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21st Cong. 1st Sess.]
Message of the President, at the Opening of the Session.
(SEN. AND H. OF REPs.
ernment of limited and specific, and not general powers, an accounting officer of the Treasury, not selected with a must be admitted by all; and it is our duty to preserve view to bis legal knowledge, and encumbered as be is for it the character intended by its framers. If experi- with pumerous other duties, operates unfavorably to the ence points out the necessity for an enlargement of these public interest. powers, let us apply for it to those for whose benefit it is
It is important that this branch of the public service to be exercised; and not undermine the whole system should be subjected to the supervision of such professionby a resort to overstrained constructions. The scheme al skill as will give it efficiency. The expense attendant has worked well. It has exceeded the hopes of those upon such a modification of the Executive Department who devised it, and become an object of admiration to would be justified by the soundest principles of economy. the world. We are responsible to our country, and to I would recommend, therefore, that the duties now as. the glorious cause of self-government, for the preserva- sigued to the Agent of the Treasury, so far as they retion of so great a good. The great mass of legislation late to the superintendence and management of legal prorelating to our internal affairs, was intended to be left ceedings, on the part of the United States, be transferred where the Federal convention found it in the State to the Attorney General, and that this officer be placed on Governments. Nothing is clearer, in my view, than that the same footing, in all respects, as the Heads of the other we are chiefly indebted for the success of the Constitu- Departments receiving like compensation, and having tion under which we are now acting, to the watchful and such subordinate officers provided for bis Department as auxiliary operation of the State authorities. This is not may be requisite for the discharge of these additional duthe reflection of a day, but belougs to the most deeply ties. The professional skill of the Attorney General, emrooted convictions of my mind. I cannot, therefore, too ployed in directing the conduct of Marsbals and District strongly or too earnestly, for my own sense of its import- Attorneys, would hasten the collection of debts now in ance, warn you against all encroachments upou the legiti- buit, and, hereafter, save much to the Government. It mate sphere of State sovereignty. Sustained by its health might be further extended to the superintendence of all ful and invigorating influence, the Federal system cau dever criminal proceedings for offences against the United fall.
States. In making this transfer, great care should be taIn the collection of the revenue, the long credits au- ken, bowever, that the puwer necessary to the Treasury thorized on goods imported from beyond the Cape of Department be not impaired: one of its greatest securiGood Hope, are the chief cause of the losses at present ties consisting in a control over all accounts, until they sustained. If these were shortened to six, nine, and are audited or reported for suit. twelve months, and warehouses provided by Govern In connexion with the foregoing views, I would sugo ment, sufficient to receive the goods offered in deposite for gest, also, an inquiry, whether the provisions of the act security, and for debenture; and if the right of the United of Congress authorizing the discharge of the persons of States to a priority of payment out of the estates of its debtors to the Government, from imprisonment, may not, insolvent debtors were more effectually secured, this evil consistently with the public interest, be extended to the would, in a great measure, be obviated. An authority to release of the debt, where the conduct of the debtor is construct such houses in, therefore, with the proposed wholly exempt froin the imputation of fraud. Some more alteration of the credits, recommended to your atten- liberal policy than that which now prevails, iv reference tion.
