diplomatic mission to Constantinople, and what its effects at 
Algiers. He said that the expense would be very great: for that presents must be made at that court, and every one 
would be gapingafter them; and that it would not procure us a peace at Algiers one penny the cheaper. He ob- 
served that the Barbary States acknowledge a sort of vassalage to the Porte, and availed themselves of that relation 
when any thing was to be gained by it; but that, whenever it subjected them to a demand from the Porte, they totally 
disregarded it: that money was the sole agent at Algiers, except so far as fear could be induced also. He cited the 
present example of Spain, which, though having a treaty with the Porte, would probably be obliged to buy a peace at 
Algiers, at the expense of upwards of six millions of livres. I told him we had calculated, from the demands and 
information of the Tripoline ambassador at London, that to make peace with the four Barbary States would cost 
us between two and three hundred thousand guineas, if bought with money. 

" The sum did not seem to exceed his expectations. 1 mentioned to him, that, considering the uncertainty of a 
peace, when bought, perhaps Congress might think it more eligible to establish a cruise of frigates in the Mediterra- 
nean, and even to blockade Algiers. He supposed it would require ten vessels, great and small. I observed to him 
that M. De Massiac had formerly done it with five: he said it was true, but that vessels of relief would be necessary. 
I hinted to him that I thought the English capable of administering aid to the Algerines. He seemed to think it im- 
possible, on account of the scandal it would bring on them. I asked him wliat had occasioned the blockade by 
M. De Massiac; he said an infi-action of their treaty liy the Algerines." 

No. 4. 

Extract of a letter from Richard O^Brien to the Hon, Thomas Jefferson, dated Mgiers, Jipril 28, 1787. 

" It seems the Neapolitan ambassador had obtained a truce with this regency for three months, and the ambassa- 
dor wrote his Court of his success; bu< about the 1 st of April, when the cruisers were fitting out, the ambassador went 
to the Dey, and hoped the Dey would give the necessary orders to the captains of his cruisers not to take the Neapo- 
litan vessels. The Dey said the meaning of the truce was not to take the Neapolitan cruisers, but if his chebecks 
should meet the Neapolitan merchantmen, to take them and send them for Algiers. The ambassador said, the Neapo 
litan cruisers would not want a pass on those terms. The Dey said, if his chebecks should meet either men of war 
or merchant vessels, to take them; so gave orders accordingly. The Algerines sailed the 9th instant, and are gone, 
I believe, off the coast of Italy. This shows there is very little confidence to be put in the royal word. No prin- 
ciple of national honor will bind those people; and I believe not much confidence to be put in them in treaties. The 
Algerines are not inclinable to a peace with the Neapolitans. I hear of no negotiation. When tlie two frigates 
arrive with the money for the ransom of the slaves, I believe they are done wtii the Neapolitans." 


Extract of a letter from Richard O'Biien to tlifi Hon. Thomas Jefferson, dated Algiers, June 13, 1789. 

" The cruisers had orders to take the Danes; but I believe Denmark, suspecting tliat, on account of their alliance 
with Russia, the Grand Seignior would order the regency of Algiers to make war agamst the Danes; accordingly 
the Danes have evacuated the Mediterranean seas, until the aftairs of Europe are more settled. The Danish ship 
with the tribute is shortly expected. She is worth fifty thousand dollars; so that the Algerines will not make known 
publicly their intention of breaking with Denmark, until this ship arrives with the tribute. I am very sure that Mr. 
Robindar is very sensible of the intention of those sea-robbers, the terror and scourge of the Christians. The reason 
the Algerines have not committed any depredations on the English, is, that the cruisers have not met with any of 
them richly loaded: for if they had met with a rich ship from London for Livorna, they would certainly have brought 
her into port, and would have said that said ship was loaded for the enemy of Algiers at Livorna; but if that was 
not a sufficient excuse, hove overboard or dipt the pass. 

"Consul Logic has been treated with much contempt by the Algerine ministry; and you may depend, that when 
theDey goes to his long home, that his successor will not renew the peace with Great Britain, without a large sum of 
money is paid, and very valuable presents. This I well know; the whole ministry say, that the peace with the 
English is very old, and the English must conform to the custom of other nations, in giving the government here 
money and presents. In fact, the Algerines are trying their endeavors to find some nation to break the peace with 
them. I think, if they had treated the English in such a manner as they have the French, that the English would 
resent it." 

Extract of a letter from Richard O^ Brien to the Hon. Thomas Jefferson, dated Mgiers, June 13, 1789. 

" What dependence or faith could be given to a peace with the Algerines, considering their present haughtiness, and 
with what contempt and derision do they treat all nations; so that, in my opinion, until the Algerines more strictly 
adhere to the treaties they have already made, it would be impolitic in any nation to try to make a peace here: for I 
see they take more from the nations they are at peace with, than they do from those they are at declared war with. The 
Portuguese, I hope, vrill keep the Algerines inside the straits: for only consider the bad consequence of the Alge- 
rines going into the Mar Grande. Should the Portuguese make a sudden peace with this regency, the Algerines 
would immediately go out of the straits, and, of course, take many an American." 

Extract of a letter from the Honorable John Mams, Esq. Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States at the 
Court of Great Britain, to the Hon. John Jay, Secretary for Foreign Affairs, dated February 16, 1786. 

" The American commerce can be protected from these Africans only by negotiation, or by war. If presents 
should be exacted from us, as ample as those which are given by England, the expense may amount to sixty thou- 
sand pounds sterling a year— an enormous sum to be sure, but infinitely less than the expense of fighting. Two 
frigates of 30 guns each, would cost as much to fit them for the sea, besides the accumulating charges of stores, pro- 
visions, pay, and clothing. The Powers of Europe generally send a squadron of men of war with their ministers, and 
offer battle at the same time that they propose treaties and promise presents." 

No. 6. 

Several statements of the Marine Force of Algiers— pid)lic and private. 

1786, May 20. Mr. Lamb says it consists of 

10 Row Galleys i*^^*"" ^^ *° ^ S""*' "^^nned, the largest with 400 men, and so in proportioD. 

1786, May 27. Mr. Randall furnishes two statements, viz. 

A more general one — 1 Setye of 34 guns 

2 ditto 32 

1 ditto 26 

1 ditto 24 

1 Chebeck 20 

1 ditto 18 

1 ditto 10 

4 half galleys, carrying from 120 to 130 Moors. 
3 galliots ot 70, 60, and 50 Moors. 

A more particular one as follows: 

1 of 32 guns, viz. 2 eighteens, 24 nines, 6 fours, and 450 men. 

1 of 28 viz. 2 twelves, 24 nines, 2 sixes, and 400 men. 

1 of 24 viz. 20 fours. and 350 men. 

1 of 20 VIZ. 20 sixes, and 300 men. 

2 of 18 viz. 18 sixes, and 260 men. 

1 of 16 viz. 16 sixes, and 250 men. 

2 small craft. 

55 gun-boats, carrying 1 twelve pounder each, for defence of the harbor. 

1786, June 8. A letter from the three American Captains, O'Brien, Coffin, and Stephens, states them 
as 1 of 32 
1 of 30 
3 of 24 
3 ot 18 
1 of 12 

and 55 gun boats. 


1787, September 25. Captain O'Brien furnishes tlie following statement: 

1 of 30 guns, 400 men, 106 feet length, straight keel. 

1 26 320 96 

2 22 240 80 
1 22 240 75 
1 22 240 70 
1 18 200 70 
1 16 180 64 

1 12 150 50 


Galleys. 1 4 70 40 

2 2 46 32 
12 40 32 

1788, Februaiy 5. Statement by the inhabitant of Algiers, spoken of in the report. 
9 vessels from 36 down to 20 guns. 

4 or 5 smaller. 

About this date the Algerines lost 2 or 3 vessels, stranded or taken. 

1789, December. Captain O'Brien furnishes the latest statement. 
1 ship of 24 guns, received lately from France. 

5 large cruisers. 

6 3 galleys and 60 gun-boats. 

In the fall of 1789, they laid the keel of a 40 gun frigate, and they expect two cruisers from the Grand Seignior, 

No. 7. 

Translation of a letter from Count D'^Estaing to the Hon. Thomas Jeffersmi, Esq. 

Paris, May 17, 1786. 

In giving you an account of an opinion of Mr. Massiac, and which absolutely corresponds with my own, I can- 
not too much observe how great a difference may take place, in the course of forty years, between the means wliich he 
required and those which political circumstances, that I cannot ascertain, may exact. 

Tliis Secretary of State, afterwards vice admiral, had the modesty, when a captain, to propose a means for the re- 
duction of Algiers, less brilliant to himself, but more sure and economical than the one government was about to 
adopt. They wanted him to undertake a bombardment; he proposed a simple blockade. AH the force he required 
was a single man of war, two strong frigates, and two sloops of war. 

I am convinced, that, by blocking up Algiers by cross-anchoring, and with a long tow, that is to say, with several 
cables spliced to each other, and with iron chains, one might, if necessary, always remain there, and there is no bar- 
barian power thus confined, which would not soon sue for peace. 

Dunng the war before last, the English remained, even in winter, at anchor before Morbian, on the coast of Britta- 
ny, which is a much more dangerous coast. Expeditious preparation for sailing of the vessels which form the block- 
ade, which should be of a sufficient number to prevent any thing from entering or going out, while the rest remain 
at their stations, the choice of these stations, skilful manceuvi-es, strict watch during the night, every precaution 
against the element which a seaman ought to be acquainted with; also against the enemy, to prevent the sudden 
attack of boats, and to repel them in case they should make an attack by prepared for the purpose, fre- 

quent refreshments for the crews, relieving the men, an unshaken constancy aud exactness in the service, are the means 
which, in my opinion, would render the event indubitable. Bombardments are but transitory. It is, if I may so ex- 
press myself, like breaking glass windows with guineas. None have produced the desired effect against the barbarians. 
Even an imperfect blockade, were one to have the patience and courage to persist therein, would occasion a perpetual 
evil; it would be insupportable in the long run. To obtain the end proposed, no advantage ought to be lost. It seve- 
ral Powers would come to a good understanding, and pursue a plan formed on the principles of humanity; if they 
were not counteracted by others, it would require but a few years to compel the barbarians to cease being pirates; 
they would become merchants in spite of themselves. It is needless to observe, that the unsuccessful attempts of 
Spain, aud those under which the republic of Venice, perhaps, hides other views, have increased the strength as well 
as the self-love of all the barbarians. We are assured that the Algerines have fitted out merchantmen with heavy 
cannon. This would render it neccessary to block the place with two ships, so that one of the two might remain 
moored near tlie bar, while the other might prepare to support such of the frigates as should give chase. But their 
chebecks, even their frigates, and all their vessels, althougli overcharged wth men, are moreover so badly armed and 
manceuvred that assistance from without would be most to be feared. 

Your excellency has told me the only true means of bringing to terms the only people who can take a pleasure in 
disturbing our commerce. You see, I speak as an American citizen; tliis title, dear to my heart, the value of which 
I fully prize, affords me the happy opportunity of offering, still more particularly, the homage, the sincere attach- 
ment, and respect, with which I have the honor to be, &c. 


1st Congress. ] ^ No. 45. [3d Sessiow . 


Report of a Committee on the Trade qf the Mediterranean, made to the Senate, January 6, 1791. 

The committee to whom was referred that part of the President's speech which relates to the trade of the 
Mediterranean, also the President's message of the 30th December, witli the papers accompanying the same, are of 
opinion that the trade of the United States to the Mediterranean, cannot be protected but by a naval force; and 
that it will be proper to resort to the same as soon as the state of the public finances will admit 

ir91.] FRANCE. 109 

1st Congress.] No. 46. [3d Session. 


Message from the President of the United States, transmitting a letter from the King of France, communicated 

to the Senate. 

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 Con- 
gress of the United States of America. ^^^ WASHINGTON. 

Tris-chers grands Amis et Mies: 

Nous avons regu la lettre par la-quelle vous nous avez informes de la nouvelle marque de confiance que 
vous avez donnee au Sieur Jefferson, et qui met fin aux fonctions de la place de votre ministre plenipotentiare aupres 
de nous. La maniere dont il s'est conduit pendant tout le tems quil a reside a notre cour, lui a merite notre estime 
et une entiere approbation de notre part. C 'est avec plaisir que nous lui rendons ce temoignage. Nous^ en avons un bien 
sincere a profiter de cette occasion pour vous renouveller ces assurances de I'affection et de I'amitie que nous portons 
aux Etats Unis en general et a chacun d'eux en particulier. Sur ce nous prions Dieu qu'il vous ait, tres chers grands 
amis et allies, en sa sainte et digne garde. Fait a, Paris, ce 1 1 Septembre, 1790. 

Votre bon ami et allie, LOUIS. 

MoNTMORiN. [Seal.] 
Aux Etats Unis de I'Amerique Septentrionale. 

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 tliis opportunity of renewing these assurances of regard and 
friendship which we feel for the United States in general, and tor 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. 

1st Congress.] No. 47. ^M 

Message from the President of the United States, relative to the extra tonnage paid by French vessels in the ports 
of the United States, communicated to the Senate. 

United States, January 19, 1791. 
Gentlemen of the Senate: 

I lay before you a representation of the charge des 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, th:i( I may be enabled to give to it such answer as may best comport with the justice and the 
interests of the tFnited States. 


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

The charge des affaires of France, by a note of the 13th of December, represents, by order of iiis court, tliat they 
consider so much of the acts of Coiigress 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 com- 
merce between the two nations; that this would have authorized, on their part, a proportional modification in tlie 
favors granted to the American navigation, but that his sovereign had thought it more conformable to liis principles 
of friendship and attachment to the United States, to onler him to make representations tiiereon, 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 accom- 
pany 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 niost fav9red 
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 contacting 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 any thing more than an 
application of tlie principle comprised in the tliird 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: " Bans Pexemption ci dessus rumimemeiit compris,'''' &c., " in tlie above exen^tion is 
particularly comprised the imposition of one hundred sols per ton established in France on foreign vessels." Here. 


then, is at once an express declaration, that the exemption from the duty of one hundred 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 com- 
prised 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 one hundred 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 poi-ts, are exempted from the duty of one 
hundred 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 fi-om an over caution 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 douDt. 

II. The court of France, however, understands this article as intended to introduce something to which the pre- 
ceding articles had not reached, and not merely as an application of them to a particular case. 1 heir 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 one hundred sols resened 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. ' r- , • , 

If some meaning, and such a one, is to be given to the last member ot 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 equi- 
valent 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 con- 
tinue any other. Equivalent reservations by both, must imply equivalent restrictions on both. The exact recipro- 
city stipulated in the preceding articles, and wliich pervades evciy part of the treaty, ensures a counter right to each 
party for every right ceded to the other. 

Let it be turther 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 tlie expense ot the United States; and for fees to measurers, weighers, gaugers, 
&c. 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 conti- 
nuing the old. If we ought to refund the port duties received from their vessels, since the date ot 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. . , , ., r, ■ 

If tliis construction be adopted, then, each party has forever renounced the right ot laying any duties on the ves- 
sels of the other coming from any foreign port; or more than 100 sols on those coming coastwise. Could this relin- 
quishment 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 tmc 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 measures mth them, is not easy to say. , r > • 

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 botli. 
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: thev 
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 beeti an irregularity 
growing out of the anarchy reigning in those colonies. Yet the demands of the colonists, even of tlie government 
party among them, (if an auxiliaiy 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. 

