A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents
James D. Richardson

Part 8 out of 9

With Great Britain our commercial intercourse rests on the same footing
that it did at the last session. By the convention of 1815 the commerce
between the United States and the British dominions in Europe and the
East Indies was arranged on a principle of reciprocity. That convention
was confirmed and continued in force, with slight exceptions, by a
subsequent treaty for the term of ten years from the 20th of October,
1818, the date of the latter. The trade with the British colonies in the
West Indies has not as yet been arranged, by treaty or otherwise, to our
satisfaction. An approach to that result has been made by legislative
acts, whereby many serious impediments which had been raised by the
parties in defense of their respective claims were removed. An earnest
desire exists, and has been manifested on the part of this Government,
to place the commerce with the colonies, likewise, on a footing of
reciprocal advantage, and it is hoped that the British Government,
seeing the justice of the proposal and its importance to the colonies,
will ere long accede to it.

The commissioners who were appointed for the adjustment of the boundary
between the territories of the United States and those of Great Britain,
specified in the fifth article of the treaty of Ghent, having disagreed
in their decision, and both Governments having agreed to establish that
boundary by amicable negotiation between them, it is hoped that it may
be satisfactorily adjusted in that mode. The boundary specified by the
sixth article has been established by the decision of the commissioners.
From the progress made in that provided for by the seventh, according to
a report recently received, there is good cause to presume that it will
be settled in the course of the ensuing year.

It is a cause of serious regret that no arrangement has yet been finally
concluded between the two Governments to secure by joint cooperation
the suppression of the slave trade. It was the object of the British
Government in the early stages of the negotiation to adopt a plan for
the suppression which should include the concession of the mutual right
of search by the ships of war of each party of the vessels of the other
for suspected offenders. This was objected to by this Government on
the principle that as the right of search was a right of war of a
belligerent toward a neutral power it might have an ill effect to extend
it by treaty, to an offense which had been made comparatively mild, to
a time of peace. Anxious however, for the suppression of this trade,
it was thought advisable, in compliance with a resolution of the House
of Representatives, founded on an act of Congress, to propose to the
British Government an expedient which should be free from that objection
and more effectual for the object, by making it piratical. In that
mode the enormity of tho crime would place the offenders out of the
protection of their Government, and involve no question of search or
other question between the parties touching their respective rights.
It was believed, also, that it would completely suppress the trade
in the vessels of both parties, and by their respective citizens and
subjects in those of other powers, with whom it was hoped that the odium
which would thereby be attached to it would produce a corresponding
arrangement, and by means thereof its entire extirpation forever. A
convention to this effect was concluded and signed in London on the
13th day of March, 1824, by plenipotentiaries duly authorized by both
Governments, to the ratification of which certain obstacles have arisen
which are not yet entirely removed. The difference between the parties
still remaining has been reduced to a point not of sufficient magnitude,
as is presumed, to be permitted to defeat an object so near to the heart
of both nations and so desirable to the friends of humanity throughout
the world. As objections, however, to the principle recommended by the
House of Representatives, or at least to the consequences inseparable
from it, and which are understood to apply to the law, have been raised,
which may deserve a reconsideration of the whole subject, I have thought
it proper to suspend the conclusion of a new convention until the
definitive sentiments of Congress may be ascertained. These documents
relating to the negotiation are with that intent submitted to your

Our commerce with Sweden has been placed on a footing of perfect
reciprocity by treaty, and with Russia, the Netherlands, Prussia,
the free Hanseatic cities, the Dukedom of Oldenburg, and Sardinia by
internal regulations on each side, founded on mutual agreement between
the respective Governments.

The principles upon which the commercial policy of the United States
is founded are to be traced to an early period. They are essentially
connected with those upon which their independence was declared, and
owe their origin to the enlightened men who took the lead in our
affairs at that important epoch. They are developed in their first
treaty of commerce with France of 6th February, 1778, and by a formal
commission which was instituted immediately after the conclusion of
their Revolutionary struggle, for the purpose of negotiating treaties
of commerce with every European power. The first treaty of the United
States with Prussia, which was negotiated by that commission, affords
a signal illustration of those principles. The act of Congress of the
3d March. 1815. adopted immediately after the return of a general peace,
was a new overture to foreign nations to establish our commercial
relations with them on the basis of free and equal reciprocity. That
principle has pervaded all the acts of Congress and all the negotiations
of the Executive on the subject since.

A convention for the settlement of important questions in relation
to the northwest coast of this continent and its adjoining seas was
concluded and signed at St. Petersburg on the 5th day of April last by
the minister plenipotentiary of the United States and plenipotentiaries
of the Imperial Government of Russia. It will immediately be laid before
the Senate for the exercise of the constitutional authority of that body
with reference to its ratification. It is proper to add that the manner
in which this negotiation was invited and conducted on the part of the
Emperor has been very satisfactory.

The great and extraordinary changes which have happened in the
Governments of Spain and Portugal within the last two years, without
seriously affecting the friendly relations which under all of them
have been maintained with those powers by the United States, have been
obstacles to the adjustment of the particular subjects of discussion
which have arisen with each. A resolution of the Senate adopted at their
last session called for information as to the effect produced upon our
relations with Spain by the recognition on the part of the United States
of the independent South American Governments. The papers containing
that information are now communicated to Congress.

A charge d'affaires has been received from the independent Government of
Brazil. That country, heretofore a colonial possession of Portugal, had
some years since been proclaimed by the Sovereign of Portugal himself an
independent Kingdom. Since his return to Lisbon a revolution in Brazil
has established a new Government there with an imperial title, at the
head of which is placed a prince, in whom the regency had been vested by
the King at the time of his departure. There is reason to expect that by
amicable negotiation the independence of Brazil will ere long be
recognized by Portugal herself.

With the remaining powers of Europe, with those on the coast of Barbary,
and with all the new South American States our relations are of a
friendly character. We have ministers plenipotentiary residing with the
Republics of Colombia and Chile, and have received ministers of the same
rank from Colombia, Guatemala, Buenos Ayres, and Mexico. Our commercial
relations with all those States are mutually beneficial and increasing.
With the Republic of Colombia a treaty of commerce has been formed, of
which a copy is received and the original daily expected. A negotiation
for a like treaty would have been commenced with Buenos Ayres had it not
been prevented by the indisposition and lamented decease of Mr. Rodney,
our minister there, and to whose memory the most respectful attention
has been shewn by the Government of that Republic. An advantageous
alteration in our treaty with Tunis has been obtained by our consular
agent residing there, the official document of which when received will
be laid before the Senate.

The attention of the Government has been drawn with great solicitude
to other subjects, and particularly to that relating to a state of
maritime war, involving the relative rights of neutral and belligerent
in such wars. Most of the difficulties which we have experienced and of
the losses which we have sustained since the establishment of our
independence have proceeded from the unsettled state of those rights and
the extent to which the belligerent claim has been carried against the
neutral party. It is impossible to look back on the occurrences of the
late wars in Europe, and to behold the disregard which was paid to our
rights as a neutral power, and the waste which was made of our commerce
by the parties to those wars by various acts of their respective
Governments, and under the pretext by each that the other had set the
example, without great mortification and a fixed purpose never to submit
to the like in future. An attempt to remove those causes of possible
variance by friendly negotiation and on just principles which should
be applicable to all parties could, it was presumed, be viewed by none
other than as a proof of an earnest desire to preserve those relations
with every power. In the late war between France and Spain a crisis
occurred in which it seemed probable that all the controvertible
principles involved in such wars might be brought into discussion and
settled to the satisfaction of all parties. Propositions having this
object in view have been made to the Governments of Great Britain,
France, Russia, and of other powers, which have been received in a
friendly manner by all, but as yet no treaty has been formed with either
for its accomplishment. The policy will, it is presumed, be persevered
in, and in the hope that it may be successful.

It will always be recollected that with one of the parties to those
wars, and from whom we received those injuries, we sought redress by
war. From the other, by whose then reigning Government our vessels
were seized in port as well as at sea and their cargoes confiscated,
indemnity has been expected, but has not yet been tendered. It was under
the influence of the latter that our vessels were likewise seized by
the Governments of Spain, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, and Naples, and
from whom indemnity has been claimed and is still expected, with the
exception of Spain, by whom it has been rendered. With both parties we
had abundant cause of war, but we had no alternative but to resist that
which was most powerful at sea and pressed us nearest at home. With this
all differences were settled by a treaty, founded on conditions fair and
honorable to both, and which has been so far executed with perfect good
faith. It has been earnestly hoped that the other would of its own
accord, and from a sentiment of justice and conciliation, make to our
citizens the indemnity to which they are entitled, and thereby remove
from our relations any just cause of discontent on our side.

It is estimated that the receipts into the Treasury during the current
year, exclusive of loans, will exceed $18,500,000, which, with the sum
remaining in the Treasury at the end of the last year, amounting to
$9.463,922.81, will, after discharging the current disbursements of the
year, the interest on the public debt, and upward of $11,633,011.52 of
the principal, leave a balance of more than $3,000,000 in the Treasury
on the 1st day of January next.

A larger amount of the debt contracted during the late war, bearing an
interest of 6 per cent, becoming redeemable in the course of the ensuing
year than could be discharged by the ordinary revenue, the act of the
26th of May authorized a loan of $5,000,000 at 4-1/2 per cent to meet
the same. By this arrangement an annual saving will accrue to the public
of $75,000.

Under the act of the 24th of May last a loan of $5,000,000 was
authorized, in order to meet the awards under the Florida treaty,
which was negotiated at par with the Bank of the United States at 4-1/2
percent, the limit of interest fixed by the act. By this provision the
claims of our citizens who had sustained so great a loss by spoliations,
and from whom indemnity had been so long withheld, were promptly paid.
For these advances the public will be amply repaid at no distant day by
the sale of the lands in Florida. Of the great advantages resulting from
the acquisition of the Territory in other respects too high an estimate
can not be formed.

