Page images

the honour of the American flag may be consulted, by adequate provisions against that collusive prostitution of it by individuals, unworthy of the American name, which has so much favoured the real or pretended suspicions, under which the honest commerce of their fellow citizens has suffered.

In relation to the powers on the coast of Barbary, nothing has occurred which is not of a nature rather to inspire confidence than distrust, as to the continuance of the existing amity. With our Indian neighbours, the just and benevolent system, continued toward them, has also preserved peace, and is more and more advancing habits favourable to their civilization and happiness. ·

From a statement which will be made by the secretary of war, it will be seen that the fortifications on our maritime frontier are in many of the ports completed; affording the defence which was contemplated, and that a further time will be required to render complete the works in the harbour of New York, and in some other places. By the enlargement of the works, and the employment of a greater number of hands at the publick armories, the supply of small arms, of an improving quality, appears to be annually increasing, at a rate, that with those made on private contract, may be expected to go far towards providing for the publick exigency. • The act of Congress providing for the equipment of our vessels of war having been fully carried into execution, I refer to the statement of the Secretary of the Navy for the information which may be proper on that subject. To that statement is added a view of the transfers of appropriations, authorized by the act of the session preceding the last, and of the grounds on which the transfers were made.

Whatever may be the course of your deliberations on the subject of our military establishments, I should fail in my duty in not recommending to your serious attention the importance of giving to our militia, the great bulwark of our security, and resource of our power, an organization the best adapted to eventual situations for which the United States ought to be prepared.

The sums which had been previously accumulated in the treasury, together with the receipts during the year ending on the 30th of September last (and amounting to more than nine millions of dollars) have enabled us to fulfil all our engagements, and to defray the current expenses of government without recurring to any loan. But the insecurity of our commerce, and the consequent diminution of the publick revenue, will probably produce a deficiency in the receipts of the ensuing year, for which, and for other details, I refer to the statements which will be transmitted from the treasury.

In the state which has been presented of our affairs with the great parties to a disastrous and protracted war, carried on in a mode equally injurious and unjust to the United States as a neutral nation, the wisdom of the national legisiature will be again summoned to the important decision on the alternatives before them. That these will be met in a spirit, worthy the councils of a nation, conscious both of its rectitude and of its rights, and careful as well of its honour as of its peace, I have an entire confidence. And that the result will be stamped by a unanimity becoming the occasion, and be supported by every portion of our citizens, with a patriotism enlightened and invigorated by experience, ought as little to be doubted.

In the midst of the wrongs and vexations experienced from external causes, there is much room for congratulation on the prosperity and happiness flowing from our situation at home. The blessing of health has never been more universal. The fruits of the seasons, though in particular articles and districts short of their usual redundancy, are more than sufficient for our wants and our comforts. The face of our country every where presents the evidence of laudable enterprise, of extensive capital, and of durable improvement. In a cultivation of the materials, and the extension of useful manufactures, more especially, in the general application to household fabricks, we behold a rapid diminution of our dependence on foreign supplies. Nor is it unworthy of reflection, that this revolution in our pursuits and habits is in no slight degree a consequence of those impolitick and arbitrary edicts, by which the contending nations, in endeavouring each of them to obstruct our trade with the other, have so far abridged our means of procuring the productions and manufactures, of which our own are now taking the place.

Recollecting always, that for every advantage which may contribute to distinguish our lot, from that to which others are doomed by the unhappy spirit of the times, we are indebted to that Divine Providence whose goodness has been so remarkably extended to this rising nation, it becomes us to cherish'a devout gratitude, and to implore from the same omnipotent source a blessing on the consultations and measures about to be undertaken for the welfare of our beloved country.




29, 1809.


Treasury Department, August 9, 1809. : Sir-You will herewith receive the copy of a proclamation of the President of the United States, announcing that certain British orders in council were not withdrawn on the 10th day of June last, and consequently that the trade renewable, on the event of the said orders being withdrawn, is to be considered as under the operation of the several acts by which such trade was suspended.

The act“ to amend and continue in force certain parts of the act entitled “ An act to interdict the commercial intercourse between the United States and Great Britain and France and their dependencies, and for other purposes," passed on the 28th day of June, is therefore in every respect applicable to Great Britain and her dependencies, as well as to France and her dependencies; any thing in my circular of 29th June last, to the contrary notwithstanding.

It results that from the receipt of this, you must in every instance, except as herein after expressed, refuse clear

ances for British ports, requiring, as usual, bonds from all vessels bound to permitted ports, in the manner provided by the third section of the act above mentioned. But as many British vessels have or may come into the ports of the United States in consequence of the President's proclamation of the 19th of April last, he directs that you will permit such British. vessels to depart without giving bond, either in ballast, or with the cargo on board when notified of the enclosed proclamation : it being however understood that this indulgence shall not be extended to any other vessels than such as are now in the ports of the United States, or such as may hereafter arrive, having sailed from a foreign port before information of the enclosed proclamation shall have been received at such port.

The President also directs, that until a decision from Congress on that unexpected point shall have been obtained, or until otherwise instructed, seizures or prosecutions for supposed contraventions of either the above mentioned act or of the non-intercourse act of 1st March last, arising from acts which would, in conformity with his proclamation of the 19th of April last, have been considered as lawful, shall be suspended in the following cases, viz.

1. All vessels which have entered a British port since the 10th of June last, or which may hereafter enter such port, having sailed for the same, before information of the enclosed proclamation had been received at the port of departure ; so far as relates to any forfeiture or penalty which may accrue or have accrued by reason of their having thus entered a British port.

2. All vessels which have arrived, either from British ports or with British merchandise in the United States subsequent to the 10th of June last; and also all vessels which may hereafter thus arrive, having sailed for the United States, before information of the enclosed proclamation shall have been received at the port of departure; so far as relates to any forfeiture or penalty accruing from having arrived or arriving in the United States from British ports or with British merchandise.

3. All vessels now owned by citizens of the United States, and sailing under the American flag, which, being in a foreign port at the time when the enclosed proclamation will be made known at such port, shall with all due diligence depart therefrom, and return without delay to

the United States « so far as relates to any forfeiture or penalty accruing from their arriving in the United States from British ports, or with British merchandise.

In the above mentioned cases of vessels arriving in the United States, and which are for the present exempted from seizure, the vessels and cargoes may be admitted to entry.

The time when the enclosed proclamation shall have been known at the ports of departure respectively, must be as. certained by the best means in your power; and you may refer doubtful cases to this department.

Application may of course still be made in all cases for an absolute remission of the forfeitures and penalties in the manner provided for by law; the instruction herein given to abstain from prosecutions and seizures in the above mentioned cases, being only intended to prevent the expenses and inconvenience to which the parties concerned would otherwise be exposed.

I am, đc,

ALBERT GALLATIN. The Collector of

By the President of the United States of America,

A PROCLAMATION. Whereas in consequence of a communication from his Britannick majesty's envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary, declaring that the British orders in council of January and November, 1807, would have been withdrawn on the tenth day of June last; and by virtue of authority given, in such event, by the 11th section of the act of Congress, entitled "An act to interdict the commercial intercourse between the United States and Great Britain and France and their dependencies, and for other purposes," I, JAMES MADISON, President of the United States, did issue my proclamation bearing date on the 19th of April last, declaring that the orders in council aforesaid would have been so withdrawn on the said tenth day of June, after which the trade suspended by certain acts of Congress might be renewed ; and whereas it is now offi, cially made known to me that the said orders in council have not been withdrawn agreeably to the communication



« PreviousContinue »