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stocks, reimburseable only at the rate of eight per cent. & year (for principal and interest) on the nominal amount, 27,142,357 21 Three per cent. stocks,
19,019,481 56 1796 six per cent. stock, redeemable in 1819,
80,000 00 Louisiana stock, reimburseable in four annual instalments, in the years 1818, 1819, 1820 and 1821,
Amounting altogether to near fifty-seven millions and five hundred thousand dollars.
The Louisiana stock cannot be reimbursed before the period fised by the contract ; the gradual operation of the annual reimbursement will extin.. guish the old six per cent. in the year 1818, and the deferred stock in 1824 ; after which year, the only remaining incumbrance will be the interest on the trée per cent. stock, which in its present shape, may be considered as irredeemable. Purchase cannot be relied on, as the application of even an inconsiderable sum would raise the stocks above the prices limitted by law. It follows that all the species of debt, on which the entire annual appropriation of 8,000,000 of dollars could operate, will have been reimbursed prior to the year 1809 ; that the remaining debt cannot, without some modifications, assented to by the publick creditors, be more rapidly or completely discharged than is here stated ; and that the annual payınents on that account, will, after the year 1808, and prior to the year 1818, he reduced to the iliterest and annual reimbursement, amounting to near 4,600,000, as will more fully appear by the annexed table, marked (G.)
IV. The revenue derived from customs during the year 1802, which was a year of European peace, was much less in proportion than that of any of the immediately preceding or following years, and yet exceeded ten millions of dollars. As it has been ascertained that the population of the United States increases at the rate of thirty-five per cent. in ten years ; the revenue derived from customs for the year 1812, may be estimated at thirteen millions five hundred thousand dollars, to which, adding only five hundred thousand dollars, for the annual proceeds of the sales of publick lands will give fourteen millions of dollars, for the total revenue of that year, or for the average revenue of the years 1809-1815. And this must be considered as a very moderate computation, since it does not include the revenue derived from New-Orleans; is predicated on the supposition that the wealth of the United States increases in no greater ratio than their population ; and does not exceed the sum, which, exclusively of the Mediterranean fund wis received last year into the treasury.
The annual payments on account of the publick debt, will, during the same period, amount, as has been already stated, to 4,600,000 dolls. All the other expenses of the U.S., whether domestick or foreign, of a civil nature or for the support of the existing military and naval establishments, do not at present esceed $3,500,000. The total annual expenditure allowing $410,000 a year for contingencies, may therefore be estimated after the year 1803, at eight millions and a half ; which deducted from a revenue of fourteen millions, will leave a nett annual surplus of five millions and a half of dollars.
The question now recurs, whether a portion of that sci plus would not be most advantageously employed in hastening the reduction of the ditt? Whether some modle may not be devised to provide, within a short period?, for its final and complete reimbursement, and thereby release the publick ria venue from every incumbrance ? This can only be effected by a modification of the di bt assented to by the publick creditors ; and a conversion of the old six per cent. deferred, and three per cent. stocks, on terms mutually beneficial, into a common six per cent. stock, redeemable within a limited time, appeared the most simple and eligible, if not the only practicable plan that can be adopted. For its cletails a reference is respectfully made to a letier written in January last, to the chairman of the committee of ways and means, copy of w'sich narked (F.) is annexed. It will only be necessary to state, that if such a pl.on should be sanctone! by Gorz?ces, and accepted.
by the creditors, those several species of debt amounting on the 1st Jan 1809, to something more than $46,000,000, would be converted into a 6 per cent. stock, amounting to less than $40,000,000, which the continued annual ap propriation of $8,000,000 would (besides paying the interest on the Louisiana debt) reimburse within a period of less than seven years, or before the end of the year 1815, as will appear by the table marked (H.)
The total annual expenditure for those seven years would then, allowing still 3,500,000 dollars for current expenses, and 400,000 dollars for contin. gencies, amount to something less than twelve millions of dollars; which deducted from a revenue of fourteen millions of dollars, would still leave after the year 1808, a clear surplus of more than two millions of dollars, ap. plicable to such new objects of general improvement or national defence, as the legislature might direct, and existing circumstances require. And after the year 1815, no other incumbrance would remain on the revenue, than the interest and reimbursement of the Louisiana stock ; the last pay. ment of which in the year 1821, would complete the final extinguishment of the publick debt. All which is respectfully submitted.
Secretary of the Treasury. TREASURY DEPARTMENT, Dec. 5, 1806.
LETTER FROM CAPT. CLARK,
ONE OF THE PARTY APPOINTED BY THE PRESIDENT
PLORE THE MISSOURI,. &c: TO HIS BROTHER.
St. Louis, 23. Sept. 1806. We arrived at this place at 12 o'clock to day from the Pacifick Ocean, where we remained during the last winter, near the entrance of the Columbia river. This station we left on the 27th of March last, and should have reached St. Louis early in August, hasi we not been detained by the snow which barred our passage across the Rocky Mountains, until the 24th of June. In returning through those mountains we divided ourselves into several parties, digressing from the route, by which we went out, in order the more effectualiy to explore the country, and discover the most practicable route which does exist across the continent by the way of the Missouri and Columbia rivers. In this we were completely successful, and have there. fore ro hesitation in declaring, that such as nature has permitted we have discovered the best route which does exist across the continent of North America in that direction. Such is that by way of the Missouri to the foot of the rapids below the great falls of that river, a distance of 2575 miles, thence by land passing by the Rocky Mountains, to a navigable part of the Kooskooske 340 ; and with the Kooskooske 73 miles, Lewis's river 154 miles, and the Columbia 413 miles to the Pacifick Ocean, making the total distance from the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi, to the dis. charge of the Columbia into the Pacifick Ocean 3555 miles. The naviga. tin of the Missouri may be deemed good-its difficulties arise from its falling banks, timber imbedded in the mud of its channel, its sand-bars and the steady rapidity of its current, all which may be overcome with a great degree of certainty, by using the necessary precautions. The passage by Band of 340 miles from the falls of the Missouri to the Kooskooske, is the most formidable part of the tract proposed across the continent. Of this distance, 200 miles is along a good road, and 140 miles over tremendous mountains, which for 60 miles are covered with eternal snows.
A passage over these mountains is, bowever, practicable from the latter part of June (o the last of September; and the cheap rate at which horses are to be ob. tained from the Indians of the Rocky Mountains, and West of them, re. duces the expenses of transportation over this portage to a mere trifle. The navigation of the Koosk-roske, Lewis's river, and the Columbia, is safe and good from the first of April to the middle of August, by making three por
tages on the latter river. The first of which, in descending is 1200 paees at the falls of Columbia 261 miles up that river, the second of two miles at the long narrows 6 miles below the falls, and a third, also of 2 miles at the great rapids 65 miles still lower down. The tide flows up the Columbia 183 miles, and within 7 miles of the great rapids. Large sloops may with safety ascend as high as tide water, and vessels of 300 tons burthen, reach the entrance of the Multhomah river, a large Southern branch of the Co. lumbia, which takes its rise on the confines of New-Mexico, with the Callerado and Apostle's rivers, discharging itself into the Columbia 125 miles from its entrance into the Pacifick Ocean. I consider this track across the continent of immense advantage to the fur trade, as all the furs collected in nine-tenths of the most valuable fur country in America, may be conveyed to the mouth of the Columbia, and shipped from thence to the East-indies by the first of August in each year ; and will of course reach Canton earlier than the furs which are annually exported from Montreal arrive in G. Britain.
