James D. Richardson.

A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents Volume 3, part 1: Andrew Jackson (Second Term) online

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the late treaty with the Cherokees. The measures taken in the execution
of that treaty and in relation to our Indian affairs generally will
fully appear by referring to the accompanying papers. Without dwelling
on the numerous and important topics embraced in them, I again invite
your attention to the importance of providing a well-digested and
comprehensive system for the protection, supervision, and improvement of
the various tribes now planted in the Indian country. The suggestions
submitted by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, and enforced by the
Secretary, on this subject, and also in regard to the establishment of
additional military posts in the Indian country, are entitled to your
profound consideration. Both measures are necessary, for the double
purpose of protecting the Indians from intestine war, and in other
respects complying with our engagements to them, and of securing our
western frontier against incursions which otherwise will assuredly be
made on it. The best hopes of humanity in regard to the aboriginal race,
the welfare of our rapidly extending settlements, and the honor of the
United States are all deeply involved in the relations existing between
this Government and the emigrating tribes. I trust, therefore, that the
various matters submitted in the accompanying documents in respect to
those relations will receive your early and mature deliberation, and
that it may issue in the adoption of legislative measures adapted to
the circumstances and duties of the present crisis.

You are referred to the report of the Secretary of the Navy for a
satisfactory view of the operations of the Department under his charge
during the present year. In the construction of vessels at the different
navy-yards and in the employment of our ships and squadrons at sea that
branch of the service has been actively and usefully employed. While
the situation of our commercial interests in the West Indies required a
greater number than usual of armed vessels to be kept on that station,
it is gratifying to perceive that the protection due to our commerce in
other quarters of the world has not proved insufficient. Every effort
has been made to facilitate the equipment of the exploring expedition
authorized by the act of the last session, but all the preparation
necessary to enable it to sail has not yet been completed. No means
will be spared by the Government to fit out the expedition on a scale
corresponding with the liberal appropriations for the purpose and with
the elevated character of the objects which are to be effected by it.

I beg leave to renew the recommendation made in my last annual message
respecting the enlistment of boys in our naval service, and to urge upon
your attention the necessity of further appropriations to increase the
number of ships afloat and to enlarge generally the capacity and force
of the Navy. The increase of our commerce and our position in regard
to the other powers of the world will always make it our policy and
interest to cherish the great naval resources of our country.

The report of the Postmaster-General presents a gratifying picture of
the condition of the Post-Office Department. Its revenues for the year
ending the 30th June last were $3,398,455.19, showing an increase of
revenue over that of the preceding year of $404,878.53, or more than
13 per cent. The expenditures for the same year were $2,755,623.76,
exhibiting a surplus of $642,831.43. The Department has been redeemed
from embarrassment and debt, has accumulated a surplus exceeding half a
million of dollars, has largely extended and is preparing still further
to extend the mail service, and recommends a reduction of postages equal
to about 20 per cent. It is practicing upon the great principle which
should control every branch of our Government of rendering to the
public the greatest good possible with the least possible taxation
to the people.

The scale of postages suggested by the Postmaster-General recommends
itself, not only by the reduction it proposes, but by the simplicity
of its arrangement, its conformity with the Federal currency, and the
improvement it will introduce into the accounts of the Department and
its agents.

Your particular attention is invited to the subject of mail contracts
with railroad companies. The present laws providing for the making of
contracts are based upon the presumption that competition among bidders
will secure the service at a fair price; but on most of the railroad
lines there is no competition in that kind of transportation, and
advertising is therefore useless. No contract can now be made with
them except such as shall be negotiated before the time of offering or
afterwards, and the power of the Postmaster-General to pay them high
prices is practically without limitation. It would be a relief to him
and no doubt would conduce to the public interest to prescribe by law
some equitable basis upon which such contracts shall rest, and restrict
him by a fixed rule of allowance. Under a liberal act of that sort he
would undoubtedly be able to secure the services of most of the railroad
companies, and the interest of the Department would be thus advanced.

The correspondence between the people of the United States and the
European nations, and particularly with the British Islands, has become
very extensive, and requires the interposition of Congress to give it
security. No obstacle is perceived to an interchange of mails between
New York and Liverpool or other foreign ports, as proposed by the
Postmaster-General. On the contrary, it promises, by the security it
will afford, to facilitate commercial transactions and give rise to an
enlarged intercourse among the people of different nations, which can
not but have a happy effect. Through the city of New York most of
the correspondence between the Canadas and Europe is now carried on,
and urgent representations have been received from the head of the
provincial post-office asking the interposition of the United States
to guard it from the accidents and losses to which it is now subjected.
Some legislation appears to be called for as well by our own interest
as by comity to the adjoining British provinces.

