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Title: A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents - Volume 1, part 2: John Adams
Author: Richardson, James D. (James Daniel), 1843-1914 [Editor]
Language: English
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A COMPILATION OF THE MESSAGES AND PAPERS OF THE PRESIDENTS.

BY JAMES D. RICHARDSON


John Adams

March 4, 1797, to March 4, 1801



John Adams


John Adams was born on October 19 (old style), 1735, near Boston,
Mass., in the portion of the town of Braintree which has since been
incorporated as Quincy. He was fourth in descent from Henry Adams,
who fled from persecution in Devonshire, England, and settled in
Massachusetts about 1630. Another of his ancestors was John Adams, a
founder of the Plymouth Colony in 1620. Entered Harvard College in 1751,
and graduated therefrom four years later. Studied the law and taught
school at Worcester; was admitted to the bar of Suffolk County in 1758.
In 1768 removed to Boston, where he won distinction at the bar. In 1764
married Abigail Smith, whose father was Rev. William Smith and whose
grandfather was Colonel Quincy. In 1770 was chosen a representative from
Boston in the legislature of Massachusetts. In 1774 was a member of the
Continental Congress, and in 1776 was the adviser and great supporter of
the Declaration of Independence. The same year was a deputy to treat
with Lord Howe for the pacification of the Colonies. He declined the
offer of chief justice of Massachusetts. In December, 1777, was
appointed a commissioner to France, and returned home in the summer of
1779. He was then chosen a member of the Massachusetts convention for
framing a State constitution. On September 29, 1779, was appointed by
Congress minister plenipotentiary to negotiate a peace treaty with Great
Britain. In 1781 was a commissioner to conclude treaties of peace with
European powers. In 1783 negotiated with others a commercial treaty with
Great Britain. Was one of the commissioners to sign the provisional
treaty of peace with that nation November 30, 1782, and the definite
treaty September 3, 1783. In 1784 remained in Holland, and in 1785 was
by Congress appointed minister of the United States at the Court of
Great Britain. He returned to his home in June, 1788. Was chosen
Vice-President on the ticket with Washington, and on the assembling of
the Senate took his seat as President of that body, at New York in
April, 1789. Was reelected Vice-President in 1792. On the retirement of
Washington in 1796 he was elected President, and was inaugurated March
4, 1797. He retired March 4, 1801, to his home at Quincy, Mass. In 1816
was chosen to head the list of Presidential electors of his party in the
State. Was a member of the State convention to revise the constitution
of Massachusetts; was unanimously elected president of that convention,
but declined it on account of his age. His wife died in 1818. On July 4,
1826, he died, and was buried at Quincy.



INAUGURAL ADDRESS.

IN THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, PA


When it was first perceived, in early times, that no middle course for
America remained between unlimited submission to a foreign legislature
and a total independence of its claims, men of reflection were less
apprehensive of danger from the formidable power of fleets and armies
they must determine to resist than from those contests and dissensions
which would certainly arise concerning the forms of government to be
instituted over the whole and over the parts of this extensive country.
Relying, however, on the purity of their intentions, the justice of
their cause, and the integrity and intelligence of the people, under an
overruling Providence which had so signally protected this country from
the first, the representatives of this nation, then consisting of little
more than half its present number, not only broke to pieces the chains
which were forging and the rod of iron that was lifted up, but frankly
cut asunder the ties which had bound them, and launched into an ocean of
uncertainty.

The zeal and ardor of the people during the Revolutionary war, supplying
the place of government, commanded a degree of order sufficient at least
for the temporary preservation of society. The Confederation which was
early felt to be necessary was prepared from the models of the Batavian
and Helvetic confederacies, the only examples which remain with any
detail and precision in history, and certainly the only ones which the
people at large had ever considered. But reflecting on the striking
difference in so many particulars between this country and those where a
courier may go from the seat of government to the frontier in a single
day, it was then certainly foreseen by some who assisted in Congress at
the formation of it that it could not be durable.

Negligence of its regulations, inattention to its recommendations, if
not disobedience to its authority, not only in individuals but in
States, soon appeared with their melancholy consequences--universal
languor, jealousies and rivalries of States, decline of navigation and
commerce, discouragement of necessary manufactures, universal fall in
the value of lands and their produce, contempt of public and private
faith, loss of consideration and credit with foreign nations, and at
length in discontents, animosities, combinations, partial conventions,
and insurrection, threatening some great national calamity.

In this dangerous crisis the people of America were not abandoned by
their usual good sense, presence of mind, resolution, or integrity.
Measures were pursued to concert a plan to form a more perfect union,
establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common
defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of
liberty. The public disquisitions, discussions, and deliberations issued
in the present happy Constitution of Government.

Employed in the service of my country abroad during the whole course of
these transactions, I first saw the Constitution of the United States in
a foreign country. Irritated by no literary altercation, animated by no
public debate, heated by no party animosity, I read it with great
satisfaction, as the result of good heads prompted by good hearts, as an
experiment better adapted to the genius, character, situation, and
relations of this nation and country than any which had ever been
proposed or suggested. In its general principles and great outlines it
was conformable to such a system of government as I had ever most
esteemed, and in some States, my own native State in particular, had
contributed to establish. Claiming a right of suffrage, in common with
my fellow-citizens, in the adoption or rejection of a constitution which
was to rule me and my posterity, as well as them and theirs, I did not
hesitate to express my approbation of it on all occasions, in public and
in private. It was not then, nor has been since, any objection to it in
my mind that the Executive and Senate were not more permanent. Nor have
I ever entertained a thought of promoting any alteration in it but such
as the people themselves, in the course of their experience, should see
and feel to be necessary or expedient, and by their representatives in
Congress and the State legislatures, according to the Constitution
itself, adopt and ordain.

Returning to the bosom of my country after a painful separation from it
for ten years, I had the honor to be elected to a station under the new
order of things, and I have repeatedly laid myself under the most
serious obligations to support the Constitution. The operation of it has
equaled the most sanguine expectations of its friends, and from an
habitual attention to it, satisfaction in its administration, and
delight in its effects upon the peace, order, prosperity, and happiness
of the nation I have acquired an habitual attachment to it and
veneration for it.

What other form of government, indeed, can so well deserve our esteem
and love?

There may be little solidity in an ancient idea that congregations of
men into cities and nations are the most pleasing objects in the sight
of superior intelligences, but this is very certain, that to a
benevolent human mind there can be no spectacle presented by any nation
more pleasing, more noble, majestic, or august, than an assembly like
that which has so often been seen in this and the other Chamber of
Congress, of a Government in which the Executive authority, as well as
that of all the branches of the Legislature, are exercised by citizens
selected at regular periods by their neighbors to make and execute laws
for the general good. Can anything essential, anything more than mere
ornament and decoration, be added to this by robes and diamonds? Can
authority be more amiable and respectable when it descends from
accidents or institutions established in remote antiquity than when it
springs fresh from the hearts and judgments of an honest and enlightened
people? For it is the people only that are represented. It is their
power and majesty that is reflected, and only for their good, in every
legitimate government, under whatever form it may appear. The existence
of such a government as ours for any length of time is a full proof of a
general dissemination of knowledge and virtue throughout the whole body
of the people. And what object or consideration more pleasing than this
can be presented to the human mind? If national pride is ever
justifiable or excusable it is when it springs, not from power or
riches, grandeur or glory, but from conviction of national innocence,
information, and benevolence.

In the midst of these pleasing ideas we should be unfaithful to
ourselves if we should ever lose sight of the danger to our liberties
if anything partial or extraneous should infect the purity of our free,
fair, virtuous, and independent elections. If an election is to be
determined by a majority of a single vote, and that can be procured by a
party through artifice or corruption, the Government may be the choice
of a party for its own ends, not of the nation for the national good. If
that solitary suffrage can be obtained by foreign nations by flattery or
menaces, by fraud or violence, by terror, intrigue, or venality, the
Government may not be the choice of the American people, but of foreign
nations. It may be foreign nations who govern us, and not we, the
people, who govern ourselves; and candid men will acknowledge that in
such cases choice would have little advantage to boast of over lot or
chance.

Such is the amiable and interesting system of government (and such are
some of the abuses to which it may be exposed) which the people of
America have exhibited to the admiration and anxiety of the wise and
virtuous of all nations for eight years under the administration of a
citizen who, by a long course of great actions, regulated by prudence,
justice, temperance, and fortitude, conducting a people inspired with
the same virtues and animated with the same ardent patriotism and love
of liberty to independence and peace, to increasing wealth and
unexampled prosperity, has merited the gratitude of his fellow-citizens,
commanded the highest praises of foreign nations, and secured immortal
glory with posterity.

In that retirement which is his voluntary choice may he long live to
enjoy the delicious recollection of his services, the gratitude of
mankind, the happy fruits of them to himself and the world, which are
daily increasing, and that splendid prospect of the future fortunes of
this country which is opening from year to year. His name may be still a
rampart, and the knowledge that he lives a bulwark, against all open or
secret enemies of his country's peace. This example has been recommended
to the imitation of his successors by both Houses of Congress and by the
voice of the legislatures and the people throughout the nation.

On this subject it might become me better to be silent or to speak with
diffidence; but as something may be expected, the occasion, I hope, will
be admitted as an apology if I venture to say that if a preference, upon
principle, of a free republican government, formed upon long and serious
reflection, after a diligent and impartial inquiry after truth; if an
attachment to the Constitution of the United States, and a conscientious
determination to support it until it shall be altered by the judgments
and wishes of the people, expressed in the mode prescribed in it; if a
respectful attention to the constitutions of the individual States and a
constant caution and delicacy toward the State governments; if an equal
and impartial regard to the rights, interest, honor, and happiness of
all the States in the Union, without preference or regard to a northern
or southern, an eastern or western, position, their various political
opinions on unessential points or their personal attachments; if a love
of virtuous men of all parties and denominations; if a love of science
and letters and a wish to patronize every rational effort to encourage
schools, colleges, universities, academies, and every institution for
propagating knowledge, virtue, and religion among all classes of the
people, not only for their benign influence on the happiness of life in
all its stages and classes, and of society in all its forms, but as the
only means of preserving our Constitution from its natural enemies, the
spirit of sophistry, the spirit of party, the spirit of intrigue, the
profligacy of corruption, and the pestilence of foreign influence, which
is the angel of destruction to elective governments; if a love of equal
laws, of justice, and humanity in the interior administration; if an
inclination to improve agriculture, commerce, and manufactures for
necessity, convenience, and defense; if a spirit of equity and humanity
toward the aboriginal nations of America, and a disposition to meliorate
their condition by inclining them to be more friendly to us, and our
citizens to be more friendly to them; if an inflexible determination to
maintain peace and inviolable faith with all nations, and that system of
neutrality and impartiality among the belligerent powers of Europe which
has been adopted by this Government and so solemnly sanctioned by both
Houses of Congress and applauded by the legislatures of the States and
the public opinion, until it shall be otherwise ordained by Congress; if
a personal esteem for the French nation, formed in a residence of seven
years chiefly among them, and a sincere desire to preserve the
friendship which has been so much for the honor and interest of both
nations; if, while the conscious honor and integrity of the people of
America and the internal sentiment of their own power and energies must
be preserved, an earnest endeavor to investigate every just cause and
remove every colorable pretense of complaint; if an intention to pursue
by amicable negotiation a reparation for the injuries that have been
committed on the commerce of our fellow-citizens by whatever nation, and
if success can not be obtained, to lay the facts before the legislature,
that they may consider what further measures the honor and interest of
the Government and its constituents demand; if a resolution to do
justice as far as may depend upon me, at all times and to all nations,
and maintain peace, friendship, and benevolence with all the world; if
an unshaken confidence in the honor, spirit, and resources of the
American people, on which I have so often hazarded my all and never been
deceived; if elevated ideas of the high destinies of this country and of
my own duties toward it, founded on a knowledge of the moral principles
and intellectual improvements of the people deeply engraven on my mind
in early life, and not obscured but exalted by experience and age; and,
with humble reverence, I feel it to be my duty to add, if a veneration
for the religion of a people who profess and call themselves Christians,
and a fixed resolution to consider a decent respect for Christianity
among the best recommendations for the public service, can enable me in
any degree to comply with your wishes, it shall be my strenuous endeavor
that this sagacious injunction of the two Houses shall not be without
effect.

With this great example before me, with the sense and spirit, the faith
and honor, the duty and interest, of the same American people pledged to
support the Constitution of the United States, I entertain no doubt of
its continuance in all its energy, and my mind is prepared without
hesitation to lay myself under the most solemn obligations to support it
to the utmost of my power.

And may that Being who is supreme over all, the Patron of Order, the
Fountain of Justice, and the Protector in all ages of the world of
virtuous liberty, continue His blessing upon this nation and its
Government and give it all possible success and duration consistent with
the ends of His providence.

March 4, 1797.



PROCLAMATION.

[From Annals of Congress, Fifth Congress, Vol. I, 49.]

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.


Whereas the Constitution of the United States of America provides that
the President may, on extraordinary occasions, convene both Houses of
Congress; and

Whereas an extraordinary occasion exists for convening Congress, and
divers weighty matters claim their consideration:

I have therefore thought it necessary to convene, and I do by these
presents convene, the Congress of the United States of America at the
city of Philadelphia, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, on Monday,
the 15th day of May next, hereby requiring the Senators and
Representatives in the Congress of the United States of America, and
every of them, that, laying aside all other matters and cares, they then
and there meet and assemble in Congress in order to consult and
determine on such measures as in their wisdom shall be deemed meet for
the safety and welfare of the said United States.

In testimony whereof I have caused the seal of the United States of
America to be affixed to these presents, and signed the same with my
hand.

[SEAL.]

Done at the city of Philadelphia, the 25th day of March, A.D. 1797, and
of the Independence of the United States of America the twenty-first.

JOHN ADAMS.

By the President:
  TIMOTHY PICKERING,
    _Secretary of State_.



SPECIAL SESSION MESSAGE.

UNITED STATES, _May 16, 1797_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

The personal inconveniences to the members of the Senate and of the
House of Representatives in leaving their families and private affairs
at this season of the year are so obvious that I the more regret the
extraordinary occasion which has rendered the convention of Congress
indispensable.

It would have afforded me the highest satisfaction to have been able to
congratulate you on a restoration of peace to the nations of Europe
whose animosities have endangered our tranquillity; but we have still
abundant cause of gratitude to the Supreme Dispenser of National
Blessings for general health and promising seasons, for domestic and
social happiness, for the rapid progress and ample acquisitions of
industry through extensive territories, for civil, political, and
religious liberty. While other states are desolated with foreign war or
convulsed with intestine divisions, the United States present the
pleasing prospect of a nation governed by mild and equal laws, generally
satisfied with the possession of their rights, neither envying the
advantages nor fearing the power of other nations, solicitous only for
the maintenance of order and justice and the preservation of liberty,
increasing daily in their attachment to a system of government in
proportion to their experience of its utility, yielding a ready and
general obedience to laws flowing from the reason and resting on the
only solid foundation--the affections of the people.

It is with extreme regret that I shall be obliged to turn your thoughts
to other circumstances, which admonish us that some of these felicities
may not be lasting. But if the tide of our prosperity is full and a
reflux commencing, a vigilant circumspection becomes us, that we may
meet our reverses with fortitude and extricate ourselves from their
consequences with all the skill we possess and all the efforts in our
power.

In giving to Congress information of the state of the Union and
recommending to their consideration such measures as appear to me to be
necessary or expedient, according to my constitutional duty, the causes
and the objects of the present extraordinary session will be explained.

After the President of the United States received information that the
French Government had expressed serious discontents at some proceedings
of the Government of these States said to affect the interests of
France, he thought it expedient to send to that country a new minister,
fully instructed to enter on such amicable discussions and to give such
candid explanations as might happily remove the discontents and suspicions
of the French Government and vindicate the conduct of the United States.
For this purpose he selected from among his fellow-citizens a character
whose integrity, talents, experience, and services had placed him in the
rank of the most esteemed and respected in the nation. The direct object
of his mission was expressed in his letter of credence to the French
Republic, being "to maintain that good understanding which from the
commencement of the alliance had subsisted between the two nations, and
to efface unfavorable impressions, banish suspicions, and restore that
cordiality which was at once the evidence and pledge of a friendly
union." And his instructions were to the same effect, "faithfully to
represent the disposition of the Government and people of the United
States (their disposition being one), to remove jealousies and obviate
complaints by shewing that they were groundless, to restore that mutual
confidence which had been so unfortunately and injuriously impaired,
and to explain the relative interests of both countries and the real
sentiments of his own."

A minister thus specially commissioned it was expected would have proved
the instrument of restoring mutual confidence between the two Republics.
The first step of the French Government corresponded with that
expectation. A few days before his arrival at Paris the French minister
of foreign relations informed the American minister then resident at
Paris of the formalities to be observed by himself in taking leave, and
by his successor preparatory to his reception. These formalities they
observed, and on the 9th of December presented officially to the
minister of foreign relations, the one a copy of his letters of recall,
the other a copy of his letters of credence.

These were laid before the Executive Directory. Two days afterwards the
minister of foreign relations informed the recalled American minister
that the Executive Directory had determined not to receive another
minister plenipotentiary from the United States until after the redress
of grievances demanded of the American Government, and which the French
Republic had a right to expect from it. The American minister
immediately endeavored to ascertain whether by refusing to receive him
it was intended that he should retire from the territories of the French
Republic, and verbal answers were given that such was the intention of
the Directory. For his own justification he desired a written answer,
but obtained none until toward the last of January, when, receiving
notice in writing to quit the territories of the Republic, he proceeded
to Amsterdam, where he proposed to wait for instruction from this
Government. During his residence at Paris cards of hospitality were
refused him, and he was threatened with being subjected to the
jurisdiction of the minister of police; but with becoming firmness he
insisted on the protection of the law of nations due to him as the known
minister of a foreign power. You will derive further information from
his dispatches, which will be laid before you.

As it is often necessary that nations should treat for the mutual
advantage of their affairs, and especially to accommodate and terminate
differences, and as they can treat only by ministers, the right of
embassy is well known and established by the law and usage of nations.
The refusal on the part of France to receive our minister is, then, the
denial of a right; but the refusal to receive him until we have acceded
to their demands without discussion and without investigation is to
treat us neither as allies nor as friends, nor as a sovereign state.

With this conduct of the French Government it will be proper to take
into view the public audience given to the late minister of the United
States on his taking leave of the Executive Directory. The speech of the
President discloses sentiments more alarming than the refusal of a
minister, because more dangerous to our independence and union, and at
the same time studiously marked with indignities toward the Government
of the United States. It evinces a disposition to separate the people of
the United States from the Government, to persuade them that they have
different affections, principles, and interests from those of their
fellow-citizens whom they themselves have chosen to manage their common
concerns, and thus to produce divisions fatal to our peace. Such
attempts ought to be repelled with a decision which shall convince
France and the world that we are not a degraded people, humiliated under
a colonial spirit of fear and sense of inferiority, fitted to be the
miserable instruments of foreign influence, and regardless of national
honor, character, and interest.

I should have been happy to have thrown a veil over these transactions
if it had been possible to conceal them; but they have passed on the
great theater of the world, in the face of all Europe and America, and
with such circumstances of publicity and solemnity that they can not be
disguised and will not soon be forgotten. They have inflicted a wound in
the American breast. It is my sincere desire, however, that it may be
healed.

It is my sincere desire, and in this I presume I concur with you and
with our constituents, to preserve peace and friendship with all
nations; and believing that neither the honor nor the interest of the
United States absolutely forbid the repetition of advances for securing
these desirable objects with France, I shall institute a fresh attempt
at negotiation, and shall not fail to promote and accelerate an
accommodation on terms compatible with the rights, duties, interests,
and honor of the nation. If we have committed errors, and these can be
demonstrated, we shall be willing to correct them; if we have done
injuries, we shall be willing on conviction to redress them; and equal
measures of justice we have a right to expect from France and every
other nation.

The diplomatic intercourse between the United States and France being at
present suspended, the Government has no means of obtaining official
information from that country. Nevertheless, there is reason to believe
that the Executive Directory passed a decree on the 2d of March last
contravening in part the treaty of amity and commerce of 1778, injurious
to our lawful commerce and endangering the lives of our citizens. A copy
of this decree will be laid before you.

While we are endeavoring to adjust all our differences with France by
amicable negotiation, the progress of the war in Europe, the
depredations on our commerce, the personal injuries to our citizens, and
the general complexion of affairs render it my indispensable duty to
recommend to your consideration effectual measures of defense.

The commerce of the United States has become an interesting object of
attention, whether we consider it in relation to the wealth and finances
or the strength and resources of the nation. With a seacoast of near
2,000 miles in extent, opening a wide field for fisheries, navigation,
and commerce, a great portion of our citizens naturally apply their
industry and enterprise to these objects. Any serious and permanent
injury to commerce would not fail to produce the most embarrassing
disorders. To prevent it from being undermined and destroyed it is
essential that it receive an adequate protection.

The naval establishment must occur to every man who considers the
injuries committed on our commerce, the insults offered to our citizens,
and the description of vessels by which these abuses have been
practiced. As the sufferings of our mercantile and seafaring citizens
can not be ascribed to the omission of duties demandable, considering
the neutral situation of our country, they are to be attributed to the
hope of impunity arising from a supposed inability on our part to afford
protection. To resist the consequences of such impressions on the minds
of foreign nations and to guard against the degradation and servility
which they must finally stamp on the American character is an important
duty of Government.

A naval power, next to the militia, is the natural defense of the United
States. The experience of the last war would be sufficient to shew that
a moderate naval force, such as would be easily within the present
abilities of the Union, would have been sufficient to have baffled many
formidable transportations of troops from one State to another, which
were then practiced. Our seacoasts, from their great extent, are more
easily annoyed and more easily defended by a naval force than any other.
With all the materials our country abounds; in skill our naval
architects and navigators are equal to any, and commanders and seamen
will not be wanting.

But although the establishment of a permanent system of naval defense
appears to be requisite, I am sensible it can not be formed so speedily
and extensively as the present crisis demands. Hitherto I have thought
proper to prevent the sailing of armed vessels except on voyages to the
East Indies, where general usage and the danger from pirates appeared to
render the permission proper. Yet the restriction has originated solely
from a wish to prevent collisions with the powers at war, contravening
the act of Congress of June, 1794, and not from any doubt entertained by
me of the policy and propriety of permitting our vessels to employ means
of defense while engaged in a lawful foreign commerce. It remains for
Congress to prescribe such regulations as will enable our seafaring
citizens to defend themselves against violations of the law of nations,
and at the same time restrain them from committing acts of hostility
against the powers at war. In addition to this voluntary provision for
defense by individual citizens, it appears to me necessary to equip the
frigates, and provide other vessels of inferior force, to take under
convoy such merchant vessels as shall remain unarmed.