» By an official paper from the bureau of the balance of commerce of France, we find that, of the ships which entered the 
ports of France from the United States inlhe year 1789, only 13, amounting to 2,105 tons, were French, and 163, making 24,173 
tons, were American. 

f Abstract of the produce of ilie fisheries exported from the United States, from August 20, 1789, to August 14, 1790, in 
which is omitted one quarter's exportations from Boston, Plymouth, Dighton, Penobscot, Frenchman's Bav, Machias, and New 
York, of which the returns are not received. „ , 

Cod Fishery. Wliak Fishery. Both Fisheries. 

France and the French West Indies, . ? 586,167 - $131,906 - $718,073 

The rest cf the world, - 307,097 - 101,306 - 408,403 

Whole produce, - 893,264 - 233,212 - 1,126,476 

1791.] FRANCE. HI 

Considering the value of the interests we have at stake, and considering the sniallness 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 grant- 
ed 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 tliey are gratuitous. 

It is desiralDle 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 irre- 
vocable but by joint consent, let a change of circumstances render them ever so Durdensome. 

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 Fiance 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. 

January 18, 1791. 

A Philadelphie, le 13 Dec. 1790. 

Pendant le long sejour que vous avez. fait en Fra,nce, vous avez eu lieu de vous convaincre des disposi- 
tions favorables de sa Majeste pour rendre permanens les liens qui unissent les deux Nations, et pour donner de la 
stabilite aux traites d'alliance et de commerce, qui forment la base de cette union. Ces traites ont ete si bien main- 
tenus par le Congres forme sous L'ancienne confederation, qu'il a cru devoir interposer son autorite toutes les fois 
que des loix faitespar des etats individuels paroissoient en enfreindre les dispositions, et particulierement lorsqu' en 
1785, les etats du New-Hampshire, et du Massachusetts, avoient impose des droits de tonnage extraordinaires sur 
les batimens etrangers sans en exempter ceux de la nation Fran^oise. Les reflexions, que j'ai I'honneur de' vous 
adresser dans la notte cijointe etant fondees sur les memes principes, j'ose croire qu'elles meriteront de la part du 
gouvernement des Etats Unis I'attention la plus serieuse. 

Je suis avec respect, Monsieur, 

Votre tres humble et tres obeissant serviteur. 
L. G. OTTO. 
Mons. Jefferson, 

Secretaire d^Etat, et des Jiffaires Elrangeres. 


L. G. Otto to the Secretary of State. 

Philadelphia, Deceinber 13, 1790. 

During the long stay you made m France, you Imd 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 tjie 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 Hamp- 
shire and of Massachusetts Jiad 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 tlie 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, &c. 

L. G. OTTO. 

Le soussigne Charge des Affaires de France are^u I'ordre expres de sa cour de representer aux Etats Unis, que 
I'acte passe par le Congies, le 20' Juillet, 1789, et renouvelle le 20' Juillet de I'annee courante, qui impose un droit 
de tonnage extraordinaire sur les batimens etrangers, sans en excepter les navires Francois, est directement con- 
traire a 1 esprit et au but du traite de commerce, qui lie les deux nations, et dont Sa Majeste a non seulement scru 
puleusement observe la teneur, mais dont elle a etendu les avantages par plusieurs reglemens tres favorables au 
commerce et a la navigation des Etats Unis. 

Par I'article 5' de ce traite les citoyens de ces Etats, sont declares exempts du droit de tonnage impose en France 
sur les batimens etrangers, et ils ne sont assujettis a ce droit que pour le petit cabotage; on a reserve au Congies la 
faculte d'etablir un droit equivalent « ce dernier; stipulation fondee sur I'etat oil etoient les choses en Amerique lors 
de la signature du traite; li n'existoit a cette epoque aucun droit de tonnage dans les Etats Unis. 

II est evident que c'est la non-existence de ce droit et la motif d'une parfaite reciprocite stipulee dans le pream- 
bule du traite, qui ont determine le Roi a accorder I'exemption contenue dans Tarticle 5' et une preuve que le Con- 
gres n avoit point I'intention de porter atteinte a cette reciprocite, c'est qu'il s'est borne a se reserver la faculte d'eta- 
blir sur le petit cabotage un droit equivalent a celui qui se pergoit -en France. Cette resene auroit ete completement 
inutile, si aux termes du traite le Congres s'etoit cru en liberte de mettre un droit de tonnage quelcoitquc sur les 
batimens Francois. 

_ Le soussigne a I'honneur d'observer que cette atteinte portee a I'aiiicle 5' du ti-aite de commerce auroit pu auto- 
nser Sa Majeste a modifier proportionellement les faveurs accordees par le ineme article a la navigation Ameri- 
came, mais le Roi toujours ndele a ses principes d'amitie et d'attachment pour les Etats Unis, et voulant confirmer 
oe plus en plus les liaisons qui subsistent si heureusement entre la nation Fraiisoise et ces Etats a trouve plus con- 
lorme a ces vues d'ordonner au soussigne de faire des representations a ce sujet, et de demander en faveur des na- 
c" M ■ '^^'J^'^'* ""^ modification de I'acte qui impose un droit de tonnage extraordinaire sur les batimens etrangers. 
ba Miyeste ne doute pas, que les Etats Unis ne reconnoissent la justice de cette reclamation et ne soient disposes a 
reraettre les choses sur le pied, oil elles etoient lors de la signature du traite du 6" Fevr. 1778. 
A 1'hiladelphie, le 13' Decembre, 1790. 

L. G. OTTO. 


L. G. Otto to the Secretary of State. 

Note. — The underwritten charge des 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 con- 
trary 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 5th 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 re- 
served 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 non-existence 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 5th; and a 
proof that Congress had no intention to contravene this reciprocity isj that it only reserves a privilege of establishing 
on the coasting business, a duty equivalent to that which is levied m 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. 

Tlie undersigned has the honor to observe that this contravention of the 5th article of the treaty of commerce 
might have authorized Iiis Majesty t9 modify proportionably the favors granted by the same article to the American 
navigation; but the King, always faithful to tlie 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 tlie treaty of the 6th February, 1778. 

L. G. OTTO. 

Philadelphia, December 13, 1790. 

A NewYork, le 8 Janv. 1791. 

J'ai I'honneur de vous adresser ci-jointe une lettre du Roi au Congies, et une autre que vous ecrit M. de Mont- 
morin. Vous y trouverez I'expression sincere des sentimens, que vous avez inspires a notre Gouvernement et des 
regrets du ministre de ne plus etre immediatement en relation avec vous. Ces sentimens sont partages par toutes 
les personnes qui ont eu I'avantage de vous connoitre en France. 

Je suis peine. Monsieur, d'avoir a vous annoncer en menie tems que les plaintes de nos negocians au sujet des 
droits de tonnage se multiplient, et qu'elles ont non seulement fixe I'attention du Roi, mais celle de plusieurs de- 
partmens du royaume. J'ai regu de nouveaux ordres de demander aux Etats Unis une decision a ce sujet, et de 
solliciter en faveur de negocians lezes la restitution des droits, qui ont dejk ete payes. Je vous prie instamment. 
Monsieur, de ne pas perdre de vue un objet qui, comme j'ai eu I'honneur de vous les dire verbalement est de la plus 
grande importance pour cimenter les liaisons futures de commerce entre les deux nations. 

En exarainant plus particulierement cette question, vous trouverez pent etre que les motifs de convenance sont 
aussi puissans que ceux de justice pour engager les Etats Unis a donner a Sa Majeste la satisfaction qu'elle demande. 
II entre dans les ports de France au moins deux fois plus de batimens Americains qu'il ne vient de batimens Fran- 
cois dans les ports Americains. L'exemption du droit de tonnage est done evidemment moins ayantageuse pour les 
Francois que pour le navigateurs des Etats Unis. Quoiqu'il en soit, je puis vous assurer. Monsieur, que les delais 
d'une decision a cet egard ne pourront que multiplier les difficultes en au^mentant les justes plaintes des negocians 
Francois. Je vous prie en consequence de me mettre en etat de donner a ma cour une reponse satisfaisante avant 
I'expedition du paquebot qui partira vers la fin de ce mois. 

J'ai I'honneur d'eti'e, avec un respectueux attachement. Monsieur, 

Votre ties humble et tres obeissant serviteur, 

L..G. OTTO. 
Son Exce. M. Jbfferson, Secretaire d'Etat. 


L. G. Otto to the Secretary of State. 

New York, January 8, 1791. 

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 connexions between the two nations. 

In more particularly examining this question, you will, perhaps, find that motives of convenience are as power- 
ful 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 exemp- 
tion of the tonnage 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, be- 
fore the sailing of the packet, which will take place towards the last of this month, to give to my court a satisfactory 

I have the honor to be, &c. 

L. G. OTTO. 
His Excellency Mr. Jeffekson. Secrvfary of State. 




Arret du Conseil B'Etat du Roi, pour P encouragement 
du commerce de France avec les Etats- Unis de TJlme- 
fique. Du 29 Deccmbre 1787. 


Le Roi voulant encourager le commerce de ses sujets 
avec les Etats-Unis de I'Amerique, et faciliter eiitre 
les deux nations des relations reciproquement utiles: oui 
le rapport du sieur Lambert, Conseiller d'Etat, et or- 
dinaire au Conseil Royal des Finances et du Commerce, 
Controleur General des Finances, sa Majeste etant en 
son Conseil, a ordonne et ordonne ce qui suit: 

Article Premier. Les huiles de baleine, et le sper- 
maceti qui proviendront de la peche des citoyens et ha- 
bitans des Etats-Unis de I'Amerique, et seront apportes 
en France directement sur vaisseaux Francois ou sur 
vaisseaux des Etats-Unis, continueront a n'etre soumis 
qu'a un droit de sept livres dix sous par barrique du poids 
de cinq cens vingt livres, et les fanons de baleine ne le 
seront qu'a un droit de six livres treize sous quatre de- 
niers par quintal, avec les dix sous pour livre en sus de 
I'un et I'autre droit, lesquels dix sous pour livre cesse- 
ront au dernier Decembre mil sept cent quatre-vingt-dixj 
se reservant, sa Majeste, d'accorder de plus grandes fa- 
veurs aux produits de la peche de la baleine exercee par 
les pecheurs des Etats-Unis de I'Amerique, qui seront 
apportes en France par vaisseaux Frangois ou des Etats- 
Unis, dans le cas ofi d'apres les renseignemens que sa 
Majeste fait recueillir, elle le jugeroit convenable aux 
interets des deux nations. 

Art. IL Les autres huiles de poisson, et les pois- 
sons sees ou sales provenant de meme de la peche des 
citoyens et habitans des Etats-Unis, et apportes de meme 
directement en France par leurs vaisseaux on par vais- 
seaux Frangois, ne payeront autres ni plus forts droits 
que ceux auxquels sont ou seront soumis, dans le meme 
cas, les huiles et poissons de la meme espece, provenant 
de la peche des V illes Anseatiques ou des autres nations 
les plus favorisees. 

Art. in. La fabrication des chandelles ou bougies 
de spermaceti on blanc de baleine, sera pennise en France 
comme celle des autres chandelles et bougies. 

Art. IV. Les grains, fromens, seigle, rix, pois, 
feves, lentilles, graines, les farines, les arbres et arbus- 
tes, les potasses, connues sous le nom de potash et pearl- 
ash, les peaux et poils de castor, les cuirs en poll, les 
fourrures et pelleteries, et les bois de construction appor- 
tes des Etats-Unis directement en France sur vaisseaux 
Frangois ou des Etats-Unis, ne seront soumis qu'a un 
droit d'un Huitieme pour cent de la valeur. 

Art. V. Tout navire qui ayant ete construit dans les 
Etats-Unis, sera ensuite vendu en Fiance, ou achete par 
des Frangois, sera exempt de tous droits, a la charge de 
justifier que ledit navire a ete construit dans les Etats- 

Art. VI. Les therebentines, brais et goudrons, pro- 
venant des Etats-Unis de I'Amerique, apportes directe- 
ment en France par vaisseaux Frangois ou des Etats- 
Unis, ne payeront qu'un droit de deux et demi pour cent 
de la valeur, et seront les droits mentionnes, tant au pre- 
sent article qu'en I'article IV, exempts de toute addition 
de sous pour livre. 

Art. VII. La sortie des annes de toute espece et de 
la poudre a tirer pour les Etats-Unis de I'Amerique, sera 
toujours permise sur vaisseaux Frangois ou des Etats- 
Unis, en payant, a I'egard des armes, un droit d'un hu- 
itieme pour cent de la valeur, et la poudre, en ce cas, 
sera exempte de tous droits, en prenant un acquit a cau- 

Art. VIII. Lespapiersde toute espece, meme ceux 
destines pour teinture et domiaoterie, les cartons et les 
livres, seront exempts de tous droits a leur embarque- 
ment pour les Etats-Unis, sur vaisseaux Frangois ou des 
Etats-Unis, et jouiront, en ce cas, de la restitution des 
droits de fabrication sur les papiers et cartons. 

Art. IX. Les droits d'Amiraute sur les vaisseaux 
des Etats-Unis, entrant ou sortant des ports de France, 
ne pourront etre pergus que conformement a I'edit du 
mois de juin dernier, pour les cas qui y sont portes, et 
aux lettres-patentes du 10 Janvier 1770, pour les objets 

15 VOL. I. 

An Act of the King^s Council of State, for the encou- 
ragement of the commerce of France with the United 
States of America- December 29, 1787. 

extract from the records of the council of state. 

The King, desirousof encouraging the commerce of 
liis subjects with the United States of America, and of 
facilitating between the two nations connections recipro- 
cally uselul : having heard the report of tlie sieur Lam- 
bert, Councillor ot State and of the Royal Council of 
Finance and Commerce, Comptroller General of Finance, 
his Majesty being in his Council, has ordained, and does 
ordain, as follows: 

Article First. Whale oils and spermaceti, the 
produce of the fisheries of the citizens and inhabitants of 
the United States of America, which shall be brought 
into France directly in French vessels, or in those of the 
United States, shall continue to be subjected to a duty 
only of seven livres ten sols the barrel of five hundred 
and twenty pounds weight, and whale fins shall be sub- 
ject to a duty of only six livres thirteen sols four deniers 
the quintal, with the ten sols per livre on each of the said 
duties; which ten sols per livre shall cease on the last 
day of December one thousand seven hundred and nine- 
ty; his Majesty reserving to liimself to grant further fa- 
vors to the produce of the whale fisheries carried on by 
the fishermen of the United States of America, which 
shall be brought into France in French vessels, or in 
those of the United States, if, on the information which 
his Majesty shall cause to be taken thereon, he shall 
judge it expedient for the interest of the two nations. 

Art. II. The other fish oils and dry or salted fish, 
the produce in like manner of the fisheries of the citizens 
and inhabitants of the United States, and brought also 
directly into France, in their, or in French vessels, shall 
not pay any other nor greater duties than those to which 
the oils and fish of the same kind, the produce of the fish- 
eries of the Hanseatic towns, or of other the most favor- 
ed nations, are or shall be subject in the same case. 

Art. III. The manufacture of candles and tapers of 
spermaceti shall be permitted in France, as that of other 
candles and tapers. 