It is estimated that the receipts into the Treasury during the year
1825 will be sufficient to meet the disbursements of the year,
including the sum of $10,000,000, which is annually appropriated by
the act constituting the sinking fund to the payment of the principal
and interest of the public debt.

The whole amount of the public debt on the 1st of January next may be
estimated at $86,000,000, inclusive of $2,500,000 of the loan authorized
by the act of the 26th of May last. In this estimate is included a stock
of $7,000,000, issued for the purchase of that amount of the capital
stock of the Bank of the United States, and which, as the stock of the
bank still held by the Government will at least be fully equal to its
reimbursement, ought not to be considered as constituting a part of the
public debt. Estimating, then, the whole amount of the public debt at
$79,000,000 and regarding the annual receipts and expenditures of the
Government, a well-founded hope may be entertained that, should no
unexpected event occur, the whole of the public debt may be discharged
in the course of ten years, and the Government be left at liberty
thereafter to apply such portion of the revenue as may not be necessary
for current expenses to such other objects as may be most conducive
to the public security and welfare. That the sums applicable to these
objects will be very considerable may be fairly concluded when it is
recollected that a large amount of the public revenue has been applied
since the late war to the construction of the public buildings in this
city; to the erection of fortifications along the coast and of arsenals
in different parts of the Union; to the augmentation of the Navy; to the
extinguishment of the Indian title to large tracts of fertile territory;
to the acquisition of Florida; to pensions to Revolutionary officers and
soldiers, and to invalids of the late war. On many of these objects the
expense will annually be diminished and cease at no distant period on
most of them. On the 1st of January, 1817, the public debt amounted
to $123,491,965.16, and, notwithstanding the large sums which have
been applied to these objects, it has been reduced since that period
$37,446,961.78. The last portion of the public debt will be redeemable
on the 1st of January, 1835, and while there is the best reason to
believe that the resources of the Government will be continually
adequate to such portions of it as may become due in the interval, it
is recommended to Congress to seize every opportunity which may present
itself to reduce the rate of interest on every part thereof. The high
state of the public credit and the great abundance of money are at this
time very favorable to such a result. It must be very gratifying to our
fellow-citizens to witness this flourishing state of the public finances
when it is recollected that no burthen whatever has been imposed upon

The military establishment in all its branches, in the performance of
the various duties assigned to each, justifies the favorable view which
was presented of the efficiency of its organization at the last session.
All the appropriations have been regularly applied to the objects
intended by Congress, and so far as the disbursements have been made the
accounts have been rendered and settled without loss to the public.
The condition of the Army itself, as relates to the officers and men,
in science and discipline is highly respectable. The Military Academy,
on which the Army essentially rests, and to which it is much indebted
for this state of improvement, has attained, in comparison with any
other institution of a like kind, a high degree of perfection.
Experience, however, has shewn that the dispersed condition of the corps
of artillery is unfavorable to the discipline of that important branch
of the military establishment. To remedy this inconvenience, eleven
companies have been assembled at the fortification erected at Old Point
Comfort as a school for artillery instruction, with intention as they
shall be perfected in the various duties of that service to order them
to other posts, and to supply their places with other companies for
instruction in like manner. In this mode a complete knowledge of the
science and duties of this arm will be extended throughout the whole
corps of artillery.-But to carry this object fully into effect will
require the aid of Congress, to obtain which the subject is now
submitted to your consideration.

Of the progress which has been made in the construction of
fortifications for the permanent defense of our maritime frontier,
according to the plan decided on and to the extent of the existing
appropriations, the report of the Secretary of War, which is herewith
communicated, will give a detailed account. Their final completion can
not fail to give great additional security to that frontier, and to
diminish proportionably the expense of defending it in the event of war.

The provisions in the several acts of Congress of the last session for
the improvement of the navigation of the Mississippi and the Ohio, of
the harbor of Presqu'isle, on Lake Erie, and the repair of the Plymouth
beach are in a course of regular execution; and there is reason to
believe that the appropriation in each instance will be adequate
to the object. To carry these improvements fully into effect, the
superintendence of them has been assigned to officers of the Corps
of Engineers.

Under the act of 30th April last, authorizing the President to cause a
survey to be made, with the necessary plans and estimates, of such roads
and canals as he might deem of national importance in a commercial or
military point of view, or for the transportation of the mail, a board
has been instituted, consisting of two distinguished officers of the
Corps of Engineers and a distinguished civil engineer, with assistants,
who have been actively employed in carrying into effect the object of
the act. They have carefully examined the route between the Potomac and
the Ohio rivers; between the latter and Lake Erie; between the Alleghany
and the Susquehannah; and the routes between the Delaware and the
Raritan, Barnstable and Buzzards Bay, and between Boston Harbor and
Narraganset Bay. Such portion of the Corps of Topographical Engineers
as could be spared from the survey of the coast has been employed in
surveying the very important route between the Potomac and the Ohio.
Considerable progress has been made in it, but the survey can not be
completed until the next season. It is gratifying to add, from the view
already taken, that there is good cause to believe that this great
national object may be fully accomplished.

It is contemplated to commence early in the next season the execution of
the other branch of the act--that which relates to roads--and with the
survey of a route from this city, through the Southern States, to New
Orleans, the importance of which can not be too highly estimated. All
the officers of both the corps of engineers who could be spared from
other services have been employed in exploring and surveying the routes
for canals. To digest a plan for both objects for the great purposes
specified will require a thorough knowledge of every part of our Union
and of the relation of each part to the others and of all to the seat of
the General Government. For such a digest it will be necessary that the
information be full, minute, and precise. With a view to these important
objects, I submit to the consideration of the Congress the propriety of
enlarging both the corps of engineers--the military and topographical.
It need scarcely be remarked that the more extensively these corps are
engaged in the improvement of their country, in the execution of the
powers of Congress, and in aid of the States in such improvements as lie
beyond that limit, when such aid is desired, the happier the effect will
be in many views of which the subject is susceptible. By profiting of
their science the works will always be well executed, and by giving to
the officers such employment our Union will derive all the advantage, in
peace as well as in war, from their talents and services which they can
afford. In this mode, also, the military will be incorporated with the
civil, and unfounded and injurious distinctions and prejudices of every
kind be done away. To the corps themselves this service can not fail to
be equally useful, since by the knowledge they would thus acquire they
would be eminently better qualified in the event of war for the great
purposes for which they were instituted.

Our relations with the Indian tribes within our limits have not been
materially changed during the year. The hostile disposition evinced by
certain tribes on the Missouri during the last year still continues,
and has extended in some degree to those on the Upper Mississippi and
the Upper Lakes. Several parties of our citizens have been plundered
and murdered by those tribes. In order to establish relations of
friendship with them, Congress at the last session made an appropriation
for treaties with them and for the employment of a suitable military
escort to accompany and attend the commissioners at the places appointed
for the negotiations. This object has not been effected. The season
was too far advanced when the appropriation was made and the distance
too great to permit it, but measures have been taken, and all the
preparations will be completed to accomplish it at an early period
in the next season.

Believing that the hostility of the tribes, particularly on the Upper
Mississippi and the Lakes, is in no small degree owing to the wars which
are carried on between the tribes residing in that quarter, measures
have been taken to bring about a general peace among them, which, if
successful, will not only tend to the security of our citizens, but
be of great advantage to the Indians themselves.

With the exception of the tribes referred to, our relations with all
the others are on the same friendly footing, and it affords me great
satisfaction to add that they are making steady advances in civilization
and the improvement of their condition. Many of the tribes have already
made great progress in the arts of civilized life. This desirable result
has been brought about by the humane and persevering policy of the
Government, and particularly by means of the appropriation for the
civilization of the Indians. There have been established under the
provisions of this act 32 schools, containing 916 scholars, who are
well instructed in several branches of literature, and likewise in
agriculture and the ordinary arts of life.

Under the appropriation to authorize treaties with the Creeks and
Quaupaw Indians commissioners have been appointed and negotiations
are now pending, but the result is not yet known.

For more full information respecting the principle which has been
adopted for carrying into effect the act of Congress authorizing
surveys, with plans and estimates for canals and roads, and on every
other branch of duty incident to the Department of War. I refer you
to the report of the Secretary.

The squadron in the Mediterranean has been maintained in the extent
which was proposed in the report of the Secretary of the Navy of the
last year, and has afforded to our commerce the necessary protection
in that sea. Apprehending, however, that the unfriendly relations which
have existed between Algiers and some of the powers of Europe might
be extended to us, it has been thought expedient to augment the force
there, and in consequence the _North Carolina_, a ship of the line,
has been prepared, and will sail in a few days to join it.

The force employed in the Gulf of Mexico and in the neighboring seas
for the suppression of piracy has likewise been preserved essentially in
the state in which it was during the last year. A persevering effort has
been made for the accomplishment of that object, and much protection has
thereby been afforded to our commerce, but still the practice is far
from being suppressed. From every view which has been taken of the
subject it is thought that it will be necessary rather to augment than
to diminish our force in that quarter. There is reason to believe that
the piracies now complained of are committed by bands of robbers who
inhabit the land, and who, by preserving good intelligence with the
towns and seizing favorable opportunities, rush forth and fall on
unprotected merchant vessels, of which they make an easy prey. The
pillage thus taken they carry to their lurking places, and dispose of
afterwards at prices tending to seduce the neighboring population. This
combination is understood to be of great extent, and is the more to be
deprecated because the crime of piracy is often attended with the murder
of the crews, these robbers knowing if any survived their lurking places
would be exposed and they be caught and punished. That this atrocious
practice should be carried to such extent is cause of equal surprise and
regret. It is presumed that it must be attributed to the relaxed and
feeble state of the local governments, since it is not doubted, from
the high character of the governor of Cuba, who is well known and much
respected here, that if he had the power he would promptly suppress
it. Whether those robbers should be pursued on the land, the local
authorities be made responsible for these atrocities, or any other
measure be resorted to to suppress them, is submitted to the
consideration of Congress.