The greater part of the cruisers whose depredations have been most
injurious have been built and some of them partially equipped in the
United States. Although an effectual remedy may be attended with
difficulty, yet I have thought it my duty to present the subject
generally to your consideration. If a mode can be devised by the wisdom
of Congress to prevent the resources of the United States from being
converted into the means of annoying our trade, a great evil will be
prevented. With the same view, I think it proper to mention that some of
our citizens resident abroad have fitted out privateers, and others have
voluntarily taken the command, or entered on board of them, and
committed spoliations on the commerce of the United States. Such
unnatural and iniquitous practices can be restrained only by severe
punishments.

But besides a protection of our commerce on the seas, I think it highly
necessary to protect it at home, where it is collected in our most
important ports. The distance of the United States from Europe and the
well-known promptitude, ardor, and courage of the people in defense of
their country happily diminish the probability of invasion.
Nevertheless, to guard against sudden and predatory incursions the
situation of some of our principal seaports demands your consideration.
And as our country is vulnerable in other interests besides those of its
commerce, you will seriously deliberate whether the means of general
defense ought not to be increased by an addition to the regular
artillery and cavalry, and by arrangements for forming a provisional
army.

With the same view, and as a measure which, even in a time of universal
peace, ought not to be neglected, I recommend to your consideration a
revision of the laws for organizing, arming, and disciplining the
militia, to render that natural and safe defense of the country
efficacious.

Although it is very true that we ought not to involve ourselves in the
political system of Europe, but to keep ourselves always distinct and
separate from it if we can, yet to effect this separation, early,
punctual, and continual information of the current chain of events and
of the political projects in contemplation is no less necessary than if
we were directly concerned in them. It is necessary, in order to the
discovery of the efforts made to draw us into the vortex, in season to
make preparations against them. However we may consider ourselves, the
maritime and commercial powers of the world will consider the United
States of America as forming a weight in that balance of power in Europe
which never can be forgotten or neglected. It would not only be against
our interest, but it would be doing wrong to one-half of Europe, at
least, if we should voluntarily throw ourselves into either scale. It is
a natural policy for a nation that studies to be neutral to consult with
other nations engaged in the same studies and pursuits. At the same time
that measures might be pursued with this view, our treaties with Prussia
and Sweden, one of which is expired and the other near expiring, might
be renewed.

_Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

It is particularly your province to consider the state of the public
finances, and to adopt such measures respecting them as exigencies shall
be found to require. The preservation of public credit, the regular
extinguishment of the public debt, and a provision of funds to defray
any extraordinary expenses will of course call for your serious
attention. Although the imposition of new burthens can not be in itself
agreeable, yet there is no ground to doubt that the American people will
expect from you such measures as their actual engagements, their present
security, and future interests demand.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

The present situation of our country imposes an obligation on all the
departments of Government to adopt an explicit and decided conduct. In
my situation an exposition of the principles by which my Administration
will be governed ought not to be omitted.

It is impossible to conceal from ourselves or the world what has been
before observed, that endeavors have been employed to foster and
establish a division between the Government and people of the United
States. To investigate the causes which have encouraged this attempt is
not necessary; but to repel, by decided and united councils,
insinuations so derogatory to the honor and aggressions so dangerous to
the Constitution, union, and even independence of the nation is an
indispensable duty.

It must not be permitted to be doubted whether the people of the United
States will support the Government established by their voluntary
consent and appointed by their free choice, or whether, by surrendering
themselves to the direction of foreign and domestic factions, in
opposition to their own Government, they will forfeit the honorable
station they have hitherto maintained.

For myself, having never been indifferent to what concerned the
interests of my country, devoted the best part of my life to obtain and
support its independence, and constantly witnessed the patriotism,
fidelity, and perseverance of my fellow-citizens on the most trying
occasions, it is not for me to hesitate or abandon a cause in which my
heart has been so long engaged.

Convinced that the conduct of the Government has been just and impartial
to foreign nations, that those internal regulations which have been
established by law for the preservation of peace are in their nature
proper, and that they have been fairly executed, nothing will ever be
done by me to impair the national engagements, to innovate upon
principles which have been so deliberately and uprightly established, or
to surrender in any manner the rights of the Government. To enable me to
maintain this declaration I rely, under God, with entire confidence on
the firm and enlightened support of the National Legislature and upon
the virtue and patriotism of my fellow-citizens.

JOHN ADAMS.



ADDRESS OF THE SENATE TO JOHN ADAMS, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

SIR: The Senate of the United States request you to accept their
acknowledgments for the comprehensive and interesting detail you have
given in your speech to both Houses of Congress on the existing state
of the Union.

While we regret the necessity of the present meeting of the Legislature,
we wish to express our entire approbation of your conduct in convening
it on this momentous occasion.

The superintendence of our national faith, honor, and dignity being in a
great measure constitutionally deposited with the Executive, we observe
with singular satisfaction the vigilance, firmness, and promptitude
exhibited by you in this critical state of our public affairs, and from
thence derive an evidence and pledge of the rectitude and integrity of
your Administration. And we are sensible it is an object of primary
importance that each branch of the Government should adopt a language
and system of conduct which shall be cool, just, and dispassionate, but
firm, explicit, and decided.

We are equally desirous with you to preserve peace and friendship with
all nations, and are happy to be informed that neither the honor nor
interests of the United States forbid advances for securing those
desirable objects by amicable negotiation with the French Republic. This
method of adjusting national differences is not only the most mild, but
the most rational and humane, and with governments disposed to be just
can seldom fail of success when fairly, candidly, and sincerely used.

If we have committed errors and can be made sensible of them, we agree
with you in opinion that we ought to correct them, and compensate the
injuries which may have been consequent thereon; and we trust the French
Republic will be actuated by the same just and benevolent principles of
national policy.

We do therefore most sincerely approve of your determination to promote
and accelerate an accommodation of our existing differences with that
Republic by negotiation, on terms compatible with the rights, duties,
interests, and honor of our nation. And you may rest assured of our most
cordial cooperation so far as it may become necessary in this pursuit.

Peace and harmony with all nations is our sincere wish; but such being
the lot of humanity that nations will not always reciprocate peaceable
dispositions, it is our firm belief that effectual measures of defense
will tend to inspire that national self-respect and confidence at
_home_ which is the unfailing source of respectability _abroad_, to
check aggression and prevent war.

While we are endeavoring to adjust our differences with the French
Republic by amicable negotiation, the progress of the war in Europe, the
depredations on our commerce, the personal injuries to our citizens, and
the general complexion of affairs prove to us your vigilant care in
recommending to our attention effectual measures of defense.

Those which you recommend, whether they relate to external defense by
permitting our citizens to arm for the purpose of repelling aggressions
on their commercial rights, and by providing sea convoys, or to internal
defense by increasing the establishments of artillery and cavalry, by
forming a provisional army, by revising the militia laws, and fortifying
more completely our ports and harbors, will meet our consideration under
the influence of the same just regard for the security, interest, and
honor of our country which dictated your recommendation.

Practices so unnatural and iniquitous as those you state, of our own
citizens converting their property and personal exertions into the means
of annoying our trade and injuring their fellow-citizens, deserve legal
severity commensurate with their turpitude.

Although the Senate believe that the prosperity and happiness of our
country does not depend on general and extensive political connections
with European nations, yet we can never lose sight of the propriety as
well as necessity of enabling the Executive, by sufficient and liberal
supplies, to maintain and even extend our foreign intercourse as
exigencies may require, reposing full confidence in the Executive, in
whom the Constitution has placed the powers of negotiation.

We learn with sincere concern that attempts are in operation to alienate
the affections of our fellow-citizens from their Government. Attempts
so wicked, wherever they exist, can not fail to excite our utmost
abhorrence. A government chosen by the people for their own safety and
happiness, and calculated to secure both, can not lose their affections
so long as its administration pursues the principles upon which it was
erected; and your resolution to observe a conduct just and impartial to
all nations, a sacred regard to our national engagements, and not to
impair the rights of our Government, contains principles which can not
fail to secure to your Administration the support of the National
Legislature to render abortive every attempt to excite dangerous
jealousies among us, and to convince the world that our Government and
your administration of it can not be separated from the affectionate
support of every good citizen. And the Senate can not suffer the present
occasion to pass without thus publicly and solemnly expressing their
attachment to the Constitution and Government of their country; and
as they hold themselves responsible to their constituents, their
consciences, and their God, it is their determination by all their
exertions to repel every attempt to alienate the affections of the
people from the Government, so highly injurious to the honor, safety,
and independence of the United States.

We are happy, since our sentiments on the subject are in perfect unison
with yours, in this public manner to declare that we believe the conduct
of the Government has been just and impartial to foreign nations, and
that those internal regulations which have been established for the
preservation of peace are in their nature proper and have been fairly
executed.

And we are equally happy in possessing an entire confidence in your
abilities and exertions in your station to maintain untarnished the
honor, preserve the peace, and support the independence of our country,
to acquire and establish which, in connection with your fellow-citizens,
has been the virtuous effort of a principal part of your life.

To aid you in these arduous and honorable exertions, as it is our duty
so it shall be our faithful endeavor; and we flatter ourselves, sir,
that the proceedings of the present session of Congress will manifest
to the world that although the United States love peace, they will be
independent; that they are sincere in their declarations to be just to
the French and all other nations, and expect the same in return.

If a sense of justice, a love of moderation and peace, shall influence
their councils, which we sincerely hope we shall have just grounds to
expect, peace and amity between the United States and all nations will
be preserved.

But if we are so unfortunate as to experience injuries from any foreign
power, and the ordinary methods by which differences are amicably
adjusted between nations shall be rejected, the determination "not
to surrender in any manner the rights of the Government," being so
inseparably connected with the dignity, interest, and independence
of our country, shall by us be steadily and inviolably supported.

TH. JEFFERSON,

_Vice-President of the United States and President of the Senate_.

MAY 23, 1797.



REPLY OF THE PRESIDENT.

_Mr. Vice-President and Gentlemen of the Senate_:

It would be an affectation in me to dissemble the pleasure I feel on
receiving this kind address.

My long experience of the wisdom, fortitude, and patriotism of the
Senate of the United States enhances in my estimation the value of those
obliging expressions of your approbation of my conduct, which are a
generous reward for the past and an affecting encouragement to constancy
and perseverance in future.

Our sentiments appear to be so entirely in unison that I can not but
believe them to be the rational result of the understandings and the
natural feelings of the hearts of Americans in general on contemplating
the present state of the nation.

While such principles and affections prevail they will form an
indissoluble bond of union and a sure pledge that our country has no
essential injury to apprehend from any portentous appearances abroad.
In a humble reliance on Divine Providence we may rest assured that
while we reiterate with sincerity our endeavors to accommodate all our
differences with France, the independence of our country can not be
diminished, its dignity degraded, or its glory tarnished by any nation
or combination of nations, whether friends or enemies.

JOHN ADAMS.

MAY 24, 1797.



ADDRESS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TO JOHN ADAMS, PRESIDENT OF THE
UNITED STATES.

SIR: The interesting details of those events which have rendered the
convention of Congress at this time indispensable (communicated in your
speech to both Houses) has excited in us the strongest emotions. Whilst
we regret the occasion, we can not omit to testify our approbation of
the measure, and pledge ourselves that no considerations of private
inconvenience shall prevent on our part a faithful discharge of the
duties to which we are called.

We have constantly hoped that the nations of Europe, whilst desolated
by foreign wars or convulsed by intestine divisions, would have left
the United States to enjoy that peace and tranquillity to which the
impartial conduct of our Government has entitled us, and it is now with
extreme regret we find the measures of the French Republic tending to
endanger a situation so desirable and interesting to our country.

Upon this occasion we feel it our duty to express in the most explicit
manner the sensations which the present crisis has excited, and to
assure you of our zealous cooperation in those measures which may appear
necessary for our security or peace.

Although it is the earnest wish of our hearts that peace may be
maintained with the French Republic and with all the world, yet we never
will surrender those rights which belong to us as a nation; and whilst
we view with satisfaction the wisdom, dignity, and moderation which have
marked the measures of the Supreme Executive of our country in his
attempt to remove by candid explanations the complaints and jealousies
of France, we feel the full force of that indignity which has been
offered our country in the rejection of its minister. No attempts to
wound our rights as a sovereign State will escape the notice of our
constituents. They will be felt with indignation and repelled with that
decision which shall convince the world that we are not a degraded
people; that we can never submit to the demands of a foreign power
without examination and without discussion.

Knowing as we do the confidence reposed by the people of the United
States in their Government, we can not hesitate in expressing our
indignation at any sentiments tending to derogate from that confidence.
Such sentiments, wherever entertained, serve to evince an imperfect
knowledge of the opinions of our constituents. An attempt to separate
the people of the United States from their Government is an attempt to
separate them from themselves; and although foreigners who know not the
genius of our country may have conceived the project, and foreign
emissaries may attempt the execution, yet the united efforts of our
fellow-citizens will convince the world of its impracticability.

Sensibly as we feel the wound which has been inflicted by the
transactions disclosed in your communications, yet we think with you
that neither the honor nor the interest of the United States forbid the
repetition of advances for preserving peace; we therefore receive with
the utmost satisfaction your information that a fresh attempt at
negotiation will be instituted, and we cherish the hope that a mutual
spirit of conciliation, and a disposition on the part of France to
compensate for any injuries which may have been committed upon our
neutral rights, and on the part of the United States to place France on
grounds similar to those of other countries in their relation and
connection with us (if any inequalities shall be found to exist), will
produce an accommodation compatible with the engagements, rights,
duties, and honor of the United States. Fully, however, impressed with
the uncertainty of the result, we shall prepare to meet with fortitude
any unfavorable events which may occur, and to extricate ourselves from
their consequences with all the skill we possess and all the efforts in
our power. Believing with you that the conduct of the Government has
been just and impartial to foreign nations, that the laws for the
preservation of peace have been proper, and that they have been fairly
executed, the Representatives of the people do not hesitate to declare
that they will give their most cordial support to the execution of
principles so deliberately and uprightly established.

The many interesting subjects which you have recommended to our
consideration, and which are so strongly enforced by this momentous
occasion, will receive every attention which their importance demands,
and we trust that, by the decided and explicit conduct which will govern
our deliberations, every insinuation will be repelled which is derogatory
to the honor and independence of our country.

Permit us in offering this address to express our satisfaction at
your promotion to the first office in the Government and our entire
confidence that the preeminent talents and patriotism which have placed
you in this distinguished situation will enable you to discharge its
various duties with satisfaction to yourself and advantage to our common
country.

JUNE 2, 1797.



REPLY OF THE PRESIDENT.

_Mr. Speaker and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

I receive with great satisfaction your candid approbation of the
convention of Congress, and thank you for your assurances that the
interesting subjects recommended to your consideration shall receive
the attention which their importance demands, and that your cooperation
may be expected in those measures which may appear necessary for our
security or peace.

The declarations of the Representatives of this nation of their
satisfaction at my promotion to the first office in this Government and
of their confidence in my sincere endeavors to discharge the various
duties of it with advantage to our common country have excited my most
grateful sensibility.

I pray you, gentlemen, to believe and to communicate such assurance to
our constituents that no event which I can foresee to be attainable by
any exertions in the discharge of my duties can afford me so much cordial
satisfaction as to conduct a negotiation with the French Republic to a
removal of prejudices, a correction of errors, a dissipation of umbrages,
an accommodation of all differences, and a restoration of harmony and
affection to the mutual satisfaction of both nations. And whenever the
legitimate organs of intercourse shall be restored and the real sentiments
of the two Governments can be candidly communicated to each other,
although strongly impressed with the necessity of collecting ourselves
into a manly posture of defense, I nevertheless entertain an encouraging
confidence that a mutual spirit of conciliation, a disposition to
compensate injuries and accommodate each other in all our relations and
connections, will produce an agreement to a treaty consistent with the
engagements, rights, duties, and honor of both nations.

JOHN ADAMS.

JUNE 3, 1797.



SPECIAL MESSAGES.


UNITED STATES, _May 26, 1797_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate_:

I lay before you, for your consideration and advice, a treaty of
perpetual peace and friendship between the United States of America
and the Bey and subjects of Tripoli, of Barbary, concluded at Tripoli
on the 4th day of November, 1796.

JOHN ADAMS.



UNITED STATES, _May 31, 1797_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate_:

I nominate General Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, of South Carolina,
Francis Dana, chief justice of the State of Massachusetts, and General
John Marshall, of Virginia, to be jointly and severally envoys
extraordinary and ministers plenipotentiary to the French Republic.

After mature deliberation on the critical situation of our relations
with France, which have long engaged my most serious attention, I have
determined on these nominations of persons to negotiate with the French
Republic to dissipate umbrages, to remove prejudices, to rectify errors,
and adjust all differences by a treaty between the two powers.

It is in the present critical and singular circumstances of great
importance to engage the confidence of the great portions of the Union
in the characters employed and the measures which may be adopted. I have
therefore thought it expedient to nominate persons of talents and
integrity, long known and intrusted in the three great divisions of
the Union, and at the same time, to provide against the cases of death,
absence, indisposition, or other impediment, to invest any one or more
of them with full powers.

JOHN ADAMS.



UNITED STATES, _June 12, 1797_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

I have received information from the commissioner appointed on the part
of the United States, pursuant to the third article of our treaty with
Spain, that the running and marking of the boundary line between the
colonies of East and West Florida and the territory of the United States
have been delayed by the officers of His Catholic Majesty, and that they
have declared their intention to maintain his jurisdiction, and to
suspend the withdrawing his troops from the military posts they occupy
within the territory of the United States until the two Governments
shall, by negotiation, have settled the meaning of the second article
respecting the withdrawing of the troops, garrisons, or settlements of
either party in the territory of the other--that is, whether, when the
Spanish garrisons withdraw, they are to leave the works standing or to
demolish them--and until, by an additional article to the treaty, the
real property of the inhabitants shall be secured, and, likewise, until
the Spanish officers are sure the Indians will be pacific. The two first
questions, if to be determined by negotiation, might be made subjects of
discussion for years, and as no limitation of time can be prescribed to
the other, a certainty in the opinion of the Spanish officers that the
Indians will be pacific, it will be impossible to suffer it to remain an
obstacle to the fulfillment of the treaty on the part of Spain.

To remove the first difficulty, I have determined to leave it to the
discretion of the officers of His Catholic Majesty when they withdraw
his troops from the forts within the territory of the United States,
either to leave the works standing or to demolish them; and to remove
the second I shall cause an assurance to be published and to be
particularly communicated to the minister of His Catholic Majesty and to
the governor of Louisiana that the settlers or occupants of the lands in
question shall not be disturbed in their possessions by the troops of
the United States, but, on the contrary, that they shall be protected in
all their lawful claims; and to prevent or remove every doubt on this
point it merits the consideration of Congress whether it will not be
expedient immediately to pass a law giving positive assurances to those
inhabitants who, by fair and regular grants or by occupancy, have
obtained legal titles or equitable claims to lands in that country prior
to the final ratification of the treaty between the United States and
Spain on the 25th of April, 1796.

This country is rendered peculiarly valuable by its inhabitants, who are
represented to amount to nearly 4,000, generally well affected and much
attached to the United States, and zealous for the establishment of a
government under their authority.

I therefore recommend to your consideration the expediency of erecting a
government in the district of the Natchez similar to that established
for the territory northwest of the river Ohio, but with certain
modifications relative to titles or claims of land, whether of individuals
or companies, or to claims of jurisdiction of any individual State.

JOHN ADAMS.



UNITED STATES, _June 22, 1797_.

_Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

Immediately after I had received your resolution of the 10th of June,
requesting a report respecting the depredations committed on the
commerce of the United States since the 1st of October, 1796, specifying
the name of the vessel taken, where bound to or from, species of lading,
the value (when it can be ascertained) of the vessel and cargo taken,
and by what power captured, particularizing those which have been
actually condemned, together with the proper documents to ascertain the
same, I directed a collection to be made of all such information as
should be found in the possession of the Government; in consequence of
which the Secretary of State has made the report and the collection of
documents which accompany this message, and are now laid before the
House of Representatives in compliance with their desire.

JOHN ADAMS.



UNITED STATES, _June 23, 1797_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives_:

The Dey of Algiers has manifested a predilection for American-built
vessels, and in consequence has desired that two vessels might be
constructed and equipped as cruisers according to the choice and taste
of Captain O'Brien. The cost of two such vessels built with live oak and
cedar, and coppered, with guns and all other equipments complete, is
estimated at $45,000. The expense of navigating them to Algiers may
perhaps be compensated by the freight of the stores with which they may
be loaded on account of our stipulations by treaty with the Dey.

A compliance with the Dey's request appears to me to be of serious
importance. He will repay the whole expense of building and equipping
the two vessels, and as he has advanced the price of our peace with
Tripoli, and become pledged for that of Tunis, the United States seem to
be under peculiar obligations to provide this accommodation, and I trust
that Congress will authorize the advance of money necessary for that
purpose.

It also appears to be of importance to place at Algiers a person as
consul in whose integrity and ability much confidence may be placed, to
whom a considerable latitude of discretion should be allowed, for the
interest of the United States in relation to their commerce. That
country is so remote as to render it impracticable for the consul to ask
and receive instructions in sudden emergencies. He may sometimes find it
necessary to make instant engagements for money or its equivalent, to
prevent greater expenses or more serious evils. We can hardly hope to
escape occasions of discontent proceeding from the Regency or arising
from the misconduct or even the misfortunes of our commercial vessels
navigating in the Mediterranean Sea, and unless the causes of discontent
are speedily removed the resentment of the Regency may be exerted with
precipitation on our defenseless citizens and their property, and thus,
occasion a tenfold expense to the United States. For these reasons it
appears to me to be expedient to vest the consul at Algiers with a
degree of discretionary power which can be requisite in no other
situation; and to encourage a person deserving the public confidence to
accept so expensive and responsible a situation, it appears
indispensable to allow him a handsome salary. I should confer on such a
consul a superintending power over the consulates for the States of
Tunis and Tripoli, especially in respect to pecuniary engagements, which
should not be made without his approbation.

While the present salary of $2,000 a year appears adequate to the
consulates of Tunis and Tripoli, twice that sum probably will be
requisite for Algiers.

JOHN ADAMS.