Art. IV. Corn, wheat, rye, rice, peas, beans, lentils, 
flax seed and other seeds, flour, trees and shrubs, pot- 
ash and pearlash, skins and fur of beaver, raw hides, 
furs and peltry, and timber, brought from the United States 
directly into France, in French vessels, or in those of the 
United States, shall not be subject but to a duty of one 
eighth per cent, on their value. 

Art. V. Vessels built in the United States and sold 
in France, or purchased by Frenchmen, shall be ex- 
empt from all duties, on proof that they were built in the 
United States. 

Art. VI. Turpentine, tar, and pitch, the produce 
of the United States of America, and brought directly 
into France in French vessels, or in those of the United 
States, shall pay only a duty of two and a half per cent, 
on their value, and as well the duties m.entioued in this 
as in the fourth article, shall be exempt from all addition 
of sous per livre. 

Art. VII. The exportation of arms of all sorts, and 
of gun powder, for the United States of America, sliall be 
always permitted in French vessels or in those ot the 
United States, paying for the arms a duty of one eighth 
per cent, on their value: and gun powder in that case 
shall be exempt from all duty on giving a cautionarj' 

Art. VIII. Papers of all sorts, even paper hangings 
and colored papers, pasteboard, and books, shall be ex- 
empt from all duties on their embai-kation for the United 
States of America, in French vessels, or in those of tlie 
United States, and shall be entitled, in that case, to a 
restitution of the fabrication duties on paper and paste- 

Art. IX. The Admiralty duties on the vessels of 
the United States entering into, or going out of, the ports 
of France, shall not be levied but conformably with the 
edict of the month of June last, in the cases therein pro- 
vided for, and with the letters patent of tlie tentli of Jan- 




auxquels il n'auroit pas ete poun-ii par ledit edit; se re- 
servant au surplus Sa Majeste, de faire connoitre ses iii- 
tentioHS sur lamaniere dont les dits droits seront per^us, 
soit a raison du tonnage des vaisseaux ou autrement; 
comme aussi de simplifier lesdits droits d'Amiraute, et 
de les regler autant qu'il sera possible sur le principe de 
la reciprocite, aussitot que les travaux ordonnes par sa 
Majeste, aux termes de I'ai-ticle XXVI dudit edit du 
mois de juin dernier, seront acheves. 

Art. X. L'entrepot de toutes les productions et 
marchandises des Etats-Unis, sera permis pour six mois 
dans tous les ports de France ouverts au commerce des 
Colonies; et ne sera ledit entrepot soumis qu'a un droit 
d'un huitieme pour cent. 

Art. XI. Pour favoriser I'exportation des amies, 
des quincailleries, des bijouteries, des bonneteries, de 
laine et de coton, des gros lainages, des petites draperies 
et des etoffes de coton de toute espece, et autres marchan- 
dises de fabrique Frangoise, qui seront envoyees aux 
Etats-Unis de I'Amerique sur vaisseaux Frangois ou des 
Etats-Unis, sa Majeste se reserve d'accorder des encou- 
ragements, qui seront incessamment regies en son Con- 
seu, selon la nature de chacune desdites marchandises. 

Art. XII. Quant aux autres marchandises non de- 
nommees au present arret, apportees directement en 
France des Etats-Unis, sur leurs vaisseaux ou sur vais- 
seaux Frangois, ou portees de France aux dits Etats-Unis, 
et a I'egard de toutes conventions de commerce quelcon- 
ques, veut et ordonne sa Majeste, que les citoyens des 
Etat-Unis jouissent en France des memes droits, privi- 
leges et exemptions que les sujets de sa Majeste^auf 
I'execution des dispositions portees par I'ai-ticle IX ci- 

Art. XIII. Sa Majeste accorde aux citoyens et ha- 
bitans des Etats-Unis, tous les avanta^es dont jouissent 
ou pourront jouir a I'avenir les nations etrangeres les plus 
favorisees dans ses Colonies de I'Amerique, et de plus sa 
Majeste assure aux dits citoyens et habitans des Etats- 
Unis, tous les privileges et avantages dont ses propres 
sujets de France jouissent ou pourront jouir en Asie et 
dans les Echelles qui y conduisent, pourvii toutefois que 
leurs batimens ayent ete amies et expedies dans un des 
ports des Etats-Unis. 

Mande et ordonne sa Majeste a Mons. le Due de 
Penthievre, Amiral de France, aux sieurs intendans et 
commissaires departis dans les provinces, au commis- 
saires departis pour I'observation des ordonnances dans les 
amirautes, aux officiers des amirautes, maitres des ports, 
juges des traites, et tous autres qu'il appartiendra, de 
tenir la main a I'execution du present reglement, lequel 
sera enregistre aux greffes des dites Amirautes, lu, publie 
et affiche par-tout ou besoin sera. 

Fait au Conseil d'Etat du Roi, sa Majeste y etant, 
tenu a Versailles le vingt-neuf Decembre mil sept cent 


uary, one thousand seven hundred and seventy, for the 
objects for which no provision shall have been made by 
the said edict, his Majesty reserving to himself moreover: 
to make known his intentions as to tlie manner in which 
the said duties shall be levied, whether in propoi-tion to 
the tonnage of the vessels or otherwise, as also to simplify 
the said duties of the Admiralty, and to regulate them as 
far as shall be possible on the principle of reciprocity, as 
soon as the orders shall be completed, which were given 
by his Majesty according to the twenty -sixth article of 
the said edict of the month of June last. 

Art. X. The entrepot (or storing) of all the produc- 
tions and merchandise of the United States, shall be per- 
mitted for six months, in all the ports of France open to 
the commerce of her colonies; and the said entrepot shall 
be subject only to a duty of one eighth per cent. 

Art. XL To favor the exportation of arms, hardware, 
jewelry, bonnetery,* of wool and of cotton, coarse 
woollens, small draperies and stuffs of cotton of all sorts, 
and other merchandises of French fabric, which shall be 
sent to the United States of America, in French vessels, 
or in those of the United States, his Majesty reserves to 
himself to grant encouragements, wliich shall be imme- 
diately regulated in his council, according to the nature 
of eacn of the said merchandises. 

Art. XII. As to other merchandises not mentioned 
in this act, brought directly into France from the United 
States, in their ot in French vessels, or carried from 
France to the said United States, in French vessels, or 
in those of the United States, and with respect to all 
commercial conventions whatsoever, his Majesty wills 
and ordains that the citizens of the United States enjoy 
in France the same rights, privileges, and exemptions, 
wiih the subjects of his Majesty; saving the execution of 
what is provided in the ninth article hereof. 

Art. XIII. His Majesty grants to the citizens and 
inhabitants of the United States all the advantages which 
are enjoyed, or which mav be hereafter enjoyed, by the 
most favored nations in his colonies of America; and, 
moreover, his Majesty assures to the said citizens and 
inhabitants of the United States, all the privileges and 
advantages which his own subjects of France enjoy, or 
shall enjoy, in Asia, and in the scales leading thereto: 
provided, always, that their vessels shall have been fit- 
ted out and despatched in some port of the United States. 

His Majesty commands and orders M. le due de Pen- 
thievre, Admiral of France, the intendants and commis- 
saries de parti in the provinces, the commissaries de 
parti for the observation of the ordinances in the Admi- 
ralties, the officers of the Admiralties, masters of tlie 
ports, juges des traites, and all others to whom it shall 
belong, to be aiding in the execution of the present regu- 
lation, which shall be registered in the offices of the said 
Admiralties, read, published, and posted, wherever shall 
be necessary. 

Done in the King's Council of State, his Majesty pre- 
sent, held at Versailles, the twenty-ninth of December, 
one thousand seven hundred and eiglity -seven. 


Lettre de M. Lambert, Conseiller d'Elat et au Conseil royal de Finance el de Commerce, Controleur general des 
finances, a M. Jefferson, ARnistre plenipotentiaire des Etat-Unis de VAmerique pres de Sa Majeste 
Tres- Chretienne. 

Versailles, 29 Decembre, 1787. 

J'ai I'honneur, monsieur, de vous envoyer une copie de 1' Arret qui vient d'eti-e rendu au Conseil pour I'en- 
couragement du Commerce des Etats-Unis de I'Amerique en France. Je vous en ferai passer un certain nombre 
d'exemplaires, aussitot qu'il sera imprime. 

Vous y verrez que plusieurs faveurs considerables qui n'avoient point encore ete promises au commerce Ameri- 
cain, ont ete ajoutees a celle que le Roi vous avoit fait annoncer par la lettre qui vous a ete ecrite le 22 Octobre de 
I'annee derniere. 

Si dans I'intervalle, quelques droits ont ete pergus contre les dispositions de cette lettre, ils seront restitues sur 
la representation des acquits. 

J'ai donne ordre aussi que I'on verifiHt les faits au sujet desquels on vous a rapporte que la decision du 24 Mai, 
1786, relativement au commerce du tabac, n'avoit pas eu une enticre execution. Vous pouvez etre assure que, s'il 
est prquve qu'on se soit ecarte des engagemens pris avec la sanction du Roi, il sera scrupuleusement pourvu h. y 

Vous apprendrez encore avec plaisir que les mesures qui j'ai prises pour prevenir I'interruption du commerce des 
tabacs ont eu un plein succes. 

Cette marchandise ne sera point exceptee de celles auxquelles l'entrepot est accord^. La Ferme g^nerale ne 
jouira d'aucune preference pour I'achat & les proprietaires seront completement les maitres de leurs speculations, 
& d'envoyer leurs tabacs par mer a I'etranger. 

* This term includes bonnets, stockings, socks, underwaistcoats, drawers, gloves, and mittens, as sold by the bonnetiers. 

1791.] FRANCE. 115 

II sera seulement pris des mesures pour preveiiir les fraudes auxquelles I'eiitrepot pourroit servir de pretexte, & 
les chambres dii commerce des ports seront consultees pour tjue les precautions iiecessaires ne soieiit pas incompa- 
tibles avec la liberte dont le commerce doit jouir dans ses operations. 

Quoique I'approvisionnement actuel de laferme generale se monte a environ trois annees de sa consommation, j'ai 
engage cette compagnie a continuer d'acheter par annee, a compter du 1 Janvier, 1788, jusqu'a la fin de son bail, 
quatorze mille boucauds de tabac directement apportes dans les ports de France sur batimens Frangois ou Ameri- 
cains, et de justifier tous les quatre mois que cet achat sera monte au moins a quatre mille six cents soixante et six 

Quant aux prixj vous avez senti vous-meme la necessite de les laisser libres; et cette liberte des prix a ete le 
premier objet des demandes faites par les negocians Americains et Francois, lors des reclamations qui se sontelevees 
contre le traite de M. Morris. 

La resolution prise alors de forcer les approvisionnemens, quoiqu'a prix onereux, au point qu'il en resulte que la 
ferme generale est maintenant approvisionnee pour trois annees, montre combien I'interet des planteurs et negocians 
des Etats-Uiiis de I'Amerique a toujours ete precieux au Roi. 

L'arret du conseil joint a cette lettre et les autres dispositions dont j'ai I'honneur de vous faire part, confirment 
de plus en plus une verite si propre a resserrer tous les liens qui unissent les deux nations. 
J'ai I'honneur d'etre, 

Avec un tres-sincere et inviolable attachement, monsieur, 

Votre tres-humble et tres-obeissant serviteur, 



Letter from M. Lambert, Councillor of State and of the Council Royal of Finance and Commerce, Comptroller 
General of Finance, to M. Jefferson, Minister Plenipotentiary for the United States of America at the Court 
of Versailles. 

Versailles, December 29, 1787. 

I have the honor, sir, to send you a copy of an arret passed in council, for encouraging the commerce of the 
'United States of America in France. I shall furnish you with a number of otiiers as soon as tliey shall be printed. 

You will therein see that several considerable favors, not before promised to the American commerce, have been 
added to those which the King announced to you, in the letter addressed to you on the 22d of October of the last 

If, in the mean time, any duties have been levied, contrary to the intentions of that letter, they shall be repaid 
on sight of the vouchers. 

I nave also ordered a verification of the facts whereon it was represented to you, that the decision of the 24th of 
May, 1786, relative to the commerce of tobacco, had not been fully executed. Be assured that, if it shall appear 
that engagements have been evaded, wliich were taken under the sanction of the King, effectual provision shall be 
made for their scrupulous fulfilment. 

You will learn also with pleasure that the measures I have taken to prevent the interruption of the commerce of 
tobacco have had full success. 

This commodity shall not be excepted from among those to which the right of entrepot is given. The farmers 
general shall liave no preference in the purchases, the proprietors shall be perfectly masters of their speculations, 
and free to export their tobaccoes by sea to foreign countries. 

Measures only must be taken to prevent those frauds to which the entrepot might serve as a pretext; and the 
chambers of commerce for the ports snail be consulted, in order that the precautions necessary for this purpose may 
not be in a fonn incompatible with that liberty which commerce ought to ergoy in its operations. 

Although the present stock of the farmers general amounts to about three years' consumption, I have engaged that 
company to continue to purchase yearly, from the 1st day of January, 1788, to the end of their lease, fourteen 
thousand hogsheads of tobacco, brought directly into the ports of France, in French or American bottoms, and to 
shew, at the end of every four months, that their purchases amount to four thousand six hundred and sixty-six 

As to the prices, you have been sensible yourself of the necessity of leaving them free; and this freedom of price 
was the principal object of the applications of the American and French merchants when they complained of the 
contract of M. Morris. 

The determination then taken to force the purchases of tobacco, though at high prices, insomuch that the farmers 
general now find themselves possessed of three years' provision, shows that the interests of the planters and merchants 
of the United States of America have ever been precious to the King. 

The arret of council herein enclosed, and the other regulations wliich I have the honor of communicating to you, 
are a further confirmation of a truth tending so much to strengthen the bands which unite tlie two nations. 
I have the honor to be, 

With a very sincere and inviolable attachment, sir, 

Your most humble and most obedient servant, 


.flrret du Conseil d''Etut du Roi, qui excepfe de la prohibition portee par Parret du 28 Septembre dernier, les huiles 
de baleine et d''autres poissons, ainsi que lesfanons de baleinc, provenant de la peche des Etats Unis de l\9mer- 
ique. Du 7 Decembre, 1788. 


