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The people of this State having recently selected me to discharge the duties of their chief magistrate for a second term, I avail myself of the present occasion to express my grateful acknowledgments for this renewed manifestation of their confidence, and to assure them that my best efforts shall be devoted to their service.
At no former period have the United States occupied a more elevated position than at present, in relation to foreign powers. The claims for depredations formerly committed on the property of our merchants have been sustained by ably conducted negociations, and admitted in almost all instances by solemn treaties; our commerce is extended to nearly every region of the globe; and our flag respected by all nations.
In adverting to the internal affairs of our country we find few causes for discontent and many for congratulation. The general government is administered with wisdom, and with a special regard to the principles on which it was founded; our national debt is now extinguished; our public revenues exceed our wants; the burden of taxation has been within a few years greatly diminished; considerable progress has been lately made in reconstructing the barriers which were erected to resist the encroachments of federal power, but which were partially overthrown by the errors of past legislation; and there is now good reason to hope that the general government, in relation to its practical operations, will , [Senate No. 1.] 1
soon become in all respects what it was designed to be by its wise and patriotic founders.
But your attention is chiefly to be directed to the internal affairs of our own State; it is to them your powers as legislators extend, and to them, in an especial manner, your duties relate.
In reviewing the events of the past year, your attention will be necessarily arrested by the extraordinary state of things which existed at its commencement, and continued some time thereafter. Shortly before this period, an unwonted prosperity prevailed throughout the State; the bounties of Providence had been showered upon us with a liberal hand; we had been favored with a fruitful season; labor in all the branches of industry found a ready employment and received a fair reward; the characteristic enterprize of the people was stimulated to great activity; our internal trade exceeded in amount and extent all former example; and our foreign commerce presented sure indications of being in a sound and healthful state. There was then nothing either in our internal condition or external relations which did not presage, to the mind of ordinary observers at least, the continuance of this high state of prosperity; but it suddenly passed away, and was succeeded by a period of great pecuniary embarrassment. It is not to the present purpose to trace minutely the operation of the causes which wrought this change; but all will concur, I think, in ascribing it mainly to the contest relative to re-chartering the Bank of the United States.
This Bank, since its first establishment, has been deprecated by many, as an institution existing without constitutional authority, and by still more, as a power capable of resisting the public will, and of spurning the control reserved by the authority which created it—not necessary to the fiscal operations of the treasury—pernicious in its general influence upon our currency—and dangerous, as a political engine, to the principles of our government. A great majority of the people, viewing it with disfavor, had, by electing a Chief Magistrate well known to be decidedly opposed to a renewal of its charter, indicated their unwillingness to prolong its existence. It was not generally anticipated, though by many it was feared, that an attempt would be made by the infliction of public distress, to reverse this condemnatory sentence, so deliberately pronounced by the sovereign power of the country. But it did