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with the legislative will, numerous litical, it is not our claim to be exweighty questions of construction, empt. We have suffered, somewhich the imperfection of human times by the visitation of heaven, language had rendered unavoid- through disease ; often by the able. The year of jubilee, since wrongs and injustice of other nathe first formation of our union, is tions, even to the extremities of just elapsed, that of the declaration war; and lastly, by dissensions of our independence is at hand. among ourselves--dissensions, perThe consummation of both was haps, inseparable from the enjoyeffected by this constitution. ment of freedom, but which have,
Since that period, a population more than once, appeared to of four millions has multiplied to threaten the dissolution of the twelve; a territory bounded by union, and, with it, the overthrow the Mississippi has been extended of all the enjoyments of our prefrom sea to sea; new states have sent lot, and all our earthly hopes been admitted to the union, in of the future. The cäuses of these numbers nearly equal to those of dissensions have been various : the first confederation ; treaties of founded upon differences of speculapeace, amity, and commerce, have tion in the theory of republican gobeen concluded with the principal vernments--upon conflicting views dominions of the earth ; the peo- of policy in our relationswith foreign ple of other nations, inhabitants of nations- upon jealousies of partial regions acquired, not by conquest, and sectional interests
, aggravated but by compact, have been united by prejudices and prepossessions with us in the participation of which strangers to each other are rights and duties, of our burthens ever apt to entertain. and blessings ; the forest has fallen It is a source of gratification and by the axe of our woodsmen; the of encouragement to me, to obsoil has been made to teem by the serve that the great result of this tillage of our farmers; our com- experiment upon the theory of humerce has whitened every ocean; man rights has, at the close of that the dominion of man over phy- generation by which it was formed, sical nature has been extended by been crowned with success equal the invention of our artists : liberty to the most sanguine expectations and law have marched hand in of its founders. Union, justice, hand; all the purposes of human tranquillity, the common defence, association have been accomplished the general welfare, and the blessas effectively as under any other ings of liberty-all have been progovernment on the globe ; and at moted by the government under a cost little exceeding, in a whole which we have lived. Standing generation, the expenditure of at this point of time, looking back other nations in a single year, to that generation which has gone
Such is the unexaggerated pic- by, and forward to that which is ture of our condition,
under a con- advancing, we may, at once, institution founded upon the re- dulge in grateful exultation, and publican principle of equal rights. in cheering hope. From the exTo admit that this picture has its perience of the past, we derive inshades, is but to say that it is still structive lessons for the future. the condition of men upon earth. Of the two great political parties From evil, physical, moral, and po- which have divided the opinions and feelings of our country, the for the beneficence, and the best candid and the just will now ad- guarantee against the abuse of mit, that both have contributed power, consist in the freedom, the splendid talents, spotless integrity, purity, and the frequency of popuardent patriotism, and disinterested lar elections--that the general gosacrifices, to the formation and ad- vernment of the Union, and the ministration of this government; separate governments of the States, and that both have required a are all sovereignties of limited liberal indulgence for a portion of powers, fellow servants of the human infirmity and error. The same masters, uncontrolled within revolutionary wars of Europe, com- their respective spheres, unconmencing precisely at the moment trollable by encroachments upon when the government of the United each other--that the firmest seStates first went into operation curity of peace is the preparation, under this constitution, excited a during peace, of the defences of collision of sentiments and of
war--that a rigorous economy, pathies, which kindled all the pas- and accountability of public expensions, and embittered the conflict ditures, should guard against the of parties, till the nation was in- aggravation, and alleviate, when volved in war, and the Union possible, the burthen of taxationwas shaken to its centre. This that the military should be kept in time of trial embraced a period of strict subordination to the civil five-and-twenty years, during power, that the freedom of the which the policy of the Union, in press and of religious opinion its relations with Europe, consti- should be inviolate that the potuted the principal basis of our po- licy of our country is peace,
and litical divisions, and the most ar- the ark of our salvation union, duous part of the action of our are articles of faith upon which we federal government.