, Le Roi s'etant fait representer l'arret rendu en son Conseil, le 28 Septembre dernier, portant prohibition a I'en- 
tree dans le Royaume, des huiles de baleine et de spennaceti, provenant de peche etrangere, sa Majeste auroit 
reconnu que les huiles de veau marin, et celles provenant de poissons et autres animaux viyans dans la mer, n'etant 
pas comprises dans ledit arret, il en pourroit resulter sous le nom desdites huiles, une introduction frauduleuse 
d'huiles de baleine, et que d'un autre ccite, on poun-oit induire des dispositions dudit arret, une prohibition des 
huiles provenant de la peche des Etats Unis de I'Amerique; et sa Majeste voulant faire cesser toute incertitude a 
cet egard. A quoi voulant pour\'oir: Oui le rapport du sieur Lambert, Conseiller d'Etat ordinaire et au Conseil des 
Depeches, et au Conseil royal des Finances et du Commerce; le Roi etant en son Conseil, a ordonne et ordonne, 
qu'a compter du 1 ." Avril prochain, les huiles de veau marin, et celles de poissons et auti-es animaux vivans dans 
la mer, provenantes de peche etrangere, ainsi que les fanons de baleine, provenant egalement de ladite peche etran- 

tere, seront prohibees a I'entiee dans le royaume, sans toute-fois que ladite prohibition puisse s'etendre, tant aux dites 
uiles qu'a celles de baleines et de spermaceti, ainsi qu'aux fanons de baleine, provenant de la peche des Etats Unis 
<le I'Amerique, et apportes directement en France, sur des batimens Frangois, ou appartenant aux sujets desdits 
Etats Unis, lesquelles continueront provisoirement d'etre admises conformement aux ai-ticles I. et lit. de l'arret du 
29 Decembre dernier; et a la charge en outre par les capitaines des nayiresdes Etats Unis. de rapporter des certifi- 
cats des Consuls de France, residens dans les ports desdits Etats Unis; et a leur defaut, des magistrats des lieux 
ou le feront les embarquemens des dites huiles, a I'eflfet de constater que la cargaison desdits navires provient de 
peche faite par les citoyens des Etats Unis; lesquels certificats seront representes aux officiers des amirautes, enseui- 
ole aux preposes des termes, dans les ports de France ou se fera le debarquement, pour en etre fait mention dans 


les declarations d'arrivee. Mande et ordonne sa Majeste a, Mons. le Due de Penthievre, Amiral de France, aux 
sieurs Intendans et Commissaires departis dans les Provinces, au Commissaire departi pour I'observation des 
Ordonnances dans les Amirautes, aux Officiers des Amirautes, Maitres des Ports, Juges des Traites, et a tous autres 
qu'il appartienda, de tenir la main a I'execution du present arret, lequel sera enregistre aux Greffes des dites Ami- 
rautes, lu, publie et affiche par tout oil besoin sera. 

Fait au Conseil d'Etat du Roi, sa Majeste y etant, tenu a Versailles le sept Decembre mil sept cent quatre- 


Le Due de PaUhievre, Amiral de France, 

Vu I'arret du Conseil d'Etat du Roi ci-dessus et des autres parts, a nous addresser Mandons a. tous ceux sur qui 
notre pouvoir s'etend, de^ I'executer et faire executer, chacun en droit soi, suivant sa forme et teneur: ordonnona 
aux officiers des Amirautes de le ikire enregistrer au greflfe de leurs sieges, lire, publier et afficher par-tout ou besoin 

Fait a Vernon le vingt Decembre mil sept cent quatre-vingt-huit. 

Etplus 6as, par son Altesse Serenissime: 

Arret of the King^s Council of State, excepting whale and other fish oil, ayid also whale bone, the product of the 
fisheries of the United States of America, from the prohibition contained in the arret of the 9&th September 
last.— 7th December, 1788. 


The King taking into consideration the arret pronounced in his council the 28t]i December last, prohibiting the 
importation of whale oil and spermaceti, the product of foreign fisheries, into the kingdom, observing that oil made 
from sea calves, and other fish and sea animals, not being comprehendea in said arret, a fraudulent importation of 
whale oil might take place under the name of the aforesaid oils, and that, on the other hand, it might be inferred 
from the tenor of the said aiTet, that oils, the produce of the fisheries of the United States, were prohibited; and his 
Majesty wishing to remove every doubt on this head: To provide, therefore, for the same, having heard the report of 
the Sieur Lambert, Councillor of State in ordinary, and of the Council of Despatches, and Royal Council of Finances 
and Commerce, the King being present in liis council, has ordained, and does ordain, that, reckoning from the first 
day of April next, oil made from sea calves, and from fish and other sea animals, produced from foreign fisheries, 
as well as whale bone, produced in like manner froni the said foreign fisheries, shall be prohibited from importation 
into the kingdom, without permitting the said prohibition, nevertheless, to extend either to the said kinds of oils, or 
to the said whale oils and spermaceti, or the whale bone, produced from the fisheries of the United States of America, 
and imported directly into France in French vessels, or those belonging to the subjects of the said United States, 
which shall continue to be provisionally admitted, agreeable to the 1st and 3d articles of the arret of the 29th of 
December last, on condition, however, that the captains of the said vessels belonging to the United States bring with 
them certificates from the Consuls of France residing in the ports of the said United States, or, where these cannot 
be obtained, from the magistrates of the places where the embarkation of the said oil shall be made, for the purpose 
of proving that the cargo of the said vessels is the produce of the fisheries carried on by the citizens of the United 
States, which certificates shall be presented to the officers of the Admiralty, also to the Commissioners of the 
Farms in the ports of France where it shall be landed, to be mentioned in the report of their arrival. His Majesty 
commands and orders the Duke de Penthievre, Admiral of France, the Intendants and Commissaries throughout 
the provinces, the Commissaries appointed to obsen'e the Ordinances of the Admiralty, the Officers of the Admiralty, 
Masters of Ports, Judges of Treaties, and all others whom it may concern, to assist in the execution of the present 
arret, which shall be registered in the offices of the said admiralties, read, published, and posted wherever it may 
appear necessary. 

Done in the King's Council of State, liis Majesty being present, held at Versailles, the Tth of December, 1788. 


Tlie Duke de Penthievre, Admiral of France. 

Having seen the above arret of the King's Council of State and the other parts addressed to us: We command 
all those over whom our power extends, to execute and cause it to be executed, each as his duty is, agreeable to its 
form and tenor. We order the officers of the admiralties to register it in the office of their jurisdictions, to read, 
publish, and post it wherever it may be necessary. 
Done at Vernon, the 20th of December, 1788. 

And beneath, by liis Serene Highness: 

1st Congress.] No. 48. [3d Session. 


Letter in relation to the Prisoners at Algiers, communicated to the Senate, 2lst January, 1791, by the Secretary 

of State. 

Philadelphia, January 20. 1791. 

I have the honor to enclose you a letter from one of our captive citizens of Algiers, if I may judge from the 
superscription, and from the letters from the same quarter which 1 have received myself. As these relate to a mat- 
.i._u_r u _ ^j (.Qjj^^j^ gQjjjg information we " ' " ■ ■ ^ ■ 

le honor to be, 

With sentiments of the most profound respect and attachment. 
Sir, your most obecfient and most humble 

ter before your House, and contain some information we have not before had, I take the liberty of enclosing you 
copies of them. 

I have the honor to be 

le servant, 

Tm President of the Senate. 


City OF Algiers, May 17, 1790. 
Esteemed Sir: 

I had the honor of writing you a letter dated the 1 llh instant, and as time permits I shall mention other pai- 
ticulars. The Vickelhadge being further sounded relative to a peace with America, says, that if the Americans wish 
to make a peace with this regency, why do they not send an ambassador, or empower some person to act for them? 
and I cannot help repeating to you that the foundation of all treaties in this regency should be laid by some person 
in Algiers, and I am convinced that no person is more capable than Morisieur Faure. Depend, sir, you may confide 
in him; and by empowering Monsieur Faure, the affair would be done with that secrecy which is requisite, consider- 
ing that America has three powerful enemies in Algiers, viz: French and Spaniards, and the most inveterate is the 
English. But as British affairs are very unsettled at present, British influence cannot be very great. And the 
French have just emerged from having very nearly lost their peace, and the present situation of France is such, that 
I believe they cannot afford to give money to this regency, to corrupt the Algetines to the prejudice of America. 

When the English consul signified to the Dey and regency, that Spain was arming to support the Grand Duke of 
Tuscany, the Vickelhadge said that any nation that took the part of the Russians or Imperialists, that nation had no 
longer a peace with this regency; so that I assure you, that if the Spaniards arm in favor of the Grand Duke, they 
are no longer at peace with Algiers. The Spanish consul said that Spain had armed a small fleet, as customary, to 
exercise the officers of their marine, and if the armament was any way extra, it was perhaps on account of some dis- 
turbance in Spanish America. The Vickelhadge said — miramus. So that considering the present situation of the 
three enemies of America in this quarter, and this regency in want of cruisers, I cannot perceive that ever a more 
favorable opportunity oftered for America to make peace than the present; and I must observe, that those nations, 
the Dutch, Danes, Swedes, and Venetians, have their peace on a more solid basis than the Spanish peace: forthean- 
nual tribute those nations pay is the bait that keeps their peace, and not any sentiment of national honor, or regard 
to treaties, but the view of the tribute annually, and for their own convenience, in being supplied annually with 
naval and military stores. 

Spain made a very dishonorable and impolitic peace. What makes the Algerines adhere to it, is owing to the 
vast sums ot money and presents given, which are sufficient to almost tempt these people to adore Lucifer; and de- 
pend, that when the Dey goes to his long home, it will be difficult for the Spaniards to keep their peace, &c. as they 
gave a great sum of money for their peace, and a second great sum not to be tributary. These people say at present, 
that they have got all from Spain that they can get, and that it is prejudicial to this regency to keep the peace with 
Spain, but it would be too barefaced for the present Dey and ministry to break the peace or treaty, inasmuch as they 
themselves made it, or agreed thereto. 

Indeed America should always be ready to embrace every opportunity of trying for a peace; and even if refused 
a second time, notwithstanding good policy requires that always some person should be empowered: for depend, it 
is very prejudicial to America in not having a peace with the Barbary States: and I compute that the ensurance, paid 
on American bottoms and merchandise, amounts annually to upwards of one million sterling, which sum the Bri- 
tish nation gets by ensuring American property, on account of our not being at peace wth the Barbary States. 

You will observe that the Spaniards gave the former Vickelhadge thirty-two thousand dollars for bringing the 
subject of the Spanish peace before the Dey and Divan, and they gave very valuable presents; so that, considering 
from the 1st of June 1785 to May 1790, it is generally said here, that the Spanish peace and ryalas, or presents and 
redemptions, have cost Spain full fourand a half millions of dollars. And as I often wrote you, that there is no doing 
business with these people without first giving presents, it being the custom of this country, therefore I think that 
the Vickelhadge's demand, of an American schooner of twelve guns, was by no means liigh: for, as you will 
observe, he would promise and engage to be the friend and advocate; so that, if the Americans did not succeed, 
the Vickelhadge of course would not expect to get the schooner: but still, it would be requisite to reward him for 
his trouble and good intentions, so as to keep him the friend of America on another occasion. But all, in a great 
measure, depends upon tiie Vickelhadge; the Day is led by him in every respect; and, by liberally rewarding him, 
the terms of the peace would not be very high: for all depends on his representations to the Dey, and no one dare 
oppose him. 

But, to keep the peace hereafter, much attention should be paid to the prime minister. Indeed, no one can say, 
with any degree of certainty, who may be the Dey's successor; and a peace, made by one party in opposition to the 
other, cannot be said to be on a firm basis, or lasting: for, if the party in opposition once gets the helm of state, they 
will not consider themselves bound to keep the peace made by the other party; and there is a great party that dis- 
approved of making a peace with Spain. Many respectable Turks here say, that it was nothing but bribery, or a 
torrent of corruption, which the Algerine ministry could not resist, that obtained Spain a peace. Indeed it was by 
no means the voice of the people. 

/ine.-— N. B. These are the copies of the letters I wrote to Mr. Carmichael; which you will please to signify to 
him, if he is in Europe. 

Esteemed Sir, &c. 


To William Carmichael, Esq. 

City OF Alciers. /?ms Me 24?//, 1790. 
Esteemed Sir: 

I have the honor of infoi-ming you, that good fortune and favorable opportunities offering, the following parti- 
culars were communicated to his excellency the Effendi Vickelhadge, General of the Marine and Minister for 
Foreign Affairs for this regency, by two of my brother sufferers in the Dey's palace, viz: George Smith and Philip 
Sloan. The first is chamberlain to the Vickelhadge, the second is captain aproa of the Dey's palace: 

" That the United States of America abounds in masts, yards, spars of all sizes fit for vessels, and plank and 
scantling, tar, pitch, and turpentine, and iron: that these articles are cheaper in America than they are in any part 
of Europe. 

" That there is no nation in the world that builds such fine and fast sailing cruisers as tlie Americans; that the 
Americans never did the Algerines any injuiy; that they never fitted out cruisers against thein, and always wished 
to make an honorable peace with this Regency, as the Americans considered the Algerines to be a brave people like 

" That the Americans have but little money, and that the currency of the country is paper money, but that 
America abounds in maritime stores; that if the Algerines would make a peace with America, they may be supplied 
with American cruisers at a very cheap rate, and also with all the productions of America which this Regency may 
want for their marine; and as the Americans have no money to give for a peace, they would give masts, yards, 
spars, plank, scantling, tar, pitch, turpentine, and Philadelphia iron; and, by being at peace with America, the 
Algerines would be supplied with cruisers and stores, and need not be at the trouble and expense of building cruisers 
m Algiers; and of course would take many prizes, and could pay all their attention to their maiine. in constructing 
gun boats to protect the city. 

• r 'j'^j*' ^^^'^ propositions were partly the instructions of the American ambassador, who came here in 1786, and 
intended only to ascertain our ransom, and try to make a peace on honorable terms with this regency, and to see if 
this regency would not take for our ransom, and for the peace, in lieu of money, American masts, yards, plank, 
and scantling, tar, pitch, and turpentine; all to be agreed on at a certain fixed price, by treaty; but that Mr. Lamb 
could speak nothing but English, and the French consul, and Conde d'Espilly, the Spanish ambassador, would not 
take the trouble to explain Mr. Lamb's propositions, as the terms of the peace would be advantageous to the Alge- 


rines; and that the French and Spaniards advised Mr. Lamb to return to America; that the Algerines would not 
make a peace with tlie United States of America. 

" That America is one thousand leagues distant from Algiers; tliat the commerce of America is chiefly to the 
West India Islands, and from one State to another; that our chief commerce is our coasting trade, and that we 
have but little trade to Europe, particularly to the Mediterranean and ports adjacent; that the American cargoes are 
of but little value, and consist of wheat, flour, salt, pork, and fish, and a few cargoes of naval stores; that these 
vessels are manned with fewer sailors than those of any other nation; that they sail faster, and consequently are 
less liable to be captured; and of course little profit the Algerines can derive by being at war with the Americans, 
who wish to make an honorable peace with this regency; and that in case the Algerines should be at war with the 
northern nations of Europe, the Algerines may be supplied with maritime stores by the Americans; and that, if the 
regency would not find it to their advantage to sell the Americans passports for the Mediterranean and ports 
adjacent, or elsewhere, at a certain reasonable price, and on conditions to be fixed by treaty, which conditions 
would exclude and prevent any pretext of quarrels or embroylas, as it would be the interest ot America to encou- 
rage her trade in the Mediterranean, so on the increase of America more passports would be required, and the 
greater the advantage would be to the Algerines. This would open a channel for this Regency, having a resource 
lor supplying their marine, in case they should be at war witli the Dutch, Danes, or Swedes, the nations that supply 
the Algerines at present; and that the Americans wU as liberally reward any person that is their friend and advocate, 
in making the peace, as their circumstances will admit." 

These propositions were explained to his excellency the Minister for Foreign Affairs, at sundry times, fix)m the 
7th to the 13th of May, 1790. 

