1817-1823 (De Witt Clinton) New York (State) Governor.

Speech of Governor Clinton online

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Hentlanen of the Senate and. of the Assemlly,

A MEETING of the representatives of a free people for
the purposes of legislation, is, at all times, an event interesting to
the community and honorat)le to the human character : but its
importance is greatly enhanced, when they are called upon, by
the peculiar state of the country, to deliberate and to decide np-
on subjects intimately associated with its prosperity and its honor,
and with the cardinal interests of all future generations. Under
these circumstances you have now assembled, and fortunately at
a time the most propitious to patriotic views, to wise deliberations
and to energetic decisions. At no period, within my recollection,
has the public mind been in a state of greater tranquillity, more
exempt from the impulses of ambition, and the agitations of fac-
tion, and more accessible to the influence of reason and of pa-

triotism. , . ,

Our country is in a state of profound peace, which promises a
long duration, and even the civilized nations of the eastern hemi-
sphere have 'sheathed the desolating sword. An enlightened
and exalted spirit predominates friendly, to the primary interests
of the state,— to the promotion of agriculture, commerce and the

arts, to the-encouragement of literature and science, of schools,

academies, colleges, universities and learned societies— to the
advancement of those great internal communications which form
the basis of individual and public wealth, and to the elevation of
our national character, by works of public snd permanent utility,
and by acts which consult the welfare and the dignity of the hu-
man race. In addition to these distinguished advantages, we
have enjoyed the blessings of a healthy season and of an abun-
dant harvest ; our seminaries of instruction have increased ia
usefulness; our population is augmenting beyond all former ex-
perience ; justice is administered with purity and ability; the
maiesly of the laws is respected ; the influence of religion and
morality is spreading : And, after fully estimating those afflic-
tions, which must be experienced by all human beings, and those
evils'which are incident to all human institutions, it is not too
much to say, that we never had more reason to be grateful to the
Almighty Dispenser of all good. At a period so auspicious, we
cannot therefore anticipffte disappointment from your delibera-
tions. As the faithful representatives of the people, possessing
their confidence, you will not hesitate to obey their voice. And,
'm discharging an important duty assigned to me by the constitu-
tion I shall exhibit to you without reserve, but with the most
profound respect, my views of the policy which ought to be pur-
sued, of the evils which ought to be corrected, and of the me^-
iures which ought to be adopted.


The progress of our iuternal imiirovcnieuU has cquailet] oup
most sanguine expectations. In ilie course of the next season,
the Northern Camil, extending from Whitehall at the head of
Lake Champlain, to Fort Edward, on the Hudson River, a dis-
tance of twenty-three miles, and the whole of the middle seclion
of the Western Canal, comprising ninety-four miles, and reachiug
from the Seneca Uiver to the Mohawk River at Utica, will be
completed and in a navigable srdrr the cducat.on of t c r
rh '.renin ci>ie., it is uncjuestional.Iy In^t that ^-^r^^-^;^;