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PROCEEDINGS AND DEBATES
THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
AT THE SECOND SESSION OF THE SIXTEENTH CONGRESS, BEGUN AT THE CITY OF WASHINGTON, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 1820.
The result was, that the term of service of Mr. HOLMES will expire on the 3d March next, and that of Mr. CHANDLER on the 3d of March two years thereafter.
Mr. KING, of Alabama, moved the appointment of a committee to acquaint the President of the United States of the organization of the Senate, and of its readiness to receive any communication from him; whereupon, Messrs. KING, of Alabama, and MACON were appointed.
On motion of Mr. MORRIL,
Resolved, That two Chaplains, of different denominations, be appointed to Congress, during the present session, one by each House, who shall interchange weekly.
The orders usual at the commencement of the session having been made, the Senate adjourned.
TUESDAY, November 14.
WILLIAM A. PALMER, from the State of Ver
mont, and JOHN WILLIAMS, from the State of Tennessee, severally attended.
The PRESIDENT communicated a copy of the constitution, as adopted for the government of the
State of Missouri, which was read.
Whereupon, on motion of Mr. SMITH,
Resolved, That a committee be appointed to inquire whether any, and if any, what, legislative measures may be necessary for admitting the State of Missouri into the Union.
Messrs. SMITH, BURRILL, and MACON, were ap
pointed the committee.
The Senate adjourned to two o'clock, to await and met again, but finding the House of Reprethe organization of the House of Representatives, sentatives had not yet elected a Speaker, they adjourned until to-morrow.
WEDNESDAY, November 15.
SAMUEL W. DANA, from the State of Connecticut, attended.
Mr. BURRILL Communicated a resolution, passed by the Legislature of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, instructing their Senators, and requesting their Representatives in Con
gress, to exert their influence to reduce the compensation of members of Congress to six dollars per day; and the resolution was read.
On motion by Mr. WALKER, of Alabama, the Senate adjourned to one o'clock in the afternoon.
One o'clock in the afternoon.
been shaken, and the long and destructive wars in which all were engaged, with their sudden transition to a state of peace, presenting, in the first instance, unusual encouragement to our commerce, and withdrawing it in the second, even within its wonted limit, could not fail to be sensibly felt here. The station, too, which we had to support through this long conflict, compelled as we were finally to become a party to it with a principal Power, and to make great exertions, suffer heavy losses, and to contract considerable debts, disturbing the ordinary course of affairs, by augmenting, to a vast amount, the circulating medium, and thereby elevating, at one time, the price of every article above a just standard, and depressing it at ano
A message from the House of Representatives informed the Senate that a quorum of the House of Representatives is assembled, and have elected JOHN W. TAYLOR, one of the Representatives from the State of New York, their Speaker, in the place of Henry Clay, resigned, and are ready to proceed to business; and that they have appointed a committee on their part to join the committee appoint-ther below it, had likewise its due effect. ed on the part of the Senate, to wait on the President of the United States, and inform him that a quorum of the two Houses is assembled, and ready to receive any communications he may be pleased to make to them.
Mr. KING, of Alabama, reported, from the joint committee, that they had waited on the President of the United States, and that the President informed the committee that he would make a communication to the two Houses forthwith.
It is manifest that the pressures of which we complain have proceeded, in a great measure, from these causes. When, then, we take into view the prosperous and happy condition of our country, in all the great circumstances which constitute the felicity of a his rights: the Union blessed with plenty, and rapidly nation-every individual in the full enjoyment of all rising to greatness, under a national Government, which operates with complete effect in every part, without being felt in any, except by the ample protection which it affords, and under State governments which perform their equal share, according to a wise distribution of power between them, in promoting the public hap
The following Message was received from the piness-it is impossible to behold so gratifying, so gloPRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:
Fellow-citizens of the Senate
and of the House of Representatives:
rious a spectacle, without being penetrated with the most profound and grateful acknowledgments to the Supreme Author of all good for such manifold and inestimable blessings. Deeply impressed with these sentiments, I cannot regard the pressures to which I have adverted otherwise than in the light of mild and instructive admonitions; warning us of dangers to be shunned in future; teaching us lessons of economy, corresponding with the simplicity and purity of our institutions, and best adapted to their support; evincing the connexion and dependence which the various parts of our happy Union have on each other, thereby augmenting daily our social incorporation, and adding, by its strong ties, new strength and vigor to the political; opening a wider range, and with new encouragement, to the industry and enterprise of our fellowcitizens at home and abroad; and more especially by the multiplied proofs which it has accumulated of the great perfection of our most excellent system of government, the powerful instrument, in the hands of our all-merciful Creator, in securing to us these blessings.
