Page images
PDF
EPUB

gress to take the subject into consideration, with a view to all the objects claiming attention, and to regulate it by law. On a knowledge of the furniture procured and the sum expended for it a just estimate may be formed regarding the extent of the building of what will still be wanting to furnish the house. Many of the articles, being of a durable nature, may be handed down through a long series of service, and being of great value, such as plate, ought not to be left altogether and at all times to the care of servants alone. It seems to be advisable that a public agent should be charged with it during the occasional absences of the President, and have authority to transfer it from one President to another, and likewise to make reports of occasional deficiencies, as the basis on which further provision should be made.

It may also merit consideration whether it may not be proper to commit the care of the public buildings, particularly the President's house and the Capitol, with the grounds belonging to them, including likewise the furniture of the latter, in a more special manner to a public agent. Hitherto the charge of this valuable property seems to have been connected with the structure of the buildings and committed to those employed in it. This guard will necessarily cease when the buildings are finished, at which time the interest in them will be proportionably augmented. It is presumed that this trust is, in a certain degree at least, incidental to the other duties of the superintendent of the public buildings, but it may merit consideration whether it will not be proper to charge him with it more explicitly, and to give him authority to employ one or more persons under him for these purposes.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, February 12, 1818. To the Senate and House of Representatives:

I lay before the House of Representatives copies of two communications received at the Department of State from the minister of Great Britain, and submit to their consideration the propriety of making such legislative provisions as may be necessary for a compliance with the representations contained in them.

By the express terms of that compact it was, when ratified by the two Governments, to be in force for the termi of four years from the day of its signature. The revocation of all the discriminating duties became, therefore, the obligation of both Governments from that day, and it is conceived that every individual who has been required to pay, and who has paid, any of the extra duties revoked by the convention has a just and lawful claim upon the respective Governments for its return.

From various accidents it has happened that both here and in Great Britain the cessation of the extra duties has been fixed to commence at different times. It is desirable that Congress should pass an act providing for the return of all the extra duties incompatible with the terms of the convention which have been levied upon British vessels or merchandise after the 3d of July, 1815. The British Parliament have already set the example of fixing that day for the cessation of the extra duties of export by their act of zothi of June last, and the minister of the United States in London is instructed to require the extension of the same principle to all the extra duties levied on vessels and merchandise of the United States in the ports of Great Britain since that day. It is not doubted that the British Government will comply with this requisition, and that the act suggested may be passed by Congress with full confidence that the reciprocal measure will receive the sanction of the British Parliament.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, February 23, 1818. To the Senate of the United States:

In compliance with a resolution of the Senate requesting me to cause to be laid before them a statement of all the arms and accouterments which have been manufactured at the different armories of the United States, with the cost of each stand, and the number delivered to each State, respectively, under the act for arming the wliole body of militia, I now transmit a report from the Secretary of War, with the documents marked A, B, and C, which, together with a report to him from the Ordnance Department, contains the information required.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, February 23, 1878. To the Senate of the United States:

In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of the 19th of January, 1818, requesting information of measures which have been taken in pursuance of so much of the act to authorize the appointment of a surveyor for lands in the northern part of the Mississippi Territory, passed the 3d of March, 1817, as relates to the reservation of certain sections for the purpose of laying out and establishing towns thereon, I now transmit a report from the Secretary of the Treasury, which, with the letters and charts referred to in it, contains all the information which is desired.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, February 25. 1878. To the Senate and House of Representatives of the l'nited States.

The commissioners of the two Governments, under the fourth article of the treaty of Ghent, having come to a decision upon the questions submitted to them, I lay before Congress copies of that decision, together with copies of the declaration signed and reported by the commissioners of this Government.

JAMES MONROE.

FEBRUARY 27, 1818. To the House of Representatives of the United States:

I communicate herewith to the House of Representatives a copy of a letter from the governor of the State of South Carolina to the Secretary of State, together with extracts from the journals of proceedings in botlı branches of the legislature of that Commonwealth, relative to a proposed amendment of the Constitution, which letter and extracts are connected with the subject of my communication to the House of the 6th instant.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, February 28, 1818. To the House of Representatives of the United States:

I lay before the House a report from the Secretary of State, together with the papers relating to the claims of merchants of the United States upon the Government of Naples, in conformity with the resolution of the House of the 30th January last.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, March 11, 1818. To the Senate of the United States:

In compliance with a resolution of the Senate requesting information respecting the requisitions that were made on the contractors between the ist of June and the 24th of December, 1817, for deposits of provisions in advance at the several posts on the frontiers of Georgia and the adjoining territory, their conduct in compliance therewith, the amount of money advanced to B. G. Orr, and the extent of his failure, with a copy of the articles of contract entered into with him, I now lay before the Senate a report from the Secretary of War, which, with the documents accompanying it, will afford the information desired.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, March 14, 1818. To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States:

In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of the 16th of December and of the House of Representatives of the 24th of February last, I lay before Congress a report of the Secretary of State, and the papers referred to in it, respecting the negotiation with the Government of Spain. To explain fully the nature of the differences between the United States and Spain and the conduct of the parties it has been found necessary to go back to an early epoch. The recent correspondence, with the docuiments accompanying it, will give a full view of the whole subject, and place the conduct of the United States in every stage and under every circumstance, for justice, moderation, and a firm adherence to their rights, on the high and honorable ground which it has invariably sustained.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, March 16, 1818. To the Senate of the United States:

In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of the United States of the 31st of December last, requesting the President to cause to be laid before them a statement of the proceedings which may have been had under the act of Congress passed on the 3d March, 1817, entitled "An act to set apart and dispose of certain public lands for the encouragement and cultivation of the vine and olive," I now transmit a report from the Secretary of the Treasury, containing all the information possessed by the Executive relating to the proceedings under the said act.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, March 16, 1878. To the Senate of the United States:

In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of the United States of the 3d of February last, requesting the President to cause to be laid before them “a statement of the progress made under the act to provide for surveying the coast of the United States, passed February 10, 1807, and any subsequent acts on the same subject, and the expenses incurred thereby," I transmit a report from the Secretary of the Treasury containing the information required.

JAMES MONROE.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

MARCH 19, 1818. To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States:

In the course of the last summer a negotiation was commenced with the Government of the Netherlands with a view to the revival and modification of the commercial treaty existing between the two countries, adapted to their present circumstances.

The report from the Secretary of State which I now lay before Congress will show the obstacles which arose in the progress of the conferences between the respective plenipotentiaries, and which resulted in the agreement between them then to refer the subject to the consideration of their respective Governments. As the difficulties appear to be of a nature which may, perhaps, for the present be more easily removed by reciprocal legislative regulations, formed in the spirit of amity and conciliation, than by conventional stipulations, Congress may think it advisable to leave the subsisting treaty in its present state, and to meet the liberal exemption from discriminating tonnage duties which has been conceded in the Netherlands to the vessels of the United States by a similar exemption to the vessels of the Netherlands which have arrived, or may hereafter arrive, in our ports, commencing from the time when the exemption was granted to the vessels of the United States. I would further recommend to the consideration of Congress the expediency of extending the

[ocr errors]

benefit of the same regulation, to commence from the passage of the law, to the vessels of Russia, Hamburg, and Bremen, and of making it prospectively general in favor of every nation in whose ports the vessels of the United States are admitted on the same footing as their own.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, March 23, 1818. To the Senate of the United States:

I lay before the Senate a report from the Secretary of the Navy, with the estimate of the expense which will be incurred by the establishment of two dockyards for repairing vessels of the largest size.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, March 25, 1818. To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States:

I now lay before Congress all the information in the possession of the Executive respecting the war with the Seminoles, and the measures which it has been thought proper to adopt for the safety of our fellow-citizens on the frontier exposed to their ravages. The inclosed documents show that the hostilities of this tribe were unprovoked, the offspring of a spirit long cherished and often manifested toward the United States, and that in the present instance it was extending itself to other tribes and daily assuming a more serious aspect. As soon as the nature and object of this combination were perceived the major-general commanding the Southern division of the troops of the United States was ordered to the theater of action, charged with the management of the war and vested with the powers necessary to give it effect. The season of the year being unfavorable to active operations, and the recesses of the country affording shelter to these savages in case of retreat, may prevent a prompt termination of the war; but it may be fairly presumed that it will not be long before this tribe and its associates receive the punishment which they have provoked and justly merited.

As almost the whole of this tribe inhabits the country within the limits of Florida, Spain was bound by the treaty of 1795 to restrain them from committing hostilities against the United States. We have seen with regret that her Government has altogether failed to fulfill this obligation, nor are we aware that it made any effort to that effect. When we consider her utter inability to check, even in the slightest degree, the movements of this tribe by her very small and incompetent force in Florida, we are not disposed to ascribe the failure to any other cause. The inability, however, of Spain to maintain her authority over the territory and Indians within her limits, and in consequence to fulfill the treaty, ought not to expose the United States to other and greater injuries. When the authority of Spain ceases to exist there, the United States have a right to

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »