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The report exhibits in one table the funds appropriated at the last and preceding sessions of Congress, for all these fortifications, surveys, and works of public improvement; the manner in which these funds have been applied, the amount expended upon the several works under construction, and the further sums which
be necessary to complete them. In a second, the works projected by the Board of Engineers, which have not been commenced, and the estimate of their cost. In a third, the report of the annual Board of Visiters at the Military Academy at West Point.
For thirteen fortifications erecting on various points of our Atlantic coast, from Rhode Island to Louisiana, the aggregate expenditure of the year has fallen a little short of one million of dollars.
For the preparation of five additional reports of reconnoisances and surveys since the last session of Congress, for the civil constructions upon thirty-seven different public works commenced, eight others for which specific appropriations have been made by acts of Congress, and twenty other incipient surveys under the authority given by the act of 30th April, 1824, about one million more of dollars have been drawn from the Treasury.
To these two millions of dollars are to be added the appropriation of 250,000 dollars, to commence the erection of a breakwater near the mouth of the Delaware river; the subscriptions to the Delaware and Chesapeakethe Louisville and Portland,—the Dismal Swamp,—and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canals; the large donations of lands to the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Alabama, for objects of improvements within those States, and the sums appropriated for light-houses, buoys, and piers, on the coast, and a full view will be taken of the munificence of the nation in the application of its resources to the improvement of its own condition.
Of these great national undertakings, the Academy at West Point is among the most important in itself, and the most comprehensive in its consequences. In that institution, a part of the revenue of the nation is applied to defray the expense of educating a competent portion of her youth, chiefly to the knowledge and the duties of military life. It is the living armory of the nation. While the other works of improvement, enumerated in the reports now presented to the attention of Congress, are destined to ameliorate the face of nature; to multiply the facilities of communication between the different parts of the Union; to assist the labors, increase the comforts, and enhance the enjoyments of individuals—the instruction acquired at West Point enlarges the dominion and expands the capacities of the mind. Its beneficial results are already experienced in the composition of the army, and their influence is felt in the intellectual progress of society. The institution is susceptible still of great improvement from benefactions proposed by several successive Boards of Visiters, to whose earnest and repeated recommendations I cheerfully add my own.
With the usual annual reports from the Secretary of the Navy and the Board of Commissioners, will be exhibited to the view of Congress the execution of the laws relating to that Department of the public service. The repression of piracy in the West Indian and in the Grecian seas, has been effectually maintained, with scarcely any exception. During the war between the governments of Buenos Ayres and of Brazil, frequent collisions between the belligerent acts of power and the rights of neutral commerce, oceurred. Licentious blockades, irregularly enlisted or impressed seamen, and the property of honest commerce seized with violence, and even plundered under legal pretences, are disorders never separable from the conflicts of war
upon the ocean. With a portion of them, the correspondence of our commanders on the eastern aspect of the South American coast, and among the islands of Greece, discover how far we have been involved. In these the honor of our country and the rights of our citizens have been asserted and vindicated. The
The appearance of new squadrons in the Mediterranean, and the blockade of the Dardanelles, indicate the danger of other obstacles to the freedom of commerce, and the necessity of keeping our Naval force in those seas. To the suggestions repeated in the report of the Secretary of the Navy, and tending to the permanent improvement of this institution, I invite the favorable consideration of Congress.
A resolution of the House of Representatives requesting that one of our small public vessels should be sent to the Pacific Ocean and South Sea, to examine the coasts, islands, harbors, shoals, and reefs in those Seas, and to ascertain their true situation and description, has been put in a train of execution. The vessel is nearly ready to depart: the successful accomplishment of the expedition may be greatly facilitated by suitable legislative provisions; and particularly by an appropriation to defray its necessary expense.
The addition of a second, and perhaps a third vessel, with a slight aggravation of the cost, would contribute much to the safety of the citizens embarked on this undertaking, the results of which may be of the deepest interest to our country.
