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be found to need no present revisal by Congress, yet commerce claims that their attention be ever awake to them.
Since our last meeting the aspect of our foreign relations has considerably changed. Our coasts have been infested and our harbors watched by private armed vessels, some of them without commission, some with illegal commissions, others with those of legal form but committing piratical acts beyond the authority of their commissions. They have captured in the very entrance of our harbors, as well as on the high seas, not only the vessels of our friends coming to trade with us but our own also. They have carried them off under pretence of legal adjudication, but not daring to approach a court of justice, they have plundered and sunk them by the way, or in obscure places where no evidence could arise against them; maltreated the crews, and abandoned them in boals in the open sea or on desert shores without food or covering. These enormities appearing to be unreached by any control of their sovereigns, I found it necessary to equip a force to cruise within our own seas, to arrest all vessels of these descriptions found hovering on our coast within the limits of the Gulf Stream, and to bring the offenders in for trial as pirates.
The same system of hovering on our coasts and harbors under color of seeking enemies has been also carried on by public armed ships, to the great annoyance and oppression of our commerce. New principles, too, have been interpolated into the law of nations, founded neither in justice nor the usage or acknowledgment of nations. According to these, a belligerent takes to himself a commerce with its own enemy which it denies to a neutral on the ground of its aiding that enemy in the war. But reason revolts at such an inconsistency, and the neutral having an equal right with the belligerent to decide the question, the interest of our constituents and the duty of maintaining the authority of reason, the only umpire between just nations, im pose on us the obligation of providing an effectual and determined opposition to a doctrine so injurious to the rights of peaceable nations. Indeed the confidence we ought to have in the justice of others still countenances the hope that a sounder view of those rights will of itself induce from every belligerent a more correct observance of them.
With Spain our negotiations for a settlement of differences have not had a satisfactory issue. Spoliations during a former war, for which she had formally acknowledged herself responsible, have been refused to be compensated, but on conditions affecting other claims in no wise connected with them. Yet the same practices are renewed in the present war and are already of great amount. On the Mobile, our commerce passing through that river continues to be obstructed by arbitrary duties and vexatious searches. Propositions for adjusting amicably the boundaries of Louisiana have not been acceded to. While, however, the right is unsettled, we have avoided changing the state of things by taking new posts or strengthening ourselves in the disputed territories, in the hope that the other power would not by contrary conduct oblige us to meet their example, and endanger conflicts of authority the issue of which may not be easily controlled. But in this hope we have now reason to lessen our confidence. Inroads have been recently made into the territories of Orleans and the Mississippi,our citizens have been seized and their property plundered in the very parts of the former which had been actually delivered up by Spain, and this by the regular officers and soldiers of that government. I have therefore found it necessary at length to give orders to our troops on that frontier to be in readiness
to protect our citizens, and to repel by arms any similar aggressions in future. Other details, necessary for your full information of the state of things between this country and that, shall be the subject of another communication. In reviewing these injuries from some of the belligerent powers, the moderation, the firmness, the wisdom of the legislature, will all be called into action. We ought still to hope that time and a more correct estimate of interest, as well as of character, will produce the justice we are bound to expect. But should any nation deceive itself by false calculations, and disappoint that expectation, we must join in the unprofitable contest of trying which party can do the other the most harm. Some of these injuries may perhaps admit a peaceable remedy Where that is competentit is always the most desirable. But some of them are of a nature to be met by force only, and all of them may lead to it. I cannot, therefore, but recommend such preparations as circumstances call for. The first object is to place our seaport towns out of the danger of insult. Measures have been already taken for furnishing them with heavy cannon for the service of such land batteries as may make a part of their defence against armed vessels approaching them. In aid of these it is desirable that we should have a competent number of gun-boats; and the number, to be competent, must be considerable. If immediately begun, they may be in readiness for service at the opening of the next season. Whether it will be necessary to augment our land forces will be decided by occurrences probably in the course of your session. In the mean time, you will consider whether it would not be expedient, for a state of peace as well as of war, so to organize or class the militia as would enable us, on any sudden emergency, to call for the services of the younger portions, unencumbered with the old and those having families. Upwards of three hundred thousand able-bodied men, between the ages of eighteen and twenty-six years, which the last census shows we may now count within our limits, will furnish a competent number for offence or defence in any point where they may be wanted, and will give time for raising regular forces after the necessity of them shall become certain; and the reducing to the early period of life all its active service cannot but be desirable to our younger citizens, of the present as well as future times, inasmuch as it engages to them in more advanced age a quiet and undisturbed repose in the bosom of their families. I cannot, then, but earnestly recommend to your early consideration the expediency of so modifying our militia system as, by a separation of the more active part from that which is less so, we may draw from it, when necessary, an efficient corps fit for realand active service, and to be called to it in regular rotation.