to this unfortunate class of citizens, is certainly due to It is worthy of notice that the laws for the collection and them, and would prove beneficial to the country. The Becurity of the revenue arising from im posts, were chiefly continuance of the liability, after the means to discharge framed when the rates of duties on imported goods pre- it bave been exhausted, can only serve to dispirit the septed much less temptation for illicit trade than at pre- debtor ; or, where his resources are but partial, the want sent exists. There is reason to believe that these laws of power in the Government to compromise and release are in some respects quite insufficient for the proper se. the demand, instigates to fraud, as the only resource for curity of the revenue, and the protection of the interests securing a support to his family. He thus sinks into a of those who are disposed to observe them. The injuri- state of apathy, and becomes a useless drone in society, or ous and demoralizing tendency of a successful system of a vicious member of it, if not a feeling witness of the rigor smuggling, is so obvious as not to require comment, and and inhumanity of bis country. All experience proves cannot be too carefully guarded against. I therefore sug. that oppressive debt is the bane of enterprise ; and it gest to Congress the propriety of adopting efficient mea- should be the care of a Republic not to exert a grinding sures to prevent this evil; avoiding, however, as nuch as power over misfortune and poverty. possible, every unnecessary infringement of individual li Since the last session of Congress, numerous frauds on berty, and embarrassment of fair and lawful business. the Treasury have been discovered, wbich I thought it
On an examination of the records of the freasury, I my duty to bring under the cognizance of the United have been forcibly struck with the large amount of pub States' Court for this District, by a criminal prosecution. lic money which appears to be outstanding. Of the sum It was my opinion, and that of able counsel' who were thus due from individuals to the Goveroment, a consider- consulted, that the cases came within the penalties of able portion is undoubtedly desperate; and, in many in the act of the 17th Congress, approved 3rd March, 1823, stances, bas probably been rendered so by remissness in providing for the punishment of frauds coinmitted on the the agents charged with its collection. By proper exer Goverument of the United States. Either from sorne dotions a great part, however, may yet be recovered; and, fect in the law, or in its administration, every effort to wbatever may be the portions respectively belonging to bring the accused to trial under its provisions proved inthese two classes, it behooves the Government to ascertain effectual, and the Government was driven to the necesthe real state of the fact. · This can be done only by the sity of resorting to the vague and inadequate provisions prompt adoption of judicious measures for the collection of the common law. It is therefore my duty to call your of such as may be made available. It is believed that a attention to the laws which bave been passed for the provery large amount has been lost through the inadequacy tection of the Treasury. If, indeed, there be no proviof the means provided for the collection of debts due to sion by which those who may be unworthily entrusted the public, and that tbis inadequacy lies chiefly in the with its guardianship, can be punished for the most flawant of legal skill, habitually and constantly employed in grant violation of duty, extending even to the most frauthe direction of the agents engaged in the service. It dulent appropriation of the public funds to their own use, must, I think, be admitted, that the supervisory power it is time to remedy so dangerous an omission. Or, if the over suits brought by the public, which is now vested in law has been perverted from its original purposes, and
-21st Cong. 1st Sess.] Messoge of the President, at the Opening of the Session. (SEN. AND H. OF REPS.
criminals, deserving to be punished under its provisions, | This institution has already exercised the happiest influhave been rescued by legal subtilties, it ought to be ence upon the moral and intellectual character of our made so plain, by amendatory provisions, as to baffle army ; and such of the graduates as from various causes,
the arts of perversion, and accomplish the end of its ori- may not pursue the profession of arms, will be scarcely #gual enactment
less useful as citizens. Their knowledge of the military In one of the most flagrant cases, the Court decided art will be advantageously employed in the militia serthat the prosecution was barred by the statute which li- vice; and in a measure, secure to that class of troops the maits prosecution for fraud to two years. In this case, all advantages which, in this respect, belong to standing the evidences of fraud, and indeed all knowledge that armies
fraud had been committed, were in possession of the I would also suggest a review of the Pension law, for party accused, until after the two years had elapsed. the purpose of extending its benefits to every RevoluSurely, the statute ought not to run in favor of any man tiopary soldier who aided in establishing our liberties, and While be retains all the evidences of bis crime in bis own who is unable to maintain himself in comfort. These repossession; and, least of all, in favor of a public officer lics of the War of Indepedence have strong claim upon who continues to defraud the Treasury and conceal the their country's gratitude and bounty. The law is defectransaction, for the brief term of two years. I would, tive, in not embracing within its provisions all those who therefore, recommend such an alteration of the law as were, during the last war, disabled from supporting themwill give the injured party and the Government two selves, by manual labor. Such an amendment would add years after the disclosure of the fraud, or after the accus. but little to the amount of pensions, and is called for by ed is out of office, to commence their prosecution. the sympathies of the People, as well as by considera
In connexion with this subject, I jovite the attention of tiods of sound policy. It will be perceived that a large Congress to a general and minute inquiry into the con- addition to the list of pensioners has been occasioned by dition of the Government, with a view to ascertain what ao order of the late administration, departing materially officers can be dispensed with, what expenses retrenched, from the rules wbich bad previously prevailed. Considerand what improvements may be made in the organization ing it an act of legislation, I suspended its operations as of its various parts, to secure the proper responsibility of soon I was informed that it had commenced. Before
public agents, and promote efficiency and justice in all this period, however, applications under the new regula- its operations.
