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extinguishment of the debt due to The condition of the various the United States by the pur- branches of the public service rechasers of public lands, was limited, sorting from the department of in its operation of relief to the war, and their administration purchaser, to the 10th of April during the current year, will be last. Its effects at the end of the exhibited in the report from the quarter during which it expired secretary of war, and the accomwas, to reduce the debt from ten to panying documents herewith comseven millions. By the operation municated. The organization and of similar prior laws of relief discipline of the army are effective from and since that of the 2nd and satisfactory. To counteract of March, 1821, the debt has been the prevalence of desertion among reduced, from upwards of twenty- the troops, it has been suggested two millions to ten. It is exceed- to withhold from the men a small ingly desirable that it should be portion of their monthly pay until extinguished altogether; and to the period of their discharge; and facilitate that consummation, I re- some expedient appears to be necommend to congress the revival, cessary to preserve and maintain for one year more, of the acts of among the officers so much of the 18th May, 1824, with such pro- art of horsemanship as could visional modifications as may be scarcely fail to be found wanting, necessary to guard the public in- on the possible sudden eruption of terests against fraudulent practice a war, which should not overtake in the re-sale of the relinquished us unprovided with a single corps land. The purchasers of public of cavalry. The military academy lands are amongst the most useful at West Point, under the restricof our fellow citizens, and, since tions of a severe but parental suthe system of sales for cash alone perintendance, recommends itself has been introduced, great indul- more and more to the patronage of gence has been justly extended to the nation ; and the number of those who had previously purchased meritorious officers which it forms upon credit. The debt which had and introduces to the public service, been contracted under the credit furnishes the means of multiplying sales, had become unwieldy, and the undertakings of public imits extinction was alike advanta- provements, to which their acgeous to the purchaser and the quirements at that institution are public. Under the system of sales, peculiarly adapted. The school of matured, as it has been, by expe- artillery practice, established at rience, and adapted to the exigen- Fortress Monroe, is well suited to cies of the times, the lands will the same purpose, and may need continue, as they have become, an the aid of further legislative proabundant source of revenue; and visions to the same end. The when the pledge of them to the reports from the various officers at public creditor shall be redeemed the head of the administrative by the entire discharge of the branches of the military service, national debt, the swelling tide of connected with the quartering, wealth with which they replenish clothing, subsistence, health, and the common treasury, may be made pay; of the army, exhibit the to reflow in unfailing streams of assiduous vigilance of those officers improvement from the Atlantic to in the performance of their rethe Pacific Ocean.
spective duties, and the faithful and individuals of the Creek nation accountability which has pervaded of Indians, which was received at every part of the system.
the seat of government only a few Our relations with the numerous days before the close of the last tribes of aboriginal natives of this session of congress, and of the country, scattered over its exten- late administration. The advico sive surface, and so dependent, and consent of the senate was given even for their existence, upon our to it on the 3rd of March, too lato power, have been, during the pre- to receive the sanction of the then sent year, highly interesting. An president of the United States; it act of congress of the 25th of was ratified on the 7th of March, May, 1824, made an appropriation under the unsuspecting impression to defray the expenses of making that it had been negociated in good treaties of trade and friendship faith, and in the confidence inwith the Indian tribes beyond the spired by the recommendation of Mississippi. An act of 3rd March, the senate. The subsequent trans1825, authorised treaties to be actions in relation to this treaty, made with the Indians for their will form the subject of a separate consent to the making of a road message. from the frontier of Missouri to The appropriations made by that of New Mexico. And ano- congress, for public works, as well ther act of the same date provided in the construction of fortifications, for defraying the expenses of hold- as for purposes of internal improveing treaties with the Sioux, ment, as far as they have been Chippeways, Menomenees, Sauks, expended, have been faithfuily Foxes, &c. for the purpose of applied. Their progress has been establishing boundaries, and pro- delayed for want of suitable offimoting peace between the said cers for superintending them. An tribes. The first and the last ob- increase of both the corps of engijects of these acts have been ac- neers, military and topographical, complished; and the second is yet was recommended by my predein a process of execution. The cessor at the last session of coutreaties which, since the last ses- gress. The reasons upon which sion of congress, have been con- that recommendation was founded cluded with the several tribes, will subsist in all their force, and have be laid before the senate for their acquired additional urgency since consideration, conformably to the that time. It may also be expeconstitution. They comprise large dient to organize the topographical and valuable acquisitions of terri- engineers into a corps similar to tory; and they secure an adjust- the establishment of the corps of ment of boundaries, and give engineers. The military academy pledges of permanent peace be- at West Point will furnish, from tween several tribes which had the cadetsannually graduated there, been long waging bloody wars officers well qualified for carrying against each other.
