« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
to the individuals interested in those cases by exempting from the operation of the law all those vessels which have entered our ports without having had the means of previously knowing the existence of the additional duty.
The contest between Spain and the colonies, according to the most authentic information, is maintained by the latter with improved success. The unfortunate divisions which were known to exist some time since at Buenos Ayres it is understood still prevail. In no part of South America has Spain made any impression on the colonies, while in many parts, and particularly in Venezuela and New Grenada, the colonies have gained strength and acquired reputation, both for the management of the war in which they have been successful and for the order of the internal administration. The late change in the Government of Spain, by the reestablishment of the constitution of 1812, is an event which promises to be favorable to the revolution. Under the authority of the Cortes the Congress of Angostura was invited to open a negotiation for the settlement of differences between the parties, to which it was replied that they would willingly open the negotiation provided the acknowledgment of their independence was made its basis, but not otherwise. Of further proceedings between them we are uninformed. No facts are known to this Government to warrant the belief that any of the powers of Europe will take part in the contest, whence it may be inferred, considering all circumstances which must have weight in producing the result, that an adjustment will finally take place on the basis proposed by the colonies. To promote that result by friendly counsels with other powers, including Spain herself, has been the uniform policy of this Government.
In looking to the internal concerns of our country you will, I am persuaded, derive much satisfaction from a view of the several objects to which, in the discharge of your official duties, your attention will be drawn. Among these none holds a more important place than the public revenue, from the direct operation of the power by which it is raised on the people, and by its influence in giving effect to every other power of the Government. The revenue depends on the resources of the country, and the facility by which the amount required is raised is a strong proof of the extent of the resources and of the efficiency of the Government. A few prominent facts will place this great interest in a just light before you. On the 30th of September, 1815, the funded and floating debt of the United States was estimated at $119,635,558. If to this sum be added the amount of 5 per cent stock subscribed to the Bank of the United States, the amount of Mississippi stock and of the stock which was issued subsequently to that date, the balances ascertained to be due to certain States for military services and to individuals for supplies furnished and services rendered during the late war, the public debt may be estimated as amounting at that date, and as afterwards liquidated, to $158,713,049. On the 30th of September, 1820, it amounted to $91,993,883, having been
reduced in that interval by payments $66,879, 165. During this term the expenses of the Government of the United States were likewise defrayed in every branch of the civil, military, and naval establishments; the public edifices in this city have been rebuilt with considerable additions; extensive fortifications have been commenced, and are in a train of execution; permanent arsenals and magazines have been erected in various parts of the Union; our Navy has been considerably augmented, and the ordnance, munitions of war, and stores of the Army and Navy, which were much exhausted during the war, have been replenished.
By the discharge of so large a proportion of the public debt and the execution of such extensive and important operations in so short a time a just estimate may be formed of the great extent of our national resources. The demonstration is the more complete and gratifying when it is recollected that the direct tax and excise were repealed soon after the termination of the late war, and that the revenue applied to these purposes has been derived almost wholly from other sources.
The receipts into the Treasury from every source to the 30th of September last have amounted to $16,794, 107.66, whilst the public expenditures to the same period amounted to $16,871,534.72, leaving in the Treasury on that day a sum estimated at $1,950,000. For the probable receipts of the following year I refer you to the statement which will be transmitted from the Treasury.
The sum of $3,000,000 authorized to be raised by loan by an act of the last session of Congress has been obtained upon terms advantageous to the Government, indicating not only an increased confidence in the faith of the nation, but the existence of a large amount of capital seeking that mode of investment at a rate of interest not exceeding 5 per cent per
It is proper to add that there is now due to the Treasury for the sale of public lands $22,996,545. In bringing this subject to view I consider it my duty to submit to Congress whether it may not be advisable to extend to the purchasers of these lands, in consideration of the unfavorable change which has occurred since the sales, a reasonable indulgence. It is known that the purchases were made when the price of every article had risen to its greatest height, and that the installments are becoming due at a period of great depression. It is presumed that some plan may be devised by the wisdom of Congress, compatible with the public interest, which would afford great relief to these purchasers.
