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sure guaranty of the permanence of our republic ; and retiring from the charge of their affairs, I carry with me the consolation of a firm persuasion that Heaven has in store for our beloved country long ages to come of prosperity and happiness.
SPECIAL MESSAGE.—DECEMBER 30, 1808.
To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
I lay before the legislature a letter from Governor Claiborne, on the subject of a small tribe of Alabama Indians, on the western side of the Mississippi, consisting of about a dozen families. Like other erratic tribes in that country, it is understood that they have hitherto moved from place to place, according to their convenience, without appropriating to themselves exclusively any particular territory. But having now become habituated to some of the occupations of civilized life, they wish for a fixed residence. I suppose it will be the interest of the United States to encourage the wandering tribes of that country to reduce themselves to fixed habitations, whenever they are so disposed. The establishment of towns, and growing attachment to them, will furnish, in some degree, pledges of their peaceable and friendly conduct. The case of this particular tribe is now submitted to the consideration of Congress.
SPECIAL MESSAGE.-JANUARY 6, 1809.
To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
I now lay before Congress a statement of the works of defence which it has been thought necessary to provide in the first instance, for the security of our seaports, towns, and harbors, and of the progress toward their completion; their extent has been
adapted to the scale of the appropriation, and to the circumstances of the several places.
The works undertaken at New York are calculated to annoy and endanger any naval force which shall enter the harbor, and, still more, one which should attempt to lie before the city. To prevent altogether the entrance of large vessels, a line of blocks across the harbor has been contemplated, and would, as is believed, with the auxiliary means already provided, render that city safe against naval enterprise. The expense, as well as the importance of the work, renders it a subject proper for the special consideration of Congress.
At New Orleans, two separate systems of defence are necessary ; the one for the river, the other for the lake, which, at present, can give no aid to one another. The canal now leading from the lake, if continued into the river, would enable the armed vessels in both stations to unite, and to meet in conjunction an attack from either side ; half the aggregate force would then have the same effect as the whole ; or the same force double the effect of what either can have. It would also enable the vessels stationed in the lake, when attacked by superior force, to retire to a safer position in the river. The same considerations of expense and importance renders this also a question for the special decision of Congress.
Circumstances, fellow citizens, which seriously threatened the peace of our country, have made it a duty to convene you at an earlier period than usual. The love of peace, so much cherished in the bosoms of our citizens, which has so long guided the proceedings of the public councils, and induced forbearance under so many wrongs, may not insure our continuance in the quiet
REPLIES TO PUBLIC ADDRESSES.
MESSRS. NEHEMIAH DODGE, EPHRAIM ROBBINS, AND STEPHEN $.
NELSON, A COMMITTEE OF THE DANBURY BAPTIST ASSOCIATION,
IN THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT.
January 1, 1802. GENTLEMEN,—The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist Association, give me the highest satisfaction. My duties dictate a faithful and zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, and in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more and more pleasing.
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between church and State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties. Vol. VIII.
I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection and blessing of the common Father and Creator of man, and tender you for yourselves and your religious association, assurances of my high respect and esteem.
TO WILLIAM JUDD, ESQUIRE, CHAIRMAN.
WASHINGTON, November 15, 1802. Expressions of confidence from the respectable description of my fellow citizens, in whose name you have been pleased to address me, are received with that cordial satisfaction which kindred principles and sentiments naturally inspire.
The proceedings which they approve were sincerely intended for the general good; and if, as we hope, they should in event produce it, they will be indebted for it to the wisdom of our legislative councils, and of those distinguished fellow laborers whom the laws have permitted me to associate in the general administration.
Exercising that discretion which the constitution has confided to me in the choice of public agents, I have been sensible, on the one hand, of the justice done to those who have been systematically excluded from the service of their country, and attentive, on the other, to restore justice in such a way as might least affect the sympathies and the tranquillity of the public mind. Deaths, resignations, delinquencies, malignant and active opposition to the order of things established by the will of the nation, will, it is believed, within a moderate space of time, make room for a just participation in the management of the public affairs; and that being once effected, future changes at the helm will be viewed with tranquillity by those in subordinate station.
Every wish of my heart will be completely gratified when that portion of my fellow citizens which has been misled as to the character of our measures and principles, shall, by their salutary effects, be corrected in their opinions, and joining with good will the great mass of their fellow citizens, consolidate an union which cannot be too much cherished.
I pray you, Sir, to accept for yourself, and for the general meeting of the Republicans of the State of Connecticut at New Haven, whose sentiments you have been so good as to convey to me, assurances of my high consideration and respect.
TO THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE.
December 24, 1803. Amidst the anxieties which are felt for the favorable issue of measures adopted for promoting the public good, it is a consolation to meet the approbation of those on whose behalf they are instituted. I shall certainly endeavor to merit a continuance of the good opinion which the legislature of Tennessee have been pleased to express in their address of the 8th November, by a zealous attention to the interests of my constituents; and shall count on a candid indulgence whenever untoward events may happen to disappoint well-founded expectations.
In availing our western brethren of those circumstances which occur for promoting their interests, we only perform that duty which we owe to every portion of the Union, under occurrences equally favorable ; and, impressed with the inconveniences to which the citizens of Tennessee are subjected by a want of contiguity in the portions composing their State, I shall be ready to do for their relief, whatever the general legislature may authorize, and justice to our neighbors permit.
The acquisition of Louisiana, although more immediately beneficial to the western States, by securing for their produce a certain market, not subject to interruption by officers over whom we have no control, yet is also deeply interesting to the maritime portion of our country, inasmuch as by giving the exclusive navigation of the Mississippi, it avoids the burthens and sufferings of a war, which conflicting interests on that river would inevitably have produced at no distant period. It opens, too, a fertile region for the future establishments in the progress of that multiplication so rapidly taking place in all parts.
I have seen with great satisfaction the promptitude with which