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far as an economy of consumption, more than usual, may be necessary, our thankfulness is due to Providence, for what is far more than a compensation, in the remarkable health which has distinguished the present year.
Amidst the advantages which have succeeded the peace of
Europe, and that of the United States with Great Britain, in a general invigoration of industry among us, and in the exteusion of our commerce, the value of which is more and more disclosing itself to commercial nations, it is to be regretted that a depression is experienced by ticular branches of our manufactures, and by a portion of our navigation. As the first proceeds, in an essential de rec, from an excess of imported merchandise, which carries a check in its own tendency, the cause, in its present extent, cannot be of very long duration. Toe evil will not, however, be viewed by Congress, without a recollection, that manufacturing establishments, if suffered to sink too low. or languish too long, may not revive, after the causes shall have ceased; and that, in the vicissitudes of human affairs, situations may recur, in which a dependence on foreign sources, tor indispensable supplies, may be among the most serious embarrassments.
The depressed state of our navigation, is to be ascribed, in a material degree, to its exclusion from tie colonial ports of the nation most extensively connected with us in commerce, and from the indirect operation of that exclusion.
Previous to the late Convention at London, between the United States and Great Britain, the relative state of the navigation laws of the two countrics. growing out of the treaty of 1794, had given to the British navigation a material advantage over the American, in the intercourse between the Ame
rican ports and British ports in Europe. The Convention of London equalized the laws of the two countries, relating to those ports ; leaving the intercourse between our ports and the ports of the British colonies, subject, as before, to the respective. regulations of the parties.
The British government enforcing, now, regulations which prohibit a trade between its colonies and the United States, in American vessels, whilst they permit a trade in British vessels, the American navigation loses accordingly; and the loss is augmented by the advantage which is given to the British competition over the American, in the navigation between uur ports and British ports in Europe, by the circuitous voyages, enjoyed by the one, and not enjoyed by the cther..
The reasonableness of the rule of reciprocity, applied to one branch of the commercial inter. course, has been pressed on our parl, as equally applicable to both branches: but it is ascertained, that the British Cabinet declines all negotiation on the subject; with a disavowal, however, of any disposition to view, in an unfriendly light, whaierer countervailing regulations the United States may oppose to the regulations of which they complain. The wisdom of the Legislature will decide on the course, which, under these circumstances, is prescribed by a joint regard to the amicable relations between the two nations and to the just interests of the United States.
I have the satisfaction to state, generally, that we remain in amity with forcigo powers.
An occurrence has, indeed, taken place in the Gulf of Mexico, which, il sanctioned by the Spanish goverorent, may make an exception as to that puwer. According to the report of our naval com mander on that station, one of our public armed
vessels was attacked by an overpowering forces under a Spanish commander, and the American flag, with the officers and crew, insulted, in a manner calling for prompt reparation. This has been demanded. In the mean time, a frigate and a smaller vessel of war have been ordered into that Gulf, for the protection of our commerce. It would be improper to omit, that the representative of his Catholic Majesty, in the United States, lost no time in giving the strongest assurances, that no hostile ordur could have enanated from his
government, and that it will be as ready to do, as to ex. pect, whatever the nature of the case and the friendly rulations of the two countries shall be found to require.
The posture of our affairs with Algiers, at the present moment, is not kuown. The Dey, draw. ing pretexts from circumstances, for which the United States were not answerable, addressed a letter to this government, declaring the treaty last concluded with him, to have been annulled by our violation of it; and presenting, as the alternative, war, or a renewal of the former treaty, which stipulated, among other things, an annual tribute. The answer, with an explicit declaration that the United States preferred war to tribute, required his recognition and observance of the treaty last made, which abolishes tribute, and the slavery of our captured citizens. The result of the answer has not been received. Should he renew his warfare on our commerce, we rely on the protection it will find in our naval force actually in the Mediterranean.
With the other Barbary states our affairs have undergone no change. The Indian tribis within our limits
appear disposed to remain at peace. From several of
them purchases of lands bave beco made, particuJarly favourable to the wishes and security of our frontier settlements, as well as to the general interests of the nation. In some instances, the titles, though not supported by due proof, and clashing those of one tribe with the claiins of another, have been extinguished by double purchases ; the benevolent policy of the United States preferring the augmented expensc, to the hazard of doing injustice, or to the enforcement of justice against a feeble and untutored people, by means involving or threatening an effusion of blood. I am happy to add, that the tranquility which has been restored among the tribes themselves, as well as between them and our own population, will farour the resumption of the work of civilization, which had made an encouraging progress among some tribes; and that the facility is encreasing, for extending that divided and individual ownership, which es. ists now in moveable property only, io the soil itself; and of thus establishing, in the culture and improvement of it, the true foundation for a transit from the habits of the savage, to the arts and comforts of social life.
As a subject of the highest importance to the national welfare, I must, again, earnestly recommend to the consideration of Congress, a re-orgaoization of the Militia, on a plan which will forin it into classes, according to the periods of life more and less adapted to military services. An officient militia is authorized and contemplated by the Constitution, and required by the spirit and safety of Srce government. The present organization of our militia is universally regarded as less efficient than it ought to be made; and no organization can be better calculated to give to it its Juc forie, than a classification ishich will assign the furo
most place in the defence of the country, to that portion of its citizens, whose activity and animation best enable them to rally to its standard. Besides, the consideration that a time of
peace the tine when the change can be made with most convenience and cquity, it will now be aided by the experience of a recent war, in which the militia bore so interesting a part.
Congress will call to mind, that no adequate provision has yet been made, for the uniformity of weighits and measures, also contemplated by the Constitution. The great utility of a standard, fixed in its nature, and founded on the easy rule of decimal proportions, is sufficiently obvious. It led the government, at an early stage, to preparatory steps for introducing it; and a completion of the work will be a just útle to the public gratitude.
The importance which I have attached to the establislument of a University within this District, on a scale and for objects worthy of the American nation, induces mc to rene:v my recommendation of it to the favourable consideration of Congress. And I particularly invite, again, their attention to the expediency of cxercising their existing powers, and, where necessary, of resorting to the prescribed mode of enlarging them, in order to cffcctuate a comprehensive system of roads and canals, such as will have the effect of drawing more closely together every part of our country, by promoting intercourse and improvements, and by cncirasing the share of cvery part in the common stock of national prosperity:
Occurrences having taken place which shew that the statutory provisions for the dispensation of criminal justice, are deficient in relation both to places and to personis, under the exclusive cogoi