UNITED STATES, _July 3, 1797_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

The whole of the intelligence which has for some time past been received
from abroad, the correspondences between this Government and the
ministers of the belligerent powers residing here, and the advices
from the officers of the United States, civil and military, upon the
frontiers all conspire to shew in a very strong light the critical
situation of our country. That Congress might be enabled to form a more
perfect judgment of it and of the measures necessary to be taken,
I have directed the proper officers to prepare such collections of
extracts from the public correspondences as might afford the clearest
information. The reports made to me from the Secretary of State and the
Secretary of War, with a collection of documents from each of them, are
now communicated to both Houses of Congress. I have desired that the
message, reports, and documents may be considered as confidential merely
that the members of both Houses of Congress may be apprised of their
contents before they should be made public. As soon as the two Houses
shall have heard them, I shall submit to their discretion the
publication of the whole, or any such parts of them as they shall
judge necessary or expedient for the public good.

JOHN ADAMS.



PROCLAMATION.

BY JOHN ADAMS, THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas an act of the Congress of the United States was passed on the
9th day of February, 1793, entitled "An act regulating foreign coins,
and for other purposes," in which it was enacted "that foreign gold and
silver coins shall pass current as money within the United States and be
a legal tender for the payment of all debts and demands" at the several
and respective rates therein stated; and that "at the expiration of
three years next ensuing the time when the coinage of gold and silver
agreeably to the act intituled "An act establishing a mint and regulating
the coins of the United States" shall commence at the Mint of the United
States (which time shall be announced by the proclamation of the
President of the United States), all foreign gold coins and all foreign
silver coins, except Spanish milled dollars and parts of such dollars,
shall cease to be a legal tender as aforesaid:

Now, therefore, I, the said John Adams, President of the United States,
hereby proclaim, announce, and give notice to all whom it may concern
that, agreeably to the act last above mentioned, the coinage of silver
at the Mint of the United States commenced on the 15th day of October,
1794, and the coinage of gold on the 31st day of July, 1795; and that
consequently, in conformity to the act first above mentioned, all
foreign silver coins, except Spanish milled dollars and parts of such
dollars, will cease to pass current as money within the United States
and to be a legal tender for the payment of any debts or demands after
the 15th day of October next, and all foreign gold coins will cease to
pass current as money within the United States and to be a legal tender
as aforesaid for the payment of any debts or demands after the 31st day
of July, which will be A.D. 1798.

In testimony whereof I have caused the seal of the United States to be
affixed to these presents, and signed the same with my hand.

[SEAL.]

Done at Philadelphia, the 22d day of July, A.D. 1797, and of the
Independence of the United States the twenty-second.

JOHN ADAMS.

By the President:
  TIMOTHY PICKERING,
    _Secretary of State_.



FIRST ANNUAL ADDRESS.


UNITED STATES, _November 22, 1797_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

I was for some time apprehensive that it would be necessary, on account
of the contagious sickness which afflicted the city of Philadelphia,
to convene the National Legislature at some other place. This measure
it was desirable to avoid, because it would occasion much public
inconvenience and a considerable public expense and add to the
calamities of the inhabitants of this city, whose sufferings must have
excited the sympathy of all their fellow-citizens. Therefore, after
taking measures to ascertain the state and decline of the sickness, I
postponed my determination, having hopes, now happily realized, that,
without hazard to the lives or health of the members, Congress might
assemble at this place, where it was next by law to meet. I submit,
however, to your consideration whether a power to postpone the meeting
of Congress, without passing the time fixed by the Constitution upon
such occasions, would not be a useful amendment to the law of 1794.

Although I can not yet congratulate you on the reestablishment of peace
in Europe and the restoration of security to the persons and properties
of our citizens from injustice and violence at sea, we have,
nevertheless, abundant cause of gratitude to the source of benevolence
and influence for interior tranquillity and personal security, for
propitious seasons, prosperous agriculture, productive fisheries, and
general improvements, and, above all, for a rational spirit of civil and
religious liberty and a calm but steady determination to support our
sovereignty, as well as our moral and our religious principles, against
all open and secret attacks.

Our envoys extraordinary to the French Republic embarked---one in July,
the other early in August--to join their colleague in Holland. I have
received intelligence of the arrival of both of them in Holland, from
whence they all proceeded on their journeys to Paris within a few days
of the 19th of September. Whatever may be the result of this mission,
I trust that nothing will have been omitted on my part to conduct the
negotiation to a successful conclusion, on such equitable terms as may
be compatible with the safety, honor, and interest of the United States.
Nothing, in the meantime, will contribute so much to the preservation of
peace and the attainment of justice as a manifestation of that energy
and unanimity of which on many former occasions the people of the United
States have given such memorable proofs, and the exertion of those
resources for national defense which a beneficent Providence has kindly
placed within their power.

It may be confidently asserted that nothing has occurred since the
adjournment of Congress which renders inexpedient those precautionary
measures recommended by me to the consideration of the two Houses at the
opening of your late extraordinary session. If that system was then
prudent, it is more so now, as increasing depredations strengthen the
reasons for its adoption.

Indeed, whatever may be the issue of the negotiation with France, and
whether the war in Europe is or is not to continue, I hold it most
certain that permanent tranquillity and order will not soon be obtained.
The state of society has so long been disturbed, the sense of moral and
religious obligations so much weakened, public faith and national honor
have been so impaired, respect to treaties has been so diminished, and
the law of nations has lost so much of its force, while pride, ambition,
avarice, and violence have been so long unrestrained, there remains no
reasonable ground on which to raise an expectation that a commerce
without protection or defense will not be plundered.

The commerce of the United States is essential, if not to their
existence, at least to their comfort, their growth, prosperity, and
happiness. The genius, character, and habits of the people are highly
commercial. Their cities have been formed and exist upon commerce. Our
agriculture, fisheries, arts, and manufactures are connected with and
depend upon it. In short, commerce has made this country what it is, and
it can not be destroyed or neglected without involving the people in
poverty and distress. Great numbers are directly and solely supported by
navigation. The faith of society is pledged for the preservation of the
rights of commercial and seafaring no less than of the other citizens.
Under this view of our affairs, I should hold myself guilty of a neglect
of duty if I forbore to recommend that we should make every exertion to
protect our commerce and to place our country in a suitable posture of
defense as the only sure means of preserving both.

I have entertained an expectation that it would have been in my power
at the opening of this session to have communicated to you the agreeable
information of the due execution of our treaty with His Catholic Majesty
respecting the withdrawing of his troops from our territory and the
demarcation of the line of limits, but by the latest authentic
intelligence Spanish garrisons were still continued within our country,
and the running of the boundary line had not been commenced. These
circumstances are the more to be regretted as they can not fail to
affect the Indians in a manner injurious to the United States. Still,
however, indulging the hope that the answers which have been given will
remove the objections offered by the Spanish officers to the immediate
execution of the treaty, I have judged it proper that we should continue
in readiness to receive the posts and to run the line of limits. Further
information on this subject will be communicated in the course of the
session.

In connection with this unpleasant state of things on our western
frontier it is proper for me to mention the attempts of foreign agents
to alienate the affections of the Indian nations and to excite them to
actual hostilities against the United States. Great activity has been
exerted by those persons who have insinuated themselves among the Indian
tribes residing within the territory of the United States to influence
them to transfer their affections and force to a foreign nation, to
form them into a confederacy, and prepare them for war against the
United States. Although measures have been taken to counteract these
infractions of our rights, to prevent Indian hostilities, and to
preserve entire their attachment to the United States, it is my duty to
observe that to give a better effect to these measures and to obviate
the consequences of a repetition of such practices a law providing
adequate punishment for such offenses may be necessary.

The commissioners appointed under the fifth article of the treaty of
amity, commerce, and navigation between the United States and Great
Britain to ascertain the river which was truly intended under the
name of the river St. Croix mentioned in the treaty of peace, met at
Passamaquoddy Bay in October, 1796, and viewed the mouths of the rivers
in question and the adjacent shores and islands, and, being of opinion
that actual surveys of both rivers to their sources were necessary,
gave to the agents of the two nations instructions for that purpose,
and adjourned to meet at Boston in August. They met, but the surveys
requiring more time than had been supposed, and not being then
completed, the commissioners again adjourned, to meet at Providence,
in the State of Rhode Island, in June next, when we may expect a final
examination and decision.

The commissioners appointed in pursuance of the sixth article of the
treaty met at Philadelphia in May last to examine the claims of British
subjects for debts contracted before the peace and still remaining due
to them from citizens or inhabitants of the United States. Various
causes have hitherto prevented any determinations, but the business is
now resumed, and doubtless will be prosecuted without interruption.

Several decisions on the claims of citizens of the United States for
losses and damages sustained by reason of irregular and illegal captures
or condemnations of their vessels or other property have been made by
the commissioners in London comformably to the seventh article of the
treaty. The sums awarded by the commissioners have been paid by the
British Government. A considerable number of other claims, where costs
and damages, and not captured property, were the only objects in
question, have been decided by arbitration, and the sums awarded to the
citizens of the United States have also been paid.

The commissioners appointed agreeably to the twenty-first article of our
treaty with Spain met at Philadelphia in the summer past to examine and
decide on the claims of our citizens for losses they have sustained
in consequence of their vessels and cargoes having been taken by the
subjects of His Catholic Majesty during the late war between Spain and
France. Their sittings have been interrupted, but are now resumed.

The United States being obligated to make compensation for the losses
and damages sustained by British subjects, upon the award of the
commissioners acting under the sixth article of the treaty with Great
Britain, and for the losses and damages sustained by British subjects by
reason of the capture of their vessels and merchandise taken within the
limits and jurisdiction of the United States and brought into their
ports, or taken by vessels originally armed in ports of the United
States, upon the awards of the commissioners acting under the seventh
article of the same treaty, it is necessary that provision be made for
fulfilling these obligations.

The numerous captures of American vessels by the cruisers of the French
Republic and of some by those of Spain have occasioned considerable
expenses in making and supporting the claims of our citizens before
their tribunals. The sums required for this purpose have in divers
instances been disbursed by the consuls of the United States. By means
of the same captures great numbers of our seamen have been thrown ashore
in foreign countries, destitute of all means of subsistence, and the
sick in particular have been exposed to grievous sufferings. The consuls
have in these cases also advanced moneys for their relief. For these
advances they reasonably expect reimbursements from the United States.

The consular act relative to seamen requires revision and amendment. The
provisions for their support in foreign countries and for their return
are found to be inadequate and ineffectual. Another provision seems
necessary to be added to the consular act. Some foreign vessels have
been discovered sailing under the flag of the United States and with
forged papers. It seldom happens that the consuls can detect this
deception, because they have no authority to demand an inspection of
the registers and sea letters.

_Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

It is my duty to recommend to your serious consideration those objects
which by the Constitution are placed particularly within your
sphere--the national debts and taxes.

Since the decay of the feudal system, by which the public defense was
provided for chiefly at the expense of individuals, the system of loans
has been introduced, and as no nation can raise within the year by taxes
sufficient sums for its defense and military operations in time of war,
the sums loaned and debts contracted have necessarily become the
subjects of what have been called funding systems. The consequences
arising from the continual accumulation of public debts in other
countries ought to admonish us to be careful to prevent their growth in
our own. The national defense must be provided for as well as the
support of Government; but both should be accomplished as much as
possible by immediate taxes, and as little as possible by loans.

The estimates for the service of the ensuing year will by my direction
be laid before you.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

We are met together at a most interesting period. The situations of the
principal powers of Europe are singular and portentous. Connected with
some by treaties and with all by commerce, no important event there can
be indifferent to us. Such circumstances call with peculiar importunity
not less for a disposition to unite in all those measures on which the
honor, safety, and prosperity of our country depend than for all the
exertions of wisdom and firmness.

In all such measures you may rely on my zealous and hearty concurrence.

JOHN ADAMS.



ADDRESS OF THE SENATE TO JOHN ADAMS, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

SIR: The communications you thought proper to make in your speech to
both Houses of Congress on the opening of their present session afford
additional proofs of the attention, integrity, and firmness which have
always marked your official character.

We can not but approve of the measures you had taken to ascertain
the state and decline of the contagious sickness which has so lately
afflicted the city of Philadelphia, and the pleasing circumstance that
Congress is now assembled at that place without hazard to the health
of its members evinces the propriety of your having postponed a
determination to convene the National Legislature at another place. We
shall take into consideration the law of 1794 on this subject, and will
readily concur in any amendment which may be deemed expedient.

It would have given us much pleasure to have received your
congratulations on the reestablishment of peace in Europe and the
restoration of security to the persons and property of our citizens from
injustice and violence at sea; but though these events, so desirable to
our country and the world, have not taken place, yet we have abundant
cause of gratitude to the Great Disposer of Human Events for interior
tranquillity and personal security, for propitious seasons, prosperous
agriculture, productive fisheries, and general improvement, and, above
all, for a rational spirit of civil and religious liberty and a calm but
steady determination to support our sovereignty against all open and
secret attacks.

We learn with satisfaction that our envoys extraordinary to the French
Republic had safely arrived in Europe and were proceeding to the scene
of negotiation, and whatever may be the result of the mission, we are
perfectly satisfied that nothing on your part has been omitted which
could in any way conduce to a successful conclusion of the negotiation
upon terms compatible with the safety, honor, and interest of the United
States; and we are fully convinced that in the meantime a manifestation
of that unanimity and energy of which the people of the United States
have given such memorable proofs and a proper exertion of those
resources of national defense which we possess will essentially
contribute to the preservation of peace and the attainment of justice.

We think, sir, with you that the commerce of the United States is
essential to the growth, comfort, and prosperity of our country, and
that the faith of society is pledged for the preservation of the rights
of commercial and seafaring no less than of other citizens. And even if
our negotiation with France should terminate favorably and the war in
Europe cease, yet the state of society which unhappily prevails in so
great a portion of the world and the experience of past times under
better circumstances unite in warning us that a commerce so extensive
and which holds out so many temptations to lawless plunderers can never
be safe without protection; and we hold ourselves obliged by every tie
of duty which binds us to our constituents to promote and concur in such
measures of marine defense as may convince our merchants and seamen that
their rights are not sacrificed nor their injuries forgotten.

We regret that, notwithstanding the clear and explicit terms of the
treaty between the United States and His Catholic Majesty, the Spanish
garrisons are not yet withdrawn from our territory nor the running of
the boundary line commenced. The United States have been faithful in the
performance of their obligations to Spain, and had reason to expect a
compliance equally prompt on the part of that power. We still, however,
indulge the hope that the convincing answers which have been given to
the objections stated by the Spanish officers to the immediate execution
of the treaty will have their proper effect, and that this treaty, so
mutually beneficial to the contracting parties, will be finally observed
with good faith. We therefore entirely approve of your determination to
continue in readiness to receive the posts and to run the line of
partition between our territory and that of the King of Spain.

Attempts to alienate the affections of the Indians, to form them into a
confederacy, and to excite them to actual hostility against the United
States, whether made by foreign agents or by others, are so injurious to
our interests at large and so inhuman with respect to our citizens
inhabiting the adjacent territory as to deserve the most exemplary
punishment, and we will cheerfully afford our aid in framing a law which
may prescribe a punishment adequate to the commission of crimes so
heinous.

The several objects you have pointed out to the attention of the
Legislature, whether they regard our internal or external relations,
shall receive from us that consideration which they merit, and we will
readily concur in all such measures as may be necessary either to enable
us to fulfill our engagements at home or to cause ourselves to be
respected abroad; and at this portentous period, when the powers of
Europe with whom we are connected by treaty or commerce are in so
critical a situation, and when the conduct of some of those powers
toward the United States is so hostile and menacing, the several
branches of the Government are, in our opinion, called upon with
peculiar importunity to unite, and by union not only to devise and carry
into effect those measures on which the safety and prosperity of our
country depend, but also to undeceive those nations who, regarding us
as a weak and divided people, have pursued systems of aggression
inconsistent with a state of peace between independent nations. And,
sir, we beg leave to assure you that we derive a singular consolation
from the reflection that at such a time the executive part of our
Government has been committed to your hands, for in your integrity,
talents, and firmness we place the most entire confidence.

JACOB READ,

_President of the Senate pro tempore_.

NOVEMBER 27, 1797.



REPLY OF THE PRESIDENT.


UNITED STATES, _November 28, 1797_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate:_

I thank you for this address.

When, after the most laborious investigation and serious reflection,
without partial considerations or personal motives, measures have been
adopted or recommended, I can receive no higher testimony of their
rectitude than the approbation of an assembly so independent, patriotic,
and enlightened as the Senate of the United States.

Nothing has afforded me more entire satisfaction than the coincidence
of your judgment with mine in the opinion of the essential importance
of our commerce and the absolute necessity of a maritime defense. What
is it that has drawn to Europe the superfluous riches of the three
other quarters of the globe but a marine? What is it that has drained
the wealth of Europe itself into the coffers of two or three of its
principal commercial powers but a marine?

The world has furnished no example of a flourishing commerce without a
maritime protection, and a moderate knowledge of man and his history
will convince anyone that no such prodigy ever can arise. A mercantile
marine and a military marine must grow up together; one can not long
exist without the other.

JOHN ADAMS.



ADDRESS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TO JOHN ADAMS, PRESIDENT OF THE
UNITED STATES.

SIR: While our sympathy is excited by the recent sufferings of the
citizens of Philadelphia, we participate in the satisfaction which you
are pleased to express that the duration of the late calamity was so
limited as to render unnecessary the expense and inconvenience that
would have been incident to the convention of Congress in another place;
and we shall readily attend to every useful amendment of the law which
contemplates the event of contagious sickness at the seat of Government.

In lamenting the increase of the injuries offered to the persons
and property of our citizens at sea we gratefully acknowledge the
continuance of interior tranquillity and the attendant blessings of
which you remind us as alleviations of these fatal effects of injustice
and violence.

Whatever may be the result of the mission to the French Republic, your
early and uniform attachment to the interest of our country, your
important services in the struggle for its independence, and your
unceasing exertions for its welfare afford no room to doubt of the
sincerity of your efforts to conduct the negotiation to a successful
conclusion on such terms as may be compatible with the safety, honor,
and interest of the United States. We have also a firm reliance upon the
energy and unanimity of the people of these States in the assertion of
their rights, and on their determination to exert upon all proper
occasions their ample resources in providing for the national defense.

The importance of commerce and its beneficial influence upon
agriculture, arts, and manufactures have been verified in the growth and
prosperity of our country. It is essentially connected with the other
great interests of the community; they must flourish and decline
together; and while the extension of our navigation and trade naturally
excites the jealousy and tempts the avarice of other nations, we are
firmly persuaded that the numerous and deserving class of citizens
engaged in these pursuits and dependent on them for their subsistence
has a strong and indisputable claim to our support and protection.

The delay of the Spanish officers to fulfill the treaty existing with
His Catholic Majesty is a source of deep regret. We learn, however, with
satisfaction that you still indulge hopes of removing the objections
which have been made to its execution, and that you have continued in
readiness to receive the posts. Disposed to perform with fidelity our
national engagements, nothing shall be wanting on our part to obtain the
same justice from others which we exercise toward them.

Our abhorrence can not be too strongly expressed of the intrigues of
foreign agents to alienate the affections of the Indians and to rouse
them to acts of hostility against the United States. No means in our
power should be omitted of providing for the suppression of such cruel
practices and for the adequate punishment of their atrocious authors.

Upon the other interesting subjects noticed in your address we shall
bestow the requisite attention. To preserve inviolable the public
faith by providing for the due execution of our treaties, to indemnify
those who may have just claims to retribution upon the United States
for expenses incurred in defending the property and relieving the
necessities of our unfortunate fellow-citizens, to guard against
evasions of the laws intended to secure advantages to the navigation
of our own vessels, and especially to prevent by all possible means an
unnecessary accumulation of the public debt, are duties which we shall
endeavor to keep in view and discharge with assiduity.

We regard with great anxiety the singular and portentous situation of
the principal powers of Europe. It were devoutly to be wished that the
United States, remote from this seat of war and discord, unambitious of
conquests, respecting the rights of other nations, and desirous merely
to avail themselves of their natural resources, might be permitted to
behold the scenes which desolate that quarter of the globe with only
those sympathetic emotions which are natural to the lovers of peace and
friends of the human race. But we are led by events to associate with
these feelings a sense of the dangers which menace our security and
peace. We rely upon your assurances of a zealous and hearty concurrence
in such measures as may be necessary to avert these dangers, and nothing
on our part shall be wanting to repel them which the honor, safety, and
prosperity of our country may require.

NOVEMBER 28, 1797.



REPLY OF THE PRESIDENT.

UNITED STATES, _November 29, 1797_.

_Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

I receive this address from the House of Representatives of the United
States with peculiar pleasure.

Your approbation of the meeting of Congress in this city and of those
other measures of the Executive authority of Government communicated in
my address to both Houses at the opening of the session afford me great
satisfaction, as the strongest desire of my heart is to give
satisfaction to the people and their Representatives by a faithful
discharge of my duty.

The confidence you express in the sincerity of my endeavors and in the
unanimity of the people does me much honor and gives me great joy.

I rejoice in that harmony which appears in the sentiments of all
the branches of the Government on the importance of our commerce
and our obligations to defend it, as well as in all the other subjects
recommended to your consideration, and sincerely congratulate you and
our fellow-citizens at large on this appearance, so auspicious to the
honor, interest, and happiness of the nation.



SPECIAL MESSAGES.


UNITED STATES, _December 6, 1797_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate_:

Isaac Smith, esq., who was appointed, with the advice and consent of
the Senate, to hold a treaty with the Seneca Nation of Indians, to
superintend the purchase of a parcel of their land under a right of
preemption derived from the State of Massachusetts, and situated within
the State of New York, having declined that service, Jeremiah Wadsworth,
esq., was appointed during your recess to hold a treaty, which has
terminated in a deed of bargain and sale, herewith submitted to your
consideration.

It being represented to me that the immediate investment in bank stock
of the moneys which are to be the consideration of this deed might be
attended with considerable loss to the Indians by raising the market
price of that article, it is suggested whether it would not be expedient
that the ratification should be made conclusive and binding on the
parties only after the President shall be satisfied that the investment
of the moneys has been made conformably to the intention of the treaty.

JOHN ADAMS.



UNITED STATES, _December 13, 1797_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

I lay before you the copy of a letter from the judges of the Supreme
Court of the United States, representing the inconvenience arising from
altering the time of holding the circuit court for the State of Delaware
from April to June, and desiring that the existing law may be altered by
restoring the spring session of the circuit court in Delaware to the
27th of April.

JOHN ADAMS.