The expediency of providing a fireproof building for the important books
and papers of the Post-Office Department is worthy of consideration. In
the present condition of our Treasury it is neither necessary nor wise
to leave essential public interests exposed to so much danger when they
can so readily be made secure. There are weighty considerations in the
location of a new building for that Department in favor of placing it
near the other executive buildings.

The important subjects of a survey of the coast and the manufacture of
a standard of weights and measures for the different custom-houses have
been in progress for some years under the general direction of the
Executive and the immediate superintendence of a gentleman possessing
high scientific attainments. At the last session of Congress the making
of a set of weights and measures for each State in the Union was added
to the others by a joint resolution.

The care and correspondence as to all these subjects have been devolved
on the Treasury Department during the last year. A special report from
the Secretary of the Treasury will soon be communicated to Congress,
which will show what has been accomplished as to the whole, the number
and compensation of the persons now employed in these duties, and the
progress expected to be made during the ensuing year, with a copy of the
various correspondence deemed necessary to throw light on the subjects
which seem to require additional legislation. Claims have been made for
retrospective allowances in behalf of the superintendent and some of
his assistants, which I did not feel justified in granting. Other
claims have been made for large increases in compensation, which, under
all the circumstances of the several cases, I declined making without
the express sanction of Congress. In order to obtain that sanction
the subject was at the last session, on my suggestion and by request
of the immediate superintendent, submitted by the Treasury Department
to the Committee on Commerce of the House of Representatives. But no
legislative action having taken place, the early attention of Congress
is now invited to the enactment of some express and detailed provisions
in relation to the various claims made for the past, and to the
compensation and allowances deemed proper for the future.

It is further respectfully recommended that, such being the
inconvenience of attention to these duties by the Chief Magistrate,
and such the great pressure of business on the Treasury Department,
the general supervision of the coast survey and the completion of the
weights and measures, if the works are kept united, should be devolved
on a board of officers organized specially for that purpose, or on the
Navy Board attached to the Navy Department.

All my experience and reflection confirm the conviction I have so
often expressed to Congress in favor of an amendment of the Constitution
which will prevent in any event the election of the President and
Vice-President of the United States devolving on the House of
Representatives and the Senate, and I therefore beg leave again to
solicit your attention to the subject. There were various other
suggestions in my last annual message not acted upon, particularly
that relating to the want of uniformity in the laws of the District
of Columbia, that are deemed worthy of your favorable consideration.

Before concluding this paper I think it due to the various Executive
Departments to bear testimony to their prosperous condition and to the
ability and integrity with which they have been conducted. It has been
my aim to enforce in all of them a vigilant and faithful discharge of
the public business, and it is gratifying to me to believe that there
is no just cause of complaint from any quarter at the manner in which
they have fulfilled the objects of their creation.

Having now finished the observations deemed proper on this the last
occasion I shall have of communicating with the two Houses of Congress
at their meeting, I can not omit an expression of the gratitude which
is due to the great body of my fellow-citizens, in whose partiality and
indulgence I have found encouragement and support in the many difficult
and trying scenes through which it has been my lot to pass during my
public career. Though deeply sensible that my exertions have not been
crowned with a success corresponding to the degree of favor bestowed
upon me, I am sure that they will be considered as having been
directed by an earnest desire to promote the good of my country, and I
am consoled by the persuasion that whatever errors have been committed
will find a corrective in the intelligence and patriotism of those who
will succeed us. All that has occurred during my Administration is
calculated to inspire me with increased confidence in the stability of
our institutions; and should I be spared to enter upon that retirement
which is so suitable to my age and infirm health and so much desired
by me in other respects, I shall not cease to invoke that beneficent
Being to whose providence we are already so signally indebted for the
continuance of His blessings on our beloved country.


A. - _Statement of distribution of surplus revenue of $30,000,000 among
the several States, agreeably to the number of electoral votes for
President and according to the constitutional mode of direct taxation
by representative population, and the difference arising from those two
modes of distribution, as per census of 1830_.

