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and unfit for cultivation, except in some instances on the margin of the rivers, on which, by improvement, rice might be cultivated, its chief value depending on the timber fit for the building of ships, with which it is represented as abounding.
While it is thus circumstanced, on the one hand, it is stated by the Creeks on the other to be of the highest importance to them, as constituting some of their most valuable winter hunting-ground.
I have directed the commissioner, to whom the charge of adjusting this treaty has been committed, to lay before you such papers and documents, and to communicate to you such information relatively to it, as you may require.
TO THE SENATE; ON A TREATY WITH THE
Although the treaty with the Creeks may be regarded as the main foundation of the future peace and prosperity of the southwestern frontier of the United States, yet, in order fully to effect so desirable an object, the treaties, which have been entered into with the other tribes in that quarter, must be faithfully performed on our part.
During the last year, I laid before the Senate a particular statement of the case of the Cherokees. By a reference to that paper it will appear, that the United States formed a treaty with the Cherokees in November, 1785; that the said Cherokees thereby placed themselves under the protection of the United States, and had a boundary assigned them; that the white people, settled on the frontiers, had openly violated the said boundary by intruding on the Indian lands; that the United States, in Congress assembled, did, on the 1st day of September, 1788, issue their proclamation forbidding all such unwarrantable intrusions, and enjoined all those who had settled upon the huntinggrounds of the Cherokees to depart with their families and effects without loss of time, as they would answer their disobedience to the injunctions and prohibitions expressed, at their peril
. But information has been received, that, notwithstanding the said treaty and proclamation, upwards of five hundred families have settled on the Cherokee lands, exclusively of those settled between the forks of French, Broad, and Holstein Rivers, mentioned in the said treaty.
As the obstructions to a proper conduct on this matter have been removed since it was mentioned to the Senate, on the 22d of August, 1789, by the accession of North Carolina to the present Union, and the cessions of the land in question, I shall conceive myself bound to exert the powers intrusted to me by the constitution, in order to carry into faithful execution the treaty of Hopewell, unless it shall be thought proper to attempt to arrange a new boundary with the Cherokees, embracing the settlements, and compensating the Cherokees for the cessions they shall make on the occasion. On this point, therefore, I state the following questions, and request the advice of the Senate thereon.
1. Is it the judgment of the Senate, that overtures shall be made to the Cherokees to arrange a new
boundary, so as to embrace the settlements made by the white people since the treaty of Hopewell, in November, 1785 ? 2. If so, shall compensation, to the amount of dollars annually, or of
dollars in gross, be made to the Cherokees for the land they shall relinquish, holding the occupiers of the land accountable to the United States for its value?
3. Shall the United States stipulate solemnly to guaranty the new boundary which may be arranged ?
TO BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS; ON ESTABLISHING A PERMANENT SEAT OF GOVERNMENT.
JANUARY 24TH, 1791.
In execution of the powers with which Congress were pleased to invest me by their act, entitled “An act for establishing the temporary and permanent seat of the government of the United States," and on mature consideration of the advantages and disadvantages of the several positions within the limits prescribed by the said act, I have by a proclamation, bearing date this day, a copy of which is herewith transmitted, directed commissioners, appointed in pursuance of the act, to survey and limit a part of the territory of ten miles square, on both sides the river Potomac, so as to comprehend Georgetown, in Maryland, and to extend to the Eastern Branch.
I have not, by this first act, given to the said territory the whole extent, of which it is susceptible, in the direction of the river, because I thought it imVOL. XII.
portant, that Congress should have an opportunity of considering whether, by an amendatory law, they would authorize the location of the residue at the lower end of the present, so as to comprehend the Eastern Branch itself and some of the country on its lower side in the State of Maryland, and the town of Alexandria in Virginia; if, however, they are of opinion that the Federal Territory should be bounded by the water edge of the Eastern Branch, the location of the residue will be to be made at the upper end of what is now directed.
I have thought best to await a survey of the territory, before it is decided on what particular spot on the northeastern side of the river the public buildings shall be erected.
TO BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS; RELATIVE TO
Soon after I was called to the administration of the government, I found it important to come to an understanding with the court of London on several points interesting to the United States, and particularly to know whether they were disposed to enter into arrangements, by mutual consent, which might fix the commerce between the two nations on principles of reciprocal advantage. For this purpose I authorized informal conferences with their ministers; and from these I do not infer any disposition, on their part, to enter into any arrangements merely commercial. I have thought it proper to give you this information, as it might at some time have influence on matters under your consideration.
GENTLEMEN OF THE SENATE, Conceiving, that, in the possible event of a refusal of justice on the part of Great Britain, we should stand less committed, should it be made to a private rather than to a public person, I employed Mr. Gouverneur Morris, who was on the spot, and without giving him any definite character, to enter informally into the conferences before mentioned. For your more particular information, I lay before you the instructions I gave him, and those parts of his communications wherein the British ministers appear, either in conversation or by letter. These are two letters from the Duke of Leeds to Mr. Morris, and three letters of Mr. Morris, giving an account of two conferences with the Duke of Leeds, and one with him and Mr. Pitt. The sum of these is, that they declare without scruple they do not mean to fulfil what remains of the treaty of peace to be fulfilled on their part (by which we are to understand the delivery of the posts and payment for property carried off), till performance on our part, and compensation where the delay has rendered the performance now impracticable; that, on the subject of a treaty of commerce, they avoided direct answers, so as to satisfy Mr. Morris they did not mean to enter into one, unless it could be extended to a treaty of alliance offensive and defensive, or unless in the event of a rupture with Spain.
As to the sending a minister here, they made excuses at the first conference, seem disposed to it in the second, and in the last express an intention of so doing.