this measure into effect. On the 12th of February last, a The board of engineers for intreaty was signed at the Indian ternal improvement, appointed for springs, between commissioners carrying into execution the act of appointed on the part of the congress, of the 30th of April, United States, and certain chiefs 1824, “ to procure the necessary surveys, plans, and estimates, on number of commissioners appointed the subject of roads and canals," on the part of each of those states. have been actively engaged in that A meeting of the commissioners service from the close of the last has been postponed to await the session of congress. They have definitive report of the board of completed the surveys necessary for engineers. The light-houses and ascertaining the practicability of a monuments for the safety of our canal from the Chesapeake bay to commerce and mariners; the works the Ohio river, and are preparing for the security of the Plymouth a full report on that subject; which, beach, and for the preservation of when completed, will be laid be- the islands in Boston harbour, fore you. The same observation have received the attention reis to be made with regard to the quired by the laws relating to two other objects of national im- those objects respectively. The portance, upon which the board continuation of the Cumberland have been occupied, namely, the road, the most important of them accomplishment of a national road all, after surmounting no inconfrom this city to New Orleans, siderable difficulty in fixing upon and the practicability of uniting the direction of the road, has the waters of Lake Memphra- commenced under the most promismagog with Connecticut river, and ing auspices, with the improvethe improvement of the navigation ments of recent invention in the of that river. The surveys have mode of construction, and with the been made, and are nearly com- advantage of a great reduction in pleted. The report may be ex- the comparative cost of the work. pected at an early period during The operation of the laws , the present session of congress.
relating to revolutionary pensionThe acts of congress of the last may deserve the renewed session relative to the surveying, consideration of congress. The marking, or laying out roads in the act of March 18, 1818, while it territories of Florida, Arkansas, made provision for many meritoMichigan, from Missouri to Mexi- rious and indigent citizens, who co, and for the continuation of the had served in the war of independCumberland road, are, some of ence, opened a door to numerous them fully executed, and others in abuses and impositions. To remedy the process of execution. Those this, the act, ist May, 1820, exactfor completing or commencing ed proofs of absolute indigence, fortifications, have been delayed which many really in want, were only so far as the corps of engineers unable, and all, susceptible of that has been inadequate to furnish delicacy which is allied to many officers for the necessary superin- virtues, must be deeply reluctant, tendence of the works. Under to give. The result has been, that the act confirming the statutes of some amongst the least deserving Virginia and Maryland, incorpo- have been retained, and some in rating the Chesapeake and Ohio whom the requisites both of worth canal company, three commission- and want were combined, have ers on the part of the United been stricken from the list. As States have been appointed for the number of these venerable opening books and receiving sub- relicts of an age gone by diminish, scriptions in concert with a like as the decays of body, mind, and
estate of those who survive must as it had commenced, with the in the common course of nature most affecting testimonials of increase, should not a more liberal devoted attachment on his part, portion of indulgence be dealt out and of unbounded gratitude of this to them?
people to him in return. It will May not the want, in most form, hereafter, a pleasing incident instances, be inferred from the in the annals of our Union, giving demand, when the service can be to real history the intense interest duly proved ? and may not the last of romance, and signally marking days of human infirmity be spared the unpurchasable tribute of a the mortification of purchasing a great nation's social affections to pittance of relief only by the ex- the disinterested champion of the posure of its own necessities? I liberties of human kind. submit to congress the expediency The constant maintenance of a either of providing for individual small squadron in the Mediterracases of this description by special nean was a necessary substitute enactment, or of revising the act for the humiliating alternative of of 1st May, 1820, with a view to paying tribute for the security of mitigate the rigour of its exclu- our commerce in that sea, and for sions, in favour of persons to a precarious peace at the mercy of whom charity, now bestowed, can every caprice of four Barbary scarcely discharge the debt of states, by whom it was liable to be justice.