S Representative Elect- Share Share Difference Difference
t population oral according according in favor in favor
a vote to system to of direct of
t of direct electoral tax electoral
e taxation vote mode vote mode

ME 399,454 10 $999,371 $1,020,408 $21,037
NH 269,327 7 673,813 714,286 40,473
MA 610,408 14 1,527,144 1,428,571 $98,573
RI 97,192 4 243,159 408,163 165,004
CT 297,665 8 744,711 816,327 71,616
VT 280,652 7 702,147 714,286 12,139
NY 1,918,578 42 4,799,978 4,285,714 514,264
NJ 319,921 8 800,392 816,427 15,935
PA 1,348,072 30 3,372,662 3,061,225 311,437
DE 75,431 3 188,716 306,122 117,406
MD 405,842 10 1,015,352 1,020,408 5,056
VA 1,023,502 23 2,560 640 2,346,939 213,701
NC 639,747 15 1,600,546 1,530,612 69,934
SC 455,025 11 1,138,400 1,122,449 15,951
GA 429,811 11 1,075,319 1,122,449 47,130
AL 262,307 7 656,751 714,286 57,535
MS 110,357 4 276,096 408,163 132,067
LA 171,904 5 430,076 510,204 80,128
TN 625,263 15 1,564,309 1,530,612 33,697
KY 621,832 15 1,555,725 1,530,612 25,113
OH 937,901 21 2,346,479 2,142,858 203,621
IN 343,030 9 858,206 918,368 60,162
IL 157,146 5 393,154 510,204 117,050
MO 130,419 4 326,288 408,163 81,875
AR 28,557 3 71,445 306,122 234,677
MI 31,625 3 79,121 306,102 227,001
11,991,168 294 30,000,000 30,000,000 1,486,291 1,486,291

[Transcriber's Note: State names abbreviated to reduce column width.]


WASHINGTON, _December 6, 1836_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I transmit herewith to Congress copies of my correspondence with Mrs.
Madison, produced by the resolution adopted at the last session by the
Senate and House of Representatives on the decease of her venerated
husband. The occasion seems to be appropriate to present a letter from
her on the subject of the publication of a work of great political
interest and ability, carefully prepared by Mr. Madison's own hand,
under circumstances that give it claims to be considered as little
less than official.

Congress has already, at considerable expense, published in a
variety of forms the naked journals of the Revolutionary Congress
and of the Convention that formed the Constitution of the United
States. I am persuaded that the work of Mr. Madison, considering the
author, the subject-matter of it, and the circumstances under which
it was prepared - long withheld from the public, as it has been,
by those motives of personal kindness and delicacy that gave tone
to his intercourse with his fellow-men, until he and all who had
been participators with him in the scenes he describes have passed
away - well deserves to become the property of the nation, and can not
fail, if published and disseminated at the public charge, to confer
the most important of all benefits on the present and all succeeding
generations - accurate knowledge of the principles of their Government
and the circumstances under which they were recommended and embodied
in the Constitution for adoption.



_July 9, 1836_.

The Secretary of State has the honor to report to the President that
there is no resolution of Congress on the death of Mr. Madison on
file in the Department of State. By application at the offices of the
Secretary of the Senate and Clerk of the House of Representatives the
inclosed certified copy of a set of resolutions has been procured.
These resolutions, being joint, should have been enrolled, signed
by the presiding officers of the two Houses, and submitted for the
Executive approbation. By referring to the proceedings on the death
of General Washington such a course appears to have been thought
requisite, but in this case it has been deemed unnecessary or has
been omitted accidentally. The value of the public expression of
sympathy would be so much diminished by postponement to the next
session that the Secretary has thought it best to present the papers,
incomplete as they are, as the basis of such a letter as the President
may think proper to direct to Mrs. Madison.


_Secretary of State_.

WASHINGTON, _July 9, 1836_.


_Montpelier, Va_.

MADAM: It appearing to have been the intention of Congress to make me
the organ of assuring you of the profound respect entertained by both
its branches for your person and character, and of their sincere
condolence in the late afflicting dispensation of Providence, which has
at once deprived you of a beloved companion and your country of one
of its most valued citizens, I perform that duty by transmitting the
documents herewith inclosed.

No expression of my own sensibility at the loss sustained by yourself
and the nation could add to the consolation to be derived from these
high evidences of the public sympathy. Be assured, madam, that there is
not one of your countrymen who feels more poignantly the stroke which
has fallen upon you or who will cherish with a more endearing constancy
the memory of the virtues, the services, and the purity of the
illustrious man whose glorious and patriotic life has been just
terminated by a tranquil death.

I have the honor to be, madam, your most obedient servant,


The President of the United States having communicated to the two
Houses of Congress the melancholy intelligence of the death of their
illustrious and beloved fellow-citizen, James Madison, of Virginia,
late President of the United States, and the two Houses sharing in
the general grief which this distressing event must produce:

_Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled_, That the chairs
of the President of the Senate and of the Speaker of the House of
Representatives be shrouded in black during the present session,
and that the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of
Representatives, and the members and officers of both Houses wear
the usual badge of mourning for thirty days.