In execution of the laws for the suppression of the slave trade a vessel
has been occasionally sent from that squadron to the coast of Africa
with orders to return thence by the usual track of the slave ships, and
to seize any of our vessels which might be engaged in that trade. None
have been found, and it is believed that none are thus employed. It is
well known, however, that the trade still exists under other flags.

The health of our squadron while at Thompsons Island has been much
better during the present than it was the last season. Some improvements
have been made and others are contemplated there which, it is believed,
will have a very salutary effect.

On the Pacific our commerce has much increased, and on that coast, as
well as on that seas the United States have many important interests
which require attention and protection. It is thought that all the
considerations which suggested the expediency of placing a squadron
on that sea operate with augmented force for maintaining it there, at
least in equal extent.

For detailed information respecting the state of our maritime force
on each sea, the improvement necessary to be made on either in the
organization of the naval establishment generally, and of the laws for
its better government I refer you to the report of the Secretary of the
Navy, which is herewith communicated.

The revenue of the Post-Office Department has received a considerable
augmentation in the present year. The current receipts will exceed the
expenditures, although the transportation of the mail within the year
has been much increased. A report of the Postmaster-General, which is
transmitted, will furnish in detail the necessary information respecting
the administration and present state of this Department.

In conformity with a resolution of Congress of the last session, an
invitation was given to General Lafayette to visit the United States,
with an assurance that a ship of war should attend at any port of France
which he might designate, to receive and convey him across the Atlantic,
whenever it might be convenient for him to sail. He declined the offer
of the public ship from motives of delicacy, but assured me that he
had long intended and would certainly visit our Union in the course of
the present year. In August last he arrived at New York, where he was
received with the warmth of affection and gratitude to which his very
important and disinterested services and sacrifices in our Revolutionary
struggle so eminently entitled him. A corresponding sentiment has since
been manifested in his favor throughout every portion of our Union, and
affectionate invitations have been given him to extend his visits to
them. To these he has yielded all the accommodation in his power.
At every designated point of rendezvous the whole population of the
neighboring country has been assembled to greet him, among whom it
has excited in a peculiar manner the sensibility of all to behold the
surviving members of our Revolutionary contest, civil and military, who
had shared with him in the toils and dangers of the war, many of them
in a decrepit state. A more interesting spectacle, it is believed, was
never witnessed, because none could be founded on purer principles, none
proceed from higher or more disinterested motives. That the feelings
of those who had fought and bled with him in a common cause should
have been much excited was natural. There are, however, circumstances
attending these interviews which pervaded the whole community and
touched the breasts of every age, even the youngest among us. There
was not an individual present who had not some relative who had not
partaken in those scenes, nor an infant who had not heard the relation
of them. But the circumstance which was most sensibly felt, and which
his presence brought forcibly to the recollection of all, was the great
cause in which we were engaged and the blessings which we have derived
from our success in it. The struggle was for independence and liberty,
public and personal, and in this we succeeded. The meeting with one who
had borne so distinguished a part in that great struggle, and from such
lofty and disinterested motives, could not fail to affect profoundly
every individual and of every age. It is natural that we should all take
a deep interest in his future welfare, as we do. His high claims on our
Union are felt, and the sentiment universal that they should be met in
a generous spirit. Under these impressions I invite your attention to
the subject, with a view that, regarding his very important services,
losses, and sacrifices, a provision may be made and tendered to him
which shall correspond with the sentiments and be worthy the character
of the American people.

In turning our attention to the condition of the civilized world,
in which the United States have always taken a deep interest, it is
gratifying to see how large a portion of it is blessed with peace.
The only wars which now exist within that limit are those between
Turkey and Greece, in Europe, and between Spain and the new Governments,
our neighbors, in this hemisphere. In both these wars the cause of
independence, of liberty and humanity, continues to prevail. The success
of Greece, when the relative population of the contending parties is
considered, commands our admiration and applause, and that it has had a
similar effect with the neighboring powers is obvious. The feeling of
the whole civilized world is excited in a high degree in their favor.
May we not hope that these sentiments, winning on the hearts of their
respective Governments, may lead to a more decisive result; that they
may produce an accord among them to replace Greece on the ground which
she formerly held, and to which her heroic exertions at this day so
eminently entitle her?

With respect to the contest to which our neighbors are a party, it is
evident that Spain as a power is scarcely felt in it. These new States
had completely achieved their independence before it was acknowledged by
the United States, and they have since maintained it with little foreign
pressure. The disturbances which have appeared in certain portions of
that vast territory have proceeded from internal causes, which had their
origin in their former Governments and have not yet been thoroughly
removed. It is manifest that these causes are daily losing their effect,
and that these new States are settling down under Governments elective
and representative in every branch, similar to our own. In this course
we ardently wish them to persevere, under a firm conviction that it will
promote their happiness. In this, their career, however, we have not
interfered, believing that every people have a right to institute for
themselves the government which, in their judgment, may suit them best.
Our example is before them, of the good effect of which, being our
neighbors, they are competent judges, and to their judgment we leave
it, in the expectation that other powers will pursue the same policy.
The deep interest which we take in their independence, which we have
acknowledged, and in their enjoyment of all the rights incident
thereto, especially in the very important one of instituting their own
Governments, has been declared, and is known to the world. Separated as
we are from Europe by the great Atlantic Ocean, we can have no concern
in the wars of the European Governments nor in the causes which produce
them. The balance of power between them, into whichever scale it may
turn in its various vibrations, can not affect us. It is the interest
of the United States to preserve the most friendly relations with every
power and on conditions fair, equal, arid applicable to all. But in
regard to our neighbors our situation is different. It is impossible
for the European Governments to interfere in their concerns, especially
in those alluded to, which are vital, without affecting us; indeed, the
motive which might induce such interference in the present state of the
war between the parties, if a war it may be called, would appear to be
equally applicable to us. It is gratifying to know that some of the
powers with whom we enjoy a very friendly intercourse, and to whom
these views have been communicated, have appeared to acquiesce in them.

The augmentation of our population with the expansion of our Union and
increased number of States have produced effects in certain branches
of our system which merit the attention of Congress. Some of our
arrangements, and particularly the judiciary establishment, were made
with a view to the original thirteen States only. Since then the United
States have acquired a vast extent of territory; eleven new States have
been admitted into the Union, and Territories have been laid off for
three others, which will likewise be admitted at no distant day. An
organization of the Supreme Court which assigns to the judges any
portion of the duties which belong to the inferior, requiring their
passage over so vast a space under any distribution of the States that
may now be made, if not impracticable in the execution, must render
it impossible for them to discharge the duties of either branch with
advantage to the Union. The duties of the Supreme Court would be of
great importance if its decisions were confined to the ordinary limits
of other tribunals, but when it is considered that this court decides,
and in the last resort, on all the great questions which arise under our
Constitution, involving those between the United States individually,
between the States and the United States, and between the latter and
foreign powers, too high an estimate of their importance can not be
formed. The great interests of the nation seem to require that the
judges of the Supreme Court should be exempted from every other duty
than those which are incident to that high trust. The organization of
the inferior courts would of course be adapted to circumstances. It is
presumed that such an one might be formed as would secure an able and
faithful discharge of their duties, and without any material
augmentation of expense.

The condition of the aborigines within our limits, and especially
those who are within the limits of any of the States, merits likewise
particular attention. Experience has shown that unless the tribes be
civilized they can never be incorporated into our system in any form
whatever. It has likewise shown that in the regular augmentation of
our population with the extension of our settlements their situation
will become deplorable, if their extinction is not menaced. Some
well-digested plan which will rescue them from such calamities is due
to their rights, to the rights of humanity, and to the honor of the
nation. Their civilization is indispensable to their safety, and this
can be accomplished only by degrees. The process must commence with the
infant state, through whom some effect may be wrought on the parental.
Difficulties of the most serious character present themselves to the
attainment of this very desirable result on the territory on which they
now reside. To remove them from it by force, even with a view to their
own security and happiness, would be revolting to humanity and utterly
unjustifiable. Between the limits of our present States and Territories
and the Rocky Mountains and Mexico there is a vast territory to which
they might be invited with inducements which might be successful. It is
thought if that territory should be divided into districts by previous
agreement with the tribes now residing there and civil governments be
established in each, with schools for every branch of instruction in
literature and the arts of civilized life, that all the tribes now
within our limits might gradually be drawn there. The execution of
this plan would necessarily be attended with expense, and that not
inconsiderable, but it is doubted whether any other can be devised
which would be less liable to that objection or more likely to succeed.

In looking to the interests which the United States have on the
Pacific Ocean and on the western coast of this continent, the propriety
of establishing a military post at the mouth of Columbia River, or at
some other point in that quarter within our acknowledged limits, is
submitted to the consideration of Congress. Our commerce and fisheries
on that sea and along the coast have much increased and are increasing.
It is thought that a military post, to which our ships of war might
resort, would afford protection to every interest, and have a tendency
to conciliate the tribes to the northwest, with whom our trade is
extensive. It is thought also that by the establishment of such a post
the intercourse between our Western States and Territories and the
Pacific and our trade with the tribes residing in the interior on each
side of the Rocky Mountains would be essentially promoted. To carry this
object into effect the appropriation of an adequate sum to authorize the
employment of a frigate, with an officer of the Corps of Engineers,
to explore the mouth of the Columbia River and the coast contiguous
thereto, to enable the Executive to make such establishment at the most
suitable point, is recommended to Congress.

It is thought that attention is also due to the improvement of this
city. The communication between the public buildings and in various
other parts and the grounds around those buildings require it. It is
presumed also that the completion of the canal from the Tiber to the
Eastern Branch would have a very salutary effect. Great exertions have
been made and expenses incurred by the citizens in improvements of
various kinds; but those which are suggested belong exclusively to the
Government, or are of a nature to require expenditures beyond their
resources. The public lots which are still for sale would, it is not
doubted, be more than adequate to these purposes.

