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OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
Yellow Citizens of the Senate,
and of the House of Representatives: It gives me pleasure to congratulate you upon your return to the Seat of Government, for the purpose of discharging your duties to the people of the United States. Although the pestilence which had traversed the old World has entered our limits, and extended its ravages over much of our land, it has pleased Almighty
God to mitigate its severity, and lessen the number of its Fictims, compared with those who have fallen in most other countries over which it has spread its terrors. Notwithstanding this visitation, our county presents, on every side, marks of prosperity and happiness unequalled, perhaps
, in any other portion of the world. If we fully appreciate our comparative condition, existing causes of discontent will appear unworthy of attention, and with hearts of thankfulness to that Divine Being who has filled our cup of prosperity, we shall feel our resolution strengthened to preserve and Band dowa to posterity that
liberty and that union which we have received from our fathers, and which constitute the sources and the shield of all our
The relations of our country continue to present the same picture of am icable intercourse that I had the satisfaction to hold up to your view at the opening of the last session. The same friendly professions, the same desire to participate in our flourishing commerce, the same disposition to refrain from injuries unintentionally offered, are, with few exceptions, evinced things may be mainly ascribed to our undeviating practice of the rule which by all nations with whom we have any intercourse. This desirable state of has bog guided our national policy, to require no exclusive privileges in commerce, and to grant none. It is daily producing its beneficial effect in the respect shown to our flag, the protection of our citizens and their property abroad, and in the increase of our navigation, and the extension of our met, will show an increase, during the last preceding year, of more than mercantile operations. The returns which have been made out since we last
shipping, and of near forty millions of dollars in the aglitical than of our commercial concerns. They remain in the state in which
Nor have we less reason to felicitate ourselves on the position of our pothey were when I last addressed you—a state of prosperity and peace, the effect of a wise attention to the parting advice of the revered Father of his one of his most distinguished successors, to cultivate free commerce and honCountry on this subject, condensed into a maxim for the use of posterity, by A strict adherence to this policy has kept us aloof from the perplexing est friendship with all nations, but to make entangling alliances with none. deluged those countries with blood. Should those scenes unfortunately requestions that now agitate the European world, and have more than once
80,000 tons in our
cur, the parties to the contest may count on a faithful performance of the du ties incumbent on us as a neutral nation, and our own citizens may equally rely on the firm assertion of their neutral rights.
With the nation that was our earliest friend and ally in the infincy of oui political existence, the most friendly relations have subsisted through the late revolutions of its Government; and, from the events of the last, promise a permanent duration. It has made an approximation in some of its political institutions to our own, and raised a monarch to the throne who preserves, it is said, a friendly recollection of the period during which he acquired among our citizens the high consideration that could then have been produced by his personal qualifications alone.
Our commerce with that nation is gradually assuming a mutually beneficial character, and the adjustment of the claims of our citizens has removed the only obstacle there was to an intercourse not only lucrative, but productive of literary and scientific improvement.
From Great Britain, I have the satisfaction to inform you that I continue to receive assurances of the most amicable disposition, which have, on my part, on all proper occasions, been promptly and sincerely reciprocated. The attention of that Government has latterly been so much engrossed by matters of a deeply interesting domestic character, that we could not press upon it the renewal of negotiations which had been unfortunately broken off by the unexpected recal of our minister, who had commenced them with some hopes of success. My great object was the settlement of questions which, though now dormant, might hereafter be revived under circumstances that would endanger the good understanding which it is the interest of both parties to preserve inviolate, cemented, as it is, by a community of language, manners, and social habits, and by the high obligations we owe to our British ancestors for many of our most valuable institutions, and for that system of representative government which has enabled us to preserve and improve them.
The question of our northeastern boundary still remains unsettled. In my last annual message, I explained to you the situation in which I found that business on my coming into office, and the measures I thought it my duty to pursue for asserting the rights of the United States before the sovereign who had been chosen by my predecessor to determine the question; and also the manner in which he had disposed of it. A special message to the Senate in their executive capacity, afterwards brought before them the question, whether they would advise a submission to the opinion of the sovereign arbiter. That body having considered the award as not obligatory, and advised me to open a further negotiation, the proposition was immediately made to the British Government; but the circumstances to which I have alluded, have hitherto prevented any answer being given to the overture. Early attention, however, has been promised to the subject, and every effort on my part will be made for a satisfactory settlement of this question, interesting to the Union generally, and particularly so to one of its members.
The claims of our citizens on Spain are not yet acknowledged. On a closer investigation of them than appears to have heretofore taken place, it was discovered that some of these demands, however strong they might be upon the equity of that Government, were not such as could be made the subject of national interferenre; and, faithful to the principle of asking Lothing but what was clearly right, additional instructions have been sent so modify our demands, so as to embrace those only on which, according
their national vessels
nation is engaged.
the laws of nations, we had a strict right to insist. An inevitable delay in proeuring the documents necessary for this review of the merits of these claims, retarded this operation, until an unfortunate malady, which has afficted his Catholic Majesty, prevented an examination of them. Being now, for the first time, presented in an unexceptionable form, it is confidently hoped the application will be successful
. I bare the satisfaction to inform you, that the application I directed to be made for the delivery of a part of the archives of Florida, which had been carried to the Havana, has produced a royal order for their delivery, and thal measures have been taken to procure its execution.
