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interests of the nation ; to promote the civilization of the Indian tribes; and to proceed in the great system of internal improvements within the limits of the constitutional power of the Union. Under the pledge of these promises, made by that eminent citizen at the time of his first induction to this office, in his career of eight years, the internal taxes have been repealed ; sixty millions of the public debt have been discharged; provision has been made for the comfort and relief of the aged and indigent among the surviving warriors of the revolution; the regular armed force has been reduced, and its constitution revised and perfected; the accountability for the expenditures of public moneys has been made more effective; the Floridas have been peaceably acquired, and our boundary has been extended to the Pacific ocean ; the independence of the southern nations of this hemisphere has been recognised, and recommended by example and by counsel to the potentates of Europe ; progress has been made in the defence of the country by fortifications and the increase of the navy, toward the effectual suppression of the African traffic in slaves, in alluring the aboriginal hunters of our
land to the cultivation of the soil and of the mind, in exploring the interior regions of the Union, and in preparing, by scientific researches and surveys, for the farther application of our national resources to the internal improvement of our country.
In this brief outline of the promise and performance of my immediate predecessor, the line of duty for his successor is clearly delineated. To pursue to their consummation those purposes of improvement in our common condition, instituted or recommended by him, will embrace the whole sphere of my obligations. To the topic of internal improvement, emphatically urged by him at his inauguration, I recur with peculiar satisfaction. It is that from which I am convinced that the unborn millions of our posterity, who are in future ages to people this continent, will derive their most fervent gratitude to the founders of the Union ; that in which the beneficent action of its government will be most deeply felt and acknowledged. The magnificence and splendour of their public works are among the imperishable glories of the ancient republics. The roads and acqueducts of Rome have been the admiration of
all after ages, and have survived thousands of years, after all her conquests have been swallowed up in despotism, or become the spoil of barbarians. Some diversity of opinion has prevailed with regard to the powers of Congress for legislation upon objects of this nature. The most respectful deference is due to doubts originating in pure patriotism, and sustained by venerated authority. But nearly twenty years have passed since the construction of the first national road was commenced. The authority for its construction was then unquestioned. To how may
thousands of our countrymen has it proved a benefit ? To what single individual has it ever proved an injury ? Repeated, liberal, and candid discussions in the legislature have conciliated the sentiments, and approximated the opinions of enlightened minds upon the question of constitutional power. I cannot but hope that, by the same process
of friendly, patient, and persevering deliberation, all constitutional objections will ultimately be removed. The extent and limitation of the powers of the general government in relation to this transcendently important interest will be settled
and acknowledged to the common satisfaction of
and every speculative scruple will be solved by a practical public blessing.
Fellow citizens, you are acquainted with the peculiar circumstances of the recent elections, which have resulted in affording me the opportunity of addressing you at this time. You have heard the exposition of the principles which will direct me in the fulfilment of the high and solemn trust imposed upon me in this station. Less possessed of your confidence in advance than any of my prede cessors, I am deeply conscious of the prospect that I shall stand more and oftener in need of your indulgence. Intentions upright and pure, a heart devoted to the welfare of our country, and the unceasing application of the faculties allotted to me to her service, are all the pledges that I can give to the faithful performance of the arduous duties I am to undertake. To the guidance of the legislative councils; to the assistance of the executive and subordinate departments; to the friendly co-operation of the respective state governments; to the candid and liberal support of the people, so far as it may be deserved by
honest industry and zeal, I shall look for whatever success may attend my public service ; and knowing that, except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain, with fervent supplications for his favour, to his overruling providence I commit, with humble but fearless confidence, my own fate, and the future destinies of my