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recommendation the most prompt and favorable result. I think proper to suggest, also, in case this measure is adopted, that it be recommended to the states to include in the amendment sought, a right in Congress to institute, likewise, seminaries of learning, for the all-important purpose of diffusing knowledge among our fellow-citizens throughout the United States.
Our manufactures will require the continued attention of Congress. The capital employed in them is considerable, and the knowledge required in the machinery and fabric of all the most useful manufactures is of great value. Their preservation, which depends on due encouragement, is connected with the high interests of the nation.
Although the progress of the public buildings has been as favorable as circumstances have permitted, it is to be regretted the capitol is not yet in a state to receive you. There is good cause to presume that the two wings, the only parts as yet commenced, will be prepared for that purpose the next session. The time seems now to have arrived, when this subject may be deemed worthy of the attention of Congress, on a scale adequate to national purposes. The completion of the middle building will be necessary to the convenient accommodation of Congress, of the committees, and various officers belonging to it. It is evident that the other public buildings are altogether insufficient for the accommodation of the several executive departments; some of whom are much crowded, and even subject to the necessity of obtaining it in private buildings, at some distance from the head of the department, and with inconvenience to the management of the public business. Most nations have taken an interest and a pride in the improvement and ornament of their metropolis, and none were more conspicuous in that respect than the ancient republics. The policy which dictated the establishment of a permanent residence for the national government, and the spirit in which it was commenced and has been prosecuted, show that such improvement was thought worthy the attention of this nation. Its central position, between the northern and southern extremes of our Union, and its approach to the west, at the head of a great navigable river, which interlocks with the western waters, prove the wisdom of the councils which established it.
Nothing appears to be more reasonable and proper, than that convenient accommodation should be provided, on a well-digested plan, for the heads of the several departments, and for the attorney-general; and it is believed that the public ground in the city, applied to these objects, will be found amply sufficient. I submit this subject to the consideration of Congress, that such provision may be made in it as to them may seem proper.
In contemplating the happy situation of the United States, our attention is drawn, with peculiar interest, to the surviving officers and soldiers of our revolutionary army, who so eminently contributed, by their services, to lay its foundation. Most of those very meritorious citizens have paid the debt of nature and gone to repose.
It is believed, that among the survivors there are some not provided for by existing laws, who are reduced to indigence, and even to real distress. These men have a claim on the gratitude of their country, and it will do honor to their country to provide for them. The lapse of a few years more, and the opportunity will be forever lost ; indeed, so long, already, has been the interval, that the number to be benefited by any provision which may be made, will not be great.
It appearing in a satisfactory manner that the revenue arising from imposts and tonnage, and from the sale of public lands, will be fully adequate to the support of the civil government, of the present military and naval establishments, including the annual augmentation of the latter to the extent provided for, to the payment of the interest on the public debt, and to the extinguishment of it at the times authorized, without the aid of the internal taxes, I consider
it my duty to recommend to Congress their repeal. To impose taxes when the public exigencies require them, is an obligation of the most sacred character, especially with a free people. The faithful fulfilment of it is among the highest proofs of their virtue and capacity for self-government. To dispense with taxes, when it may be done with perfect safety, is equally the duty of their representatives. In this instance, we have the satisfaction to know that they were imposed when the demand was imperious, and have been sustained with exemplary fidelity. I have to add, that, however gratifying it may be to me, regarding the prosperous and happy condition of our country, to recommend the repeal of these taxes at this time, I shall, nevertheless, be attentive to events, and, should any future emergency occur,
be not less prompt to suggest such measures and burdens as may then be requisite and proper.
J. Q. ADAMS'S INAUGURAL ADDRESS.
March 4, 1825. In compliance with a usage coëval with the existence of our federal constitution, and sanctioned by the example of my predecessors in the career upon which I am about to enter, I appear, my fellow-citizens, in your presence, and in that of Heaven, to bind myself, by the solemnities of a religious obligation, to the faithful performance of the duties allotted to me, in the station to which I have been called.