From the view above presented it is manifest that the situation of the
United States is in the highest degree prosperous and happy. There is no
object which as a people we can desire which we do not possess or which
is not within our reach. Blessed with governments the happiest which the
world ever knew, with no distinct orders in society or divided interests
in any portion of the vast territory over which their dominion extends,
we have every motive to cling together which can animate a virtuous and
enlightened people. The great object is to preserve these blessings,
and to hand them down to the latest posterity. Our experience ought to
satisfy us that our progress under the most correct and provident policy
will not be exempt from danger. Our institutions form an important epoch
in the history of the civilized world. On their preservation and in
their utmost purity everything will depend. Extending as our interests
do to every part of the inhabited globe and to every sea to which our
citizens are carried by their industry and enterprise, to which they are
invited by the wants of others, and have a right to go, we must either
protect them in the enjoyment of their rights or abandon them in certain
events to waste and desolation. Our attitude is highly interesting as
relates to other powers, and particularly to our southern neighbors. We
have duties to perform with respect to all to which we must be faithful.
To every kind of danger we should pay the most vigilant and unceasing
attention, remove the cause where it may be practicable, and be prepared
to meet it when inevitable.

Against foreign danger the policy of the Government seems to be already
settled. The events of the late war admonished us to make our maritime
frontier impregnable by a well-digested chain of fortifications, and
to give efficient protection to our commerce by augmenting our Navy
to a certain extent, which has been steadily pursued, and which it is
incumbent upon us to complete as soon as circumstances will permit.
In the event of war it is on the maritime frontier that we shall be
assailed. It is in that quarter, therefore, that we should be prepared
to meet the attack. It is there that our whole force will be called
into action to prevent the destruction of our towns and the desolation
and pillage of the interior. To give full effect to this policy great
improvements will be indispensable. Access to those works by every
practicable communication should be made easy and in every direction.
The intercourse between every part of our Union should also be promoted
and facilitated by the exercise of those powers which may comport with
a faithful regard to the great principles of our Constitution. With
respect to internal causes, those great principles point out with
equal certainty the policy to be pursued. Resting on the people as
our Governments do, State and National, with well-defined powers,
it is of the highest importance that they severally keep within the
limits prescribed to them. Fulfilling that sacred duty, it is of equal
importance that the movement between them be harmonious, and in case
of any disagreement, should any such occur, a calm appeal be made to
the people, and that their voice be heard and promptly obeyed. Both
Governments being instituted for the common good, we can not fail to
prosper while those who made them are attentive to the conduct of their
representatives and control their measures. In the pursuit of these
great objects let a generous spirit and national views and feelings be
indulged, and let every part recollect that by cherishing that spirit
and improving the condition of the others in what relates to their
welfare the general interest will not only be promoted, but the local
advantage be reciprocated by all.

I can not conclude this communication, the last of the kind which I
shall have to make, without recollecting with great sensibility and
heartfelt gratitude the many instances of the public confidence and the
generous support which I have received from my fellow-citizens in the
various trusts with which I have been honored. Having commenced my
service in early youth, and continued it since with few and short
intervals, I have witnessed the great difficulties to which our Union
has been exposed, and admired the virtue and intelligence with which
they have been surmounted. From the present prosperous and happy state
I derive a gratification which I can not express. That these blessings
may be preserved and perpetuated will be the object of my fervent and
unceasing prayers to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe.



DECEMBER 6, 1824.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

Agreeably to a resolution of the House of Representatives of the 13th of
May last, requesting the President to cause to be made and submitted to
the House on the first day of the next [present] session of Congress a
full and complete statement of the exact number of lots belonging to
the United States in the city of Washington which have been sold by the
public agents for that purpose; when sold, by whom, to whom, and for
what price each lot was purchased; what part of the purchase money has
been paid, the amount due, and by whom due, and when payable; whether
the debts are well secured, and whether the money received has been
applied, to what purposes, and by whom, I herewith transmit a report and
statements from the Commissioner of Public Buildings, which will afford
the information required.


DECEMBER 13, 1824.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In compliance with an act of Congress which originated in the House
of Representatives, passed the 26th of May, 1824, "to authorize the
President of the United States to enter into certain negotiations
relative to lands located under Virginia military land warrants, lying
between Ludlow's and Roberts's lines, in the State of Ohio," I herewith
transmit a report, with accompanying documents, from the Commissioner
of the General Land Office, shewing the measures which have been taken
under the provisions of the aforesaid act.


WASHINGTON, _December 13, 1824_.


I transmit to the Senate a convention, negotiated and signed by Samuel
D. Heap, acting consul of the United States, on the part of the United
States, and Mahmoud Bashaw, Bey of Tunis, on the 24th day of February
last, together with copies of Mr. Heap's correspondence appertaining
to the negotiation of the same, for the constitutional consideration
of the Senate with regard to its ratification.


WASHINGTON, _December 13, 1824_.


I transmit to the Senate the convention, signed by the plenipotentiaries
of the United States and of His Imperial Majesty the Emperor of Russia
at St. Petersburg on the 5th (17th) of April last, referred to in
my message to both Houses of Congress, together with the documents
appertaining to the negotiation of the same, for the constitutional
consideration of the Senate with regard to its ratification.


WASHINGTON, _December 23, 1824_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

Agreeably to a resolution of the House of Representatives of the
15th instant, requesting the President to lay before the House a copy
of the instructions under which the articles of a treaty with the
Cherokee Indians were formed by Daniel Smith and R.J. Meigs, acting as
commissioners of the United States, at Telico on the 24th October, 1804,
with copies of all the correspondence or other documents relating to
that instrument in either of the Executive Departments, with a statement
of the causes which prevented an earlier decision upon it, I herewith
transmit a report from the Secretary of War, with the documents referred
to in it.


WASHINGTON, _December 23, 1824_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I herewith transmit to the House a report from the Secretary of State,
with copies of the correspondence with the Government of France
requested by the resolution of the House of the 26th May last.



_Washington, December 23, 1824_.

The Secretary of State, to whom has been referred a resolution of the
House of Representatives of the 26th of May last, requesting that the
President of the United States would lay before that House at the
then next session, as early as the public interest would permit, the
correspondence which might be held with the Government of France prior
to that time on the subject of injuries sustained by citizens of the
United States since the year 1806, has the honor of reporting to the
President copies of the documents requested by that resolution.


[Extract of a letter from Mr. Adams (No. 1) to Mr. Sheldon, dated
Department of State, Washington, August 13, 1823.]

I have had the honor of receiving your dispatches Nos. 1 and 2, the
latter dated the 10th of June. Mr. Gallatin arrived with his family
at New York on the 24th of that month.

I inclose herewith copies of the recent correspondence between the
Count de Menou, the charge d'affaires of France, and this Department
on various subjects highly interesting to the relations between the
two countries.

With regard to the Count's note of the 11th of July, the President
received with great satisfaction the testimonial of the Viscount de
Chateaubriand to the candor and ability with which Mr. Gallatin has
performed the duties of his official station in France. The proposal
to renew the negotiation in behalf of the well-founded claims of our
citizens upon the French Government in _connection_ with a claim on
the part of France to special privileges in the ports of Louisiana,
which, after a very full discussion, had in the views of this Government
been proved utterly groundless, could neither be accepted nor considered
as evidence of the same conciliatory spirit. The claims of our citizens
are for mere justice; they are for reparation of unquestionable
wrongs--for indemnity or restitution of property taken from them or
destroyed without shadow or color of right. The claim under the eighth
article of the Louisiana convention has nothing to rest upon but a
forced construction of the terms of the stipulation, which the American
Government considered, and have invariably considered, as totally
without foundation. These are elements not to be coupled together in the
same negotiation, and while we yet trust to the final sense of justice
of France for the adjustment of the righteous claims of our citizens, we
still hope that their unquestionable character will ultimately secure
to them a consideration unencumbered with other discussions. You will
respectfully make this representation to the Viscount de Chateaubriand,
with the assurance of the readiness of this Government to discuss the
question upon the Louisiana convention further if desired by France,
but of our final conviction that it is not to be blended with the claims
of our citizens for mere justice.

_Count de Menou to Mr. Adams_.



_Washington, July 11, 1823_.


His Excellency the Viscount de Chateaubriand, in announcing to me that
Mr. Gallatin was about to leave France, expresses his regret at his
departure in such terms that I should do him injustice were I not to use
his own expressions. "My correspondence with this minister," he remarks
to me, "has caused me to appreciate his talents, his ability, and his
attachment to the system of friendship that unites the two powers. It
is with regret that I suspend my communications with him."

I esteem myself happy, sir, in conveying to you such sentiments toward
the representative of the United States in France, and I should have
thought that I had but imperfectly apprehended the design of the
Viscount de Chateaubriand had I neglected to communicate them to the
Federal Government.

The minister for foreign affairs reminds me also on this occasion that
Mr. Gallatin having frequently laid before him claims of Americans
against the French Government, he had shown himself disposed to enter
upon a general negotiation, in which they should be comprehended with
claims of French citizens against the Federal Government at the same
time with the arrangement relative to the execution of the eighth
article of the treaty of Louisiana, The object of his excellency was to
arrive at a speedy and friendly disposition of all difficulties that
might subsist between the two powers, well assured that France and the
United States would be found to have the same views of justice and

His excellency regrets that Mr. Gallatin, who, he says, "has convinced
him how pleasing and advantageous it is to negotiate with a statesman
who exhibits candor and ability in his discussions," did not receive
from his Government during his stay in France the necessary powers for
this double negotiation. But he informs me that the Government of His
Majesty remains always disposed to open it, either with Mr. Gallatin
should he return with these powers, or with Mr. Sheldon if the Federal
Government should think proper to confer them on him.

I greatly desire, sir, to see these propositions acceded to by the
Federal Government and to be able to reply to his excellency, as he
expresses his wish that an arrangement putting an end to every subject
of discussion might soon be expected.

I pray the Secretary of State to receive the renewed assurance of my
high consideration.

The charge d'affaires of France near the United States,


_Mr. Adams to Count de Menou_.


_Washington, August 12, 1823_.


_Charge d'Affaires from France_.

