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will be my sincere desire to preserve it, so far as depends on the Exe. cutive, on just principles, with all Nations, claiming nothing unreasonable of any, and readering to each what is its due.

Equally gratifying is it, to witness the increased harmony of opinion, which pervades our Union. Discord does not belong to our system. Union is recommended, as well by the free and benign principles of our Government, extending its blessings to every Individual, as by the other eminent advantages attending it. The American People have encountered together great dangers, and sustained severe trials with success. They constitute one great Family, with a common interest. Experience has enlightened us, on some questions of essential importance to the Country. The progress has been slow, dictated by a just reflection, and a faithful regard to every interest connected with it. To promote this harmony, in accord with the principles of our Republican Government, and in a manner to give them the most complete effect, and to advance, in all other respects, the best inte. rests of our Union, will be the object of my constant and zealous exertions.

Never did a Government commence under auspices so favorable, nor ever was success so complete. If we look to the history of other Nations, ancient or modern, we find no example of a growth so rapid, so gigantic; of a People so prosperous and happy. In contemplating what we have still to perform, the heart of every Citizen must expand with joy, when he reflects how near our Government has approached to perfection; that in respect to it, we have no essential improvement to make; that the great object is, to preserve it in the essential principles and features which characterize it, and that that is to be done by preserving the virtue and enlightening the minds of the People; and, as a security against foreign dangers, to adopt such arrangements as are indispensable to the support of our independence, our rights, and liberties. If we persevere in the career in which we have advanced so far, and in the path already traced, we cannot fail, under the favor of a gracious Providence, to attain the high destiny which seems to await us.

In the Administrations of the illustrious Men who have preceded me in this bigh Station, with some of whom I have been connected by the closest ties from early life, examples are presented which will always be found highly instructive and useful to their Successors. From these I shall endeavor to derive all the advantages which they may afford. Of my immediate Predecessor, under whom so important a portion of this great and successful experiment has been made, I shall be pardoned for expressing my earnest wishes, that he may long enjoy, in his retirement, the affections of a grateful Country, the best reward of exalted talents and faithful services. Relying on the aid to be derived from the other Departments of the Government, 1 enter on the Trust to which I have been called by the suffrages of my FellowCitizens, with my fervent prayers to the Almighty, that He will be graciously pleased to continue to us that protection wbich He has already so conspicuously displayed in our favor.

MESSAGE of the President of The United States, on the

Opening of Congress.- 3rd December, 1816.


SENTATIVES, In reviewing the present state of our Country, our attention cannot be withheld from the effect produced by peculiar seasons, which have very generally impaired the annual gifts of the earth, and threaten scarcity in particular Districts. Such, however, is the variety of soils, of climates, and of products, within our extensive Limits, that the aggregate resources for subsistence, are more than sufficient for the aggregate wants. And as far as an economy of consumption, more than usual, may be vecessary, 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 extension 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 particular branches of our Manufactures, and by a portion of our Navigation. As the first proceeds, in an essential degree, from an excess of imported merchandize, which carries a check in its own tendency, the cause, in its present extent, cannot be of very long duration. The 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 dependance on Foreign sources, for 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 the 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 2 Countries, growing out of the Treaty of 1794, had given to the British Navigation a material advantage over the American, in the intercourse between the American Ports and British Ports in Europe. The Convention of London equalized the Laws of the 2 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 our Ports and British Ports in Europe, by the circuitous voyages enjoyed by the one, and not enjoyed by the other.

The reasonableness of the rule of reciprocity, applied to one branch of the commercial intercourse, has been pressed on our part, as equally applicable to both branches; but it is ascertained, that the British Cabinet declines all negociation on the subject; with a disavowal, however, of any disposition to view, in an unfriendly light, whatever 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 2 Nations, and to the just interests of The United States.

I have the satisfaction to state, generally, that we remain in amity with Foreign Powers.

An occurrence has, indeed, taken place in the Gulf of Mexico, which, if sanctioned by the Spanish Government, may make an exception as to that Power. According to the Report of our Naval Commander on that Station, one of our public armed Vessels was attacked by an overpowering Force, 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 smaller Vessel of War have been ordered into that Gulf, for the protection of our commerce. It would be improper to oinit, that the Representative of His Catholic Majesty, in The United States, lost no time in giving the strongest assurances, that no hostile Order could have emanated from his Government, and that it will be as ready to do, as to expect, whatever the nature of the case, and the friendly relations of the 2 Countries, shall be found to require.

The posture of our affairs with Algiers, at the present moment, is not known. The Dey, drawing 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 Tribes within our limits appear also disposed to remain at peace. From several of them purchases of lands have been made, particularly favorable to the wishes and security of our Frontier Settlements, as well as to the general interests of the Nation. Ju some instances, the titles, though not supported by due proof, and clashing those of one Tribe with the clains of another, have been estinguished by double purchases ; the benevolent policy of The United States preferring the augmented expense 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 tranquillity which has been restored among the Tribes themselves, as well as between them and our own Population, will favor the resumption of the work of civilization, which had made an encouraging progress among some Tribes ; and that the facility is increasing, for extending that divided and individual ownership, which exists now in moveable property only, to 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-organization of the Militia, on a plan which will form it into classes, according to the periods of life more and less adapted to military services. An efficient Militia is authorized and contemplated by the Constitution, and required by the spirit and safety of free 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 due force, than a classification, which will assign the foremost 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 is the time when the change can be made with most convenience and equity, 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 Weights 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 title to the public gratitude.

The importance which I have attached to the establishment of a University within this District, on a scale and for objects worthy of the American Nation, induces me to renew my recommendation of it to the favorable consideration of Congress. And I particularly invite again their attention to the expediency of exercising their existing powers, and, where necessary, of resorting to the prescribed mode of enlarging them, in order to effectuate a comprehensive system of Roads and Canals, such as will have the effect of drawing more closely togetber every part of our Country, by promoting intercourse and improvements, and by increasing the share of every 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 persons under the exclusive cognizance of the National Authority, an amendment of the Law, embracing such cases, will merit the earliest attention of the Legislature. It will be a seasonable occasion, also, for inquiring how far Legislative interposition may be further requisite, in providing penalties for offences designated in the Constitution or in the Statutes, and to which either no penalties are annexed, or none with sufficient certainty. And I submit to the wisdom of Congress, whether a more enlarged revisal of the Criminal Code be not expedient, for the purpose of mitigating, in certain cases, penalties which were adopted into it antecedent to experiments and examples which justify and recommend a more lenient policy.

The United States having been the first to abolish, within the extent of their authority, the transportation of the Natives of Africa into slavery, by prohibiting the introduction of Slaves, and by punishing their Citizens participating in the Traffic, cannot but be gratified at the progress made by concurrent efforts of other Nations, towards a general suppression of so great an evil. They must feel, at the same time, the greater solicitude, to give the fullest efficacy to their own Regulations. With that view, the interposition of Congress appears to be required, by the violations and evasions which, it is suggested, are chargeable on unworthy Citizens who mingle in the Slave-trade under Foreign Flags, and with Foreign Ports, and by collusive importations of Slaves, into The United States, through adjoining Ports and Territories. I present the subject to Congress, with a full assurance of their disposition to apply all the remedy which can be afforded by an amendment of the Law. The Regulations which were intended to guard against abuses of a kindred character, in the trade between the several States, ought also to be rendered more effectual for their humane object.

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