The Vickelhadge asked how these propositions of the American ambassador were known to us. He was 
finswered that Captain O'Brien read Mr. Lamb's instructions several times, and he explained them to us. His excel- 
lency the Vickelhadge said, that when Mr. Lamb was in Algiers, in 1786, that at that period this regency was 
setthng the Spanish peace^ and that the American ambassador was by no means a suitable person, as he spoke noth- 
ing but Englisii, and they knew nothing of his propositions. That after the Americans had freed themselves from 
the British, that the British nation had demanded as a favor of this regency, not to make a peace with the Ameri- 
cans, and that, some time before the American ambassador came, the French and Conde d'Espilly tried all their 
influence against the Americans' obtaining a peace. That these three nations were and are the enemies of America, 
and that he would explain all more particularly to the American ambassador, if he came to make a peace; but that 
those nations had no influence over the Algerines, and that nothing should prejudice this regency against the Ameri- 
cans, if they came to make a peace. 

The Vickelhadge said he believed this regency would make a peace with America on as easy tei-ms as possible, 
considering the present times, and as tlie Americans had no money to give for a peace, we must give the productions 
of America, viz. tar, pitch, turpentine, masts, yards, spars, plank, and scantling, and cruisers American built. 

The Vickelhadge said, as he intended to be the friend and advocate of America in making a peace with this 
regency, he would expect for his weight, trouble, and influence, an American built schooner of twelve guns, which 
of course would not cost much; that he would pave the way with the Dey and Divan, so that America would suc- 
ceed, and that he would recommend it strongly to the Dey to make a peace with America, and that he knew the 
former Vickelhadge was promised by and through Mr. Lamb and Mr. Wolf, more than the amount of a schooner; 
but that he would esteem and do more for getting an American schooner, than he would for sacks of money; that 
he or this regency did not want money, they only wanted American cruisers and naval stores for their marine. 

The Vickelhadge said that he wshed much to know about getting the schooner. To this (juestion I returned for 
answer, that it was impossible for us to say positively, but that we would write to the American Divan, or to Con- 
gress, and to the American ambassador at Madrid. He asked when the American Divan met to do business, and 
respecting our form of government, and was answered that last March Congress met, and that our government is 
founded on liberty and justice. The Vickelhadge said that a few months ago the Portuguese asked for a peace, and 
that it was refused them. He said he hoped, if the Americans sent an anibassador to Algiers to make the peace, 
that they would send a man that could speak the Spanish or Italian language. He ridiculed much the sending a man 
to make the peace, that no one could understand what he had to say, and said that the Conde d'Espilly was a bad 
and false man. 

Indeed, I hope Congress will appoint a proper person to negotiate tlie peace, and I should certainly recommend 
Mr. Faure as a good assistant; I think you may confide in him. But all I now mention is entirely unknown to any 
person in this country, excepting the Vickelhadge and I, and my two brother-sufferers in the Dey's palace, and I 
hope all will be managed with that good policy and secrecy that such important business requires, as no person here 
has any idea that the Americans are thinking of a peace. 

It will be very requisite for you to give an answer as soon as possible, and as fully as your situation will admit of, 
writing by two conveyances, and what you would wish to communicate or say, in answer to the Vickelhadge, write 
it separate from other particulars, which you would tliink proper to communicate to me, as I would wish (if you tliinK 
proper) to communicate your answer through the same channel to the Vickelhadge, directing to me under cover to 
the care of Monsieur Faure, to avoid any suspicions. 

I hope Congress will give the ambassador they send to Algiers as extensive powers as possible, and should the 
terms of the peace be too great, that his instructions will admit him to see on what tenns he could procure one hun- 
dred and fifty passports ot Algiers: tor, as you will conceive, until you give some answer, and empower some 
person to act, it is impossible to know exactly on what terms America may obtain peace, or what the heads of 
the treaty may be. I think all wears a favorable aspect. 

I have stated the particulai-s communicated to the Vickelhadge, and his answers, and submit all with much respect 
to your consideration. Indeed, it would have been impossible to liave brought the affair to its present meridian in 
any other manner: for depend, the Vickelhadge would not have listened to propositions difierent from what have been 
communicated, and I have the pleasure to add, that, about a month ago, the Noznagee asked the Captain Aproa, one 
of my crew, why the Americans did not try for a peace. 

I hope no American vessel will be captured: for depend it would be very prejudicial towards obtaining a peace. 
It would occasion the terms to be greater than they would be if none were captured, and would be a clew for the enemies 
of America to persuade the Algerines that much was to be got by being at war with the United States of America. 

And I take the liberty of mentioning, that a few lines from you to the Spanish ambassador, would be requisite, 
as he thinks vou are displeased with him respecting the affair of our disbursements, so as not to have any enemies to 
America in this quarter. This, in a great measure, would lull liim and Consul Logie asleep. 

You will recollect, sir, that I wrote you tliat all nations pay one-third or one-fourth more than they used to pay, 
or is agreed on by treaty, owing to the Spanisli peace, wliich has hurt all nations here except the British. And some 
hints from you to Congress would be requisite on tliis subject. 

I am sorry to hear that you have taken a tour to France: for you will not receive this letter as soon as I could 
wish. I write, under cover, to Messrs. Etienne Drouilhoult and Compimjr, banquiers at Madrid, and as the port 
"be embargoed in a few days, and the vessel a Danish ship, bound to tepain, time \vill not permit me to write 
more particularly, or correctly, and I liope you will receive this letter, as I believe it will be some time before I 
have another opportunity of writing to you. , , , ■ • 

You will observe that the Vickelhadge sways tlie whole regency as he thinks proper, and that his influence is 

i to be embargoed in a few days, and the vessel a Danish ship, bound to tepain, time \vill not permit me to write 
lore particularly, or correctly, and I hope you "" ' ' ' ' ""~ - ' ■--';-- -^ -■■' ' '^■—- •- ^ • 

shall have another opportunity of writing to you. 

You will observe that the Vickelhadge sways ..- „ . , - - . 

very great: for, by his recommendations to the Bey of Tunis, the present Vickelhadge of Tunis was appointed to 
office; and the Vickelhadge of Algiers has a brother, at present a great man at Constantinople. Great care 

that office; and the Vickelhadge of Algiers has a brother, at present _ 

should be taken not to lose the friendship of the present Noznagee, (the prime minister) tlie head of opposition: for, 
by making these two great men the friends of America, any thing can be done in this regency. Tlie plain question 
is, will America give cruisers and maritime stores to this regency to make a peace.'' otlierwise, the Algerines can 
get cruisers (to take Americans) from other nations. They have money sufficient to build a large fleet, but, at 
present, all their cruisers are gone up the Levant, except two, and three galleys, so that this regency are much 


in want of cruisere, and, I dare say, never a more favorable opportunity offered, or will offer for America, than the 
present, which bids fair to open an extensive field of commerce and wealth to America. 

I would have wrote you concerning the Morocco affairs, but I suppose you have heard all, some time past I 
hope we shall keep our peace with Morocco: for, the situation of West Barbary is such as to be very detrimental 
to American commerce, if we, unfortunately, should lose the peace with the new Emperor. I need not mention 
to you the distressed and suffering situation of my brother sufferers in the marine. 
Esteemed Sir, 

Your most obedient, most humble servant, 

To William Carmichael, Esq. 

American Ambassador at Madrid. 

N. B. The copy of this letter I sent to Mr. Carmichael; it was dated May 15th, 1790; and not being certain 
where he was, I thought it of sufficient importance to write to you, so that, should Mr. Carmichael be in France, 
as report says, you will give him these letters to read, keeping the same time copies, and transmit such parts there- 
of to Congress as you thmk requisite, or to Mr. Jefferson. The same time acknowledge the receipt of these letters 
as soon as possible, so that I may know you have received them. 

City of Algiers, July \9,th, 1790. 
Esteemed Sir: 

We, the fourteen unfortunate Americans in Algiers, were informed by Mr. Abraham Bushara, and 
Dininio, capital Jew merchants of this city, that they had received orders from America, by way of London and 
Lisbon, to make application to this regency, to ascertain and fix the ransom of the American captives. After their 
surmounting many difficulties, at last, on the 7th instant, prevailed on the Dey and ministry to agree and fix the 
price of the said fourteen Americans at seventeen thousand two hundred and twenty-five Algerine sequins. 1 have 
often explained relative to the purport of Mr. Lamb's audiences when in Algiers; at present 1 shall only mention to 
you that Mr. Lamb had five audiences vvith the Dey and ministry, and he agreed for the ransom or release of the 
American captives agreeable to the price then asked. The ransom of the fourteen Americans at present in Algiers, 
amounted to 17,500 Algerine sequins. 

At that period there were nearly 3,000 slaves in Algiers, but the Spaniards, Neapolitans, and other nations, re- 
deeming their people, and the pest in 1787-88, carrying off 780 slaves (among this number were six Americans) 
the number of slaves is reduced to 700. The major part of these are deserters fiom the Spanish garrison of Oran. 
Since that period the Dey has raised the price on slaves, and is but little inclinable to admit of slaves being redeem- 
ed, they being much wanted to do the public work, which, be assured, sir, is very laborious. The price asked for 
the Americans is by no means exorbitant, considering the present want of slaves, and the terms of release of cap- 
tives of other nations. 

Mr. Bushard and Dininio, having a great knowledge of these people, were thereby very fortunate in prevailing 
on tlie Dey and ministry to fix the release of the Americans at 17,225 sequins. Our greatest fears were, that the 
Dey would not permit us to be redeemed on any terms. The Dey asked 27,000 sequins, but was prevailed on by 
the prime minister to let our ransom be on the terms mentioned. 

The Dey and ministry signified tliat the ransom of the Americans was fixed and agreed on with Mr. Lamb, the 
American ambassador, in 1786, and that he promised to return with the money in iour months, but that he broke 
his word and agreement. The ministiy observed, that, if the Americans did not keep their word on so small an 
affair as the sum asked for our release, there was no dependence to be put in them in affairs of more impor- 
tance. Indeed, sir, I hope, for the honor and interests of the United States of America, that the price now fixed 
for our release will be immediately agreed to; and, be assured, sir, if this opportunity in our behalf is not embraced, 
that we shall be the most miserable slaves in the world, for we shall be doomed to perpetual slavery. 

After the price was fixed, the prime minister observed, that he could not conceive what ideas the Americans 
had of the Algerines, by first sending an ambassador, who, making a regular bargain or agreement for our release, 
and promising to return in four months, had not kept liis word. We said, that at that time our country was forming 
a government, and that v.e did not suppose the ambassador had informed Congress of the agreement he made. The 
prime minister said the ambassador did not act right. We answered, tliat, perhaps he did not understand that he 
made a regular bargain, or that all was badly interpreted. Much passed on this subject. The present causendal, 
or lord chamberlain to the Dey, said he was present when Mr. Lamb agreed for our release. 

On the 8th instant, the prime minister sent privately to me, and desired that, when I wrote, to mention all he 
said, and make it known to my country. Indeed we are much indebted to the prime minister: for, depend, sir, he 
is a friend to America. He was so when Mr. Lamb was in Algiers; and, even at that period, had matters been well 
managed, the foundation of a peace niight have been laid. 

Should any change happen in this government, we apprehend it would be very prejudicial to our release; or, 
should the Portuguese, Neapolitans, or Genoese, redeem their people on higher terms than is at present asked for 
the Americans, depend upon it, sir, that, to get us clear, would be attended with much difficulty. 

You will please to consider, sir, what our sufferings must have been in this country, during the trying period of 
five yeai-s captivity, twice surrounded with the pest and other contagious distempers, tar distant from our countiy, 
families, friends, and connexions. 

Depend upon it, sir, that it is prejudicial to any nation that leaves its subjects in slavery: for, in no respect can 
it answer any public benefit, or be any advantage to the country they belong to. The longer the time they are in 
slavery, the greater difficujty is there in releasing them; and it is well known that the price of the slaves is ris- 
ing on every application, owing to the decrease of slaves, as the Algerines find they cannot carry on the public work 
without slaves. 

Since our redemption has been ascertained and fixed, several applications have been made to tlie Dey and min- 
istry to permit captives of other nations to be redeemed on the same terms as fixed on for the Americans; but the 
Dey answered that he wanted slaves. These applications were for certain persons, but not for any general or na- 
tional redemption. 
On the 7th of April, 1786, Mr. Lamb agreed with the Dey on these terms, for tlie release of the Americans : 
For each master, 3,000 sequins; 
For each mariner, 750 sequins; 
For each mate, 2,000 sequins; 

At present there are in Algiers, at the Dey's price, witli Mr. Lamb. 

2 masters, at 3,000 sequins each, is - - - - - - - 6,000 

2 mates, at 2,000 sequins each, is - - - - - - - 4,000 

10 mariners, at 750 sequins each, is - - - - - - - 7,500 

rv ^ , ^ , Sequins, - 17,500 
Duties and tees on the ransom of slaves, amounting to 15 or 18 per cent. 

On the 17th July, 1790, our ransom was ascertained and fixed by Bushara and Dininio with the Dev and ministry 

at, viz: ' 

2 masters, O'Brien and Stephens, at 2,000 sequins each, is - - - - 4,000 

2 mates, Alexander Forsyth and Andrew Montgomery, at 1,500 sequins each, is - - 3,000 

Jacobus Jysanier, a young lad aged 22 years, and page to the Dey, - - - - 2,000 

William Patterson, a smart seaman, at ----- - 1,500 


James Cathcart, a young lad understanding navigation, ----- 1,500 

George Smith, a young lad, and page to the Dey, ----- 900 

Philip Sloan, at --------- 70O 

John Robertson, at ------- - 700 

Peleg Loring, at - - - - - - - ' - - 700 

James Harnet, at -------- 70O 

James Hull, at - - - - - - - - - 700 

John Gregory Billings, at - - - - - - - - 700 

First cost, - - 17,100 

Extra fees, - - 125 

N. B. A sequin is equal to 8s. sterling. Sequins, - - 17,225 

A duty of 15 or 18 per cent, to be added, being fees on the redemption of slaves. 

Indeed sir, there is no alternative. We are at the lowest price that any public slaves vn\l be redeemed whilst the 
present government stands; and I am sure our country will see, by our ransom, the fatal and bad consequence of 
being at war with the Barbary States, particularly so commercial a nation as the American is. All other commercial 
nations have experienced the bad policy of a war with the Barbary States. 

Who could nave thought that the haughty Spanish nation would have given such vast sums for making and keep- 
ing peace with the Barbary States, and changed their national flag.-' But the Spaniards saw they were made a sort of 
ponriral tool by all the other commercial nations. 

The regency, some time past, wanted three of the young Americans to embrace the Mahometan religion, but they 
would not. This I suppose may account for the motives ot their price being something extra. 

Two months past one of my crew, Charles Colvill, was redeemed by charitable contributions raised by bis 
friends. His ransom cost 1,700 dollars. I believe he returns to America. He is capable of giving much informa- 
tion on Barbary affairs. r , ■ 

Three Algerine galleys have taken a polacre with sixteen Greeks, with a pass from the deceased Grand Seignior. 
They are enslaved by the Algerines by their having been under Jerusalem colors. They also took a Neapolitan 
brig, the crew of which escaped, and a Genoese vessel, but an armed Tartan of Genoa retook this vessel with 20 
Moors and Turks on board. The Algerine galley took another Neapolitan vessel near Toulon. The Neapolitan 
seamen in that port manned their boats, and went out of Toulon and retook the vessel. This is likely to be a serious 
affair. Depend upon it, sir, that the Chamber of Commerce of Marseilles must pay all damages. 

