« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
that will render this description of force more efficient, has long been a subject of anxious solicitude. It was recommended to the first Congress by General Washington, and has since been frequently brought to your notice, and recently its importance strongly urged by my immediate predecessor.
The provision in the constitution that renders it necessary to adopt a uniform system of organization for the militia throughout the United States, presents an insurmountable obstacle to an efficient arrangement by the classification heretofore proposed, and I invite your attention to the plan which will be submitted by the secretary of war, for the organization of the volunteer corps, and the instruction of militia officers, as more simple and practicable, if not equally advantageous, as a general arrangement of the whole militia of the United States.
A moderate increase of the corps both of military and topographical engineers, has been more than once recommended by my predecessor, and my conviction of the propriety, not to say necessity of the measure, in order to onable them to perform the various and important duties imposed upon them, induces me to repeat the recommendation.
The Military Academy continues to answer all the purposes of its establishment, and not only furnishes welleducated officers of the army, but serves to diffuse throughout the mass of our citizens, individuals possessed of miatary knowledge, and the scientific attainments of civil and military engineering. At present, the cadet is bound, with the consent of his parents or guardians, to remain in service five years from the period of his enlistment, unless sooner discharged, thus exacting only one year's service in the army after his education is completed. This does not appear to me sufficient Government ought to command for a longer period the services of those who are educated at the public expense; and I recommend that the time of enlistment be extended to seven years, and the terms of the engagement strictly enforced.
The creation of a national foundry for cannon, to be common to the service of the army and navy of the United States, has been heretofore recommended, and ap
pears to be required in order to place our ordnance on an equal footing with that of other countries, and to enable that branch of the service to control the prices of those articles, and graduate the supplies to the wants of the government, as well as to regulate their quality and insure their uniformity.
T'he same reasons induce me to recommend the erection of a manufactory of gunpowder, to be under the direction of the ordnance office. The establishment of a Wanufactory of small arms west of the Alleghany, mountains, upon the plan proposed by the secretary of war, will contribute to extend throughout that country the improvements which exist in establishments of a similar description in the Atlantic states, and tend to a much more economical distribution of the armament required in the western portion of our Union.
The system of removing the Indians west of the Mississippi, commenced by Mr. Jefferson, in 1804, has been steadily persevered in by every succeediug President, and may be considered the settled policy of the country. Unconnected at first with any well-defined system for their improvement, the inducements held out to the Indians were confined to the greater abundance of game to be found in the west; but when the beneficial effects of their removal were made apparent, a more philanthropic and enlightened policy was adopted, in purchasing their lands east of the Mississippi. Liberal prices were given; and provisions inserted in all the treaties with them for the application of the funds they received in exchange, to such purposes as were best calculated to promote their present welfare, and advance their future civilization. These measures have been attended thus far with the happiest resulus.
It will been seen, by referring to the report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, that the most sanguine expectations of the friends and promoters of this system have been realized. The Choctaws, Cherokees, and oth tribes that first emigrated beyond the Mississippi, have for the most part, abandoned the hunter state and become cultivators of the soil. The improvement of their condition has been rapid, and it is believed that they are now fitted to enjoy the advantages of a simple form of government, which has been submitted to them and received their sanction; and I cannot too strongly urge this subject upon the attention of Congress.
Stipulations have been made with all the Indian tribes to remove them beyond the Mississippi, except with the band of the Wyandotis, the Six Nations, in New York, the Menomonees, Mandans, and Stockbridges, in Wise consin, and Miamies, in Indiana. With all but the Menomonees, it is expected that arrangements for their emigration will be completed the present year. The resistance which has been opposed to their removal by some tribes, even after treaties had been made with them to that effect, has arisen from various causes, operating differently on each of them.
· In most instances they have been instigated to resistance by persons to whom the trade with them and the acquisition of their annuities were important; and in some by the personal influence of interested chiefs. These obstacles must be overcome; for the government cannot relinquish the execution of this policy with out sacrificing important interests, and abandoning the tribes remaining east of the Mississippi to certain destruction.
