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modation of differences, the officers of the United States were ordered to confine themselves within the country on this side of the Sabine river; which, by the delivery of its principal post (Natchitoches), was understood to have been itself delivered up by Spain ; and at the same time to permit no adverse post to be taken, nor armed men to remain within it. In consequence of these orders, the commanding officer of Natchitoches, learning that a party of Spanish troops had crossed the Sabine river and were posting themselves on this side the Adais, sent a detachment of his force to require them to withdraw to the other side of the Sabine, which they accordingly did.
I have thought it proper to communicate to Congress the letters detailing this incident, that they may fully understand the state of things in that quarter, and be enabled to make such provision for its security as in their wisdom they shall deem sufficient.
SPECIAL MESSAGE.—APRIL 14, 1806.
To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
During the blockade of Tripoli by the squadron of the United States, a small cruiser, under the flag of Tunis, with two prizes (all of trifling value,) attempted to enter Tripoli, was turned back, warned, and attempting again to enter, was taken and detained as a prize by the squadron. Her restitution was claimed by the bey of Tunis, with a threat of war so serious, that, on withdrawing from the blockade of Tripoli, the commanding officer of the squadron thought it is duty to repair to Tunis with his squadron, and to require a categorical declaration whether peace or war was intended. The bey preferred explaining himself by an ambassador to the United States, who, on his arrival, renewed the request that the vessel and her prizes should be restored. It was deemed proper to give this proof of friendship to the bey, and the ambassador was informed the vessels would
be restored. Afterward he made a requisition of naval stores to be sent to the bey, in order to secure peace for the term of three years, with a threat of war if refused. It has been refused, and the ambassador is about to depart without receding from his threat or demand.
Under these circumstances, and considering that the several provisions of the act, March 25th, 1804, will cease in consequence of the ratification of the treaty of peace with Tripoli, now advised to and consented to by the Senate, I have thought it my duty to communicate these facts, in order that Congress may consider the expediency of continuing the same provisions for a limited time or making others equivalent.
SIXTH ANNUAL MESSAGE.—DECEMBER 2, 1806.
To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States in Congress assembled :
It would have given me, fellow citizens, great satisfaction to announce in the moment of your meeting that the difficulties in our foreign relations, existing at the time of your last separation, had been amicably and justly terminated. I lost no time in taking those measures which were most likely to bring them to such a termination, by special missions charged with such powers and instructions as in the event of failure could leave no imputation on either our moderation or forbearance. The delays which have since taken place in our negotiations with the British government appears to have proceeded from causes which do not forbid the expectation that during the course of the session I may be enabled to lay before you their final issue. What will be that of the negotiations for settling our differences with Spain, nothing which had taken place at the date of the last despatches enables us to pronounce. On the western side of the Mississippi she advanced in considerable force, and took post at the settlement of Bayou Pierre, on the Red river. This village was
originally settled by France, was held by her as long as she held Louisiana, and was delivered to Spain only as a part of Louisiana. Being small, insulated, and distant, it was not observed, at the moment of redelivery to France and the United States, that she continued a guard of half a dozen men which had been stationed there. A proposition, however, having been lately made by our commander-in-chief, to assume the Sabine river as a temporary line of separation between the troops of the two nations until the issue of our negotiation shall be known; this has been referred by the Spanish commandant to his superior, and in the in the meantime, he has withdrawn his force to the western side of the Sabine river. The correspondence on this subject, now communicated, will exhibit more particularly the present state of things in that quarter.
The nature of that country requires indispensably that an unusual proportion of the force employed there should be cavalry or mounted infantry. In order, therefore, that the commanding officer might be enabled to act with effect, I had authorized him to call on the governors of Orleans and Mississippi for a corps of five hundred volunteer cavalry. The temporary arrangement he has proposed may perhaps render this unnecessary. But I inform you with great pleasure of the promptitude with which the inhabitants of those territories have tendered their services in defence of their country. It has done honor to themselves, entitled them to the confidence of their fellow-citizens in every part of the Union, and must strengthen the general determination to protect them efficaciously under all circumstances which may occur.
Having received information that in another part of the United States a great number of private individuals were combining together, arming and organizing themselves contrary to law, to carry on military expeditions against the territories of Spain, I thought it necessary, by proclamations as well as by special orders, to take measures for preventing and suppressing this enterprise, for seizing the vessels, arms, and other means provided for it, and for arresting and bringing to justice its authors and
abettors. It was due to that good faith which ought ever to be the rule of action in public as well as in private transactions ; it was due to good order and regular government, that while the public force was acting strictly on the defensive and merely to protect our citizens from aggression, the criminal attempts of private individuals to decide for their country the question of peace or war, by commencing active and unauthorized hostilities, should be promplty and efficaciously suppressed.
Whether it will be necessary to enlarge our regular force will depend on the result of our negotiation with Spain ; but as it is uncertain when that result will be known, the provisional measures requisite for that, and to meet any pressure intervening in that quarter, will be a subject for your early consideration.
The possession of both banks of the Mississippi reducing to a single point the defence of that river, its waters, and the country adjacent, it becomes highly necessary to provide for that point a more adequate security. Some position above its mouth, commanding the passage of the river, should be rendered sufficiently strong to cover the armed vessels which may be stationed there for defence, and in conjunction with them to present an insuperable obstacle to any force attempting to pass. The approaches to the city of New Orleans, from the eastern quarter also, will require to be examined, and more effectually guarded. For the internal support of the country, the encouragement of a strong settlement on the western side of the Mississippi, within reach of New Orleans, will be worthy the consideration of the legislature.
The gun-boats authorized by an act of the last session are so advanced that they will be ready for service in the ensuing spring. Circumstances permitted us to allow the time necessary for their more solid construction. As a much larger number will still be wanting to place our seaport towns and waters in that state of defence to which we are competent and they entitled, a similar appropriation for a further provision for them is recommended for the ensuing year.
A further appropriation will also be necessary for repairing for
ttfications already established, and the erection of such works as may have real effect in obstructing the approach of an enemy to our seaport towns, or their remaining before them.
In a country whose constitution is derived from the will of the people, directly expressed by their free suffrages; where the principal executive functionaries, and those of the legislature, are renewed by them at short periods; where under the characters of jurors, they exercise in person the greatest portion of the judiciary powers; where the laws are consequently so formed and administered as to bear with equal weight and favor on all, restraining no man in the pursuits of honest industry, and securing to every one the property which that acquires, it would not be supposed that any safeguards could be needed against insurrection or enterprise on the public peace or authority. The laws, however, aware that these should not be trusted to moral restraints only, have wisely provided punishments for these crimes when committed. But would it not be salutary to give also the means of preventing their commission? Where an enterprise is meditated by private individuals against a foreign nation in amity with the United States, powers of prevention to a certain extent are given by the laws; would they not be as reasonable and useful were the enterprise preparing against the United States? While adverting to this branch of the law, it is proper to observe, that in enterprises meditated against foreign nations, the ordinary process of binding to the observance of the peace and good behavior, could it be extended to acts to be done out of the jurisdiction of the United States, would be effectual in some cases where the offender is able to keep out of sight every indication of his purpose which could draw on him the exercise of the powers now given by law.
The states on the coast of Barbary seem generally disposed at present to respect our peace and friendship; with Tunis alone some uncertainty remains. Persuaded that it is our interest to maintain our peace with them on equal terms, or not at all, I propose to send in due time a reinforcement into the Mediterranean, unless previous information shall show it to be unnecessary.