Considerable provision has been made, under former authorities from Congress, of materials for the construction of ships of war of seventy-four guns. These materials are on hand, subject to the farther will of the legislatuare.
An immediate prohibition of the exportation of arms and ammunition is also submitted to your determination.
Turning from these unpleasant views of violence and wrong, I congratulate you on the liberation of your fellow citizens who were stranded on the coast of Tripoli and made prisoners of war. In a government bottomed on the will of all, the life and liberty of every individual citizen becomes interesting to all. In the treaty, therefore, which has concluded our warfare with that state, an article for the ransom of our citizens has been agreed to. An operation by land, by a small band of our countrymen, and others.
engaged for the occasion, in conjunction with the troops of the ex-bashaw of that country, gallantly conducted by our late consul Eaton, and their successful enterprise on the city of Derne, contributed, doubtless, to the impression which produced peace; and the conclusion of this prevented opportunities of which the officers and men of our squadron destined for Tripoli would have availed themselves, to emulate the acts of valor exhibited by their brethren in the attack of last year. Reflecting with high satisfaction on the distinguished bravery displayed whenever occasion permitted in the Mediterranean service, I think it would be a useful encouragement, as well as a just reward, to make an opening for some present promotion by enlarging our peace establishment of captains and lieutenants.
With Tunis some misunderstandings have arisen, not yet sufficiently explained, but friendly discussions with their ambassador recently arrived, and a mutual disposition to do whatever is just and reasonable, cannot fail of dissipating these; so that we may consider our peace on that coast
, generally, to be on as sound a footing as it has been at any preceding time. Still it will not be expedient to withdraw, immediately, the whole of our force from that sea.
The law for providing a naval peace establishment fixes the number of frigates which shall be kept in constant service in time of peace, and preseribes that they shall not be manned by more than two thirds of their complement of seamen and ordinary seamen. Whether a frigate may be trusted to two thirds only of her proper complement of men must depend on the nature of the service on which she is ordered; that may sometimes, for her safety as well as to ensure her object, require her fullest complement. In adverting to this subject, Congress will perhaps consider whether the best limitation on the executive discretion in this case would not be by the number of searnen which may be employed in the whole service, rather than by the number of vessels. Occasions oftener arise for the employment of small than of large vessels, and it would lessen risk as well as expense to be authorized to employ them of preference. The limitation suggested by the number of seamen would admit a selection of vessels best adapted to the service.
Our Indian neighbors are advancing, many of them with spirit and others beginning to engage in the pursuits of agriculture and household manufacture. They are becoming sensible that the earth yields subsistence with less labor and more certainty than the forest, and find it their interest, from time to time, to dispose of parts of their surplus and waste lands for the means of improving those they occupy, and of subsisting their families while they are improving their farms. Since your last session, the northern tribes have sold to us ihe lands between the Connecticut Reserve and the former Indian boundary; and those on the Ohio, from the same boundary to the Rapids, and for a considerable depth inland. The Chickasaws and Cherokees have sold us the country between and adjacent to the two districts of Tennessee, and the Creeks, the residue of their lands in the fork of Ocmulgee, up to the Ulcofauhatche. The three former purchases are important, inasmuch as they consolidate disjointed parts of our settled country, and render their intercourse secure; and the second particularly so, as with the small point on the river which we expect is by this time ceded by the Piankeshaws, it completes our possession of the whole of both banks of the Ohio, from its source to near its mouth, and the navigation of that river is thereby rendered forever safe to our citizens settled and settling on its extensive waters
. The purchase from the Creeks too has been for some time particularly interesting to the state of Georgia.
The several treaties which have been mentioned will be submitted to both Houses of Congress for the exercise of their respective functions.
Deputations now on their way to the seat of government, from various nations of Indians in habiting the Missouri and other parts beyond the Mississippi, come charged with the assurances of their satisfaction with the new relations in which they are placed with us, of their disposition to cultivate our peace and friendship, and their desire to enter into commercial intercourse
A statement of our progress in exploring the principal rivers of that country, and of the information respecting them hitherto obtained, will be communicated so soon as we shall receive some farther relations which we have reason shortly to expect.
