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I have entertained an expectation that it would have been in my power, at the opening of this session, to have communicated to you the agreeable information of the due execution of our treaty with his Catholic majesty, respecting the withdrawing of his troops from our territory, and the demarkation of the line of limits; but, by the latest authentic intelligence, Spanish garrisons were still continued within our country, and the running of the boundary line had not been commenced; these circumstances are the more to be regretted, as they cannot fail to affect the Indians in a manner injurious to the United States. Still, however, indulging the hope that the answers which have been given will remove the objections offered by the Spanish officers to the immediate execution of the treaty, I have judged it proper that we should continue in readiness to receive the posts, and to run the line of limits. Further information on this subject will be communicated in the course of the session.
In connection with this unpleasant state of things on our western frontier, it is proper for me to mention the attempts of foreign agents to alienate the affections of the Indian nations, and to excite them to actual hostilities against the United States; great activity has been exerted by those persons who have insinuated themselves among the Indian tribes residing within the territory of the United States, to influence them to transfer their affections and force to a foreign nation, to form them into a confederacy, and prepare them for a war against the United States. Although measures have been taken to counteract these infractions of our rights, to prevent Indian hostilities, and to preserve entire their attachment to the United States, it is my duty to observe, that, to give a better effect to these measures, and to obviate the consequences of a repetition of such practices, a law provi ding adequate punishment for such offences may be necessary.
The commissioners appointed under the fifth article of the treaty of amity, commerce and navigation between the United States and Great Britain, to ascertain the river which was truly intended under the name of the river St. Croix, mentioned in the treaty of peace. met at Passa
maquoddy Bay, in October, one thousand sever, hundred and ninety-six, and viewed the mouths of the rivers in question, and adjacent shores on the islands; and being of opinion, that actual surveys of both rivers, to their sources, were necessary, gave to the agents of the two nations instructions for that purpose, and adjourned to meet at Boston, in August. They met; but the surveys requiring more time than had been supposed, and not be. ing then completed, the commissioners again adjourned to meet at Providence, in the state of Rhode Island, in June next, when we may expect a final examination and decision.
The commissioners appointed in pursuance of the sixth article of the treaty, met at Philadelphia, in May last, to examine the claims of British subjects for debts contracted before the peace, and still remaining due to them from citizens or inhabitants of the United States. Various causes have hitherto prevented any determinations; but the business is now resumed, and doubtless will be prosecuted without interruption.
Several decisions on the claims of the citizens of the United States for losses and damages sustained by reason of irregular and illegal captures or condemnations of their vessels or other property, have been made by the commissioners in London, conformably to the seventh article of the treaty. The sums awarded by the commissioners have been paid by the British government; a considerable number of other claims, where costs and dama ges, and not captured property, were the only objects in question, have been decided by arbitration, and the sums awarded to the citizens of the United States have also been paid.
The commissioners appointed, agreeably to the twenty-first article of our treaty with Spain, met at Philadel phia, in the summer past, to examine and decide on the claims of our citizens for losses they have sustained in consequence of their vessels and cargoes having been ta ken by the subjects of his Catholic majesty, during the late war between Spain and France. Their sittings have been interrupted, but are now resumed.
The United States being obligated to make compensa tion for the losses and damages sustained by British subjects, upon the award of the commissioners acting under the sixth article of the treaty with Great Britain, and for the losses and damages sustained by British subjects, by reason of the capture of their vessels and merchandise, taken within the limits and jurisdiction of the United States, and brought into their ports, or taken by vessels originally armed in ports of the United States, upon the awards of the commissioners, acting under the seventh article of the same treaty; it is necessary that provision be made for fulfilling these obligations.
The numerous captures of American vessels by the cruisers of the French republic, and of some of those of Spain, have occasioned considerable expenses in making and supporting the claims of our citizens before their tribunals. The sums required for this purpose, have, in divers instances, been disbursed by the consuls of the United States. By means of the same captures, great numbers of our seamen have been thrown ashore in foreign countries, destitute of all means of subsistence, and the sick, in particular, have been exposed to grievous sufferings. The consuls have, in these cases also, advanced money for their relief; for these advances they reasonably expect reimbursements from the United States.
The consular act, relative to seamen, requires revision and amendment; the provisions for their support in foreign countries, and for their return, are found to be inadequate and ineffectual. Another provision seems necessary to be added to the consular act; some foreign vessels have been discovered sailing under the flag of the United States, and with forged papers; it seldom happens that the consuls can detect this deception, because they have no authority to demand an inspection of the registers and sea-letters.
Gentlemen of the House of Representatives:
It is my duty to recommend to your serious consideration those objects, which, by the constitution, are placed particularly within your sphere, the national debts and
Since the decay of the feudal system, by which the public defence was provided for chiefly at the expense of individuals, the system of loans has been introduced; and as no nation can raise within the year, by taxes, sufficient sums for the defence and military operations in time of war, the sums loaned and debts contracted have necessarily become the subjects of what have been called funding systems. The consequences arising from the continual accumulation of public debts in other countries, ought to admonish us to be careful to prevent their growth in our own. The national defence must be provided for, as well as the support of government; but both should be accomplished, as much as possible, by immediate taxes, and as little as possible by loans.
The estimates for the service of the ensuing year, will by my direction, be laid before you.
Gentlemen of the Senate,
"and House of Representatives:
We are met together at a most interesting period. The situations of the principal powers of Europe are singular and portentous. Connected with some by treaties, and with all by commerce, no important event there can be indifferent to us. Such circumstances call with peculiar importunity, not less for a disposition to unite in all those measures on which the honor, safety, and prosperity of our country depend, than for all the exertions of wisdom and firmness.
In all such measures, you may rely on my zealous and hearty concurrence.
JEFFERSON'S INAUGURAL ADDRESS,
MARCH 4, 1801.
Friends and Fellow-citizens:
Called upon to undertake the duties of the first executive office of our country, I avail myself of the presence of that portion of my fellow-citizens which is here as