In our outward bound voyage, we ascended to the foot of the rapids below the great falls of the Missouri, where we arrived on the 14th of June, 1805. Not having met with any of the natives of the Rocky Mountains, we were of course ignorant of the passes by land, which existed, through those mountains to the Columbia river ; and had we even known the route we were destitute of horses, which would have been indispensibly necessary to enable us to transport the requisite quantity of ammunition and other stores to ensure the remaining part of our voyage down the Columnbia ; we therefore determined to navigate the Missouri, as far as it was practicable, or unless we met with some of the natives from whom we could obtain horses and information of the country. Accordingly we undertook a most laborious portage at the falls of the Missouri, of 18 miles, which we effected with our canoes and baggage by the 3d of July. From hence ascending the Missouri, we penetrated the Rocky Mountains at the distance of 71 miles above the upper part of the portage, and penetrated as far as the three forks of that river, a distance of one hundred and eighty miles further. Here the Missouri divides into nearly equal branches at the same point. The two largest branches are so nearly of the same dignity, that we did not conceive that either of them could with propriety retain the name of the Missouri ; and therefore called these streams Jefferson's, Madison's, and Gallatin's rivers. The confluence of those rivers is 2848 miles from the mouth of the Missouri, by the meanders of that river. We arrived at the three forks of the Missouri the 27th of July. Not having yet been so' fortunate as to meet with the natives, although I had previously made several excursions for that purpose, we were compelled still to continue our route by water.
The most northerly of the three forks, that to which we had given the name of Jefferson's river, was deemed the most proper for our purpose and we accordingly ascended it 248 miles to the upper forks, and its extreme navigable point ; making the total distance to which we had navigated the war ters of the Missouri, 3096 miles, of which 429 lay wichin the Rocky Mountains. On the morning of the 17th of August, 1305, I arrived at the forks of Jefferson's river, where I met captain Lewis, who had previously penetrated with a party of three men, to the waters of the Columbia, discovered a band of the Shoshone nation, and had found means to induce 35 af their chiefs and warriors to accompany him to that place. From these people we learned that the river on which they reside was not navigable, and that a passage through the mountains in that direction was impracticable ; being unwilling to confide in this unfavourable account of the natives, it was concerted between Capt. Lewis and myself, that one of us should go forward inmediately with a small party, anii explore the river, while the other, in the interim would lay up the canoes at that place, and engage the natives with their horses to assist in transporting our stores and baggage to the camp. Accordingly I set out the next day, passed the dividing mountains between the waters of the Missouri and Columbia, and descended the river which I since called the East fork of Lewis's river, about 70 miles. Find..
ing that the Indians' account of the country in the direction of this river was correct, I returned and joined capt. Lewis on the 29th of August at the Shoshone camp, excessively fatigued as you may suppose ; having passed mountains almost inaccessible, and compelled to subsist on berries during the greater part of my route. We now purchased 27 horses of these Indians, and hired a guide, who assured us that he could in 15 days take us to a large river in an open country west of these mountains, by a route some distance to the north of the river on which they lived, and that by which the Datives west of the mountains visit the plains of the Missouri, for the purpose of hunting the buffaloe. Every preparation being made, we sat forward with our guide on the 31st of August through these tremendous mountains, in which we continued until the 22d of September, before we reach the lower country beyond them : on our way we met with the Olelashoot a band of the Tuchapaks, from whom we obtained an aecession of seven horses and exchanged eight or ten others ; this proved of infinite service to us, as we were compelled to subsist on horse beef about eight days before we reached the Kooskooske. During our passage over throse mountains we suffered every thing which hunger, cold, and fatigre could impose.
Nor did our difficulties with respect to provisions cease on our arrival at the Kooskooske, for although the Pallotepallors, a numerous nation inhabiting that country, were extremely hospitable, and for a few trifling arti. cles furnished us with abundance of roots and dried salmon, the food to which they were accustomed ; we found that we could not subsist on these articles, and almost all of us grew sick on eating them ; we were obliged therefore to have recourse to the flesh of horses and dogs as food to supply the deficiency of our guns, which produced but little meat, as game was scarce in the vicinity of our camp on the Kooskooske, where we were com. pelled to remain in order to construct our perogues to descend the river. At this season the salmon are meagre and form but indifferent food. While we remained here I was myself sick for several days, and my friend Capt. Lewis suffered a severe indisposition.