With the report of the Secretary of the Navy, will be submitted, in conformity to the act of Congress of 3d March, 1827, for the gradual improvement of the Navy of the United States, statements of the expenditures under that act, and of the measures taken for carrying the same into effect. Every section of that statute contains a distinct provision, looking to the great object of the whole, the gradual improvement of the Navy. Under its salutary sanctions, stores of ship timber have been procured, and are in process of seasoning and preservation for the future uses of the Navy. Arrangements have been made for the preservation of the live oak timber growing on the lands of the United States, and for its reproduction, to supply, at future and distant days, the waste of that most valuable material for ship building, by the great consumption of it yearly for the commercial as well as for the military marine of our country. The construction of the two Dry Docks at Charlestown and at Norfolk, is making satisfactory progress towards a durable establishment. The examinations and inquiries to ascertain the practicability and expediency of a Marine Railway at Pensacola, though not yet accomplished, have been postponed but to be more effectually made. The Navy Yards of the United States have been examined, and plans for their improvement, and the preservation of the public property therein, at Portsmouth, Charlestown, Philadelphia, Washington, and Gosport, and to which two others are to be added, have been prepared, and received my sanction; and no other portion of my public duties has been performed with a more intimate conviction of its importance to the future welfare and security of the Union.
With the report from the Postmaster General, is exhibited a comparative view of the gradual increase of that establishment, from five to five years, since 1792 till this time, in the number of Post Offices, which has grown from less than two hundred to nearly eight thousand; in the revenue yielded by them, which, from sixty-seven thousand dollars, has swollen to upwards of a million and a half; and in the number of miles of Post Roads, which, from five thousand six hundred and forty-two, have multiplied to one hundred and fourteen thousand five hundred and thirty-six. While, in the same period of time, the population of the Union has about thrice doubled, the rate of increase of these offices is nearly forty, and of the revenue, and of travelled miles, from twenty to twenty-five for one. The increase of revenue, within the last five years, has been nearly equal to the whole revenue of the Department in 1812.
The expenditures of the Department, during the year which ended on the first of July last, have exceeded the receipts by a sum of about twentyfive thousand dollars. The excess has been occasioned by the increase of mail conveyances and facilities, to the extent of near eight hundred thousand miles. It has been supplied by collections from the Postmasters of the arrearages of preceding years. While the correct principle seems to be, that the income levied by the Department should defray all its expenses, it has never been the policy of this government to raise from this establishment any revenue to be applied to any other purposes. The suggestion of the Postmister General, that the insurance of the safe transmission of moneys by the mail might be assumed by the Department, for a moderate and competent remuneration, will deserve the consideration of Congress.
A report from the Commissioner of the Public Buildings in this City, exhibits the expenditures upon them in the course of the current year.
It will be seen that the humane and benevolent intentions of Congress, in providing, by the act of 20th May, 1826, for the erection of a Penitentiary in this District, have been accomplished. The authority of further legislation is now required for the removal to this tenement of the offenders against the laws, sentenced to atone by personal confinement for their crimes, and to provide a code for their employment and government while thus confined.
The Commissioners appointed conformably to the act of 2d March, 1827, to provide for the adjustment of claims of persons entitled to indemnification under the first article of the treaty of Ghent, and for the distribution among such claimants of the sum paid by the government of Great Britain under the convention of 13th November, 1826, closed their labors on the 30th of August last, by awarding to the claimants the sum of one million one hundred and ninety-seven thousand four hundred and twenty-two dollars and eighteen cents; leaving a balance of seven thousand five hundred and thirtyseven dollars and eighty-two cents, which was distributed ratably amongst all the claimants to whom awards had been made, according to the directions of the act.
The exhibits appended to the report from the Commissioner of the General Land Office, present the actual condition of that common property of the Union. The amount paid into the Treasury from the proceeds of lands, during the year 1827, and the first half of 1828, falls little short of two millions of dollars. The propriety of further extending the time for the extinguishment of the debt due to the United States by the purchasers of the public lands, limited by the act of 21st March last, to the 4th of July next, will claim the consideration of Congress, to whose vigilance and careful attention the regulation, disposal, and preservation of this great national inheritance, has, by the people of the United States, been intrusted.
Among the important subjects to which the attention of the present Congress has already been invited, and which may occupy their further and deliberate discussion, will be the provision to be made for taking the fifth census, or enumeration of the inhabitants of the United States. The Constitution of the United States requires that this enumeration should be made
within every term of ten years, and the date from which the last enumeration commenced was the first vionday of August of the year 1820. The laws under which the former enumerations were taken, were enacted at the session of Congress immediately preceding the operation. But considerable inconveniences were experienced from the delay of legislation to so late a period. Thai law, like those of the preceding enumerations, directed that the census should be taken by the Marshals of the several Districts and Territories, of the Union, under instructions from the Secretary of State. The preparation and transmission to the Marshals of those instructions, required more time than was then allowed between the passage of the law and the day when the enumeration was to commence. The term of six months, limited for the returns of the Marshals, was also found, even then, too short; and must be more so now, when an additional population of at least three millions must be presented upon the returns.
