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to assure you of every endeavour on my part to promote these desirable objects.
In making my acknowledgments for the favorable opinions you express of my military conduct, as it respected the observance of civil rights, it is but justice to assign great merit to the temper of those citizens, whose estates were more immediately the scene of warfare. Their personal services were rendered without constraint, and the derangement of their affairs submitted to without dissatisfaction. It was the triumph of patriotism over personal considerations. And our present enjoyments of peace and freedom reward the sacrifice.
Imploring a continuance of these enjoyments to our country, and individual happiness to the citizens who procured them, I offer up a sincere prayer for you, Gentlemen, and your constituents.
TO THE ROMAN CATHOLICS IN THE UNITED STATES.
GENTLEMEN, While I now receive with much satisfaction your congratulations on my being called by a unanimous vote to the first station in my country, I cannot but duly notice your politeness in offering an apology for the unavoidable delay. As that delay has given you an opportunity of realizing, instead of anticipating, the benefits of the general government, you will do me the justice to believe, that your testimony to the increase of the public prosperity enhances the pleasure,
which I should otherwise have experienced from your affectionate address.
I feel, that my conduct in war and in peace has met with more general approbation, than could reasonably have been expected ; and I find myself disposed to consider that fortunate circumstance, in a great degree, resulting from the able support and extraordinary candor of my fellow-citizens of all denominations.
The prospect of national prosperity now before us is truly animating, and ought to excite the exertions of all good men to establish and secure the happiness of their country, in the permanent duration of its freedom and independence. America, under the smiles of divine Providence, the protection of a good government, the cultivation of manners, morals, and piety, can hardly fail of attaining an uncommon degree of eminence in literature, commerce, agriculture, improvements at home, and respectability abroad.
As mankind become more liberal, they will be more apt to allow, that all those, who conduct themselves as worthy members of the community, are equally entitled to the protection of civil government. I hope ever to see America among the foremost nations in examples of justice and liberality. And I presume, that your fellow-citizens will not forget the patriotic part, which you took in the accomplishment of their revolution and the establishment of their government, or the important assistance, which they received from a nation * in which the Roman Catholic religion is professed.
I thank you, Gentlemen, for your kind concern for me. While my life and my health shall continue, in
whatever situation I may be, it shall be my constant endeavour to justify the favorable sentiments you are pleased to express of my conduct. And may the members of your society in America, animated alone by the pure spirit of Christianity, and still conducting themselves as the faithful subjects of our free government, enjoy every temporal and spiritual felicity.
TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF
GENTLEMEN, The congratulations presented to me by the different branches of the legislature of the State of Georgia, upon my having been elected with unanimity to the Presidency of the United States, affect my mind with the most pleasing sensations, and demand my best acknowledgments.
From the observation, that, “ in the great concerns of mankind, success has not always been attendant on the performance of duty, and that, where it has, the sanction of public approbation has frequently been withheld,” I am naturally led to reflect on the unlimited gratitude, which we owe as a nation to the Supreme Arbiter of human events for his interposition in our favor; as well as on the singular obligations, which are due from me as an individual for the indulgent sentiments, which my fellow-citizens have always had the goodness to entertain of my conduct.
Raised, as I am, to the head of a government pervading so vast a territory, and possessing, as I flatter myself I do, the confidence of the people in regard to my dispositions, I assure you, Gentlemen, that nothing could be more consonant to my wishes, than to be favored with such facts and opinions respecting the condition of the States, as may appear proper and necessary; for I am deeply sensible, that many errors, which would result from want of information, may be obviated by timely and just representations.
I am not ignorant how much the local situation of your State exposed its inhabitants to suffer the distresses of the late war in a severe manner; nor how manfully they exerted themselves in the common cause during the struggle, which established our independence. Wasted as your country was at the return of peace, and exposed as your frontiers have since been to the ravages of the Indians, I cannot but flatter myself, that you will ere long realize the blessings, which were to be expected from your natural resources, and find a compensation for your sufferings in the benefits of an efficient general government.
It will not be expected, I presume, on this occasion, that I should enter into the merits of the delicate subject to which you allude.* It may be sufficient
* The General Assembly of Georgia had spoken in their address as follows.
“ In the course of the war, which established our independence, our citizens made proportionate exertions with those of any part of the whole, and in point of property they suffered the most; the peace found the country a waste ; with many natural advantages, we flattered ourselves with a speedy recovery; when we were attacked by the Indians.
“On this subject we wish to be delicate; much has been already said; we have asserted, and it has been contradicted. Removed at a distance from the centre, our actions have been liable to misrepresentation ; but we trust that, by this time, they are better explained. In the mean time, while our population has been checked, and our agriculture diminished, the blood of our citizens has been spilled, our public resources greatly exhausted, and our frontier still open to fresh ravages. The failure of
to say, that, while I regret extremely the failure of the late negotiation for peace with the Creek Indians, I am satisfied that the explanations, which have been received through authentic channels, will be of eminent service. I am also convinced, that nothing will be wanting on your part to concur in the accomplishment of a pacification ; and I still hope, that, under the influence of the general government, that desirable object may be effected. With respect to this subject in general, as well as to the other calamity, which you mention as resulting from your being the south frontier of the Union, I request you will be persuaded, that I shall make such use of the powers vested in me by the constitution, as may appear to me best calculated to promote the public good.
I am much pleased, Gentlemen, with the frankness which you have manifested in regard to myself, and return you my hearty thanks for the good wishes you have expressed for my health and happiness, with a sincere prayer, that the same blessings may be extended to you and your constituents.
the late negotiations for a peace with the Creek nation, and the circumstances which attended the same, are the best evidence of the necessity of our measures, and a proof of the late hostile dispositions of these people; but, under the influence of the government and power of the Union, it is to be hoped and expected, that a different conduct will on their part prevail. On our part nothing shall be wanting to promote so desirable an establishment.
“Another circumstance of additional calamity, attendant on our being the south frontier of the Union, is the facility of our black people crossing the Spanish line, from whence we have never been able to reclaim them. This has already been productive of much injury to private persons, and, if not speedily restrained, may grow into an evil of national magnitude.
“We take this occasion of bringing this business into view, with a perfect reliance, that you will cause such discussions to be made, as shall be necessary to bring about a remedy."