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with the legislative will, numerous weighty questions of construction, which the imperfection of human language had rendered unavoidable. The year of jubilee, since the first formation of our union, is just elapsed, that of the declaration of our independence is at hand. The consummation of both was effected by this constitution.

Since that period, a population of four millions has multiplied to twelve; a territory bounded by the Mississippi has been extended from sea to sea; new states have been admitted to the union, in numbers nearly equal to those of the first confederation; treaties of peace, amity, and commerce, have been concluded with the principal dominions of the earth; the people of other nations, inhabitants of regions acquired, not by conquest, but by compact, have been united with us in the participation of rights and duties, of our burthens and blessings; the forest has fallen by the axe of our woodsmen; the soil has been made to teem by the tillage of our farmers; our commerce has whitened every ocean; the dominion of man over physical nature has been extended by the invention of our artists: liberty and law have marched hand in hand; all the purposes of human association have been accomplished as effectively as under any other government on the globe; and at à cost little exceeding, in a whole generation, the expenditure of other nations in a single year.

Such is the unexaggerated picture of our condition, under a constitution founded upon the republican principle of equal rights. To admit that this picture has its shades, is but to say that it is still the condition of men upon earth. From evil, physical, moral, and po

litical, it is not our claim to be exempt. We have suffered, sometimes by the visitation of heaven, through disease; often by the wrongs and injustice of other nations, even to the extremities of war; and lastly, by dissensions among ourselves-dissensions, perhaps, inseparable from the enjoyment of freedom, but which have, more than once, appeared to threaten the dissolution of the union, and, with it, the overthrow of all the enjoyments of our present lot, and all our earthly hopes of the future. The causes of these dissensions have been various : founded upon differences of speculation in the theory of republican governments-upon conflicting views of policy in our relations with foreign nations-upon jealousies of partial and sectional interests, aggravated by prejudices and prepossessions which strangers to each other are ever apt to entertain.

It is a source of gratification and of encouragement to me, to observe that the great result of this experiment upon the theory of human rights has, at the close of that generation by which it was formed, been crowned with success equal to the most sanguine expectations of its founders. Union, justice, tranquillity, the common defence, the general welfare, and the blessings of liberty-all have been promoted by the government under which we have lived. Standing at this point of time, looking back to that generation which has gone by, and forward to that which is advancing, we may, at once, in dulge in grateful exultation, and in cheering hope. From the experience of the past, we derive înstructive lessons for the future. Of the two great political parties which have divided the opinions

for the beneficence, and the best guarantee against the abuse of power, consist in the freedom, the purity, and the frequency of popular elections-that the general government of the Union, and the separate governments of the States, are all sovereignties of limited powers, fellow servants of the same masters, uncontrolled within their respective spheres, uncontrollable by encroachments upon each other-that the firmest security of peace is the preparation, during peace, of the defences of war that a rigorous economy, and accountability of public expenditures, should guard against the aggravation, and alleviate, when possible, the burthen of taxation— that the military should be kept in strict subordination to the civil power, that the freedom of the press and of religious opinion should be inviolate-that the po

and feelings of our country, the candid and the just will now admit, that both have contributed splendid talents, spotless integrity, ardent patriotism, and disinterested sacrifices, to the formation and administration of this government; and that both have required a liberal indulgence for a portion of human infirmity and error. The revolutionary wars of Europe, commencing precisely at the moment when the government of the United States first went into operation under this constitution, excited a collision of sentiments and of sympathies, which kindled all the passions, and embittered the conflict of parties, till the nation was involved in war, and the Union was shaken to its centre. This time of trial embraced a period of five-and-twenty years, during which the policy of the Union, in its relations with Europe, constituted the principal basis of our policy of our country is peace, and litical divisions, and the most arduous part of the action of our federal government. With the catastrophe in which the wars of the French revolution terminated, and our own subsequent peace with Great Britain, this baneful weed of party strife was uprooted. From that time, no difference of principle, connected either with the theory of government, or with our intercourse with foreign nations, has existed, or been called forth, in force sufficient to sustain a continued combination of parties, or to give more than wholesome animation to public sentiment, or legislative debate. Our political creed is without a dissenting voice that can be heard. That the will of the people is the source, and the happiness of the people the end, of all the legitimate government upon earth-that the best security


