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sensible of the danger which lurks under the precedent set in their resolution; and at any rate to perform my duty, as the responsible head of one of the co-equal departments of the government, that I have been compelled to int out the consequences to which the discussion and passage of the resoutions may lead, if the tendency of the measure be not checked in its inception. It is due to the high trust with which I have been charged; to those who may be called to succeed me in it; to the representatives of the people, whose constitutional prerogative has been unlawfully assumed; to the people of the states; and to the constitution they have established; that I shall not permit its provisions to be broken down by such an attack on the executive department, without at least some effort “to preserve, protect, and defend them.” With this view, and for the reasons which have been stated, I do hereby soleMNLY PROTEST against the aforementioned proceedings of the Senate, as unauthorized by the constitution; contrary to its spirit and to several of its express provisions; subversive of that distribution of the powers of government which it has ordained and established; destructive of the checks and safeguards by which those powers were intended, on the one hand to be controlled, and on the other to be protected; and calculated by their immediate and collateral effects, by their character and tendency, to concentrate in the hands of a body not directly amenable to the people, a degree of influence and power dangerous to their liberties, and fatal to the constitution of their choice. The resolution of the Senate contains an imputation upon my private as well as upon my public character; and as it must stand for ever on their journals, I cannot close this substitute for that defence which I have not been allowed to present in the ordinary form, without remarking, that I have lived in vain, if it be necessary to enter into a formal vindication of my character and purposes from such an imputation. In vain do I bear upon my person, enduring memorials of that contest in which American liberty was purchased—in vain have I since perilled property, fame, and life, in defence of the rights and privileges so dearly bought—in vain am I now, without a personal aspiration, or the hope of individual advantage, encountering responsibilities and dangers, from which, by mere inactivity in relation to a single point, I might have been exempt—if any serious doubts can be entertained as to the purity of my purposes and motives. If I had been ambitious, I should have sought an alliance with that powerful institution, which even now aspires to no divided empire. If I had been venal, I should have sold myself to its designs. Had I preferred personal comfort and official ease to the performance of my arduous duty, I should cease to molest it. In the history of conquerors and usurpers, never, in the fire of youth, nor in the vigor of manhood, could I find an attraction to lure me from the path of duty; and now, I shall scarcely find an inducement to commence their career of ambition, when gray hairs and a decaying frame, instead of inviting to toil and battle, call me to the contemplation of other worlds, where conquerors cease to be honored, and usurpers expiate their crimes. The only ambition I can feel is, to acquit myself to Him to whom I must soon render an account of my stewardship, to serve my fellow men, and live respected and honored in the history of my country. No! the ambition which leads me on is an anxious desire and a fixed determination to return to the people unimpaired, the sacred trust they have confided to my charge; to heal the wounds of the constitution and preserve it from farther violation; to persuade my countrymen, so far as I may, that it is not in a splendid govern
ment, supported by powerful monopolies and aristocratical establishments, that they will find happiness, or their liberties protection ; but in a plain system, void of pomp-protecting all, and granting favors to none_dispensing its blessings like the dews of Heaven, unseen and unfelt
, save in the freshness and beauty they contribute to produce. It is such a government that the genius of our people requires—such an one only under which our states may remain for ages to come, united, prosperous, and free. If the Almighty Being who has hitherto sustained and protected me, will but vouchsafe to make my feeble powers instrumental to such a result, I shall anticipate with pleasure the place to be assigned me in the history of my country, and die contented with the belief that I have contributed, in some small degree, to increase the value and prolong the duration of American liberty.
To the end that the resolution of the Senate may not be hereafter drawn into precedent, with the authority of silent acquiescence on the part of the executive department, and to the end, also, that my motives and views in the executive proceedings denounced in that resolution, may be known to my fellow citizens, to the world, and to all posterity, I respectfully request that this message and protest may be entered at length on the journals of the Senate.
SIXTH ANNUAL MESSAGE.
DECEMBER 2, 1834.
In performing my duty at the opening of your present session, it gives me pleasure to congratulate you again upon the prosperous condition of our beloved country. Divine Providence has favored us with general health, with rich rewards in the fields of agriculture and in every branch of labor, and with peace to cultivate and extend the various resources which employ the virtue and enterprise of our citizens. Let us trust that in surveying a scene so flattering to our free institutions, our joint deliberations to preserre them may be crowned with success.