The receipts of the treasury during the year ending the 30th day of September last, have exceeded the sum of thirteen millions of dollars, which, with not quite five millions in the treasury at the beginning of the year, have enabled us, after meeting other demands, to pay nearly two millions of the debt contracted under the British treaty and convention, upwards of four millions of principal of the public debt, and four millions of interest. These payments, with those which had been made in three years and a half preceding, have extinguished of the funded debt nearly eighteen millions of principal.
Congress, by their act of November 10th, 1803, authorized us to borrow 1,750,000 dollars, toward meeting the claims of our citizens assumed by the convention with France. We have not, however, made use of this authority, because the sum of four millions and a half, which remained in the treasury on the same 30th day of September last, with the receipts which we may calculate on for the ensuing year, besides paying the annual sum of eight millions of dollars appropriated to the funded debt
, and meeting all the current demands which may be expected, will enable us to pay the whole sum of three millions seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars assumed by the French convention, and still leave us a surplus of nearly a million of dollars at our free disposal. Should you concur in the provisions of arms and armed vessels recommended by the circumstances of the times, this surplus will furnish the means of doing so.
On this first occasion of addressing Congress, since by the choice of my constituents I have entered on a second term of administration, I embrace the opportunity to give this public assurance, that I will exert my best endeavors to administer faithfully the executive department, and will zealously cooperate with you in every measure which may tend to secure the liberty, property, and personal safety of our fellow citizens, and to consolidate the republican forms and principles of our government.
In the course of your session you shall receive all the aid which I can give for the despatch of public business, and all the information necessary for your deliberations, of which the interests of our own country and the confidence reposed in us by others will admit a communication.
JANUARY 13, 1806.
I lay before Congress the application of Hamet Caramalli, elder brother of the reigning basbaw of Tripoli
, soliciting from the United States attention to his services and sufferings in the late war against that state. And in
order to possess them of the grounds on which that application stands, the facts shall be stated according to the views and information of the executive.
During the war with Tripoli, it was suggested that Hamet Caramalli, elder brother of the reigning bashaw, and driven by him from his throne, meditated the recovery of his inheritance, and that a concert in action with us was desirable to him. We considered that concerted operations by those who have a common enemy were entirely justifiable, and might produce effects favorable to both, without binding either to guarantee the objects of the other. But the distance of the scene, the difficulties of communication, and the uncertainty of our information, inducing the less confidence in the measures, it was committed to our agents as one which might be resorted to if it promised to promote our success.
Mr. Eaton, however, (our late consul,) on his return from the Mediterranean, possessing personal knowledge of the scene, and having confidence in the effect of a joint operation, we authorized Commodore Barron, then proceeding with his squadron, to enter into an understanding with Hamet if he should deem it useful; and as it was represented that he would need some aids of arms and ammunition, and even of money, he was authorized to furnish them to a moderate extent, according to the prospect of utility to be expected from it. In order to avail him of the advantages of Mr. Eaton's knowledge of circumstances, an occasional employment was provided for the latter as an agent for the navy in that sea. Our expectation was, that an intercourse should be kept up between the ex-bashaw and the commodore, that while the former moved on by land, our squadron should proceed with equal pace so as to arrive at their destination together, and to attack the common enemy by land and sea at the same time. The instructions of June 6th, to Cominodore Barron, show that a co-operation only was intended, and by no means an union of our object with the fortune of the ex-bashaw, and the
commodore's letters of March 22d and May 19th proved that he had the · most correct idea of our intentions; his verbal instructions indeed to Mr. Eaton and Captain Hull, if the expressions are accurately committed to writing by those gentlemen, do not limit the extent of his co-operation as he probably intended; but it is certain, from the ex-bashaw's letter of January 3d, written when he was proceeding to join Mr. Eaton, and in which he says, “your operations should be carried on by sea, mine by land,” that he left the position in which he was with a proper idea of the nature of the cooperation. If Mr. Eaton's subsequent convention should appear to bring forward other objects, his letter of April 29th and May 1st views this convention but as provisional, the second article, as he expressly states, guarding it against any ill effect; and his letter of June 30th confirms this construction.
In the event it was found, that after placing the ex-bashaw in possession of Derne, one of the most important cities and provinces of the country, where he had resided himself as governor, he was totally unable to command any resources, or to bear any part in the co-operation with us. This hope was. then at an end, and we certainly had never contemplated, nor were we prepared, to land an army of our own, or to raise, pay, or subsist, an army of Arabs, to march from Derne to Tripoli and to carry on a land war at such a distance from our resources. Our means and our authority were merely naval, and that such were the expectations of Hamet, his letter of June 29th is an unequivocal acknowledgment. While, therefore, an impression from the capture of Derne might still operate at Tripoli, and an attack on that place