the ark of our salvation union,
are articles of faith upon which we
are all now agreed. If there have
been those who doubted whether
a confederated representative de-
mocracy were a government com-
petent to the wise and orderly
management of the common con-
cerns of a mighty nation, those
doubts have been dispelled.
there have been projects of partial
confederacies to be erected upon
the ruins of the Union, they have
been scattered to the winds. If
there have been dangerous attach-
ments to one foreign nation, and
antipathies against another, they
have been extinguished.
years of peace, at home and abroad,
have assuaged the animosities of
political contention, and blended
into harmony the most discordant
elements of public opinion. There
still remains one effort of magna-


nimity, one sacrifice of prejudice and passion, to be made by the individuals throughout the nation who have heretofore followed the standards of political party. It is that of discarding every remnant of rancour against each other; of embracing as countrymen and friends, and of yielding to talents and virtue alone, that confidence which, in times of contention for principles, was bestowed only upon those who bore the badge of party communion.

The collisions of party spirit, which originate in speculative opinions, or in different views of administrative policy, are in their nature transitory. Those which are founded on geographical divisions, adverse interests of soil, climate, and modes of domestic life, are more permanent, and therefore, perhaps, more dangerous. It is this which gives inestimable value to the character of our government at once federal and national. It holds out to us a perpetual admonition to preserve alike, and with equal anxiety, the rights of each individual state in its own government, and the rights of the whole nation in that of the Union. Whatsoever is of domestic concernment, unconnected with the other members of the Union, or with foreign lands, belongs exclusively to the administration of the state governments. Whatsoever directly involves the rights and interests of the federative fraternity, or of foreign powers, is of the resort of this general government. The duties of both are obvious in the general principle, though sometimes perplexed with difficulties in the detail. To respect the rights of the state governments is the inviolable duty of that of the Union; the government of every state will

feel its own obligation to respect and preserve the rights of the whole. The prejudices, everywhere too commonly entertained against distant strangers, are worn away, and the jealousies of jarring interests are allayed by the composition and functions of the great national councils, annually assembled from all quarters of the Union at this place. Here the distinguished men from every section of our country, while meeting to deliberate upon the great interests of those by whom they are deputed, learn to estimate the talents, and to do justice to the virtues, of each other. The harmony of the nation is promoted, and the whole Union is knit together, by the sentiments of mutual respect, the habits of social intercourse, and the ties of personal friendship, formed between the representatives of its several parts, in the performance. of their service at this metropolis.

Passing from this general review of the purposes and injunctions of the federal constitution, and their results as indicating the first traces of the path of duty in the discharge of my public trust, I turn to the administration of my immediate predecessor, as the second. It has passed away in a period of profound peace; how much to the satisfaction of our country, and to the honour of our country's name, is known to you all. The great features of its policy, in general concurrence with the will of the legislature, have been-to cherish peace, while preparing for defensive war; to yield exact justice to other nations, and maintain the rights of our own; to cherish the principles of freedom and of equal rights, wherever they were proclaimed; to discharge, with all possible promptitude, the national debt; to reduce, within

the narrowest limits of efficiency, the military force; to improve the organization and discipline of the army; to provide and sustain a school of military science; to extend equal protection to all the great interests of the nation; to promote the civilization of the Indian tribes; and to proceed in the great system of internal improvements within the limits of the constitutional power of the Union. Under the pledge of these promises, made by that eminent citizen at the time of his first induction to this office, in his career of eight years, the internal taxcs have been repealed; sixty millions of the public debt have been discharged; provision has been made for the comfort and relief of the aged and indigent among the surviving warriors of the revolution; the regular armed force has been reduced, and its constitution revised and perfected; the accountability for the expenditure of public monies has been made more effective; the Floridas have been peaceably acquired, and our boundary has been extended to the Pacific Ocean; the independence of the southern nations of this hemisphere has been recognized, and recommended by example and by counsel to the potentates of Europe; progress has been made in the defence of the country by fortifications, and the increase of the navy; towards the effectual suppression of the African traffic in slaves; in alluring the aboriginal hunters of our land to the cultivation of the soil and of the mind; in exploring the interior regions of the Union; and in preparing, by scientific researches and surveys, for the further application of our national resources to the internal improvement of our country. VOL. LXVII.