By the report of the Secretary of State, communicated to you on the 25th June last, you were informed of the conditional reduction obtained by the minister of the United States, at Madrid, of the duties.on tonnage levied on American shipping in the ports of Spain. The condition of that reduction having been complied with on our part, by the act passed the 13th of July last, I have the satisfaction to inform you that our ships now pay no higher nor other duties, in the continental ports of Spain, than are levied on
The demands against Portugal for illegal captures in the blockade of Terceira
, have been allowed to the full amount of the accounts presented by the claimants, and payment was promised to be made in three instalments
. The first of these has been paid; the second, although due, had not, at the daterof our last advices, been received; owing, it was alleged, to embarrassments in the finances, consequent on the civil war in which that
The payments stipulated by the convention with Denmark, have been penetrally made, and the amount is ready for distribution among the claimants, as soon as the board, now sitting, shall have performed their functions. regret that
, by the last advices from our Charge d'Affaires at Naples, that Government had still delayed the satisfaction due to our citizens; but, at that date, the effect of the last instructions was not known. Despatches from thence are hourly expected, and the result will be communicated to you
With the rest of Europe, our relations, political and commercial, remain unchanged. Negotiations are going on to put, on a permanent basis, the Russia. The treaty concluded with Austria is executed by his Imperial Majesty with the most perfect good faith: and, as we have no diplomatic agent at his court, he personally inquired into, and corrected a proceeding of some of his subaltern officers, to the injury of our consul in one of his ports.
Our treaty with the Sublime Porte is producing its expected effects on extensive range for the employment of our ships. A slight augmentation been imposed; but, on the representation of our Charge d'Affaires, it has of the duties on our commerce, inconsistent with the spirit of the treaty, had the Black Sea, and of all the ports belonging to the Turkish empire and been promptly withdrawn, and we now enjoy the trade and navigation of and the increase of a profitable commercial intercourse with Mexico, with
I wish earnestly, that, in announcing to you the continuance of friendship, the 29surance that they all are blessed with that internal tranquillity and Central America, and the States of the South, I could accompany it with
and foreign peace, which their heroic devotion to the cause of their inde pendence merits. In Mexico, a sanguinary struggle is now carried on which has caused some embarrassment to our commerce: but both parties profess the most friendly disposition towards us. To the termination of this contest, we look for the establishment of that secure intercourse, so ne cessary to nations whose territories are contiguous. How important it will be to us, we may calculate from the fact, that, even in this unfavorable state of things, our maritime commerce has increased, and an internal trade, by caravans, from St. Louis to Santa Fe, under the protection of escorts furnished by the Government, is carried on to great advantage, and is daily increasing. The agents, provided for by the treaty with this power, to designate the boundaries which it established, have been named on our part; , but one of the erils of the civil war now raging there, has been, that the appointment of those with whom they were to co-operate, has not yet been announced to us.
The Government of Central America has expelled from its territory the party which, some time since, disturbed its peace. Desirous of fostering a favorable disposition towards us, which has on more than one occasion been evinced by this interesting country, I made a second attempt, in this year, to establish a diplomatic intercourse with them; but the death of the distinguished citizen whom I had appointed for that purpose, has retarded the execution of measures from which I hoped much advantage to our commerce. The union of the three States which formed the republic of Colombia has been dissolved; but they all, it is believed, consider themselves as separately bound by the treaty which was made in their federal capacity. The minister accredited to the federation, continues in that character near the Government of New Granada; and hopes were entertained that a new union would be formed between the separate States, at least, for the purposes of foreign intercourse. Our minister has been instructed to use his good offices, whenever they shall be desired, to produce the reunion so much to be wished for the domestic tranquillity of the parties, and the security and facility of foreign commerce.
Some agitations, naturally attendant on an infant reign, have prevailed in the empire of Brazil, which have had the usual effect upon commercial operations, and, while they suspended the consideration of claims created on similar occasions, they have given rise to new complaints on the part of our citizens. A proper consideration for calamities and difficulties of this nature, has made us less urgent and peremptory in our demands for justice than duty to our fellow-citizens would, under other circumstances, have required. But their claims are not neglected, and will, on all proper occasions; be urged, and, it is hoped, with effect.
I refrain from making any communication on the subject of our affairs with Buenos Ayres, because the negotiation communicated to you in my last annual message, was, at the date of our last advices, still pending, and in a state that would render a publication of the details inexpedient.
A treaty of amity and commerce has been formed with the republic of Chili, which, if approved by the Senate, will be laid before you. That Government seems to be established, and at peace with its neighbors; and its ports being the resorts of our ships, which are employed in the highly important trade of the fisheries, this commercial convention cannot but be of great advantage to our fellow citizens engaged in that perilous but profitable business.