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FIFTH ANNUAL MESSAGE.
DECEMBER 3, 1805.
To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States:
At a moment when the nations of Europe are in commotion and arming against each other, and when those with whom we have principal intercourse are engaged in the general contest, and when the countenance of some of them toward our peaceable country threatens that even that may not be unaffected by what is passing on the general theater, a meeting of the representatives of the nation in both Houses of Congress has become more than usually desirable. Coming from every section of our country, they bring with them the sentiments and the information of the whole, and will be enabled to give a direction to the public affairs which the will and the wisdom of the whole will approve and support.
In taking a view of the state of our country we in the first place notice the late affliction of two of our cities under the fatal fever which in latter times has occasionally visited our shores. Providence in His goodness gave it an early termination on this occasion and lessened the number of victims which have usually fallen before it. In the course of the several visitations by this disease it has appeared that it is strictly local, incident to cities and on the tide waters only, incommunicable in the country either by persons under the disease or by goods carried from diseased places; that its access is with the autumn and it disappears with the early frosts. These restrictions within narrow limits of time and space give security even to our maritime cities during three-fourths of the year, and to the country always. Although from these facts it appears unnecessary, yet to satisfy the fears of foreign nations and cautions on their part not to be complained of in a danger whose limits are yet unknown to them I have strictly enjoined on the officers at the head of the customs to certify with exact truth for every vessel sailing for a foreign port the state of health respecting this fever which prevails at the place from which she sails. Under every motive from character and duty to certify the truth, I have no doubt they have faithfully executed this injunction. Much real injury has, however, been sustained from a propensity to identify with this endemic and to call by the same name fevers of very different kinds, which have been known at all times and in all countries, and never have been placed among those deemed contagious. As we advance in our knowledge of this disease, as facts develop the source from which individuals receive it, the State authorities charged with the care of the public health, and Congress with that of the general commerce, will become able to regulate with effect their respective functions in these departments. The burthen of quarantines is felt at home as well as abroad; their efficacy merits examination. Although the health laws of the States should be found to need no present revisal by Congress, yet commerce claims that their attention be ever awake to them.
Since our last meeting the aspect of our foreign relations has considerably changed. Our coasts have been infested and our harbors watched by private armed vessels, some of them without commissions, some with illegal commissions, others with those of legal form, but committing piratical acts beyond the authority of their commissions. They have captured in the very entrance of our harbors, as well as on the high seas, not only the vessels of our friends coming to trade with us, but our own also. They have carried them off under pretense of legal adjudication, but not daring to approach a court of justice, they have plundered and sunk them by the way or in obscure places where no evidence could arise against them, maltreated the crews, and abandoned them in boats in the open sea or on desert shores without food or covering. These enormities appearing to be unreached by any control of their sovereigns, I found it necessary to equip a force to cruise within our own seas, to arrest all vessels of these descriptions found hovering on our coasts within the limits of the Gulf Stream and to bring the offenders in for trial as pirates.
The same system of hovering on our coasts and harbors under color of seeking enemies has been also carried on by public armed ships to the great annoyance and oppression of our commerce. New principles, too, have been interpolated into the law of nations, founded neither in justice nor the usage or acknowledgment of nations. According to these a belligerent takes to itself a commerce with its own enemy which it denies to a neutral on the ground of its aiding that enemy in the war; but reason revolts at such an inconsistency, and the neutral having equal right with the belligerent to decide the question, the interests of our constituents and the duty of maintaining the authority of reason, the only umpire between just nations, impose on us the obligation of providing an effectual and determined opposition to a doctrine so injurious to the rights of peaceable nations. Indeed, the confidence we ought to have in the justice of others still countenances the hope that a sounder view of those rights will of itself induce from every belligerent a more correct observance of them.
With Spain our negotiations for a settlement of differences have not had a satisfactory issue. Spoliations during a former war, for which she had formally acknowledged herself responsible, have been refused to be compensated but on conditions affecting other claims in no wise connected with them. Yet the same practices are renewed in the present war and are already of great amount. On the Mobile, our commerce passing through that river continues to be obstructed by arbitrary duties and vexatious searches. Propositions for adjusting amicably the boundaries of Louisiana have not been acceded to. While, however, the right is unsettled, we have avoided changing the state of things by taking new posts or strengthening ourselves in the disputed territories, in the hope that the other power would not by a contrary conduct oblige us to meet their example and endanger conflicts of authority the issue of which may not be easily controlled. But in this hope we have now reason to lessen our confidence. Inroads have been recently made into the Territories of Orleans and the Mississippi, our citizens have been seized and their property plundered in the very parts of the former which had been actually delivered up by Spain, and this by the regular officers and soldiers of that Government. I have therefore found it necessary at length to give orders to our troops on that frontier to be in readiness to protect our citizens, and to repel by arms any similar aggressions in future. Other details necessary for your full information of the state of things between this country and that shall be the subject of another communication.
In reviewing these injuries from some of the belligerent powers the moderation, the firmness, and the wisdom of the Legislature will all be called into action. We ought still to hope that time and a more correct estimate of interest as well as of character will produce the justice we are bound to expect. But should any nation deceive itself by false calculations, and disappoint that expectation, we must join in the unprofitable contest of tryin" which party can do the other the most harm. Some of these injuries may perhaps admit a peaceable remedy. Where that is competent it is always the most desirable. But some of them are of a nature to be met by force only, and all of them may lead to it. I can not, therefore, but recommend such preparations as circumstances call for. The first object is to place our seaport towns out of the danger of insult. Measures have been already taken for furnishing them with heavy cannon for the service of such land batteries as may make a part of their defense against armed vessels approaching them. In aid of these it is desirable we should have a competent number of gunboats, and the number, to be competent, must be considerable. If immediately begun, they may be in readiness for service at the opening of the next season. Whether it will be necessary to augment our land forces will be decided by occurrences probably in the course of your session. In the meantime you will consider whether it would not be expedient for a state of peace as well as of war so to organize or class the militia as would enable us on any sudden emergency to call for the services of the younger portions, unencumbered with the old and those having families. Upward of 300,000 ablebodied men between the ages of 18 and 26 years, which the last census shews we may now count within our limits, will furnish a competent number for offense or defense in any point where they may be wanted, and will give time for raising regular forces after the necessity of them shall become certain; and the reducing to the early period of life all its active service can not but be desirable to our younger citizens of tile present as well as future times, inasmuch as it engages to them in more advanced age a quiet and undisturbed repose in the bosom of their families. I can not, then, but earnestly recommend to your early consideration the expediency of so modifying our militia system as, by a separation of the more active part from that which is less so, we may draw from it when necessary an efficient corps fit for real and active service, and to be called to it in regular rotation.
Considerable provision has been made under former authorities from Congress of materials for the construction of ships of war of 74 guns. These materials are on hand subject to the further will of the Legislature.
An immediate prohibition of the exportation of arms and ammunition is also submitted to your determination.
Turning from these unpleasant views of violence and wrong, I congratulate you on the liberation of our fellowcitizens who were stranded on the coast of Tripoli and made prisoners of war. In a government bottomed on the will of all the life and liberty of every individual citizen become interesting to all. In the treaty, therefore, which has concluded our warfare with that State an article for the ransom of our citizens has been agreed to. An operation by land by a small band of our countrymen and others, engaged for the occasion in conjunction with the troops of the exBashaw of that country, gallantly conducted by our late consul, Eaton, and their successful enterprise on the city of Derne, contributed doubtless to the impression which produced peace, and the conclusion of this prevented opportunities of which the officers and men of our squadron destined for Tripoli would have availed themselves to emulate the acts of valor exhibited by their brethren in the attack of the last year. Reflecting with high satisfaction on the distinguished bravery displayed whenever occasions permitted in the late Mediterranean service, I think it would be an useful encouragement as well as a just reward to make an opening for some present promotion by enlarging our peace establishment of captains and lieutenants.
With Tunis some misunderstandings have arisen not yet sufficiently explained, but friendly discussions with their ambassador recently arrived and a mutual disposition to do whatever is just and reasonable can not fail of dissipating these, so that we may consider our peace on that coast, generally, to be on as sound a footing as it has been at any preceding time. Still, it will not be expedient to withdraw immediately the whole of our force from that sea.
The law providing for a naval peace establishment fixes the number of frigates which shall be kept in constant service in time of peace, and prescribes that they shall be manned by not more than twothirds of their complement of seamen and ordinary seamen. Whether a frigate may be trusted to twothirds only of her proper complement of men must depend on the nature of the service on which she is ordered; that may sometimes, for her safety as well as to insure her object, require her fullest complement. In adverting to this subject Congress will perhaps consider whether the best limitation on the Executive discretion in this case would not be by the number of seamen which may be employed in the whole service rather than by the number of the vessels. Occasions oftener arise for the employment of small than of large vessels, and it would lessen risk as well as expense to be authorized to employ them of preference. The limitation suggested by the number of seamen would admit a selection of vessels best adapted to the service.