In unfolding to my countrymen the principles by which I shall be governed in the fulfilment of those duties, my first resort will be to that constitution, which I shall swear, to the best of my ability, to preserve, protect, and defend. That revered instrument enumerates the powers and prescribes the duties of the executive magistrate; and, in its first words, declares the purposes to which these, and the whole action of the government, instituted by it, should be invariably and sacredly devoted — to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to the people of this Union, in their successive generations. Since the adoption of this social compact, one of these generations has passed away. It is the work of our forefathers. Administered by some of the most eminent men who contributed to its formation, through a most eventful period in the annals of the world, and through all the vicissitudes of peace and war, incidental to the condition of associated man, it has not disappointed the hopes and aspirations of those illustrious benefactors of their age and nation. It has promoted the lasting welfare of that country, so dear to us all ; it has, to an extent far beyond the ordinary lot of humanity, secured the freedom and happiness of this people. We now receive it as a precious inheritance from those to whom we are indebted for its establishment, doubly bound by the examples they have left us, and by the blessings which we have enjoyed, as the fruits of their labors, to transmit the same, unimpaired, to the succeeding generations.
In the compass of thirty-six years, since this great national covenant was instituted, a body of laws enacted under its authority, and in conformity with its provisions, has unfolded its powers, and carried into practical operation its effective energies. Subordinate departments have distributed the executive functions in their various relations to foreign affairs, to the revenue and expenditures, and to the military force of the Union by land and sea. A coördinate department of the judiciary has expounded the constitution and the laws; settling, in harmonious coincidence with the legislative will, numerous weighty questions of construction which the imperfection of human language had rendered unavoidable. The year of jubilee since the first formation of our Union has just elapsed; that of the declaration of independence is at hand. The consummation of both was effected by this constitution. Since that period, a population of four millions has multiplied to twelve. A territory, bounded by the Mississippi, has been extended from sea to sea. New states have been admitted to the Union, in numbers nearly equal to those of the first confederation. Treaties of peace, amity, and commerce, have been concluded with the principal dominions of the earth. The people of other nations, the inhabitants of regions acquired, not by conquest, but by compact, have been united with us in the participation of our rights and duties, of our burdens and
blessings. The forest has fallen by the axe of our woodsmen; the soil has been made to teem by the tillage of our farmers; our commerce has whitened every ocean. The dominion of man over physical nature has been extended by the invention of our artists. Liberty and law have marched hand in hand. All the purposes of human association have been accomplished as effectively as under any other government on the globe, and at a cost little exceeding, in a whole generation, the expenditures of other nations in a single year.
Such is the unexaggerated picture of our condition under a constitution founded upon the republican principle of equal rights. To admit that this picture has its shades, is but to say that it is still the condition of men upon earth. From evil, physical, moral, and political, it is not our claim to be exempt. We have suffered sometimes by the visitation of Heaven, through disease; often by the wrongs and injustices of other nations, even to the extremities of war; and lastly, by dissensions among ourselves — dissensions, perhaps, inseparable from the enjoyment of freedom, but which have more than once appeared to threaten the dissolution of the Union, and, with it, the overthrow of all the enjoyments of our present lot, and all our earthly hopes of the future. The causes of these dissensions have been various, founded upon differences of speculation in the theory of republican government; upon conflicting views of policy, in our relations with foreign nations; upon jealousies of partial and sectional interests, aggravated by prejudices and prepossessions, which strangers to each other are ever apt to entertain.
It is a source of gratification and of encouragement to me, to observe that the great result of this experiment upon the theory of human rights has, at the close of that generation by which it was formed, been crowned with success equal to the most sanguine expectations of its founders. Union, justice, tranquillity, the common defence, the general welfare, and the blessings of liberty, all have been promoted by the government under which we have lived. "Standing at this point of time; looking back to that generation which has gone by, and forward to that which is advancing, we may at once indulge in grateful