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States have the most extensive relations, there Cha*. vu. was reason to apprehend that our intercourse with 1793. ihem might be interrupted, and our disposition for peace drawn into question by suspicions too often entertained by belligerent nations. It seemed therefore to be my duty to admonish our citizens of the consequence of a contraband trade, and of hostile acts to any of the parties; and to obtain, by a declaration of the existing state of things, an easier admission of our rights to the immunities belonging to our situation. Under these impressions the proclamation which will be laid before you was issued.
"In this posture of affairs, both new and delicate, I resolved to adopt general rules, which should conform to the treaties, and assert the privileges of the United States. These were reduced into a system, which shall be communicated to you."
After suggesting those legislative provisions on this subject, the necessity of which had been pointed out by experience, he proceeded to say.
"I cannot recommend to your notice measures for the fulfilment of our duties to the rest of the world, without again pressing upon you the necessity of placing ourselves in a condition of complete defence, and of exacting from them the fulfilment of their duties towards us. The United States ought not to indulge a persuasion that, contrary to the order of human events, they will forever keep at a distance those painful appeals to arms with which the history of every other nation abounds. There is a rank due to the United States among nations which will be with
Chap, vii held, if not absolutely lost, by the reputation of 1793. weakness. If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace... one of the most powerful instruments of our prosperity,...it must be known that we are, at all times, ready for war."
These observations were followed by a recommendation to augment the supply of arms and ammunition in the magazines, and to improve the militia establishment.
After referring to a communication to be subsequently made for occurrences relative to the connexion of the United States with Europe, which had, he said, become extremely interesting; and after reviewing Indian affairs, he particularly addressed the house of representatives. Having presented to them in detail some subjects of which it was proper they should be informed, he added; ..."no pecuniary consideration is more urgent than the regular redemption and discharge of the public debt; on none can delay be more injurious, or an economy of time more valuable.
"The productiveness of the public revenues hitherto has continued to be equal to the anticipations which were formed of it; but it is not expected to prove commensurate with all the objects which have been suggested. Some auxiliary provisions will therefore, it is presumed, be requisite; and it is hoped that these may be made consistently with a due regard to the convenience of our citizens, who cannot but be sensible of the true wisdom of encountering a small present addition to their contributions, to obviate a future Chap. vn. accumulation of burdens." 1793.
The speech was concluded with the following impressive exhortation.
"The several subjects to which I have now referred, open a wide range to your deliberations, and involve some of the choicest interests of our common country. Permit me to bring to your remembrance the magnitude of your task. Without an unprejudiced coolness, the welfare of the government may be hazarded; without harmony, as far as consists with freedom of sentiment, its dignity may be lost. But, as the legislative proceedings of the United States will never, I trust, be reproached for the want of temper, or of candour, so shall not the public happiness languish from the want of my strenuous and warmest co-operation."
The day succeeding that on which this speech hiimm^
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was delivered, a special message was sent to both fJ^J"TM^" houses, containing some of the promised com-^ty,nittd munications relative to the connexion of the United States with foreign powers.
After suggesting as a motive for this communication that it not only disclosed "matter of interesting inquiry to the legislature," but, "might indeed give rise to deliberations to which they alone were competent;" the president added ..."the representative and executive bodies of France have manifested generally a friendly attachment to this country; have given advantages to our commerce and navigation; and have made overtures for placing these advantages on perma
Chap. Vii. nent ground. A decree however of the national 1793, assembly, subjecting vessels laden with provisions to be carried into their ports, and making enemy goods lawful prize in the vessel of a friend, contrary to our treaty, though revoked at one time as to the United States, has been since extended to their vessels also, as has been recently stated to us. Representations on the subject will be immediately given in charge to our minister there, and the result shall be communicated to the legislature.
"It is with extreme concern I have to inform you that the person whom they have unfortunately appointed their minister plenipotentiary here, has breathed nothing of the friendly spirit of the nation which sent him. Their tendency on the contrary has been to involve us in a war abroad, and discord and anarchy at home. So far as his acts, or those of his agents, have threatened an immediate commitment in the war, or flagrant insult to the authority of the laws, their effect has been counteracted by the ordinary cognizance of the laws, and by an exertion of the powers confided to me. Where their danger was not imminent, they have been borne with, from sentiments of regard to his nation, from a sense of their friendship towards us, from a conviction that they would not suffer us to remain long exposed to the actions of a person who has so little respected our mutual dispositions, and, I will add, from a reliance on the firmness of my fellow citizens in their principles of peace and order. In the mean time I have respected and pursued the stipulations
of our treaties according to what I judged their Chap. vn. true sense, and have withheld no act of friendship 1793. which their affairs have called for from us, and which justice to others left us free to perform. I have gone further. Rather than employ force for the restitution of certain vessels which I deemed the United States bound to restore, I thought it more advisable to satisfy the parties by avowing it to be my opinion, that, if restitution were not made, it would be incumbent on the United States to make compensation."
The message next proceeded to state that inquiries had been instituted respecting the vexations and spoliations committed on the commerce of the United States, the result of which when received would be communicated.
The order issued by the British government on the eighth of June, and the measures taken by the executive of the United States in consequence thereof, were briefly noticed; and the discussions which had taken place in relation to the non-execution of the treaty of peace were also mentioned. The message was then concluded with a reference to the negotiations with Spain, "the public good," it was said "requiring that the present state of these should be made known to the legislature in confidence only, they would be the subject of a separate and subsequent communication."
This message was accompanied with copies of the correspondence between the secretary of state and the French minister, on the points of difference which subsisted between the two governments, together with several documents necessary
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