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than enlarging on their importance. But the bulwark of our defence is the national militia, which, in the pre sent state of our intelligence and population, must render us invincible. As long as our government is administered for the good of the people, and is regulated by their will; as long as it secures to us the right of person and property, liberty of conscience, and of the press, it will be worth defending; and so long as it is worth defending, a patriotic militia will cover it with an impenetrable ægis. Partial injuries and occasional mortifications we may be subjected to; but a million of armed freemen, possessed of the means of war, can never be conquered by a foreign foe. To any just system, therefore, calculated to strengthen this natural safeguard of the country, I shall cheerfully lend all the aid in my power
It will be my sincere and constant desire to observe towards the Indian tribes within our limits, a just and liberal policy; and to give that humane and considerate attention to their rights and their wants, which are consistent with the habits of our government and the feelings of our people.
The recent demonstration of public sentiment inscribes on the list oi executive duties, in characters too legible to be overlooked, the task of reform; which will require, particularly the correction of those abuses that have brought the patronage of the federal government into conflict with the freedom of elections, and the counteraction of those causes which have disturbed the rightful course of appointment, and have placed or continued power in unfaithful or incompetent hands.
In the performance of a task thus generally delineated, I shall endeavor to select men whose diligence and talents will insure, in their respective stations, able and faithful co-operation-depending for the advancement of the public service, more on the integrity and zeal of the public officers, than on their numbers.
A diffidence, perhaps too just, in my own qualifications, wili teach me to look with reverence to the examples of public virtue left by my illustrious predecessors, and with veneration to the lights that flow from the mind that found. ed and the mind that reformed our system. The samo diffidence induces me to hope for instruction and aid from the co-ordinate branches of the government, and for the indulgence and support of my fellow-citizens gene rally. And a firm reliance on the goodness of that Pow. er whose providence mercifully protected our national infancy, and has since upheld our liberties in various vicissitudes, encourages me to offer up my ardent supplications that He will continue to make our beloved country the object of his divine care and gracious benediction
JACKSON'S FIRST ANNUAL MESSAGE,
DECEMBER 8, 1829.
Fellow-Citizens of the Senate,
and House of Representatives : It affords me pleasure to tender my friendly greetings to you on the occasion of your assembling at the seat of government, to enter upon the important duties to which you have been called by the voice of our countrymen. The task devolves on me, under a provision of the constitution, to present to you, as the federal legislature of twenty-four sovereign states, and twelve millions of happy people, a view of our affairs ; and to propose such measures as, in the discharge of my official functions, have suggested themselves as necessary to promote the objects of our Union.
In communicating with you for the first time, it is to me a source of unfeigned satisfaction, calling for mutual gratulation and devout thanks to a benign Providence, that we are at peace with all mankind; and that our country exhibits the most cheering evidence of general we.fare and progressive improvement. Turning our eyes to other nations, our great desire is to see our brethren of the human race secured in the blessings they enjoy by ourselves, and advancing in knowledge, in freedom, and ir social happiness.
Our foreign relations, although in their general cna racter pacific and friendly, present subjects of difference between us and other powers of deep interest, as well to the country at large as to many of our citizens. To effect au adjustment of these shall continue to be the object of my earnest endeavors; and notwithstanding the difficulties of the task, I do not allow myself to apprehend unfavorable results. Blessed as our country is with every thing which constitutes national strength, she is fully adequate to the maintenance of all her interests. In discharging the responsible trust confided to the executive in this respect, it is my settled purpose to ask nothing that is not clearly right, and to submit to nothing that is wrong; and I flatter myself, that, supported by the other branches of the government, and by the intelligence and patriotism of the people, we shall be able, under the pro tection of Providence, to cause all our just rights to be respected.
Of the unsettled matters between the United States and other powers, the most prominent of those which have for years been the subject of negotiation with England, France, and Spain. The late periods at which our ministers to those governments left the United States, render it impossible, at this early day, to inform you of what has been done on the subjects with which they have been respectively charged. Relying upon the justice of our views in relation to the points committed to negotiation, and the reciprocal good feeling which characterizes our intercourse with those nations, we have the best reason to hope for a satifactory adjustment of existing differences,
With Great Britain, alike distinguished in peace and war, we may look forward to years of peaceful, honorable, and elevated competition. Every thing in the condi. tion and history of the two nations is calculated to inspire sentiments of mutual respect, and to carry conviction to the minds of both, that it is their policy to preserve the most cordial relations. Such are my own views; and it is not to be doubted that such are also the prevailing sensiments of our constituents. Although neither time nor opportunity has been afforded for a full development of