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serving under him at a separate post, in which his views of a dismemberment of our Union are expressed. Extracts of so much of these letters as are within the scope of the resolutions of the house, are now communicated. With these were found the letters from Mr. Clark, to the Secretary of State, in 1803. of one only of these relates to this subject, and is extracted and enclosed for the information of the house. In no part of the papers communicated by Mr. Clark, which are voluminous, and in different languages, nor in his letters, have we found any intimation of the corrupt receipt of money by any officer of the United States from any foreign nation. As to the combinations with foreign agents for the dismemberment of the Union, these papers and letters offer nothing which was not probably known to my predecessors, or which could call anew for inquiries, which they had not thought necessary to institute, when the facts were recent and could be better proved. They probably believed it best to let pass into oblivion transactions, which, however culpable, had commenced before this government existed, and had been finally extinguished by the treaty of 1795.


To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United

States :

I communicate to Congress, for their information, a letter from the person acting in the absence of our consul at Naples, giving reason to believe, on the aslidavit of a Captain Sheffield of the American schooner Mary Ann, that the dey of Algiers had commenced war against the United States. For this no just cause has been given on our part within my knowledge. We may daily expect more authentic and particular information on the subject from Mr. Lear, who was residing as our consul at Algiers.


To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United

States :

I communicate for the information of Congress a letter from the consul of the United States at Malaga, to the Secretary of State, covering one from Mr. Lear, our consul at Algiers, which gives information, that the rupture threatened on the part of the dey of Algiers has been amicably settled, and the vessels seized by him are liberated.

SPECIAL MESSAGE.- FERRUARY 19, 1808. To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United

States :

The States of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, having, by their several acts, consented that the road from Cumberland to the State of Ohio, authorized by the act of Congress of the 29th March, 1806, should pass through those States, and the report of the commissioners communicated to Congress with my message of the 31st January, 1807, having been duly considered, I have approved of the route therein proposed for the said road, as far as Brownsville, with a single deviation since located, which carries it through Uniontown.

From thence the course of the Ohio, and the point within the legal limits at which it shall strike that river, is still to be decided. In forming this decision, I shall pay material regard to the interests and wishes of the populous part of the State of Ohio, and to a future and convenient connection with the road which is to lead from the Indian boundary near Cincinnati, by Vincennes to the Mississippi, at St. Louis, under authority of the act, 21st April, 1806. In this way we may accomplish a continued and advantageous line of communication from the seat of the general government to St. Louis, passing through several very interesting points of the western country. VOL. VIIT.


I have thought it advisable also to secure from obliteration the trace of the road so far as it has been approved, which has been executed at such considerable expense, by opening one half of its breadth through its whole length.

The report of the commissioners, herewith transmitted, will give particular information of their proceedings, under the act of the 29th March, 1806, since the date of my message of the 31st January, 1807, and will enable Congress to adopt further measures relative thereto, as they may deem proper under existing circumstances.


To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United

States :

The dangers of our country, arising from the contests of other nations and the urgency of making preparation for whatever events might affect our relations with them, have been intimated in preceding messages to Congress. To secure ourselves by due precautions, an augmentation of our military force, as well regular as of volunteer militia, seems to be expedient. The precise extent of that augmentation cannot as yet be satisfactorily suggested, but that no time may be lost, and especially at a season deemed favorable to the object, I submit to the wisdom of the legislature whether they will authorize a commencement of this precautionary work by a present provision for raising and organizing some additional force ; reserving to themselves to decide its ultimate extent on such views of our situation as I may be enabled to present at a future day of the session.

If an increase of force be now approved, I submit to their consideration the outlines of a plan proposed in the enclosed letter from the Secretary of War.

I recommend, also, to the attention of Congress, the term at which the act of April 18th, 1806, concerning the militia, will expire, and the effect of that expiration.

SPECIAL MESSAGE.—March 7, 1808. To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United

States :

In the city of New Orleans, and adjacent to it, are sundry parcels of ground, some of them with buildings and other improvements on them, which it is my duty to present to the attention of the legislature. The title to those grounds appear to have been retained in the former sovereigns of the province of Louisiana, as public fiduciaries, and for the purposes of the province. Some of them were used for the residence of the governor, for public offices, hospitals, barracks, magazines, fortifications, levees, &c., others for the townhouse, schools, markets, landings, and other purposes of the city of New Orleans; some were held by religious corporations or persons; others seem to have been reserved for future disposition. To these must be added a parcel called the Batture, which requires more particular description. It is understood to have been a shoal or elevation of the bottom of the river, adjacent to the bank of the suburbs of St. Mary, produced by the successive depositions of mud during the annual inundations of the river, and covered with water only during those inundations. At all other seasons it has been used by the city, immemorially to furnish earth for raising their streets and courtyards, for mortar, and other necessary purposes, and as a landing or quay for unlading firewood, lumber, and other articles brought by water. This having been lately claimed by a private individual, the city opposed the claim on a supposed legal title in itself; but it has been adjudged that the legal title was not in the city. It is, however, alleged that that title, originally in the former sovereigns, was never parted with by them, but was retained in them for the uses of the city and province, and consequently has now passed over to the United States. Until this question can be decided under legislative authority, measures have been taken, according to law, to prevent any change in the state of things, and to keep the grounds clear of intruders. The settlement of this title, the appropriations of

the grounds and improvements formerly occupied for provincial purposes to the same or such other objects as may be better suited to present circumstances; the confirmation of the uses in other parcels to such bodies, corporate or private, as may of right, or other reasonable considerations, expect them, are matters now submitted to the legislature.

The papers and plans now transmitted, will give them such information on the subject as I possess, and being mostly originals, I must request that they may be communicated from the one to the other house to answer the purposes of both.


To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United

States :

I have heretofore communicated to Congress the decrees of the government of France, of November 21st, 1806, and of Spain, February 19th, 1807, with the orders of the British government, of January and November, 1807.

I now transmit a decree of the Emperor of France, of December 17th, 1807, and a similar decree of the 3d January last, by his Catholic Majesty. Although the decree of France has not been received by official communication, yet the different channels of promulgation through which the public are possessed of it, with the formal testimony furnished by the government of Spain, in their decree, leave us without a doubt that such a one has been issued. These decrees and orders, taken together, want little of amounting to a declaration that every neutral vessel found on the high seas, whatsoever be her cargo, and whatsoever foreign port be that of her departure or destination, shall be deemed lawful prize; and they prove, more and more, the expediency of retaining our vessels, our seamen, and property, within our own harbors, until the dangers to which they are exposed can be removed or lessened.

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