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this subject to your attention, and also the proposition submitted at the last session of Congress, and now renewed, for a re-organization of the Topographical Corps. This re-organisation can be effected without any addition to the present expenditure, and with much advantage to the public service. The branch of duties which devolves upon these officers Jis at all times interesting to the community, and the information furnished by them is useful in peace and war.
Much loss and inconvenience have been experienced in consequence of the failure of the bill containing the ordinary appropriations for fortifications, which passed one branch of the National Legislature at the last session, but was lost in the other. This failure was the more regretted, aot only because it necessarily interrupted and delayed the progress of a system of national defence, projected immediately after the last war, and siuce steadily pursued, but also because it contained a contingent appropriation, inserted in accordance with the views of the Executive, in aid of this important object, and other branches of the national defence, some portions of which might have been most usefully applied during the past season.
I irivite your early attention to that part of the report of The Secretary of War which relates to this subject, and recommend an appropriation sufficiently liberal to accelerate the armament of the fortifcations, agreeably to the proposition submitted by him, and to place our whole Atlantic seaboard in a complete state of defence. A just regard to the permanent interests of the country evidently requires this measure, but there are also other reasons, which at the present juncture, give it peculiar force, and inake it my duty to call to the subject your special consideration.
The present system of Military Education has been in operation oufficiently long to test its usefulness, and it has given to the army a valuable body of officers. It is not alone in the improvement, discipline, and operation of the troops, that these officers are employed. They are also extensively engaged in the administrative and fiscal concerns of the various matters confided to the War Department; in the execution of the staff duties, usually appertaining to military organization ; in the removal of the Indians, and in the disbursement of the various expendiiures growing out of our Indian relations ; in the formation of roads, and in the improvement of harbors and rivers ; in the construction of fortifications ; in the fabrication of much of the materiel required for the public defence ; and in the preservation, distribution, and accountability of the whole ; and in other miscellaneous duties, not admitting of classification.
These diversified functions embrace very heavy expenditures of public money, and require fidelity, science, and business habits in their execution; and a system which shall secure these qualifications is demanded by the public interest. That this object has been, in a great measure, obtained by the Mililary Academy, is shown by the state of the service, and by the prompt accountability which has generally followed the necessary advances. Like all other politieal systems, the present mode of military education, no doubt, has its imperfections, both of principle and practice ; but I trust these can be improved by rigid inspections, and by legislative scrutiny, without destroying the institution itself.
Occurrences, to which we as well as all other nations are liable, both
in our internal and external relatioos, point to the necessity of an offi-l cient organization of the Mililia. I am again induced, by the importance of the subject, to bring it to your attention. To suppress domestic violence, and to repel foreign invasion, should these calamities overtake us, we must rely, in the first instance, upon the great body of the community, whose will has instituted, and whose power must support, the Government. A large standing milit force is not consonant to the spirit of our institutions, nor to the feelings of our countrymen; and the lessons of former days, and those also of our own times, show the danger, as well as the enormous expense, of these permanent and extensive military organizations. That just medium which a voids an inadequate preparation on one hand, and the danger and expense of a large force on the other, is what our constituents have a right to except from their Government. This object can be attained only by the maintenance of a small military force, and by such an organization of the physical strength of the country as may bring this power into operation, whenever its services are required. A classification of the population offers the inost
obvious means of effecting this organization. Such a division may be made as will be just to all, by transferring each at a proper period of life, from one class to another, and by calling first for the services of that class, whether for instruction or action, which, from age, is qualified for the duty, and may be called to perform it with least injury to themselves, or to the public. Should the danger ever become so imminent as to require additional force, the other classes in succession would be ready for the call. And if, in addition to this organization, voluntary associations were encouraged, and inducements held out for their formation, our
militia would be in a state of efficient service. Now, when we are at peace, is the proper time to digest and establish a practicable systein The cbject is certainly worth the experiment, and worth the expense. No one appreciating the blessings of a republican government, can object to his share of the burden which such a plan may impose. Indeed, a moderate portion of the national funds could scarcely be beller applied
than in carying into effect and continuing such an arangement, and in giving the necessary elementary instruction. We are happily at peace with all the world. A sincere desire to continue so, and a fixed deterniination to give no just cause of offence to other nations, furnish, unfortunately, no certain grounds of expectation that this relation will be uninterrupted.