Our Indian neighbors are advancing, many of them with spirit, and others beginning to engage in the pursuits of agriculture and household manufacture. They are becoming sensible that the earth yields subsistence with less labor and more certainty than the forest, and find it their interest from time to time to dispose of parts of their surplus and waste lands for the means of improving those they occupy and of subsisting their families while they are preparing their farms. Since your last session the Northern tribes have sold to us the lands between the Connecticut Reserve and the former Indian boundary and those on the Ohio from the same boundary to the rapids and for a considerable depth inland. The Chickasaws and Cherokees have sold us the country between and adjatent to the two districts of Tennessee, and the Creeks the residue of their lands in the fork of Ocmulgee up to the Ulcofauhatche. The three former purchases are important, inasmuch as they consolidate disjoined parts of our settled country and render their intercourse secure; and the second particularly so, as, with the small point on the river which we expect is by this time ceded by the Piankeshaws, it completes our possession of the whole of both banks of the Ohio from its source to near its mouth, and the navigation of that river is thereby rendered forever safe to our citizens settled and settling on its extensive waters. The purchase from the Creeks, too, has been for some time particularly interesting to the State of Georgia.
The several treaties which have been mentioned will be submitted to both Houses of Congress for the exercise of their respective functions.
Deputations now on their way to the seat of Government from various nations of Indians inhabiting the Missouri and other parts beyond the Mississippi come charged with assurances of their satisfaction with the new relations in which they are placed with us, of their dispositions to cultivate our peace and friendship, and their desire to enter into commercial intercourse with us. A state of our progress in exploring the principal rivers of that country, and of the information respecting them hitherto obtained, will be communicated so soon as we shall receive some further relations which we have reason shortly to expect.
The receipts at the Treasury during the year ending on the 30th day of September last have exceeded the sum of $13,000,000, which, with not quite five millions in the Treasury at the beginning of the year, have enabled us after meeting other demands to pay nearly two millions of the debt contracted under the British treaty and convention, upward of four millions of principal of the public debt, and four millions of interest. These payments, with those which had been made in three years and a half preceding, have extinguished of the funded debt nearly eighteen millions of principal. Congress by their act of November 10, 1803, authorized us to borrow $1,750,000 toward meeting the claims of our citizens assumed by the convention with France. We have not, however, made use of this authority, because the sum of four millions and a half, which remained in the Treasury on the same 30th day of September last, with the receipts which we may calculate on for the ensuing year, besides paying the annual sum of $8,000,000 appropriated to the funded debt and meeting all the current demands which may be expected, will enable us to pay the whole sum of $3,750,000 assumed by the French convention and still leave us a surplus of nearly $1,000,000 at our free disposal. Should you concur in the provisions of arms and armed vessels recommended by the circumstances of the times, this surplus will furnish the means of doing so.
On this first occasion of addressing Congress since, by the choice of my constituents, I have entered on a second term of administration, I embrace the opportunity to give this public assurance that I will exert my best endeavors to administer faithfully the executive department, and will zealously cooperate with you in every measure which may tend to secure the liberty, property, and personal safety of our fellowcitizens, and to consolidate the republican forms and principles of our Government.
In the course of your session you shall receive all the aid which I can give for the dispatch of public business, and all the information necessary for your deliberations, of which the interests of our own country and the confidence reposed in us by others will admit a communication.
Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.
Three-fifths compromise, compromise agreement between delegates from the Northern and the Southern states at the United States Constitutional Convention (1787) that three-fifths of the slave population would be counted for determining direct taxation and representation in the House of Representatives.
Many of the Founding Fathers acknowledged that slavery violated the ideal of liberty that was so central to the American Revolution, but, because they were committed to the sanctity of private property rights, the principles of limited government, and the pursuit of intersectional harmony, they were unable to take bold action against slavery. Moreover, the Southern Founders’ thoroughgoing embrace of slave-based agriculture and their deeply ingrained racial prejudice solidified the barriers against emancipation. That the Continental Congress removed Thomas Jefferson’s statement regarding the injustice of the slave trade (and, by implication, slavery) from the final version of the Declaration of Independence is emblematic of the Founders’ resolve to subordinate the controversial issue of slavery to the larger goal of securing the unity and independence of the United States.
Notwithstanding the initial disagreements over slavery at the Constitutional Convention in 1787, the framers of the Constitution continued to privilege the maintenance of unity of the new United States over the eradication of slavery by resolving to again diffuse sectional tensions over the matter. As they went about creating a new scheme of government, the delegates from the small and large states were divided on the issue of the apportionment of legislative representation. The Virginia, or large state, plan provided for a bicameral legislature with representation of each state based on its population or wealth the New Jersey, or small state, plan proposed equal representation for each state in Congress. Neither the large nor the small states would yield, but the deadlock was resolved by the Connecticut, or Great, Compromise, which resulted in the establishment of a bicameral legislature with proportional representation in the lower house and equal representation of the states in the upper house.
The matter of how to determine population was anything but trivial. Having failed to secure the abolishment of slavery, some delegates from the Northern states sought to make representation dependent on the size of a state’s free population. Southern delegates, on the other hand, threatened to abandon the convention if enslaved individuals were not counted. Eventually, the framers agreed on a compromise that called for representation in the House of Representatives to be apportioned on the basis of a state’s free population plus three-fifths of its enslaved population. This agreement came to be known as the three-fifths compromise:
Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a term of years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three-fifths of all other Persons
It should be noted that neither the word slave nor the word slavery appears in this clause or anywhere in the unamended Constitution.
Granting slaveholding states the right to count three-fifths of their population of enslaved individuals when it came to apportioning representatives to Congress meant that those states would thus be perpetually overrepresented in national politics. However, this same ratio was to be used to determine the federal tax contribution required of each state, thus increasing the direct federal tax burden of slaveholding states. Provision was also added to the Constitution for a law permitting the recapture of fugitive slaves, along with a moratorium until 1808 on any congressional ban against the importation of slaves, though in the meantime individual states remained free to prohibit slave imports if they so wished.
The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica This article was most recently revised and updated by Adam Augustyn, Managing Editor, Reference Content.
Thomas Jefferson's Sixth State of the Union Address
To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America 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 appear 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 dispatches 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 negotiations shall be known, this has been referred by the Spanish commandant to his superior, and in the mean time 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 500 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 defense 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 a military expedition against the territories of Spain, I thought it necessary, by proclamation 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 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 promptly and efficaciously suppressed.
Whether it will be necessary to enlarge our regular forces will depend on the result of our negotiations 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 defense 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 defense, 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 sea port towns and waters in that state of defense 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 fortifications already established and the erection of such other works as may have real effect in obstructing the approach of an enemy to our sea port 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 character 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 everyone the property which that acquires, it would not be supposed that any safe-guards 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 punishment 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 where the enterprise preparing is against the United States? While adverting to this branch of 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 reenforcement into the Mediterranean unless previous information shall show it to be necessary.
We continue to receive proofs of the growing attachment of our Indian neighbors and of their dispositions to place all their interests under the patronage of the United States. These dispositions are inspired by their confidence in our justice and in the sincere concern we feel for their welfare and as long as we discharge these high and honorable functions with the integrity and good faith which alone can entitle us to their continuance we may expect to reap the just reward in their peace and friendship.
The expedition of Messrs. Lewis and Clarke for exploring the river Missouri and the best communication from that to the Pacific Ocean has had all the success which could have been expected. They have traced the Missouri nearly to its source, descended the Columbia to the Pacific Ocean, ascertained with accuracy the geography of that interesting communication across our continent, learnt the character of the country, of its commerce and inhabitants and it is but justice to say that Messrs. Lewis and Clarke and their brave companions have by this arduous service deserved well of their country.
The attempt to explore the Red River, under the direction of Mr. Freeman, though conducted with a zeal and prudence meriting entire approbation, has not been equally successful. After proceeding up it about 600 miles, nearly as far as the French settlements had extended while the country was in their possession, our geographers were obliged to return without completing their work.
Very useful additions have also been made to our knowledge of the Mississippi by Lieutenant Pike, who has ascended it to its source, and whose journal and map, giving the details of his journey, will shortly be ready for communication to both Houses of Congress. Those of Messrs. Lewis, Clarke, and Freeman will require further time to be digested and prepared. These important surveys, in addition to those before possessed, furnish materials for commencing an accurate map of the Mississippi and its western waters. Some principal rivers, however, remain still to be explored, toward which the authorization of Congress by moderate appropriations will be requisite.
I congratulate you, fellow citizens, on the approach of the period at which you may interpose your authority constitutionally to withdraw the citizens of the United States from all further participation in those violations of human rights which have been so long continued on the unoffending inhabitants of Africa, and which the morality, the reputation, and the best of our country have long been eager to proscribe. Although no law you may pass can take prohibitory effect Ôtil the 1st day of the year 1808, yet the intervening period is not too long to prevent by timely notice expeditions which can not be completed before that day.