In this brief outline of the promise and performance of my immediate predecessor, the line of duty for his successor is clearly delineated. To pursue, to their consummation, those purposes of improvement in our common condition, instituted or recommended by him, will embrace the whole sphere of my obligations.

To the topic of internal improvement, emphatically urged by him at his inauguration, I recur with peculiar satisfaction. It is that from which I am convinced that the unborn millions of our posterity, who are, in future ages, to people this continent, will derive their most fervent gratitude to the founders of the Union; that, in which the beneficent action of its government will be most deeply felt and acknowledged. The magnificence and splendor of their public works are among the imperishable glories of the ancient republics. The roads and aqueducts of Rome have been the admiration of all after ages, and have survived thousands of years after all her conquests have been swallowed up in despotism, or become the spoil of barbarians.

Some diversity of opinion has prevailed with regard to the powers of congress for legislation upon objects of this nature. The most respectful deference is due to doubts, originating in pure patriotism, and sustained by venerated authority. But nearly twenty years have passed since the construction of the first national road was commenced. The authority for its construction was then questioned. To how many thousands of our country has it proved a benefit? To what single individual has it ever proved an injury? Repeated liberal and candid discussions in the legislature have conH*

ciliated the sentiments and approximated the opinions of enlightened minds, upon the question of constitutional power. I cannot but hope that, by the same process of friendly, patient, and persevering deliberation, all constitutional objections will ultimately be removed. The extent and limitation of the powers of the general government, in relation to this transcendantly important interest, will be settled and acknowledged to the common satisfaction of all; and every speculative scruple will be solved by a practical public blessing.

Fellow citizens, you are acquainted with the peculiar circumstances of the recent election, which have resulted in affording me the opportunity of addressing you at this time. You have heard the exposition of the principles which will direct me in the fulfilment of the high and solemn trust imposed upon me in this station. Less possessed of your confidence, in advance, than any of my predecessors, I am deeply conscious

of the prospect that I shall stand more and oftener in need of your indulgence. Intentions, upright and pure; a heart devoted to the welfare of our country, and the unceasing application of all the faculties allotted to me to her service, are all the pledge that I can give for the faithful performance of the arduous duties I am to undertake. To the guidance of the legislative councils; to the assistance of the executive and subordinate departments; to the friendly co-operation of the respective state governments; to the candid and liberal support of the people, so far as it may be deserved by honest industry and zeal, I shall look for whatever success may attend my public service. And knowing that, except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain, with fervent supplications for his favour, to his overruling Provi dence I commit with humble but fearless confidence, my own fate, and the future destinies of my country.

MESSAGE of the PRESIDENT of the UNITED STATES, communicated to the SENATE and HOUSE of REPRESENTATIVES, at the commencement of the First Session of the Nineteenth Congress.

Fellow Citizens of the Senate and House of Representatives,— In taking a general survey of the concerns of our beloved country, with reference to subjects interesting to the common welfare, the first sentiment which impresses itself upon the mind is, of gratitude to the Omnipotent Dispenser of good, for the continuance of the signal blessings of his providence, and especially for that health which, to an unusual extent, has prevailed within our border, and for that

abundance which, in the vicissi tudes of the seasons, has been scattered with profusion over our land. Nor ought we less to ascribe to him the glory, that we are permitted to enjoy the bounties of his hand in peace and tranquillity; in peace with all the other nations of the earth, in tranquillity among ourselves. There has, indeed, rarely been a period in the history of civilized man, in which the general condition of the christian nations has been marked

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