With the are all now agreed. If there have catastrophe in which the wars of been those who doubted whether the French revolution terminated, a confederated representative de
own subsequent peacemocracy were a government comwith Great Britain, this baneful petent to the wise and orderly weed of party strife was uprooted. management of the common conFrom that time, no difference of cerns of a mighty nation, those principle, connected either with doubts have been dispelled. If the theory of government, or with there have been projects of partial our intercourse with foreign na- confederacies to be erected upon tions, has existed, or been called the ruins of the Union, they have forth, in force sufficient to sustain been scattered to the winds. If a continued combination of parties, there have been dangerous attachor to give more than wholesome ments to one foreign nation, and animation to public sentiment, or antipathies against another, they legislative debate. Our political have been extinguished. Ten creed is without a dissenting voice years of peace, at home and abroad, that can be heard. That the will have assuaged the animosities of of the people is the source, and the political contention, and blended happiness of the people the end, into harmony the most discordant of all the legitimate government elements of public opinion. There upon earth--that the best security still remains one effort of magna
nimity, one sacrifice of prejudice feel its own obligation to respect and passion, to be made by the and preserve the rights of the individuals throughout the nation whole. The prejudices, every> who have heretofore followed the where too commonly entertained standards of political party. It is against distant strangers, are worn that of discarding every remnant away, and the jealousies of jarring of rancour against each other; of interests are allayed by the compoembracing as countrymen and sition and functions of the great nafriends, and of yielding to talents tional councils, annually assembled and virtue alone, that confidence from all quarters of the Union at which, in times of contention for this place. Here the distinguished principles, was bestowed only upon men from every section of our those who bore the badge of party country, while meeting to delibercommunion.
ate upon the great interests of The collisions of party spirit, those by whom they are depuwhich originate in speculative ted, learn to estimate the talents, opinions, or in different views of and to do justice to the virtues, of administrative policy, are in their each other. The harmony of the nature transitory. Those which nation is promoted, and the whole are founded on geographical divi- Union is knit together, by the sions, adverse interests of soil, sentiments of mutual respect, the climate, and modes of domestic life, habits of social intercourse, and the are more permanent, and therefore, ties of personal friendship, formed perhaps, more dangerous. It is between the representatives of its this which gives inestimable value several parts, in the performance to the character of our government of their service at this metropolis. at once federal and national. It Passing from this general review holds out to us a perpetual admo- of the purposes and injunctions of nition to preserve alike, and with the federal constitution, and their equal anxiety, the rights of each results as indicating the first traces individual state in its own govern- of the path of duty in the discharge ment, and the rights of the whole of my public trust, I turn to the nation in that of the Union. What- administration of my immediate soever is of domestic concernment, predecessor, as the second. It has unconnected with the other mem- passed away in a period of profound bers of the Union, or with foreign peace; how much to the satisfaction lands, belongs exclusively to the of our country, and to the honour administration of the state govern- of our country's name, is known to ments. Whatsoever directly in- you all. The great features of its volves the rights and interests of policy, in general concurrence with the federative fraternity, or of the will of the legislature, have foreign powers, is of the resort of been-to cherish
while this general government. The paring for defensive war; to yield duties of both are obvious in the exact justice to other nations, and general principle, though some- maintain the rights of our own; times perplexed with difficulties in to cherish the principles of freedom the detail. To respect the rights and of equal rights, wherever they of the state governments is the in- were proclaimed; to discharge, violable duty of that of the Union; with all possible promptitude, the the government of every state will national debt; to reduce, within
the narrowest limits of efficiency, In this brief outline of the