SIR: Your letter of the 11th of last month has been submitted to the
consideration of the President of the United States, by whom I am
directed to express the high satisfaction that he has felt at the manner
in which His Excellency the Viscount de Chateaubriand has noticed in
his correspondence with you the temporary absence of Mr. Gallatin from
France and the terms of regard and esteem with which he notices the
character and conduct of that minister. The anxious desire of the
President for the promotion of the good understanding between the United
States and France could not be more gratified than by the testimonial of
His Most Christian Majesty's Government to the good faith and ability
with which the minister of the United States at his Court has performed
his official duties.

With regard to the assurance of His Excellency the Viscount de
Chateaubriand's disposition to enter upon a negotiation with Mr.
Gallatin in the event of his return to France, or with Mr. Sheldon
during his absence, concerning the claims of citizens of the United
States on the Government of France in connection with an arrangement
concerning the eighth article of the Louisiana treaty, I am directed to
observe that those subjects rest upon grounds so totally different that
the Government of the United States can not consent to connect them
together in negotiation.

The claims of the citizens of the United States upon the French
Government have been of many years' standing, often represented by
successive ministers of the United States, and particularly by Mr.
Gallatin during a residence of seven years, with a perspicuity of
statement and a force of evidence which could leave to the Government
of the United States no desire but that they should have been received
with friendly attention and no regret but that they should have proved
ineffectual. The justice of these claims has never been denied by
France, and while the United States are still compelled to wait for
their adjustment, similar and less forceful claims of the subjects of
other nations have been freely admitted and liquidated.

A long and protracted discussion has already taken place between the
two Governments in relation to the claim of France under the eighth
article of the Louisiana convention, the result of which has been a
thorough conviction on the part of the American Government that the
claim has no foundation in the treaty whatever. The reasons for this
conviction have been so fully set forth in the discussion that it was
not anticipated a further examination of it would be thought desirable.
As a subject of discussion, however, the American Government is willing
to resume it whenever it may suit the views of France to present further
considerations relating to it; but while convinced that the claim is
entirely without foundation, they can not place it on a footing of
concurrent negotiation with claims of their citizens, the justice of
which is so unequivocal that they have not even been made the subject
of denial.

From the attention which His Excellency the Viscount de Chateaubriand
has intimated his willingness to give to the consideration of these
claims the President indulges the hope that they will be taken into view
upon their own merits, and in that hope the representative of the United
States at Paris will at an early day be instructed to present them again
to the undivided and unconditional sense of the justice of France.

I pray you, sir, to accept the renewed assurance of my distinguished


[Extract of a letter from Mr, Sheldon (No. 2) to Mr, Adams, dated
Paris, October 16, 1823.]

I took an early occasion after the receipt of your dispatch No. 1, of
the 10th August, to communicate the subjects of it in a conversation
I had with Viscount de Chateaubriand. His observations in relation to
that of the claims, as connected with the pretensions of France under
the Louisiana treaty, were of a very general nature and amounted to
little more than a repetition of his readiness to enter upon the
consideration of whatever subjects of discussion might exist between the
two countries and the expression of his satisfaction at the prospect of
being soon relieved from the labor which the affairs of Spain had thrown
upon him, and having thus more time to devote to those of the United
States and others not of the same pressing nature. He avoided any
intimation of a disposition to take up the claims by themselves, and
it can hardly be expected that the French Government will at this time
relax from the ground they have so lately taken upon that point. I
informed him that I should communicate in writing an answer to the
overture made by Count de Menou at Washington for uniting in a new
negotiation this subject with that of the Louisiana treaty, in substance
the same as that gentleman had already received there, and should again
press upon the French Government the consideration of the claims by
themselves; to which he replied that any communication I might make
would be received and treated with all the attention to which it was
entitled on his part.

_Mr. Sheldon to the Viscount de Chateaubriand_.

PARIS, _October 11, 1823_.

SIR: Mr. Gallatin, during his residence as minister of the United
States in France, had upon various occasions called the attention
of His Majesty's Government to the claims of our citizens for the
reparation of wrongs sustained by them from the unjust seizure,
detention, and confiscation of their property by officers and agents
acting under authority of the Government of France. During the past
year His Majesty's ministers had consented to enter upon the
consideration of these claims, but they proposed to couple with it
another subject having no connection with those claims, either in its
nature, its origin, or the principles on which it depended--a question
of the disputed construction of one of the articles of the treaty of
cession of Louisiana, by virtue of which France claimed certain
commercial privileges in the ports of that Province. Mr. Gallatin had
not received from his Government any authority to connect these two
dissimilar subjects in the same negotiation, or, indeed, to treat upon
the latter, which had already been very amply discussed at Washington
between the Secretary of State of the United States and His Majesty's
minister at that place, without producing any result except a conviction
on the part of the Government of the United States that the privileges
for French vessels, as claimed by the minister of France, never could
have been, and were not in fact, conceded by the treaty in question.
A stop was then put to the negotiations already commenced in relation
to the claims, and with which had been united, on the proposition of
the French Government, and as being naturally connected with it, the
consideration of certain claims of French citizens on the Government
of the United States.

The charge d'affaires of France at Washington has lately, on behalf
of his Government, expressed to that of the United States a wish that
this double negotiation might be resumed and that a definitive
arrangement might be made as well in relation to the disputed article of
the Louisiana treaty as of the subject of the claims upon the one side
and upon the other. The Government of the United States has nothing
more at heart than to remove by friendly arrangements every subject of
difference which may exist between the two countries, and to examine
with the greatest impartiality and good faith as well the nature and
extent of the stipulations into which they have entered as the appeals
to their justice made by individuals claiming reparation for wrongs
supposed to have been sustained at their hands.

But these two subjects are essentially dissimilar; there are no points
of connection between them; the principles upon which they depend are
totally different; they have no bearing upon each other; and the justice
which is due to individuals ought not to be delayed or made dependent
upon the right or the wrong interpretation by one or the other party of
a treaty having for its object the regulation of entirely distinct and
different interests.

The reclamations of American citizens upon the Government of France
are for mere justice--for the reparation of unquestionable wrongs,
indemnity or restitution of property taken from them or destroyed
forcibly and without right. They are of ancient date, and justice has
been long and anxiously waited for. They have been often represented to
the Government of France, and their validity is not disputed. Similar
reclamations without greater merit or stronger titles to admission
presented by citizens of other nations have been favorably received,
examined, and liquidated, and it seems to have been hitherto reserved
to those of the United States alone to meet with impediments at every
juncture and to seek in vain the moment in which the Government of
France could consent to enter upon their consideration. Although the
question arising under the eighth article of the Louisiana treaty has
already been fully examined, the Government of the United States is
ready, if it is desired by France, and if it is thought that any new
light can be thrown upon it, to discuss the subject further whenever it
shall be presented anew by France to their consideration. But they are
convinced that by blending it with the claims not only will no progress
be made toward its solution, but that these last, standing upon their
own unquestionable character, ought not to be trammeled with a subject
to which they are wholly foreign.

I am instructed to bring them anew before your excellency, and to
express the hope of the President that His Majesty's Government will not
continue to insist upon connecting together two subjects of so different
a nature, but that the claims may be taken up on their own merits and
receive the consideration which they deserve, unencumbered with other

I request your excellency to accept the assurance, etc,


[Extracts of a letter from the Secretary of State to Mr. Brown, dated
Washington, December 23, 1823.]

You will immediately after your reception earnestly call the attention
of the French Government to the claims of our citizens for indemnity.

You will at the same time explicitly make known that this Government
can not consent to connect this discussion with that of the pretension
raised by France on the construction given by her to the eighth article
of the Louisiana cession treaty. The difference in the nature and
character of the two interests is such that they can not with propriety
be blended together. The claims are of reparation to individuals for
their property taken from them by manifest and undisputed wrong. The
question upon the Louisiana treaty is a question of _right_ upon the
meaning of a contract. It has been fully, deliberately, and thoroughly
investigated, and the Government of the United States is under the
entire and solemn conviction that the pretension of France is utterly
unfounded. We are, nevertheless, willing to resume the discussion if
desired by France; but to refuse justice to individuals unless the
United States will accede to the construction of an article in a treaty
contrary to what they believe to be its real meaning would be not only
incompatible with the principles of equity, but submitting to a species
of compulsion derogatory to the honor of the nation.

[Extract of a letter (No. 2) from James Brown, envoy extraordinary and
minister plenipotentiary of the United States, dated April 28, 1824.]

I have in a letter to M. de Chateaubriand, copy of which I have now the
honor to send, made an effort to separate the claims of our citizens
from the Louisiana question.

_Mr. Brown to M. de Chateaubriand_.

PARIS, _April 28, 1824_.


_Minister of Foreign Affairs, etc_.

SIR: In the conference with which your excellency honored me a few
days ago I mentioned a subject deeply interesting to many citizens
of the United States, on which I have been instructed to address your
excellency, and to which I earnestly wish to call your immediate

It is well known to your excellency that my predecessor, Mr. Gallatin,
during several years made repeated and urgent applications to His
Majesty's Government for the adjustment of claims to a very large
amount, affecting the interests of American citizens and originating in
gross violations of the law of nations and of the rights of the United
States, and that he never could obtain from France either a settlement
of those claims or even an examination and discussion of their validity.
To numerous letters addressed by him to His Majesty's ministers on that
subject either no answers were given or answers which had for their only
object to postpone the investigation of the subject. Whilst, however,
he indulged the hope that these delays would be abandoned, and that the
rights of our citizens, which had been urged for so many years, would at
length be taken up for examination, he learned with surprise and regret
that His Majesty's Government had determined to insist that they should
be discussed in connection with the question of the construction of
the eighth article of the Louisiana treaty of cession. Against this
determination he strongly but ineffectually remonstrated in a letter
to Mr. De Villele, dated the 12th November, 1822.