I have now the pleasure of informing you, that the court of Portugal has dropped their idea of making a peace 
with this regency. I believe all their propositions were rejected by the Algerines. Indeed, sir, this is very fortunate 
for the Americans: for, if the Algerines were at peace with Portugal, the cruisers of this regency would meet with no 
obstruction in their cruising in the Atlantic, which of course would be very prejudicial to the commerce of 

The minister for foreign affairs being further sounded relative to a peace with America, asked if we had wrote 
to our country the purport of wliat he said on the subject. He was answered, that I had wrote on the subject to the 
American ambassadors in Europe. . . , , , . , r^, . 

He answered and said that he would do all he had promised, and not deviate or withdraw his word. This 
answer was about the 4th of June. Indeed, as the present minister for foreign affairs has expressed himself so 
friendly in behalf of America, I hope there will be a lasting friendship between them and him, who, you may depend, 
sir, is well inclined to serve the Americans. 

My brother sufferers and I, sir, return you our sincere thanks for befriending us so much in the cause of liberty, 
being convinced that you have done all in your power with the Congress, to redeem this unfortunate and faithful 
remnant of Americans; and we make not the least doubt, that our country will immediately see the necessity of 
agreeing to pay the sum for our release, as has been ascertained. Our dependence is on a generous and humane 
country, whom, that God may prosper, is the sincere wish of, 
Esteemed sir, 

Your most obedient most humble servant, 

In behalf of myself and brother captives. 
To Thomas Jefferson, Esq. 

P. S. We are much indebted to the Spanish consul and other gentlemen, for many favors rendered in times of 
impending danger. 

Ist Congress.] No. 49. [3d Session. 


Letter from the Secretary of State, enclosing extracts from a letter from William Short, Esq. 

Philadelphia, February 2, 1791. 

As the information contained in the enclosed extracts from a letter of Mr. Short, lately received, has some 
relation to a subject now before the Senate, I have thought it my duty to communicate them; and have the honor to 
be, with sentiments of the most profound respect and attachment. 

Sir, your most obedient, 

And most humble servant, 

7%e President of the Senate. 

Extract of a letter from William Short, Esq. Charge des Affaires of the United States at the Court of France, to 
the Secretary of State, dated Paris, October ^Ist, 1790. 

" It cannot be dissembled that the national assembly consider their commerce with the United States of much 
less importance now, than they will do in a short time hence. Some suppose us so much attached to England, and 
to English manufactures, that every sacrifice which France could make to encourage commercial connexions with us 



would be lost. They say tliat the exnenence ot seven years has sufficed to shew this. Others suppose that the 
commerce with the United States is a losing commerce. They are supported in this opinion by many of tlieir mer- 
chants, who tell them there is no instance of a French house having undertaken that commerce, without losing by it. 
It is easy to answer these arguments so as to satisfj^ individuals, and a short time will satisfy all} still, at present^ 
an unfavorable impression remains with many. When they are told that the Americans have continued to trade 
with England since the peace, because their articles of exportation were either subjected to a monopoly or to such 
shackles in Fi-ance. as prevented their coming here; that losses have been sustained in the American commerce, by 
the failures which the peace brought on, and by the improper credit given to those who did not deserve it, by agents 
ill-chosen, or by goods ill-assorted; when they are told that the exportations from America to Europe, are annually 
upwards of ninety millions, and, of course, that they are able to pay for that amount of European manufactures and 
productions, and that France can furnish the greater pai't of them, on better or equal terms with England; that the 
United States furnish raw materials, and leceive in return only those which are manufactured; that the transpoi-ta- 
tion of these articles has hitherto benefitted the English, and might now benefit the French marine; they view the 
subject in a different light, and suppose it well worth attending to: They then come immediately to the necessity 
of a treaty of commercej as being the only means of securing the advantages to be expected from these connections- 
they urge that laws, which may be repealed from day to day, cannot be depended on, besides, that there is no 
i-eciprocity in them; they quote the Jirrit du Conseil for the encouragement of American commerce, and our act of 
Congress on impost and tonnage; they complain bitterly on being placed on the same footing with the English, at 
the first session of the new Congress; the proceedings ol the second ai-e not yet known. 

" The desire of some of the members of the committee of commerce was to subject our articles imported into 
France, and our ships, to the same duties and tonnage that we subjected theirs. A desire, however, not to discou- 
rage our commerce entirely; a hope that our system, with respect to them, would be changed; and a wish to have 
their tariff of duties on importation and exportation, uniform for all, induced them to reject the idea. The report of 
the committee of commerce has been read in the assembly, and ordered to be printed. You will receive it enclosed. 
The tariff is under press, and shall be sent also, as soon as it appears. How far it will be adopted 1 cannot say; but 
as the assembly feel the necessity of one being immediately established on the abolition of the internal barriers, it is 
much more than probable they will adopt it in the lump, to save time, although the members of thfe committee them- 
selves agree that it is very imperfect. They say time and experience alone can shew what alterations should be 
made. Sacrifices have been mutually made by the different members of the committee to each other. In what 
regards us, tliose who are graziers, and those who are interested with the Nantucket fishermen, settled in France 
(of which there are both in the committee) insist on heavy duties being laid on salted meats, and the productions o^ 
fisheries. They have succeeded in the committee, and will probably succeed, for the reasons mentioned above" in 
the assembly. The low price of our salted meats alarmed them; they were deaf to the advantages of procuring 
subsistence, on the best terms possible, to the poorer classes; and the preference which should be given to the culti- 
vation of corn above grazing, on account of population. There is little doubt, therefore, that the regulations made 
by the present assembly respecting our commerce will not be such as we could wish." 

" The proceedings of a large and tumultuous assembly are so irregular, that one is obliged to be on a constant 
watch, to prevent the individual members, who are interested, from passing into a decree, such things as the House 
do not consider of very great moment; or where there is no other individual particularly interested in its opposition 
The importation of salted provisions and whale oil are in this class. You will see by the tariff enclosed, that the 
committee proposes heavy duties on the fonner, and a prohibition of the latter, without any regard to the laws 
formerly made for the encouragement of our commerce. The Marquis de la Fayette will do whatever he can to 

of oil on hand unsold, which proves they are competent to the supplies of the kingdom,"and arebiioyed up v^th the 
hopes that they wll be joined by many others, who will come to settle in France rather than go to the English 

1st Congress.] No. 50. t3d Session. 


Message qf the President of the United States, relative to a Commercial Treaty with Great Britain^ fyc. 

GerUkmen of the Senate ' ^^■'""° ^'^"^^' ^^*"'«*^ ^4' l^^^- 

and of the House qf Representatives: 

. J • ^°T n^^^ ^ was called to the administration of the Government, I found it important to come to an under- 
standing with the court ot London, on several points interesting to the United States, and particularly to know whe- 
ther 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 trom these 1 do not inter any disposition, on their part, to enter into any arrangements merely commer- 
cial. I have thought it proper to give you this information, as it might at some time have influence on matters under 
your consideration. ti= uhuci 

Getitlemen qf 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 narts of 
ms communications wherein the British ministers appear, either in conversation or by letter. These are two 
hrnt' ^f/ 'i ^'"'^I '' Mr Morris, and three fetters of Mr. Morris, giving an amount of two confere^^ces S 
the Duke of Leeds, and one with him and Mr. Pitt. The sum of these is. that they declare without scrunle thev do 
d&"of°tW ^' what remains of the treaty of peace to be fulfilled on their part (b^y which Z ll^^to u. Jerstanlthe 
de iv hL LnH P''^*!.^"'^ 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 thev avoiHp.1 
d^ect answers, so as to satisfy Mr. Morris ttiey did notmean to enterinto one, unless7co ildTe eSded to aZaty 
of alliance offensive and defensive, or unless in the event of a rupture with Spain. ^^ai^hucu lo a treaty 




As to tlie sending a minister here, they made excuses at the first conference, seem disposed to it in the second, 
and in the last express an intention of so doing. j- . , at iv^f ■ . j- ^ u- 

Their views bemg thus sufficiently ascertamed, 1 have directed Mr. Morns to discontinue his communications 

''^*'^*'"'- GEO. WASHINGTON. 

New York, October 13, 1789. 

It being important to both countries, that the treaty of peace between Great Britain and the United States 
sliould be observed and performed with perfect and mutual good faith, and that a treaty of commerce should be 
concluded by them, on principles of reciprocal advantage to both, I wish to be ascertained of the sentiments and 
intentions ot the court of London on these interesting subjects. 

It appears to me most expedient to have these inquiries made informally, by a private agent; and understanding 
that you will soon be in London, I desire you, in that capacity, and on the authority and credit of this letter, to con- 
verse with liis Britannic Majesty's ministers on these points, viz: Whether there be any, and what, objections to now 
performing those ai-ticles in the treaty which remain to be performed on his part; and whether they incline to a treaty 
of commerce with the United States, on any, and what, terms. 

Tliis communication ought regularly to be made to you by the Secretary of State; but that office not being at 
present filled, my desire of avoiding delays induces me to make it under my own hand. It is my wish to promote 
harmony and mutual satisfaction between the two countiies; and it would give me great pleasure to find that the 
result of your agency, in the business now committed to you, will conduce to that end. 

I am, &c. 



New York, October 13, 1789. 

My letter to you, herewith enclosed, will give you the credence necessary to enable you to do the business 
Avhich it commits to your management, and which I am persuaded you will readily undertake. 

Your inquiries will commence by observing, that, as the present constitution ot government, and the courts esta- 
blished in pursuance of it, remove the objections heretofore made to putting the United States in possession of their 
frontier posts, it is natural to expect, fi-om the assurances of his Majesty and the national good faith, that no unne- 
cessary delays will take place. Proceed then to press a speedy performance of the treaty respecting that object. 

Remind them of the article by which it was agreed, that negroes belonging to our citiz-ens should not be carried 
away; and of the reasonablenesss of making compensation for them. Learn with precision, if possible, what they 
mean to do on this head. . „ , , ,. - , ^ ■ • , ,. ,. 

The commerce between the two countries you well understand. Y ou are appnsed ot the sentiments and feelings 
of the United States on the present state of it; and you doubtless have heard, that, in the late session of Congress, a 
vei-y respectable number of both Houses were inclined to a discrimination of duties unfavorable to Britain; and that 
it would have taken place but for conciliatory considerations, and the probability that the late change in our govern- 
ment and circumstances would lead to more satisfactory arrangements. 

Request to be informed, therefore, whether they contemplate a treaty of commerce with the United States, and 
on what principles or terms in general. In treating tliis subject let it be strongly impressed on your mind, that the 
privilege of canying our productions in our vessels to their islands, and bringing in return the productions of those 
islands*' to our own ports and markets, is regarded here as of the highest importance; and you will be careful not to 
countenance any idea of our dispensing with it in a treaty. Ascertain, if possible, their views on this point: for it 
would not be expedient to commence negotiations without previously having good reasons to expect a satisfactory 
termination of them. . „ , „ • -,,- , , . . , 

It may also be well for you to take a proper occasion ot remarking, that their omitting to send a mimster here, 
when the United States sent one to London, did not make an agreeable impression on this country; and request to 
know what would be their future conduct on similar occasions. 

It is, in my opinion, very important tliat we avoid errors in our system ot poacy respecting Great Bntam; and this 
can only be done by forming a right judgment of their disposition and views. Hence you will perceive how inter- 
esting it is that you obtain the information in question, and that the business be so managed, as that it may receive 
every advantage wliich abilities, address, and delicacy, can promise and aflFord. 

I am. &c. 


Gouverneur Morris, Esq. 

London, April 7, 1790. 

I arrived in this city on Saturday evening the 28th of March, and called the next morning on the Duke of 
Leeds, minister for foreign affairs. He was not at home. I therefore wrote him a note, copy whereof is enclosed, as 
also of'his answer, received that evening. On Monday the 29th, I waited upon him at Whitehall, and after the usual 
compliments, presented your letter, telling him that it would explain the nature of my business. Having read it 
he said, with much warmth and gladness in his appearance, " I am very happy, Mr. Morns, to see this letter, and 
under the President's own hand. I assure you it is very much iny wish to cultivate a fnendly and commercial inter- 
course between the two countries, and more, and I can answer for the rest of his Majesty's servants, that they are 
of the same opinion." "I am happy, my lord, to find that such sentiments prevail: for we are too near neighbors 
not to be either good friends or dangerous enemies. " " You are perfectly right, sir; and certainly it is to be desired, 
as well for our mutual interests, as Tor the peace and happiness of mankind, that we should be upon the best footing. " 
I assured him of our sincere disposition to be upon good terms; and then proceeded to mention those points in the 
treaty of peace which remained to be performed; and first, I observed, that, by the constitution of the United States, 
which he had certainly read , all obstacles to the recovery of British debts are removed, and that, if any doubts could have 
remained, they are now done away by the organization of a federal court, which has cognizance of causes arising 
under the treaty. He said he was happy to receive this information; that he had been of opinion, and had wiitten 
so to Mr. Adams, that the articles ought to be performed, in the order in which they stood in the treaty. Not choos- 
ing to enter into any discussion of his conduct in relation to Mr. Adams, I told his grace that I had but one rule or 
pnnciple both for public and private life, in conformity to which I had always entertained tlie idea, that it would 
consist most with the dignity of the United States, first, to perform all their stipulations, and then to require such 
performance from others; and that, (in effect) if eacli party were, on mutual covenants, to suspend his compliance, 
expecting that of the other, all treaties would be illusory. He agreed in this sentiment, upon which I added, that 
the United States had now placed themselves in the situation just mentioned. And here I took occasion to observe, 
that the Southern States, who had been much blamed in this country for obstructing tlie recovery of British debts, 
were not liable to all the severity of censure which had been thrown upon thein; that their negroes having been 
taken or seduced away, and the payment for those negroes having been stipulated by treaty, they had formed a reli- 
ance on such payment for discharge of debts contracted with British merchants, botli previously and subsequently 

1791.] GREAT BRITAIN. 123 

to the war; that the suspension of this resource had occasioned a deficiency of means, so that their conduct had 
been dictated by an overruling necessity. Returning, then, to the main business, I observed, that as we had now 
fully performed our part, it was proper to mention that two articles remained to be fulfilled by them, viz: that 
which related to the posts, and that regarding a compensation for the negroes; unless, indeed, they had sent out orders 
respecting the former, subsequent to tlie writing ot your letter; and 1 took the liberty to consider that as a very 
prooable circumstance. He now became a little embarrassed, and told me thathe could not exactly say how that matter 
stood. That as to the att'air of the negroes, he had long wished to have it brought up, and to have something done, 
but something or other had always interfered. He then changed the conversation, but I brought it back, and he 
changed it again. Hence, it was apparent, that he could go no farther than general professions and assurances. 
I then told him, that there was a little circumstance which had operated very disagreeably upon the feelings of Ame- 
rica. Here he interrupted me: •' I know what you are going to say, our not sending a minister. I wished to send 
you one; but then I wished to have a man every way equal to the task, a man of abilities, and one agreeable to 
tlie people of America; but it was difficult. It is a great way off, and many object on that score." I expressed my 
persuasion that this country could not want men well qualified for every office; and he again changed the conver- 
sation; therefore, as it was not worth while to discuss the winds and the weather, I observed that he might proba- 
bly choose to consider the matter a little, and to read again the treaty, and compare it with the American constitu- 
tion. He said that he should, and wished me to leave your letter, which he would have copied, and would return 
to me. I did so, telling him that I should be very glad to have a speedy answer, and he promised that I should. 

