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Those who recollect the distress and đảngers to this country, in former periods, from the want of arms, must exult in the assurance, from their repre. sentatives, that we shall soon rival foreign countries, not only in the number, but in the quality of arms, completed from our own manufactories.
With you, gentlemen, I fully agree that the great increase of revenue is a proof that the measures of maritime defence were founded in wisdom. This policy has raised us in the esteem of foreign nations. That national spirit and those latent energies, which had not been and are not yet fully known to any, were not entirely forgotten by those, who had lived long enough to see in former times, their operation and some of their effects : Our fellow.citizens were undoubtedly prepared to meet every event, which national honor or national security could render ne: cessary. These, it is to be hoped, are secured at the cheapest and easiest rate. If not, they will be secured at more expence.
I thank you, gentlemen, for your assurance, thať the various subjects, recommended to your consider.' ation, shall receive your deliberate attention. No farther evidence is wanting to convince me of the zeal and sincerity, with which the house of representatives regard the public good.
I pray you, gentlemen, to accept of my best wishes for your health and happiness.
JOHN ADAMS. Washington, November 27, 1800.
SEVENTH CONGRESS_FIRST SESSION.
THE PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE:
Fellow Citizens of the Senate,
and of the House of Représentatives, IT is a circumstance of sincere gratification to me, that on meeting the great council of the nation, I am able to announce to them on grounds of reasonable certainty, that the wars and troubles, which have for so many years afflicted our sister nations, have at length come to an end; and that the communications of peace and commerce are once more opening among them. Whilst we devoutly return thanks to the beneficent Being who has been pleased to breathe into them the spirit of conciliation and forgiveness, we are bound, with peculiar gratitude, to be thankful to him that our own peace has been preserved through sò perilous a season, and our. selves permitted quietly to cultivate the earth, and to practise and improve those arts which tend to in. crease our comforts. The assurance's indeed of friendly disposition received from all the powers with whom we have principal relations, had inspired a confidence that our peace with them would not have been disturbed. But à cessatioit of the irregularities which had affficted the commerce of neutral nations, and of the irritations and injuries produced by them, cannot but add to this confidence; and strength. éns at the same time, the hope that wrongs commit. ted on unoffending friends, under a pressure of cir. cumstances, will now be reviewed with candor, and will be considered as founding just claims of retri. bution for the past, and new assurance for the future.
Among our Indian neighbors also a spirit of peace and friendship generally prevails; and I am happy
to inform you that the continued efforts to introduce among them the implements and the practice of husbandry, and of the household arts, have not been without success : That they are become more and more sensible of the superiority of this dependence for clothing and subsistence, over the precarious resources of hunting and fishing : And already we are able to announce that, instead of that constant dimi. nution of numbers produced by their wars and their wants, some of them begin to experience an increase of population.''
To this state of general peace with which we have been blessed, one only exception exists. Tripoli, the least considerable of the Barbary states, had come, forward with demands unfounded either in right or in compact, and had permitted itself to denounce war, on our failure to comply before a given day. The style of the demand admitted but one answer. I sent a small squadron of frigates into the Mediterranean, with assurances to that power of our sincere desire to remain in peace; but with orders to protect our commerce against the threatened attack. The measure was seasonable and salutary. The Bey had already declared war in form. His cruisers were out. Two had arrived at Gibraltar. Our commerce in the Mediterranean was blockaded ; and that of the Atlantic in peril. The arrival of our squadron dispelled the danger. One of the Tripolitan cruisers having fallen in with and engaged the small schooner Enterprize, cornmanded by Lieutenant Sterret, which had gone out as a tender to our larger vessels, was captured, after a heavy slaughter of her men, without the loss of a single one on our part. The bravery exhibited by our citizens on that element will, I trust, be a testimony to the world, that it is not a want of that virtue which makes us seek their peace; but a conscientious desire to direct the energies of our nation to the multiplication of the human race ;
and not to its destruction. Unauthorized by the constitution, without the sanction of Congress, to go beyond the line of defence, the vessel being disabled from committing further hostilities, was liberated, with its crew. The legislature will doubtless con.. sider whether, by authorizing measures of offence also, they will place our force on an equal footing with that of its adversaries. I communicate all material information on this subject, that in the exercise of the important function, confided by the constitution to the legislature exclusively, their judg. ment may form itself on a knowledge and consideration of every circumstance of weight.
I wish I could say that our situation with all the other Barbary States was entirely satisfactory, Discovering that some delays had taken place in the performance of certain articles stipulated by us, I thought it my duty, by immediate measures for sulfilling them, to vindicate to ourselves the right of considering the effect of departure from stipulation on their side. From the papers which will be laid before you, you will be enabled to judge whether our treaties are re... garded by them as fixing at all the measure of their demands, or as guarding against the exercise of force our vessels within their power; and to consi. der how far it will be safe and expedient to leave our affairs with them in their present posture,
I lay before you the result of the census lately taken of our inhabitants, to a conformity with which we are to reduce the ensuing rates of representation and taxation. You will perceive that the increase of numbers, during the last ten years, proceeding in geometrical ratio, promises a duplication in little more than twenty-two years. We contemplate this rapid growth, and the prospect it holds up to us, not with a view to the injuries it may enable us to do to others in some future day, but to the settlement of the extensive country still remaining vacant within
our limits, to the multiplication of men susceptible of happiness, educated in the love of order, habituated to self-government, and valuing its blessings above all price. .
Other circumstances combined with the increase of numbers, have produced an augmentation of revenue arising from consumption, in a ratio far be. yond that of population alone ; ard though the changes in foreign relations, now taking place so desirably for the whole world, may for a season affect this branch of revenue, yet, weighing all probabilities of expence, as well as of income, there is reasonable ground of confidence, that we may now safely dispense with all the internal taxes, comprehending excises, stamps, auctions, licences, carriages and refined sugars; to which the postage on newspapers may be added to facilitate the progress of information; and that the reinaining sources of revenue will be sufficient to provide for the support of government, to pay the interest of the public debts, and to discharge the principals in shorter periods than the laws, or the general expectation had contemplated. War, indeed, and untoward events may change this prospect of things, and call for' expences 'which the imposts could not meet. But sound principles will not justify our taxing the industry of our fellow citi. zens to accumulate treasure for wars to happen we know not when, and which might not perhaps hap. pen, but from the temptations offered by that trea. sure.
These views, however, of reducing our burthens, are formed on the expectation that a sensible, and at the same time, a salutary reduction may take place in our habitual expenditures. For this purpose, those of the civil government, the army and navy, will need revisal. When we consider that this go. yernment is charged with the external and mutual relations only of these states; that the states them