UNITED STATES, _December 30, 1797_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

In compliance with the desire of the two Houses of Congress, expressed
in their resolution of the 2d of March, 1797, that some speedy and
effectual means might be adopted of obtaining information from the
States of Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia,
Kentucky, Tennessee, and South Carolina whether they have ratified the
amendment proposed by Congress to the Constitution concerning the
suability of States, and if they have, to obtain proper evidences,
measures have been taken and information and evidences obtained the
particulars of which will appear in the report from the Secretary of
State made by my direction on the 28th day of this month, and now
presented to the two Houses for their consideration.

JOHN ADAMS.



UNITED STATES, _January 5, 1798_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

The Secretary for the Department of War on the 30th day of December last
made a representation to me of the situation of affairs in his office,
which I now transmit to the Senate and House of Representatives, and
recommend to their consideration and decision.

JOHN ADAMS.



UNITED STATES, _January 8, 1798_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate_:

The situation of affairs between some of the citizens of the United
States and the Cherokee Indians has evinced the propriety of holding a
treaty with that nation to extinguish by purchase their right to certain
parcels of land and to adjust and settle other points relative to the
safety and conveniency of our citizens. With this view I nominate Fisher
Ames, of Dedham, in the State of Massachusetts; Bushrod Washington, of
Richmond, in the State of Virginia, and Alfred Moore, of North Carolina,
to be commissioners of the United States with full powers to hold
conferences and conclude a treaty with the Cherokee Nation of Indians
for the purposes before mentioned.

JOHN ADAMS.



UNITED STATES, _January 17, 1798_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

I have now an opportunity of transmitting to Congress a report of the
Secretary of State, with a copy of an act of the legislature of the
State of Kentucky consenting to the ratification of the amendment of
the Constitution of the United States proposed by Congress in their
resolution of the 2d day of December, 1793, relative to the suability
of States. This amendment, having been adopted by three-fourths of the
several States, may now be declared to be a part of the Constitution of
the United States.

JOHN ADAMS.



UNITED STATES, _January 17, 1798_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

The situation of affairs between the United States and the Cherokee
Indians having evinced the expediency of a treaty with that nation for
the promotion of justice to them, as well as of the interests and
convenience of our citizens, I have nominated and, by and with the
advice and consent of the Senate, appointed commissioners to hold
conferences and conclude a treaty as early as the season of the year
and the convenience of the parties will admit.

As we know very well by experience such negotiations can not be carried
on without considerable expenses, I recommend to your consideration the
propriety of making an appropriation at this time for defraying such as
may be necessary for holding and concluding a treaty.

That you may form your judgments with greater facility, I shall direct
the proper officer to lay before you an estimate of such articles and
expenses as may be thought indispensable.

JOHN ADAMS.



UNITED STATES, _January 18, 1798_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

A representation has been made to me by the judge of the Pennsylvania
district of the United States of certain inconveniences and disagreeable
circumstances which have occurred in the execution of the law passed on
the 28th day of May, 1796, entitled "An act for the relief of persons
imprisoned for debt," as well as of certain doubts which have been
raised concerning its construction. This representation, together with
a report of the Attorney-General on the same subject, I now transmit to
Congress for their consideration, that if any amendments or explanations
of that law should be thought advisable they may be adopted.

JOHN ADAMS.



UNITED STATES, _January 23, 1798_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

At the commencement of this session of Congress I proposed in the course
of it to communicate to both Houses further information concerning
the situation of our affairs in the territories of the United States
situated on the Mississippi River and in its neighborhood; our
intercourse with the Indian nations; our relations with the Spanish
Government, and the conduct of their officers and agents. This
information will be found in a report of the Secretary of State and the
documents attending it, which I now present to the Senate and House of
Representatives.

JOHN ADAMS.



UNITED STATES, _February 2, 1798_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

I have received from our minister in London two acts of the Parliament
of Great Britain, one passed on the 4th of July, 1797, entitled "An
act for carrying into execution the treaty of amity, commerce, and
navigation concluded between His Majesty and the United States of
America," the other passed on the 19th day of July, 1797, entitled
"An act for regulating the trade to be carried on with the British
possessions in India by the ships of nations in amity with His Majesty."
These acts have such connections with the commercial and political
interests of the United States that it is proper they should be
communicated to Congress. I have accordingly transmitted copies of
them with this message.

JOHN ADAMS.



UNITED STATES, _February 5, 1798_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

I have received a letter from His Excellency Charles Pinckney, esq.,
governor of the State of South Carolina, dated the 22d of October, 1797,
inclosing a number of depositions of witnesses to several captures and
outrages committed within and near the limits of the United States by a
French privateer belonging to Cape Francois, or Monte Christo, called
the _Vertitude_ or _Fortitude_, and commanded by a person of the name of
Jordan or Jourdain, and particularly upon an English merchant ship named
the _Oracabissa_, which he first plundered and then burned, with the
rest of her cargo, of great value, within the territory of the United
States, in the harbor of Charleston, on the 17th day of October last,
copies of which letter and depositions, and also of several other
depositions relative to the same subject, received from the collector
of Charleston, are herewith communicated.

Whenever the channels of diplomatical communication between the United
States and France shall be opened, I shall demand satisfaction for the
insult and reparation for the injury.

I have transmitted these papers to Congress not so much for the purpose
of communicating an account of so daring a violation of the territory of
the United States as to show the propriety and necessity of enabling the
Executive authority of Government to take measures for protecting the
citizens of the United States and such foreigners as have a right to
enjoy their peace and the protection of their laws within their limits
in that as well as some other harbors which are equally exposed.

JOHN ADAMS.



UNITED STATES, _February 12, 1798_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

In obedience to the law, I now present to both Houses of Congress my
annual account of expenditures from the contingent fund during the year
1797, by which it appears that on the 1st day of January last there
remained in the Treasury a balance of $15,494.24 subject to future
dispositions of Government.

JOHN ADAMS.



UNITED STATES, _February 18, 1798_.

_Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

In the report of the Secretary of State and the documents herewith
transmitted will be found such information as is in our possession of
the losses recovered by the citizens of the United States under the
treaty made with Great Britain, which are now presented to the House of
Representatives in compliance with their request in their resolution of
the 1st of this month.

JOHN ADAMS.



UNITED STATES, _February 20, 1798_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

In obedience to the law of the United States of the 3d of March, 1797,
entitled "An act authorizing an expenditure and making an appropriation
for the prosecution of the claims of certain citizens of the United
States for property captured by the belligerent powers," I submit to
Congress the account exhibited to me by the Secretary of State with his
report of the 17th of this month.

JOHN ADAMS.



UNITED STATES, _February 21, 1798_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate_:

Having received the original treaty concluded between the United States
and the Government of Tunis, I lay it before the Senate of the United
States whether they advise and consent to its ratification.

JOHN ADAMS.



UNITED STATES, _February 23, 1798_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

The inclosed memorial from the commissioners appointed under an act of
the United States entitled "An act for establishing the temporary and
permanent seat of the Government of the United States," representing
the situation and circumstances of the city of Washington, I take this
opportunity to present to both Houses of the Legislature and recommend
to their consideration. Alexander White, esq., one of those commissioners,
is now in this city, and will be able to give to Congress, or any of
their committees, any explanation or further information which the
subject may require.

JOHN ADAMS



UNITED STATES, _March 5, 1798_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

The first dispatches from our envoys extraordinary since their arrival
at Paris were received at the Secretary of State's office at a late hour
last evening. They are all in a character which will require some days
to be deciphered, except the last, which is dated the 8th of January,
1798. The contents of this letter are of so much importance to be
immediately made known to Congress and to the public, especially to the
mercantile part of our fellow-citizens, that I have thought it my duty
to communicate them to both Houses without loss of time.

JOHN ADAMS.



UNITED STATES, _March 12, 1798_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate_:

Insinuations having been repeatedly made in the name of the Court of
Sweden of an inclination to renew the connection between the United
States and that power, I sent, in the recess of the Senate, to our
minister at Berlin a full power to negotiate that business, with
such alterations as might be agreeable to both parties; but as that
commission, if not renewed with the advice and consent of the Senate,
will expire with the present session of Congress, I now nominate John
Quincy Adams to be a commissioner with full powers to negotiate a treaty
of amity and commerce with His Majesty the King of Sweden.

JOHN ADAMS.



UNITED STATES, _March 19, 1798_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

The dispatches from the envoys extraordinary of the United States to the
French Republic, which were mentioned in my message to both Houses of
Congress of the 5th instant, have been examined and maturely considered.

While I feel a satisfaction in informing you that their exertions for
the adjustment of the differences between the two nations have been
sincere and unremitted, it is incumbent on me to declare that I perceive
no ground of expectation that the objects of their mission can be
accomplished on terms compatible with the safety, the honor, or the
essential interests of the nation.

This result can not with justice be attributed to any want of moderation
on the part of this Government, or to any indisposition to forego
secondary interests for the preservation of peace. Knowing it to be
my duty, and believing it to be your wish, as well as that of the
great body of the people, to avoid by all reasonable concessions any
participation in the contentions of Europe, the powers vested in our
envoys were commensurate with a liberal and pacific policy and that high
confidence which might justly be reposed in the abilities, patriotism,
and integrity of the characters to whom the negotiation was committed.
After a careful review of the whole subject, with the aid of all the
information I have received, I can discern nothing which could have
insured or contributed to success that has been omitted on my part, and
nothing further which can be attempted consistently with maxims for
which our country has contended at every hazard, and which constitute
the basis of our national sovereignty.

Under these circumstances I can not forbear to reiterate the
recommendations which have been formerly made, and to exhort you to
adopt with promptitude, decision, and unanimity such measures as
the ample resources of the country afford for the protection of our
seafaring and commercial citizens, for the defense of any exposed
portions of our territory, for replenishing our arsenals, establishing
foundries and military manufactures, and to provide such efficient
revenue as will be necessary to defray extraordinary expenses and supply
the deficiencies which may be occasioned by depredations on our
commerce.

The present state of things is so essentially different from that in
which instructions were given to the collectors to restrain vessels of
the United States from sailing in an armed condition that the principle
on which those orders were issued has ceased to exist. I therefore
deem it proper to inform Congress that I no longer conceive myself
justifiable in continuing them, unless in particular cases where there
may be reasonable ground of suspicion that such vessels are intended
to be employed contrary to law.

In all your proceedings it will be important to manifest a zeal, vigor,
and concert in defense of the national rights proportioned to the danger
with which they are threatened.

JOHN ADAMS.



UNITED STATES, _April 3, 1798_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

In compliance with the request of the House of Representatives expressed
in their resolution of the 2d of this month, I transmit to both Houses
those instructions to and dispatches from the envoys extraordinary of
the United States to the French Republic which were mentioned in my
message of the 19th of March last, omitting only some names and a few
expressions descriptive of the persons.

I request that they may be considered in confidence until the members
of Congress are fully possessed of their contents and shall have had
opportunity to deliberate on the consequences of their publication,
after which time I submit them to your wisdom.

JOHN ADAMS



UNITED STATES, _April 12, 1798_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate_:

A treaty with the Mohawk Nation of Indians has by accident lain long
neglected. It was executed under the authority of the Honorable Isaac
Smith, a commissioner of the United States. I now submit it to the
Senate for their consideration.

JOHN ADAMS.



UNITED STATES, _May 3, 1798_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate_:

His Excellency John Jay, esq., governor of New York, has informed me
that the Oneida tribe of Indians have proposed to sell a part of their
land to the said State, and that the legislature at their late session
authorized the purchase, and to accomplish this object the governor has
desired that a commissioner may be appointed to hold a treaty with the
Oneida tribe of Indians, at which the agents of the State of New York
may agree with them on the terms of the purchase. I therefore nominate
Joseph Hopkinson, esq., of Pennsylvania, to be the commissioner to hold
a treaty with the said Oneida tribe of Indians for the purpose above
mentioned.

JOHN ADAMS.



UNITED STATES, _June 21, 1798_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

While I congratulate you on the arrival of General Marshall, one of our
late envoys extraordinary to the French Republic, at a place of safety,
where he is justly held in honor, I think it my duty to communicate to
you a letter received by him from Mr. Gerry, the only one of the three
who has not received his congé. This letter, together with another from
the minister of foreign relations to him of the 3d of April, and his
answer of the 4th, will shew the situation in which he remains--his
intentions and prospects.

I presume that before this time he has received fresh instructions (a
copy of which accompanies this message) to consent to no loans, and
therefore the negotiation may be considered at an end.

I will never send another minister to France without assurances that he
will be received, respected, and honored as the representative of a
great, free, powerful, and independent nation.

JOHN ADAMS.



UNITED STATES, _June 27, 1798_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

I have received a letter from His Excellency Thomas Mifflin, governor of
Pennsylvania, inclosing some documents which I judge it my duty to lay
before Congress without loss of time.

As my opinion coincides entirely with that of his excellency the
governor, I recommend the subject to the consideration of both Houses of
Congress, whose authority alone appears to me adequate to the occasion.

JOHN ADAMS.



UNITED STATES, _July 2, 1798_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate_:

I nominate George Washington, of Mount Vernon, to be Lieutenant-General
and Commander in Chief of all the armies raised or to be raised in the
United States.

JOHN ADAMS.



UNITED STATES, _July 13, 1798_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate_:

A resolution of both Houses of Congress authorizing an adjournment on
Monday, the 16th of this month, has been laid before me. Sensible of
the severity of the service in so long a session, it is with great
reluctance that I find myself obliged to offer any consideration which
may operate against the inclinations of the members; but certain
measures of Executive authority which will require the consideration of
the Senate, and which can not be matured, in all probability, before
Monday or Tuesday, oblige me to request of the Senate that they would
continue their session until Wednesday or Thursday.

JOHN ADAMS.



UNITED STATES, _July 17, 1798_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate_:

Believing that the letter received this morning from General Washington
will give high satisfaction to the Senate, I transmit them a copy of it,
and congratulate them and the public on this great event--the General's
acceptance of his appointment as Lieutenant-General and Commander in
Chief of the Army.

JOHN ADAMS.



MOUNT VERNON, _July 13, 1798_.

JOHN ADAMS,

_President of the United States_.

DEAR SIR: I had the honor, on the evening of the 11th instant, to
receive from the hands of the Secretary of War your favor of the 7th,
announcing that you had, with the advice and consent of the Senate,
appointed me "Lieutenant-General and Commander in Chief of all the
armies raised or to be raised for the service of the United States."

I can not express how greatly affected I am at this new proof of public
confidence and the highly flattering manner in which you have been
pleased to make the communication. At the same time I must not conceal
from you my earnest wish that the choice had fallen upon a man less
declined in years and better qualified to encounter the usual
vicissitudes of war.

You know, sir, what calculation I had made relative to the probable
course of events on my retiring from office, and the determination I had
consoled myself with of closing the remnant of my days in my present
peaceful abode. You will therefore be at no loss to conceive and
appreciate the sensations I must have experienced to bring my mind to
any conclusion that would pledge me, at so late a period of life, to
leave scenes I sincerely love to enter upon the boundless field of
public action, incessant trouble, and high responsibility.

It was not possible for me to remain ignorant of or indifferent to
recent transactions. The conduct of the Directory of France toward our
country, their insidious hostility to its Government, their various
practices to withdraw the affections of the people from it, the evident
tendency of their acts and those of their agents to countenance and
invigorate opposition, their disregard of solemn treaties and the laws
of nations, their war upon our defenseless commerce, their treatment of
our ministers of peace, and their demands amounting to tribute could not
fail to excite in me corresponding sentiments with those my countrymen
have so generally expressed in their affectionate addresses to you.
Believe me, sir, no one can more cordially approve of the wise and
prudent measures of your Administration. They ought to inspire universal
confidence, and will no doubt, combined with the state of things, call
from Congress such laws and means as will enable you to meet the full
force and extent of the crisis.

Satisfied, therefore, that you have sincerely wished and endeavored to
avert war, and exhausted to the last drop the cup of reconciliation, we
can with pure hearts appeal to Heaven for the justice of our cause, and
may confidently trust the final result to that kind Providence who has
heretofore and so often signally favored the people of these United
States.

Thinking in this manner, and feeling how incumbent it is upon every
person, of every description, to contribute at all times to his
country's welfare, and especially in a moment like the present, when
everything we hold dear and sacred is so seriously threatened, I have
finally determined to accept the commission of Commander in Chief of the
armies of the United States, with the reserve only that I shall not be
called into the field until the Army is in a situation to require my
presence or it becomes indispensable by the urgency of circumstances.

In making this reservation I beg it to be understood that I do not mean
to withhold any assistance to arrange and organize the Army which you
may think I can afford. I take the liberty also to mention that I
must decline having my acceptance considered as drawing after it any
immediate charge upon the public, or that I can receive any emoluments
annexed to the appointment before entering into a situation to incur
expense.

The Secretary of War being anxious to return to the seat of Government,
I have detained him no longer than was necessary to a full communication
upon the several points he had in charge.

With very great respect and consideration, I have the honor to be, dear
sir, your most obedient and humble servant,

G'o. WASHINGTON.



PROCLAMATIONS.


BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

As the safety and prosperity of nations ultimately and essentially
depend on the protection and the blessing of Almighty God, and the
national acknowledgment of this truth is not only an indispensable duty
which the people owe to Him, but a duty whose natural influence is
favorable to the promotion of that morality and piety without which
social happiness can not exist nor the blessings of a free government
be enjoyed; and as this duty, at all times incumbent, is so especially
in seasons of difficulty or of danger, when existing or threatening
calamities, the just judgments of God against prevalent iniquity, are
a loud call to repentance and reformation; and as the United States of
America are at present placed in a hazardous and afflictive situation
by the unfriendly disposition, conduct, and demands of a foreign power,
evinced by repeated refusals to receive our messengers of reconciliation
and peace, by depredations on our commerce, and the infliction of
injuries on very many of our fellow-citizens while engaged in their
lawful business on the seas--under these considerations it has appeared
to me that the duty of imploring the mercy and benediction of Heaven
on our country demands at this time a special attention from its
inhabitants.

I have therefore thought fit to recommend, and I do hereby recommend,
that Wednesday, the 9th day of May next, be observed throughout the
United States as a day of solemn humiliation, fasting, and prayer; that
the citizens of these States, abstaining on that day from their
customary worldly occupations, offer their devout addresses to the
Father of Mercies agreeably to those forms or methods which they have
severally adopted as the most suitable and becoming; that all religious
congregations do, with the deepest humility, acknowledge before God the
manifold sins and transgressions with which we are justly chargeable as
individuals and as a nation, beseeching Him at the same time, of His
infinite grace, through the Redeemer of the World, freely to remit all
our offenses, and to incline us by His Holy Spirit to that sincere
repentance and reformation which may afford us reason to hope for his
inestimable favor and heavenly benediction; that it be made the subject
of particular and earnest supplication that our country may be protected
from all the dangers which threaten it; that our civil and religious
privileges may be preserved inviolate and perpetuated to the latest
generations; that our public councils and magistrates may be especially
enlightened and directed at this critical period; that the American
people may be united in those bonds of amity and mutual confidence and
inspired with that vigor and fortitude by which they have in times past
been so highly distinguished and by which they have obtained such
invaluable advantages; that the health of the inhabitants of our land
may be preserved, and their agriculture, commerce, fisheries, arts, and
manufactures be blessed and prospered; that the principles of genuine
piety and sound morality may influence the minds and govern the lives of
every description of our citizens, and that the blessings of peace,
freedom, and pure religion may be speedily extended to all the nations
of the earth.

And finally, I recommend that on the said day the duties of humiliation
and prayer be accompanied by fervent thanksgiving to the Bestower
of Every Good Gift, not only for His having hitherto protected and
preserved the people of these United States in the independent enjoyment
of their religious and civil freedom, but also for having prospered them
in a wonderful progress of population, and for conferring on them many
and great favors conducive to the happiness and prosperity of a nation.

[SEAL.]

Given under my hand and the seal of the United States of America, at
Philadelphia, this 23d day of March, A.D. 1798, and of the Independence
of the said States the twenty-second.

JOHN ADAMS.

By the President:
  TIMOTHY PICKERING,
    _Secretary of State_.



[From C.R. Adams's Works of John Adams, Vol. IX, p. 170.]

PROCLAMATION.

JULY 13, 1798.

The citizen Joseph Philippe Letombe having heretofore produced to the
President of the United States his commission as consul-general of the
French Republic within the United States of America, and another
commission as consul of the French Republic at Philadelphia; and, in
like manner, the citizen Rosier having produced his commission as
vice-consul of the French Republic at New York; and the citizen Arcambal
having produced his commission as vice-consul of the French Republic at
Newport; and citizen Theodore Charles Mozard having produced his
commission as consul of the French Republic within the States of New
Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island; and the President of the
United States having thereupon granted an exequatur to each of the
French citizens above named, recognizing them in their respective
consular offices above mentioned, and declaring them respectively free
to exercise and enjoy such functions, powers, and privileges as are
allowed to a consul-general, consuls, and vice-consuls of the French
Republic by their treaties, conventions, and laws in that case made and
provided; and the Congress of the United States, by their act passed the
7th day of July, 1798, having declared "that the United States are of
right freed and exonerated from the stipulations of the treaties and of
the consular convention heretofore concluded between the United States
and France, and that the same shall not henceforth be regarded as
legally obligatory on the Government or citizens of the United States,"
and by a former act, passed the 13th day of May, 1798, the Congress of
the United States having "suspended the commercial intercourse between
the United States and France and the dependencies thereof," which
commercial intercourse was the direct and chief object of the consular
establishment; and

Whereas actual hostilities have long been practiced on the commerce of
the United States by the cruisers of the French Republic under the
orders of its Government, which orders that Government refuses to revoke
or relax; and hence it has become improper any longer to allow the
consul-general, consuls, and vice-consuls of the French Republic above
named, or any of its consular persons or agents heretofore admitted in
these United States, any longer to exercise their consular functions:

These are therefore to declare that I do no longer recognize the said
citizen Letombe as consul-general or consul, nor the said citizens
Rosier and Arcambal as vice-consuls, nor the said citizen Mozard as
consul of the French Republic in any part of these United States, nor
permit them or any other consular persons or agents of the French
Republic heretofore admitted in the United States to exercise their
functions as such; and I do hereby wholly revoke the exequaturs
heretofore given to them respectively, and do declare them absolutely
null and void from this day forward.

In testimony whereof, etc.

JOHN ADAMS.



SECOND ANNUAL ADDRESS.


