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be seen by the returns from the and estimates, of the routes of such subordinate departments of the roads and canals as the president army, that every branch of the ser of the United States might deem vice is marked with order, regula- of national importance, in a comrity, and discipline; that, from the mercial or military point of view, commanding general, through allthe or necessary for the transportation gradations of superintendence, the of the public mail, the surveys, officers feel themselves to have been plans, and estimates, for
each, when citizens before they were soldiers, completed, to be laid before conand that the glory of a republican gress. army must consist in the spirit of In execution of this act a board freedom by which it is animated, of engineers was immediately inand of patriotism by which it is stituted, and have been since most impelled. It may be confidently assiduously and constantly occustated, that the moral character of pied in carrying it into effect. The the army is in a state of continual first object to which their labours improvement, and that all the ar were directed, by order of the late rangements for the disposal of its president, was the examination of parts have a constant reference to the country between the tide that end.
waters of the Potomac, the Ohio, But to the war department are and Lake Erie, to ascertain the attributed other duties, having in- practicability of a communication deed relation to a future possible between them, to designate the condition of war, but being purely most suitable route for the same, defensive, and in their tendency and to form plans and estimates, in contributing rather to the security detail, of the expense of execution. and permanency of peace :--the On the 3rd of February, 1825, erection of the fortifications pro, they made their first report, which vided for by congress, and adapted was immediately communicated to to secure our shores from hostile congress, and in which they deinvasions--the distribution of the clared that, having maturely confund of public gratitude and jus- sidered the circumstances observed tice to the pensioners of the revo- by them personally, and carefully lutionary war-the maintenance of studied the results of such of the our relations of peace and of pro- preliminary surveys as were then tection with the Indian tribes- completed, they were decidedly of and the internal improvements and opinion that the communication surveys for the location of roads
was practicable. and canals which during the last At the last session of congress, three sessions of Congress have en- before the Board of Engineers gaged so much of their attention, were enabled to make up their and may engross so large a share of second report, containing a general their future benefactions to our plan and preparatory estimate for the country.
work, the committee of the House By the act of the 30th of April, of Representatives upon roads and 1824, suggested and approved by canals closed the session with a my predecessor, the sum of thirty report, expressing the hope that thousand dollars was appropriated the plan and estimate of the Board for the purpose of causing to be of Engineers might at this time be made the necessary surveys, plans, prepared, and that the subject be
referred to the early and favoura- presence of civilization, though ble consideration of congress at swelling in recent years to a magtheir present session. That ex- nitude burthensome to the Treapected report of the Board of En- sury, are generally not without gineers is prepared, and will forth- their equivalents, in profitable with be laid before you.
value; or serve to discharge the Under the resolution of congress, union from engagements more burauthorising the secretary of war to thensome than debt. have prepared a complete system In like manner, the estimate of of cavalry tactics of the United appropriations for the Navy DeStates, to be reported to congress partment will present an aggregate at the present session, a board of sum of upwards of three millions of distinguished officers of the army dollars. "About one half of these, and of the militia has been con however, cover the current exvened, whose report will be sub- penditures of the Navy in actual mitted to you, with that of the service, and one-half constitutes a secretary of war. The occasion fund of national property, the was thought favourable for consult- pledge of our future glory and deing the same board, aided by the fence. It was scarcely one short results of a correspondence with year after the close of the late war, the governors of the several states and when the burthen of its exand territories, and other citizens penses and charges was weighing of intelligence and experience, heaviest upon the country, that upon the acknowledged defective congress, by act of 29th April, condition of our militia system, and 1816, appropriated one million of upon the improvements of which dollars annually for eight years to it is susceptible. The report of the gradual increase of the navy. the Board upon this subject is also At a subsequent period, this annual submitted for your consideration. appropriation was reduced to half
