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In all public expenditures the most rigid economy should be resorted to, and as one of its results, a public debt in time of peace be sedulously avoided. A wise and patriotic constituency will never object to the imposition of necessary burdens for useful ends, and true wisdom dictates the resort to such means, in order to supply deficiencies in the revenue, rather than to those doubtful expedients, which, ultimating in a public debt, serve to embarrass the resources of the country, and to lessen its ability to meet any great emergency which may arise. All sinecures should be abolished. The appropriations should be direct and explicit, so as to leave as limited a share of discretion to the disbursing agents as may be found compatible with the public service. A strict responsibility on the part of all agents of the government should be maintained, and peculation and defalcation visited with immediate expulsion from office and the most condign punishment. The public interest demands that, if any war has existed between the government and the currency, it shall cease. Measures of a financial character, now having the sanction of legal enactment, shall be faithfully enforced until repealed by the legislative authority. But I owe it to myself to say, that I regard existing enactments as unwise and impolitic, and in a high degree oppressive. I shall promptly give sanction to any constitutional measure which, originating in Congress, shall have for its object the restoration of a sound circulating medium, so essentially necessary to give confidence in all the transactions of life, to secure to industry its just and adequate rewards, and to reëstablish the public prosperity. In deciding upon the adaptation of any such measure to the end proposed, as well as its conformity to the constitution, I shall resort to the fathers of the great republican school, for advice and instruction, to be drawn from their sage views of our system of government, and the light of their ever-glorious example. The institutions under which we live, my countrymen, secure each person in the perfect enjoyment of all his rights. The spectacle is exhibited to the world of a government deriving its power from the consent of the governed, and having imparted to it only so much power as is necessary for its successful operation. Those who are charged with its administration should carefully abstain from all attempts to enlarge the range of powers thus granted to the several departments of the government, other than by an appeal to the people for additional grants, lest by so doing they disturb that balance which the patriots and statesmen who framed the constitution designed to establish between the federal government and the states composing the Union. The observance of these rules is enjoined upon us by that feeling of reverence and affection which finds a place in the heart of every patriot for the preservation of union and the blessings of union—for the good of our children and our children's children, through countless generations. An opposite course could not fail to generate factions, intent upon the gratification of their selfish ends; to give birth to local and sectional jealousies, and to ultimate either in breaking asunder the bonds of union, or in building up a central system which would inevitably end in a bloody sceptre and an iron crown. In conclusion, I beg you to be assured that I shall exert myself to carry the foregoing principles into practice during my administraton of the government, and, confiding in the protecting care of an ever-watchful and overruling Providence, it shall be my first and highest duty to preserve unimpaired the free institutions under which we live, and transmit them to those who shall succeed me in their full force and vigor.
TYLER's EXTRA SESSION MESSAGE.
JUNE 1, 1841.
