« AnteriorContinuar »
the sums meant to have been given for peace and ransom might have a disadvantageous influence on future proceedings for the same objects.
TO BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS; ON THE EXECUTION OF THE LAW IMPOSING AN EMBARGO.
March 28th, 1794.
In the execution of the resolution of Congress, bearing date the 26th of March, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-four, and imposing an embargo, I have requested the governors of the several States to call forth the force of their militia, if it should be necessary for the detention of vessels. This power is conceived to be incidental to an embargo.
It also deserves the attention of Congress, how far the clearances from one district to another, under the law as it now stands, may give rise to evasions of the embargo. As one security, the collectors have been instructed to refuse to receive the surrender of coasting licenses for the purpose of taking out registers, and to require bond from registered vessels, bound from one district to another, for the delivery of the cargo within the United States.
It is not understood that the resolution applies to fishing-vessels, although their occupations lie, generally, in parts beyond the United States. But, without further restrictions, there is an opportunity of their privileges being used as means of eluding the embargo.
All armed vessels, possessing public commissions from any foreign power (letters of marque excepted), are considered as not liable to the embargo.
These circumstances are transmitted to Congress for their consideration.
TO BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS; RELATIVE TO
HOSTILE PROCEEDINGS AGAINST THE
TERRITORIES OF SPAIN.
MAY 20T11, 1794.
In the communications, which I have made to Congress during the present session, relative to foreign nations, I have omitted no opportunity of testifying my anxiety to preserve the United States in peace. It is peculiarly, therefore, my duty at this time to lay before you the present state of certain hostile threats against the territories of Spain in our neighbourhood.
The documents, which accompany this message, develope the measures which I have taken to suppress them, and the intelligence which has been lately received.
It will be seen from thence, that the subject has not been neglected; that every power vested in the executive on such occasions has been exerted; and that there was reason to believe, that the enterprise projected against the Spanish dominions was relinquished.
But it appears to have been revived upon principles, which set public order at defiance, and place the peace of the United States in the discretion of unauthorized individuals. The means already deposited in the different departments of government are shown by experience not to be adequate to these high exigencies, although such of them as are lodged in the hands of the Executive shall continue to be used with promptness, energy, and decision, proportioned to the case. But I am impelled by the position of our public affairs to recommend, that provision be made for a stronger and more vigorous opposition, than can be given to such hostile movements under the laws as they now stand.
TO BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS; CONCERNING BRITISH
AND INDIAN ENCROACHMENTS.
May 21st, 1794.
I lay before you in confidence sundry papers, by which you will perceive the state of affairs between us and the Six Nations, and the probable cause to which it is owing; and also certain information, whereby it would appear, that some encroachment was about to be made on our territory by an officer and party of British troops. Proceeding on a supposition of the authenticity of this information, although of a private nature, I have caused the representation to be made to the British minister, a copy of which accompanies this message.
It cannot be necessary to comment upon the very serious nature of such an encroachment, nor to urge, that this new state of things suggests the propriety of placing the United States in a posture of effectual preparation for an event, which, notwithstanding the endeavours making to avert it, may, by circumstances beyond our control, be forced upon us.
TO BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS; RELATIVE TO THE INTERCOURSE WITH FOREIGN NATIONS.
FEBRUARY 28TH, 1795.
In my first communication to Congress during their present session, I gave them reason to expect that “certain circumstances of our intercourse with foreign nations” would be transmitted to them. There was at that time every assurance for believing, that some of the most important of our foreign affairs would have been concluded, and others considerably matured, before they should rise. But, notwithstanding I have waited until this moment, it has so happened, that, either from causes unknown to me, or from events which could not be controlled, I am yet unable to execute my original intention. That I may, however, fulfil the expectation given as far as the actual situation of things will in my judgment permit, I now in confidence lay before Congress the following general statement.
Our minister near the French Republic has urged compensation for the injuries, which our commerce has sustained from captures by French cruisers, from the non-fulfilment of the contracts of the agents of that Republic with our citizens, and from the embargo at Bordeaux. He has also pressed an allowance for the money voted by Congress for relieving the inhabiVOL. XII.
tants of Saint Domingo. It affords me the highest pleasure to inform Congress, that perfect harmony reigns between the two republics; and that those claims are in a train of being discussed with candor, and of being amicably adjusted.
So much of our relation to Great Britain may depend upon the result of our late negotiations in London, that, until that result shall arrive, I cannot undertake to make any communication upon this subject.
After the negotiation with Spain had been long depending, unusual and unexpected embarrassments were raised to interrupt its progress. But, the commissioner of his Catholic Majesty near the United States having declared to the Secretary of State, that, if a particular accommodation should be made in the conducting of the business, no further delay would ensue, I thought proper, under all circumstances, to send to his Catholic Majesty an envoy extraordinary specially charged to bring to a conclusion the discussions, which have been formerly announced to Congress.
The friendship of her Most Faithful Majesty has been often manifested in checking the passage of the Algerine corsairs into the Atlantic ocean. She has also furnished occasional convoys to the vessels of the United States, even when bound to other ports than her own.
We may therefore promise ourselves, that, as, in the ordinary course of things few causes can exist for dissatisfaction between the United States and Portugal, so the temper, with which accidental difficulties will be met on each side, will speedily remove them.
Between the executive of the United States and the government of the United Netherlands but little intercourse has taken place during the last year. It