With this determination to give no offence is associated a resolution, equally decided, lamely to submit to none. The armor and the attitude of defence afford the best security against those collisions which the ambition, or interest, or some other passion of nations, not inore justifiable, is liable to produce. In many countries, it is considered unsafe to put arms into the hands of the People, and to instruct them in the elements of military knowlcdge. That fear can have no place here, when it is recollected that the People are the sovereign power. Our Government was instituted, and is supported, by the ballot-box, not by the musket.
Whatever changes a wait it still greater changes must be made in our social institutions, before cur political system can yield to physical force. In every aspect, therefore, in which I can view the subject, I am impressed with the importance of a prompi and efficient orgnnization of the militia.
The plan of removing the Aboriginal People who yet remain within the settled portions of the United States, to the country west of the Mississippi river, approaches its consummation. It was adopted on the most mature consideration of the condition of this race, and ought to be persisted in till the object is accomplished, and prosecuted with as much vigor as a just regard to their circumstances will permit, and as fast as their consent can be obtained. All preceding experiments for the improvement of the Indians have failed. It seems now to be an established fact, that they cannot live in contact with a civilized community, and prosper. Ages of fruitless endeavours have, at length, brought us to a knowledge of this principle of intercommunication with them. The past we cannot recall, but the future we can provide for. Independently of the treaty stipulations into which we have entered with the various tribes, for the usufructuary rights they have ceded to us, no one can doubt the mural duty of the Government of the United States to protect, and, if possible, to preserve and perpetuate the scattered remnants of this race, which are left within our borders. In the discharge of this duty, an extensive region in the West has been assigned for their permanent residence. It has been divided into districts, and allotted among them. Many have already removed, and others are preparing to go ; and with the exception of two small bands, living in Ohio and Indiana, not exceeding fifteen hundred persons, and of the Cherokees, all the tribes on the east side of the Mississippi, and extending from Lake Michigan to Florida, have entered into engagements which will lead to their transplantation.
The plan for their removal and re-establishment is founded upon the knowledge we have gained of their character and habits, and has been dictated by a spirit of enlarged liberality. A territory exceeding in extent that relinquished, has been granied to each tribe. Of its climate, fertility and capacity to support an Indian population, the representations are highly favorable. To these districts the Indians are removed at the expense of the United States; and, with certain supplies of clothing, arms, ammunition, and other indispensable articles, they are also furnished gratuitously with provisions for the period of a year after their arrival at their new homes. In that time, from the nature of the country, and of the products raised by them, they can subsist themselves by agricultural labor, if they choose to resort to that more of life ; if they do not, they are upon the skirts of the great prairies, where countless herds of buffalo roam, and a short time suffices to adapt their own habits to the changes which a change of the animals destined for their food may require.
Ample arrangements have also been made for the support of schools : in some instances, council houses and churches are to be erected, dwellings constructed for the chiefs, and mills for compion use. Funds have been set apart for the maintenance of the poor ; the most necessary mechanical arts have been introduced, and blacksmiths, gunsmiths, wheelwrights, millwrights, &c. are supported among them. Steel, and iron, and sometimes salt, are purchased for them; and ploughs and other farming utensils, domestic animals, looms, spinning wheels, cards, &c. are present ed to them. And besides these beneficial arrangements, a unuities are, in all cases, paid, amounting in some instances, to niore than thirty dollars for each individual of the tribe, and, in all cases sufficiently
great, if justly divided and prudently expended, to enable them, in addition to their own exertions, to live comfortably. And as a stimulus for exertion, it is now provided by law that “in all cases of the appoint“ment of interpreters, or other persons employed for the benefit of the "Indians, a preference shall be given to persons of Indian descent, if " such can be found who are properly qualified for the discharge of the « duties."
