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from our squadron was daily expected, Colonel Lear thought it the best moment to listen to overtures of peace then made by the bashaw. He did so, and while urging provisions for the United States, he paid attention also to the interests of Hamet; but was able to effect nothing more than to engage the restitution of his family, and even the perserving in this demand suspended for some time the conclusion of the treaty.
In operations at such a distance, it becomes necessary to leave much to the discretion of the agents employed, but events may still turn up beyond the limits of that discretion. Unable in such case to consult his government, a zealous citizen will act as he believes that would direct him were it apprized of the circumstances, and will take on himself the responsibility. In all these cases the purity and patriotism of the motives should shield the agent from blame, and even secure a sanction where the error is not too injurious. Should it be thought by any that the verbal instructions said to have been given by Commodore Barron to Mr. Eaton amount to a stipulation that the United States should place Hamet Caramalli on the throne of Tripoli, a stipulation so entirely unauthorized, so far beyond our views, and so onerous, could not be sanctioned by our government; or should Hamet Caramalli, contrary to the evidence of his letters of January 3d and June 29th, be thought to have left the position which he now seems to regret, under a mistaken expectation that we were at all events to place him on his throne, on an appeal to the liberality of the nation something equivalent to the replacing him in his former situation might be worthy its consideration.
A nation, by establishing a character of liberality and magnanimity, gains in the friendship and respect of others more than the worth of mere money. This appeal is now made by Hamet Caramalli to the United States. The ground he has taken being different not only from our views but from those expressed by himself on former occasions, Mr. Eaton was desired to state whether
any verbal communications passed from him to Hamet which had varied what we saw in writing. His answer of December 5th is herewith transmitted, and has rendered it still more necessary, that in presenting to the legislature the application of Hamet I should present them at the same time an exact statement of the views and proceedings of the executive through this whole business, that they may clearly understand the ground on which we are placed. It is accompanied by all the papers which bear any relation to the principles of the co-operation, and which can inform their judg. ment in deciding on the application of Hamet Caramalli.
JANUARY 17, 1806.
In my message to both Houses of Congress at the opening of their present session, I submitted to their attention, among other subjects, the oppres. sion of our commerce and navigation by the irregular practices of armed vessels, public and private, and by the introduction of new principles, derogatory of the rights of neutrals and unacknowledged by the usage of nations.
The memorials of several bodies of merchants of the United States are now communicated, and will develop these principles and practices which are producing the most ruinous effects on our lawful commerce and navigation.
The rights of a neutral to carry on a commercial intercourse with every part of the dominions of a belligerent, permitted by the laws of the country, (with the exception of blockaded ports and contraband of war,) was believed to have been decided between Great Britain and the United States by the sentence of the commissioners mutually appointed to decide on that and other questions of difference between the two nations, and by the actual payment of damages awarded by them against Great Britain for the infractions of that right. When, therefore, it was perceived that the same principle was revived with others more novel, and extending the injury, instructions were given to the minister plenipotentiary of the United States at the court of London, and remonstrances duly made by him on this subject, as will appear by documents transmitted herewith. These were followed by a partial and temporary suspension only, without any disavowal of the principle. He has therefore been instructed to urge this subject anew, to bring it more fully to the bar of reason, and to insist on rights too evident and too important to be surrendered. In the mean time the evil is proceeding under adjudications founded on the principle which is denied. Under these circumstances the subject presents itself for the consideration of Congress.
On the impressment of our seamen our remonstrances have never been intermitted A hope existed at one moment of an arrangement which might have been submitted to, but it soon passed away, and the practice, though relaxed at times in the distant seas, has been constantly pursued in those in our neighborhood. The grounds on which the reclamations on this subject have been urged will appear in an extract from instructions to our minister at London now communicated.
March 20, 1806.