The receipts at the Treasury during the year ending on the 30th day of September last have amounted to near $15M, which have enabled us, after meeting the current demands, to pay $2.7M of the American claims in part of the price of Louisiana to pay of the funded debt upward of $3M of principal and nearly $4M of interest, and, in addition, to reimburse in the course of the present month near $2M of 5.5% stock. These payments and reimbursements of the funded debt, with those which had been made in the 4 years and a half preceding, will at the close of the present year have extinguished upward of $23M of principal.
The duties composing the Mediterranean fund will cease by law at the end of the present session. Considering, however, that they are levied chiefly on luxuries and that we have an impost on salt, a necessary of life, the free use of which otherwise is so important, I recommend to your consideration the suppression of the duties on salt and the continuation of the Mediterranean fund instead thereof for a short time, after which that also will become unnecessary for any purpose now within contemplation.
When both of these branches of revenue shall in this way be relinquished there will still ere long be an accumulation of moneys in the Treasury beyond the installments of public debt which we are permitted by contract to pay. They can not then, without a modification assented to by the public creditors, be applied to the extinguishment of this debt and the complete liberation of our revenues, the most desirable of all objects. Nor, if our peace continues, will they be wanting for any other existing purpose. The question therefore now comes forward, To what other objects shall these surpluses be appropriated, and the whole surplus of impost, after the entire discharge of the public debt, and during those intervals when the purposes of war shall not call for them? Shall we suppress the impost and give that advantage to foreign over domestic manufactures? On a few articles of more general and necessary use the suppression in due season will doubtless be right, but the great mass of the articles on which impost is paid are foreign luxuries, purchased by those only who are rich enough to afford themselves the use of them.
Their patriotism would certainly prefer its continuance and application to the great purposes of the public education, roads, rivers, canals, and such other objects of public improvement as it may be thought proper to add to the constitutional enumeration of Federal powers. By these operations new channels of communications will be opened between the States, the lines of separation will disappear, their interests will be identified, and their union cemented by new and indissoluble ties. Education is here placed among the articles of public care, not that it would be proposed to take its ordinary branches out of the hands of private enterprise, which manages so much better all the concerns to which it is equal, but a public institution can alone supply those sciences which though rarely called for are yet necessary to complete the circle, all the parts of which contribute to the improvement of the country and some of them to its preservation.
The subject is now proposed for the consideration of Congress, because if approved by the time the State legislatures shall have deliberated on this extension of the Federal trusts, and the laws shall be passed and other arrangements made for their execution, the necessary funds will be on hand and without employment.
I suppose an amendment to the Constitution, by consent of the States, necessary, because the objects now recommended are not among those enumerated in the Constitution, and to which it permits the public moneys to be applied.
The present consideration of a national establishment for education particularly is rendered proper by this circumstance also, that if Congress, approving the proposition, shall yet think it more eligible to found it on a donation of lands, they have it now in their power to endow it with those which will be among the earliest to produce the necessary income. This foundation would have the advantage of being independent of war, which may suspend other improvements by requiring for its own purposes the resources destined for them.
This, fellow citizens, is the state of the public interests at the present moment and according to the information now possessed. But such is the situation of the nations of Europe and such, too, the predicament is which we stand with some of them that we can not rely with certainty on the present aspect of our affairs, that may change from moment to moment during the course of your session or after you shall have separated.
Our duty is, therefore, to act upon things as they are and to make a reasonable provision for whatever they may be. Were armies to be raised whenever a speck of war is visible in our horizon, we never should have been without them. Our resources would have been exhausted on dangers which have never happened, instead of being reserved for what is really to take place. A steady, perhaps a quickened, pace in preparation for the defense of our sea port towns and waters an early settlement of the most exposed and vulnerable parts of our country a militia so organized that its effective portions can e called to any point in the Union, or volunteers instead of them to serve a sufficient time, are means which may always be ready, yet never preying on our resources until actually called into use. They will maintain the public interests while a more permanent force shall be in course of preparation. But much will depend on the promptitude with which these means can be brought into activity. If war be forced upon us, in spite of our long and vain appeals to the justice of nations, rapid and vigorous movements in its outset will go far toward securing us in its course and issue, and toward throwing its burthens on those who render necessary the resort from reason to force.
The result of our negotiations, or such incidents in their course as may enable us to infer their probably issue such further movements also on our western frontiers as may shew whether war is to be pressed there while negotiation is protracted elsewhere, shall be communicated to you from time to time as they become known to me, with whatever other information I possess or may receive, which may aid your deliberations on the great national interests committed to your charge.
Ronald Reagan's Fifth State of the Union Address
I come before you to report on the state of our Union, and I'm pleased to report that after 4 years of united effort, the American people have brought forth a nation renewed, stronger, freer, and more secure than before.
Four years ago we began to change, forever I hope, our assumptions about government and its place in our lives. Out of that change has come great and robust growth—in our confidence, our economy, and our role in the world.
Tonight America is stronger because of the values that we hold dear. We believe faith and freedom must be our guiding stars, for they show us truth, they make us brave, give us hope, and leave us wiser than we were. Our progress began not in Washington, D.C., but in the hearts of our families, communities, workplaces, and voluntary groups which, together, are unleashing the invincible spirit of one great nation under God.
Four years ago we said we would invigorate our economy by giving people greater freedom and incentives to take risks and letting them keep more of what they earned. We did what we promised, and a great industrial giant is reborn.
Tonight we can take pride in 25 straight months of economic growth, the strongest in 34 years a 3-year inflation average of 3.9 percent, the lowest in 17 years and 7.3 million new jobs in 2 years, with more of our citizens working than ever before.
New freedom in our lives has planted the rich seeds for future success: For an America of wisdom that honors the family, knowing that if [as] the family goes, so goes our civilization For an America of vision that sees tomorrow's dreams in the learning and hard work we do today For an America of courage whose service men and women, even as we meet, proudly stand watch on the frontiers of freedom For an America of compassion that opens its heart to those who cry out for help.
We have begun well. But it's only a beginning. We're not here to congratulate ourselves on what we have done but to challenge ourselves to finish what has not yet been done.
We're here to speak for millions in our inner cities who long for real jobs, safe neighborhoods, and schools that truly teach. We're here to speak for the American farmer, the entrepreneur, and every worker in industries fighting to modernize and compete. And, yes, we're here to stand, and proudly so, for all who struggle to break free from totalitarianism, for all who know in their hearts that freedom is the one true path to peace and human happiness.
Proverbs tell us, without a vision the people perish. When asked what great principle holds our Union together, Abraham Lincoln said, "Something in [the] Declaration giving liberty, not alone to the people of this country, but hope to the world for all future time."
We honor the giants of our history not by going back but forward to the dreams their vision foresaw. My fellow citizens, this nation is poised for greatness. The time has come to proceed toward a great new challenge—a second American Revolution of hope and opportunity a revolution carrying us to new heights of progress by pushing back frontiers of knowledge and space a revolution of spirit that taps the soul of America, enabling us to summon greater strength than we've ever known and a revolution that carries beyond our shores the golden promise of human freedom in a world of peace.
Let us begin by challenging our conventional wisdom. There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit, no barriers to our progress except those we ourselves erect. Already, pushing down tax rates has freed our economy to vault forward to record growth.
In Europe, they're calling it "the American Miracle." Day by day, we're shattering accepted notions of what is possible. When I was growing up, we failed to see how a new thing called radio would transform our marketplace. Well, today, many have not yet seen how advances in technology are transforming our lives.
In the late 1950's workers at the AT&T semiconductor plant in Pennsylvania produced five transistors a day for $7.50 apiece. They now produce over a million for less than a penny apiece.
New laser techniques could revolutionize heart bypass surgery, cut diagnosis time for viruses linked to cancer from weeks to minutes, reduce hospital costs dramatically, and hold out new promise for saving human lives.
Our automobile industry has overhauled assembly lines, increased worker productivity, and is competitive once again.
We stand on the threshold of a great ability to produce more, do more, be more. Our economy is not getting older and weaker it's getting younger and stronger. It doesn't need rest and supervision it needs new challenge, greater freedom. And that word "freedom" is the key to the second American Revolution that we need to bring about.
Let us move together with an historic reform of tax simplification for fairness and growth. Last year I asked Treasury Secretary—then— Regan to develop a plan to simplify the tax code, so all taxpayers would be treated more fairly and personal tax rates could come further down.
We have cut tax rates by almost 25 percent, yet the tax system remains unfair and limits our potential for growth. Exclusions and exemptions cause similar incomes to be taxed at different levels. Low-income families face steep tax barriers that make hard lives even harder. The Treasury Department has produced an excellent reform plan, whose principles will guide the final proposal that we will ask you to enact.
One thing that tax reform will not be is a tax increase in disguise. We will not jeopardize the mortgage interest deduction that families need. We will reduce personal tax rates as low as possible by removing many tax preferences. We will propose a top rate of no more than 35 percent, and possibly lower. And we will propose reducing corporate rates, while maintaining incentives for capital formation.
To encourage opportunity and jobs rather than dependency and welfare, we will propose that individuals living at or near the poverty line be totally exempt from Federal income tax. To restore fairness to families, we will propose increasing significantly the personal exemption.