violated. An additional motive The portion of the naval force for keeping a respectable force of the Union in actual service has stationed there at this time, is been chiefly employed on three found in the maritime war raging stations: the Mediterranean, the between the Greeks and the Turks ; coasts of South America bordering and in which the neutral navigaon the Pacific Ocean, and the tion of this Union is always in West Indies. An occasional cruiser danger of outrage and depredation. has been sent to range along the A few instances have occurred of African shores most polluted by such depredations upon our merthe traffic of slaves : one armed chant vessels by privateers or vessel has been stationed on the pirates wearing the Grecian flag, coast of our eastern boundary, to but without real authority from cruise along the fishing grounds in the Greek orany other government. Hudson's Bay, and on the coast of The heroic struggles of the Greeks Labrador; and the first service of themselves, in which our warmest a new frigate has been performed sympathies as freemen and chrisin returning to his native soil, and tians have been engaged, have domestic enjoyments, the veteran continued to be maintained with hero whose youthful blood and vicissitudes of success adverse and treasure had freely flowed in the favourable. cause of our country's independ- Similar motives have rendered ence, and whose whole life had expedient, the keeping of a like been a series of sacrifices and force on the coasts of Peru and sacrifices to the improvement of his Chile on the Pacific. The irregular fellow men.
The visit of general and convulsive character of the war Lafayette, alike honourable to upon those shores, has been exhimself and to our country, closed, tended to the conflicts upon the
An active warfare has year have been accomplished more been kept up for years, with effectually than at any former alternate success, though generally period. The African slave trade to the advantage of the American has long been excluded from the patriots. But their naval forces use of our flag; and if some few have not always been under the citizens of our country have concontrol of their own governments. tinued to set the laws of the Blockades, unjustifiable upon any Union, as well as those of nature acknowledged principles of interna- and humanity, at defiance, by tional law, have been proclaimed persevering in that abominable by officers in command; and though traffic, it has been only by shelterdisavowed by the supreme author. ing themselves under the banners ities, the protection of our own of other nations, less earnest for commerce against them has been the total extinction of the trade made ground of complaint and of than ours. The irregular privateers erroneous imputation upon some of have, within the last year, been in the most gallant officers of our a great measure banished from navy. Complaints equally ground those seas; and the pirates for less have been made by the com- months past appear to have been manders of the Spanish royal almost entirely swept away
from forces in those seas; but the most the borders and the shores of the effective protection to our
two Spanish islands in those merce has been the flag and the regions. The active, persevering, firmness of our own commanding and unremitted energy, of captain officers. The cessation of the war Warrington, and of the officers and by the complete triumph of the men under his command, on that patriot cause, has removed, it is trying and perilous service, have hoped, all cause of dissension with been crowned with signal success, one party, and all vestige of force and are entitled to the approbation of the other. But an unsettled of their country. But experience coast of many degrees of latitude, has shown, that not even a temforming a part of our own territory, porary suspension or relaxation and a flourishing commerce and from assiduity can be indulged on fishery, extending to the islands of that station, without reproducing the Pacific and to China, still piracy and murder in all their require that the protecting power horrors; nor is it probable that for of the Union should be displayed years to
our immensely under its flag as well upon the valuable commerce in those seas ocean as upon the land.
can navigate in security, without The objects of the West India the steady continuance of an armed squadron have been, to carry into force devoted to its protection. execution the laws for the suppres- It were indeed a vain and sion of the African slave trade; dangerous illusion to believe that for the protection of our commerce in the present or probable condiagainst vessels of piratical charac- tion of human society, a commerce ter, though bearing commissions so extensive and so rich as ours from either of the belligerent could exist, and be pursued in parties; for the protection against safety, without the continual supopen and unequivocal pirates. port of a military marine ; the only These objects during the present arm by which the power of this