Our foreign relations continue, with but few exceptions, to maintain the favorable aspect which they bore in my last annual message, and promise to extend those advantages which the principles that regulate our intercourse with other nations are so well calculated to secure.
The question of the northeastern boundary is still pending with Great Britain, and the proposition made in accordance with the resolution of the Senate for the establishment of a line according to the treaty of 1783, has not been accepted by that government. Believing that every disposition is felt on both sides to adjust this perplexing question to the satisfaction of all the parties interested in it, the hope is yet indulged that it may be effected on the basis of that proposition.
With the governments of Austria, Russia, Prussia, Holland, Sweden, and Denmark, the best understanding exists. Commerce with all is fos. tered and protected by reciprocal good-will
, under the sanction of liberal conventional or legal provisions.
In the midst of her internal difficulties, the queen of Spain has ratified the convention for the payment of the claims of our citizens arising since 1819. It is in the course of execution on her part, and a copy of it is now
laid before you for such legislation as may be found necessary to enable those interested to derive the benefits of it.
Yielding to the force of circumstances, and to the wise councils of time and experience, that power has finally resolved no longer to occupy the unnatural position in which she stood to the new governments established in this hemisphere. I have the great satisfaction of stating to you that, in preparing the way for the restoration of harmony between those who have sprung from the same ancestors, who are allied by common interests, profess the same religion, and speak the same language, the United States have been actively instrumental. Our efforts to effect this good work will be persevered in while they are deemed useful to the parties, and our entire disinterestedness continues to be felt and understood. The act of Congress to countervail the discriminating duties levied to the prejudice of our navigation, in Cuba and Porto Rico, has been transmitted to the minister of the United States at Madrid, to be communicated to the government of the queen. No intelligence of its receipt has yet reached the department of state. If the present condition of the country permits the government to make a careful and enlarged examination of the true interests of these important portions of its dominions, no doubt is entertained that their future intercourse with the United States will be placed upon a more just and liberal basis.
The Florida archives have not yet been selected and delivered. Recent orders have been sent to the agent of the United States at Havana, to return with all that he can obtain, so that they may be in Washington before the session of the Supreme Court, to be used in the legal questions there pending, to which the government is a party.
Internal tranquillity is happily restored to Portugal. The distracted state of the country rendered unavoidable the postponement of a final pay. ment of the just claims of our citizens. Our diplomatic relations will be soon resumed, and the long subsisting friendship with that power affords the strongest guarantee that the balance due will receive prompt attention.
The first instalment due under the convention of indemnity with the king of the Two Sicilies has been duly received, and an offer has been made to extinguish the whole by a prompt payment; an offer I did not consider myself authorized to accept, as the indemnification provided is the exclusive property of individual citizens of the United States. The original adjustment of our claims, and the anxiety displayed to fulfil at once the stipulations made for the payment of them, are highly honorable to the government of the Two Sicilies. When it is recollected that they were the result of the injustice of an intrusive power, temporarily dominant in its territory, a repugnance to acknowledge and to pay which would have been neither unnatural nor unexpected, the circumstances cannot fail to exalt its character for justice and good faith in the eyes of all nations.
The treaty of amity and commerce between the United States and Belgium, brought to your notice in my last annual message, as sanctioned by the Senate, but the ratifications of which had not been exchanged, owing to a delay in its reception at Brussels, and a subsequent absence of the Belgian minister of foreign affairs, has been, after mature deliberation, finally disavowed by that government as inconsistent with the powers and instructions given to their minister who negotiated it. This disavowval was entirely unexpected, as the liberal principles embodied in the convention, and which form the groundwork of the objections to it, were perfectly satisfactory
to the Belgian representative, and were supposed to be not only within the powers granted, but expressly conformable to the instructions given to him. An offer, not yet accepted, has been made by Belgium to renew negotiations for a treaty less liberal in its provisions, on questions of general maritime law.
Our newly established relations with the Sublime Porte promise to be useful to our commerce, and satisfactory in every respect to this government. Our intercourse with the Barbary Powers continues without important change, except that the present political state of Algiers has induced me to terminate the residence there of a salaried consul, and to substitute an ordinary consulate, to remain so long as the place continues in the possession of France. Our first treaty with one of these powers, the emperor of Morocco, was formed in 1786, and was limited to fifty years. That period has almost expired. I shall take measures to renew it with the greater satisfaction, as its stipulations are just and liberal, and have been with mutual fidelity and reciprocal advantage scrupulously fulfilled.