And tonight, I am instructing Treasury Secretary James Baker— I have to get used to saying that—to begin working with congressional authors and committees for bipartisan legislation conforming to these principles. We will call upon the American people for support and upon every man and woman in this Chamber. Together, we can pass, this year, a tax bill for fairness, simplicity, and growth, making this economy the engine of our dreams and America the investment capital of the world. So let us begin.
Tax simplification will be a giant step toward unleashing the tremendous pent-up power of our economy. But a second American Revolution must carry the promise of opportunity for all. It is time to liberate the spirit of enterprise in the most distressed areas of our country.
This government will meet its responsibility to help those in need. But policies that increase dependency, break up families, and destroy self-respect are not progressive they're reactionary. Despite our strides in civil rights, blacks, Hispanics, and all minorities will not have full and equal power until they have full economic power.
We have repeatedly sought passage of enterprise zones to help those in the abandoned corners of our land find jobs, learn skills, and build better lives. This legislation is supported by a majority of you.
Mr. Speaker, I know we agree that there must be no forgotten Americans. Let us place new dreams in a million hearts and create a new generation of entrepreneurs by passing enterprise zones this year. And, Tip, you could make that a birthday present.
Nor must we lose the chance to pass our youth employment opportunity wage proposal. We can help teenagers, who have the highest unemployment rate, find summer jobs, so they can know the pride of work and have confidence in their futures.
We'll continue to support the Job Training Partnership Act, which has a nearly two-thirds job placement rate. Credits in education and health care vouchers will help working families shop for services that they need.
Our administration is already encouraging certain low-income public housing residents to own and manage their own dwellings. It's time that all public housing residents have that opportunity of ownership.
The Federal Government can help create a new atmosphere of freedom. But States and localities, many of which enjoy surpluses from the recovery, must not permit their tax and regulatory policies to stand as barriers to growth.
Let us resolve that we will stop spreading dependency and start spreading opportunity that we will stop spreading bondage and start spreading freedom.
There are some who say that growth initiatives must await final action on deficit reductions. Well, the best way to reduce deficits is through economic growth. More businesses will be started, more investments made, more jobs created, and more people will be on payrolls paying taxes. The best way to reduce government spending is to reduce the need for spending by increasing prosperity. Each added percentage point per year of real GNP growth will lead to cumulative reduction in deficits of nearly $200 billion over 5 years.
To move steadily toward a balanced budget, we must also lighten government's claim on our total economy. We will not do this by raising taxes. We must make sure that our economy grows faster than the growth in spending by the Federal Government. In our fiscal year 1986 budget, overall government program spending will be frozen at the current level. It must not be one dime higher than fiscal year 1985, and three points are key.
First, the social safety net for the elderly, the needy, the disabled, and unemployed will be left intact. Growth of our major health care programs, Medicare and Medicaid, will be slowed, but protections for the elderly and needy will be preserved.
Second, we must not relax our efforts to restore military strength just as we near our goal of a fully equipped, trained, and ready professional corps. National security is government's first responsibility so in past years defense spending took about half the Federal budget. Today it takes less than a third. We've already reduced our planned defense expenditures by nearly a hundred billion dollars over the past 4 years and reduced projected spending again this year.
You know, we only have a military-industrial complex until a time of danger, and then it becomes the arsenal of democracy. Spending for defense is investing in things that are priceless—peace and freedom.
Third, we must reduce or eliminate costly government subsidies. For example, deregulation of the airline industry has led to cheaper airfares, but on Amtrak taxpayers pay about $35 per passenger every time an Amtrak train leaves the station. It's time we ended this huge Federal subsidy.
Our farm program costs have quadrupled in recent years. Yet I know from visiting farmers, many in great financial distress, that we need an orderly transition to a market-oriented farm economy. We can help farmers best not by expanding Federal payments but by making fundamental reforms, keeping interest rates heading down, and knocking down foreign trade barriers to American farm exports.
We're moving ahead with Grace commission reforms to eliminate and improve government's management practices. In the long run, we must protect the taxpayers from government. And I ask again that you pass, as 32 States have now called for, an amendment mandating the Federal Government spend no more than it takes in. And I ask for the authority, used responsibly by 43 Governors, to veto individual items in appropriation bills. Senator Mattingly has introduced a bill permitting a 2-year trial run of the line-item veto. I hope you'll pass and send that legislation to my desk.
Nearly 50 years of government living beyond its means has brought us to a time of reckoning. Ours is but a moment in history. But one moment of courage, idealism, and bipartisan unity can change American history forever.
Sound monetary policy is key to long-running economic strength and stability. We will continue to cooperate with the Federal Reserve Board, seeking a steady policy that ensures price stability without keeping interest rates artificially high or needlessly holding down growth.
Reducing unneeded redtape and regulations, and deregulating the energy, transportation, and financial industries have unleashed new competition, giving consumers more choices, better services, and lower prices. In just one set of grant programs we have reduced 905 pages of regulations to 31. We seek to fully deregulate natural gas to bring on new supplies and bring us closer to energy independence. Consistent with safety standards, we will continue removing restraints on the bus and railroad industries, we will soon end up legislation—or send up legislation, I should say—to return Conrail to the private sector where it belongs, and we will support further deregulation of the trucking industry.
Every dollar the Federal Government does not take from us, every decision it does not make for us will make our economy stronger, our lives more abundant, our future more free.
Our second American Revolution will push on to new possibilities not only on Earth but in the next frontier of space. Despite budget restraints, we will seek record funding for research and development.
We've seen the success of the space shuttle. Now we're going to develop a permanently manned space station and new opportunities for free enterprise, because in the next decade Americans and our friends around the world will be living and working together in space.
In the zero gravity of space, we could manufacture in 30 days lifesaving medicines it would take 30 years to make on Earth. We can make crystals of exceptional purity to produce super computers, creating jobs, technologies, and medical breakthroughs beyond anything we ever dreamed possible.
As we do all this, we'll continue to protect our natural resources. We will seek reauthorization and expanded funding for the Superfund program to continue cleaning up hazardous waste sites which threaten human health and the environment.
Now, there's another great heritage to speak of this evening. Of all the changes that have swept America the past 4 years, none brings greater promise than our rediscovery of the values of faith, freedom, family, work, and neighborhood.
We see signs of renewal in increased attendance in places of worship renewed optimism and faith in our future love of country rediscovered by our young, who are leading the way. We've rediscovered that work is good in and of itself, that it ennobles us to create and contribute no matter how seemingly humble our jobs. We've seen a powerful new current from an old and honorable tradition—American generosity.
From thousands answering Peace Corps appeals to help boost food production in Africa, to millions volunteering time, corporations adopting schools, and communities pulling together to help the neediest among us at home, we have refound our values. Private sector initiatives are crucial to our future.
I thank the Congress for passing equal access legislation giving religious groups the same right to use classrooms after school that other groups enjoy. But no citizen need tremble, nor the world shudder, if a child stands in a classroom and breathes a prayer. We ask you again, give children back a right they had for a century and a half or more in this country.
The question of abortion grips our nation. Abortion is either the taking of a human life or it isn't. And if it is—and medical technology is increasingly showing it is—it must be stopped. It is a terrible irony that while some turn to abortion, so many others who cannot become parents cry out for children to adopt. We have room for these children. We can fill the cradles of those who want a child to love. And tonight I ask you in the Congress to move this year on legislation to protect the unborn.
In the area of education, we're returning to excellence, and again, the heroes are our people, not government. We're stressing basics of discipline, rigorous testing, and homework, while helping children become computer-smart as well. For 20 years Scholastic Aptitude Test scores of our high school students went down, but now they have gone up 2 of the last 3 years. We must go forward in our commitment to the new basics, giving parents greater authority and making sure good teachers are rewarded for hard work and achievement through merit pay.
Of all the changes in the past 20 years, none has more threatened our sense of national well-being than the explosion of violent crime. One does not have to be attacked to be a victim. The woman who must run to her car after shopping at night is a victim. The couple draping their door with locks and chains are victims as is the tired, decent cleaning woman who can't ride a subway home without being afraid.
We do not seek to violate the rights of defendants. But shouldn't we feel more compassion for the victims of crime than for those who commit crime? For the first time in 20 years, the crime index has fallen 2 years in a row. We've convicted over 7,400 drug offenders and put them, as well as leaders of organized crime, behind bars in record numbers.
But we must do more. I urge the House to follow the Senate and enact proposals permitting use of all reliable evidence that police officers acquire in good faith. These proposals would also reform the habeus corpus laws and allow, in keeping with the will of the overwhelming majority of Americans, the use of the death penalty where necessary.
There can be no economic revival in ghettos when the most violent among us are allowed to roam free. It's time we restored domestic tranquility. And we mean to do just that.
Just as we're positioned as never before to secure justice in our economy, we're poised as never before to create a safer, freer, more peaceful world. Our alliances are stronger than ever. Our economy is stronger than ever. We have resumed our historic role as a leader of the free world. And all of these together are a great force for peace.