Thus, sir, tins matter was begun; but nine days have since elapsed, and I have heard nothing farther from the 
Duke of Leeds. It is true that Easter holidays have intervened, and that public business is in general suspended for 
that period. I shall give them sufBcient time to shew whether they are as well disposed as he has declared, and then 
give him a hint. Betore I saw him, I communicated to the French ambassador, in confidence, that you had directed 
me to call for a performance of the treaty. He told me at once, that they would not give up the posts. Perhaps 
he may be right. I thought it best to make such communication, because the thing itself cannot remain a secret; and 
by mentioning it to him, we are enabled to say with ti-uth, that, in every step relating to the treaty of peace, we have 
acted confidentially in regardjo our ally. 

With perfect respect, &c. 

George Washington, Esq. 

President of the United States. 


Whitehall, Jlpril 28, ir90. 

I should not have so long delayed returning an answer to the letter you received from General Washington. 
which you had the goodness to communicate to me last month, had I not heard you were in Holland. I received 
some time ago a note from you, which I should sooner have acknowledged, but was at first prevented by a multipli- 
city of engagements, and since by illness. 

The two subjects contained in General Washington's letter, are indisputably of the highest importance; and I can 
safely assure you, that it has ever been tlie sincere and earnest vrish of this country, to fulfil her engagements (con- 
tracted by the treaty of peace) with the United States in a manner consistent with the most scrupulous fidelity. 

We cannot but lament every circumstance which can have delayed the accomplishment of those engagements 
(comprised in the treaty) to which those States were in the most solemn manner bound; and should the delay in 
fiilfilling them, have rendered their final completion impracticable, we have no scruple in declaring, our object is to 
retard the fulfilling such subsequent parts of the treaty as depend entirely upon Great Britain, until redress is granted 
to our subjects upon the specific points of the treaty itself, or a fair and just compensation obtained for the non-per- 
formance of those engagements on the part of the United States. 

With respect to a commercial treaty between the two countries, I can only say, that it is the sincere wisli of the 
British Government to cultivate a real and bona fide system of friendly intercourse with the United States; and that 
every measure which can tend, really and reciprocally, to produce that object, will be adopted ^vith the utmost satis- 
faction by Great Britain. 

I am, sir, &c. LEEDS. 


London, iW«2/ 29, 1790. 

I do myself the honor to enclose a copy of my letter of the first instant. On the night of the fourth there was 
a hot press here, which has continued ever since; and the declared object is to compel Spain to atone for an insult 
offered to Great Britain by capturing two vessels in Nootka Sound. 

Permit me to observe incidentally, that it would not be amiss for the American captain, who was a witness of tlie 
whole transaction, to publish a faithful nai-rative. The general opinion here is, that Spain will submit, and that Spain 
only is the object of the armament. But I hold a very different taith. If Spain submits, she may as well give up her 
American dominions: for the position advanced here is, that nations have a right to take possession of any territory 
unoccupied. Now, without noticing the inconsistency between this assertion and those which preceded the war of 
1755, when France built Fort Duquesne upon ground unoccupied by British subjects, it cannot escape the most 
cursory observation, that the British sitting down in the vicinity of the Spanish settlements will establish such a system 
of contraband traffic, as must ruin the commerce of Cadiz, and the revenue now derived from it by the Spanish 
monarch. In former letters I have communicated in some measure my ideas upon the second opinion. I shall not 
therefore recapitulate them, but only in general notice, tliat the armament against Spain, should Spain shrink from 
the contest, will undoubtedly be sent to the Baltic with decisive effect. You will observe, also, that the ministers 
count upon the nullity of France, of which I shall say a word presently. 

In consequence ot the orders for impressing of seamen, a number of Americans were taken, and the applications 
made for their relief were in some instances ineffectual. On the morning of the 12th Mr. Cutting called to inform 
me that he was appointed agent to several of the American masters of ships. I gave him my advice as to the best 
mode of proceeding, and particularly urged him to authenticate all the facts by atfidavits, assuring him that, if lie was 
unsuccessful, I Would endeavor to obtain the assistance of such persons as I might be acquainted with. On the 17th 
Mr. Payne called to tell me, that he had conversed on the same subject with Air. Burke, who had asked him if there 
was any minister, consul, or other agent of the United States, who could properly make application to the Govern- 
ment: to which he had replied in the negative; but said that I was here, who had been a member of Congress, and 
was therefore the fittest person to step forward. In consequence of what passed thereupon between them, he urged 
nie to take the matter up, which I promised to do. On the 18th I wi-ote to the Duke of Leeds requesting an inter- 
view. He desired me to come at three o'clock of the next day: but liis note was delivered after thehour was passed; 
and very shortly after it, came another note, giving me an appointment for the 20th. 

^Pon entering his closet, he apologized for not answering my letters. I told him that I had in my turn an apology 
to make tor troubling him with an affair on which I was not authorized to speak. He said I had misunderstood one 
part ot his letter to me: for that he certainly meant to express a willingness to enter into a treaty of commerce. I 
replied, that, as to my letter, I supposed he would answer it at his leisure, and therefore we would waive the discus- 
sion; that my present object was to mention the conduct of their press gangs, who had taken many American seamen. 


and had entered American vessels with as little ceremony as those belonging to Britain. " I believe, my Lord, this is 
the only instance in which we are not treated as aliens. " He acknowledged that it was wrong, and would speak to 
Lord Chatham on the subject. I told him that many disagreeable circumstances had already happened, and that 
there was reason to expect many more, in a general impress through the British dominions. That masters of vessels, 
on their return to America, would excite much heat, " and that, my Lord, combined with other circumstances, may 
perhaps occasion very disagreeable events: for you know that, when a wound is but recently healed, 'tis easy to rub 
off the skin." He then repeated liis assurances of good will, and expressed an anxious wish to prevent all disagree- 
ment, observmg, at the same tune, that there was much difficulty in distinguishing between the seamen of the two 
countries. I acknowledged tiie mconveniences to which they might be subjected by the pretence of British seamen 
to be Americans, and wished therefore that some plan might be adopted, which, founded on good faith, might, at the 
same time, prevent the concealment of British sailors, and protect the Americans from insult. As a means of ac- 
complishing that end, I suggested the idea of certificates of citizenship to be given by the admiralty courts of Ame- 
rica to our seamen. He seemed much pleased, and willing at once to adopt it; but I desired him to consult first the 
king's servants in that particular department; and having again reminded liim that I spoke without authority, took 
my leave; but at his request, promised to visit him again the next day. 

The morning of the 21st I found him sitting with Mr. Pitt, to whom he presented me. The first point we took 
up was that of the impress. Mr. Pitt expressed his approbation of the plan I had proposed to the Duke, but observed 
that it was liable to abuse, notwithstanding every precaution which the admiralty offices in America could take. I 
acknowledged that it was, but observed, that, even setting aside the great political interests of both countries, it was 
for the commercial interest of Britain rather to wink at such abuse: for that, if they should be involved in a war with 
the House of Bourbon, our commerce with Britain must be in American bottoms, because a war premium of ensur- 
ance would give a decided preference to the manufactures of other countries in our markets; but that no wages 
would induce our seamen to come within the British dominions if they were thereby liable to be impressed. Mr. 
Pitt replied to this, that the degree of risk, and consequently the rate of ensurance, must depend upon the kind of 
war. Not taking any direct notice of this expression, I obsei-ved, that notwithstanding the wretched state of the 
French Government, there still existed much force in that country, and that the power of commanding human labor 
must also exist somewhere; so that if the Government could not arm their fleets, there would still be many priva- 
teers; and that, in effect, the slenderest naval efforts must involve merchant vessels in considerable danger. Return- 
ing then to the consideration of the principal point, we discussed the means of carrying the plan into effect; and for 
that purpose I recommended, that his Majesty's servants should order all their marine officers to admit as evidence of 
being an American seaman, the certificate to that effect of the admiralty in America, containing in it a proper descrip- 
tion ot the person, &c. but without excluding however other evidence; and observed that, in consequence of the com- 
niunication that such orders were given, the Executive authority in America, without the aid of the Legislature, by 
directions to the several admiralties, might carry the plan into effect, so far as relates to those seamen who should 
apply for certificates. I am induced to believe that this measure, if adopted, will not only answer the desired end, but, 
be OToductive of other good consequences in America, which I will not now trouble you with the detail of. 

This affair being so far adjusted, we proceeded to new matter, and they both assured me tliat I had misappre- 
hended the Duke's letter in regard to a treaty of commerce. I answered coolly, that it was easy to rectify the 
mistake; but it appeared idle to form a new treaty, until the parties should be thoroughly satisfied about that already 
existing. Mr. Pitt then took up the conversation, and said that the delay of compliance on our part had rendered 
to compliance less effectual, and that cases must certainly exist where great injury had been sustained by the delay. 
To this I replied, that delay is always a kind of breach, since, as long as it lasts, it is the non-performance of stipula- 
tions. I proceeded then to a more exact investigation of the question. And first (as I knew them to be pestered with 
many applications for redress, by those who had, and those who pretended to have suffered) I attempted to shew 
what I verily believe to be the fact, viz. that the iiyury was much smaller than was imagined, because, among the 
various classes of American debtors, those only should be considered who had the ability, and not the will, to pay at 
the peace, and were now deprived of the ability. These I supposed to be not numerous; and as to others, I stated 
interest as the natural compensation for delay of payment; observing that it was impossible to go into an examination 
ot all the incidental evils. In the second place, I desired him to consider that we in turn complained that the British 
Government had not, as they ought, paid for the slaves which were taken away. That we felt for the situation they 
were in, of being obliged either to break faith widi slaves whom they had seduced by the offer of freedom, or to 
violate the stipulations they had made with us upon that subject. That we were willing, therefore, to waive our literal 
claims, but had every right to insist on compensation; and that it would not be difficult for the planters to shew, tiiat 
they had sustained an annual loss, from the want of men to cultivate their lands, and thereby produce the means of 
paying their debts. 

Mr. Pitt exclaimed at this, as if it were an exaggerated statement. I at once acknowledged my belief, that in 
this, as in all similar cases, there might be some exaggeration on both sides; '" but, sir, what I have said tends to 
shew that these complaints and inquiries are excellent, if the parties wish to keep asunder; if they wish to come 
together, all such matters should be kept out of sight, and each side perform now, as well as the actual situation of 
things will permit. " Mr. Pitt then made many professions of an earnest desire to cultivate the best understanding, 
&c. &c. &c. 

On the wliole, he thought it might be best to consider the subject generally, and see if, on general ground, some 
compensation could not be made mutually. I immediately replied, "• if I understand you, Mr. Pitt, you wish to 
make a new treaty instead of complying with the old one." He admitted this to be in some sort his idea. I said 
that, even on that ground, I did not see what better could be done, than to perform the old one. " As to the compen- 
sation for negroes taken away, it is too trifling an object for you to dispute, so that nothing remains but the posts. I 
suppose, therefore, that you wish to retain those posts." " Why, perhaps we may." "" They are not worth the 
keeping: tor it must cost you a great deal of money, and produce no benefit. The only reason you can have to 
desire them is to secure the fur trade, and that will centre in this country, let who will carry it on in America." I 
gave him the reasons for this opinion, which I am sure is well founded, but I will not trouble you with thein. His 
answer was well turned. "If you consider these posts as a trivial object, there is the less reason for requiring them. " 
' ' Pardon me, sir, I only state the retaining them as useless to you. But this matter is to be considered in a different 
point of light. Those who made the peace, acted wisely in separating the possessions of the two countries by so 
wide a water. It is essential to preserve this boundary if you wish to live in amity with us. Near neighbors are 
seldom good ones: for the quarrels among borderers frequently bring on wars. It is therefore essential to both parties 
that you should give them up; but as to us, it is of particular importance, because our national honor is interested. 
You hold them with the avowed intention of forcing us to comply with such conditions as you may impose." 
" Why, sir, as to the considerations of national honor, we can retort the observation, and say our honor is concerned 
in your delay of performance of the treaty." " No, sir, your natural and proper course was to comply fully on your 
part, and if then we had refused a compliance, you might rightfully have issued letters of marque and reprisal, to 
such of your subjects as were injured by our refusal. But the conduct you have pursued naturally excites resent- 
ment in every American bosom. We do not think it worth while to go to war with you for these posts; but ive know 
our rights, and will avail ourselves of them when time and circumstances may suit.'''' Mr. Pitt asked me if I had 
powers to treat. I told him I had not; and that we could not appoint any person as minister, they had so much 
neglected the former appointment. He asked me whether we would appoint a minister if they would. I told him I 
could almost promise that we should, but was not authorized to give any positive assurance. The question then was, 
how to communicate on this subject. I suggested that since much time might be unnecessarily consumed by reason 
of the distance and uncertainty of communication, it would perhaps be expedient for them to appoint a minister, 
and delay his departure until you should have made a similar appointment. Mr. Pitt said they might communicate 
to you their intention to appoint, &c. I told him that his communication might encounter some little difliculty, 
because you could not properly hear any thing from the British Consuls, those being characters unacknowledged in 
America. His pride was a little touched at this. " I should suppose, Mr. Monis, that attention might as well be 

1791.] GREAT BRITAIN. 125 

paid to what they say, as that the Duke of Leeds and I should hold the present conversation with you." " By no 
means, sir: I never should have thought of asking a conference with his grace, if I had not possessed a letter from 
the Presiclent of the United States, which you know, my lord, I left with you, and whicli, I dare say, you have 
communicated to Mr. Pitt." He had. Mr. Pitt said they could in like manner write a letter to one of their 
Consuls. " Yes, sir, and the letter will be attended to, but not the Consul, who is in no respect different from any 
other British subject; and this is the circumstance which I wished you to attend to." He said, in reply to this, that 
etiquette ought not to be pushed so far as to injure business, and to keep the countries asunder. I assured him that 
the rulers of America had too much understanding to care for etiquette, but prayed him at the same time to recollect, 
that they (the British) had hitherto kept us at a distance instead of making advances. That you had gone quite as 
far as they had any reason to expect, in writing the letter just mentioned: but that, from what had passed in conse- 
quence of it, and which (as he might naturally suppose) I had transmitted, we could not but consider them as wishin" 
to avoid an intercourse. He took up this point, and expressed again his hope that I would remove such an idea' 
assuring me that they were disposed to cultivate a connexion, &c. To this I replied, that any written communica- 
tion which his grace of Leeds might make, should be duly transmitted; but I did not like to recite mere conversa- 
tion, because it might be misconceived, and disagreeable questions afterwards arise; whereas, written thinas remain 
and speak for themselves. They agreed to the propriety of this sentiment. I observed further, that our disposition 
towards a good understanding was evidenced, not only by your letter, but also by the decision of a majority of the 
House of Representatives against laying extraordinary restrictions on British vessels in our ports. Mr. Pitt said, 
that, instead of restrictions, we ought to give them particular privileges in return for those which we enjoy here. I 
assured him that I knew of none except that of being impressed — a privilege which of all others we least wished to 
partake of. The Duke of Leeds observed, in the same style of jocularity, that we were at least treated in that 
respect as the most favored nation, seeing tliat we were treated like themselves. But Mr. Pitt said, seriously, that 
they had certainly evidenced good will towards us, by what they had done respecting our commerce. I replied, there- 
fore, with like seriousness, that their regulations had been dictated by a view to their own interest, and, therefore, 
as we felt no favor, we owed no obligation. The subject being now pretty well exhausted, they promised to consult 
together, and give me the result of their deliberations. This I am yet to receive; but I learn that Mr. Grenville 
has this day consulted some persons skilled in the fur trade, and that, from his conversation, it seemed probable that 
they would give up the posts. My information is good. 