tions bad been preferred, to the number of one huodred The report of the Secretary of War will make you and fifty-four : of which on the 27th of March, the date ( acquainted with the condition of our Army, Fortifica- of its revocation, eighty-seven were admitted. For the tions, Arsenals, and Indian Affairs. The proper disci. amount, there was veither estimate nor appropriation ; pline of the Army, the training and equipment of the Mi- apd, besides this deficiency, the regular allowances, aclitia, the education bestowed at West Point, and the accordiog to the rules which have heretofore governed the cumulation of the means of defence, applicable to the Department, exceed the estimate of its late Secretary, Naval force, will tend to prolong the peace we now en- by about fifty thousand dollars : for which an appropriajoy, and which every good citizen--more especially tion is asked.
those who have felt the miseries of even a successful war Your particular attention is requested to that part of = fare-must ardently desire to perpetuate.
the report of the Secretary of War wbich relates to the The returns from the subordinate branches of this ser- money held in trust for the Seneca tribe of Indians. It vice, exhibit a regularity and order bigbly creditable to will be perceived that, without legislative aid, the Exeits character: both officers and soldiers seem imbued cutive cappot obviate the embarrassments occasioned by with a proper sense of duty, and conform to the restraints the diminution of the dividends on that fund; which origof exact discipline with that cheerfulness which becomes inally amounted to one hundred thousand dollars, and bas the profession of arms. There is need, however, of recently been invested in United States' three per cent. further legislation, to obviate the inconveniences specifi- stock. ed in the report under consideration : to some of which The condition and ulterior destiny of the Indian Tribes it is proper that I should call your particular attention. within the limits of some of our States, bave become ob
The act of Congress, of the 2d of March, 1821, to re-jects of must interest and importance. It has long been duce and fix the military establishment, remaining unexe- the policy of Government to introduce among them the cuted as it regards the command of one of the regiments arts of civilization, in the bope of gradually reclaiming of artillery, cannot now be deemed a guide to the Exe. them from a wandering life. This policy bus, however, cutive in making the proper appointment. An explanato- been coupled with another, whollyfincompatible with its ry act, designating the class of officers out of which this success. Professing a desire to civilize apd settle them, grade is to be filled whether from the military list, as ex- we have, at the same time, lost no opportunity to pur
isting prior to the act of 1821, or from it, as it has been fix- chase their lands and thrust them further into the wilderied by that act-would remove this difficulty. It is also im- ness. By this means they have not only been kept in a
portant that the laws regulating the pay and emoluments wandering state, but been led to look upon us as unjust
of officers generally, should be more specific than they and in different to their fate. Thus, though lavish in its * now are. Those, for example, in relation to the Paymas- expenditures upon the subject, Government has coustant
ter and Surgeon General, assign to them an annual salary ly defeated its own policy, and the Indians, in general, of two thousand five hundred dollars; but are silent as receding further and further to the West, bave retained to allowances wbich in certain exigencies of the service their savage babits. A portion, however, of the Southern may be deemed indispensable to the discharge of their tribes, having mingled much with the whites, and made duties. This circumstance has been the authority for some progress in the arts of civilized life, have lately atextending to them various allowances at different times tempted to erect an independent goveroment within the under former administrations : but no uniform rule has limits of Georgia and Alabama. These States, claiming been observed on the subject. Similar inconveniences to be the only sovereigns within their territories, extendexist in other cases ; in which the construction put upon ed their laws over the Indians ; which induced the latter the laws by the public accountants may operate une to call upon the United States for protection, qualiy, produce confusion, and expose officers to the Under these circumstances, the question presented odium of claiming what is not their due.
was, whether the General Government had a right to I recommend to your fostering care, as one of our sa- sustain those people in their pretentions ! The Constitufest means of national defence. the Military Acadeiny. tion declares, that * 10 new States shall be formed or
21st Cong. 1st Sess.) Message of the President, at the Opening of the Session.. [SEN. AND H. oF REPS.
