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for the support of the civil government and of the military and naval establishments, embracing suitable provision for fortification and for the gradual increase of the navy, paying the interest of the public debt, and extinguishing more than eighteen millions of the principal, within the present year, it is estimated that a balance of more than six millions of dollars will remain in the treasury on the first day of January, applicable to the current service of the ensuing year.
The payments into the treasury during the year one thousand eight hundred and seventeen, on account of imports and tonnage, resulting principally from duties which have accrued in the present year, may be fairly estimated at twenty millions of dollars; internal revenues, at two millions five hundred thousand; public lands, at one million five hundred thousand; bank dividends and incidental receipts, at five hundred thousand; making, in the whole, twenty-four millions and five hundred thousand dollars.
The annual permanent expenditure for the support of the civil government, and of the army and navy, as now established by law, amounts to eleven millions eight hundred thousand dollars; and for the sinking fund, to ten millions; making, in the whole, twenty-one millions eight hundred thousand dollars; leaving an annual excess of revenue, beyond the expenditure, of two millions seven hundred thousand dollars, exclusive of the balance estimated to be in the treasury on the 1st day of January, one thousand eight hundred and eighteen.
In the present state of the treasury, the whole of the Louisiana debt may be redeemed in the year 1819; after which, if the public debt continues as it now is, above par, there will be annually about five millions of the sinking fund unexpended, until the year 1825, when the loan of 1812, and the stock created by funding treasury notes, will be redeemable.
It is also estimated that the Mississippi stock will be discharged during the year 1819, from the proceeds of the public lands assigned to that object; after which the receipts from those lands will annually add to the public revenue the sum of one million five hundred thousand dollars, mak
ing the permanent annual revenue amount to twenty-six millions of dollars, and leaving an annual excess of revenue after the year 1819, beyond the permanent authorized expenditure, of more than four millions of dollars.
By the last returns to the department of war, the militia force of the several states may be estimated at eight hundred thousand men, infantry, artillery, and cavalry. Great part of this force is armed, and measures are taken to arm the whole. An improvement in the organization and discipline of the militia, is one of the great objects which claim the unremitted attention of Congress.
The regular force amounts nearly to the number required by law, and is stationed along the Atlantic and inland frontiers.
Of the naval force, it has been necessary to maintain strong squadrons in the Mediterranean and in the Gulf of Mexico,
From several of the Indian tribes, inhabiting the country bordering on Lake Erie, purchases have been made. of lands, on conditions very favorable to the United States, and, it is presumed, not less so to the tribes themselves. By these purchases, the Indian title, with moderate reservations, has been extinguished to the whole of the land within the state of Ohio, and to a great part of that in Michigan territory, and of the state of Indiana. From the Cherokee tribe a tract has been purchased in the state of Georgia, and an arrangement made, by which, in exchange for lands beyond the Mississippi, a great part, if not the whole of the land belonging to the tribe, eastward of that river, in the states of North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee, and in the Alabama territory, will soon be acquired. By these acquisitions, and others that may reasonably be expected soon to follow, we shall be enabled to extend our settlements from the inhabited parts of the state of Ohio, along Lake Erie, into the Michigan territory, and to connect our settlements by degrees, through the state of Indiana and the Illinois territory, to that of Missouri. A similar and equally advantageous effect will soon be produced to the south, through the whole extent of the states and territory which border on the waters emptying into the Mississippi and the Mobile. In this progress,
which the rights of nature demand, and nothing can pre vent, marking a growth rapid and gigantic, it is our duty to, make new efforts for the preservation, improvement, and civilization of the native inhabitants. The hunter state can exist only in the vast, uncultivated desert. It yields to the more dense and compact form and greater force of civilized population; and of right it ought to yield, for the earth was given to mankind to support the greatest number of which it is capable, and no tribe or people have a right to withhold from the wants of others more than is necessary for their own support and comfort. It is gratifying to know that the reservations of land made by the treaties with the tribes on Lake Erie, were made with a view to individual ownership among them, and to the cultivation of the soil by all, and that an annual stipend has been pledged to supply their other wants. It will merit the consideration of Congress, whether other provisions, not stipulated by the treaty, ought to be made for these tribes, and for the advancement of the liberal and humane policy of the United States towards all the tribes within our limits, and more particularly for their improvement in the arts of civilized life.
