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who continues to defraud the treasury, and conceal the transaction for the brief term of two years. I would therefore recommend such an alteration of the law as will give the injured party and the government two years after the disclosure of the fraud, or after the accused is out of office, to commence their prosecution.
In connection with this subject, I invite the attention of Congress to a general and minute inquiry into the condition of the government; with a view to ascertain what offices can be dispensed with, what expenses retrenched, and what improvements may be made in the organization of its various parts to secure the proper responsibility of public agents, and promote efficiency and justice in all its operations.
The report of the Secretary of War will make you acquainted with the condition of our army, fortifications, arsenals, and Indian affairs. The proper discipline of the army, the training and equipment of the militia, the education bestowed at West Point, and the accumulation of the means of defence, applicable to the naval force, will tend to prolong the peace we now enjoy, and which every good citizen, more especially those who have felt the miseries of even a successful warfare, most ardently desire to perpetuate.
The returns from the subordinate branches of this service exhibit a regularity and order highly creditable to its character: both officers and soldiers seem imbued with a proper sense of duty, and conform to the restraints of exact discipline with that cheerfulness which becomes the profession of arms. There is need, however, of further legislation to obviate the inconveniences specified in the report under consideration; to some of which it is proper that I should call your particular attention.
The act of Congress of the 2d March, 1821, to reduce and fix the military establishment, remaining unexecuted as it regards the command of one of the regiments of artillery, cannot now be deemed a guide to the executive in making the proper appointment. An explanatory act, designating the class of officers out of which this grade is to be filled-whether from the military list, as existing prior to the act of 1821, or from it, as it has been fixed by that act-would remove this difficulty. It is also im. portant that the laws regulating the pay and emoluments of the officers generally, should be more specific than they now are. Those, for example, in relation to the paymaster and surgeon-general, assign to them an annual salary of $2,500; but are silent as to allowances which, in certain exigencies of the service, may be deemed indispensable to the discharge of their duties. This circumstance has been the authority for extending to them various allowances at different times under former administrations; but no uniform rule has been observed on the subject. Similar inconveniences exist in other cases, in which the construction put upon the laws by the public accountants may operate unequally, produce confusion, and expose officers to the odium of claiming what is not their due.
I recommend to your fostering care, as one of our safest means of national defence, the Military Academy. This institution has already exercised the happiest influence upon the moral and intellectual character of our army; and such of the graduates as, from various causes, may not pursue the profession of arms, will be scarcely less useful as citizens. Their knowledge of the military art will be advantageously employed in the militia service; and in a measure secure to that class of troops the advantages which in this respect belong to standing armies.
I would also suggest a review of the pension law, for the purpose of extending its benefits to every revolutionary soldier who aided in establishing our liberties, and who is unable to maintain himself in comfort. Those relics of the war of independence have strong claims upon their country's gratitude and bounty. The law is defective in not embracing within its provisions all those who were during the last war disabled from supporting themselves by manual labor. Such an amendment would add but little to the amount of pensions, and is called for by the sympathies of the people, as well as by considera. tions of sound policy. It will be perceived that a large addition to the list of pensioners has been occasioned by an order of the late administration, departing materially
limits of Georgia and Alabama. These states, claiming to be the only sovereigns within their territories, extended their laws over the Indians; which induced the latter to call upon the United States for protection.
Under these circumstances, the question presented was, whether the general government had a right to sustain those people in their pretensions. The constitution declares, that “no new state shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other state,” without the consent of its legislature. If the general government is not permitted to tolerate the erection of a confederate state within the territory of one of the members of this Union, against her consent, much less coula it allow a foreign and independent government to establish itself there. Georgia became a member of the confederacy which eventuated in our federal union, as a sovereign state, always asserting her claim to certain limits; which having been originally defined in her colonial charter, and subsequently recognized in the treaty of peace, she has ever since continued to enjoy, except as they have been circumscribed by her own voluntary transfer of a portion of her territory to the United States, in the articles of cession of 1802. Alabama was admitted into the Union on the same footing with the original states, with boundaries which were prescribed by Congress. There is no constitutional, conventional, or legal provision, which allows them less power over the Indians within their borders, than is possessed by Maine or New York. Would the people of Maine permit the Penobscot tribe to erect an independent government within their state? and unless they did, would it not be the duty of the general government to support them in resisting such a measure? Would the people of New York permit each remnant of the Six Nations within her borders, to declare itself an independent people under the protection of the United States ? Could the Indians establish a separate republic in each of their reservations in Ohio ? and if they were 80 disposed, would it be the duty of this government to protect them in the attempt? If the principle involved in the obvious answer to these questions be abandoned. it will follow that the objects of this government are .
versed; and that it has become a part of its duty to aid in destroying the states which it was established to pro
Actuated by this view of the subject, I informed the Indians inhabiting parts of Georgia and Alabama, that their attempt to establish an independent government would not be countenanced by the executive of the United States; and advised them to emigrate beyond the Mississippi, or submit to the laws of those states.
Our conduct towards these people is deeply interesting to our national character. Their present condition, contrasted with what they once were, makes a most powerful appeal to our sympathies. Our ancestors found them the uncontrolled possessors of these vast regions. By persuasion and force they have been made to retire from river to river, and from mountain to mountain, until some of the tribes have become extinct, and others have left but remnants, to preserve, for a while, their once terrible names. Surrounded by the whites, with their arts of civilization, which, by destroying the resources of the savage, doom him to weakness and decay; the fate of the Mohegan, the Narragansett, and the Delaware, is fast overtaking the Choctaw, the Cherokee, and the Creek. That this fate surely awaits them if they remain within the limits of the states, does not admit of a doubt. Humanity and national honor demand that every effort should be made to avert so great a calamity. It is too late to inquire whether it was just in the United States to include them and their territory within the bounds of new states whose limits they could control. That step can not be retraced. A state cannot be dismembered by Congress, or restricted in the exercise of her constitú tional power. But the people of those states, and of every state, actuated by feelings of justice and a regard for our national honor, submit to you the interesting question, whether something cannot be done, consistently with the rights of the states, lo preserve this much inju. red race.
As a means of effecting this end, I suggest for your consideration the propriety of setting apart an ample district west of the Mississippi, and without the limits of