UNITED STATES, _December 8, 1798_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

While with reverence and resignation we contemplate the dispensations
of Divine Providence in the alarming and destructive pestilence with
which several of our cities and towns have been visited, there is
cause for gratitude and mutual congratulations that the malady has
disappeared and that we are again permitted to assemble in safety at
the seat of Government for the discharge of our important duties. But
when we reflect that this fatal disorder has within a few years made
repeated ravages in some of our principal seaports, and with increased
malignancy, and when we consider the magnitude of the evils arising
from the interruption of public and private business, whereby the
national interests are deeply affected, I think it my duty to invite
the Legislature of the Union to examine the expediency of establishing
suitable regulations in aid of the health laws of the respective States;
for these being formed on the idea that contagious sickness may be
communicated through the channels of commerce, there seems to be a
necessity that Congress, who alone can regulate trade, should frame a
system which, while it may tend to preserve the general health, may be
compatible with the interests of commerce and the safety of the revenue.

While we think on this calamity and sympathize with the immediate
sufferers, we have abundant reason to present to the Supreme Being our
annual oblations of gratitude for a liberal participation in the
ordinary blessings of His providence. To the usual subjects of gratitude
I can not omit to add one of the first importance to our well-being and
safety; I mean that spirit which has arisen in our country against the
menaces and aggression of a foreign nation. A manly sense of national
honor, dignity, and independence has appeared which, if encouraged and
invigorated by every branch of the Government, will enable us to view
undismayed the enterprises of any foreign power and become the sure
foundation of national prosperity and glory.

The course of the transactions in relation to the United States and
France which have come to my knowledge during your recess will be made
the subject of a future communication. That communication will confirm
the ultimate failure of the measures which have been taken by the
Government of the United States toward an amicable adjustment of
differences with that power. You will at the same time perceive that the
French Government appears solicitous to impress the opinion that it is
averse to a rupture with this country, and that it has in a qualified
manner declared itself willing to receive a minister from the United
States for the purpose of restoring a good understanding. It is
unfortunate for professions of this kind that they should be expressed
in terms which may countenance the inadmissible pretension of a right to
prescribe the qualifications which a minister from the United States
should possess, and that while France is asserting the existence of a
disposition on her part to conciliate with sincerity the differences
which have arisen, the sincerity of a like disposition on the part of
the United States, of which so many demonstrative proofs have been
given, should even be indirectly questioned. It is also worthy of
observation that the decree of the Directory alleged to be intended to
restrain the depredations of French cruisers on our commerce has not
given, and can not give, any relief. It enjoins them to conform to all
the laws of France relative to cruising and prizes, while these laws are
themselves the sources of the depredations of which we have so long, so
justly, and so fruitlessly complained.

The law of France enacted in January last, which subjects to capture and
condemnation neutral vessels and their cargoes if any portion of the
latter are of British fabric or produce, although the entire property
belong to neutrals, instead of being rescinded has lately received a
confirmation by the failure of a proposition for its repeal. While this
law, which, is an unequivocal act of war on the commerce of the nations
it attacks, continues in force those nations can see in the French
Government only a power regardless of their essential rights, of their
independence and sovereignty; and if they possess the means they can
reconcile nothing with their interest and honor but a firm resistance.

Hitherto, therefore, nothing is discoverable in the conduct of France
which ought to change or relax our measures of defense. On the contrary,
to extend and invigorate them is our true policy. We have no reason to
regret that these measures have been thus far adopted and pursued, and
in proportion as we enlarge our view of the portentous and incalculable
situation of Europe we shall discover new and cogent motives for the
full development of our energies and resources.

But in demonstrating by our conduct that we do not fear war in the
necessary protection of our rights and honor we shall give no room to
infer that we abandon the desire of peace. An efficient preparation for
war can alone insure peace. It is peace that we have uniformly and
perseveringly cultivated, and harmony between us and France may be
restored at her option. But to send another minister without more
determinate assurances that he would be received would be an act
of humiliation to which the United States ought not to submit. It
must therefore be left with France (if she is indeed desirous of
accommodation) to take the requisite steps. The United States will
steadily observe the maxims by which they have hitherto been governed.
They will respect the sacred rights of embassy; and with a sincere
disposition on the part of France to desist from hostility, to make
reparation for the injuries heretofore inflicted on our commerce, and to
do justice in future, there will be no obstacle to the restoration of a
friendly intercourse. In making to you this declaration I give a pledge
to France and the world that the Executive authority of this country
still adheres to the humane and pacific policy which has invariably
governed its proceedings, in conformity with the wishes of the other
branches of the Government and of the people of the United States.
But considering the late manifestations of her policy toward foreign
nations, I deem it a duty deliberately and solemnly to declare my
opinion that whether we negotiate with her or not, vigorous preparations
for war will be alike indispensable. These alone will give to us an
equal treaty and insure its observance.

Among the measures of preparation which appear expedient, I take the
liberty to recall your attention to the naval establishment. The
beneficial effects of the small naval armament provided under the acts
of the last session are known and acknowledged. Perhaps no country ever
experienced more sudden and remarkable advantages from any measure of
policy than we have derived from the arming for our maritime protection
and defense. We ought without loss of time to lay the foundation for an
increase of our Navy to a size sufficient to guard our coast and protect
our trade. Such a naval force as it is doubtless in the power of the
United States to create and maintain would also afford to them the best
means of general defense by facilitating the safe transportation of
troops and stores to every part of our extensive coast. To accomplish
this important object, a prudent foresight requires that systematical
measures be adopted for procuring at all times the requisite timber and
other supplies. In what manner this shall be done I leave to your
consideration.

I will now advert, gentlemen, to some matters of less moment, but proper
to be communicated to the National Legislature.

After the Spanish garrisons had evacuated the posts they occupied at the
Natchez and Walnut Hills the commissioner of the United States commenced
his observations to ascertain the point near the Mississippi which
terminated the northernmost part of the thirty-first degree of north
latitude. From thence he proceeded to run the boundary line between
the United States and Spain. He was afterwards joined by the Spanish
commissioner, when the work of the former was confirmed, and they
proceeded together to the demarcation of the line. Recent information
renders it probable that the Southern Indians, either instigated to
oppose the demarcation or jealous of the consequences of suffering white
people to run a line over lands to which the Indian title had not
been extinguished, have ere this time stopped the progress of the
commissioners; and considering the mischiefs which may result from
continuing the demarcation in opposition to the will of the Indian
tribes, the great expense attending it, and that the boundaries which
the commissioners have actually established probably extend at least as
far as the Indian title has been extinguished, it will perhaps become
expedient and necessary to suspend further proceedings by recalling our
commissioner.

The commissioners appointed in pursuance of the fifth article of the
treaty of amity, commerce, and navigation between the United States and
His Britannic Majesty to determine what river was truly intended under
the name of the river St. Croix mentioned in the treaty of peace, and
forming a part of the boundary therein described, have finally decided
that question. On the 25th of October they made their declaration that
a river called Scoodiac, which falls into Passamaquoddy Bay at its
northwestern quarter, was the true St. Croix intended in the treaty of
peace, as far as its great fork, where one of its streams comes from the
westward and the other from the northward, and that the latter stream is
the continuation of the St. Croix to its source. This decision, it is
understood, will preclude all contention among individual claimants, as
it seems that the Scoodiac and its northern branch bound the grants of
land which have been made by the respective adjoining Governments. A
subordinate question, however, it has been suggested, still remains to
be determined. Between the mouth of the St. Croix as now settled and
what is usually called the Bay of Fundy lie a number of valuable
islands. The commissioners have not continued the boundary line through
any channel of these islands, and unless the bay of Passamaquoddy be a
part of the Bay of Fundy this further adjustment of boundary will be
necessary. But it is apprehended that this will not be a matter of any
difficulty.

Such progress has been made in the examination and decision of cases of
captures and condemnations of American vessels which were the subject of
the seventh article of the treaty of amity, commerce, and navigation
between the United States and Great Britain that it is supposed the
commissioners will be able to bring their business to a conclusion in
August of the ensuing year.

The commissioners acting under the twenty-fifth article of the treaty
between the United States and Spain have adjusted most of the claims of
our citizens for losses sustained in consequence of their vessels and
cargoes having been taken by the subjects of His Catholic Majesty during
the late war between France and Spain.

Various circumstances have concurred to delay the execution of the law
for augmenting the military establishment, among these the desire of
obtaining the fullest information to direct the best selection of
officers. As this object will now be speedily accomplished, it is
expected that the raising and organizing of the troops will proceed
without obstacle and with effect.

_Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

I have directed an estimate of the appropriations which will be
necessary for the service of the ensuing year to be laid before you,
accompanied with a view of the public receipts and expenditures to a
recent period. It will afford you satisfaction to infer the great extent
and solidity of the public resources from the prosperous state of the
finances, notwithstanding the unexampled embarrassments which have
attended commerce. When you reflect on the conspicuous examples of
patriotism and liberality which have been exhibited by our mercantile
fellow-citizens, and how great a proportion of the public resources
depends on their enterprise, you will naturally consider whether their
convenience can not be promoted and reconciled with the security of the
revenue by a revision of the system by which the collection is at
present regulated.

During your recess measures have been steadily pursued for effecting
the valuations and returns directed by the act of the last session,
preliminary to the assessment and collection of a direct tax. No other
delays or obstacles have been experienced except such as were expected
to arise from the great extent of our country and the magnitude and
novelty of the operation, and enough has been accomplished to assure
a fulfillment of the views of the Legislature.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

I can not close this address without once more adverting to our
political situation and inculcating the essential importance of uniting
in the maintenance of our dearest interests; and I trust that by the
temper and wisdom of your proceedings and by a harmony of measures we
shall secure to our country that weight and respect to which it is so
justly entitled.

JOHN ADAMS.



ADDRESS OF THE SENATE TO JOHN ADAMS, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

The PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

SIR: The Senate of the United States join you in thanks to Almighty God
for the removal of the late afflicting dispensations of His providence
and for the patriotic spirit and general prosperity of our country.
Sympathy for the sufferings of our fellow-citizens from disease and the
important interests of the Union demand of the National legislature a
ready cooperation with the State governments in the use of such means as
seem best calculated to prevent the return of this fatal calamity.

Although we have sincerely wished that an adjustment of our differences
with the Republic of France might be effected on safe and honorable
terms, yet the information you have given us of the ultimate failure of
the negotiation has not surprised us. In the general conduct of that
Republic we have seen a design of universal influence incompatible with
the self-government and destructive of the independence of other States.
In its conduct toward these United States we have seen a plan of
hostility pursued with unremitted constancy, equally disregarding the
obligations of treaties and the rights of individuals. We have seen
two embassies, formed for the purpose of mutual explanations and
clothed with the most extensive and liberal powers, dismissed without
recognition and even without a hearing. The Government of France has not
only refused to repeal but has recently enjoined the observance of its
former edict respecting merchandise of British fabric or produce the
property of neutrals, by which the interruption of our lawful commerce
and the spoliation of the property of our citizens have again received a
public sanction. These facts indicate no change of system or disposition;
they speak a more intelligible language than professions of solicitude
to avoid a rupture, however ardently made. But if, after the repeated
proofs we have given of a sincere desire for peace, these professions
should be accompanied by insinuations implicating the integrity
with which it has been pursued; if, neglecting and passing by the
constitutional and authorized agents of the Government, they are
made through the medium of individuals without public character or
authority, and, above all, if they carry with them a claim to prescribe
the political qualifications of the minister of the United States to
be employed in the negotiation, they are not entitled to attention or
consideration, but ought to be regarded as designed to separate the
people from their Government and to bring about by intrigue that which
open force could not effect.

We are of opinion with you, sir, that there has nothing yet been
discovered in the conduct of France which can justify a relaxation of
the means of defense adopted during the last session of Congress, the
happy result of which is so strongly and generally marked. If the force
by sea and land which the existing laws authorize should be judged
inadequate to the public defense, we will perform the indispensable duty
of bringing forward such other acts as will effectually call forth the
resources and force of our country.

A steady adherence to this wise and manly policy, a proper direction
of the noble spirit of patriotism which has arisen in our country, and
which ought to be cherished and invigorated by every branch of the
Government, will secure our liberty and independence against all open
and secret attacks.

We enter on the business of the present session with an anxious
solicitude for the public good, and shall bestow that consideration
on the several objects pointed out in your communication which they
respectively merit.

Your long and important services, your talents and firmness, so often
displayed in the most trying times and most critical situations, afford
a sure pledge of a zealous cooperation in every measure necessary to
secure us justice and respect,

JOHN LAURANCE,

_President of the Senate pro tempore_.

DECEMBER 11, 1798.



REPLY OF THE PRESIDENT.


DECEMBER 12, 1798.

_To the Senate of the United States_.

GENTLEMEN: I thank you for this address, so conformable to the spirit of
our Constitution and the established character of the Senate of the
United States for wisdom, honor, and virtue.

I have seen no real evidence of any change of system or disposition in
the French Republic toward the United States. Although the officious
interference of individuals without public character or authority is not
entitled to any credit, yet it deserves to be considered whether that
temerity and impertinence of individuals affecting to interfere in
public affairs between France and the United States, whether by their
secret correspondence or otherwise, and intended to impose upon the
people and separate them from their Government, ought not to be inquired
into and corrected.

I thank you, gentlemen, for your assurances that you will bestow that
consideration on the several objects pointed out in my communication
which they respectively merit.

If I have participated in that understanding, sincerity, and constancy
which have been displayed by my fellow-citizens and countrymen in the
most trying times and critical situations, and fulfilled my duties to
them, I am happy. The testimony of the Senate of the United States in my
favor is an high and honorable reward, which receives, as it merits, my
grateful acknowledgments. My zealous cooperation in measures necessary
to secure us justice and consideration may be always depended on.

JOHN ADAMS.



ADDRESS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TO JOHN ADAMS, PRESIDENT OF THE
UNITED STATES.


JOHN ADAMS,

_President of the United States_.

SIR: The House of Representatives unite with you in deploring the
effects of the desolating malady by which the seat of Government and
other parts of our country have recently been visited. In calling our
attention to the fatality of its repeated ravages and inviting us to
consider the expediency of exercising our constitutional powers in aid
of the health laws of the respective States, your recommendation is
sanctioned by the dictates of humanity and liberal policy. On this
interesting subject we feel the necessity of adopting every wise
expedient for preventing a calamity so distressing to individual
sufferers and so prejudicial to our national commerce.

That our finances are in a prosperous state notwithstanding the
commercial derangements resulting from this calamity and from external
embarrassments is a satisfactory manifestation of the great extent and
solidity of the public resources. Connected with this situation of our
fiscal concerns, the assurance that the legal provisions for obtaining
revenue by direct taxation will fulfill the views of the Legislature is
peculiarly acceptable.

Desirous as we are that all causes of hostility may be removed by the
amicable adjustment of national differences, we learn with satisfaction
that in pursuance of our treaties with Spain and with Great Britain
advances have been made for definitively settling the controversies
relative to the southern and northeastern limits of the United States.
With similar sentiments have we received your information that the
proceedings under commissions authorized by the same treaties afford to
a respectable portion of our citizens the prospect of a final decision
on their claims for maritime injuries committed by subjects of those
powers.

It would be the theme of mutual felicitation were we assured of
experiencing similar moderation and justice from the French Republic,
between which and the United States differences have unhappily arisen;
but this is denied us by the ultimate failure of the measures which have
been taken by this Government toward an amicable adjustment of those
differences and by the various inadmissible pretensions on the part of
that nation.

The continuing in force the decree of January last, to which you
have more particularly pointed our attention, ought of itself to be
considered as demonstrative of the real intentions of the French
Government. That decree proclaims a predatory warfare against the
unquestionable rights of neutral commerce which with our means of
defense our interest and our honor command us to repel. It therefore
now becomes the United States to be as determined in resistance as
they have been patient in suffering and condescending in negotiation.

While those who direct the affairs of France persist in the enforcement
of decrees so hostile to our essential rights, their conduct forbids us
to confide in any of their professions of amity.

As, therefore, the conduct of France hitherto exhibits nothing which
ought to change or relax our measures of defense, the policy of
extending and invigorating those measures demands our sedulous
attention. The sudden and remarkable advantages which this country has
experienced from a small naval armament sufficiently prove the utility
of its establishment. As it respects the guarding of our coast, the
protection of our trade, and the facility of safely transporting the
means of territorial defense to every part of our maritime frontier,
an adequate naval force must be considered as an important object of
national policy. Nor do we hesitate to adopt the opinion that, whether
negotiations with France are resumed or not, vigorous preparations for
war will be alike indispensable.

In this conjuncture of affairs, while with you we recognize our abundant
cause of gratitude to the Supreme Disposer of Events for the ordinary
blessings of Providence, we regard as of high national importance the
manifestation in our country of a magnanimous spirit of resistance to
foreign domination. This spirit merits to be cherished and invigorated
by every branch of Government as the estimable pledge of national
prosperity and glory.

Disdaining a reliance on foreign protection, wanting no foreign guaranty
of our liberties, resolving to maintain our national independence
against every attempt to despoil us of this inestimable treasure, we
confide under Providence in the patriotism and energies of the people of
these United States for defeating the hostile enterprises of any foreign
power.

To adopt with prudent foresight such systematical measures as may be
expedient for calling forth those energies wherever the national
exigencies may require, whether on the ocean or on our own territory,
and to reconcile with the proper security of revenue the convenience of
mercantile enterprise, on which so great a proportion of the public
resources depends, are objects of moment which shall be duly regarded in
the course of our deliberations.

Fully as we accord with you in the opinion that the United States ought
not to submit to the humiliation of sending another minister to France
without previous assurances sufficiently determinate that he will be
duly accredited, we have heard with cordial approbation the declaration
of your purpose steadily to observe those maxims of humane and pacific
policy by which the United States have hitherto been governed. While it
is left with France to take the requisite steps for accommodation, it is
worthy the Chief Magistrate of a free people to make known to the world
that justice on the part of France will annihilate every obstacle to the
restoration of a friendly intercourse, and that the Executive authority
of this country will respect the sacred rights of embassy. At the same
time, the wisdom and decision which have characterized your past
Administration assure us that no illusory professions will seduce you
into any abandonment of the rights which belong to the United States as
a free and independent nation.

December 13, 1798.



REPLY OF THE PRESIDENT.


DECEMBER 14, 1798.

_To the House of Representatives of the United States of America_.

GENTLEMEN: My sincere acknowledgments are due to the House of
Representatives of the United States for this excellent address so
consonant to the character of representatives of a great and free
people. The judgment and feelings of a nation, I believe, were never
more truly expressed by their representatives than those of our
constituents by your decided declaration that with our means of defense
our interest and honor command us to repel a predatory warfare against
the unquestionable rights of neutral commerce; that it becomes the
United States to be as determined in resistance as they have been
patient in suffering and condescending in negotiation; that while those
who direct the affairs of France persist in the enforcement of decrees
so hostile to our essential rights their conduct forbids us to confide
in any of their professions of amity; that an adequate naval force
must be considered as an important object of national policy, and
that, whether negotiations with France are resumed or not, vigorous
preparations for war will be alike indispensable.

The generous disdain you so coolly and deliberately express of a
reliance on foreign protection, wanting no foreign guaranty of our
liberties, resolving to maintain our national independence against every
attempt to despoil us of this inestimable treasure, will meet the full
approbation of every sound understanding and exulting applauses from the
heart of every faithful American.

I thank you, gentlemen, for your candid approbation of my sentiments on
the subject of negotiation and for the declaration of your opinion that
the policy of extending and invigorating our measures of defense and the
adoption with prudent foresight of such systematical measures as may be
expedient for calling forth the energies of our country wherever the
national exigencies may require, whether on the ocean or on our own
territory, will demand your sedulous attention.

At the same time, I take the liberty to assure you it shall be my
vigilant endeavor that no illusory professions shall seduce me into any
abandonment of the rights which belong to the United States as a free
and independent nation.

JOHN ADAMS.



SPECIAL MESSAGES.


JANUARY 8, 1799.

_Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

In compliance with your desire expressed in your resolution of the 2d
of this month, I lay before you an extract of a letter from George C.
Moreton, acting consul of the United States at The Havannah, dated the
13th of November, 1798, to the Secretary of State, with a copy of a
letter from him to L. Tresevant and William Timmons, esquires, with
their answer.

Although your request extends no further than such information as has
been received, yet it may be a satisfaction to you to know that as soon
as this intelligence was communicated to me circular orders were given
by my direction to all the commanders of our vessels of war, a copy of
which is also herewith transmitted. I also directed this intelligence
and these orders to be communicated to His Britannic Majesty's envoy
extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to the United States and
to our minister plenipotentiary to the Court of Great Britain, with
instructions to him to make the proper representation to that Government
upon this subject.

It is but justice to say that this is the first instance of misbehavior
of any of the British officers toward our vessels of war that has come
to my knowledge. According to all the representations that I have seen,
the flag of the United States and their officers and men have been
treated by the civil and military authority of the British nation in
Nova Scotia, the West India islands, and on the ocean with uniform
civility, politeness, and friendship. I have no doubt that this first
instance of misconduct will be readily corrected.

JOHN ADAMS.



JANUARY 15, 1799.

_Gentlemen of the Senate_:

I transmit to you the treaty between the United States and the Cherokee
Indians, signed near Tellico on the 2d day of October, 1798, for your
consideration. I have directed the Secretary of War to lay before you
the journal of the commissioners and a copy of their instructions.

JOHN ADAMS.



JANUARY 18, 1799.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

The communication relative to our affairs with France alluded to in my
address to both Houses at the opening of the session is contained in
the sheets which accompany this. A report of the Secretary of State,
containing some observations on them, will be sent to Congress on
Monday.

JOHN ADAMS.



JANUARY 28, 1799.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

An edict of the Executive Directory of the French Republic of the 29th
of October, 1798, inclosed in a letter from our minister plenipotentiary
in London of the 16th of November, is of so much importance that it can
not be too soon communicated to you and the public.

JOHN ADAMS.



FEBRUARY 6, 1799.

_Gentlemen of the Senate_:

In consequence of intimations from the Court of Russia to our minister
plenipotentiary at the Court of Great Britain of the desire of that
power to have a treaty of amity and commerce with the United States,
and that the negotiation might be conducted in London, I nominate Rufus
King, our minister plenipotentiary at the Court of Great Britain, to be
a minister plenipotentiary for the special purpose of negotiating with
any minister of equal rank and powers a treaty of amity and commerce
between the United States and the Emperor of all the Russias.

JOHN ADAMS.



UNITED STATES, _February 15, 1799_.

_Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

In pursuance of the request in your resolve of yesterday, I lay before
you such information as I have received touching a suspension of the
arrêt of the French Republic, communicated to your House by my message
of the 28th of January last. But if the execution of that arrêt be
suspended, or even if it were repealed, it should be remembered that the
arrêt of the Executive Directory of the 2d of March, 1797, remains in
force, the third article of which subjects, explicitly and exclusively,
American seamen to be treated as pirates if found on board ships of the
enemies of France.

JOHN ADAMS.



FEBRUARY 18, 1799.

_Gentlemen of the Senate_:

I transmit to you a document which seems to be intended to be a
compliance with a condition mentioned at the conclusion of my message
to Congress of the 21st of June last.

Always disposed and ready to embrace every plausible appearance of
probability of preserving or restoring tranquillity, I nominate William
Vans Murray, our minister resident at The Hague, to be minister
plenipotentiary of the United States to the French Republic.

If the Senate shall advise and consent to his appointment, effectual
care shall be taken in his instructions that he shall not go to France
without direct and unequivocal assurances from the French Government,
signified by their minister of foreign relations, that he shall be
received in character, shall enjoy the privileges attached to his
character by the law of nations, and that a minister of equal rank,
title, and powers shall be appointed to treat with him, to discuss and
conclude all controversies between the two Republics by a new treaty.

JOHN ADAMS.



[Translation.]

PARIS, _the 7th Vendémiaire of the 7th Year
  of the French Republic, One and Indivisible_.

_The Minister of Exterior Relations to Citizen Pichon, Secretary of
Legation of the French Republic near the Batavian Republic_:

I have received successively, Citizen, your letters of the 22d and 27th
Fructidor [8th and 13th September]. They afford me more and more reason
to be pleased with the measure you have adopted, to detail to me your
conversations with Mr. Murray. These conversations, at first merely
friendly, have acquired consistency by the sanction I have given to them
by my letter of the 11th Fructidor. I do not regret that you have
trusted to Mr. Murray's honor a copy of my letter. It was intended for
you only, and contains nothing but what is conformable to the intentions
of Government. I am thoroughly convinced that should explanations take
place with confidence between the two Cabinets, irritation would cease,
a crowd of misunderstandings would disappear, and the ties of friendship
would be the more strongly united as each party would discover the hand
which sought to disunite them. But I will not conceal from you that your
letters of the 2d and 3d Vendémiaire, just received, surprised me much.
What Mr. Murray is still dubious of has been very explicitly declared,
even before the President's message to Congress of the 3d Messidor [21st
June] last was known in France. I had written it to Mr. Gerry, namely,
on the 24th Messidor and 4th Thermidor; I did repeat it to him before he
sat out. A whole paragraph of my letter to you of the 11th Fructidor, of
which Mr. Murray has a copy, is devoted to develop still more the fixed
determination of the French Government. According to these bases, you
were right to assert that whatever plenipotentiary the Government of
the United States might send to France to put an end to the existing
differences between the two countries would be undoubtedly received
with the respect due to the representative of a free, independent, and
powerful nation.

I can not persuade myself, Citizen, that the American Government need
any further declarations from us to induce them, in order to renew
the negotiations, to adopt such measures as would be suggested to
them by their desire to bring the differences to a peaceable end. If
misunderstandings on both sides have prevented former explanations from
reaching that end, it is presumable that, those misunderstandings being
done away, nothing henceforth will bring obstacles to the reciprocal
dispositions. The President's instructions to his envoys at Paris, which
I have only known by the copy given you by Mr. Murray, and received by
me the 21st Messidor [9th July], announce, if they contain the whole of
the American Government's intentions, dispositions which could only
have added to those which the Directory has always entertained; and,
notwithstanding the posterior acts of that Government, notwithstanding
the irritating and almost hostile measures they have adopted, the
Directory has manifested its perseverance in the sentiments which are
deposited both in my correspondence with Mr. Gerry and in my letter to
you of the 11th Fructidor, and which I have hereinbefore repeated in the
most explicit manner. Carry, therefore, Citizen, to Mr. Murray those
positive expressions in order to convince him of our sincerity, and
prevail upon him to transmit them to his Government.

I presume, Citizen, that this letter will find you at The Hague; if not,
I ask it may be sent back to you at Paris.

Salute and fraternity,

CH. MAU. TALLEYRAND.



FEBRUARY 25, 1799.

_Gentlemen of the Senate_:

The proposition of a fresh negotiation with France in consequence
of advances made by the French Government has excited so general an
attention and so much conversation as to have given occasion to many
manifestations of the public opinion, from which it appears to me that
a new modification of the embassy will give more general satisfaction
to the legislature and to the nation, and perhaps better answer the
purposes we have in view.

It is upon this supposition and with this expectation that I now
nominate Oliver Ellsworth, esq., Chief Justice of the United States;
Patrick Henry, esq., late governor of Virginia, and William Vans Murray,
esq., our minister resident at The Hague, to be envoys extraordinary and
ministers plenipotentiary to the French Republic, with full powers to
discuss and settle by a treaty all controversies between the United
States and France.

It is not intended that the two former of these gentlemen shall embark
for Europe until they shall have received from the Executive Directory
assurances, signified by their secretary of foreign relations, that
they shall be received in character, that they shall enjoy all the
prerogatives attached to that character by the law of nations, and
that a minister or ministers of equal powers shall be appointed and
commissioned to treat with them.

JOHN ADAMS.



MARCH 2, 1799.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

Judging it of importance to the public that the Legislature should be
informed of the gradual progress of their maritime resources, I transmit
to Congress a statement of the vessels, with their tonnage, warlike
force, and complement of men, to which commissions as private armed
vessels have been issued since the 9th day of July last.

JOHN ADAMS.



PROCLAMATIONS.


[From C. F. Adams's Works of John Adams, Vol. IX, p. 172.]

PROCLAMATION.

MARCH 6, 1799.

As no truth is more clearly taught in the Volume of Inspiration, nor any
more fully demonstrated by the experience of all ages, than that a deep
sense and a due acknowledgment of the governing providence of a Supreme
Being and of the accountableness of men to Him as the searcher of hearts
and righteous distributer of rewards and punishments are conducive
equally to the happiness and rectitude of individuals and to the
well-being of communities; as it is also most reasonable in itself that
men who are made capable of social acts and relations, who owe their
improvements to the social state, and who derive their enjoyments from
it, should, as a society, make their acknowledgments of dependence
and obligation to Him who hath endowed them with these capacities and
elevated them in the scale of existence by these distinctions; as it is
likewise a plain dictate of duty and a strong sentiment of nature that
in circumstances of great urgency and seasons of imminent danger earnest
and particular supplications should be made to Him who is able to defend
or to destroy; as, moreover, the most precious interests of the people
of the United States are still held in jeopardy by the hostile designs
and insidious acts of a foreign nation, as well as by the dissemination
among them of those principles, subversive of the foundations of
all religious, moral, and social obligations, that have produced
incalculable mischief and misery in other countries; and as, in fine,
the observance of special seasons for public religious solemnities is
happily calculated to avert the evils which we ought to deprecate and to
excite to the performance of the duties which we ought to discharge by
calling and fixing the attention of the people at large to the momentous
truths already recited, by affording opportunity to teach and inculcate
them by animating devotion and giving to it the character of a national
act:

For these reasons I have thought proper to recommend, and I do hereby
recommend accordingly, that Thursday, the 25th day of April next, be
observed throughout the United States of America as a day of solemn
humiliation, fasting, and prayer; that the citizens on that day abstain
as far as may be from their secular occupations, devote the time to the
sacred duties of religion in public and in private; that they call to
mind our numerous offenses against the Most High God, confess them
before Him with the sincerest penitence, implore His pardoning mercy,
through the Great Mediator and Redeemer, for our past transgressions,
and that through the grace of His Holy Spirit we may be disposed and
enabled to yield a more suitable obedience to His righteous requisitions
in time to come; that He would interpose to arrest the progress of that
impiety and licentiousness in principle and practice so offensive to
Himself and so ruinous to mankind; that He would make us deeply sensible
that "righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any
people;" that He would turn us from our transgressions and turn His
displeasure from us; that He would withhold us from unreasonable
discontent, from disunion, faction, sedition, and insurrection; that He
would preserve our country from the desolating sword; that He would save
our cities and towns from a repetition of those awful pestilential
visitations under which they have lately suffered so severely, and that
the health of our inhabitants generally may be precious in His sight;
that He would favor us with fruitful seasons and so bless the labors of
the husbandman as that there may be food in abundance for man and beast;
that He would prosper our commerce, manufactures, and fisheries, and
give success to the people in all their lawful industry and enterprise;
that He would smile on our colleges, academies, schools, and seminaries
of learning, and make them nurseries of sound science, morals, and
religion; that He would bless all magistrates, from the highest to the
lowest, give them the true spirit of their station, make them a terror
to evil doers and a praise to them that do well; that He would preside
over the councils of the nation at this critical period, enlighten
them to a just discernment of the public interest, and save them
from mistake, division, and discord; that He would make succeed our
preparations for defense and bless our armaments by land and by sea;
that He would put an end to the effusion of human blood and the
accumulation of human misery among the contending nations of the earth
by disposing them to justice, to equity, to benevolence, and to peace;
and that he would extend the blessings of knowledge, of true liberty,
and of pure and undefiled religion throughout the world.

And I do also recommend that with these acts of humiliation, penitence,
and prayer fervent thanksgiving to the Author of All Good be united for
the countless favors which He is still continuing to the people of the
United States, and which render their condition as a nation eminently
happy when compared with the lot of others.

Given, etc,

JOHN ADAMS.



BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas combinations to defeat the execution of the laws for the
valuation of lands and dwelling houses within the United States have
existed in the counties of Northampton, Montgomery, and Bucks, in the
State of Pennsylvania, and have proceeded in a manner subversive of the
just authority of the Government, by misrepresentations, to render the
laws odious, by deterring the public officers of the United States to
forbear the execution of their functions, and by openly threatening
their lives; and

Whereas the endeavors of the well-affected citizens, as well as of the
executive officers, to conciliate a compliance with those laws have
failed of success, and certain persons in the county of Northampton
aforesaid have been hardy enough to perpetrate certain acts which I am
advised amount to treason, being overt acts of levying war against the
United States, the said persons, exceeding one hundred in number and
armed and arrayed in a warlike manner, having, on the 7th day of this
present month of March, proceeded to the house of Abraham Lovering, in
the town of Bethlehem, and there compelled William Nichols, marshal of
the United States in and for the district of Pennsylvania, to desist
from the execution of certain legal process in his hands to be executed,
and having compelled him to discharge and set at liberty certain persons
whom he had arrested by virtue of criminal process duly issued for
offenses against the United States, and having impeded and prevented the
commissioner and the assessors, appointed in conformity with the laws
aforesaid, in the county of Northampton aforesaid, by threats and
personal injury, from executing the said laws, avowing as the motives of
these illegal and treasonable proceedings an intention to prevent by
force of arms the execution of the said laws and to withstand by open
violence the lawful authority of the Government of the United States;
and

Whereas by the Constitution and laws of the United States I am
authorized, whenever the laws of the United States shall be opposed or
the execution thereof obstructed in any State by combinations too
powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings
or by the powers vested in the marshals, to call forth military force to
suppress such combinations and to cause the laws to be duly executed;
and

Whereas it is in my judgment necessary to call forth military force
in order to suppress the combinations aforesaid and to cause the laws
aforesaid to be duly executed, and I have accordingly determined so to
do, under the solemn conviction that the essential interests of the
United States demand it:

Wherefore I, John Adams, President of the United States, do hereby
command all persons being insurgents as aforesaid, and all others whom
it may concern, on or before Monday next, being the 18th day of this
present month, to disperse and retire peaceably to their respective
abodes; and I do moreover warn all persons whomsoever against aiding,
abetting, or comforting the perpetrators of the aforesaid treasonable
acts; and I do require all officers and others, good and faithful
citizens, according to their respective duties and the laws of the land,
to exert their utmost endeavors to prevent and suppress such dangerous
and unlawful proceedings.

In testimony whereof I have caused the seal of the United States of
America to be affixed to these presents, and signed the same with my
hand.

[SEAL.]

Done at the city of Philadelphia, the 12th day of March, A.D. 1799, and
of the Independence of the said United States of America the
twenty-third.

JOHN ADAMS.

By the President:
  TIMOTHY PICKERING,
    _Secretary of State_.



[From, a broadside in the archives of the Department of State.]

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas by an act of the Congress of the United States passed the 9th
day of February last, entitled "An act further to suspend the commercial
intercourse between the United States and France and the dependencies
thereof," it is provided that at any time after the passing of this act
it shall be lawful for the President of the United States, if he shall
deem it expedient and consistent with the interests of the United
States, by his order to remit and discontinue for the time being the
restraints and prohibitions by the said act imposed, either with respect
to the French Republic or to any island, port, or place belonging to the
said Republic with which a commercial intercourse may safely be renewed,
and also to revoke such order whenever, in his opinion, the interest of
the United States shall require; and he is authorized to make
proclamation thereof accordingly; and

Whereas the arrangements which have been made at St. Domingo for the
safety of the commerce of the United States and for the admission of
American vessels into certain ports of that island do, in my opinion,
render it expedient and for the interest of the United States to renew a
commercial intercourse with such ports:

Therefore I, John Adams, President of the United States, by virtue of
the powers vested in me by the above-recited act, do hereby remit and
discontinue the restraints and prohibitions therein contained within the
limits and under the regulations here following, to wit:

1. It shall be lawful for vessels which have departed or may depart
from the United States to enter the ports of Cape François and Port
Republicain, formerly called Port-au-Prince, in the said island of St.
Domingo, on and after the 1st day of August next.

2. No vessel shall be cleared for any other port in St. Domingo than
Cape François and Port Republicain.

3. It shall be lawful for vessels which shall enter the said ports of
Cape François and Port Republicain after the 31st day of July next
to depart from thence to any other port in said island between Monte
Christi on the north and Petit Goave on the west; provided it be done
with the consent of the Government of St. Domingo and pursuant to
certificates or passports expressing such consent, signed by the
consul-general of the United States or consul residing at the port
of departure.

4. All vessels sailing in contravention of these regulations will be
out of the protection of the United States and be, moreover, liable
to capture, seizure, and confiscation.

[SEAL.]

Given under my hand and the seal of the United States, at Philadelphia,
the 26th day of June, A.D. 1799, and of the Independence of the said
States the twenty-third.

JOHN ADAMS.

By the President:
  TIMOTHY PICKERING,
    _Secretary of State_.



THIRD ANNUAL ADDRESS.


UNITED STATES, _December 3, 1799_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

It is with peculiar satisfaction that I meet the Sixth Congress of the
United States of America. Coming from all parts of the Union at this
critical and interesting period, the members must be fully possessed of
the sentiments and wishes of our constituents.

The flattering prospects of abundance from the labors of the people by
land and by sea; the prosperity of our extended commerce, notwithstanding
interruptions occasioned by the belligerent state of a great part of the
world; the return of health, industry, and trade to those cities which
have lately been afflicted with disease, and the various and inestimable
advantages, civil and religious, which, secured under our happy frame of
government, are continued to us unimpaired, demand of the whole American
people sincere thanks to a benevolent Deity for the merciful dispensations
of His providence.

But while these numerous blessings are recollected, it is a painful duty
to advert to the ungrateful return which has been made for them by some
of the people in certain counties of Pennsylvania, where, seduced by the
arts and misrepresentations of designing men, they have openly resisted
the law directing the valuation of houses and lands. Such defiance was
given to the civil authority as rendered hopeless all further attempts
by judicial process to enforce the execution of the law, and it became
necessary to direct a military force to be employed, consisting of some
companies of regular troops, volunteers, and militia, by whose zeal and
activity, in cooperation with the judicial power, order and submission
were restored and many of the offenders arrested. Of these, some have
been convicted of misdemeanors, and others, charged with various crimes,
remain to be tried.

To give due effect to the civil administration of Government and
to insure a just execution of the laws, a revision and amendment
of the judiciary system is indispensably necessary. In this extensive
country it can not but happen that numerous questions respecting the
interpretation of the laws and the rights and duties of officers and
citizens must arise. On the one hand, the laws should be executed; on
the other, individuals should be guarded from oppression. Neither of
these objects is sufficiently assured under the present organization
of the judicial department. I therefore earnestly recommend the subject
to your serious consideration.

Persevering in the pacific and humane policy which had been invariably
professed and sincerely pursued by the Executive authority of the United
States, when indications were made on the part of the French Republic of
a disposition to accommodate the existing differences between the two
countries, I felt it to be my duty to prepare for meeting their advances
by a nomination of ministers upon certain conditions which the honor of
our country dictated, and which its moderation had given it a right to
prescribe. The assurances which were required of the French Government
previous to the departure of our envoys have been given through their
minister of foreign relations, and I have directed them to proceed on
their mission to Paris. They have full power to conclude a treaty,
subject to the constitutional advice and consent of the Senate. The
characters of these gentlemen are sure pledges to their country that
nothing incompatible with its honor or interest, nothing inconsistent
with our obligations of good faith or friendship to any other nation,
will be stipulated.

It appearing probable from the information I received that our
commercial intercourse with some ports in the island of St. Domingo
might safely be renewed, I took such steps as seemed to me expedient
to ascertain that point. The result being satisfactory, I then, in
conformity with the act of Congress on the subject, directed the
restraints and prohibitions of that intercourse to be discontinued on
terms which were made known by proclamation. Since the renewal of this
intercourse our citizens trading to those ports, with their property,
have been duly respected, and privateering from those ports has ceased.

In examining the claims of British subjects by the commissioners at
Philadelphia, acting under the sixth article of the treaty of amity,
commerce, and navigation with Great Britain, a difference of opinion on
points deemed essential in the interpretation of that article has arisen
between the commissioners appointed by the United States and the other
members of that board, from which the former have thought it their duty
to withdraw. It is sincerely to be regretted that the execution of an
article produced by a mutual spirit of amity and justice should have
been thus unavoidably interrupted. It is, however, confidently expected
that the same spirit of amity and the same sense of justice in which it
originated will lead to satisfactory explanations. In consequence of
the obstacles to the progress of the commission in Philadelphia, His
Britannic Majesty has directed the commissioners appointed by him under
the seventh article of the treaty relating to the British captures of
American vessels to withdraw from the board sitting in London, but with
the express declaration of his determination to fulfill with punctuality
and good faith the engagements which His Majesty has contracted by his
treaty with the United States, and that they will be instructed to
resume their functions whenever the obstacles which impede the progress
of the commission at Philadelphia shall be removed. It being in like
manner my sincere determination, so far as the same depends on me, that
with equal punctuality and good faith the engagements contracted by the
United States in their treaties with His Britannic Majesty shall be
fulfilled, I shall immediately instruct our minister at London to
endeavor to obtain the explanations necessary to a just performance
of those engagements on the part of the United States. With such
dispositions on both sides, I can not entertain a doubt that all
difficulties will soon be removed and that the two boards will then
proceed and bring the business committed to them respectively to a
satisfactory conclusion.

The act of Congress relative to the seat of the Government of the United
States requiring that on the first Monday of December next it should be
transferred from Philadelphia to the District chosen for its permanent
seat, it is proper for me to inform you that the commissioners appointed
to provide suitable buildings for the accommodation of Congress and of
the President and of the public offices of the Government have made a
report of the state of the buildings designed for those purposes in
the city of Washington, from which they conclude that the removal of
the seat of Government to that place at the time required will be
practicable and the accommodation satisfactory. Their report will
be laid before you.

_Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

I shall direct the estimates of the appropriations necessary for the
service of the ensuing year, together with an account of the revenue and
expenditure, to be laid before you. During a period in which a great
portion of the civilized world has been involved in a war unusually
calamitous and destructive, it was not to be expected that the United
States could be exempted from extraordinary, burthens. Although the
period is not arrived when the measures adopted to secure our country
against foreign attacks can be renounced, yet it is alike necessary
for the honor of the Government and the satisfaction of the community
that an exact economy should be maintained. I invite you, gentlemen,
to investigate the different branches of the public expenditure. The
examination will lead to beneficial retrenchments or produce a conviction
of the wisdom of the measures to which the expenditure relates.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

At a period like the present, when momentous changes are occurring and
every hour is preparing new and great events in the political world,
when a spirit of war is prevalent in almost every nation with whose
affairs the interests of the United States have any connection, unsafe
and precarious would be our situation were we to neglect the means of
maintaining our just rights. The result of the mission to France is
uncertain; but however it may terminate, a steady perseverance in a
system of national defense commensurate with our resources and the
situation of our country is an obvious dictate of wisdom; for, remotely
as we are placed from the belligerent nations, and desirous as we are,
by doing justice to all, to avoid offense to any, nothing short of the
power of repelling aggressions will secure to our country a rational
prospect of escaping the calamities of war or national degradation. As
to myself, it is my anxious desire so to execute the trust reposed in me
as to render the people of the United States prosperous and happy. I
rely with entire confidence on your cooperation in objects equally your
care, and that our mutual labors will serve to increase and confirm
union among our fellow-citizens and an unshaken attachment to our
Government.

JOHN ADAMS.



ADDRESS OF THE SENATE TO JOHN ADAMS, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

The PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:

Accept, sir, the respectful acknowledgments of the Senate of the United
States for your speech delivered to both Houses of Congress at the
opening of the present session.

While we devoutly join you in offering our thanks to Almighty God for
the return of health to our cities and for the general prosperity of the
country, we can not refrain from lamenting that the arts and calumnies
of factious, designing men have excited open rebellion a second time in
Pennsylvania, and thereby compelled the employment of a military force
to aid the civil authority in the execution of the laws. We rejoice that
your vigilance, energy, and well-timed exertions have crushed so
daring an opposition and prevented the spreading of such treasonable
combinations. The promptitude and zeal displayed by the troops called to
suppress this insurrection deserve our highest commendation and praise,
and afford a pleasing proof of the spirit and alacrity with which our
fellow-citizens are ready to maintain the authority of our excellent
Government.

Knowing as we do that the United States are sincerely anxious for a fair
and liberal execution of the treaty of amity, commerce, and navigation
entered into with Great Britain, we learn with regret that the progress
of adjustment has been interrupted by a difference of opinion among the
commissioners. We hope, however, that the justice, the moderation,
and the obvious interests of both parties will lead to satisfactory
explanations, and that the business will then go forward to an amicable
close of all differences and demands between the two countries. We
are fully persuaded that the Legislature of the United States will
cheerfully enable you to realize your assurances of performing on our
part all engagements under our treaties with punctuality and the most
scrupulous good faith.