Among the advantages incident to these purchases, and to those which have preceded, the security which may thereby be afforded to our inland frontier is peculiarly important. With a strong barrier, consisting of our own people thus planted on the lakes, the Mississippi, and the Mobile, with the protection to be derived from the regular force, Indian hostilities, if they do not altogether cease, will henceforth lose their terror. Fortifications in those quarters to any extent will not be necessary, and the expense attending them may be saved. A people accustomed to the use of fire-arms only, as the Indian tribes are, will shun even moderate works which are defended by cannon. Great fortifications will therefore be requisite only in future along the coast, and at some points in the interior connected with it. On these will the safety of towns and the commerce of our rivers, from the Bay of Fundy to the Mississippi, depend. On these, therefore, should the utmost attention, skill, and labor be bestowed.
A considerable and rapid augmentation in the value of
all the public lands, proceeding from these and other ob vious causes, may henceforward be expected. The dif ficulties attending early emigrations will be dissipated even in the most remote parts. Several new states have been admitted into our Union to the west and south, and territorial governments, happily organized, established over every other portion in which there is vacant land for sale. In terminating Indian hostilities, as must soon be done, in a formidable shape at least, the emigration, which has heretofore been great, will probably increase, and the demand for land, and the augmentation in its value, be in like proportion. The great increase of our population throughout the Union will alone produce an important effect, and in no quarter will it be so sensibly felt as those in contemplation. The public lands are a public stock, which ought to be disposed of to the best advantage for the nation. The na tion should, therefore, derive the profit proceeding from the continual rise in their value. Every encouragement should be given to the emigrants, consistent with a fair competition between them; but that competition should operate in the first sale to the advantage of the nation rather than of individuals. Great capitalists will derive all the benefit incident to their superior wealth, under any mode of sale which may be adopted. But if, looking forward to the rise in the value of the public lands, they should have the opportunity of amassing, at a low price, vast bodies in their hands, the profit will accrue to them, and not to the public. They would also have the power, in that degree, to control the emigration and settlement in such a manner as their opinion of their respective interests might dictate. I submit the subject to the consideration of Congress, that such further provision may be made of the sale of the public lands, with a view to the public interest, should any be deemed expedient, as in their judgment may be best adapted to the object.
When we consider the vast extent of territory within the United States, the great amount and value of its productions, the connection of its parts, and other circumstances on which their prosperity and happiness depend, we cannot fail to entertain a high sense of the advantage to be derived from the facility which may be afforded in
the intercourse between them, by means of good roads and canals. Never did a country of such vast extent offer equal inducements to improvements of this kind, nor ever were consequences of such magnitude involved in them. As this subject was acted on by Congress at the last session, and there may be a disposition to revive it at present, I have brought it into view for the purpose of communicating my sentiments on a very important circumstance connected with it, with that freedom and candor which a regard for the public interest and a proper respect for Congress require. A difference of opinion has existed from the first formation of our constitution to the present time, among our most enlightened and virtuous citizens, respecting the right of Congress to establish such a system of improvement. Taking into view the trust with which I am now honored, it would be improper, after what has passed, that this discussion should be revived with an uncertainty of my opinion respecting the right. Disregarding early impressions, I have bestowed on the subject all the deliberation which its great importance, and a just sense of my duty, required, and the result is a settled conviction in my mind that Congress do not possess the right. It is not contained in any of the specified powers granted to Congress, nor can I consider it incidental to, or a necessary mean, viewed on the most liberal scale, for carrying into effect any of the powers which are specifically granted. In communicating this result, I cannot resist the obligation which I feel, to suggest to Congress the propriety of recommending to the states an adoption of an amendment to the constitution, which shall give Congress the right in question. In cases of doubtful construction, especially of such vital interest, it comports with the nature and origin of our republican institutions, and will contribute much to preserve them, to apply to our constituents for an explicit grant of the power. We may confidently rely, that if it appears to their satisfaction that the power is necessary, it will be granted.
In this case, I am happy to observe, that experience has afforded the most ample proof of its utility, and that the benign spirit of conciliation and harmony, which now manifests itself throughout our Union, promises to such a