Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

United States, he paid attention also to the interests of Hamet; but was able to effect nothing more than to engage the restitution of his family, and even the persevering in this demand suspended for some time the conclusion of the treaty.

In operations at such a distance, it becomes necessary to leave much to the discretion of the agents employed, but events may still turn up beyond the limits of that discretion. Unable in such case to consult his government, a zealous citizen will act as he believes that would direct him were it apprized of the circumstances, and will take on himself the responsibility. In all these cases the purity and patriotism of the motives should shield the agent from blame, and even secure the sanction where the error is not too injurious. Should it be thought by any that the verbal instructions said to have beeu given by Commodore Barron to Mr. Eaton amount to a stipulation that the United States should place Hamet Caramalli on the throne of Tripoli, a stipulation so entirely unauthorized, so far beyond our views, and so onerous, could not be sanctioned by our government; or should Hamet Camaralli, contrary to the evidence of his letters of January 3d and June 29th, be thought to have left the position which he now seems to regret, under a mistaken expectation that we were at all events to place him on his throne, on an appeal to the liberality of the nation something equivalent to the replacing him in his former situation, might be worthy its consideration.

A nation, by establishing a character of liberality and magnanimity, gains in the friendship and respect of others more than the worth of mere money. This appeal is now made by Hamet Caramalli to the United States. The ground he has taken being different not only from our views but from those expressed by himself on former occasions, Mr. Eaton was desired to state whether any verbal communications passed from him to Hamet, which had varied what we saw in writing. His answer of December 5th is herewith transmitted, and has rendered it still more necessary, that in presenting to the legislature the application of Hamet, I should present them at the same time an exact statement of the views and proceedings of the executive through this

whole business, that they may clearly understand the ground on which we are placed. It is accompanied by all the papers which bear any relation to the principles of the co-operation, and which can inform their judgment in deciding on the application of Hamet Caramalli.

SPECIAL MESSAGE-JANUARY 17, 1806.

To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United

States :

In my message to both houses of Congress at the opening of their present session, I submitted to their attention, among other subjects, the oppression of our commerce and navigation by the irregular practices of armed vessels, public and private, and by the introduction of new principles, derogatory of the rights of neutrals, and unacknowledged by the usage of nations.

The memorials of several bodies of merchants of the United States are now communicated, and will develop these principles and practices which are producing the most ruinous effects on our lawful commerce and navigation.

The rights of a neutral to carry on a commercial intercourse with every part of the dominions of a belligerent, permitted by the laws of the country (with the exception of blockaded ports and contraband of war), was believed to have been decided between Great Britain and the United States by the sentence of the commissioners mutually appointed to decide on that and other questions of difference between the two nations, and by the actual payment of damages awarded by them against Great Britain for the infractions of that right. When, therefore, it was perceived that the same principle was revived with others more novel, and extending the injury, instructions were given to the minister plenipotentiary of the United States at the court of London, and remonstrances duly made by him on this subject, as will appear by documents transmitted herewith. These were

followed by a partial and temporary suspension only, without any disavowal of the principle. He has therefore been instructed to urge this subject anew, to bring it more fully to the bar of reason, and to insist on the rights too evident and too important to be surrendered. In the meantime, the evil is proceeding under adjudications founded on the principle which is denied. Under these circumstances the subject presents itself for the consideration of Congress.

On the impressment of our seamen our remonstrances have never been intermitted. A hope existed at one moment of an arrangement which might have been submitted to, but it soon passed away, and the practice, though relaxed at times in the distant seas, has been constantly pursued in those in our neighborhood. The grounds on which the reclamations on this subject have been urged, will appear in an extract from instructions to our minister at London now communicated.

SPECIAL MESSAGE.- FEBRUARY 9, 1806. To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United

States :

A letter has been received from the Governor of South Carolina, covering an act of the legislature of that state, ceding to the United States various forts and fortifications, and sites for the erection of forts in that state, on the conditions therein expressed. This letter and the act it covered are now communicated to Congress.

I am not informed whether the positions ceded are the best which can be taken for securing their respective objects. No doubt is entertained that the legislature deemed them such. The river of Beaufort particularly, said to be accessible to ships of very large size, and capable of yielding them a protection which they cannot find elsewhere, but very far to the north, is, from these circumstances, so interesting to the Union in general, as to merit particular attention and inquiry, as to the positions on it best calculated for health as well as safety.

SPECIAL MESSAGE.-FEBRUARY 19, 1806.

To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United

States :

In pursuance of a measure submitted to Congress by a message of January 18th, 1803, and sanctioned by their appropriation for carrying it into execution, Captain Meriwether Lewis, of the first regiment of infantry, was appointed, with a party of men, to explore the river Missouri from its mouth to its source; and, crossing the highlands by the shortest portage, to seek the best water communication thence to the Pacific ocean; and Lieutenant Clarke was appointed second in command. They were to enter into conference with the Indian nation on their route, with a view to the establishment of commerce with them. They entered the Missouri, May 14th, 1804, and on the 1st of November, took up their winter quarters near the Maudan towns, 1609 miles above the mouth of the river, in latitude 47° 21' 47" north, and longitude 99° 24' 45' west, from Greenwich. On the 8th of April, 1805, they proceeded up the river in pursuance of the objects prescribed to them. A letter of the preceding day, April the 7th, from Captain Lewis, is herewith communicated. During his stay among the Maudans', he had been able to lay down the Missouri according to courses and distances taken under his passage up it, corrected by frequent observations of longitude and latitude, and to add to the actual survey of this portion of the river, a general map of the country between the Mississippi and Pacific, from the thirty-fourth to the fifty-fourth degrees of latitude. These additions are from information collected from Indians with whom he had opportunity of communicating during his journey and residence among them. Copies of this map are now presented to both houses of Congress. With these I communicate, also, a statistical view, procured and forwarded by him, of the Indian nations inhabiting the territory of Louisiana, and the countries adjacent to its northern and western borders ; of their commerce, and of other interesting circumstances respecting them.

In order to render the statement as complete as may be, of the Indians inhabiting the country west of the Mississippi, I add Dr. Sibley's account of those residing in and adjacent to the territory of Orleans.

I communicate also, from the same person, an account of the Red river, according to the best information he had been able to collect.

Having been disappointed, after considerable preparation, in the purpose of sending an exploring expedition up that river in the summer of 1804, it was thought best to employ the autumn in that year in procuring a knowledge on an interesting branch of the river called Washita. This was undertaken under the direction of Mr. Dunbar, of Natchez, a citizen of distinguished science, who had aided, and continues to aid is with his disinterested valuable services in the prosecution of these enterprises. He ascended the river to the remarkable hot springs near it, in latitude 34° 31' 4".16, longitude, 92° 50' 45' west, from Greenwich, taking its courses and distances, and correcting them by frequent celestial observations. Extracts from his observations, and copies of his map of the river, from its mouth to the hot springs, make part of the present communications. The examination of the Red river itself is but now commencing.

SPECIAL MESSAGE.—March 20, 1806.

To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United

States :

It was reasonably expected, that while the limits between the territories of the United States and of Spain were umsettled, neither party would have innovated on the existing state of their respective positions. Some time since, however, we learned that the Spanish authorities were advancing into the disputed country to occupy new posts and make new settlements. Unwilling to take any measures which might preclude a peaceable accom

« PředchozíPokračovat »