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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 government, 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.

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ORD GIFFORD was born the management of his uncle's

Exeter, on the 24th of office, put an end to these hopes. February, 1779. His father, who Under the will of his father, who was a dealer in hops, grocery, and died during the second year of his drapery, was twice married, and clerkship, he had become entitled had by his second marriage four to some property, not, however, children, of whom Robert Gifford by any means adequate to meet was the youngest.

those heavy and unavoidable exRobert received his education at penses which must be contemplated a school at Alphington, near Exe- by every young man who deterter, kept by Dr. Halloran, a man mines upon making the bar his remarkable for his talents, and for profession. But his brothers debis misapplication of them. From clared, that he should not want any early youth Robert Gifford evinced assistance which they could furnish, a great inclination for the profes- in the pursuit of his favourite sion of the law; and, when he had object. Thus assured, Mr. Gifford attained the age of sixteen, he was entered himself as a student at the articled by his father to Mr. Jones, Middle Temple in 1800. a respectable attorney of Exeter, On his first coming to London, in whose office he remained the Mr. Gifford was two years a pupil usual period. Mr. Gifford became with Mr. Robert Bayly, then praca great favourite with Mr. Jones; tising as a special pleader, and who and, towards the latter part of his is at present one of the barristers clerkship, in consequence of Mr. belonging to the western circuit. Jones's ill health, the chief manage- In 1803, he began to practise ment of the business devolved upon as a special pleader himself; his him. It is probable that Mr. Gif- chambers being in Essex-court, in ford had been induced to entertain the Temple. Although unaided expectations by any powerful connection, yet partnership by Mr. Jones at the his knowledge and his unremitting

1.4 being taken into expiration of the term of his arti- attention, gradually brought him cles; but the arrival of Mr. Jones's into extensive practice. nephew from London, to assume On the 12th of February, 1808,

Mr. Gifford was called to the bar ; had to contend with the late Mr. where his abilities, and the assiduity Dauncy, one of the ablest advocates with which he devoted himself to of his day, and Mr. Abbott, the the acquisition of legal learning, present lord chief justice of the soon attracted notice. He joined court of King's-bench (who were the western circuit, and the Exe- brought down specially on that ter and Devon sessions, where occasion), Mr. Gifford exhibited he almost immediately got into powers of argument of the highest considerable business; and, both on order. the circuit and in London, he was On the 9th of May, 1817, he steadily making progress towards was appointed solicitor-general. distinction, when one of those On the 16th of the same month he fortunate circumstances, which was elected one of the masters of sometimes occur, brought his the bench by the society of the talents into full play, and drew Middle Temple, and, shortly after, upon him the attention of the pub- took his seat in parliament, for the lic. He was retained to argue a borough of Eye, in Suffolk. After case of Mogg versus Mogg, in the this, he left the court of King'scourt of King's-bench, involving bench, in order to practise in some points connected with the Chancery, which he continued to law of real property ; and, on the do till his elevation to the Bench argument, he exhibited so profound in 1824. During this period he a knowledge, and so much readi- became the principal leader in the ness in the application of it, that appeals to the House of Lords, and he attracted the attention of the acquired that intimate knowledge late lord Ellenborough, then chief of Scotch law which he afterwards justice of the court of King's-bench, employed in so useful a manner for who invited him to his house, and the country in his capacity of to whose strong recommendation, Deputy Speaker of the House of added to that of the late learned Lords. The rapidity with which and venerable sir James Mansfield, he mastered, not merely the princhief justice of the courtof Common ciples, but in a great measure the Pleas, he was principally indebted details, of that law, excited the surfor his early and sudden advance- prise of many of the most eminent ment.

of its professors, of whose applause, Soon after this event, another as he felt its value, he was most case occurred in which he added to justly proud. the reputation he had already ac- On the resignation of sir Vicary quired, and proved that his talents Gibbs, Mr. Gifford was chosen by for dealing with numerous and the corporation of Bristol to be complicated facts' were at least their recorder ; an office which has equal to his accurate knowledge of never been held but by persons of law. A commission of lunacy the highest degree of legal merit. having been issued against a gentle- The duties of this station Mr. man of the name of Baker, at the Gifford discharged highly to the instance of his brother and sister, satisfaction of the corporation ; and Mr. Gifford was retained for the he was requested by them to sit to latter ; and during an investigation, sir Thomas Lawrence for a wholewhich lasted nine days, at the length portrait, to be placed in the Castle at Exeter, and in which he town-hall of the city of Bristol.

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