In communicating to you a just view of public affairs, at the commencement of your present labors, I do it with great satisfaction; because, taking all circumstances into consideration which claim attention, I see much cause to rejoice in the felicity of our situation. In making this remark, I do not wish to be understood to imply that an unvaried prosperity is to be seen in every interest of this great community. In the progress of a nation, inhabiting a territory of such vast extent and great variety of climate, every portion of which is engaged in foreign commerce, and liable to be affected, in some degree, by the changes which occur in the condition and regulations of foreign countries, it would be strange if the produce of our soil and the industry and enterprise of our fellow-citizens received at all times, and in every quarter, an uniform and equal encouragement. This would be more than we would have a right to expect, under circumstances the most favorable. Pressures on certain interests, it Happy as our situation is, it does not exempt us is admitted, has been felt; but allowing to these their from solicitude and care for the future. On the congreatest extent, they detract but little from the force of trary, as the blessings which we enjoy are great, prothe remarks already made. In forming a just esti-portionably great should be our vigilance, zeal, and mate of our present situation, it is proper to look at the whole, in the outline, as well as in the detail. A free, virtuous, and enlightened people know well the great principles and causes on which their happiness depends; and even those who suffer most, occasionally, in their transitory concerns, find great relief under their sufferings, from the blessings which they otherwise enjoy, and in the consoling and animating hope which they administer. From whence do these pressures come? Not from a Government which is founded by, administered for, and supported by the people. We trace them to the peculiar character of the epoch in which we live, and to the extraordinary Occurrences which have signalized it. The convulsions with which several of the Powers of Europe have
activity, to preserve them. Foreign wars may again expose us to new wrongs, which would impose on us new duties, for which we ought to be prepared. The state of Europe is unsettled, and how long peace may be preserved is altogether uncertain; in addition to which, we have interests of our own to adjust, which will require particular attention. A correct view of our relations with each Power will enable you to form a just idea of existing difficulties, and of the measures of precaution best adapted to them.
Respecting our relations with Spain, nothing explicit can now be communicated. On the adjournment of Congress in May last, the Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States, at Madrid, was instructed to inform the Government of Spain that, if His
President's Annual Message.
cases. The object of that law having been merely to countervail the inequalities which existed to the disadvantage of the United States, in their commercial intercourse with France, it is submitted, also, to the consideration of Congress, whether, in the spirit of amity and conciliation which it is no less the inclination than the policy of the United States to preserve, in their intercourse with other Powers, it may not be proper to extend relief to the individuals interested in those cases, by exempting from the operation of the law all those vessels which have entered our ports without having had the means of previously knowing the existence of the additional duty.
Catholic Majesty should then ratify the treaty, this France before its existence was known, have entered Government would accept the ratification, so far as the ports of the United States, and been subject to its to submit to the decision of the Senate, the question, operation, without that previous notice which the genwhether such ratification should be received in ex-eral spirit of our laws gives to individuals in similar change for that of the United States, heretofore given By letters from the Minister of the United States to the Secretary of State, it appears that a communication, in conformity with his instructions, had been made to tha Government of Spain, and that the Cortes had the subject under consideration. The result of the deliberations of that body, which is daily expected, will be made known to Congress as soon as it is received. The friendly sentiment which was expressed on the part of the United States, in the Message of the 9th of May last, is still entertained for Spain. Among the causes of regret, however, which are inseparable from the delay attending this transaction, it is proper to state that satisfactory information has been received, The contest between Spain and the Colonies, acthat measures have been recently adopted, by design-cording to the most authentic information, is maining persons, to convert certain parts of the Province tained by the latter with improved success. The of Florida into depots for the reception of foreign unfortunate divisions which were known to exist some goods, from whence to smuggle them into the United time since, at Buenos Ayres, it is understood, still States. By opening a port within the limits of Flor- prevail. In no part of South America has Spain made ida, immediately on our boundary, where there was any impression on the colonies, while, in many parts, no settlement, the object could not be misunderstood. and particularly in Venezuela and New Granada, the An early accommodation of differences will, it is hoped, colonies have gained strength and acquired reputation, prevent all such fraudulent and pernicious practices, both for the management of the war, in which they and place the relations of the two countries on a very have been successful, and for the order of the internal amicable and permanent basis. administration. The late change in the Government of Spain, by the re-establishment of the constitution of 1812, is an event which promises to be favorable to the Revolution. Under the authority of the Cortes, the Congress of Angostura was invited to open a negotiation for the settlement of differences between the parties, to which it was replied, that they would willingly open the negotiation, provided the acknowledgment of their independence was made its basis, but not otherwise. Of further proceedings between them we are uninformed. No facts are known to this Government, to warrant the belief, that any of the Powers of Europe will take part in the contest; whence, it may be inferred, considering all circumstances, which must have weight in producing the result, that an adjustment will finally take place, on the basis proposed by the colonies. To promote that result, by friendly counsels, with other Powers, including Spain herself, has been the uniform policy of this Government.