erected within the jurisdiction of any other State,” with-, any State or Territory, now formed, to be guarantied to out the consent of its Legislature. If the General Go- the Indian tribes, as long as they sball occupy it: each vernment is not permitted to tolerate the erection of a tribe having a distinct control over the portion designaconfederate State within the territory of one of the mem- ted for its use. There they may be secured in the enbers of this Union, against her cousent, much less could it joyment of governments of their own choice, subject to allow a foreign and independent government to establish no other control from the United States than Bueh as may itself there. Georgia became a member of the Confede- be necessary to preserve peace on the frontier, and beracy which eventuated in our federal union, as a sovereign tween the several tribes. There the benevolent may State, always asserting her claim to certain limits; which, endeavor to teach them the arts of civilization; and, by having been originally defined in her colonial charter, and proinoting union and harmony among them, to raise up subsequently recognised in the treaty of peace, she has an interesting commouwealth, destined to perpetuate the ever since continued to enjoy, except as they have been race, and to attest the humanity and justice of this Gorcircumscribed by her own voluntary transfer of a portion ernment of her territory to the United States, in the articles of This emigration should be voluntary: for it would be cession of 1802. Alabama was admitted into the Union as cruel as upjust to compel the aborginies to abandon on the same footing with the original States, with bound the graves of their fathers, and seek a home in a distant aries which were prescribed by Congress. There is no land. But they should be distinctly informed that, if constitutional, conventional, or legal provision, which al- they remaiu within the limits of the States, they must be lows them less power over the Indians within their subject to their laws. In return for their obedience, as borders, than is possdssed by Maine or New York. Would individuals, they will, without doubt, be protected in the the people of Maine permit the Penobscot tribe to erect enjoyment of those possessions which they have improved an Independent Government within their State 1 and, by their industry. But it seems to be visionary to supunless they did, would it not be the duty of the General pose that, in this state of things, claims can be allowed on Government to support them in resisting such a measure ? traets of country on which they have neither dwelt nor Would the people of New York permit each reinnant of made improvements, merely because they have seen the Six Nations within her borders, to declare itself an them from the mountain, or passed them in the chase. independent people, under the protection of the Uuited Submitting to the laws of the States, and receiving, like States ? Could the Indians establish a separate republic other citizens, protection in their persons and property, on each of their reservations in Ohio ? And if they they will, ere foug, become merged in the mass of our were so disposed, would it be the duty of this Govern. population. ment to protect them in the attempts? If the principle The accompanying report of the Secretary of the Navy involved in the obvious answer to these questions be will make you acquainted with the condition and useful abandoned, it will follow that the objects of this Govern- employment of that branch of our service, during the ment are reversed; and that it has become a party of its present year. Constituting, as it does, the best standing duty to aid in destroying the States which it was estab- Becurity of this country against foreign aggression, it lished to protect
claims the especial attention of Government. In this spiActuated by this view of the subject, I informed the rit, the measures which, since the termination of the last Indians inhabiting parts of Georgia and Alabama, that war, bave been in operation for its gradual enlargement, their attempt to establish an independent goverument were adopted ; and it should continue to be cherished as would not be countenanced by the Executive of the Uni the offspring of our vational experience. It will be seen, ted States, and advised them to emigrate beyond the Mis- however, that, not withstanding the great solicitude wbich sissippi, or submit to the laws of those States.
bas been manifested for the perfect organization of this Our conduct towards these People is deeply interesting arm, and the liberality of the appropriations which that to our pational character. Their present condition, con solicitude has suggested, this object bas, in many importrasted with what they once were, makes a most powerful tant respects, not been secured. appeal to our sympathies. Our ancestors found them the
In tiine of peace, we bave peed of no more ships of uncontrolled possessors of these vast regions. By persuu- war than are requisite to the protectiou of our commeree. sion and force
, they have been made to retire from river Those not wanted for this. object must lay in the harbors, to river, and from mountain to mountain, until some of the where, without proper covering, they rapidly decay; and, tribes have become extinct, and others have left but rem- even under the best precautions for their preservation, nants, to preserve, for a while, their once terrible nanes. must soon become · useless. Such is already the case Surrounded by the whites, with their arts of civilizatiou, with many of our finest vessels ; which, though untiwhich, by destroying the resources of the savage, dvom nished, will now require immense sums of money to be him to weakness and decay, the fate of the Mohegan, the restored to the condition in which they were, when comNarragansett, and the Delaware, is fast overtaking the mitted to their proper element. On this subject there can Choctaw, the Cherokee, and the Creek. That this fate be but little doubt that our best policy would be, to dissurely awaits them, if they remain within the limits of the continue the building of ships of the first and second States, does not admit of a doubt. Humanity and national class, and look rather to the possession of ample materials. honor demand that every effort should be made to avert so prepared for the emergencies of war, than to the number great a calamity. It is too late to inquire whether it was of vessels which we can float in a season of peace, as the just in the United States to include them and their terri. index of our naval power. Judicious deposits io pavy tory within the bounds of new States whose limits they yards, of timber and other materials, fashioned under the could control. That step cannot be retraced. A. State hands of skilful workmen, and fitted for prompt applicacannot be dismembered by Congress, or restricted in the tion to their various purposes, would enable us, at all exercise of her constitutional power. But the People of times, to construct vessels-as fast as they can be mapped, those States, and of every State, actuated by feelings of and save the heavy expense of repairs, except to such ves. justice and regard for our national honor, submit to you sels as: must be employed in guarding our commerce. the interesting question, whether something cannot be The proper points for the establishment of these yards done, consistently with the rights of the States, to preserve are indicated with so much force, in the report of the this much injured race.