It is notorious that the Government of the United States, whenever
requested by that of His Majesty, have uniformly agreed to discuss any
subject presented for their consideration, whether the object has been
to obtain the redress of public or private injuries. Acting upon this
principle, the question of the eighth article of the Louisiana treaty
was, upon the suggestion of the minister of France, made the subject of
a voluminous correspondence, in the course of which all the arguments
of the parties respectively were fully made known to each other and
examined. The result of this discussion has been a thorough conviction
on the part of the Government of the United States that the construction
of that article of the treaty contended for by France is destitute of
any solid foundation and wholly inadmissible. After a discussion so
full as to exhaust every argument on that question, the attempt to
renew it in connection with the question of the claims of our citizens
appeared to the Government of the United States to be a measure so
contrary to the fair and regular course of examining controverted
points between nations that they instructed Mr, Sheldon, their charge
d'affaires, to prepare and present a note explaining their views of the
proceeding, which he delivered on the 11th of October, 1823. To this
note no answer has ever been received.

I have the express instructions of the Government again to call the
attention of that of His Majesty to this subject, and to insist that
the claims of our citizens may continue to be discussed as a distinct
question, without connecting it in any way with the construction of the
Louisiana treaty. The two subjects are in every respect dissimilar. The
difference in the nature and character of the two interests is such as
to prevent them from being blended in the same discussion. The claims
against France are of reparation to individuals for their property taken
from them by undisputed wrong and injustice; the claim of France under
the treaty is that of a right founded on a contract. In the examination
of these questions the one can impart no light to the other; they are
wholly unconnected, and ought on every principle to undergo a distinct
and separate examination. To involve in the same investigation the
indisputable rights of American citizens to indemnity for losses and
the doubtful construction of a treaty can have no other effect than to
occasion an indefinite postponement of the reparation due to individuals
or a sacrifice on the part of the Government of the United States of a
treaty stipulation in order to obtain that reparation. The United States
would hope that such an alternative will not be pressed upon them by the
Government of His Majesty.

Whilst I indulge a hope that the course to which I have objected will no
longer be insisted on by His Majesty's ministers, permit me to renew to
your excellency the sincere assurance that the United States earnestly
desire that every subject of difference between the two countries should
be amicably adjusted and all their relations placed upon the most
friendly footing. Although they believe that any further discussion of
the eighth article of the Louisiana treaty would be wholly unprofitable,
they will be at all times ready to renew the discussion of that article
or to examine any question which may remain to be adjusted between them
and France.

I request your excellency to accept, etc.


[Extract of a letter (No. 3) from James Brown to the Secretary of State,
dated Paris, May 11, 1824.]

I have the honor to inclose a copy of the answer of the minister of
foreign affairs to the letter which I addressed to him on the 27th
ultimo, upon the subject of the claims of our citizens against the
French Government. You will perceive that no change has been made in
the determination expressed to Mr. Gallatin of connecting in the same
discussion the question on the eighth article of the Louisiana treaty
of cession and the claims of the citizens of the United States against
France. In expressing this resolution it has not been considered
necessary even to notice the arguments made use of to induce them
to adopt a different opinion.

_Viscount Chateaubriand to Mr. Brown_.


PARIS, _May 7, 1824_.

SIR: The object of the letter which you did me the honor to address to
me on the 28th of April is to recall the affair of American claims,
already repeatedly called up by your predecessors, that they may be
regulated by an arrangement between the two powers, and that in this
negotiation the examination of the difficulties which were raised about
the execution of the eighth article of the Louisiana treaty should not
be included.

Although the claims made by France upon this last point be of a
different nature from those of the Americans, yet no less attention
ought to be paid to arrange both in a just and amicable manner.

Our claims upon the eighth article had already been laid before the
Federal Government by His Majesty's plenipotentiary when he was
negotiating the commercial convention of 24th June, 1822.

The negotiators not agreeing upon a subject so important, the King's
Government did not wish this difficulty to suspend any longer the
conclusion of an arrangement which might give more activity to commerce
and multiply relations equally useful to the two powers. It reserves to
itself the power of comprehending this object in another negotiation,
and it does not renounce in any manner the claim which it urged.

It is for this reason, sir, that my predecessors and myself have
constantly insisted that the arrangements to be made upon the eighth
article of the Louisiana treaty should be made a part of those which
your Government were desirous of making upon other questions still at

It is the intention of His Majesty not to leave unsettled any subject
of grave discussion between the two States, and the King is too well
convinced of the friendly sentiments of your Government not to believe
that the United States will be disposed to agree with France on all the

His Majesty authorizes me, sir, to declare to you that a negotiation
will be opened with you upon the American claims if this negotiation
should also include the French claims, and particularly the arrangements
to be concluded concerning the execution of the eighth article of the
Louisiana treaty.

Accept, sir, the assurances of the very distinguished consideration with
which I have the honor to be, etc.,


[Extracts of a letter (No. 4) from the Secretary of State to Mr. Brown,
dated Department of State, Washington, August 14, 1824.]

The subject which has first claimed the attention of the President
has been the result of your correspondence with the Viscount de
Chateaubriand in relation to the claims of numerous citizens of
the United States upon the justice of the French Government.

I inclose herewith a copy of the report of the Committee on Foreign
Relations of the House of Representatives upon several petitions
addressed to that body at their last session by some of those claimants
and a resolution of the House adopted thereupon.

The President has deliberately considered the purport of M. de
Chateaubriand's answer to your note of the 28th of April upon this
subject, and he desires that you will renew with earnestness the
application for indemnity to our citizens for claims notoriously just
and resting upon the same principle with others which have been admitted
and adjusted by the Government of France.

In the note of the Viscount de Chateaubriand to you of 7th May it is
said that he is authorized to declare a negotiation will be opened with
you upon the American claims if this negotiation should also include
French claims, and particularly the arrangements to be concluded
concerning the execution of the eighth article of the Louisiana treaty.

You are authorized in reply to declare that any just claims which
subjects of France may have upon the Government of the United States
will readily be included in the negotiation, and to stipulate any
suitable provision for the examination, adjustment, and satisfaction
of them.

But the question relating to the eighth article of the Louisiana treaty
is not only of a different character--it can not be blended with that of
indemnity for individual claims without a sacrifice on the part of the
United States of a principle of right. The negotiation for indemnity
presupposes that wrong has been done, that indemnity ought to be made,
and the object of any treaty stipulation concerning it can only be to
ascertain what is justly due and to make provision for the payment of
it. By consenting to connect with such a negotiation that relating to
the eighth article of the Louisiana convention the United States would
abandon the _principle_ upon which the whole discussion concerning
it depends. The situation of the parties to the negotiation would be
unequal. The United States, asking reparation for admitted wrong, are
told that France will not discuss it with them unless they will first
renounce their own sense of right to admit and discuss with it a claim
the _justice_ of which they have constantly denied.

The Government of the United States is prepared to renew the discussion
with that of France relating to the eighth article of the Louisiana
treaty in any manner which may be desired and by which they shall not
be understood to admit that France has _any_ claim under it whatever.

_Mr. Brown to Mr. Adams_ (_No. 12_).

PARIS, _August 12, 1824_.

SIR: Some very unimportant changes have taken place in the composition
of the ministry. The Baron de Damas, late minister of war, is now
minister of foreign affairs; the Marquis de Clermont Tonnese is
appointed to the department of war, and the Count Chabrol de Crousal
to that of the marine.

These appointments are believed to correspond with the wishes of the
president of the Council of Ministers, and do not inspire a hope that
our claims will be more favorably attended to than they have been under
the former administrations. The interpretation of the eighth article
of the Louisiana treaty contended for by France will, I apprehend,
be persisted in and all indemnity refused until it shall have been
discussed and decided. After the correspondence which has already passed
upon that article, it would appear that any further discussion upon it
would be wholly unprofitable. With a view, however, of ascertaining the
opinions of the minister of foreign affairs, I shall at an early day
solicit a conference with him, and inform you of the result.

I have had the honor of receiving your letter recommending the claim of
Mr. Kingston to my attention. The difficulties which that claim must
experience, from its antiquity and from the operation of the treaty of
1803, can not have escaped your observation. It has also to encounter,
in common with all our claims, the obstacle presented by the eighth
article, which is found broad enough to be used as a shield to protect
France, in the opinion of ministers, from the examination and adjustment
of any claim which we can present.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, sir, your most obedient and
humble servant,


_Mr. Brown to Mr. Adams_ (_No. 14_).

PARIS, _September 28, 1824_.

SIR: Little has occurred of importance during the present month, except
the death of the King. This event had been anticipated for nearly a
year; he had declined gradually, and the affairs of the Government
have been for some time almost wholly directed by Monsieur, who on his
accession to the throne has declared that his reign would be only a
continuation of that of the late King. No change in the policy of the
Government is expected, and probably none in the composition of the
ministry. The present King is satisfied with Mr. De Villele, who is at
its head; and if any of its members should be changed the spirit in
which public affairs are directed will not, it is believed, be affected
by that circumstance.

The ceremonies attending the change of the Crown have principally
occupied the public attention for the last fortnight. It will, I
presume, be officially announced by the French minister at Washington,
and, according to the forms observed here, will, I understand, require
fresh letters of credence for all foreign ministers at this Court,
addressed to the new King.

My health has not permitted me (having been confined for some weeks to
the bed by a rheumatic affection) to confer with the Baron de Damas on
our affairs since his appointment as minister of the foreign department.
I should regret this the more if I were not satisfied that the same
impulse will direct the decisions of the Government upon these points
now as before he had this department in charge, and that no favorable
change in those decisions can be expected from any personal influence
which might be exerted by the new minister. I shall, however, take the
earliest opportunity that my health will allow to mention the subject
to him and ascertain what his views of it are.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, sir, your most obedient and
humble servant.


[Extracts of a letter from Mr. James Brown to Mr, Adams (No. 16).]

PARIS, _October 23, 1824_.

The packet ship which sailed from New York on the 1st of September
brought me the letter which you did me the honor to address to me on
the 14th of August.