It was reasonably expected, that while the limits between the territories of the United States and of Spain were unsettled neither party would have innovated on the existing state of their respective positions. Some time since, however, we learnt that the Spanish authorities were advancing into the disputed country to occupy new posts and make new settlements. Unwilling to take any measures which might preclude a peaceable accommodation of differences, the officers of the United States were ordered to confine themselves within the country on this side of the Sabine river; which, by the delivery of its principal post, (Natchitoches,) was understood to have been itself delivered up by Spain; and at the same time to permit no adverse post to be taken, nor armed men to remain within it. In consequence of these orders, the commanding officer of Natchitoches, learning that a party of Spanish troops had crossed the Sabine river and were posting themselves on this side of the Adais, sent a detachment of his force to require them to withdraw to the other side of the Sabine, which they accordingly did.
I have thought it proper to communicate to Congress the letter detailing this incident, that they may fully understand the state of things in that quarter, and be enabled to make such provision for its security as in their wisdom they shall deem sufficient.
SIXTH ANNUAL MESSAGE.
DECEMBER 2, 1806.
IT uld have given me, fellow citizens, great satisfaction to announce in the moment of your meeting that the difficulties in our foreign relations, existing at the time of your last separation, had been amicably and justly terminated. I lost no time in taking those measures which were most likely to bring them to such a termination, by special missions charged with such powers and instructions as in the event of failure could leave no imputation on either our moderation or forbearance. The delays which have since laken place in our negotiations with the British government appear to have proceeded from causes which do not forbid the expectation that during the course of the session I may be enabled to lay before you their final issue. What will be that of the negotiations for settling our differences with Spain, nothing which had taken place at the date of the last despatches enables us to pronounce. On the western side of the Mississippi she advanced in considerable force, and took post at the settlement of Bayou Pierre, on the Red river. This village was originally settled by France, was held by her as long as she held Louisiana, and was delivered to Spain only as a part of Louisiana. Being small, insulated, and distant, it was not observed, at the moment of the redelivery to France and the United States, that she continued a guard of half a dozen men. A proposition had been lately made by our commander-in-chief, to assume the Sabine river as a temporary line of separation between the troops of the two nations until the issue of our negotiation shall be known; this has been referred by the Spanish commandant to his superior, and in the meantime he has withdrain his force to the western side of the Sabine river. The correspondence on this subject, now communicated, will exhibit more particularly the present state of things in that quarter.
The nature of that country requires indispensably that an unusual proportion of the force employed there should be cavalry or mounted infantry. In order, therefore, that the commanding officer might be enabled to act with effect, I had authorized him to call on the governors of Orleans and Mississippi for a corps of five hundred volunteer cavalry. The temporary arrangement he has proposed may perhaps render this unnecessary. But I inform you with great pleasure of the promptitude with which the inhabitants of those territories have tendered their services in defence of their country. It has done honor to themselves, entitled them to the confidence of their fellow citizens in every part of the Union, and must strengthen the general determination to protect them efficaciously under all circumstances which may occur.
Having received information that in another part of the United States a great number of private individuals were combining together, arming and organizing themselves contrary to law, to carry on military expeditions against the territories of Spain, I thought it necessary, by proclamations as well as by special orders, to take measures for preventing and suppressing this enterprise, for seizing the vessels, arms, and other means provided for it
, and for arresting and bringing to justice its authors and abettors. due to that good faith which ought ever to be the rule of action in public as well as in private transactions; it was due to good order and regular
government, that while the public force was acting strictly on the defensive and merely to protect our citizens from aggression, the criminal attempts of private individuals to decide for their country the question of peace or war, by commencing active and unauthorized hostilities, should be promptly and efficaciously suppressed.
Whether it will be necessary to enlarge our regular force will depend on the result of our negotiation with Spain; but as it is uncertain when that result will be known, the provisional measures requisite for that, and to meet any pressure intervening in that quarter, will be a subject for your early consideration
The possession of both banks of the Mississippi reducing to a single point the defence of that river, its waters, and the country adjacent, it becomes highly necesssary to provide for that point a more adequate security. Some position above its mouth, commanding the passage of the river, should be rendered sufficiently strong to cover the armed vessels which may be stationed there for defence, and in conjunction with them to present an insuperable obstacle to any force attempting to pass. The approaches to the city of New Orleans, from the eastern quarter also, will require to be examined, and more effectually guarded. For the internal support of the country, the encouragement of a strong settlement on the western side of the Mississippi, within reach of New Orleans, will be worthy the consideration of the legislature.