Having completed four perogues and a small canoe, we gave our horses in charge to the Pallottepallors until we returned, and on the 7th of Oct. reembarked for the Pacifick Ocean. We descended by the route I have already mentioned. The water of the river being low at this season, we experienced much difficulty in descending, we found it obstructed by a great number of difficult and dangerous rapids, in passing of which our perogues several times filled, and the men escaped narrowly with their lives. How. ever, this difficulty does not exist in high water, which happens within the period which I have previously mentioned. We found the natives extremely numerous and generally friendly, though we have on several occasions owed our lives and the fate of the expedition to our number, which consist. ed of 34 men. On the 17th of November we reached the ocean, where various considerations induced us to spend the winter; we therefore searched for an eligible situation for that purpose, and selected a spot on the south side of a little river, called by the natives Netul, wrich discharges itself at a small bar on the south side of the Columbia, and 14 miles withia point Adams. Here we constructed some log houses, and defended them with a common stockade work ; this place we called Fort Clatsop, after a nation of that name who were our nearest neighbours. In this country we found an abundance of elk, on which we subsisted principally during the last winter ; we left Fort Clatsop on the 27th of March. On our homeward bound voyage, being much better acquainted with the country we were enabled to take such precautions as in a great ineasure secured us from the want of provisions at any time, and greatly lessened our fatigues, when compared with those to which we were compelled to subinit in our outward bound journey. We have not lost a man since we left the Mandians, it cir. cumstance which I assure you is a pleasing consideration to me. As I shall shortly be with you, and the post is now waiting, I dleen it innecessary bere to attempt minutely to detail the occurrences of the last eighteen months. I am, &c. your affectionate brother,
To the Senate and
House of Representatives, &c. AGREEABLY to the request of the House of Representatives, com municated in their resolution of the 16th inst. I proceed to state under the reserve therein expressed, information received touching an illegal combi: nation of private individuals against the peace and safety of the union, and a military expedition planned by them against the territories of a power in amity with the United States, with the measures I have pursued for suppressing the same.
I had, for some time, been in the constant expectation of receiving such further information as would have enabled me to lay before the legislature the termination, as well as the beginning and progress of this scene of depravity, so far as it has been acted on the Ohio and its waters. From this the state of safety of the lower country might have been estimated on probable grounds, and the delay was indulged the rather, because no circum, stance had yet made it necessary to call in the aid of the legislative functions. Information now recenly communicated, has brought us nearly to the period contemplated. The mass of what I have received in the course of these transactions is voluminous : but little has been given under the sanction of an oath, so as to constitute formal and legal evidence. It is chiefly in the form of letters, often containing such a mixture of rumours, conjectures and suspicions, as render it difficult to sift out the real facts, and unadviseable to hazard more than general outlines, strengthened by. concurrent information, or the particular credibility of the relator. In this state of the evidence, delivered sometimes too under the restriction of private confidence, neither safety nor justice will permit the exposing names, except that of the principal actor, whose guilt is placed beyond question.
Some time in the latter part of September, I received intimations that 'designs were in agitation in the Western country, unlawful and unfriendly to the peace of the union; and that the prime mover in these was Aaron Burr, heretofore distinguished by the favour of his country. The grounds of these intimations being inconclusive, the objects uncertain, and the fi delity of that country known to be firm, the only measure taken was to urge the informants to use their best endeavors to get further insight into the designs and proceedings of the suspected persons, and to communicate them to me.
It was not till the latter part of October that the objects of the conspiracy began to be perceived, but still so blended and involved in mystery, that nothing distinct could be singled out for pursuit. In that state of uncertainty, as to the crime contemplated, the acts done, and the legal course to be pursued, I thought it best, to send to the scene, where these things were principally in transaction, a person in whose integrity, understanding and discretion, entire confidence could be reposed, with instructions to in. vestigate the plots going on, to enter into conference (for which he had sufficient credentials) with the governors, and all other officers, civil and mili. tary, and with their aid, to do on the spot whatever should be necessary to discover the designs of the conspirators, arrest their means, bring their persons to punishment, and to call out the force of the country to suppress any unlawful enterprize, in which it should be found they were engaged. By this time it was l: nown that many boats were under preparation, stores of provisions collecting, and an unusual number of suspicious characters in mo
Appendit. Vol. IV. B