Since 1981 we've been committed to seeking fair and verifiable arms agreements that would lower the risk of war and reduce the size of nuclear arsenals. Now our determination to maintain a strong defense has influenced the Soviet Union to return to the bargaining table. Our negotiators must be able to go to that table with the united support of the American people. All of us have no greater dream than to see the day when nuclear weapons are banned from this Earth forever.
Each Member of the Congress has a role to play in modernizing our defenses, thus supporting our chances for a meaningful arms agreement. Your vote this spring on the Peacekeeper missile will be a critical test of our resolve to maintain the strength we need and move toward mutual and verifiable arms reductions.
For the past 20 years we've believed that no war will be launched as long as each side knows it can retaliate with a deadly counterstrike. Well, I believe there's a better way of eliminating the threat of nuclear war. It is a Strategic Defense Initiative aimed ultimately at finding a nonnuclear defense against ballistic missiles. It's the most hopeful possibility of the nuclear age. But it's not very well understood.
Some say it will bring war to the heavens, but its purpose is to deter war in the heavens and on Earth. Now, some say the research would be expensive. Perhaps, but it could save millions of lives, indeed humanity itself. And some say if we build such a system, the Soviets will build a defense system of their own. Well, they already have strategic defenses that surpass ours a civil defense system, where we have almost none and a research program covering roughly the same areas of technology that we're now exploring. And finally some say the research will take a long time. Well, the answer to that is: "Let's get started."
Harry Truman once said that, ultimately, our security and the world's hopes for peace and human progress "lie not in measures of defense or in the control of weapons, but in the growth and expansion of freedom and self-government."
And tonight, we declare anew to our fellow citizens of the world: Freedom is not the sole prerogative of a chosen few it is the universal right of all God's children. Look to where peace and prosperity flourish today. It is in homes that freedom built. Victories against poverty are greatest and peace most secure where people live by laws that ensure free press, free speech, and freedom to worship, vote, and create wealth.
Our mission is to nourish and defend freedom and democracy, and to communicate these ideals everywhere we can. America's economic success is freedom's success it can be repeated a hundred times in a hundred different nations. Many countries in east Asia and the Pacific have few resources other than the enterprise of their own people. But through low tax rates and free markets they've soared ahead of centralized economies. And now China is opening up its economy to meet its needs.
We need a stronger and simpler approach to the process of making and implementing trade policy, and we'll be studying potential changes in that process in the next few weeks. We've seen the benefits of free trade and lived through the disasters of protectionism. Tonight I ask all our trading partners, developed and developing alike, to join us in a new round of trade negotiations to expand trade and competition and strengthen the global economy—and to begin it in this next year.
There are more than 3 billion human beings living in Third World countries with an average per capita income of $650 a year. Many are victims of dictatorships that impoverished them with taxation and corruption. Let us ask our allies to join us in a practical program of trade and assistance that fosters economic development through personal incentives to help these people climb from poverty on their own.
We cannot play innocents abroad in a world that's not innocent nor can we be passive when freedom is under seige. Without resources, diplomacy cannot succeed. Our security assistance programs help friendly governments defend themselves and give them confidence to work for peace. And I hope that you in the Congress will understand that, dollar for dollar, security assistance contributes as much to global security as our own defense budget.
We must stand by all our democratic allies. And we must not break faith with those who are risking their lives—on every continent, from Afghanistan to Nicaragua—to defy Soviet-supported aggression and secure rights which have been ours from birth.
The Sandinista dictatorship of Nicaragua, with full Cuban-Soviet bloc support, not only persecutes its people, the church, and denies a free press, but arms and provides bases for Communist terrorists attacking neighboring states. Support for freedom fighters is self-defense and totally consistent with the OAS and U.N. Charters. It is essential that the Congress continue all facets of our assistance to Central America. I want to work with you to support the democratic forces whose struggle is tied to our own security.
And tonight, I've spoken of great plans and great dreams. They're dreams we can make come true. Two hundred years of American history should have taught us that nothing is impossible.
Ten years ago a young girl left Vietnam with her family, part of the exodus that followed the fall of Saigon. They came to the United States with no possessions and not knowing a word of English. Ten years ago—the young girl studied hard, learned English, and finished high school in the top of her class. And this May, May 22d to be exact, is a big date on her calendar. Just 10 years from the time she left Vietnam, she will graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point. I thought you might like to meet an American hero named Jean Nguyen.
Now, there's someone else here tonight, born 79 years ago. She lives in the inner city, where she cares for infants born of mothers who are heroin addicts. The children, born in withdrawal, are sometimes even dropped on her doorstep. She helps them with love. Go to her house some night, and maybe you'll see her silhouette against the window as she walks the floor talking softly, soothing a child in her arms—Mother Hale of Harlem, and she, too, is an American hero.
Jean, Mother Hale, your lives tell us that the oldest American saying is new again: Anything is possible in America if we have the faith, the will, and the heart. History is asking us once again to be a force for good in the world. Let us begin in unity, with justice, and love.
History of Fort Henry
Fort Henry was named for Confederate Senator Gustavus Henry and built in 1861 during the Civil War. Located on the Tennessee River, it was a critical point of defense for the Confederacy, protecting Nashville, Tennessee and the railroad route between Bowling Green, Kentucky and Memphis.
Confederate Fort Henry on the Tennessee River. The entire site was to include the fort on the low ground near the edge of the river with an entrenched camp (Fort Heiman) on a high plateau immediately above it. The work was not completed and on the day of the Union attack the river had partially flooded the fort site.
Obama delivers fifth State of the Union address
In his fifth State of the Union address, Obama emphasized healthcare, economic fairness and new initiatives designed to stimulate the U.S. economy with bipartisan cooperation.
President Barack Obama signs his speech for members of Congress as he departs after delivering his State of the Union address on Capitol Hill.
President Barack Obama receives a standing ovation before delivering his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on Jan. 28, 2014 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Speaker of the House John Boehner gives President Barack Obama a thumbs up after the president noted "how the son of a barkeep is the Speaker of the House" in an effort to highlight the opportunities available to Americans during the State of the Union address.
Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., center, and Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Ala., cheer during President Barack Obama's State of the Union address.
President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address.
From left, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Secretary of State John Kerry applaud as President Barack Obama delivers the State of Union address.
President Barack Obama greets Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before giving his State of the Union address.
President Barack Obama arrives to deliver his State of the Union address.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, center, and Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, arrive for President Barack Obama's State of the Union address on Capitol Hill.
Vice President Joe Biden, left, and Speaker of the House U.S. Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) stand together before Barack Obama delivers the State of the Union address.
U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), left, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), U.S. Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY) , and U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) wait for U.S. President Barack Obama to deliver the State of the Union address.
Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman, right, who had both of his legs amputated after being injured in the blasts, stands with his rescuer Carlos Arredondo, left, before the start of the State of the Union speech.
First lady Michelle Obama, right, stands with U.S. Army Ranger Sergeant First Class Cory Remsburg before the State of the Union address.
President Barack Obama's motorcade makes its way to the United States Capitol for him to deliver his State of the Union address.
Willie Robertson, center, of the television show Duck Dynasty poses for a picture with U.S. Republican Representative from Wisconsin Paul Ryan, right, and Robertson's wife, Korie, before the State of the Union address.
Television reporters and crews prepare in Statuary Hall before Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address.
Confederate capital of Richmond is captured
The Rebel capital of Richmond, Virginia, falls to the Union, the most significant sign that the Confederacy is nearing its final days.
For ten months, General Ulysses S. Grant had tried unsuccessfully to infiltrate the city. After Lee made a desperate attack against Fort Stedman along the Union line on March 25, Grant prepared for a major offensive. He struck at Five Forks on April 1, crushing the end of Lee’s line southwest of Petersburg. On April 2, the Yankees struck all along the Petersburg line, and the Confederates collapsed.
On the evening of April 2, the Confederate government fled the city with the army right behind. Now, on the morning of April 3, blue-coated troops entered the capital. Richmond was the holy grail of the Union war effort, the object of four years of campaigning. Tens of thousands of Yankee lives were lost trying to get it, and nearly as many Confederate lives lost trying to defend it.
Now, the Yankees came to take possession of their prize. One resident, Mary Fontaine, wrote, “I saw them unfurl a tiny flag, and I sank on my knees, and the bitter, bitter tears came in a torrent.” Another observer wrote that as the Federals rode in, the city’s black residents were 𠇌ompletely crazed, they danced and shouted, men hugged each other, and women kissed.” Among the first forces into the capital were black troopers from the 5th Massachusetts Cavalry, and the next day President Abraham Lincoln visited the city. For the residents of Richmond, these were symbols of a world turned upside down. It was, one reporter noted, “…too awful to remember, if it were possible to be erased, but that cannot be.”
SOTU Crib Sheet for August 5th
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina took on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid saying, “I think he's making things up, and at a time when the country is just about to fall apart.” He also urged the president and congress to “find a way to avoid sequestration,” calling it “the dumbest thing.”
