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The management of the public revenue—that searching operation of all governments—is among the most delicate and important trusts in ours; and it will, of course, demand no inconsiderable share of my official solicitude. Under every aspect in which it can be considered, it would appear that advantage must result from the observance of a strict and faithful economy. This I shall aim at the more anxiously, both because it will facilitate the extinguishment of the national debt, the unnecessary duration of which is incompatible with real independence, and because it will counteract that tendency to public and private profligacy which a profuse expenditure of money by the government is but too apt to engender. Powerful auxiliaries to the attainment of this desirable end, are to be found in the regulations provided by the wisdom of Congress for the specific appropriation of public money, and the prompt accountability of public officers. With regard to a proper selection of the subjects of impost, with a view to revenue, it would seem to me that the spirit of equity, caution, and compromise, in which the constitution was formed, requires that the great interests of agriculture, commerce and manufactures, should be equally favored, and that perhaps the only exception to this rule should consist in the peculiar encouragement of any products of either of them that may be found essential to our national independence.
Internal improvement and the diffusion of knowledge, so far as they can be promoted by the constitutional acts of the federal government, are of high importance.
Considering standing armies as dangerous to free governments in time of peace, I shall not seek to enlarge our present establishment, nor to disregard that salutary lesson of political experience which teaches that the military should be held subordinate to the civil power. The gradual increase of our navy, whose flag has displayed, in distant climes, our skill in navigation, and our fame in arms; the preservation of our forts, arsenals, and dockyards; and the introduction of progressive improvements in the discipline and science of both branches of our military service, are so plainly prescribed by prudence that I should be excused for omitting their mention, sooner 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 tha: 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 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, will 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 founded 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 of 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 Eng. land, 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 condition 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 sentiments of our constituents. Although neither time nor opportunity has been afforded for a full development of the policy which the present cabinet of Great Britain de. signs to pursue towards this country, I indulge the hope that it will be of a just and pacific character ; and if this anticipation be realized, we may look with confidence to a speedy and acceptable adjustment of our affairs.
Under the convention for regulating the reference to arbitration the disputed points of boundary under the fifth article of the treaty of Ghent, the proceedings have hitherto been conducted in the spirit of candor and libevality which ought ever to characterize the acts of sovereign states, seeking to adjust. by the most unexceptionable means, important and delicate subjects of contention. The first statements of the parties have been exchanged, and the final replication on our part is in a course of preparation. This subject has received the attention de. manded by its great and peculiar importance to a patriotic member of this confederacy. The exposition of our rights, already made, is such as from the high reputation of the commissioners by whom it has been prepared, we had a right to expect. Our interests at the court of the sovereign who has evinced his friendly disposition, by assuming the delicate task of arbitration, have been committed to a citizen of the state of Maine, whose character, talents, and intimate acquaintance with the subject, eminently qualify him for so responsible
With full confidence in the justice of our cause, and in the probity, intelligence, and uncompromising independence of the illustrious arbitrator, we can have nothing to apprehend from the result.
From France, our ancient ally, we have a right to expect that justice which becomes the sovereign of a powerful, intelligent, and magnanimous people. The beneficial effects produced by the commercial convention of 1822, limited as are its provisions, are too obvious not to make a salutary impression upon the minds of those who are charged with the administration of her government. Should this result induce a disposition to embrace to their full extent the wholesome principles which constitute our commercial policy, our minister to that court will be found instructed to cherish such a disposition, and to aid