« PreviousContinue »
squadron destined for Tripoli, would have availed themselves to emulate the acts of valour 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 qur peace. establishment of Captains and Lieutenants.
WithTunis 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 cannot 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 two thirds of their complement of seamen and ordinary seamen.—Whether a frigate may be trusted to two thirds 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 ensure 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 vessels. Occasions oftener arise or 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 neighbours 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 labour than the forest, and find it their interest from time to time to dis
pose 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 adjacent to the two districts of Tennesee, 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 disjointed 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 thirteen millions of dollars, 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, upwards 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 preceeding, have extinguished of the founded debt nearly eight millions of principal.
Congress, by their act of November 10, 1803, authorized us to borrow 1,750,000 dollars towards 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 30th day of September last, with the receipts which we may calculate on for the ensuing year, besides paying the annual sum of eight millions of dollars, appropriated to the funded debt, and meeting all the current demands which may be expected, will enable us to pay the whole sum of three million seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars, assumed by the French convention, and still leave us a surplus of nearly a million of dollars at our free disposal. Should you concur in the provisions of arms and armed vessels recommended by the circumstances of the times, the surplus will furnish the means of doing so.
On the 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 endeavours to administer faithfully the Executive Department, and will zealously co
tend to secure the liberty, property, and personal safety of our fellow-citizens, 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 the 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.
TH: JEFFERSON. December 3d, 1805.
INDEX OF VOLUME II.
Affectation-its despicable properties
Anecdotes-of Gil-blas and a fowl