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of Congress, for the civil construc. tions upon thirty-seven different public works commenced, eight others for which specific appropria. tions 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 Chesapeake, the 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 application of its resources to the improvement of its own condition.

Of these great national undertakings, the Academy at West 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 compe. tent portion of her youth, chiefly to the knowledge and 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 labours,

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 bene. factions 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 belligerent acts of power and the rights of neutral commerce occurred. 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 conflict of wars 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, dis. cover how far we have been invol ved. In these, the honour of our country and the rights of our citizens have been asserted and vindi. cated. The appearance of new squadrons in the Mediteranean, and the blockade of the Darda.

nelles, indicate the danger of other obstacles to the freedom of com. merce, and the necessity of keep. ing our naval force in those seas. To the suggestions repeated in the report of the Secretary of the Na. vy, and tending to the permanent improvement of this institution, I invite the favourable 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, harbours, 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 third March, 1827, for the gra dual 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 dis. tinct provision, looking to the great object of the whole, the gradual improvement of the navy. Under its salutary sanction, 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 fu ture 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 ascer tain the practicability and expediency of a marine railway at Pensacola, though not yet accomplished, have heen 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, Philadel. phia, 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 duties has been performed with more intimate conviction of its importance to the future welfare and security of the Union.

With the report of the Postmas. ter 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, from sixty-seven thousand dollars, which, 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 fortytwo, 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 depart ment during the year which ended on the first of July last, have exceeded the receipts by a sum of about twenty-five thousand dollars. The excess has been occasioned by the increase of mail conveyan. ces 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 Postmaster 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 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 comformably 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 un. der the convention of 13th November, 1826, closed their labours on the 30th of August last, by awarding 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 rateably 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. 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 fourth of July next, will claim the consideration of Con.

gress, 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 in trusted.

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 com. menced was the first Monday 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 inconveniencies were experienced from the delay of legis. lation to so late a period. That law, like those of the preceding enumerations, directed that the census should be taken by the mar. shals of the several districts and territories, under instructions from the secretary of state. The preparation and transmission to the marshals of those instructions, required more time than was then allowed be. tween 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 commence the enumeration from an earlier period of the year than the first of August. The most favourable season would be the Spring. On a review o the former enumerations, it will be found that the plan for taking every census has contained improvements upon that of its predecessor. The last is still susceptible of much improvement. The third census was the first of which any account was taken of the manufactures of the country. It was repeated at the last enumeration, but the returns in both cases were necessarily very imperfect. They must always be so, resting of course only on the communications voluntarily made by individuals 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 effec. tive. 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 those columns, in intervals of ten years, to the utmost boundaries of human life. The labour of taking them would be a trifling addition to that already prescribed, and the result would exhibit comparative tables of longevity highly interesting to the country. I deem it my duty further to observe, that much of the imperfections in the returns of the last, and perhaps the preceding enumerations, proceeded from the inadequateness of the compensation al. lowed to the marshals and their assistants in taking them.

In closing this communication, it only remains for me to assure the legislature of my continued earnest

wish for the adoption of measures recommended by me heretofore, and yet to be ac ed on by them; and of the cordial concurence on my part in every constitutional pro

vision which may receive their sanction during the session, tending to the general welfare.

Washington, December 2, 1828.



To RICHARD C. ANDERSON and JOHN SERGEANT, Esqs. appointed Envoys Extraordinary and Ministers Plenipotentiary of the United States to the Congress at Panama.

Department of State, Washington, 8th May, 1826. GENTLEMEN: The relations in which the United States stand to the other American powers, and the duties, interests, and sympa. thies, which belong to those relations, have determined the president to accept an invitation which has been given by the republics of Colombia, Mexico and Central America, to the United States, to send representatives to the congress at Panama. He could not, indeed, have declined an invitation proceeding from sources so highly respectable, and communicated in the most delicate and respectful man. ner, without subjecting the United States to the reproach of insensibility to the deepest concerns of the American hemisphere, and, perhaps, to a want of sincerity in most important declarations, solemnly made by his predecessor, in the face of the Old and the New World. In yielding, therefore, to the friendly wishes of those three republics, communicated in the notes of their respective ministers, at Washington, of which copies are herewith, the United States act in perfect

consistency with all their previous conduct and professions, in respect to the New American States. The assembling of a congress at Panama, composed of diplomatic representatives from independent American nations, will form a new epoch in human affairs. The fact itself, whatever may be the issue of the conferences of such a congress, cannot fail to challenge the attention of the present generation of the civilized world, and to command that of posterity. But the hope is confidently indulged, that it will have other and stronger claims upon the regard of mankind, than any which arise out of the mere circumstance of its novelty; and that it will entitle itself to the affection and lasting gratitude of all America, by the wisdom and liberality of its principles, and by the new guaranties it may create for the great interests which will engage its deliberations. On an occasion so highly important and responsible, the president has been desirous that the representation from the United States should be composed of distinguished citizens. Confiding in your zeal, ability, and patriotism, by and with the advice

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