In the estimates of appropriations a million for six years, of which for the ensuing year, upwards of the present year is the last. Ayet five millions of dollars will be sub more recent appropriation, the last mitted for the expenditures to be two years, for building ten sloops paid from the department of war. of war, has nearly restored the Less than two-fifths of this will be original appropriation of 1816, of applicable to the maintenance and a million for every year. The resupport of the army. A million sult is before us all. We have and a half in the form of pensions, twelve line of battle ships, twenty goes as a scarcely adequate tribute frigates, and sloops of war in proto the services and sacrifices of a portion, which, with a few months former age ; and a more than equal of preparation, may present a sum, invested in fortifications, or line of floating fortifications along for the preparations of internal im- the whole range of our coast, ready provement, provides for the quiet, to meet any invader who might the comfort, and the happier ex- attempt to set foot upon our shores. istence of the ages to come. The Combining with a system of forappropriations to indemnify those tifications upon the shores themunfortunate remnants of another selves, commenced about the same race, unable alike to share in the time under the auspices of my imenjoyments, and to exist in the mediate predecessor, and hitherto
systematically pursued, it has parted from or abandoned. In conplaced in our possession the most tinuing to provide for the gradual effective sinews of war, and has left increase of the navy,
may not be us at once an example and a lesson necessary or expedient to add for from which our own duties may be the present any mo to the numinferred. The gradual increase of ber of our ships ; but should you the navy was the principle of deem it advisable to continue the which the act of 29th April, 1816, yearly appropriation of half a milwas the first development. It lion to the same objects, it may was the introduction of a system be profitably expended, in providto act upon the character and ing a supply of timber to be seahistory of our country for an in- soned, and other materials for definite series of ages. It was a future use ; in the construction of declaration of that congress to their docks, or in laying the foundation constituents and to posterity, that of a school for naval education, as, it was the destiny and the duty of to the wisdom of congress, either these confederated states, to become, of those measures may appear to in regular process of time, and by claim the preference. no petty advances, a great naval Of the small portions of this power. That which they proposed navy engaged in actual service to accomplish in eight years, is during the peace, squadrons have rather to be considered as the mea continued to be maintained in the sure of their means, than the Pacific Ocean, in the West-India limitation of their design. They seas, and in the Mediterranean; looked forward for a term of years to which has been added a small sufficient for the accomplishment armament, to cruize on the eastof a definite portion of their pur
ern coast of South America. In pose: and they left to their suc- all, they have afforded protection cessors to fill up the canvass of to our commerce, have contributed which they had traced the large to make our country advantageand prophetic outline. The ships ously known to foreign nations, of the line, and frigates, which have honourably employed multithey had in contemplation, will tudes of our seamen in the service be shortly completed. The time of their country, and have inured which they had allotted for the numbers of youths of the rising accomplishment of the work has generation to lives of manly hardimore than elapsed. It remains forhood, and of nautical experience your consideration how their suc and skill. The piracies with cessors may contribute their por- which the West-India seas were tion of toil and of treasure for the for several years infested, have benefit of the succeeding age, in been totally suppressed; but, in the gradual increase of our navy. the Mediterranean, they have inThere is, perhaps, no part of the creased in a manner afflictive to exercise of the constitutional powers other nations, and but for the conof the federal government, which tinual presence of our squadron, has given more general satisfaction would probably have been distressto the people of the union, than ing to our own. The war which this.
The system has not been has unfortunately broken out be thus vigorously introduced, and tween the republic of Buenos hitherto
sustained, to be now den Ayres and the Brazilian govern
ment, has given rise to very great back. Seven hundred and fourirregularities among the naval teen new post offices have been officers of the latter, by whom established within the year; and principles in relation to blockades, the increase of revenue within the and to neutral navigation, have last three years, as well as the been brought forward, to which augmentation of the transportation we cannot subscribe, and which by mail, is more than equal to the our own commanders have found whole ainount of the receipts, and it necessary to resist. From the of mail conveyance, at the comfriendly disposition towards the mencement of the present century, United States, constantly mani- when the seat of the general gofested by the emperor of Brazil, vernment was removed to this and the very useful and friendly place. When we reflect that the commercial intercourse between objects effected by the transportathe United States and his domin« tion of the mail are among the ions, we have reason to believe choicest comforts and enjoyments that the just reparation demanded of social life, it is pleasing to obfor the injuries sustained by se serve, that the dissemination of veral of our citizens from some of them to every corner of our counhis officers, will not be withheld. try, has outstripped in their inAbstracts from the recent de crease even the rapid march of our spatches of the commanders of our population. several squadrons are communicated By the treaties with France and with the report to the secretary of Spain, respectively ceding Louthe navy to congress.