The gun-boats authorized by an act of the last session are so advanced that they will be ready for service in the ensuing spring. Circumstances permitted us to allow the time necessary for their more solid construction. As a much larger number will still be wanting to place our seaport towns and waters in that state of defence to which we are competent and they entitled, a similar appropriation for a farther provision for them is recommended for the ensuing year.
A farther appropriation will also be necessary for repairing fortifications already established, and the erection of such works as may have real effect in obstructing the approach of an enemy to our seaport towns, or their remaining before them.
In a country whose constititution is derived from the will of the people, directly expressed by their free suffrages; where the principal executive functionaries, and those of the legislature, are renewed by them at short periods; where, under the characters of jurors
, they exercise in person the greatest portion of the judiciary powers; where the laws are consequently so formed and administered as to bear with equal weight and favor on all, restraining no man in the pursuits of honest industry, and securing to every one the
property which that acquires, it would not be supposed that any safeguards could be needed against insurrection or enterprise on the public peace or authority. The laws, however, aware that these should not be trusted to moral restraints only, have wisely provided punishments for these crimes when committed. But would it not be salutary to give also the means of preventing their commission? Where an enterprise is meditated by private individuals against a foreign nation in amity with the United States, powers of prevention to a certain extent are given by the laws; would they not be as reasonable and useful where the enterprise preparing is against the United States? While adverting to this branch of the law, it is proper to observe, that in enterprises meditated against foreign nations, the ordinary process of binding to the observance of the peace and good behavior, could it be
extended to acts to be done out of the jurisdiction of the United States, would be effectual in some cases where the offender is able to keep out of sight every indication of his purpose which could draw on him the exercise of the powers now given by law.
The states on the coast of Barbary seem generally disposed at present to respect our peace and friendship; with Tunis alone some uncertainty remains. Persuaded that it is our interest to maintain our peace with them on equal terms, or not at all, I propose to send in due time a reinforcement into the Mediterranean, unless previous information shall show it to be unnecessary
We continue to receive proofs of the growing attachment of our Indian neighbors, and of their disposition to place all their interests under the patronage of the United States. These dispositions are inspired by their confidence in our justice, and in the sincere concern we feel for their welfare; and as long as we discharge these high and honorable functions with the integrity and good faith which alone can entitle us to their continuance, we may expect to reap the just reward in their
peace and friendship: The expedition of Messrs. Lewis and Clarke, for exploring the river Missouri and the best communication from that to the Pacific ocean, has had all the success which could have been expected. They have traced the Missouri nearly to its source, descended the Columbia to the Pacific ocean, ascertained with accuracy the geography of that interesting communication across our contineni, learnt the character of the country, of its commerce, and in habitants; and it is but justice to say, that Messrs. Lewis and Clarke, and their brave companions, have by this arduous service deserved well of their country
The attempt to explore the Red river, under the direction of Mr. Freeman, though conducted with a zeal and prudence meriting entire approbation, has not been equally successful. After proceeding up it about six hundred miles, nearly as far as the French settlements had extended while the country was in their possession, our geographers were obliged to return without completing their work.
Very useful additions have also been made to our knowledge of the Mis sissippi by Lieutenant Pike, who has ascended it to its source, and whose journal and map, giving the details of his journey, will shortly be ready for communication to both Houses of Congress. Those of Messrs. Lewis and Clarke, and Freeman, will require farther time to be digested and prepared These important surveys, in addition to those before possessed, furnish materials for commencing an accurate map of the Mississippi and its western waters. Some principal rivers, however, remain still to be explored, towards which the authorization of Congress, by moderate appropriations, will be requisite.
I congratulate you, fellow citizens, on the approach of the period at which you may interpose your authority constitutionally, to withdraw the citizens of the United States from all farther participation in those violations of human rights which have been so long continued on the unoffending inhabitants of Africa, and which the morality, the reputation, and the best interests of our country, have long been eager to proscribe. Although no law you may pass can take prohibitory effect till the first day of the year one thousand eight hundred and eight, yet the intervening period is not too long to prevent, by timely notice, expeditions which cannot be completed before that day.
The receipts at the treasury during the year ending on the 30th day of