Navy Board, that, in recommending it to your attention, I As a means of effecting this end, I suggest, for your deem it uppecessary to do more than express my bearty consideration, the propriety for setting apart an ample concurrence in their views. The Yard in this District district West of the Mississippi, and without the limits of being already furnished with most of the machinery ne
SEN. AND H. or REPs.] Message of the President, at the Opening of the Session. (215T Cono: 1st Sess: cessary for ship-building, will be competent to the supply imperfectly extended; and to the remaining six, altogether of the two selected by the Board as the best for the con- debied. The effect has been to withhold from the inbabicentration of materials; aod, from the facility and cer- tants of the latter, the advantages afforded (by the Sutainty of communication between them, it will be useless preme Court) to their fellow-citizens in other States, in the to incur, at those depots, the expense of similar machinery, whole extent of the criminal, and much of the civil, authoespecially that used in preparing the usual metallic and rity of the Federal Judiciary. That this state of things wooden furniture of vessels,
ought to be remedied, if it can be done consistently with Another improvement would be effected by dispensing the public welfare, is not to be doubted : neither is it to be altogether with the Navy Board, as now constituted, and disguised that the organization of our judicial system is at substituting in its stead, bureaux similar to those alrearly once a difficult and delicate task. To extend the Circuit existing in tue War Department. Each member of the Courts equally throughout the different parts of the Union, Board, transferred to the head of a separate bureau, and, at the same time, to avoid such a multiplication of charged with specific duties, would feel, in its highest de members as would encumber the Supreme Appellate Trigree, that wholesome responsibility, wbich cannot be di- bunal, is the object desired. Perhaps it might be accomvided, without a far more than proportionate diminution plished by dividing the Circuit Judges into two classes of its force. Their valuable services would become still and providing that the Supreme Court should be held by more so when separately appropriated to distinct portions those classes alternately-the Chief Justice always prezidof the great interests of the Navy, to the prosperity of ing: which each would be impelled to devote himself, by the If an extension of the Circuit Court system to those strongest motives.
Under such an arrangement, every States which do not now enjoy its benefits should be deterbranch of this important service would assume a more mined upon, it would, of course, be pecessary to revise the simple and precise character : its efficiency would be in present arrangement of the Circuits ; and even if that pyscreased, and scrupulous economy in the expenditure of Jiem should not be enlarged, such a revision is 'recompublic money promoted.
mended. I would also recommend that the marine corps be A provision for taking the census of the People of the merged in the artillery or infantry, as the best mode of V. States will, to ensure the completion of that work withcuring the many defects in its organization. But little in a convenient time, claim the early attention of Congress. exceeding in number any of the regiments of infantry, The great and constant increase of business in the De that corps hås, besides itš Lieutenant Colonel Commandpartment of State forced itself, at an early period, ypon ant, five Brevet Lieutenant Colonels, who receive the the attention of the Executive. Thirteen years ago, it full pay and emoluments of their brevet rank, without was, in Mr. Madison's last message to Congress, made the rendering, proportionate service. Details for marine ser subject of an earnest recommendation, which has been revice could as well be made from the artillery or infantry, peated by both of bis successors; and my comparatively their being no peculiar training requsite for it. limited experience has satisfied me of its justness. It has
With these improvements, and such others as zealous arisen from many causes, not the least of which is the watchfulness and mature consideration may suggest, there large addition that has been made to the family of indecan be little doubt that, under an energetic administra- pendent pations, and the proportionate extension of our tion of its affairs, the Navy may soon be made every thing foreign relations. The remedy proposed was the establishthat the nation wishes it to be. Its efficiency in the sup- ment of a Home Department-a measure which does not pression of piracy in the West India seas, and wherever appear to have met the views of Congress, on account of its squadrons have been employed in securing the inter. its supposed tendency to increase, gradually and imperests of the country, will appear from the report of the Se- ceptibls, the already too strong bias of the Federal syscretary, to which I refer you for other interesting details. tem towards the exercise of authority not delegated t it. Among these I would bespeak the attention of Congress I am not, therefore, disposed to revive the recommendafor the views presented in relation to the inequality be- tion; but am not the less impressed with the importance *tween the Army and Navy, as to the pay of officers. No of 80 organizing that Department, that its Secretary nay such inequality should prevail between these brave de- devote more of his time to our foreign relations. Clearly 'fenders of their country ; and where it does exist, it is sub- satisfied that the public good would be promoted by some mitted to Congress whether it ought out to be rectified: suitable provision on the subject, I respectfully invite your