When we reflect upon the uncertainty of the result of the late mission
to France and upon the uncommon nature, extent, and aspect of the war
now raging in Europe, which affects materially our relations with the
powers at war, and which has changed the condition of their colonies in
our neighborhood, we are of opinion with you that it would be neither
wise nor safe to relax our measures of defense or to lessen any of our
preparations to repel aggression.

Our inquiries and attention shall be carefully directed to the
various other important subjects which you have recommended to our
consideration, and from our experience of your past Administration we
anticipate with the highest confidence your strenuous cooperation in all
measures which have a tendency to promote and extend our national
interests and happiness.

SAMUEL LIVERMORE,

_President of the Senate pro tempore_.

DECEMBER 9, 1799.



REPLY OF THE PRESIDENT.


UNITED STATES, _December 10, 1799_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate_:

I thank you for this address. I wish you all possible success and
satisfaction in your deliberations on the means which have a tendency to
promote and extend our national interests and happiness, and I assure
you that in all your measures directed to those great objects you may at
all times rely with the highest confidence on my cordial cooperation.

The praise of the Senate, so judiciously conferred on the promptitude
and zeal of the troops called to suppress the insurrection, as it falls
from so high authority, must make a deep impression, both as a terror to
the disobedient and an encouragement of such as do well.

JOHN ADAMS.



ADDRESS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TO JOHN ADAMS, PRESIDENT OF THE
UNITED STATES


The PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

SIR: While the House of Representatives contemplate the flattering
prospects of abundance from the labors of the people by land and by
sea, the prosperity of our extended commerce notwithstanding the
interruptions occasioned by the belligerent state of a great part of the
world, the return of health, industry, and trade to those cities which
have lately been afflicted with disease, and the various and inestimable
advantages, civil and religious, which, secured under our happy frame of
Government, are continued to us unimpaired, we can not fail to offer
up to a benevolent Deity our sincere thanks for these the merciful
dispensations of His protecting providence.

That any portion of the people of America should permit themselves,
amid such numerous blessings, to be seduced by the arts and
misrepresentations of designing men into an open resistance of a law
of the United States can not be heard without deep and serious regret.
Under a Constitution where the public burthens can only be imposed by
the people themselves for their own benefit and to promote their own
objects, a hope might well have been indulged that the general interest
would have been too well understood and the general welfare too highly
prized to have produced in any of our citizens a disposition to hazard
so much felicity by the criminal effort of a part to oppose with lawless
violence the will of the whole. While we lament that depravity which
could produce a defiance of the civil authority and render indispensable
the aid of the military force of the nation, real consolation is to
be derived from the promptness and fidelity with which that aid was
afforded. That zealous and active cooperation with the judicial power of
the volunteers and militia called into service, which has restored order
and submission to the laws, is a pleasing evidence of the attachment of
our fellow-citizens to their own free Government, and of the truly
patriotic alacrity with which they will support it.

To give due effect to the civil administration of Government and to
insure a just execution of the laws are objects of such real magnitude
as to secure a proper attention to your recommendation of a revision and
amendment of the judiciary system.

Highly approving as we do the pacific and humane policy which has been
invariably professed and sincerely pursued by the Executive authority
of the United States, a policy which our best interests enjoined, and
of which honor has permitted the observance, we consider as the most
unequivocal proof of your inflexible perseverance in the same well-chosen
system your preparation to meet the first indications on the part of
the French Republic of a disposition to accommodate the existing
differences between the two countries by a nomination of ministers,
on certain conditions which the honor of our country unquestionably
dictated, and which its moderation had certainly given it a right to
prescribe. When the assurances thus required of the French Government,
previous to the departure of our envoys, had been given through their
minister of foreign relations, the direction that they should proceed
on their mission was on your part a completion of the measure, and
manifests the sincerity with which it was commenced. We offer up our
fervent prayers to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe for the success of
their embassy, and that it may be productive of peace and happiness to
our common country. The uniform tenor of your conduct through a life
useful to your fellow-citizens and honorable to yourself gives a sure
pledge of the sincerity with which the avowed objects of the negotiation
will be pursued on your part, and we earnestly pray that similar
dispositions may be displayed on the part of France. The differences
which unfortunately subsist between the two nations can not fail in
that event to be happily terminated. To produce this end, to all so
desirable, firmness, moderation, and union at home constitute, we are
persuaded, the surest means. The character of the gentlemen you have
deputed, and still more the character of the Government which deputes
them, are safe pledges to their country that nothing incompatible with
its honor or interest, nothing inconsistent with our obligations of good
faith or friendship to any other nation, will be stipulated.

We learn with pleasure that our citizens, with their property, trading
to those ports of St. Domingo with which commercial intercourse has been
renewed have been duly respected, and that privateering from those ports
has ceased.

With you we sincerely regret that the execution of the sixth article of
the treaty of amity, commerce, and navigation with Great Britain, an
article produced by a mutual spirit of amity and justice, should have
been unavoidably interrupted. We doubt not that the same spirit of amity
and the same sense of justice in which it originated will lead to
satisfactory explanations, and we hear with approbation that our
minister at London will be immediately instructed to obtain them. While
the engagements which America has contracted by her treaty with Great
Britain ought to be fulfilled with that scrupulous punctuality and good
faith to which our Government has ever so tenaciously adhered, yet no
motive exists to induce, and every principle forbids us to adopt, a
construction which might extend them beyond the instrument by which they
are created. We cherish the hope that the Government of Great Britain
will disclaim such extension, and by cordially uniting with that of the
United States for the removal of all difficulties will soon enable the
boards appointed under the sixth and seventh articles of our treaty
with that nation to proceed and bring the business committed to them
respectively to a satisfactory conclusion.

The buildings for the accommodation of Congress and of the President and
for the public offices of the Government at its permanent seat being
in such a state as to admit of a removal to that District by the time
prescribed by the act of Congress, no obstacle, it is presumed, will
exist to a compliance with the law.

With you, sir, we deem the present period critical and momentous. The
important changes which are occurring, the new and great events which
are every hour preparing in the political world, the spirit of war which
is prevalent in almost every nation with whose affairs the interests
of the United States have any connection, demonstrate how unsafe and
precarious would be our situation should we neglect the means of
maintaining our just rights. Respecting, as we have ever done, the
rights of others, America estimates too correctly the value of her
own and has received evidence too complete that they are only to be
preserved by her own vigilance ever to permit herself to be seduced by
a love of ease or by other considerations into that deadly disregard of
the means of self-defense which could only result from a carelessness
as criminal as it would be fatal concerning the future destinies of our
growing Republic. The result of the mission to France is indeed, sir,
uncertain. It depends not on America alone. The most pacific temper will
not always insure peace. We should therefore exhibit a system of conduct
as indiscreet as it would be new in the history of the world if we
considered the negotiation happily terminated because we have attempted
to commence it, and peace restored because we wish its restoration. But,
sir, however this mission may terminate, a steady perseverance in a
system of national defense commensurate with our resources and the
situation of our country is an obvious dictate of duty. Experience, the
parent of wisdom and the great instructor of nations, has established
the truth of your position, that, remotely as we are placed from the
belligerent nations and desirous as we are, by doing justice to all,
to avoid offense to any, yet nothing short of the power of repelling
aggressions will secure to our country a rational prospect of escaping
the calamities of war or national degradation.

In the progress of the session we shall take into our serious
consideration the various and important matters recommended to our
attention.

A life devoted to the service of your country, talents and integrity
which have so justly acquired and so long retained the confidence
and affection of your fellow-citizens, attest the sincerity of your
declaration that it is your anxious desire so to execute the trust
reposed in you as to render the people of the United States prosperous
and happy.

DECEMBER 9, 1799.



REPLY OF THE PRESIDENT.

UNITED STATES, _December 10, 1799_.

_Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

This very respectful address from the Representatives of the people of
the United States, at their first assembly after a fresh election, under
the strong impression of the public opinion and national sense, at this
interesting and singular crisis of our public affairs, has excited my
sensibility and receives my sincere and grateful acknowledgments.

As long as we can maintain with harmony and affection the honor of our
country consistently with its peace, externally and internally, while
that is attainable, or in war when that becomes necessary, assert its
real independence and sovereignty, and support the constitutional
energies and dignity of its Government, we may be perfectly sure, under
the smiles of Divine Providence, that we shall effectually promote and
extend our national interest and happiness.

The applause of the Senate and House of Representatives, so justly
bestowed upon the volunteers and militia for their zealous and active
cooperation with the judicial power, which has restored order and
submission to the laws, as it comes with peculiar weight and propriety
from the Legislature, can not fail to have an extensive and permanent
effect for the support of Government upon all those ingenuous minds who
receive delight from the approving and animating voice of their country.

JOHN ADAMS.



SPECIAL MESSAGES.


UNITED STATES, _December 5, 1799_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

I transmit to Congress certain documents which have relation to the
communications made on Tuesday, on the subjects of the insurrection in
Pennsylvania, the renewal of commerce with St. Domingo, and the mission
to the French Republic.

JOHN ADAMS.



UNITED STATES, _December 6, 1799_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate_:

I lay before you, for your consideration, a treaty of amity and commerce
between the United States and the King of Prussia, signed by their
ministers on the 11th of July last.

JOHN ADAMS.



UNITED STATES, _December 19, 1799_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

The letter herewith transmitted will inform you that it has pleased
Divine Providence to remove from this life our excellent fellow-citizen,
George Washington, by the purity of his character and a long series of
services to his country rendered illustrious through the world. It
remains for an affectionate and grateful people, in whose hearts he
can never die, to pay suitable honors to his memory.

JOHN ADAMS.



MOUNT VERNON, _December 15, 1799_.

The PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

SIR: It is with inexpressible grief that I have to announce to you the
death of the great and good General Washington. He died last evening
between 10 and 11 o'clock, after a short illness of about twenty hours.
His disorder was an inflammatory sore throat, which proceeded from a
cold of which he made but little complaint on Friday. On Saturday
morning about 3 o'clock he became ill. Dr. Craik attended him in the
morning, and Dr. Dick, of Alexandria, and Dr. Brown, of Port Tobacco,
were soon after called in. Every medical assistance was offered, but
without the desired effect. His last scene corresponded with the whole
tenor of his life; not a groan nor a complaint escaped him in extreme
distress. With perfect resignation and in full possession of his reason,
he closed his well-spent life.

I have the honor to be, with the highest respect, sir, your most
obedient and very humble servant,

TOBIAS LEAR.


The Senate, having resolved to wait on the President of the United
States "to condole with him on the distressing event of the death of
General George Washington," proceeded to the house of the President,
when the President of the Senate, in their name, presented the address
which had previously been agreed to, as follows:


The PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:

The Senate of the United States respectfully take leave, sir, to express
to you their deep regret for the loss their country sustains in the
death of General George Washington.

This event, so distressing to all our fellow-citizens, must be
peculiarly heavy to you, who have long been associated with him in deeds
of patriotism. Permit us, sir, to mingle our tears with yours. On this
occasion it is manly to weep. To lose such a man at such a crisis is
no common calamity to the world. Our country mourns her father. The
Almighty Disposer of Human Events has taken from us our greatest
benefactor and ornament. It becomes us to submit with reverence to
Him who maketh darkness His pavilion.

With patriotic pride we review the life of our Washington and compare
him with those of other countries who have been preeminent in fame.
Ancient and modern names are diminished before him. Greatness and guilt
have too often been allied, but his fame is whiter than it is brilliant.
The destroyers of nations stood abashed at the majesty of his virtue. It
reproved the intemperance of their ambition and darkened the splendor of
victory. The scene is closed, and we are no longer anxious lest
misfortune should sully his glory. He has traveled on to the end of his
journey and carried with him an increasing weight of honor. He has
deposited it safely, where misfortune can not tarnish it, where malice
can not blast it. Favored of Heaven, he departed without exhibiting the
weakness of humanity. Magnanimous in death, the darkness of the grave
could not obscure his brightness.

Such was the man whom we deplore. Thanks to God, his glory is
consummated. Washington yet lives on earth in his spotless example; his
spirit is in Heaven.

Let his countrymen consecrate the memory of the heroic general, the
patriotic statesman, and the virtuous sage. Let them teach their
children never to forget that the fruit of his labors and his example
are their inheritance.

SAMUEL LIVERMORE,

_President of the Senate pro tempore_.

DECEMBER 23, 1799.


To which the President replied as follows:


UNITED STATES, _December 23, 1799_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate_:

I receive with the most respectful and affectionate sentiments in this
impressive address the obliging expressions of your regard for the loss
our country has sustained in the death of her most esteemed, beloved,
and admired citizen.

In the multitude of my thoughts and recollections on this melancholy
event you will permit me only to say that I have seen him in the days of
adversity, in some of the scenes of his deepest distress and most trying
perplexities; I have also attended him in his highest elevation and most
prosperous felicity, with uniform admiration of his wisdom, moderation,
and constancy.

Among all our original associates in that memorable league of the
continent in 1774, which first expressed the sovereign will of a
free nation in America, he was the only one remaining in the General
Government. Although with a constitution more enfeebled than his at
an age when he thought it necessary to prepare for retirement, I
feel myself alone bereaved of my last brother; yet I derive a strong
consolation from the unanimous disposition which appears in all ages
and classes to mingle their sorrows with mine on this common calamity
to the world.

The life of our Washington can not suffer by comparison with those of
other countries who have been most celebrated and exalted by fame. The
attributes and decorations of royalty could have only served to eclipse
the majesty of those virtues which made him, from being a modest
citizen, a more resplendent luminary.

Misfortune, had he lived, could hereafter have sullied his glory only
with those superficial minds who, believing that characters and actions
are marked by success alone, rarely deserve to enjoy it. Malice could
never blast his honor, and envy made him a singular exception to her
universal rule. For himself, he had lived enough to life and to glory.
For his fellow-citizens, if their prayers could have been answered, he
would have been immortal. For me, his departure is at a most unfortunate
moment. Trusting, however, in the wise and righteous dominion of
Providence over the passions of men and the results of their councils
and actions, as well as over their lives, nothing remains for me but
humble resignation.

His example is now complete, and it will teach wisdom and virtue to
magistrates, citizens, and men, not only in the present age, but in
future generations as long as our history shall be read. If a Trajan
found a Pliny, a Marcus Aurelius can never want biographers, eulogists,
or historians.

JOHN ADAMS.


The House of Representatives having resolved unanimously to wait on
the President of the United States '"in condolence of this national
calamity," the Speaker, attended by the House, withdrew to the house of
the President, when the Speaker addressed the President as follows:


SIR: The House of Representatives, penetrated with a sense of the
irreparable loss sustained by the nation in the death of that great and
good man, the illustrious and beloved Washington, wait on you, sir, to
express their condolence on this melancholy and distressing event.

To which the President replied as follows:


UNITED STATES, _December 19, 1799_.

_Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

I receive with great respect and affection the condolence of the House
of Representatives on the melancholy and affecting event in the death
of the most illustrious and beloved personage which this country ever
produced. I sympathize with you, with the nation, and with good men
through the world in this irreparable loss sustained by us all.

JOHN ADAMS.



UNITED STATES, _December 31, 1799_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate_:

I nominate Timothy Pickering, Secretary of State; Oliver Wolcott,
Secretary of the Treasury, and Samuel Sitgreaves, esq., of Pennsylvania,
to be commissioners to adjust and determine, with commissioners
appointed under the legislative authority of the State of Georgia, all
interfering claims of the United States and that State to territories
situate west of the river Chatahouchee, north of the thirty-first degree
of north latitude, and south of the cession made to the United States by
South Carolina; and also to receive any proposals for the relinquishment
or cession of the whole or any part of the other territory claimed by
the State of Georgia, and out of the ordinary jurisdiction thereof,
according to the law of the United States of the 7th of April, 1798.

JOHN ADAMS.



UNITED STATES, _January 6, 1800_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

In compliance with the request in one of the resolutions of Congress of
the 21st of December last, I transmitted a copy of these resolutions, by
my secretary, Mr. Shaw, to Mrs. Washington, assuring her of the profound
respect Congress will ever bear to her person and character, of their
condolence in the late afflicting dispensation of Providence, and
entreating her assent to the interment of the remains of General George
Washington in the manner expressed in the first resolution. As the
sentiments of that virtuous lady, not less beloved by this nation than
she is at present greatly afflicted, can never be so well expressed as
in her own words, I transmit to Congress her original letter.

It would be an attempt of too much delicacy to make any comments upon
it, but there can be no doubt that the nation at large, as well as
all the branches of the Government, will be highly gratified by any
arrangement which may diminish the sacrifice she makes of her individual
feelings.

JOHN ADAMS.



MOUNT VERNON, _December 31, 1799_.

The PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

SIR: While I feel with keenest anguish the late dispensation of Divine
Providence, I can not be insensible to the mournful tributes of respect
and veneration which are paid to the memory of my dear deceased husband;
and as his best services and most anxious wishes were always devoted to
the welfare and happiness of his country, to know that they were truly
appreciated and gratefully remembered affords no inconsiderable
consolation.

Taught by the great example which I have so long had before me never
to oppose my private wishes to the public will, I must consent to the
request made by Congress, which you have had the goodness to transmit
to me; and in doing this I need not, I can not, say what a sacrifice
of individual feeling I make to a sense of public duty.

With grateful acknowledgments and unfeigned thanks for the personal
respect and evidences of condolence expressed by Congress and yourself,
I remain, very respectfully, sir, your most obedient, humble servant,

MARTHA WASHINGTON.



UNITED STATES, _January 13, 1800_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

A report made to me on the 5th of this month by the Secretary of War
contains various matters in which the honor and safety of the nation are
deeply interested. I transmit it, therefore, to Congress and recommend
it to their serious consideration.

JOHN ADAMS.



UNITED STATES, _January 14, 1800_.

_Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

As the inclosed letter from a member of your House received by me in
the night of Saturday, the 11th instant, relates to the privileges of
the House, which, in my opinion, ought to be inquired into in the House
itself, if anywhere, I have thought proper to submit the whole letter
and its tendencies to your consideration without any other comments on
its matter or style; but as no gross impropriety of conduct on the part
of persons holding commissions in the Army or Navy of the United States
ought to pass without due animadversion, I have directed the Secretary
of War and the Secretary of the Navy to investigate the conduct
complained of and to report to me without delay such a statement of
facts as will enable me to decide on the course which duty and justice
shall appear to prescribe.

JOHN ADAMS.



UNITED STATES, _January 23, 1800_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

I transmit to Congress for the information of the members a report
of the Secretary of State of the 9th instant, a letter from Matthew
Clarkson, esq., to him of the 2d, and a list of the claims adjusted
by the commissioners under the twenty-first article of our treaty
with Spain.

JOHN ADAMS.



UNITED STATES, _February 14, 1800_.

_Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith a copy of the laws enacted by the governor and
judges of the Mississippi Territory, for the inspection of Congress.
There being but this one copy, I must request the House, when they
have made the requisite examination, to send it to the Senate.

JOHN ADAMS.



PROCLAMATIONS.


[From C. F. Adams's Works of John Adams, Vol. IX, p. 177.]

PROCLAMATION.

MAY 9, 1800.

Whereas by an act of Congress of the United States passed the 27th day
of February last, entitled "An act further to suspend the commercial
intercourse between the United States and France and the dependencies
thereof," it is enacted that at any time after the passing of the said
act it shall be lawful for the President of the United States, by his
order, to remit and discontinue for the time being, whenever he shall
deem it expedient and for the interest of the United States, all or any
of the restraints and prohibitions imposed by the said act in respect to
the territories of the French Republic, or to any island, port, or place
belonging to the said Republic with which, in his opinion, a commercial
intercourse may be safely renewed, and to make proclamation thereof
accordingly; and it is also thereby further enacted that the whole of
the island of Hispaniola shall, for the purposes of the said act, be
considered as a dependence of the French Republic; and

Whereas the circumstances of certain ports and places of the said island
not comprised in the proclamation of the 26th day of June, 1799, are
such that I deem it expedient and for the interest of the United States
to remit and discontinue the restraints and prohibitions imposed by the
said act in respect to those ports and places in order that a commercial
intercourse with the same may be renewed:

Therefore I, John Adams, President of the United States, by virtue of
the powers vested in me as aforesaid, do hereby remit and discontinue
the restraints and prohibitions imposed by the act aforesaid in respect
to all the ports and places in the said island of Hispaniola from Monte
Christi on the north, round by the eastern end thereof as far as the
port of Jacmel on the south, inclusively. And it shall henceforth be
lawful for vessels of the United States to enter and trade at any of
the said ports and places, provided it be done with the consent of
the Government of St. Domingo. And for this purpose it is hereby
required that such vessels first enter the port of Cape Francois or
Port Republicain, in the said island, and there obtain the passports
of the said Government, which shall also be signed by the consul-general
or consul of the United States residing at Cape François or Port
Republicain, permitting such vessel to go thence to the other ports and
places of the said island hereinbefore mentioned and described. Of all
which the collectors of the customs and all other officers and citizens
of the United States are to take due notice and govern themselves.

In testimony, etc.

JOHN ADAMS.



[From Annals of Congress, Seventh Congress, second session, 1552.]

PROCLAMATION.

BY JOHN ADAMS, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

Whereas the late wicked and treasonable insurrection against the just
authority of the United States of sundry persons in the counties of
Northampton, Montgomery, and Bucks, in the State of Pennsylvania, in
the year 1799, having been speedily suppressed without any of the
calamities usually attending rebellion; whereupon peace, order, and
submission to the laws of the United States were restored in the
aforesaid counties, and the ignorant, misguided, and misinformed in the
counties have returned to a proper sense of their duty, whereby it is
become unnecessary for the public good that any future prosecutions
should be commenced or carried on against any person or persons by
reason of their being concerned in the said insurrection:

Wherefore be it known that I, John Adams, President of the United States
of America, have granted, and by these presents do grant, a full, free,
and absolute pardon to all and every person or persons concerned in the
said insurrection, excepting as hereinafter excepted, of all treasons,
misprisions of treason, felonies, misdemeanors, and other crimes by them
respectively done or committed against the United States in either of
the said counties before the 12th day of March, in the year 1799,
excepting and excluding therefrom every person who now standeth indicted
or convicted of any treason, misprision of treason, or other offense
against the United States, whereby remedying and releasing unto all
persons, except as before excepted, all pains and penalties incurred,
or supposed to be incurred, for or on account of the premises.

[SEAL.]

Given under my hand and the seal of the United States of America, at
the city of Philadelphia, this 21st day of May, A.D. 1800, and of the
Independence of the said States the twenty-fourth.

JOHN ADAMS.