To the Senate and -
FELLow-Citizens : You have been assembled in your respective halls of legislation under a proclamation bearing the signature of the illustrious citizen who was so lately called by the direct suffrages of the people to the discharge of the important functions of their chief executive office. Upon the expiration of a single month from the day of his installation, he has paid the great debt of nature, leaving behind him a name associated with the recollection of numerous benefits conferred upon the country during a long life of patriotic devotion. With this public bereavement are connected other considerations, which will not escape the attention of Congress. The preparations necessary for his removal to the seat of government, in view of a residence of four years, must have devolved upon the late President heavy expenditures, which, if permitted to burden the limited resources of his private fortune, may tend to the serious embarrassment of his surviving family; and it is therefore respectfully submitted to Congress whether the ordinary principles of justice would not dictate the propriety of its legislative interposition. By the provisions of the fundamental law, the powers and duties of the high station to which he was elected have devolved upon me, and in the dispositions of the representatives of the states and of the people will be found to a great extent a solution of the problem to which our institutions are for the first time subjected. In entering upon the duties of this office, I did not feel that it would be becoming in me to disturb what had been ordered by my lamented predecessor. Whatever, therefore, may have been my opinion, originally, as to the propriety of convening Congress at so early a day from that of its late adjournment, I found a new and a controlling inducement not to interfere with the patriotic desires of the late President, in the novelty of the situation in which I was so unexpectedly placed. My first wish under such circumstances would necessarily have been to have called to my aid, in the administration of public affairs, the combined wisdom of the two Houses of Congress, in order to take their counsel and advice as to the best mode of extricating the government and the country from the embarrassments weighing heavily on both. I am then most happy in finding myself, so soon after my accession to the Presidency, surrounded by the immediate representatives of the states and people. No important changes having taken place in our foreign relations since the last session of Congress, it is not deemed necessary, on this occasion, to go into a detailed statement in regard to them. I am happy to say that I see nothing to destroy the hope of being able to preserve peace. The ratification of the treaty with Portugal has been duly exchanged between the two governments. This government has not been inattentive to the interests of those of our citizens who have claims on the government of Spain founded on express treaty stipulations, and a hope is indulged that the representations which have been made to that government on this subject may lead ere long to beneficial results. A correspondence has taken place between the secretary of state and the minister of her Britannic majesty accredited to this government, on the subject of Alexander McLeod's indictment and imprisonment, copies of which are herewith communicated to Congress. In addition to what appears from these papers, it may be proper to state that Alexander McLeod has been heard by the Supreme Court of the State of New York on his motion to be discharged from imprisonment, and that the decision of that court has not as yet been pronounced. The secretary of state has addressed to me a paper upon two subjects, interesting to the commerce of the country, which will receive my consideration, and which I have the honor to communicate to Congress. So far as it depends on the course of this government, our relations of good-will and friendship will be sedulously cultivated with all nations. . The true American policy will be found to consist in the exercise of a spirit of justice to be manifested in the discharge of all our international obligations, to the weakest of the family of nations as well as to the most powerful. Occasional conflicts of opinion may arise, but when the discussions incident to them are conducted in the language of truth and with a strict regard to justice, the scourge of war will for the most part be avoided. The time ought to be regarded as having gone by when a resort to arms is to be esteemed as the only proper arbiter of national differences.
The census recently taken shows a regularly progressive increase in our population. Upon the breaking out of the war of the revolution, our numbers scarcely equalled three millions of souls; they already exceed seventeen millions, and will continue to increase in a ratio which duplicates in a period of about twenty-three years. The old states contain a territory sufficient in itself to maintain a population of additional millions, and the most populous of the new states may even yet be regarded as but partially settled, while of the new lands on this side of the Rocky Mountains, to say nothing of the immense region which stretches from the base of those mountains to the mouth of the Columbia River, about 770,000,000 of acres, ceded and unceded, still remain to be brought into market. We hold out to the people of other countries an invitation to come and settle among us as members of our rapidly-growing family; and, for the blessings which we offer them, we require of them to look upon our country as their country, and to unite with us in the great task of preserving our institutions and thereby perpetuating our liberties. No motive exists for foreign conquests. We desire but to reclaim our almost illimitable wildernesses, and to introduce into their depths the lights of civilization. While we shall at all times be prepared to vindicate the national honor, our most earnest desire will be to maintain an unbroken peace.
In presenting the foregoing views, I cannot withhold the expression of the opinion that there exists nothing in the extension of our empire over our acknowledged possessions to excite the alarm of the patriot for the safety of our institutions. The federative system, leaving to each state the care of its domestic concerns, and devolving on the federal government those of general import, admits in safety of the greatest expansion; but, at the same time, I deem it proper to add that there will be found to exist at all times an imperious necessity for restraining all the functionaries of this government within the range of their respective powers, thereby preserving a just balance between the powers granted to this government and those reserved to the states and to the people.
From the report of the secretary of the treasury, you