The decrease in numbers of the tribes within the limits of the states and territories has been most rapid. If they be removed, they can be protected from those associations and evil practices which exert so pernicious and destructive an influence over their destinies. They can be induced to labor, and to acquire property, and its ac. quisition will inspire them with a feeling of independence. Their minds can be cultivated, and they can be taught the value of salutary and uniform laws, and be made sensible of the blessings of free government, and capable of enjoying its advantages. - In the possession of property, knowledge, and a good goverument, free to give what direction they please to. their labor, and sharers in the legislation by which their persons and the profits of their industry are to be protected and secured, they will have an ever present conviction of the importance of union, of peace among
themselves, and of the preservation of amicable relations with us.
The interests of the United States would also be greatly promoted by freeing the relations between the general and state governments, from what has proved a most embarrassing incumbrance, by a satisfactory adjustment of conflicting titles to lands, caused by the occupation of the Indians, and by causing the resources of the whole country to be developed by the power of the state and general governments, and improved by the enterprise of a white population.
Intimately connected with this subject is the obligation of the government to fulfil its treaty stipulations, and to protect the Indians thus assembled “at their new residence from all interruptions and disturbances from any other tribes or nations of Indians, or from any other
person or persons whatsoever,” and the equally solemn obligation to guard from Indian hostilities its own border settlements stretching along a line of more than one thou sand miles. To enable the government to redeem their pledge to the Indians, and to afford adequate protection to its own citizens, will require the continual presence of a considerable regular force on the frontiers, and the establishment of a chain of permanent posts. Examinations of the country are now making, with a view to decide on the most suitable points for the erection of fortresses and other works of defence, the results of which will be presented to you by the secretary of war at an early day, together with a plan for the effectual protection of friendly Indians, and the permanent defence of the frontier states.
By the report of the secretary of the navy, herewith communicated, it appears that unremitted exertions have been inade at the different navy-yards, to carry into effect all authorized measures for the extension and employe ment of our naval force. The launching and preparation of the ship of the line Pennsylvania, and the complete repairs of the ships of the line Ohio, Delaware, and Columbus, may be noticed, as forming a respectable addition to this important arm of our national desence. Our commerce and navigation have received increased aid and protection during the present year. Our squadrons in the Pacific and on the Brazilian station have been much increased, and that in the Mediterranean, although small, is adequate to the present wants of our commerce in that sea. Additions have been made to our Equadron on the West India station, where the large furce under Commodore Dallas has been most actively and efficiently employed in protecting our commerce, in preventing the importation of slaves, and in co-operating with the officers of the army in carrying on the war in Florida.
The satisfactory condition of our naval force abroad, leaves at our disposal the means of conveniently providing for a home squadron, for the protection of commerce upon our extensive coast. The amount of appropriations required for such a squadron will be found in the general estimates for the naval service, for the year 1838.
The naval officers engaged upon our coast survey, have rendered important service to our navigation. The discovery of a new channel into the harbor of New York, through which our largest ships may pass without danger, must afford important commercial advantages to that harbor, and add greatly to its value as a naval station. The accurate survey of Georges' shoals, off the coast of Massachusetts, lately completed, will render comparatively safe, a navigation hitherto considered dangerous.
Considerable additions have been made to the number of captains, commanders, lieutenants, surgeons and assistant surgeons in the
These additions were rendered necessary, by the increased number of vessels put in commission, to answer the exigencies of our growing
Your attention is respectfully invited to the various suggestions of the secretary, for the improvement of the naval service.
The report of the postmaster-general exhibits the progress and condition of the mail service. The operations of the post-office department, constitutes one of the most active elements of our national prosperity, and it is gratifying to observe with what vigor they are con ducted. The mail routes of the United States cover an