Intestine dissensions have ioo frequently occurred to mar the prosperity, interrupt the commerce, and distract the governments of most of the nations of this hemisphere, which have separated themselves from Spain. When a firm and permanent understanding with the parent country shall have produced a formal acknowledgment of their independence, and the idea of danger from that quarter can be no longer entertained, the friends of freedom expect that those countries, so favored by nature, will be distinguished for their love of justice, and their devotion to those peaceful arts, the assiduous cultivation of which confers honor upon nations, and gives value to human life. In the mean time, I confidently hope that the apprehensions entertained that some of the people of these luxuriant regions may be tempted, in a moment of unworthy distrust of their own capacity for enjoyment of liberty, to commit the too common error of purchasing present repose by bestowing on some favorite leaders the fatal gift of irresponsible power, will not be realized. With all these governments, and with that of Brazil, no unexpected changes in our relations have occurred during the present year. Frequent causes of just complaint have arisen upon the part of the citizens of the United States — sometimes from the irregular action of the constituted subordinate authorities of the maritime regions, and sometimes from the leaders or partizans of those in arms against the established governments. In all cases, representations have been or will be made; and as soon as their political affairs are in a settled position, it is expected that our friendly remonstrances will be followed by adequate redress.
The government of Mexico made known in December last, the appointment of commissioners and surveyors on its part, to run, in conjunction with ours, the boundary line between its territories and the United States, and excused the delay for the reasons anticipated — the prevalence of civil war. The commissioners and surveyors not having met within the time stipulated by the treaty, a new arrangement became necessary, and our chargé d'affaires was instructed in January last, to negotiate in Mexico an article additional to the pre-existing treaty. This instruction was acknowledged, and no difficulty was apprehended in the accomplishment of that object. By information just received, that additional article to the treaty will be obtained and transmitted to this country, as soon as it can receive the ratification of the Mexican Congress.
The re-union of the three states of New Grenada, Venezuela, and Equador, forming the republic of Colombia, seems every day to become more improbable. The commissioners of the two first are understood to be now negotiating a just division of the obligations contracted by them when united under one government. The civil war in Equador, it is believed, has prevented even the appointment of a commissioner on its part. I propose, at an early day, to submit, in the proper form, the appoint. ment of a diplomatic agent to Venezuela; the importance of the commerce of that country to the United States, and the large claims of our citizens upon the government, arising before and since the division of Colombia, rendering it, in my judgment, improper longer to delay the step. Our representatives to Central America, Peru, and Brazil, are either at, or on their way to their respective posts. From the Argentine Republic, from which a minister was expected to this government, nothing farther has been heard. Occasion has been taken, on the departure of a new consul to Buenos Ayres, to remind that government that its long-delayed minister, whose appointment has been made known to us, had not arrived. It becomes my unpleasant duty to inform you that this specific and highly gratifying picture of our foreign relations does not include those with France at this time. It is not possible that any government and people could be more sincerely desirous of conciliating a just and friendly intercourse with another nation, than are those of the United States with their ancient ally and friend. This disposition is founded, as well on the most grateful and honorable recollections associated with our struggle for independence, as upon a well-grounded conviction that it is consonant with the true policy of both. The people of the United States, could not, therefore, see, without the deepest regret, even a temporary interruption of the friendly relations between the two countries —a regret, which would, I am sure, be greatly aggravated, if there should turn out to be any reasonable ground for attributing such a result to any act of omission or commission on our part. I derive, therefore, the highest satisfaction from being able to assure you that the whole course of this government has been characterized by a spirit so conciliatory and forbearing, as to make it impossible that our justice and moderation should be questioned, whatever may be the consequences of a longer perseverance, on the part of the French government, in her omission to satisfy the conceded claims of our citizens. The history of the accumulated and unprovoked aggressions upon our commerce, committed by authority of the existing governments of France, between the years 1800 and 1817, has been rendered too painfully familiar to Americans to make its repetition either necessary or desirable. It will be sufficient here to remark that there has, for many years, been scarcely a single administration of the French government by whom the justice and legality of the claims of our citizens to indemnity were not, to a very considerable extent, admitted; and yet, near a quarter of a century has been wasted in ineffectual negotiations to secure it. Deeply sensible of the injurious effects resulting from this state of things upon the interests and character of both nations, I regarded it as among my first duties to cause one more effort to be made to satisfy France that a just and liberal settlement of our claims was as well due to her own honor as to their incontestible validity. The negotiation for this purpose was commenced with the late government of France, and was prosecuted with such