BY JOHN ADAMS, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas by an act of the Congress of the United States passed on the
27th day of February last, entitled "An act further to suspend the
commercial intercourse between the United States and France and the
dependencies thereof," it is enacted "that at any time after the passing
of the said act it shall be lawful for the President of the United
States, by his order, to remit and discontinue for the time being,
whenever he shall deem it expedient and for the interest of the United
States, all or any of the restraints and prohibitions imposed by the
said act in respect to the territories of the French Republic, or to any
island, port, or place belonging to the said Republic with which, in his
opinion, a commercial intercourse may be safely renewed, and to make
proclamation thereof accordingly;" and it is also thereby further
enacted that the whole of the island of Hispaniola shall, for the
purposes of the said act, be considered as a dependence of the French
Republic; and

Whereas the circumstances of the said islands are such that, in my
opinion, a commercial intercourse may safely be renewed with every part
thereof, under the limitations and restrictions hereinafter mentioned:

Therefore I, John Adams, President of the United States, by virtue of
the powers vested in me as aforesaid, do hereby remit and discontinue
the restraints and prohibitions imposed by the act aforesaid in respect
to every part of the said island, so that it shall be lawful for vessels
of the United States to trade at any of the ports and places thereof,
provided it be done with the consent of the Government of St. Domingo;
and for this purpose it is hereby required that such vessels first clear
for and enter the port of Cape Français or Port Republicain, in the said
island, and there obtain the passports of the said Government, which
shall also be signed by the consul-general of the United States, or
their consul residing at Cape Français, or their consul residing at Port
Republicain, permitting such vessels to go thence to the other ports and
places of the said island. Of all which the collectors of the customs
and all other officers and citizens of the United States are to take due
notice and govern themselves accordingly.

[SEAL.]

Given under my hand and the seal of the United States of America, at
the city of Washington, this 6th day of September, A.D. 1800, and of
the Independence of the said States the twenty-fifth.

JOHN ADAMS.

By the President:
  J. MARSHALL,
    _Secretary of State_.



FOURTH ANNUAL ADDRESS.


UNITED STATES, _November 22, 1800_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

Immediately after the adjournment of Congress at their last session in
Philadelphia I gave directions, in compliance with the laws, for the
removal of the public offices, records, and property. These directions
have been executed, and the public officers have since resided and
conducted the ordinary business of the Government in this place.

I congratulate the people of the United States on the assembling of
Congress at the permanent seat of their Government, and I congratulate
you, gentlemen, on the prospect of a residence not to be changed.
Although there is cause to apprehend that accommodations are not now
so complete as might be wished, yet there is great reason to believe
that this inconvenience will cease with the present session.

It would be unbecoming the representatives of this nation to assemble
for the first time in this solemn temple without looking up to the
Supreme Ruler of the Universe and imploring His blessing.

May this territory be the residence of virtue and happiness! In this
city may that piety and virtue, that wisdom and magnanimity, that
constancy and self-government, which adorned the great character whose
name it bears be forever held in veneration! Here and throughout our
country may simple manners, pure morals, and true religion flourish
forever!

It is with you, gentlemen, to consider whether the local powers over the
District of Columbia vested by the Constitution in the Congress of the
United States shall be immediately exercised. If in your opinion this
important trust ought now to be executed, you can not fail while
performing it to take into view the future probable situation of the
territory for the happiness of which you are about to provide. You will
consider it as the capital of a great nation advancing with unexampled
rapidity in arts, in commerce, in wealth, and in population, and
possessing within itself those energies and resources which, if not
thrown away or lamentably misdirected, will secure to it a long course
of prosperity and self-government.

In compliance with a law of the last session of Congress, the officers
and soldiers of the temporary army have been discharged. It affords real
pleasure to recollect the honorable testimony they gave of the patriotic
motives which brought them into the service of their country, by the
readiness and regularity with which they returned to the station of
private citizens.

It is in every point of view of such primary importance to carry the
laws into prompt and faithful execution, and to render that part of the
administration of justice which the Constitution and laws devolve on the
Federal courts as convenient to the people as may consist with their
present circumstances, that I can not omit once more to recommend to
your serious consideration the judiciary system of the United States. No
subject is more interesting than this to the public happiness, and to
none can those improvements which may have been suggested by experience
be more beneficially applied.

A treaty of amity and commerce with the King of Prussia has been
concluded and ratified. The ratifications have been exchanged, and
I have directed the treaty to be promulgated by proclamation.

The difficulties which suspended the execution of the sixth article
of our treaty of amity, commerce, and navigation with Great Britain
have not yet been removed. The negotiation on this subject is still
depending. As it must be for the interest and honor of both nations
to adjust this difference with good faith, I indulge confidently the
expectation that the sincere endeavors of the Government of the United
States to bring it to an amicable termination will not be disappointed.

The envoys extraordinary and ministers plenipotentiary from the United
States to France were received by the First Consul with the respect due
to their character, and three persons with equal powers were appointed
to treat with them. Although at the date of the last official
intelligence the negotiation had not terminated, yet it is to be hoped
that our efforts to effect an accommodation will at length meet with a
success proportioned to the sincerity with which they have been so often
repeated.

While our best endeavors for the preservation of harmony with all
nations will continue to be used, the experience of the world and our
own experience admonish us of the insecurity of trusting too confidently
to their success. We can not, without committing a dangerous imprudence,
abandon those measures of self-protection which are adapted to our
situation and to which, notwithstanding our pacific policy, the violence
and injustice of others may again compel us to resort While our vast
extent of seacoast, the commercial and agricultural habits of our
people, the great capital they will continue to trust on the ocean,
suggest the system of defense which will be most beneficial to
ourselves, our distance from Europe and our resources for maritime
strength will enable us to employ it with effect. Seasonable and
systematic arrangements, so far as our resources will justify, for a
navy adapted to defensive war, and which may in case of necessity be
quickly brought into use, seem to be as much recommended by a wise and
true economy as by a just regard for our future tranquillity, for the
safety of our shores, and for the protection of our property committed
to the ocean.

The present Navy of the United States, called suddenly into existence by
a great national exigency, has raised us in our own esteem, and by the
protection afforded to our commerce has effected to the extent of our
expectations the objects for which it was created.

In connection with a navy ought to be contemplated the fortification of
some of our principal seaports and harbors. A variety of considerations,
which will readily suggest themselves, urge an attention to this measure
of precaution. To give security to our principal ports considerable sums
have already been expended, but the works remain incomplete. It is for
Congress to determine whether additional appropriations shall be made in
order to render competent to the intended purposes the fortifications
which have been commenced.

The manufacture of arms within the United States still invites the
attention of the National Legislature. At a considerable expense to the
public this manufacture has been brought to such a state of maturity as,
with continued encouragement, will supersede the necessity of future
importations from foreign countries.

_Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

I shall direct the estimates of the appropriations necessary for the
ensuing year, together with an account of the public revenue and
expenditure to a late period, to be laid before you. I observe with much
satisfaction that the product of the revenue during the present year has
been more considerable than during any former equal period. This result
affords conclusive evidence of the great resources of this country and
of the wisdom and efficiency of the measures which have been adopted by
Congress for the protection of commerce and preservation of public
credit.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

As one of the grand community of nations, our attention is irresistibly
drawn to the important scenes which surround us. If they have exhibited
an uncommon portion of calamity, it is the province of humanity to
deplore and of wisdom to avoid the causes which may have produced
it. If, turning our eyes homeward, we find reason to rejoice at the
prospect which presents itself; if we perceive the interior of our
country prosperous, free, and happy; if all enjoy in safety, under the
protection of laws emanating only from the general will, the fruits of
their own labor, we ought to fortify and cling to those institutions
which have been the source of such real felicity and resist with
unabating perseverance the progress of those dangerous innovations
which may diminish their influence.

To your patriotism, gentlemen, has been confided the honorable duty of
guarding the public interests; and while the past is to your country a
sure pledge that it will be faithfully discharged, permit me to assure
you that your labors to promote the general happiness will receive from
me the most zealous cooperation.

JOHN ADAMS.



ADDRESS OF THE SENATE TO JOHN ADAMS, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

The PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

SIR: Impressed with the important truth that the hearts of rulers and
people are in the hand of the Almighty, the Senate of the United States
most cordially join in your invocations for appropriate blessings upon
the Government and people of this Union.

We meet you, sir, and the other branch of the National Legislature in
the city which is honored by the name of our late hero and sage, the
illustrious Washington, with sensations and emotions which exceed our
power of description.

While we congratulate ourselves on the convention of the Legislature at
the permanent seat of Government, and ardently hope that permanence and
stability may be communicated as well to the Government itself as to its
seat, our minds are irresistibly led to deplore the death of him who
bore so honorable and efficient a part in the establishment of both.
Great indeed would have been our gratification if his sum of earthly
happiness had been completed by seeing the Government thus peaceably
convened at this place; but we derive consolation from a belief that the
moment in which we were destined to experience the loss we deplore was
fixed by that Being whose counsels can not err, and from a hope that
since in this seat of Government, which bears his name, his earthly
remains will be deposited, the members of Congress, and all who inhabit
the city, with these memorials before them, will retain his virtues in
lively recollection, and make his patriotism, morals, and piety models
for imitation. And permit us to add, sir, that it is not among the least
of our consolations that you, who have been his companion and friend
from the dawning of our national existence, and trained in the same
school of exertion to effect our independence, are still preserved by a
gracious Providence in health and activity to exercise the functions of
Chief Magistrate.

The question whether the local powers over the District of Columbia,
vested by the Constitution in the Congress of the United States, shall
be immediately exercised is of great importance, and in deliberating
upon it we shall naturally be led to weigh the attending circumstances
and every probable consequence of the measures which may be proposed.

The several subjects for legislative consideration contained in your
speech to both Houses of Congress shall receive from the Senate all the
attention which they can give, when contemplating those objects, both in
respect to their national importance and the additional weight that is
given them by your recommendation.

We deprecate with you, sir, all spirit of innovation from whatever
quarter it may arise, which may impair the sacred bond that connects the
different parts of this Empire, and we trust that, under the protection
of Divine Providence the wisdom and virtue of the citizens of the United
States will deliver our national compact unimpaired to a grateful
posterity.

From past experience it is impossible for the Senate of the United
States to doubt of your zealous cooperation with the Legislature in
every effort to promote the general happiness and tranquillity of the
Union.

Accept, sir, our warmest wishes for your health and happiness.

JOHN E. HOWARD,

_President of the Senate pro tempore_.

NOVEMBER 25, 1800.



REPLY OF THE PRESIDENT.

CITY OF WASHINGTON, _November 26, 1800_.

_Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Senate_:

For this excellent address, so respectful to the memory of my
illustrious predecessor, which I receive from the Senate of the United
States at this time and in this place with peculiar satisfaction, I pray
you to accept of my unfeigned acknowledgments. With you I ardently hope
that permanence and stability will be communicated as well to the
Government itself as to its beautiful and commodious seat. With you
I deplore the death of that hero and sage who bore so honorable and
efficient a part in the establishment of both. Great indeed would have
been my gratification if his sum of earthly happiness had been completed
by seeing the Government thus peaceably convened at this place, himself
at its head; but while we submit to the decisions of Heaven, whose
councils are inscrutable to us, we can not but hope that the members of
Congress, the officers of Government, and all who inhabit the city or
the country will retain his virtues in lively recollection and make his
patriotism, morals, and piety models for imitation.

I thank you, gentlemen, for your assurance that the several subjects for
legislative consideration recommended in my communication to both Houses
shall receive from the Senate a deliberate and candid attention.

With you, gentlemen, I sincerely deprecate all spirit of innovation
which may weaken the sacred bond that connects the different parts
of this nation and Government, and with you I trust that under the
protection of Divine Providence the wisdom and virtue of our citizens
will deliver our national compact unimpaired to a free, prosperous,
happy, and grateful posterity. To this end it is my fervent prayer that
in this city the foundations of wisdom may be always opened and the
streams of eloquence forever flow. Here may the youth of this extensive
country forever look up without disappointment, not only to the
monuments and memorials of the dead, but to the examples of the living,
in the members of Congress and officers of Government, for finished
models of all those virtues, graces, talents, and accomplishments which
constitute the dignity of human nature and lay the only foundation for
the prosperity or duration of empires.

JOHN ADAMS.



ADDRESS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TO JOHN ADAMS, PRESIDENT OF THE
UNITED STATES.

JOHN ADAMS,

_President of the United States_.

SIR: The House of Representatives have received with great respect the
communication which you have been pleased to make to the two Houses of
Congress at the commencement of the present session.

The final establishment of the seat of National Government, which has
now taken place, within the District of Columbia is an event of no small
importance in the political transactions of our country, and we
cordially unite our wishes with yours that this Territory may be the
residence of happiness and virtue.

Nor can we on this occasion omit to express a hope that the spirit
which animated the great founder of this city may descend to future
generations, and that the wisdom, magnanimity, and steadiness which
marked the events of his public life may be imitated in all succeeding
ages.

A consideration of those powers which have been vested in Congress over
the District of Columbia will not escape our attention, nor shall we
forget that in exercising these powers a regard must be had to those
events which will necessarily attend the capital of America.

The cheerfulness and regularity with which the officers and soldiers of
the temporary army have returned to the condition of private citizens is
a testimony clear and conclusive of the purity of those motives which
induced them to engage in the public service, and will remain a proof on
all future occasions that an army of soldiers drawn from the citizens of
our country deserve our confidence and respect.

No subject can be more important than that of the judiciary, which you
have again recommended to our consideration, and it shall receive our
early and deliberate attention.

The Constitution of the United States having confided the management
of our foreign negotiations to the control of the Executive power, we
cheerfully submit to its decisions on this important subject; and in
respect to the negotiations now pending with France, we sincerely hope
that the final result may prove as fortunate to our country as the most
ardent mind can wish.

So long as a predatory war is carried on against our commerce we
should sacrifice the interests and disappoint the expectations of our
constituents should we for a moment relax that system of maritime
defense which has resulted in such beneficial effects. At this period it
is confidently believed that few persons can be found within the United
States who do not admit that a navy, well organized, must constitute the
natural and efficient defense of this country against all foreign
hostility.

The progress which has been made in the manufacture of arms leaves
no doubt that the public patronage has already placed this country
beyond all necessary dependence on foreign markets for an article so
indispensable for defense, and gives us assurances that, under the
encouragement which Government will continue to extend to this important
object, we shall soon rival foreign countries not only in the number but
in the quality of arms completed from our own manufactories.

Few events could have been more pleasing to our constituents than that
great and rapid increase of revenue which has arisen from permanent
taxes. Whilst this event explains the great and increasing resources of
our country, it carries along with it a proof which can not be resisted
that those measures of maritime defense which were calculated to meet
our enemy upon the ocean, and which have produced such extensive
protection to our commerce, were founded in wisdom and policy. The mind
must, in our opinion, be insensible to the plainest truths which can not
discern the elevated ground on which this policy has placed our country.
That national spirit which alone could vindicate our common rights has
been roused, and those latent energies which had not been fully known
were unfolded and brought into view, and our fellow-citizens were
prepared to meet every event which national honor or national security
could render necessary. Nor have its effects been much less important in
other respects.

Whilst many of the nations of the earth have been impoverished and
depopulated by internal commotions and national contests, our internal
peace has not been materially impaired; our commerce has extended, under
the protection of our infant Navy, to every part of the globe; wealth
has flowed without intermission into our seaports, and the labors of the
husbandman have been rewarded by a ready market for the productions of
the soil.

Be assured, sir, that the various and important subjects recommended to
our consideration shall receive our early and deliberate attention; and,
confident of your cooperation in every measure which may be calculated
to promote the general interest, we shall endeavor on our part to
testify by our industry and dispatch the zeal and sincerity with which
we regard the public good

NOVEMBER 26, 1800.



REPLY OF THE PRESIDENT.

WASHINGTON, _November 27, 1800_.

_Mr. Speaker and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

Compelled by the habits of a long life, as well as by all the principles
of society and government which I could ever understand and believe, to
consider the great body of the people as the source of all legitimate
authority no less than of all efficient power, it is impossible for
me to receive this address from the immediate Representatives of the
American people at this time and in this place without emotions which
it would be improper to express if any language could convey them.

May the spirit which animated the great founder of this city descend
to future generations, and may the wisdom, magnanimity, and steadiness
which marked the events of his public life be imitated in all succeeding
ages.

I thank you, gentlemen, for your assurance that the judiciary system
shall receive your deliberate attention.

With you, gentlemen, I sincerely hope that the final result of the
negotiations now pending with France may prove as fortunate to our
country as they have been commenced with sincerity and prosecuted with
deliberation and caution. With you I cordially agree that so long as a
predatory war is carried on against our commerce we should sacrifice the
interests and disappoint the expectations of our constituents should we
for a moment relax that system of maritime defense which has resulted in
such beneficial effects. With you I confidently believe that few persons
can be found within the United States who do not admit that a navy, well
organized, must constitute the natural and efficient defense of this
country against all foreign hostility.

Those who recollect the distress and danger to this country in former
periods from the want of arms must exult in the assurance from their
Representatives 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 defense 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
necessary. These, it is to be hoped, are secured at the cheapest and
easiest rate; if not, they will be secured at more expense.

I thank you, gentlemen, for your assurance that the various subjects
recommended to your consideration shall receive your deliberate
attention. No further 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.



SPECIAL MESSAGES.


UNITED STATES, _December 15, 1800_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate_:

I transmit to the Senate, for their consideration and decision, a
convention, both in English and French, between the United States of
America and the French Republic, signed at Paris on the 30th day of
September last by the respective plenipotentiaries of the two powers.
I also transmit to the Senate three manuscript volumes containing the
journal of our envoys.

JOHN ADAMS.



UNITED STATES, _January 7, 1801_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

I transmit to both Houses of Congress, for their information and
consideration, copies of laws enacted by the governor and judges of the
Mississippi Territory from the 30th of June until the 31st of December,
A.D. 1799.

JOHN ADAMS.



UNITED STATES, _January 17, 1801_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

I have received from Elias Boudinot, esq., Director of the Mint of
the United States, a report of the 2d of January, representing the
state of it, together with an abstract of the coins struck at the
Mint from the 1st of January to the 31st of December, 1800; an abstract
of the expenditures of the Mint from the 1st of January to the 31st of
December, inclusive; a statement of gain on copper coined at the Mint
from the 1st of January to the 31st of December, 1800, and a certificate
from Joseph Richardson, assayer of the Mint, ascertaining the value of
Spanish milled doubloons in proportion to the gold coins of the United
States to be no more than 84 cents and 424/500 parts of a cent for 1
pennyweight, or 28 grains and 24256/84848 parts of a grain to one
dollar. These papers I transmit to Congress for their consideration,

JOHN ADAMS.



UNITED STATES, _January 21, 1801_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate_:

In compliance with your request, signified in your resolution of the
20th day of this month, I transmit you a report made to me by the
Secretary of State on the same day, a letter of our late envoys to him
of the 4th of October last, an extract of a letter from our minister
plenipotentiary in London to him of the 22d of November last, and an
extract of another letter from the minister to the Secretary of the 31st
of October last.

The reasoning in the letter of our late envoys to France is so fully
supported by the writers on the law of nations, particularly by Vattel,
as well as by his great masters, Grotius and Puffendorf, that nothing is
left to be desired to settle the point that if there be a collision
between two treaties made with two different powers the more ancient has
the advantage, for no engagement contrary to it can be entered into in
the treaty afterwards made; and if this last be found in any case
incompatible with the more ancient one its execution is considered as
impossible, because the person promising had not the power of acting
contrary to his antecedent engagement. Although our right is very clear
to negotiate treaties according to our own ideas of right and justice,
honor and good faith, yet it must always be a satisfaction to know that
the judgment of other nations with whom we have connection coincides
with ours, and that we have no reason to apprehend that any disagreeable
questions and discussions are likely to arise. The letters from Mr. King
will therefore be read by the Senate with particular satisfaction.

The inconveniences to public officers and the mischiefs to the public
arising from the publication of the dispatches of ministers abroad are
so numerous and so obvious that I request of the Senate that these
papers, especially the letters from Mr. King, be considered in close
confidence.

JOHN ADAMS.



UNITED STATES, _January 30, 1801_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

I transmit to Congress for their consideration a letter from William
Thornton, Alexander White, and William Cranch, esquires, commissioners
of the city of Washington, with a representation of the affairs of the
city made by them to the President of the United States, dated 28th of
January, 1801, accompanied with a series of documents marked from A to
H, inclusively.

JOHN ADAMS.



UNITED STATES, _February 16, 1801_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

I wish to know the pleasure of Congress and request their direction
concerning the disposition of the property of the United States now in
my possession; whether I shall deliver it into the hands of the heads of
Departments, or of the commissioners of the city of Washington, or of a
committee of Congress, or to any other persons Congress may appoint, to
be delivered into the hands of my successor, or whether I shall present
it myself to the President of the United States on the 4th of March
next. Any of these modes will be agreeable to me.

JOHN ADAMS.



UNITED STATES, _February 20, 1801_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_:

I transmit to Congress a report received this morning from Elias
Boudinot, esq., Director of the Mint, dated February 13, 1801, which
will require the attention and decision of Congress before the close of
the session.

JOHN ADAMS.



UNITED STATES, _March 2, 1801_.

_Gentlemen of the Senate_:

I have considered the advice and consent of the Senate to the
ratification of the convention with France under certain conditions.
Although it would have been more conformable to my own judgment and
inclination to have agreed to that instrument unconditionally, yet as
in this point I found I had the misfortune to differ in opinion from
so high a constitutional authority as the Senate, I judged it more
consistent with the honor and interest of the United States to ratify it
under the conditions prescribed than not at all. I accordingly nominated
Mr. Bayard minister plenipotentiary to the French Republic, that he
might proceed without delay to Paris to negotiate the exchange of
ratifications; but as that gentleman has declined his appointment,
for reasons equally applicable to every other person suitable for the
service, I shall take no further measures relative to this business,
and leave the convention, with all the documents, in the Office of
State, that my successor may proceed with them according to his wisdom.

JOHN ADAMS.



PROCLAMATION.


JANUARY 30, 1801.

_To the Senators of the United States, respectively_.

SIR: It appearing to me proper and necessary for the public service that
the Senate of the United States should be convened on Wednesday, the 4th
of March next, you are desired to attend in the Chamber of the Senate on
that day, at 10 o'clock in the forenoon, to receive and act upon any
communications which the President of the United States may then lay
before you touching their interests, and to do and consider all other
things which may be proper and necessary for the public service for the
Senate to do and consider.

 JOHN ADAMS,
_President of the United States_.





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