As they are to be made at the short session of Congress, it would, as well as from other considerations, be more convenient to coinmence the enumeration from an earlier period of the year than the first of August. The most favorable season would be the spring. On a review of the former enumerations, it will be found that the plan for taking every census has contained many improvements upon thuit of iis predecessor. The last is still susceptible of much improvemeni. The third census was the first at which any account wis taken of the manufictures of the country. It was repeated at the last enumeration, but the returns in both cases were necess.rily very imperfect. They must always be so; i esting of course only upon the communications voluntarily made by individua s interested in some of the manufacturing establishments. Yet they contained much valuable information, and may, by some supplementary provision of the law, be rendered more effective. The columns of age, commencing from infancy, have hitherto been confined to a few periods, all under the number of 45 years. Important knowledge would be obtained by extending these columns, in intervals of ten years, to the utmost boundaries of human life. The labor of taking them would be a trifling audition to that already preseribed, and the result would exhibit coniparative tables of longevity, highly interestiag to the country. I deem it my duty further to observe, that much of the imperfections in the returns of the last, and perhaps of preceding enumerations, proceeded from the inadequateness of the compensations allowed to the Marshals and their assistants in taking them.
In closing this communication, it only remains for me to assure the Legislature of
continued earnest wish for the adoption of measures recommended by me heretofore, and yet to be acted on by them; and of the cordial concurrence on my part, in every constitutional provision which may receive their sanction during the session, tending to the general welfare.
JOIIN QUINCY ADAMS. WASHINGTON, December 2, 1828. The message was read; and,
On motion by Mr. Ruggles, Ordered, That three thousand copies of the message, and fifteen hundred copies of the documents accompanying it, be printed for the use of the Senate.
On motion by Mr. Kane, and by unanimous consent, Resolved, That the Secretary be instructed to cause the members of the Senate to be furnished with such newspapers as they may respectively direct: Provided, That the expense for each member, during the present session, does not exceed the price of three daily papers.
On motion by Mr. Foot, Ordered, That, until otherwise directed, the hour for the daily meeting of the Senate, be 12 o'clock.
The Senate then adjourned.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 3, 1828.
The President communicated a letter from the Secretary of the Senate, enclosing statements showing the names and compensations of the Clerks, and Messenger employed in his Office, and of the Messengers in the employment of the Senate, and the amount of the contingent expenses of the Senate during the last session. The letter was read; and
Ordered, That it be printed.
The President communicated a letter from the Commissioner of the General Land Office, transmitting a copy of the report of the Register and Receiver of the Land Office at Washington, Mississippi, on the claims to land of John F. Carmichael; and
Ordered, That it be printed.
Resolved, That the Senate will, on to-morrow, proceed to the appointment of the Standing Committees of this House.
On motion by Mr. King, Ordered, That it lie on the table. A message from the House of Representatives, by Clarke, their Clerk:
Mr. President: The House of Representatives have passed a resolution for the appointment of two Chaplains to Congress, to serve during the present session; in which they request the concurrence of the Senate. The said resolution was read; and,
On motion by Mr. Noble,
Ordered, That the Secretary notify that the Secretary notify the House of Representatives accordingly.
The Senate then adjourned.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 4, 1828.
The Honorable William Smith, from the State of South Carolina, attended.
On motion by Mr. Chandler, Ordered, That William Otis have leave to withdraw his petition and papers, presented at the last session.
Agreeably to notice given, Mr. Noble asked and obtained leave, to bring in a bill for the continuation of the Cumberland road; which was read; and
Ordered, That it pass to a second reading.
Mr. Woodbury presented the petition of Benjamin Connor, praying for an alteration in the mode of surveying the public lands; and,
On motion by Mr. Woodbury, Ordered, That it lie on the table.
On motion by Mr. Noble, That the Senate resume the consideration of the motion submitted by him yesterday, to fix a day for the appointment of the Standing Committees;
It was determined in the negative: Yeas, 11; Nays, 22.