In conformity with the instructions contained in that letter, I have
addressed one to the Baron de Damas, minister of foreign affairs, a copy
of which I now inclose. I expect to receive his answer in time to be
sent by the packet which will sail from Havre on the 1st of next month,
in which event it may probably reach Washington about the 15th of

The recent changes which have been made in the ministry, of which I have
already informed you, do not justify any very strong expectation that a
change of measures in relation to our affairs at this Court will follow.
The same individuals fill different places in the ministry from those
which they formerly held, but in all probability adhere to their former
opinions in relation to the subjects of discussion between the United
States and France. On the point to which my letter to the Baron de
Damas particularly relates the Count de Villele has already given his
deliberate views in his letters to Mr. Gallatin dated 6th and 15th
November, 1822, and I have every reason to believe that they remain
unchanged. Having bestowed much attention on the subject, it is probable
his opinion will be in a great measure decisive as to the answer which
shall be given to my letter. It is the opinion of many well-informed men
that in the course of a few months important changes will be made in the
composition of the ministry. As these changes, however, will proceed
from causes wholly unconnected with foreign affairs, I am by no means
sanguine in my expectations that under any new composition of the
ministry we may hope for a change of policy as it relates to our claims.
The eighth article of the Louisiana treaty will be continually put
forward as a bar to our claims and its adjustment urged as often as
we renew our claim for indemnity.

The Journal des Debats of this morning states that at a superior council
of commerce and of the colonies at which His Majesty yesterday presided
Mr. De St. Cricq, president of the bureau de commerce, made a report on
the commercial convention of the 24th June, 1822, between the United
States and France.

_Mr. Brown to Baron de Damas_.

PARIS, _October 22, 1824_.

His Excellency BARON DE DAMAS,

_Minister of Foreign Affairs, etc_.

SIR: I availed myself of the earliest opportunity to transmit to my
Government a copy of the letter which I had the honor to address to the
Viscount de Chateaubriand on the 28th day of April last, together with
a copy of his answer to that letter, dated 7th of May.

After a candid and deliberate consideration of the subject of that
correspondence, my Government has sent me recent instructions to
renew with earnestness the application, already so frequently and so
ineffectually made, for indemnity to our citizens for claims notoriously
just, and resting on the same principles with others which have been
admitted and adjusted by the Government of France.

In reply to that part of the Viscount de Chateaubriand's letter in
which he offers to open with me a negotiation upon American claims if
that negotiation should also include French claims, and particularly
the arrangements to be concluded concerning the eighth article of the
Louisiana treaty, I have been instructed to declare that any just claims
which the subjects of France may have upon the Government of the United
States will readily be embraced in the negotiation, and that I am
authorized to stipulate any suitable provision for the examination,
adjustment, and satisfaction of them.

The question relating to the eighth article of the Louisiana treaty is
viewed by my Government as one of a very different character. It can
not be blended with that of indemnity for individual claims without
a sacrifice on the part of the United States of a principle of right.
Every negotiation for indemnity necessarily presupposes that some wrong
has been done, and that indemnity ought to be made; and the object of
every treaty stipulation respecting it can only be to ascertain the
extent of the injury, and to make provision for its adequate reparation.
This is precisely the nature of the negotiation for American claims
which has been for so many years the subject of discussion between
the Governments of the United States and of France. The wrongs done to
our citizens have never been denied, whilst their right to indemnity
has been established by acts done by the French Government in cases
depending upon the same principles under which they derive their claim.
By consenting to connect with such a negotiation that relating to the
eighth article of the Louisiana treaty the United States would abandon
the principle upon which the whole discussion depends. When asking for
reparation for acknowledged wrong the United States have been told that
France will not discuss it with them unless they will first renounce
their own sense of right and admit and discuss in connection with it a
claim the justice of which they have hitherto constantly denied. In any
negotiation commenced under such circumstances the situation of the
parties would be unequal. By consenting to connect the pretensions of
France under the eighth article of the Louisiana treaty with claims for
indemnity for acknowledged injustice and injury the United States would
be understood as admitting that those pretensions were well founded;
that wrong had been done to France for which reparation ought to be
made. The Government of the United States, not having yet been convinced
that this is the case, can not consent to any arrangement which shall
imply an admission so contrary to their deliberate sense of right.

I am authorized and prepared on behalf of the United States to enter
upon a further discussion of the eighth article of the Louisiana treaty
in any manner which may be desired, and by which they shall not be
understood previously to admit that the construction of that article
claimed by France is well founded; and also to renew the separate
negotiation for American claims, embracing at the same time all just
claims winch French subjects may have upon the Government of the
United States.

The change which has lately taken place in His Majesty's department of
foreign affairs encourages the hope that this important subject will
be candidly reconsidered; that the obstacles which have arrested the
progress of the negotiation may be removed, and that the subjects of
contestation between the two Governments may be ultimately adjusted upon
such principles as may perpetuate the good understanding and harmony
which have so long subsisted between the United States and France.

Should I, however, be disappointed in the result of this application,
it is to be seriously apprehended that as the United States have not
hitherto seen in the course of the discussion any just claim of France
arising from the eighth article of the Louisiana treaty, so in the
persevering refusal of the French Government to discuss and adjust
the well-founded claims of citizens of the United States to indemnity
for wrongs unless in connection with one which they are satisfied
is unfounded the United States will ultimately perceive only a
determination to deny justice to the claimants.

Permit me respectfully to request that at as early a day as your
convenience will allow your excellency will favor me with an answer
to this letter.

I embrace with pleasure this occasion to offer to your excellency the
renewed assurance, etc.,


WASHINGTON, _December 24, 1824_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of the
23d December, 1823, requesting that a negotiation should be opened with
the British Government "for the cession of so much land on the island of
Abaco at or near the Hole-in-the-Wall, and on such other places within
the acknowledged dominions of that power on the islands, keys, or shoals
of the Bahama Banks as may be necessary for the erection and support of
light-houses, beacons, buoys, or floating lights for the security of
navigation over or near the said banks, and to be used solely for that
purpose," directions were given to the minister of the United States at
London on the 1st of January, 1824, to communicate the purport of that
resolution to the Government of Great Britain with a view to their
acceding to the wish of this; and I transmit to the House copies of Mr.
Rush's correspondence upon this subject, communicating the result of
his application to the British Government.


WASHINGTON, _December 28, 1824_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of
the 27th instant, requesting information explanatory of the character
and objects of the visit of the naval officer of the United States
commanding in the West Indies to the town of Faxyardo, in the island
of Porto Rico, on the ---- day of November last, I herewith transmit
a report of the Secretary of the Navy, with a letter from Commodore
Porter, which contains all the information in possession of the
Executive on the subject.

Deeming the transactions adverted to of high importance, an order has
been sent to Commodore Porter to repair hither without delay, that all
the circumstances connected therewith may be fully investigated.


WASHINGTON, _January 5, 1825_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States_:

As the term of my service in this high trust will expire at the end
of the present session of Congress, I think it proper to invite your
attention to an object very interesting to me, and which in the movement
of our Government is deemed on principle equally interesting to the
public. I have been long in the service of my country and in its most
difficult conjunctures, as well abroad as at home, in the course of
which I have had a control over the public moneys to a vast amount.
If in the course of my service it shall appear on the most severe
scrutiny, which I invite, that the public have sustained any loss by
any act of mine, or of others for which I ought to be held responsible,
I am willing to bear it. If, on the other hand, it shall appear on a
view of the law and of precedents in other cases that justice has been
withheld from me in any instance, as I have believed it to be in many,
and greatly to my injury, it is submitted whether it ought not to be
rendered. It is my wish that all matters of account and claims between
my country and myself be settled with that strict regard to justice
which is observed in settlements between individuals in private life.
It would be gratifying to me, and it appears to be just, that the
subject should be now examined in both respects with a view to a
decision hereafter. No bill would, it is presumed, be presented for my
signature which would operate either for or against me, and I would
certainly sanction none in my favor. While here I can furnish testimony,
applicable to any case, in both views, which a full investigation may
require, and the committee to whom the subject may be referred, by
reporting facts now with a view to a decision after my retirement, will
allow time for further information and due consideration of all matters
relating thereto. Settlements with a person in this trust, which could
not be made with the accounting officers of the Government, should
always be made by Congress and before the public. The cause of the delay
in presenting these claims will be explained to the committee to whom
the subject may be referred. It will, I presume, be made apparent that
it was inevitable; that from the peculiar circumstances attending each
case Congress alone could decide on it, and that from considerations of
delicacy it would have been highly improper for me to have sought it
from Congress at an earlier period than that which is now proposed--the
expiration of my term in this high trust.

Other considerations appear to me to operate with great force in
favor of the measure which I now propose. A citizen who has long served
his country in its highest trusts has a right, if he has served with
fidelity, to enjoy undisturbed tranquillity and peace in his retirement.
This he can not expect to do unless his conduct in all pecuniary
concerns shall be placed by severe scrutiny on a basis not to be shaken.
This, therefore, forms a strong motive with me for the inquiry which I
now invite. The public may also derive considerable advantage from the
precedent in the future movement of the Government. It being known that
such scrutiny was made in my case, it may form a new and strong barrier
against the abuse of the public confidence in future.


WASHINGTON, _January 10, 1825_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

I should hasten to communicate to you the documents called for by the
resolution of the House of Representatives of the 4th instant, relating
to the conduct of the officers of the Navy of the United States on the
Pacific Ocean and of other public agents in South America, if such a
communication might now be made consistently with the public interest or
with justice to the parties concerned. In consequence of several charges
which have been alleged against Commodore Stewart, touching his conduct
while commanding the squadron of the United States on that sea, it has
been deemed proper to suspend him from duty and to subject him to trial
on these charges. It appearing also that some of those charges have been
communicated to the Department by Mr. Prevost, political agent at this
time of the United States at Peru, and heretofore at Buenos Ayres and
Chile, and apparently with his sanction, and that charges have likewise
been made against him by citizens of the United States engaged in
commerce in that quarter, it has been thought equally just and proper
that he should attend here, as well to furnish the evidence in his
possession applicable to the charges exhibited against Commodore
Stewart as to answer such as have been exhibited against himself.