The commercial relations between the United States and the British colonies in the West Indies, and on this continent, have undergone no change; the British Government still preferring to leave that commerce under the restriction heretofore imposed on it, on each side. It is satisfactory to recollect that the restraints resorted to by the United States were defensive only, intended to prevent a monopoly, under British regulations, in favor of Great Britain; as it likewise is to know that the experiment is advancing in a spirit of amity between the parties.
The question depending between the United States and Great Britain, respecting the construction of the first article of the Treaty of Ghent, has been referred, by both Governments, to the decision of the Emperor of Russia, who has accepted the umpirage.
An attempt has been made with the Government of France, to regulate, by treaty, the commerce between the two countries, on the principle of reciprocity and equality. By the last communication from the Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States at Paris, to whom full power had been given, we learn that the negotiation had been commenced there; but, serious difficulties having occurred, the French Government had resolved to transfer it to the United States, for which purpose the Minister Plenipotentiary of France had been ordered to repair to this city, and whose arrival might soon be expected. It is hoped that this important interest may be arranged on just conditions, and in a manner equally satisfactory to both parties. It is submitted to Congress to decide, until such arrangement is made, how far it may be proper, on the principle of the act of the last session, which augmented the tonnage duty on French vessels, to adopt other measures for carrying more completely into effect the policy of that act.
The act referred to, which imposed new tonnage on French vessels, having been in force from and after the first day of July, it has happened that several vessels of that nation which had been despatched from
In looking to the internal concerns of our country, you will, I am persuaded, derive much satisfaction from a view of the several objects to which, in the discharge of your official duties, your attention will be drawn. Among these, none holds a more important place than the public revenue, from the direct operation of the power, by which it is raised, on the people, and by its influence in giving effect to every other power of the Government. The revenue depends on the resources of the country, and the facility by which the amount required is raised, is a strong proof of the extent of the resources, and the efficiency of the Government. A few prominent facts will place this great interest in a just light before you. On the 30th of September, 1815, the funded and floating debt of the United States was estimated at one hundred and nineteen millions six hundred and thirty-five thousand five hundred and fifty-eight dollars. It to this sum be added the amount of five per cent. stock subscribed to the Bank of the United States, the amount of Mississippi stock, and of the stock which was issued subsequently to that date, the balances ascertained to be due to certain
States, for military services, and to individuals, for supplies furnished, and services rendered during the late war, the public debt may be estimated as amounting, at that date, and as afterwards liquidated, to one hundred and fifty-eight millions seven hundred and thirteen thousand forty-nine dollars. On the 30th of September, 1820, it amounted to ninety-one millions nine hundred and ninety-three thousand eight hundred and eighty-three dollars, having been reduced in that interval, by payments, sixty-six millions eight hundred and seventy-nine thousand one hundred and sixty-five dollars. During this term, the expenses of the Government of the United States were likewise defrayed, in every branch of the civil, military, and naval establishments; the public edifices in this city have been rebuilt, with considerable additions; extensive fortifications have been commenced, and are in a train of execution; permanent arsenals and magazines have been erected in various parts of the Union; our Navy has been considerably augmented, and the ordnance, munitions of war, and stores, of the Army and Navy, which were much exhausted during the war, have been replenished.