Obama campaign senior adviser Robert Gibbs said that Mitt Romney could easily clear up the whole issue. “Mitt Romney can go to Kinko's he can photocopy his tax returns. . He could hand them out to reporters all over the country. And, you know what, we wouldn't talk about this tomorrow. . I’ll send him the nickels.”
BET Founder Bob Johnson and former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina discussed the mixed news out of the July jobs report and the candidates’ plans for the economy. Ten months after saying that Obama needs to “recalibrate his message” on business, Johnson said that he thinks that “the business community is prepared to give the president a second chance at re-election.” Fiorina says the president has yet to focus on the right issues for the business community and the economy is “bumping along at a very bad place.”
Plus, CNN’s chief political analyst Gloria Borger’s exclusive interview with Mitt Romney, where he continues to tout his economic plan “I can absolutely make the case that now is the time for something dramatic and it is not the time to grow government. It's the time to create the incentives and the opportunities for entrepreneurs and businesses big and small to hire more people and that's going to happen. You're going to see that happen in this country, but not under this president.”
STATE OF THE UNION HIGHLIGHTS
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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid:
“What he did on the floor of the Senate is so out of bounds. I think he's lying about his statement, of knowing something about Romney. … I think he has created an issue here. I think he's making things up. And at a time when the country is just about to fall apart.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on taxes:
“Bowles-Simpson says let's flatten the tax code, let's eliminate all deductions but two, take the money to pay down rates, and to pay off debt. . I’m not going to do a short-term thing that's stupid. It would be stupid in an economy this weak to raise tax rates on a million small businesses at a time they can't hire people now. If you're looking for a job, this election is not about Romney's tax returns. It's about your tax returns.”
Robert Gibbs, Obama Campaign Senior Adviser, on Mitt Romney’s taxes:
“We could put all this stuff to rest tomorrow. Mitt Romney can go to Kinko's he can photocopy his tax returns. There are several hundred pages. He could hand them out to people like CNN he could hand them out to reporters all over the country. And, you know what, we wouldn't talk about this tomorrow. We wouldn't say is he paying taxes what's he paying. The whole world would know exactly what loopholes he's taking advantage of.”
Robert Gibbs, Obama Campaign Senior Adviser, on the economy:
“Are we where we need to be? Absolutely not. Nobody believes that. We have worked hard to move this economy forward and we can't go backwards and try the ideas that Mitt Romney wants, which is more tax cuts for rich people and let Wall Street write its own rules.”
States by Order of Entry Into the Union
The original 13 colonieswere a group of British territoriesin North America. They were founded in the 17th and 18th centuries and became The Thirteen Coloniesin 1776, when they declared independence. The colonies became states of the new nation in 1788, when New Hampshire became the ninth and final necessary state to ratifytheUnited States Constitution. The dateeach state joined the Union is shown in the table below.Five states were added during the 20th century. Alaska and Hawaii were the last states to join the Union -- both in 1959.
Joining the Union
Article 4, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution lays out how a new state can join the Union:
New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union but no new States shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.
Jefferson 5th State of the Union - History
State of the Union Address James Monroe December 3, 1821
Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and House of Representatives:
The progress of our affairs since the last session has been such as may justly be claimed and expected under a Government deriving all its powers from an enlightened people, and under laws formed by their representatives, on great consideration, for the sole purpose of promoting the welfare and happiness of their constituents. In the execution of those laws and of the powers vested by the Constitution in the Executive, unremitted attention has been paid to the great objects to which they extend.
In the concerns which are exclusively internal there is good cause to be satisfied with the result. The laws have had their due operation and effect.
In those relating to foreign powers, I am happy to state that peace and amity are preserved with all by a strict observance on both sides of the rights of each.
In matters touching our commercial intercourse, where a difference of opinion has existed as to the conditions on which it should be placed, each party has pursued its own policy without giving just cause of offense to the other.
In this annual communication, especially when it is addressed to a new Congress, the whole scope of our political concerns naturally comes into view, that errors, if such have been committed, may be corrected that defects which have become manifest may be remedied and, on the other hand, that measures which were adopted on due deliberation, and which experience has shewn are just in themselves and essential to the public welfare, should be persevered in and supported. In performing this necessary and very important duty I shall endeavor to place before you on its merits every subject that is thought to be entitled to your particular attention in as distinct and clear a light as I may be able.
By an act of March 3rd, 1815, so much of the several acts as imposed higher duties on the tonnage of foreign vessels and on the manufactures and productions of foreign nations when imported into the United States in foreign vessels than when imported in vessels of the United States were repealed so far as respected the manufactures and productions of the nation to which such vessels belonged, on the condition that the repeal should take effect only in favor of any foreign nation when the Executive should be satisfied that such discriminating duties to the disadvantage of the United States had likewise been repealed by such nation.
By this act a proposition was made to all nations to place our commerce with each on a basis which it was presumed would be acceptable to all. Every nation was allowed to bring its manufactures and productions into our ports and to take the manufactures and productions of the United States back to their ports in their own vessels on the same conditions that they might be transported in vessels of the United States, and in return it was required that a like accommodation should be granted to the vessels of the United States in the ports of other powers. The articles to be admitted or prohibited on either side formed no part of the proposed arrangement. Each party would retain the right to admit or prohibit such articles from the other as it thought proper, and on its own conditions.
When the nature of the commerce between the United States and every other country was taken into view, it was thought that this proposition would be considered fair, and even liberal, by every power. The exports of the United States consist generally of articles of the first necessity and of rude materials in demand for foreign manufactories, of great bulk, requiring for their transportation many vessels, the return for which in the manufactures and productions of any foreign country, even when disposed of there to advantage, may be brought in a single vessel. This observation is the more especially applicable to those countries from which manufactures alone are imported, but it applies in great extent to the European dominions of every European power and in a certain extent to all the colonies of those powers. By placing, then, the navigation precisely on the same ground in the transportation of exports and imports between the United States and other countries it was presumed that all was offered which could be desired. It seemed to be the only proposition which could be devised which would retain even the semblance of equality in our favor.
Many considerations of great weight gave us a right to expect that this commerce should be extended to the colonies as well as to the European dominions of other powers. With the latter, especially with countries exclusively manufacturing, the advantage was manifestly on their side. An indemnity for that loss was expected from a trade with the colonies, and with the greater reason as it was known that the supplies which the colonies derived from us were of the highest importance to them, their labor being bestowed with so much greater profit in the culture of other articles and because, likewise, the articles of which those supplies consisted, forming so large a proportion of the exports of the United States, were never admitted into any of the ports of Europe except in cases of great emergency to avert a serious calamity.
When no article is admitted which is not required to supply the wants of the party admitting it, and admitted then not in favor of any particular country to the disadvantage of others, but on conditions equally applicable to all, it seems just that the articles thus admitted and invited should be carried thither in the vessels of the country affording such supply and that the reciprocity should be found in a corresponding accommodation on the other side. By allowing each party to participate in the transportation of such supplies on the payment of equal tonnage a strong proof was afforded of an accommodating spirit. To abandon to it the transportation of the whole would be a sacrifice which ought not to be expected. The demand in the present instance would be the more unreasonable in consideration of the great inequality existing in the trade with the parent country.
Such was the basis of our system as established by the act of 1815 and such its true character. In the year in which this act was passed a treaty was concluded with Great Britain, in strict conformity with its principles, in regard to her European dominions. To her colonies, however, in the West Indies and on this continent it was not extended, the British Government claiming the exclusive supply of those colonies, and from our own ports, and of the productions of the colonies in return in her own vessels. To this claim the United States could not assent, and in consequence each party suspended the intercourse in the vessels of the other by a prohibition which still exists.
The same conditions were offered to France, but not accepted. Her Government has demanded other conditions more favorable to her navigation, and which should also give extraordinary encouragement to her manufactures and productions in ports of the United States. To these it was thought improper to accede, and in consequence the restrictive regulations which had been adopted on her part, being countervailed on the part of the United States, the direct commerce between the two countries in the vessels of each party has been in great measure suspended. It is much to be regretted that, although a negotiation has been long pending, such is the diversity of views entertained on the various points which have been brought into discussion that there does not appear to be any reasonable prospect of its early conclusion.
It is my duty to state, as a cause of very great regret, that very serious differences have occurred in this negotiation respecting the construction of the 8th article of the treaty of 1803, by which Louisiana was ceded to the United States, and likewise respecting the seizure of the Apollo, in 1820, for a violation of our revenue laws. The claim of the Government of France has excited not less surprise than concern, because there does not appear to be a just foundation for it in either instance. By the 8th article of the treaty referred to it is stipulated that after the expiration of twelve years, during which time it was provided by the 7th or preceding article that the vessels of France and Spain should be admitted into the ports of the ceded territory without paying higher duties on merchandise or tonnage on the vessels than such as were paid by citizens of the United States, the ships of France should forever afterwards be placed on the footing of the most favored nation.
