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the universe, lead our councils to what is best, and give them a favorable issue for your peace and prosperity.
SECOND INAUGURAL ADDRESS DELIVERED IN WASHINGTON MARCH 4, 1805
Proceeding, fellow-citizens, to that quali. fication which the Constitution requires, before my entrance on the charge again conferred on me, it is my duty to express the deep sense I entertain of this new proof of confidence from my fellow-citizens at large, and the zeal with which it inspires me so to conduct myself as may best satisfy their just expectations.
On taking this station on a former occasion, I declared the principles on which I believed it my duty to administer the affairs of our commonwealth. My conscience tells me that I have on every occasion acted up to that declaration, according to its obvious import, and to the understanding of every candid mind.
In the transaction of your foreign affairs,
we have endeavored to cultivate the friendship of all nations, and especially of those with which we have the most important relations. We have done them justice on all occasions, favored where favor was lawful, and cherished mutual interests and intercourse on fair and equal terms. We are firmly convinced, and we act on that conviction, that with nations, as with individuals, our interests, soundly calculated, will ever be found inseparable from our moral duties. And history bears witness to the fact that a just nation is trusted on its word, when recourse is had to armaments and wars to bridle others. At home, fellow-citizens, you best know whether we have done well or ill. The suppression of unnecessary offices, of useless establishments and expenses, enabled us to discontinue our internal taxes. These, covering our land with officers, and opening our doors to their intrusions, had already begun that process of domiciliary vexation, which, once entered, is scarcely to be restrained from reaching successively every article of produce and of property. If, among these taxes, some minor ones fell, which had not been inconvenient, it was because their amount would not have paid the officers who collected them, and because, if they had any merit, the state authorities might adopt them instead of others less approved. The remaining revenue on the consumption of foreign articles is paid chiefly by those who can afford to add foreign luxuries to domestic comforts. Being collected on our seaboard and frontiers only, and incorporated with the transactions of our mercantile citizens, it may be the pleasure and the pride of an American to ask what farmer, what mechanic, what laborer ever sees a tax gatherer of the United States? These contributions enable us to support the . current expenses of the government, to fulfill contracts with foreign nations, to extinguish the native right of soil within our limits, to extend those limits, and to apply such a surplus to our public debts, as places at a short day their final redemption, and that redemption once effected, the revenue thereby
liberated, may by a just reparation among the states, and a corresponding amendment of the Constitution, be applied in time of peace to rivers, canals, roads, arts, manufactories, education and other great objects within each state. In time of war, if injustice by ourselves or others must sometimes produce war, increased population and consumption, and aided by other resources, reserved for that crisis, it may meet within the year all the expenses of the year, without encroaching on the rights of future generations, by burthening them with the debts of the past. War will then be but a suspension of useful works, and a return to the progress of improvement. I have said, fellow-citizens, that the income reserved had enabled us to extend our limits; but that extension may possibly pay for itself before we are called upon, and in the meantime, may keep down the accruing interest. In all events, it will replace the advances we shall have made. I know that the acquisition of Louisiana had been disapproved of by some, from a