I have already said that the ministers here count upon the nullity of France. They do not, however, expect that 
she will violate her treaty with Spain, and therefore they are rather, I believe, in hopes, that Spain will submit to 
such terms as they may impose. How far they may be bound to aid Prussia, seems as yet to be doubtful; but, for 
my own part, I believe that a war is inevitable, and I act on that ground. If it does not take place, they will, I think, 
desire such things of us, in a treaty of commerce, as we shall not be disposed to grant; but, if it does happen, then 
they will give us a good price for our neutrality; and Spain I think will do so too; wherefore this appears to be a fa- 
vorable moment for treating with that court about the Mississippi. 

Before I close this letter, already too long, I must enti-eat permission to make one or two explanatory observa- 
tions. It is evident that the conduct of this Government towards us, from the time of my first interview with the 
Duke of Leeds, has depended on the contingencies of war or peace with the neighboring Powers; and they have kept 
things in suspense accordingly. When, therefore, they came a little forward, it proved to me their apprehension of 
a rupture. I have some reason to think that they are in greater danger than they are themselves aware of; and I 
have much cause to suspect that they meditate a blow in Flanders, in which it is not improbable that they will be 
foiled and disappointed. Believing, therefore, that I knew their motives, it only remained to square my conduct and 
conversation accordingly. And here you will consider that the characteristic of this nation is pride; whence it fol- 
lows, that, if they are brought to sacrifice a little of their self importance, they will readily add some other sacrifices. 
I kept, therefore, a little aloof, and did not, as I might have done, obtain an assurance that they would appoint a 
minister if you would. On the contrary, it now stands on such ground that they must write a letter making the first 
advance, which you of course will be in possession of; and to that effect I warned them against sending a message by 
one of their consuls. 

With perfect respect, &c. 


P. S. May SOth. It is utteriy impossible for me to copy the letters which I intended to enclose. It is now near 
one o'clock in the morning, and Mr. Williams sets off at eleven. 
To George Washington, Esq. 

President of the United States. 

, ^ London, September 10, 1790. 

My Lord: 

At the close of a conversation with your grace and the right honorable Mr. Pitt, on the 21st of May 
last, I was told that you would confer together, and transmit a reply to the letter which I had the honor of address- 
ing to your grace on the 30th of April. In expectation of that reply I have patiently waited in this city to die pre- 
sent hour, though called by many affairs to the continent; but my departure cannot be much longer delayed, and 
therefore it becomes necessary to intrude once more on your grace's attention. 

L-^i^?!^*^'^ *? believe, my Lord, that a friendly connexion might have taken place between this country and that of 
which I have the honor to be a citizen. How far it might be useful to Great Britain I presume not to conjecture, 
being perfectly convinced, from the wisdom and extensive information of his Majesty's ministers, that the best rule 
for private judgment must be derived from their conduct. But, my Lord, I candidly own, that such connexion 
appears to be of great consequence to America, and therefore the hope of becoming instrumental to the accomplish- 
ment of it was most pleasing; nor am I ashamed to avow my concern at the disappointment. 

Your grace will readily recollect the purport of that letter which you did me the honor to write on the 28th of 
April, and that mme of the 30th entreated a communication of the nature and extent of that redress which his 
Majesty's ministers expected upon the specific points of the treaty of peace, and the kind and measure of compensa- 
tion they would require in case (as had been supposed) the specific performance on our part were now impracticable. 
Months having elapsed in silence, your grace will, I hope, pardon me for obsendng, that the pointed avowal of a de- 
termination to witlihold performance, unless upon certain conditions, the communication of whirh is withheld, might 
be construed into unconditional refusal. Your personal integrity and honor, my Lord, the acknowledged justice of 
his Majesty, and the pride of British faith, prohibit me from harboring that idea; but it may perhaps be entertained 
by my countrymen; and, if it should, it may lead to measures which, in their consequences, shall eventually induce 
the two nations to seek, rather the means of reciprocal injury, than of mutual advantage. I humbly hope that this 
may never happen. The sentiment of America has long been conciliatory, and I should feel inexpressible satisfac- 
tion if your grace would possess me of the means of restoring activity to her friendly dispositions. 
With perfect respect, &c. 

10 ms grace the Duke of Leeds, 

His Majesty^s Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. 

(J . Whitehall, September 10, 1790. 

I have just received the honor of your letter of this day's date. I well remember the nature of the conver- 
sation you allude to, as well as the particular points upon which the two countries mutually complain of a non-ob- 


servance of treaty. Each party may perhajjs have reason of complaint. I can assure you, sir, I sincerely lament it 
I am not entering into a ministerial discussion upon the subject of our not being already farther advanced in (what 
we are both interested in) a real bona tide intercourse of friendship; but am only acknowledging, confidentially, my 
own private opinion, and what it has not been hitherto in my power to remedy. 

I shall, I trust, be enabled very soon to address myself upon a new subject to General Washington, and, in the 
mean time, shall be very happy to see you, sir, before your departure for America. 

I have the honor, &c. LEEDS. 


London, September 18, 1790. 

Sir: I had the honor to address you on the I6th of August, and stated, as nearly as I could, the situation of 
Russia and Sweden. This situation has produced a very natural eftect. Sweden being unsupported by her allies, 
and Russia having nothing to gain by farther fighting but a part of the Finland deserts, not worth fighting for, they 
have struck a bargain of peace immediately, without the interference of any one else. This leaves the Russian and 
Turk to pursue their game single handed. The ministers of Britain are by no means well pleased that they were 
not consulted by the Swede; and I tliink it probable that if Russia makes peace with the Turks, it will be without 
the mediation of Prussia or England: for, as tilings are situated, it seems impossible for those Powers to do the Em- 
press any mischief before next spring. 

The national assembly of France have also adopted, as a national compact, the old family compact with Spain; and 
they are arming as fast as their disjointed condition will admit. At the same time, the general opinion of this country 
seemed to be, that the ministry would obtain very honorable terms from Spain: whereas, the ministers themselves 
were (as I believe) much embarrassed as to the line of conduct which they should pursue. To support the high tone 
in which they first opened, would probabl;^ bring on a bloody war for an empty sound. To recede, would expose 
them to severe animadversion at home, and a loss of reputation abroad. These circumstances appearing to me favor- 
able, I wrote the letter of which No. 1 is a copy. It is calculated, first, to operate upon an administration which I 
believed to be divided in regard to America, and a sovereign who iiates the very name, while he prides himself upon 
his piety and moral fame; secondly, it was intended as a ground of future justification for any measures which Con- 
gress might think proper to adopt; and, thirdly, it had, I own, a special view to the nature of this government and 
people: for, if they do eventually get engaged in war, and feel a little from our coldness, and if, in addition thereto, 
the commercial men find any ground of complaint, it will make them so eager to rectify their mistake, as to give us- 
considerable advantages. In answer to this letter, I received that of which No. 2 is a copy. Tliis was written in 
his own hand writing, and as it is said therein to be not ministerial but confidential, we must so consider it. Conse- 
quently, it is not a public paper. The inference to be drawn from it is, that the council could not agree, as yet, upon 
me answer to be given. Hence I concluded, that those who, pursuing the true interests of Great Britain, wish to be 
on the best terms with America, are outnumbered by those whose sour prejudices and hot resentments render them 
averse to every intercourse, except that which may immediately subserve a selfish policy. These, then, do not yet 
know America. Perhaps America does not yet know herself. They believe that British credit is essential to our 
commerce. Useful it certainly is at present; but let our public credit be well established and supported, and in a 
very few years our commercial resources will astonish the world. We are yet but in the seeding time of national 
prosperity, and it will be well not to mortgage the crop before it is gathered. Excuse, I pray, sir, tliis digression. 
The matter of it is not wholly inapplicable. 

A copy of my answer to the Duke, and of his reply, are in the papers No. 3 and 4. In consequence of the latter, 
I waited upon him on the l.ith instant, and I saw at once by his countenance that he felt himself obliged to act an 
awkward part. I waited therefore for him to begin the conversation, which he did, by saying that he understood 
I was going to America. I told him that he had mistaken my letter: for that, by the continent, Imeant the continent 
of Europe. After some pause, he said that he hoped soon to fix upon a minister to America; that they had a person 
in contemplation, who was not, however, absolutely agreed on. I did not ask who it was. After a further pause, 
he said that, in order to save time, and obviate difficulties, the intention was to send over a gentleman with a com- 
mon letter of recommendation, but having letters of credence in his pocket. I expressed my perfect approbation of 
this expedient. He told nie that he was earnestly desirous of a real bona fide connexion, not merely by the words 
of a treaty, but in reality. I met these by similar professions, but took care to confine them to a commercial inter- 
course, for mutual benefit, on liberal terms. He told me that, as to the two points of the treaty, there were still 
difficulties. He wished they could be got out of the way. He then hesitated a little, and dropped the conversation. 
Having waited some time for him to resume it, and being convinced by his silence, that it was intended to hold a 
conference and say nothing, 1 determined to try for information in a dilferent way. I began, therefore, by expressing, 
with an air of serious concern, my conviction that their detention of the western posts would form an insurmountable 
barrier against a treaty with us. Knowing so well as he did the nature of popular governments, he would not be 
surprised that some in America should oppose a treaty with Britain from serious doubt as to the policy of the 
measure, and others from private reasons; and he must sec that holding those posts would form an argument for 
one, and a pretext for the other. Finding that he felt this, I added that their conduct in this respect, gave serious 
alarm to reasonable well meaning men. Some believed their design was to deprive us of our shai-e in the fur trade, 
which they considered as a serious injury; but others were convinced, that holding those posts was attended with 
great and useless expense to Britain, which the benefits of the fur trade by no means compensated; and even that 
she would derive those benefits, whether that trade were carried on through the medium of Canada or of the United 
States: Hence tliey inferred some other, and consequently some iiostile views; so that every murder committed by 
the Indians was attributed to British intiigues; and although some men of liberal minds might judge differently, 
their arguments could have little weight with the many who felt themselves aggrieved. He owned that there was 
force in these reflections. I told liim farther, that I did not presume to judge of the gieat circle of European 
politics, but, according to my limited comprehension, I was led to suppose that they could not act with the same 
decisive energy towards their neighbors while they doubted of our conduct He said I was perfectly right, and he 
said so in a manner which showed that this had been urged and felt during the late negotiations. I proceeded, 
therefore, a little farther, (premising that this conversation was merely from one gentleman to another) and prayed 
liim to consider, that In a war between Britain and the house of Bourbon (a thing which must happen at some time 
or other) we can give the West India islands to whom we please, without engaging in the war ourselves; and our 
conduct must be governed by our interest He acknowledged that this was naturally to be expected; and it seemed 
from his manner, that the same thing had been represented before, but not in such strong colors. I observed that 
those preferences which we had a right to give in our own ports, and those restrictions which we had a nght to 
impose, would \\ave a most extensive operation; assured him of my sincere belief that their exclusive system, as 
far as it related to the commerce of their islands, had a tendency to injure that navigation which it was their object 
to increase; because, if we met them on equal ground of restriction, they would lose more in one way than 
they gained in another. That they had many large ships employed in carrying the single article ot tobacco; 
and if we should pass a navigation act to meet theirs, they could not bring us a yard of cloth which contained Spanish 
wool, and so of other things. I thought 1 could perceive that considerations like tliese had already given them some 
alarm; I therefore said that I supposed his people had transmitted information of the attempts made in Congress to 
adopt such regulations. He said they had. I observed that not having yet received the laws passed by Congress, I 
could not say exactly what had been done. That I hoped things were yet open for treaty. That doubtless there 
were many persons in this country, who, to gratify the resentment occasioned by losses or disappointnents in the 
.American umr, woidd be glad to urge on a state of commercial Iwstility, but this would prove, perhaps, a losing 
game to both. He really thought it would. Having gone as far in that line as was useful, 1 took a short turn in my 
subject, and said I had waited with great patience, during the negotiations they were carrying on, because I 

1-91.] PORTUGAL. 127 

supposed they would naturally square their conduct towards us by their position in respect to other nations. I made 
this observation in a careless manner, as a thing of course, but immediately fixing my eye upon liim, he showed that it 
was exactly the circumstance they had wished to conceal . I added that, finding the northern courts were now at peace, 
and supposing they had come to their fined decisions with respect to the house of Bourbon, I thought it probable that 
they were prepared to speak dejinitively to us also. Here I waited for his answer, which indeed f did not expect to 
receive. He was pretty sufficiently embarrassed, and from his look and manner, I collected quite as much as he 
was willing to communicate. After some little sayings of no consequence, he asked me what the United States 
would think of the undefined claim of Spain to America. Having no objection to take that information from 
his questions, which could not be drawn forth in his answers, I told him that it would make no impression on our 
minds. That the Spaniards being in fact apprehensive of danger from us, were disposed to make sacrifices for our 
friendship. That the navigation of the Mississippi, hitherto the bone of contention, was, I believed, given up by 
them already, or would soon be so; and as for their claims, they never could affect us, and therefore we did not care 
any thing about them. That their reason for withholding^ that navigation liitherto, was the fear of contraband trade; 
ahd for the same reason they must, in my opinion, sacrifice the last man and last shilling upon the question about 
Nootka Sound. He said he had always thought the danger of contraband ought to be considered in dealing on this 
subject, for that nations, like individuals, ought to treat with candor and honesty. We had a good deal of conver- 
sation on that and other topics, in which America was not directly concerned, and then I told him that, if they came 
to any determination in regard to us speedily, I should wish to be apprised ol it. He assured me that I should, and 
offered to make liis communications to you through me, and for that purpose to address his letters to me in Paris; 
but for reasons communicated in a former letter, I thought it best to decline this offer, and therefore obsei-ved that 
his own packets would give him a speedier and more certain means of conveyance. I then took my leave. 

I have troubled you, sir, with the leading features of this conversation, that you might the better judge of the 
conclusions I draw I'rom it. I think the cabinet is divided on the question of war or peace. If France appeared 
strong enough to excuse a retrograde manoeuvre, I believe they would discover all at once that Spain has better 
reasons to urge than they had been before apprised of; and therefore, on principles of justice, and having received the 
strongest assurances of brotherly love from the Catholic King, the Defender of the Faith would disarm. His ministers 
will not treat with us at present, unless they could see their way to offensive and defensive alliance, which we shall 
be in no hurry to contract Should war break out, the an ti- American party will, I believe, agree to any terms: for it is 
more the taste of the medicine which they nauseate, than the size of the dose. Mr. Pitt, I believe, wishes a continuance 
of peace. Observe that he is rather the Queen's man than the King's, and that, since his Majesty's illness, she has 
been of great consequence. This depends in part on a medical reason. To prevent the relapse of persons who have 
been mad, they must be kept in constant awe of somebody, and it is said that the physician of the King gave the 
matter in charge to his royal consort, who performs that, li