Such are the arrangements for the physical comfort, and the moral improvement, of the Indians. The necessary measures for their political
advancement, and for their separation from our citizens, have not been neglected. The pledge of the United States has been given by Congress, that the country destined for the residence of this people, shall be forever
“ secured and guarantied to them.” A country west of the Missouri and Arkansas, bas been assigned to them, into which the white seitlements are not to be pushed. No political communities can be formed in that extensive region, except those which are established by the Indians theniselves, or by the United States, for them, and with their concurrence. A barrier has thus been raised for their protection against the encroachments of our citizens, and guarding the Indians, as far as possible, from those evils which have brought them to their present condition. Suniinary authority has been given by law, to destroy all ardent -spirits found in their country, without waiting the doubtsul result and slow process of a legal seizure. I consider the absolute and unconditional interdiction of this article among these people, as the first and great step in their melioration.' Half-way measures will answer 'no purpose. These cannot successfully contend against the cupidity of the seller, and the overpowering appetite of the buyer. And the destructive effects of the traffic are marked in every page of the bistory of our Indian intercourse.
Some general legislation seems necessary for ihe regulation of the relalions which will exist in this new state of things between the Governinent and the people of the United States, and these transplanted Indian tribes ; and for the establishment among the latter, and with their own consent, of some principles of intercommunication, which their juxtaposition will call for ; that moral may be substituted for physical force ; the authority of a few and simple laws for the tomahawk; and that an end may be put to those bloody wais, whose prosecution seems to have made part of their social system.
After the further details of this arrangement are completed, with a very general supervision over thein, they ought to be left to the progress of events. These, l'indulge the hope, will secure their prosperity and improvement; and a large portion of the moral debt we owe them will then be paid.
The report from the SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, showing the condition of that branch of the public service, is recommended to your special attention. It appears from it, thal our naval force at present in commission, with all the activity which can be given to it, is inadequate to the protection of our rapidly increasing commerce. This consideration, and the more general one which regards this arm of the national defence as our best security against foreign aggressions, strongly urge the continuance of the measures which promote its gradual enlargement, and a
speedy increase of the force which has been heretofore employed abroad and at home. You will perceive, from the estimates which appear in the report of the Secretary of the Navy, that the expenditures necessary to this increase of its force, though of considerable amount, are small compared with the benefits which they will secure to the country.
As a means of strengthening this national arm, I also recommend to your particular attention, the propriety of the suggestion which attracted the consideration of Congress at its last session, respecting the enlistment of boys at a suitable age in the service. In this manner a nursery of skilful and able-bodied seamen can be established, which will be of the greatest importance. Next to the capacity to put a float and aim the requisite number of ships, is the possession of the means to man them efficiently: and nothing seems better calculated to aid this. object than the measure proposed. As an auxiliary to the advantages derived from our
extensive commercial marine, it would furnish us with a resource ample enough for all the exigencies which can be anticipated. Considering the state of our resources, it cannot be doubted that whatever provision the liberality and wisdom of Congress may now adopt, with a view 10 the perfect organization of this branch of our service, will meet the approbation of all classes of our citizens.
By the report of the PostMASTER GENERAL it appears that the revenue of the department during the year ending on the 30th day of June last, exceeded its accruing responsibilities $236,206 ; and that the surplus of the present fiscal year is estimated at $476,227. It further appears that the debt of the department, on the 1st day of July last, including the amount due to contractors for the quarter then just expired, was about $1,064,381, exceeding the available means about $23,700; and that, on
the 1st instant, about $597,077 of this debt had been paid ; $409,991 out of postages accruing before July, and $187,086 out of postages accruing since. In these payments are included $67,000 of the old debt due to bapks. After making these payments, the department had $73,000 Jin bank on the 1st instant. The pleasing assurance is given, that the department is entirely free from embarrasenient, and that, by collection
of outstanding balances, and using the current surplus, the remaining portion of the bank debt, and most of the other debt, will probably be paid in April next, leaving thereafter a heavy amount to be applied in
extending the mail facilities of the countıy. Reserving a considerable sum for the improvement of existing mail routes, it is stated that the department will be able to sustain with perfect convenience an annual charge of $300,000 for the support of new routes, to commence as soon as they can be esta blished, and put in operation.
The measures adopted by the Postmaster General to bring the means of the department into action, and to effect a speedy extinguishment of its debt, as well as to produce an efficient administration of its affairs, will be found detailed at length in his able and luminous report. Aided by a reorganization on the principles suggested, and such salutary provisions in the laws regulating its administrative duties as the wisdom of Congress may devise or approve, that important department will soon attain a degree of usefulness proportioned to the increase of our population and the extension of our settlements.
Particular attention is solicited to that portion of the report of the