The report of the Postmaster General is referred to as attention to it. exbibiting a highly satisfactory administration of that De The charter of the Bank of the United States expires partment. Abuses bare been reformed; increased ex. in 1836, and its stockholders will most probably apply for pedition in the trapsportation of the mail secured ; and a renewal of their privileges. In order to avoid the evils its revenue much improved. In a political point of view, resulting from precipitancy in a measure involving such this Department is "cbiefly. important a8 affording the important principles, and such deep pecuniary interests, means of diffusiog koowledge. "It is to the body politic I feel that I cannot, in justice to the parties interested, too wbat the veins and arteries are to the natural, conveying, soon present it to the deliberate consideration of the Legis-, rapidly and regularly, to the remotest parts of the sys- lature and the People. Both the coristitutionnlity and the tem, correct information of the operations of the Govern expediency of the law creating this baok, are well quesment, and bringing back to it the wishes and feelings of tioned by a large portion of our fellow citizens; and it must the People. Through its agency, we have secured to ours be admitted by all
, that it has failed in the great end of selves the full enjoyment of the blessings of a free press. establishing a uniform and sound curredey.
In this general survey of our affairs, a subject of higli Under these circumstances, if such an institution is deemimportance presents itself in the present organization of ed essential to the fiscal operations of the Government, I the Judiciary. An uniform operation of the Federal Go submit to the wisdorn of the Legislature, whether a Navernment in the different States is certainly desirable; tional one, founded upon the credit of the Government, and *and, existing as they do in the Union on the basis of its revenues, might not be devised, which would avoid all perfect equality, each State has a right to expect that constitutional difficulties, and, at the same time, secure all the benefits conferred on the citizevs of others should be the advantages to the Government and country that weřo extended to bers. The judicial system of the United expected to result from the present Bank. States exists in all its efficiency in only fifteed members I cannot close this communication without bringiog to of the Union; to three others, the Circuit Courts, which your view the just claim of the representatives of domconstitute an important part of that system, have been modoro Decatur, his officers and crew, arising from the
21st Cong. 1st Sess.]
Message of the President, at the Opening of the Session.
[SEN. AND H. OF REPS.
re-capture of the frigate Philadelphia, under the heavy when found in a state of intoxication, would be justly rebatteries of Tripoli
. Although sensible, as a general rule, prehensible, and obnoxious to the imputation of practised of the impropriety of Executive interference, under a wrong: how much more cautious, then, should a Govern. Government like ours, where every individual enjoys the ment be, the guardian of the rights of its citizens, to avoid right of directly petitioning Congress, yet, viewing this a temporary purchase of their liberties, at such a time, case as one of a very peculiar character, I deem it my and under such circumstances. Resting upon the correctduty to recommend it to your favorable consideration. Dess of this impression, orders bave been issued, prohibitBesides the justice of this claim, as corresponding to ing ady, when intoxicated, to be enlisted, and forbidding those which have been since recognised and satisfied, it any contract to be finally consummated, until time and opis the fruit of a deed of patriotic and chivalrous daring, portunity are afforded for deliberatiop. Pursuing this course, which infused life and confidence into our infant Navy, qualified and valuable materials will enter into and comand contributed, as much as any exploit in its history, to pose the
ranks of our army, and character and pride be-obelevate our national character, Public gratitude, there- tained. To attain this end, an effectual alteration would be fore, stamps her seal upon it; and the meed should not be to withhold the premium which at present is given for enwithheld which may hereafter operate as a stimulus to our listments; the effect of wbich may be to induce a carelessgallant tars.