By the discharge of so large a proportion of the public debt, and the execution of such extensive and important operations, in so short a time, a just estimate may be formed of the great extent of our national resources. The demonstration is the more complete and gratifying, when it is recollected that the direct tax and excise were repealed soon after the termination of the late war, and that the revenue applied to these purposes has been derived almost wholly from other
The receipts into the Treasury, from every source, to the 30th of September last, have amounted to sixteen millions seven hundred and ninety-four thousand one hundred and seven dollars and sixty-six cents; whilst the public expenditures, to the same period, amounted to sixteen millions eight hundred and seventy-one thousand five hundred and thirty-four dollars and seventy-two cents; leaving in the Treasury, on that day, a sum estimated at one million nine hundred and fifty thousand dollars. For the probable receipts of the following year, I refer you to the statement which will be transmitted from the Treasury.
The sum of three millions of dollars, authorized to be raised by loan, by an act of the last session of Congress, has been obtained upon terms advantageous to the Government, indicating, not only an increased confidence in the faith of the nation, but the existence of a large amount of capital seeking that mode of investment, at a rate of interest not exceeding five per centum per annum.
It is proper to add, that there is now due to the Treasury, for the sale of public lands, twenty-two millions nine hundred and ninety-six thousand five hundred and forty-five dollars. In bringing this subject to view, I consider it my duty to submit to Congress, whether it may not be advisable to extend to the purchasers of these lands, in consideration of the unfavorable change which has occurred since the sales, a reasonable indulgence. It is known that the purchases were made when the price of every article had risen to its greatest height, and that the instalments are becoming due at a period of great depression. It is presumed that some plan may be devised, by the wisdom of Congress, compatible with the public interest, which would afford great relief to these purchasers.
Considerable progress has been made, during the
present season, in examining the coast and its various bays and other inlets; in the collection of materials, and in the construction of fortifications for the defence of the Union, at several of the positions at which it has been decided to erect such works. At Mobile Point and Dauphin Island, and at the Rigolets, leading to Lake Pontchartrain, materials to a considerable amount have been collected and all the necessary preparations made for the commencement of the works. At Old Point Comfort, at the mouth of James river, and at the Rip-Rap, on the opposite shore, in the Chesapeake Bay, materials to a vast amount have been collected; and at the Old Point some progress has been made in the construction of the fortification, which is on a very extensive scale. The work at Fort Washington, on this river, will be completed early in the next Spring; and that on the Pea Patch, in the Delaware, in the course of the next season. Fort Diamond, at the Narrows, in the harbor of New York, will be finished this year. The works at Boston, New York, Baltimore, Norfolk, Charleston, and Niagara, have been in part repaired; and the coast of North Carolina, extending south to Cape Fear, has been examined, as have likewise other parts of the coast eastward of Boston. Great exertions have been made to push forward these works with the utmost despatch possible; but, when their extent is considered, with the important purposes for which they are intended, the defence of the whole coast, and in consequence of the whole interior, and that they are to last for ages, it will be manifest that a well-digested plan, founded on military principles, connecting the whole together, combining security with economy, could not be prepared without repeated examinations of the most exposed and difficult parts, and that it would also take considerable time to collect the materials at the several points where they would be required. From all the light that has been shed on this subject, I am satisfied that every favorable anticipation which has been formed of this great undertaking will be verified, and that when completed it will afford very great, if not complete, protection to our Atlantic frontier in the event of another war; a protection sufficient to counterbalance in a single campaign with an enemy powerful at sea the expense of all these works, without taking into the estimate the saving of the lives of so many of our citizens, the protection of our towns and other property, or the tendency of such works to prevent war.
Our military positions have been maintained at Belle Point, on the Arkansas, at Council Bluffs, on the Missouri, at St. Peter's, on the Mississippi, and at Green Bay, on the Upper lakes. Commodious barracks have already been erected at most of these posts, with such works as were necessary for their defence. Progress has also been made in opening communications between them, and in raising supplies at each for the support of the troops by their own labor, particularly those most remote.
With the Indians peace has been preserved, and a progress made in carrying into effect the act of Congress, making an appropriation for their civilization, with the prospect of favorable results. As connected equally with both these objects, our trade with those tribes is thought to merit the attention of Congress. In their original state, game is their sustenance and war their occupation: and if they find no employment from civilized Powers, they destroy each other. Left to themselves, their extirpation is inevitable. By a judicious regulation of our trade with them, we supply