By the obvious construction of this article it is presumed that it was intended that no favor should be granted to any power in those ports to which France should not be forthwith entitled, nor should any accommodation be allowed to another power on conditions to which she would not also be entitled on the same conditions. Under this construction no favor or accommodation could be granted to any power to the prejudice of France. By allowing the equivalent allowed by those powers she would always stand in those ports on the footing of the most favored nation.
But if this article should be so construed as that France should enjoy, of right, and without paying the equivalent, all the advantages of such conditions as might be allowed to other powers in return for important concessions made by them, then the whole character of the stipulations would be changed. She would not be placed on the footing of the most favored nation, but on a footing held by no other nation. She would enjoy all advantages allowed to them in consideration of like advantages allowed to us, free from every and any condition whatever.
As little cause has the Government of France to complain of the seizure of the Apollo and the removal of other vessels from the waters of the St. Marys. It will not be denied that every nation has a right to regulate its commercial system as it thinks fit and to enforce the collection of its revenue, provided it be done without an invasion of the rights of other powers. The violation of its revenue laws is an offense which all nations punish, the punishment of which gives no just cause of complaint to the power to which the offenders belong, provided it be extended to all equally.
In this case every circumstance which occurred indicated a fixed purpose to violate our revenue laws. Had the party intended to have pursued a fair trade he would have entered the port of some other power, landed his goods at the custom house according to law, and re-shipped and sent them in the vessel of such power, or of some other power which might lawfully bring them, free from such duties, to a port of the United States. But the conduct of the party in this case was altogether different. He entered the river St. Marys, the boundary line between the United States and Florida, and took his position on the Spanish side, on which in the whole extent of the river there was no town, no port or custom house, and scarcely any settlement. His purpose, therefore, was not to sell his goods to the inhabitants of Florida, but to citizens of the United States, in exchange for their productions, which could not be done without a direct and palpable breach of our laws. It is known that a regular systematic plan had been formed by certain persons for the violation of our revenue system, which made it the more necessary to check the proceeding in its commencement.
That the unsettled bank of a river so remote from the Spanish garrisons and population could give no protection to any party in such a practice is believed to be in strict accord with the law of nations. It would not have comported with a friendly policy in Spain herself to have established a custom house there, since it could have subserved no other purpose than to elude our revenue law. But the Government of Spain did not adopt that measure. On the contrary, it is understood that the Captain-General of Cuba, to whom an application to that effect was made by these adventurers, had not acceded to it.
The condition of those Provinces for many years before they were ceded to the United States need not now be dwelt on. Inhabited by different tribes of Indians and an inroad for every kind of adventurer, the jurisdiction of Spain may be said to have been almost exclusively confined to her garrisons. It certainly could not extend to places where she had no authority. The rules, therefore, applicable to settled countries governed by laws could not be deemed so to the deserts of Florida and to the occurrences there.
It merits attention also that the territory had been ceded to the United States by a treaty the ratification of which had not been refused, and which has since been performed. Under any circumstances, therefore, Spain became less responsible for such acts committed there, and the United States more at liberty to exercise authority to prevent so great a mischief. The conduct of this Government has in every instance been conciliatory and friendly to France. The construction of our revenue law in its application to the cases which have formed the ground of such serious complaint on her part and the order to the collector of St. Marys, in accord with it, were given two years before these cases occurred, and in reference to a breach which was attempted by the subjects of another power. The application, therefore, to the cases in question was inevitable. As soon as the treaty by which these Provinces were ceded to the United States was ratified, and all danger of further breach of our revenue laws ceased, an order was given for the release of the vessel which had been seized and for the dismission of the libel which had been instituted against her.
The principles of this system of reciprocity, founded on the law of March 3rd, 1815, have been since carried into effect with the Kingdoms of the Netherlands, Sweden, Prussia, and with Hamburg, Lubeck, and Oldenburg, with a provision made by subsequent laws in regard to the Netherlands, Prussia, Hamburg, and Bremen that such produce and manufactures as could only be, or most usually were, first shipped from the ports of those countries, the same being imported in vessels wholly belonging to their subjects, should be considered and admitted as their own manufactures and productions.
The Government of Norway has by an ordinance opened the ports of that part of the dominions of the King of Sweden to the vessels of the United States upon the payment of no other or higher duties than are paid by Norwegian vessels, from whatever place arriving and with whatever articles laden. They have requested the reciprocal allowance for the vessels of Norway in the ports of the United States. As this privilege is not within the scope of the act of March 3rd, 1815, and can only be granted by Congress, and as it may involve the commercial relations of the United States with other nations, the subject is submitted to the wisdom of Congress.
I have presented thus fully to your view our commercial relations with other powers, that, seeing them in detail with each power, and knowing the basis on which they rest, Congress may in its wisdom decide whether any change ought to be made, and, if any, in what respect. If this basis is unjust or unreasonable, surely it ought to be abandoned but if it be just and reasonable, and any change in it will make concessions subversive of equality and tending in its consequences to sap the foundations of our prosperity, then the reasons are equally strong for adhering to the ground already taken, and supporting it by such further regulations as may appear to be proper, should any additional support be found necessary.
The question concerning the construction of the first article of the treaty of Ghent has been, by a joint act of the representatives of the United States and of Great Britain at the Court of St. Petersburg, submitted to the decision of His Imperial Majesty the Emperor of Russia. The result of that submission has not yet been received. The commissioners under the 5th article of that treaty not having been able to agree upon their decision, their reports to the two Governments, according to the provisions of the treaty, may be expected at an early day.
With Spain the treaty of February 22nd, 1819, has been partly carried into execution. Possession of East and West Florida has been given to the United States, but the officers charged with that service by an order from His Catholic Majesty, delivered by his minister to the Secretary of State, and transmitted by a special agent to the Captain-General of Cuba, to whom it was directed and in whom the Government of those Provinces was vested, have not only omitted, in contravention of the order of their Sovereign, the performance of the express stipulation to deliver over the archives and documents relating to the property and sovereignty of those Provinces, all of which it was expected would have been delivered either before or when the troops were withdrawn, but defeated since every effort of the United States to obtain them, especially those of the greatest importance. This omission has given rise to several incidents of a painful nature, the character of which will be fully disclosed by the documents which will be hereafter communicated.
In every other circumstance of the law of the 3rd of March last, for carrying into effect that treaty, has been duly attended to. For the execution of that part which preserved in force, for the Government of the inhabitants for the term specified, all the civil, military, and judicial powers exercised by the existing Government of those Provinces an adequate number of officers, as was presumed, were appointed, and ordered to their respective stations. Both Provinces were formed into one Territory, and a governor appointed for it but in consideration of the pre-existing division and of the distance and difficulty of communication between Pensacola, the residence of the governor of West Florida, and St. Augustine, that of the governor of East Florida, at which places the inconsiderable population of each Province was principally collected, two secretaries were appointed, the one to reside at Pensacola and the other at St. Augustine.
Due attention was likewise paid to the execution of the laws of the United States relating to the revenue and the slave trade, which were extended to these Provinces. The whole Territory was divided into three collection districts, that part lying between the river St. Marys and Cape Florida forming one, that from the Cape to the Apalachicola another, and that from the Apalachicola to the Perdido the third. To these districts the usual number of revenue officers were appointed and to secure the due operation of these laws one judge and a district attorney were appointed to reside at Pensacola, and likewise one judge and a district attorney to reside at St. Augustine, with a specified boundary between them and one marshal for the whole, with authority to appoint a deputy.
In carrying this law into effect, and especially that part relating to the powers of the existing Government of those Provinces, it was thought important, in consideration of the short term for which it was to operate and the radical change which would be made at the approaching session of Congress, to avoid expense, to make no appointment which should not be absolutely necessary to give effect to those powers, to withdraw none of our citizens from their pursuits, whereby to subject the Government to claims which could not be gratified and the parties to losses which it would be painful to witness.
It has been seen with much concern that in the performance of these duties a collision arose between the governor of the Territory and the judge appointed for the western district. It was presumed that the law under which this transitory Government was organized, and the commissions which were granted to the officers who were appointed to execute each branch of the system, and to which the commissions were adapted, would have been understood in the same sense by them in which they were understood by the Executive. Much allowance is due to officers employed in each branch of this system, and the more so as there is good cause to believe that each acted under the conviction that he possessed the power which he undertook to exercise. Of the officer holding the principal station, I think it proper to observe that he accepted it with reluctance, in compliance with the invitation given him, and from a high sense of duty to his country, being willing to contribute to the consummation of an event which would insure complete protection to an important part of our Union, which had suffered much from incursion and invasion, and to the defense of which his very gallant and patriotic services had been so signally and usefully devoted.
From the intrinsic difficulty of executing laws deriving their origin from different sources, and so essentially different in many important circumstances, the advantage, and indeed the necessity, of establishing as soon as practicable a well-organized Government over that Territory on the principles of our system is apparent. This subject is therefore recommended to the early consideration of Congress.
In compliance with an injunction of the law of the 3rd of March last, three commissioners have also been appointed and a board organized for carrying into effect the 11th article of the treaty above recited, making provision for the payment of such of our citizens as have well-founded claims on Spain of the character specified by that treaty. This board has entered on its duties and made some progress therein. The commissioner and surveyor of His Catholic Majesty, provided for by the 4th article of the treaty, have not yet arrived in the United States, but are soon expected. As soon as they do arrive corresponding appointments will be made and every facility be afforded for the due execution of this service.