In this stage the publication of those documents might tend to excite
prejudices which might operate to the injury of both. It is important
that the public servants in every station should perform their duty with
fidelity, according to the injunctions of the law and the orders of the
Executive in fulfillment thereof. It is peculiarly so that this should
be done by the commanders of our squadrons, especially on distant seas,
and by political agents who represent the United States with foreign
powers, for reasons that are obvious in both instances. It is due to
their rights and to the character of the Government that they be not
censured without just cause, which can not be ascertained until, on
a view of tho charges, they are heard in their defense, and after a
thorough and impartial investigation of their conduct. Under these
circumstances it is thought that a communication at this time of those
documents would not comport with the public interest nor with what is
due to the parties concerned.


WASHINGTON, _January 13, 1825_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with two resolutions of the Senate, the first of the
21st and the second of the 23d December last, requesting information
respecting the injuries which have been sustained by our citizens by
piratical depredations, and other details connected therewith, and
requesting also information of the measures which have been adopted for
the suppression of piracy, and whether in the opinion of the Executive
it will not be necessary to adopt other means for the accomplishment
of the object, and, in that event, what other means it will be most
advisable to recur to, I herewith transmit a report from the Secretary
of State, and likewise a report from the Secretary of the Navy, with
the documents referred to in each.

On the very important question submitted to the Executive as to the
necessity of recurring to other more effectual means for the suppression
of a practice so destructive of the lives and property of our citizens,
I have to observe that three expedients occur--one by the pursuit of the
offenders to the settled as well as the unsettled parts of the island
from whence they issue, another by reprisal on the property of the
inhabitants, and a third by the blockade of the ports of those islands.
It will be obvious that neither of these measures can be resorted to
in a spirit of amity with Spain otherwise than in a firm belief that
neither the Government of Spain nor the government of either of the
islands has the power to suppress that atrocious practice, and that the
United States interposed their aid for the accomplishment of an object
which is of equal importance to them as well as to us. Acting on this
principle, the facts which justify the proceeding being universally
known and felt by all engaged in commerce in that sea, it may fairly be
presumed that neither will the Government of Spain nor the government
of either of those islands complain of a resort to either of those
measures, or to all of them, should such resort be necessary. It is
therefore suggested that a power commensurate with either resource be
granted to the Executive, to be exercised according to his discretion
and as circumstances may imperiously require. It is hoped that the
manifestation of a policy so decisive will produce the happiest result;
that it will rid these seas and this hemisphere of this practice. This
hope is strengthened by the belief that the Government of Spain and the
governments of the islands, particularly of Cuba, whose chief is known
here, will faithfully cooperate in such measures as may be necessary
for the accomplishment of this very important object. To secure such
cooperation will be the earnest desire and, of course, the zealous
and persevering effort of the Executive.


WASHINGTON, _January 17, 1825_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for its advice and consent as to the
ratification, a treaty which has been concluded by a commissioner duly
authorized for the purpose with the Quapaw Indians in Arkansas for the
cession of their claim to the lands in that Territory. I transmit also
a report from the Secretary of War, with other documents, relating to
this subject.


JANUARY 17, 1825.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

Agreeably to the resolution of the Senate of 19th May last, requesting
the President to cause to be laid before the Senate a report "shewing
the amount of duties which shall have accrued on importations into the
United States for the three quarters of a year ending June 30, 1824;
also the amount of duties which would have accrued on the same
importations at such higher rates of duty as may be imposed by any act
of the present session of Congress," I herewith transmit a report from
the Secretary of the Treasury, which contains the information required.


WASHINGTON, _January 18, 1825_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States_:

I communicate herewith to both Houses of Congress copies of the
convention between the United States and His Majesty the Emperor of
all the Russias, concluded at St. Petersburg on the 5th (17th) of April
last, which has been duly ratified on both sides, and the ratifications
of which were exchanged on the 11th instant.


WASHINGTON, _January 20, 1825_.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States_:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of the
19th of December, 1822, requesting the President to communicate "what
progress has been made in the execution of the act of the last session
entitled 'An act to abolish the Indian trading establishments,' with
a report from the factories, respectively, as the same may be made to
him," I herewith transmit a report from the Secretary of the Treasury,
with documents, which contains the information requested.


WASHINGTON, _January 27, 1825_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States_:

Being deeply impressed with the opinion that the removal of the Indian
tribes from the lands which they now occupy within the limits of the
several States and Territories to the country lying westward and
northward thereof, within our acknowledged boundaries, is of very
high importance to our Union, and may be accomplished on conditions and
in a manner to promote the interest and happiness of those tribes, the
attention of the Government has been long drawn with great solicitude
to the object. For the removal of the tribes within the limits of the
State of Georgia the motive has been peculiarly strong, arising from
the compact with that State whereby the United States are bound to
extinguish the Indian title to the lands within it whenever it may
be done peaceably and on reasonable conditions. In the fulfillment of
this compact, I have thought that the United States should act with a
generous spirit; that they should omit nothing which should comport with
a liberal construction of the instrument and likewise be in accordance
with the just rights of those tribes. From the view which I have taken
of the subject I am satisfied that in the discharge of these important
duties in regard to both the parties alluded to the United States will
have to encounter no conflicting interests with either. On the contrary,
that the removal of the tribes from the territory which they now inhabit
to that which was designated in the message at the commencement of
the session, which would accomplish the object for Georgia, under a
well-digested plan for their government and civilization, which should
be agreeable to themselves, would not only shield them from impending
ruin, but promote their welfare and happiness. Experience has clearly
demonstrated that in their present state it is impossible to incorporate
them in such masses, in any form whatever, into our system. It has also
demonstrated with equal certainty that without a timely anticipation
of and provision against the dangers to which they are exposed, under
causes which it will be difficult, if not impossible, to control, their
degradation and extermination will be inevitable.

The great object to be accomplished is the removal of these tribes to
the territory designated on conditions which shall be satisfactory to
themselves and honorable to the United States. This can be done only by
conveying to each tribe a good title to an adequate portion of land to
which it may consent to remove, and by providing for it there a system
of internal government which shall protect their property from invasion,
and, by the regular progress of improvement and civilization, prevent
that degeneracy which has generally marked the transition from the one
to the other state.

I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of War, which presents
the best estimate which can be formed, from the documents in that
Department, of the number of Indians within our States and Territories
and of the amount of lands held by the several tribes within each; of
the state of the country lying northward and westward thereof, within
our acknowledged boundaries; of the parts to which the Indian title has
already been extinguished, and of the conditions on which other parts,
in an amount which may be adequate to the object contemplated, may be
obtained. By this report it appears that the Indian title has already
been extinguished to extensive tracts in that quarter, and that other
portions maybe acquired to the extent desired on very moderate
conditions. Satisfied I also am that the removal proposed is not only
practicable, but that the advantages attending it to the Indians may be
made so apparent to them that all the tribes, even those most opposed,
may be induced to accede to it at no very distant day.

The digest of such a government, with the consent of the Indians,
which should be endowed with sufficient power to meet all the objects
contemplated--to connect the several tribes together in a bond of amity
and preserve order in each; to prevent intrusions on their property;
to teach them by regular instruction the arts of civilized life and make
them a civilized people--is an object of very high importance. It is
the powerful consideration which we have to offer to these tribes as
an inducement to relinquish the lands on which they now reside and
to remove to those which are designated. It is not doubted that this
arrangement will present considerations of sufficient force to surmount
all their prejudices in favor of the soil of their nativity, however
strong they may be. Their elders have sufficient intelligence to discern
the certain progress of events in the present train, and sufficient
virtue, by yielding to momentary sacrifices, to protect their families
and posterity from inevitable destruction. They will also perceive that
they may thus attain an elevation to which as communities they could not
otherwise aspire.

To the United States the proposed arrangement offers many important
advantages in addition to those which have been already enumerated.
By the establishment of such a government over these tribes with
their consent we become in reality their benefactors. The relation of
conflicting interests which has heretofore existed between them and our
frontier settlements will cease. There will be no more wars between them
and the United States. Adopting such a government, their movement will
be in harmony with us, and its good effect be felt throughout the whole
extent of our territory to the Pacific. It may fairly be presumed that,
through the agency of such a government, the condition of all the tribes
inhabiting that vast region may be essentially improved; that permanent
peace may be preserved with them, and our commerce be much extended.

With a view to this important object I recommend it to Congress to
adopt, by solemn declaration, certain fundamental principles in accord
with those above suggested, as the basis of such arrangements as may
be entered into with the several tribes, to the strict observance of
which the faith of the nation shall be pledged, I recommend it also to
Congress to provide by law for the appointment of a suitable number
of commissioners who shall, under the direction of the President, be
authorized to visit and explain to the several tribes the objects of
the Government, and to make with them, according to their instructions,
such arrangements as shall be best calculated to carry those objects
into effect.

A negotiation is now depending with the Creek Nation for the cession of
lands held by it within the limits of Georgia, and with a reasonable
prospect of success. It is presumed, however, that the result will not
be known during the present session of Congress. To give effect to this
negotiation and to the negotiations which it is proposed to hold with
all the other tribes within the limits of the several States and
Territories on the principles and for the purposes stated, it is
recommended that an adequate appropriation be now made by Congress.


WASHINGTON, _January 27, 1825_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate a treaty concluded in this city with a
deputation from the Choctaw Indians, accompanied with the report from
the Secretary of War, with a copy of the correspondence connected with
the negotiations, for the advice and consent of the Senate.


WASHINGTON, _February 2, 1825_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States_:

I communicate herewith to both Houses of Congress copies of the
alterations in the treaty of peace and friendship of August, 1797,
between the United States and the Bashaw Bey of Tunis, concluded at
the Palace of Bardo, near Tunis, on the 24th of February last, and
of treaties between the United States and the Sock and Fox tribes of
Indians and the Ioway tribe of Indians, concluded at the city of
Washington on the 4th of August last, which have been duly ratified.


WASHINGTON, _February 4, 1825_.


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