ness and indifference as to the description of men who are I now commend you, fellow citizens, to the guidance of received. It might be better to make the premium, thus Almighty God, with a full reliance on His merciful provi- wrongly bestowed, an increased bounty to the eoliated redence for the maintenance of our free institutions; and cruit with au earnest supplication, that, wbatever errors it may The long controverted question respecting brevet rank be my lot to commit, in discharging the arduous duties in the army has been decided in a manner which is believwhich have devolved on me, will find a remedy in the ed to be in conformity with existing laws on the subject. I harmony and wisdom of your councils.
am bappy to add, tbat, as far as opinions bave been ascerANDREW JACKSON. tained, the officers of the army are disposed to acquiesce December 8, 1829.
in the decision, because of the certainty which has been
arrived at, and the increased harmony which it is expected Documents accompanying the President's Message. will be consequent upon that certainty.
There is a doubt resting, ia connexion with this subject, REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR. which I beg leave to suggest the propriety of bringing to
the consideration of Congress: it is as to the compensation DEPARTMENT OF WAR,
} rightfully to be extended to brevet officers, when a com
mand is held correspondent to their rank. The interpreTo the President of the United States :
tation given to the law upon this subject, by a regulation of SR: The Secretary of War submits to the President the War Department, in 1827, is, that when a Captain is of the United States a report, sbewing the mapper ip in the command of any larger pumerical force than a com„which the business of the Department has been conducted, pany, no matter how inconsiderable; a Major, a greater force that its details may be before bim for consideration than two companies ; & Colonel more than a regiment ; The communications received from the different officers General ady force greater than a brigade ; that in all such, connected with the War Department, here annexed, and similar cases, the officers, respectively, are to be concontain every thing miputely, and more in detail, than sidered as having a command according to their brevet, can be presented in the Report. Such general suggestions, and pay corresponding to their rank; conformably to the in reference to them, as may appear warranted by the conceived provisions of the act of the 18th of April
, 1818. public interest, it becomes his duty to submit, that they The effect of this construction has been, so far as the may receive from you the attention they shall be found to pay of the army is concerned, instead of having one merit.
Major General and two Aids-de-Camp, as the act of 1821, It is with pleasure made known, that the army is entis- for organizing the military establishment contemplated, factorily fulfilling their just engagements to the country; there bave been in service three Major Geverals and six and that harmony and proper zeal prevails. The rank Aids; and instead of two Brigadiers, as is required by the and file is nearly complete, and although desertion has not same act, there have been four Colonels, who, in virtue of entirely ceased, yet it is less frequent thau heretofore. the regulation of 1827, relative to brevet appointments, The rigid exactions of the law, in reference to this crime, have received the pay and emoluments of a Brigadier is believed to carry too great severity for a state of peace, General; tbus appending to the army three Majors and and should be meliorated into something better cor: four Brigadier Generals
, with other officers of lower grade, responding with the magnitude of the offence. It is not pot contemplated by the act of 1821 for fixing a military the quantum, but the certainty of punishment, that is cal- peace establishment. It is submitted for Congress to deculated to deter offenders; and as no soldier, in peace, bas termine how far this heretofore authorized procedure shall been executed under the sentence of a court martial, it has continue, or in future be restricted, to the conceived interoccasioned the impression that so severe a penalty will pretation of the law. most probably not be enforced, and, hence, a disregard of As this construction bad obtained, it was considered, it is entertained. I would by no means be understood as if not strictly correct, at least not improper to be continurecommending a return to the infliction of stripes; it is a ed; especially as previous appropriations by Congress for punishment altogether too degrading; it strips the soldier | brevet compensation had been made, and at their last of that proud spirit, and of those lofty feelings of honor, session, too; thereby indicating an acquiescence to the which will tend to prepare him, when a suitable occasion regulation of 1827. But owing to the number of brevets may offer, to become a traitor to the country that has which, in pursuance of the law requiring them, were conbranded him with infamy, the stigma of which, no future ferred previous to the adjournment of the Senate, pay. good conduct, on his part, can remove.
ments made on this account will exceed the estimate preThe efficiency of an army is to be discerned through the sented from the Department for the year 1829, and the appride, the elevated character of the individuals who com: priation consequent
upon that estimate. pose it. To secure this condition of things, no man should Under this constructive mode of granting extra allowbe inveigled into public service under false pretences, and ances, there has likewise been conceded to the Surgeon when his mind is not in a situation to engage in contract. General of the army, fuel and quarters, and a commutaHe who should bargain with a neighbor for his property, I tion of them. The language of the act of the 14th of