Considerable progress has been made during the present season in examining the coast and its various bays and other inlets, in the collection of materials, and in the construction of fortifications for the defense of the Union at several of the positions at which it has been decided to erect such works. At Mobile Point and Dauphin Island, and at the Rigolets, leading to Lake Pontchartrain, materials to a considerable amount have been collected, and all the necessary preparations made for the commencement
of the works. At Old Point Comfort, at the mouth of James River, and at the Rip-Rap, on the opposite shore in the Chesapeake Bay, materials to a vast amount have been collected; and at the Old Point some progress has been made in the construction of the fortification, which is on a very extensive scale. The work at Fort Washington, on this river, will be completed early in the next spring, and that on the Pea Patch, in the Delaware, in the course of the next season. Fort Diamond, at the Narrows, in the harbor of New York, will be finished this year. The works at Boston, New York, Baltimore, Norfolk, Charleston, and Niagara have been in part repaired, and the coast of North Carolina, extending south to Cape Fear, has been examined, as have likewise other parts of the coast eastward of Boston. Great exertions have been made to push forward these works with the utmost dispatch possible; but when their extent is considered, with the important purposes for which they are intended-the defense of the whole coast, and, in consequence, of the whole interior-and that they are to last for ages, it will be manifest that a well-digested plan, founded on military principles, connecting the whole together, combining security with economy, could not be prepared without repeated examinations of the most exposed and difficult parts, and that it would also take considerable time to collect the materials at the several points where they would be required. From all the light that has been shed on this subject I am satisfied that every favorable anticipation which has been formed of this great undertaking will be verified, and that when completed it will afford very great if not complete protection to our Atlantic frontier in the event of another war-a protection sufficient to counterbalance in a single campaign with an enemy powerful at sea the expense of all these works, without taking into the estimate the saving of the lives of so many of our citizens, the protection of our towns and other property, or the tendency of such works to prevent war.
Our military positions have been maintained at Belle Point, on the Arkansas, at Council Bluffs, on the Missouri, at St. Peters, on the Mississippi, and at Green Bay, on the upper Lakes. Commodious barracks have already been erected at most of these posts, with such works as were necessary for their defense. Progress has also been made in opening communications between them and in raising supplies at each for the support of the troops by their own labor, particularly those most remote. With the Indians peace has been preserved and a progress made in carrying into effect the act of Congress making an appropriation for their civilization, with the prospect of favorable results. As connected equally with both these objects, our trade with those tribes is thought to merit the attention of Congress. In their original state game is their sustenance and war their occupation, and if they find no employment from civilized powers they destroy each other. Left to themselves their extirpation is inevitable. By a judicious regulation of our trade with them we supply their wants, administer to their comforts, and gradually, as the
game retires, draw them to us. By maintaining posts far in the interior we acquire a more thorough and direct control over them, without which it is confidently believed that a complete change in their manners can never be accomplished. By such posts, aided by a proper regulation of our trade with them and a judicious civil administration over them, to be provided for by law, we shall, it is presumed, be enabled not only to protect our own settlements from their savage incursions and preserve peace among the several tribes, but accomplish also the great purpose of their civilization.
Considerable progress has also been made in the construction of ships of war, some of which have been launched in the course of the present year.
Our peace with the powers on the coast of Barbary has been preserved, but we owe it altogether to the presence of our squadron in the Mediterranean. It has been found equally necessary to employ some of our vessels for the protection of our commerce in the Indian Sea, the Pacific, and along the Atlantic coast. The interests which we have depending in those quarters, which have been much improved of late, are of great extent and of high importance to the nation as well as to the parties concerned, and would undoubtedly suffer if such protection was not extended to them. In execution of the law of the last session for the suppression of the slave trade some of our public ships have also been employed on the coast of Africa, where several captures have already been made of vessels engaged in that disgraceful traffic.
To the Senate of the United States:
DECEMBER 12, 1820.
In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of the 6th of December, requesting that the agent employed under the act entitled "An act authorizing the purchase of fire engines and building houses for the safekeeping of the same" should report in the manner stated in the said resolution his conduct in execution of the said act, I now transmit to the Senate a report from the agent, which communicates all the information which has been desired.
DECEMBER 14, 1820.
To the Senate of the United States:
I submit to the consideration of the Senate, for their advice and consent as to the ratification, the following treaties, concluded with the several
Indian tribes therein mentioned since the last session of Congress, with their documents, viz: With the Weas, Kickapoos, Chippeways, Ottawas, Choctaws, and Mahas; and also a treaty with the Kickapoos amended as proposed by a resolution of the Senate at their last session.
To the House of Representatives:
WASHINGTON, December 14, 1820.
In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of the 21st November last, requesting the President to lay before the House information relating to the progress and expenditures of the commissioners under the fifth, sixth, and seventh articles of the treaty of Ghent, I now transmit a report from the Secretary of State, with documents containing all the information in the possession of that Department requested by the resolution.
WASHINGTON, January 1, 1821.
To the House of Representatives of the United States:
In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of the 22d of November last, requesting the President to inform that House what naval force has been stationed for the protection of the commerce of our citizens in the West India Islands and parts adjacent during the present year, and whether any depredations by pirates or others upon the property of citizens of the United States engaged in such commerce have been reported to our Government, I now submit for the information of the House a report from the Secretary of the Navy, with accompanying documents, which contains all the information in the possession of the Government required by that resolution.
To the House of Representatives:
WASHINGTON, January 4, 1821.
I communicate to the House of Representatives a report from the Secretary of State, which, with the papers accompanying it, contains all the information in the possession of the Executive requested by a resolution of the House of the 4th December last, on the subject of the African slave trade.
To the House of Representatives:
WASHINGTON, January 4, 1821.
In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of the 15th of December last, requesting the President of the United States to
M P-VOL II-6