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fullest evidence of a disposition, as far as may be practicable, to consult the wishes of every part of the community, and to lay the foundations of the public administration in the affections of the people.
Pursuant to the authority contained in the several
the permanent seat of the government of the United States, has been fixed, and announced by proclamation ; which district will comprehend lands on both sides of the river Potomac, and the towns of Alexandria and Georgetown. A city has also been laid out agreeably to a plan which will be placed before Congress; and, as there is a prospect, favored by the rate of sales which have already taken place, of ample funds for carrying on the necessary public buildings, there is every expectation of their due progress.
The completion of the census of the inhabitants, for which provision was made by law, has been duly notified (excepting in one instance, in which the return has been informal, and another, in which it has been omitted or miscarried); and the returns of the officers who were charged with this duty, which will be laid before you, will give you the pleasing assurance, that the present population of the United States borders on four millions of persons.
It is proper also to inform you, that a further loan of two millions and a half of florins has been completed in Holland ; the terms of which are similar to those of the one last announced, except as to a small reduction of charges. Another, on like terms, for six millions of florins had been set on foot, under circumstances that assured immediate completion.
GentLEMEN OF THE Senate,
Two treaties, which have been provisionally concluded with the Cherokees, and Six Nations of Indians, will be laid before you for your consideration and ratification.
GENTLEMEN OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, In entering upon the discharge of your legislative trust, you must anticipate with pleasure, that many of the difficulties, necessarily incident to the first arrangements of a new government for an extensive country, have been happily surmounted by the zealous and judicious exertions of your predecessors in coöperation with the other branch of the legislature. The important objects, which remain to be accomplished, will, I am persuaded, be conducted upon principles equally comprehensive, and equally well calculated for the advancement of the general weal.
The time limited for receiving subscriptions to the loans proposed by the act making provision for the debt of the United States having expired, statements from the proper department will as soon as possible apprize you of the exact result. Enough, however, is known already to afford an assurance, that the views of that act have been substantially fulfilled. The subscription in the domestic debt of the United States has embraced by far the greatest proportion of that debt; affording at the same time proof of the general satisfaction of the public creditors with the system which has been proposed to their acceptance, and of the spirit of accommodation to the convenience of the government with which they are actuated. The subscriptions in the debts of the respective States, as far as the provisions of the law have permitted, may be said to be yet more general. The part of the debt of the United States, which remains unsubscribed, will naturally engage your further deliberations.
It is particularly pleasing to me to be able to announce to you, that the revenues which have been established promise to be adequate to their objects, and may be permitted, if no unforeseen exigency occurs, to supersede for the present the necessity of any new burthens upon our constituents.
provision for the current service of the ensuing year, together with such ascertained demands upon the treasury as require to be immediately discharged, and such casualties as may have arisen in the execution of the public business, for which no specific appropriation may have yet been made; of all which a proper estimate will be laid before you. GENTLEMEN OF THE SENATE
AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, I shall content myself with a general reference to former communications for several objects, upon which the urgency of other affairs has hitherto postponed any definitive resolution. Their importance will recall them to your attention ; and I trust, that the progress already made in the most arduous arrangements of the government will afford you leisure to resume them with advantage.
There are, however, some of them, of which I cannot forbear a more particular mention. These are, the militia ; the post-office and post-roads; the mint; weights and measures; a provision for the sale of the vacant lands of the United States.
The first is certainly an object of primary importance, whether viewed in reference to the national security, to the satisfaction of the community, or to the preservation of order. In connexion with this, the establishment of competent magazines and arsenals, and the fortification of such places as are peculiarly important and vulnerable, naturally present themselves to consideration. The safety of the United States, under divine protection, ought to rest on the basis of systematic and solid arrangements, exposed as little as possible to the hazards of fortuitous circumstances.
The importance of the post-office and post-roads on a plan sufficiently liberal and comprehensive, as they respect the expedition, safety, and facility of communication, is increased by the instrumentality in diffusing a knowledge of the laws and proceedings of the government; which, while it contributes to the security of the people, serves also to guard them against the effects of misrepresentation and misconception. The establishment of additional cross posts, especially to some of the important points in the western and northern parts of the Union, cannot fail to be of material utility.
The disorders in the existing currency, and especially the scarcity of small change, a scarcity so peculiarly distressing to the poorer classes, strongly recommend the carrying into immediate effect the resolution already entered into concerning the establishment of a mint. Measures have been taken, pursuant to that resolution, for procuring some of the most necessary articles, together with the requisite apparatus.
A uniformity in the weights and measures of the country is among the important objects submitted to you by the constitution; and, if it can be derived from a standard at once invariable and universal, must be no less honorable to the public councils, than conducive to the public convenience.
A provision for the sale of the vacant lands of the United States is particularly urged, among other rea
sons, by the important considerations, that they are pledged as a fund for reimbursing the public debt; that, if timely and judiciously applied, they may save the necessity of burthening our citizens with new taxes for the extinguishment of the principal; and that, being free to discharge the principal but in a limited proportion, no opportunity ought to be lost for availing the public of its rights.
REPLY TO THE ANSWER OF THE SENATE.
This manifestation of your zeal for the honor and the happiness of our country derives its full value from the share which your deliberations have already had in promoting both.
I thank you for the favorable sentiments, with which you view the part I have borne in the arduous trust committed to the government of the United States; and desire you to be assured, that all my zeal will continue to second those further efforts for the public good, which are insured by the spirit in which you are entering on the present session.
REPLY TO THE ANSWER OF THE HOUSE OF
The pleasure I derive from an assurance of your attention to the objects I have recommended to you, is doubled by your concurrence in the testimony I have borne to the prosperous condition of our public affairs. Relying on the sanctions of your enlightened judgment, and on your patriotic aid, I shall be the