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distributing it into different depositaries, and constituting each the guardian of public weal against invasions by the others, has been evinced by experiments ancient and modern some of them in our country and under our own eyes. To preserve them must be as necessary as to constitute them. If, in the opinion of the people, the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the constitution designatés. 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 free 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 supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. 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. Let 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 irfluence 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 primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened. 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 ; and remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger, frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it; avoiding likewise the accumulations of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertions in time of peace to discharge the debts which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burden which we ourselves ought to bear. The execution of these maxims belongs to your representatives, but it is necessary 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 toward the payment of debts, there must be revenue : to have revenue, there must be taxes: that no taxes can be devised which are not more or less inconvenient and unpleasant; and the intrinsic embarrassment inseparable from the selection of the proper object (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 rev. enue which the public exigencies may at any time dictate.
Observe good faith and justice toward all nations; cultivate peace and barmony 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, enlightened, 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 might 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, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded ; and that in place of them just and amicable feelings toward all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges toward 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 which 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 of 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 projects of hostility instigated by pride, ambition, and other sinister and pernicious motives. The peace often, sometimes perhaps the liberty of nations, has been the victim.
So likewise a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, 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 the concessions to the favorite nation of privileges denied to others, which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions, by unnecessarily parting 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 the interests of their own country without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligativn, a commendable 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 practise the arts of seduction, to mislead public opinions, to influence or awe public councils! Such an attachment of small or weak toward a great and powerful nation, dooms the former to be the satellites of the latter. Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe ine, fellow-citizens), the jealousy of a free people ought to be conSTANTLY AWAKE; since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government. But that jealousy, to be useful, must be iinpartial, else it becomes the instrument 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 rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is, in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connexion as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop.
Europe has a set of primary interests, which to us have none or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged 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 ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities. Our detached and distant situation invites and enables 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 scrupulously 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 European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor, or caprice? It is our true policy to steer clear or 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 patronizing infidelity to existing engagements. 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 unnecessary and would be unwise to extend them. Taking care always to keep ourselves, by suitable establishments, on a respectable defensive posture, we may safely trust to temporary alliances for extraordinary emergencies.
Harmony, and a liberal intercourse with all nations, are recommended by policy, humanity, and interest. But even our commercial policy should hold on 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 disposed — in order to give trade a stable course, to define the rights of our merchants, and to enable the government to support them — conventional rules of intercourse, the best that present circumstances and mutual opinions will permit, but temporary, and liable to be from time to time abandoned or varied, as experience and circumstances shall dictate; constantly keeping in view that it is folly in one nation to look for disinterested favors from another; that it must pay with a portion of its independence 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 of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more. There can be no greater error than to expect
or calculate upon real favors from nation to nation. It is an illusion which experience must cure which a just pride ought to discard.
In offering to you, my countrymen, these counsels of an old and affectionate 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 prevent 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, and guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism — this hope will be a full recompense for the solicitude for your welfare by which 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 assurance 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 approving voice, and by that of your representatives in both houses of Congress, 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 could 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 interest to take, a neutral position. Having taken it, I determined, as far as should depend upon me, to maintain it with moderation, perseverance, and firmness.
The considerations which respect the right to hold this 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 anything more, from the obligation which justice and humanity im. pose upon every nation, in cases in which it is free to act, to inaintain in violate the relations of peace and amity toward other nations. The inducements of interest for observing that conduct will be best referred to your own reflection and experience. 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 necessary 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 toward 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 partaking, in the midst of my fellow-citizens, the benign influence of good laws under a free government - the ever-favorite object of my heart, and the happy reward, as I trust, of our mutual cares, labors, and dangers.
SUCCESSIVE ADMINISTRATIONS, FROM 1789 TO 1848
FIRST ADMINISTRATION-1789 TO 1797.-EIGHT YEARS.
SECRETARIES OF State: Thomas Jefferson, of Va., Sept. 26, 1789; Edmund Ran. dolph, of Va., Jan. 2, 1794; Timothy Pickering, of Pa., Dec. 10, 1795.
SECRETARIES OF THE TREASURY : Alexander Hamilton, of New York, Sept. 11, 1789; Oliver Wolcott, of Conn., Feb. 3, 1795.
SECRETARIES OF War: Henry Knox, of Mass., Sept. 12, 1789 ; Timothy Pickering, of Mass., Jan. 2, 1795; James M'Henry, of Md., Jan. 27, 1796.
SECRETARIES OF THE Navy: No navy department during this administration.
POSTMASTERS-GENERAL: Samuel Osgood, of Mass, Sept. 26, 1789; Timothy Pickering, of Mass., Nov. 7, 1794; Joseph Habersham, of Ga., Feb. 25, 1795. Expenditures. Public Debt.
Total. 1789—The expenditures from 4th March, 1789, to 31st December, 1791, are 1790
included in 1791.
$7,207,539 02 1792 1,877,913 68 7,263,655 99
9,141,569 67 1793 1,710,070 26 5,819,505 29
7,529,575 55 1794 3,500,546 65 5,801,578 09
9,302,124 74 1795 4,350,658 04 6,084,411 61
10,435,069 65 1796 2,531,930 40 5,835,846 44
SECOND ADMINISTRATION-1797 TO 1801,-FOUR YEARS.
PRESIDENT : JOHN ADAMS, Massachusetts. Vice-PRESIDENT: THOMAS JEFFERSON, Virginia. SECRETARIES OF State: Timothy Pickering, continued in office; John Marshall, of Va., May 13, 1800.
SECRETARIES OF THE TREASURY : Oliver Wolcott, continued in office; S. Dexter, of Mass., Dec. 31, 1800.
SECRETARIES OF WAR: James M'Henry, continued in office; S. Dexter, of Mass., May 13, 1800; Roger Griswold, of Conn., Feb. 3, 1801.
SECRETARIES OF THE NAVY : George Cabot, of Mass., May 3, 1789, declined; Benjamin Stoddart, of Md., May 21, 1798. POSTMASTER-GENERAL: Joseph Habersham, continued. Years. Expenditures. Public Debt.
Total. 1797 $2,833,590 96 $5,792,421 82
$8,626,012 78 1798 4,623,223 54 3,990,294 14
8,613,517 68 1799 6,480,166 72 4,596,876 78
11,077,043 50 1800 7,411,369 97 4,578,369 95
THIRD ADMINISTRATION-1801 TO 1809.-EIGHT YEARS. PRESIDENT: THOMAS JEFFERSON, Virginia. VICE-PRESIDENTS : AARON BURR, New York ; GEORGE Clinton, New York. SECRETARY OF STATE : James Madison, of Va., March 5, 1801. SECRETARIES OF THE TREASURY: S. Dexter, continued in office; Albert Gallatin, of Pa., Jan. 26, 1802.
SECRETARY OF WAR : Henry Dearborn, of Mass., March 4, 1801.
SECRETARIES OF THE NAVY: Benjamin Stoddart, continued in office; Robert Smith, of Md., Jan. 28, 1802.
PosTMASTERS-GENERAL : Joseph Habersham, continued in office; Gideon Granger, of Conn., Jan 26, 1802.