The Government of His Most Faithful Majesty since the termination of the last session of Congress has been removed from Rio de Janeiro to Lisbon, where a revolution similar to that which had occurred in the neighboring Kingdom of Spain had in like manner been sanctioned by the accepted and pledged faith of the reigning monarch. The diplomatic intercourse between the United States and the Portuguese dominions, interrupted by this important event, has not yet been resumed, but the change of internal administration having already materially affected the commercial intercourse of the United States with the Portuguese dominions, the renewal of the public missions between the two countries appears to be desirable at an early day.
It is understood that the colonies in South America have had great success during the present year in the struggle for their independence. The new Government of Colombia has extended its territories and considerably augmented its strength, and at Buenos Ayres, where civil dissensions had for some time before prevailed, greater harmony and better order appear to have been established. Equal success has attended their efforts in the Provinces on the Pacific. It has long been manifest that it would be impossible for Spain to reduce these colonies by force, and equally so that no conditions short of their independence would be satisfactory to them. It may therefore be presumed, and it is earnestly hoped, that the Government of Spain, guided by enlightened and liberal councils, will find it to comport with its interests and due to its magnanimity to terminate this exhausting controversy on that basis. To promote this result by friendly counsel with the Government of Spain will be the object of the Government of the United States.
In conducting the fiscal operations of the year it has been found necessary to carry into full effect the act of the last session of Congress authorizing a loan of $5 millions. This sum has been raised at an average premium of $5.59 per centum upon stock bearing an interest at the rate of 5% per annum, redeemable at the option of the Government after January 1st, 1835.
There has been issued under the provisions of this act $4,735,296.30 of 5% stock, and there has been or will be redeemed during the year $3,197,030.71 of Louisiana 6% deferred stock and Mississippi stock. There has therefore been an actual increase of the public debt contracted during the year of $1,538,266.69.
The receipts into the Treasury from the first of January to the 30th of September last have amounted to $16,219,197.70, which, with the balance of $1,198,461.21 in the Treasury on the former day, make the aggregate sum of $17,417,658.91. The payments from the Treasury during the same period have amounted to $15,655,288.47, leaving in the Treasury on the last-mentioned day the sum of $1,762,370.44. It is estimated that the receipts of the 4th quarter of the year will exceed the demands which will be made on the Treasury during the same period, and that the amount in the Treasury on the 30th of September last will be increased on the first day of January next.
At the close of the last session it was anticipated that the progressive diminution of the public revenue in 1819 and 1820, which had been the result of the languid state of our foreign commerce in those years, had in the latter year reached its extreme point of depression. It has, however, been ascertained that that point was reached only at the termination of the first quarter of the present year. From that time until the 30th of September last the duties secured have exceeded those of the corresponding quarters of the last year $1.172 millions, whilst the amount of debentures issued during the three first quarters of this year is $952,000 less than that of the same quarters of the last year.
There are just grounds to believe that the improvement which has occurred in the revenue during the last-mentioned period will not only be maintained, but that it will progressively increase through the next and several succeeding years, so as to realize the results which were presented upon that subject by the official reports of the Treasury at the commencement of the last session of Congress.
Under the influence of the most unfavorable circumstances the revenue for the next and subsequent years to the year 1825 will exceed the demands at present authorized by law.
It may fairly be presumed that under the protection given to domestic manufactures by the existing laws we shall become at no distant period a manufacturing country on an extensive scale. Possessing as we do the raw materials in such vast amount, with a capacity to augment them to an indefinite extent raising within the country aliment of every kind to an amount far exceeding the demand for home consumption, even in the most unfavorable years, and to be obtained always at a very moderate price skilled also, as our people are, in the mechanic arts and in every improvement calculated to lessen the demand for and the price of labor, it is manifest that their success in every branch of domestic industry may and will be carried, under the encouragement given by the present duties, to an extent to meet any demand which under a fair competition may be made upon it.
A considerable increase of domestic manufactures, by diminishing the importation of foreign, will probably tend to lessen the amount of the public revenue. As, however, a large proportion of the revenue which is derived from duties is raised from other articles than manufactures, the demand for which will increase with our population, it is believed that a fund will still be raised from that source adequate to the greater part of the public expenditures, especially as those expenditures, should we continue to be blessed with peace, will be diminished by the completion of the fortifications, dock yards, and other public works, by the augmentation of the Navy to the point to which it is proposed to carry it, and by the payment of the public debt, including pensions for military services.
It can not be doubted that the more complete our internal resources and the less dependent we are on foreign powers for every national as well as domestic purpose the greater and more stable will be the public felicity. By the increase of domestic manufactures will the demand for the rude materials at home be increased, and thus will the dependence of the several parts of our Union on each other and the strength of the Union itself be proportionably augmented.
In this process, which is very desirable, and inevitable under the existing duties, the resources which obviously present themselves to supply a deficiency in the revenue, should it occur, are the interests which may derive the principal benefit from the change. If domestic manufactures are raised by duties on foreign, the deficiency in the fund necessary for public purposes should be supplied by duties on the former.
At the last session it seemed doubtful whether the revenue derived from the present sources would be adequate to all the great purposes of our Union, including the construction of our fortifications, the augmentation of the Navy, and the protection of our commerce against the dangers to which it is exposed. Had the deficiency been such as to subject us to the necessity either to abandon those measures of defense or to resort to the other means for adequate funds, the course presented to the adoption of a virtuous and enlightened people appeared to be a plain one. It must be gratifying to all to know that this necessity does not exist. Nothing, however, in contemplation of such important objects, which can be easily provided for, should be left to hazard. It is thought that the revenue may receive an augmentation from the existing sources, and in a manner to aid our manufactures, without hastening prematurely the result which has been suggested. It is believed that a moderate additional duty on certain articles would have that effect, without being liable to any serious objection.
The examination of the whole coast, for the construction of permanent fortifications, from St. Croix to the Sabine, with the exception of part of the territory lately acquired, will be completed in the present year, as will be the survey of the Mississippi, under the resolution of the House of Representatives, from the mouth of the Ohio to the ocean, and likewise of the Ohio from Louisville to the Mississippi. A progress corresponding with the sums appropriated has also been made in the construction of these fortifications at the ports designated. As they will form a system of defense for the whole maritime frontier, and in consequence for the interior, and are to last for ages, the greatest care has been taken to fix the position of each work and to form it on such a scale as will be adequate to the purpose intended by it. All the inlets and assailable parts of our Union have been minutely examined, and positions taken with a view to the best effect, observing in every instance a just regard for economy. Doubts, however, being entertained as to the propriety of the position and extent of the work at Dauphine Island, further progress in it was suspended soon after the last session of Congress, and an order given to the Board of Engineers and Naval Commissioners to make a further and more minute examination of it in both respects, and to report the result without delay.
Due progress has been made in the construction of vessels of war according to the law providing for the gradual augmentation of the Navy, and to the extent of existing appropriations. The vessels authorized by the act of 1820 have all been completed and are now in actual service. None of the larger ships have been or will be launched for the present, the object being to protect all which may not be required for immediate service from decay by suitable buildings erected over them.
A squadron has been maintained, as heretofore, in the Mediterranean, by means whereof peace has been preserved with the Barbary Powers. This squadron has been reduced the present year to as small a force as is compatible with the fulfillment of the object intended by it. From past experience and the best information respecting the views of those powers it is distinctly understood that should our squadron be withdrawn they would soon recommence their hostilities and depredations upon our commerce. Their fortifications have lately been rebuilt and their maritime force increased.
It has also been found necessary to maintain a naval force on the Pacific for the protection of the very important interests of our citizens engaged in commerce and the fisheries in that sea. Vessels have likewise been employed in cruising along the Atlantic coast, in the Gulf of Mexico, on the coast of Africa, and in the neighboring seas. In the latter many piracies have been committed on our commerce, and so extensive was becoming the range of those unprincipled adventurers that there was cause to apprehend, without a timely and decisive effort to suppress them, the worst consequences would ensue. Fortunately, a considerable check has been given to that spirit by our cruisers, who have succeeded in capturing and destroying several of their vessels. Nevertheless, it is considered an object of high importance to continue these cruises until the practice is entirely suppressed.
Like success has attended our efforts to suppress the slave trade. Under the flag of the United States and the sanction of their papers the trade may be considered as entirely suppressed, and if any of our citizens are engaged in it under the flags and papers of other powers, it is only from a respect of those powers that these offenders are not seized and brought home to receive the punishment which the laws inflict. If every other power should adopt the same policy and pursue the same vigorous means for carrying it into effect, the trade could no longer exist.
Deeply impressed with the blessings which we enjoy, and of which we have such manifold proofs, my mind is irresistibly drawn to that Almighty Being, the great source from whence they proceed and to whom our most grateful acknowledgments are due.