isiana and the Floridas to the ... A report from the postmaster United States, provision was made general is likewise communicated, for the security of land titles de presenting, in a highly satisfactory rived from the governments of manner, the result of a vigorous, those nations. Some progress has efficient, and economical, adminis- been made, under the authority of tration of that department. The various acts of congress, in the asrevenue of the office, even of the certainment and establishment of year including the latter half of those titles: but claims to a very 1824, and the first half of 1825, large extent remain unadjusted. had exceeded its expenditures by The public faith, no less than the a sum of more than 45,000 dollars. just rights of individuals, and the That of the succeeding year has interest of the community itself, been still more productive. The appears to require further proviincrease of the receipts, in the year sion for the speedy settlement of preceding the 1st of July last, over these claims, which I, therefore, that of the year before, exceeds recommend to the care and atten186,000 dollars, and the excess of tion of the legislature. the receipts over the expenditures In conformity with the provie of the year has swollen from 45,000 sions of the act of 20th May last, dollars to nearly 80,000 dollars. to provide for erecting a PenitenDuring the same period, contracts tiary in the district of Colombia, for additional transportation of the and for other purposes,
three commail, in stages, for about 260,000 missioners were appointed to select miles, have been made, and for a site for the erection of a Penis 70,000 miles, annually, on horse- tentiary for the district, and also
a site in the county of Alexan- ever-memorable declaration, and dria for a county jail; both of the voice that sustained it in de which objects have been effected. bate-were, by one summons, at The building of the penitentiary the distance of 700 miles from has been commenced, and is in each other, called before the Judge such a degree of forwardness, as of All, to account for their deeds to promise that it will be com- done upon earth. They departed, pleted before the meeting of the cheered by the benedictions of next congress. This consideration their country, to whom they left points to the expediency of matur- the inheritance of their fame, and ing, at the present session, a sys- the memory of their bright examtem for the regulation and govern- ple. If we turn our thoughts to ment of the penitentiary, and of the condition of their country, in defining the class of offences which the contrast of the first and last. shall be punishable by confine- day of that half century, how rement in this edifice.
splendent and sublime is the tranIn closing this communication, sition from gloom to glory! Then, I trust that it will not be deemed glancing through the same lapse inappropriate to the occasion and of time in the condition of the purposes upon which we are here individuals, we see the first day assembled, to indulge a momentary marked with the fulness and viretrospect, combining, in a single gour of youth, in the pledge of their glance, the period of our origin as lives, their fortunes, and their a national confederation with that sacred honour, to the cause of freea of our present existence, at the dom and of mankind; and on the precise interval of half a century last, extended on the bed of death, from each other. Since your last with but sense and sensibility left meeting at this place, the fiftieth to breathe a last aspiration to anniversary of the day when our Heaven of blessing upon
their independence was declared has country; may we not humbly been celebrated throughout our hope that to them, too, it was a land; and on that day, when every pledge of transition from gloom to heart was bounding with joy, and glory; and that while their mortal every voice was tuned to gratula- vestments were sinking into the tion, amid the blessings of free- clod of the valley, their emancidom and independence, which the pated spirits were ascending to the sires of a former age had handed bosom of their God. down to their children, two of the
JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. principal actors in that solemn scenes the hand that penned the Washington, Dec. 5, 1826.