_Resolved_, That it be recommended to the people of the United States
to wear crape on the left arm, as mourning, for thirty days.

_Resolved_, That the President of the United States be requested to
transmit a copy of these resolutions to Mrs. Madison, and to assure her
of the profound respect of the two Houses of Congress for her person and
character and of their sincere condolence on the late afflicting
dispensation of Providence.

MONTPELIER, _August 20, 1836_.


I received, sir, in due time, your letter conveying to me the
resolutions Congress were pleased to adopt on the occasion of the death
of my beloved husband - a communication made the more grateful by the
kind expression of your sympathy which it contained.

The high and just estimation of my husband by my countrymen and friends
and their generous participation in the sorrow occasioned by our
irretrievable loss, expressed through their supreme authorities and
otherwise, are the only solace of which my heart is susceptible on the
departure of him who had never lost sight of that consistency, symmetry,
and beauty of character in all its parts which secured to him the love
and admiration of his country, and which must ever be the subject of
peculiar and tender reverence to one whose happiness was derived from
their daily and constant exercise.

The best return I can make for the sympathy of my country is to fulfill
the sacred trust his confidence reposed in me, that of placing before
it and the world what his pen prepared for their use - a legacy the
importance of which is deeply impressed on my mind.

With great respect,


MONTPELIER, _November 15, 1836_.


SIR: The will of my late husband, James Madison, contains the following

"Considering the peculiarity and magnitude of the occasion which
produced the Convention at Philadelphia in 1787, the characters who
composed it, the Constitution which resulted from their deliberations,
its effects during a trial of so many years on the prosperity of the
people living under it, and the interest it has inspired among the
friends of free government, it is not an unreasonable inference that a
careful and extended report of the proceedings and discussions of that
body, which were with closed doors, by a member who was constant in his
attendance, will be particularly gratifying to the people of the United
States and to all who take an interest in the progress of political
science and the cause of true liberty."

This provision bears evidence of the value he set on his report of the
debates in the Convention, and he has charged legacies on them alone to
the amount of $1,200 for the benefit of literary institutions and for
benevolent purposes, leaving the residuary net proceeds for the use of
his widow.

In a paper written by him, and which it is proposed to annex as a
preface to the Debates, he traces the formation of confederacies and of
the Articles of Confederation, its defects which caused and the steps
which led to the Convention, his reasons for taking the debates and the
manner in which he executed the task, and his opinion of the framers of
the Constitution. From this I extract his description of the manner in
which they were taken, as it guarantees their fullness and accuracy:

"In pursuance of the task I had assumed, I chose a seat in front of the
presiding member, with the other members on my right and left hands.
In this favorable position for hearing all that passed I noted down,
in terms legible and in abbreviations and marks intelligible to myself,
what was read from the chair or spoken by the members, and losing not
a moment unnecessarily between the adjournment and reassembling of
the Convention, I was enabled to write out my daily notes during the
session, or within a few finishing days after its close, in the extent
and form preserved in my own hand on my files.

"In the labor and correctness of this I was not a little aided by
practice and by a familiarity with the style and the train of
observation and reasoning which characterized the principal speakers.
It happened also that I was not absent a single day, nor more than the
casual fraction of an hour in any day, so that I could not have lost
a single speech, unless a very short one."

However prevailing the restraint which veiled during the life of Mr.
Madison this record of the creation of our Constitution, the grave,
which has closed over all those who participated in its formation, has
separated their acts from all that is personal to him or to them. His
anxiety for their early publicity after this was removed may be inferred
from his having them transcribed and revised by himself; and, it may be
added, the known wishes of his illustrious friend Thomas Jefferson and
other distinguished patriots, the important light they would shed for
present as well as future usefulness, besides my desire to fulfill
the pecuniary obligations imposed by his will, urged their appearance
without awaiting the preparation of his other works, and early measures
were accordingly adopted by me to ascertain from publishers in various
parts of the Union the terms on which their publication could be

It was also intended to publish with these debates those taken by him in
the Congress of the Confederation in 1782, 1783, and 1787, of which he
was then a member, and selections made by himself and prepared under
his eye from his letters narrating the proceedings of that body during
the periods of his service in it, prefixing the debates in 1776 on the
Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson so as to embody all the
memorials in that shape known to exist. This exposé of the situation of
the country under the Confederation and the defects of the old system of
government evidenced in the proceedings under it seem to convey such
preceding information as should accompany the debates on the formation
of the Constitution by which it was superseded.

The proposals which have been received, so far from corresponding with

Online LibraryJames D. RichardsonA Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents Volume 3, part 1: Andrew Jackson (Second Term) → online text (page 33 of 39)