prothe military force; to improve the mise and performance of my immeorganization and discipline of the diate predecessor, the line of duty army; to provide and sustain a for his successor is clearly delineaschool of military science; to ex- ted. To pursue, to their consumtend equal protection to all the mation, those purposes of improvegreat interests of the nation; to ment in our common condition, promote the civilization of the In- instituted or recommended by him, dian tribes; and to proceed in the will embrace the whole sphere of great system of internal improve my obligations. ments within the limits of the con- To the topic of internal improvestitutional power of the Union. ment, emphatically urged by him Under the pledge of these promises, at his inauguration, I recur with made by that eminent citizen at peculiar satisfaction. It is that the time of his first induction to from which I am convinced that this office, in his career of eight the unborn millions of our posterity, years, the internal taxes have been who are, in future ages, to people repealed; sixty millions of the pub- this continent, will derive their lic debt have been discharged; most fervent gratitude to the founprovision has been made for the ders of the Union; that, in which comfort and relief of the aged and the beneficent action of its governindigent among the surviving ment will be most deeply felt and warriors of the revolution ; the acknowledged. The magnificence regular armed force has been re- and splendor of their public works duced, and its constitution revised are among the imperishable glories and perfected; the accountability of the ancient republics. The roads for the expenditure of public and aqueducts of Rome have been monies has been made more effec- the admiration of all after ages, tive; the Floridas have been peace- and have survived thousands of ably acquired, and our boundary years after all her conquests has been extended to the Pacific have been swallowed up in desOcean; the independence of the potism, or become the spoil of southern nations of this hemisphere barbarians. Some diversity of has been recognized, and recom- opinion has prevailed with regard mended by example and by coun- to the powers of congress for legissel to the potentates of Europe ; lation upon objects of this nature. progress has been made in the The most respectful deference is defence of the country by fortifica- due to doubts, originating in pure tions, and the increase of the navy; patriotism, and sustained by venetowards the effectual suppression of rated authority. But nearly twenty the African traffic in slaves; in years have passed since the conalluring the aboriginal hunters of struction of the first national road our land to the cultivation of the was commenced.
The authority soil and of the mind ; in exploring for its construction was then questhe interior regions of the Union; tioned. To how many
thousands and in preparing, by scientific re- of our country has it proved a searches and surveys, for the fur- benefit ? To what single individual ther application of our national has it ever proved an injury? Reresources to the internal improve- peated liberal and candid discusment of our country.
sions in the legislature have con VOL. LXVII.
ciliated the sentiments and approx- of the prospeci that I shall stand imated the opinions of enlightened more and oftener in need of your minds, upon the question of consti- indulgence. Intentions, upright tutional power. I cannot but hope and pure; a heart devoted to the that, by the same process of friendly, welfare of our country, and the patient, and persevering delibera- unceasing application of all the tion, all constitutional objections faculties allotted to me to her service, will ultimately. be removed. The are all the pledge that I can give extent and limitation of the powers for the faithful performance of the of the general government, in re- arduous duties I am to undertake. lation to this transcendantly im- To the guidance of the legislative portant interest, will be settled councils; to the assistance of the and acknowledged to the common executive and subordinate departsatisfaction of all, and every spe- ments; to the friendly co-operaculative scruple will be solved by a tion of the respective state governpractical public blessing.
ments; to the candid and liberal Fellow citizens, you are support of the people, so far as quainted with the peculiar circum- it may be deserved by honest instances of the recent election, dustry and zeal, I shall look for which have resulted in affording whatever success may attend my me the opportunity of addressing public service. And knowing that, you at this time. You have heard except the Lord keep the city, the the exposition of the principles watchman waketh but in vain, which will direct me in the fulfile with fervent supplications for his ment of the high and solemn trust favour, to his overruling Proviimposed upon me in this station. dence I commit with humble but Less possessed of your confidence, fearless confidence, my own fate, in advance, than any of my pre- and the future destinies of my decessors, I am deeply conscious country:
MESSAGE of the PRESIDENT of the UNITED STATES, communicated
to the SENATE and House of REPRESENTATIVES, at the commencement of the First Session of the Nineteenth Congress. Fellow Citizens of the Senate abundance which, in the vicissiand House of Representatives, tudes of the seasons, has been In taking a general survey of the scattered with profusion over our concerns of our beloved country, land. Nor ought we less to with reference to subjects interest- ascribe to him the glory, that we ing to the common welfare, the are permitted to enjoy the bounties first sentiment which impresses of his hand in peace and tranitself upon the mind is, of grati- quillity ; in peace with all the tude to the Omnipotent Dispenser other nations of the earth, in tranof good, for the continuance of the quillity among ourselves. There signal blessings of his providence, has, indeed, rarely been a period and especially for that health which, in the history of civilized man, in to an unusual extent, has prevailed which the general condition of the within our border, and for that christian nations has been marked