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prisés be estimated? And what compensation can be made to them, or to their countries for them? Is it not by bearing them in affectionate remembrance ? Is it not still more by imitating their example ? by enabling countrymen of our own to prirsue the same career, and to hazard their lives in the same cause ?
On inviting the attention of Congress to the subject of internal improvements, upon a view thus enlarged, it is not my design to recommend the equipment of an expedition for circumnavigating the globe for purposes of scientific research and inquiry. We have objects of useful investigation nearer home, and to which our cares may be more beneficially applied. The interior of our own territories has yet been very imperfectly explored. Our coasts, along many degrees of latitude upon the shores of the Pacific Ocean, though much frequented by our spirited commercial navigators, have been barely visited by our public ships. The river of the West, first fully discovered and navigated by a countryman of our own, still bears the name of the ship in which he ascended its waters, and claims the protection of our armed national flag at its mouth. With the establishment of a military post there, or at some other point of that coast, recommended by my predecessor, and already matured in the deliberations of the last Congress, I would suggest the expediency of connecting the equipment of a public ship for the exploration of the whole north-west coast of this continent.
The establishment of a uniform standard of weights and measures, was one of the specific objects contemplated in the formation of our constitution; and to fix that standard was one of the powers delegated by express terms, in that instrument, to Congress. The governments of Great Britain and France have scarcely ceased to be occupied with inquiries and speculations on the same subject, since the existence of our constitution; and with them it has expanded into profound, laborious, and expensive researches into the figure of the earth, and the comparative length of the pendulum vibrating seconds in rarious latitudes, from the equator to the pole. These researches have resulted in the composition and publication of several works highly interesting to the cause of science. The experiments are yet in the process of per. formance. Some of them have recently been made on our own shores, within the walls of one of our own col. leges, and partly by one of our own fellow-citizens. It would be honorable to our country if the sequel of the same experiments should be countenanced by the patronage of our government, as they have hitherto been by those of France and Great Britain.
Connected with the establishment of a university, or separate from it, might be undertaken the erection of an astronomical observatory, with provision for the suport of an astronomer, to be in constant attendance of observ. ation upon the phenomena of the heavens; and for the periodical publication of his observations. It is with no feeling of pride, as an American, that the remark may be made, that, on the comparatively small territorial surface of Europe, there are existing upwards of one hundred and thirty of these light-houses of the skies; while throughout the whole American hemisphere there is not one. Ir we reflect a moment upon the discoveries which, in the last four centuries, have been made in the physical constitution of the universe, by the means of these buildings, and of observers stationed in them, shall we doubt of their usefulness to every nation? And while scarcely a year passes over our heads without bringing some new astronomical discovery to light, which we must fain receive at second hand from Europe, are we not cutting ourselves off from the means of returning light for light, while we have neither observatory nor observer upon our half of the globe, and the earth revolves in perpetuai darkness to our unsearching eyes?
When, on the 25th of October, 1791, the first president of the United States announced to Congress the result of The first enumeration of the inhabitants of this Unicn, he informed them that the returns gave the pleasing assurance that the population of the United States bordered on four millions of persons. At the distance of thirty years from that time, the last enumeration, five years since completed, presented a population cordering on ten millions. Per. haps of all the evidences of a prosperous and happy con.
dition of human society, the rapidity of the increase of population is the most unequivocal. But the demonstration of our prosperity rests not alone upon this indication. Our commerce, our wealth, and the extent of our territories have increased in corresponding proportions; and the number of independent communities, associated in our federal Union, has, since that time, nearly doubled. The legislative representation of the states and people, in the two houses of Congress, has grown with the growth of their constituent bodies. The House, which then con. sisted of sixty-five members, now numbers upwards of two hundred. The Senate, which consisted of twenty-six members, has now forty-eight. But the executive, and still more the judiciary departments, are yet in a great measure confined to their primitive organization, and are now not adequate to the urgent wants of a still growing community.
The naval armaments, which at an early period forced themselves upon the necessities of the Union, soon led to the establishment of a department of the navy. But the departments of foreign affairs and of the interior, which, early after the formation of the government, had been united in one, continue so united to this time, to the unquestionable detriment of the public service. The multiplication of our relations with the nations and governments of the old world, has kept pace with that of our population and commerce, while, within the last ten years, a new family of nations, in our own hemisphere, has arisen among the inhabitants of the earth, with whom our intercourse, commercial and political, would, of itself, furnish occupation to an active and industrious department. The constitution of the judiciary, experimental and imperfect as it was, even in the infancy of our existing government, is yet more inadequate to the administration of national justice at our present maturity. Nine years have elapsed since a predecessor in this office, now not the last, the citizen who perhaps of all others throughout the Union, contributed most to the formation and establishment of our constitution, in his valedictory address to Congress immediately precedirg his retirement from public life, urgently recommende? the revision of the judiciary, and the establishment of an additional executive department. The exigencies of the public service, and its unavoidable deficiences, as now in exercise, have added yearly cumu. lative weight to the considerations presented by him as persuasive to the measure, and in recommending it to your deliberations I am happy to have the influence of his high authority in aid of the undoubting convictions of my own experience.
The laws relating to the administration of the Patent Office are deserving of much consideration, and perhaps susceptible of some improvement. The grant of power to regulate the action of Congress on this subject, has specified both the end to be obtained and the means by which it is to be effected,—"to promote the progress of science and the useful arts, by securing, for limited times, to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries." If an honest pride might be indulged in the reflection, that on the records of that office are already found inventions, the usefulness of which has scarcely been transcended in the annals of human ingenuity, would not its exultation be allayed by the inquiry, whether the laws have effectively insured to the inventors the reward destined to them by the constitution-even a limited term of exclusive right to their discoveries?
On the 24th of December, 1799, it was resolved by Congress, that a marble monument should be erected by the United States, in the capitol, at the city of Washington; that the family of General Washington should be requested to permit his body to be deposited under it; and that the monument be so designed as to commemorate the great events of his military and political life. In reminding Congress of this resolution, and that the monument contemplated by it remains yet without execution, I shall indulge only the remarks, that the works at the capitol are approaching to completion ; that the consent of the family, desired by the resolution, was requested and obtained ; that a monument has been recently erected in this city, over the remains of another distinguished patriot of the revolution; and that a spot has been reserved within the walls where you are deliberating for the benefit by the
of this and future ages, in which the mortal remains may be deposited or him whose spirit hovers over you, and listens with delight to every act of the representatives of his nation which can rend to exalt and adorn his and their country,
The constitution under which you are assembled, is a charter or limited powers. After tult and solemn delibe. ration upon all or any of the objects wnich, urged by an irresistible sense of my own dury, 1 have recommended to your attention, should you come to the conclusion, that, however desirable in themselves, the enactment of laws for effecting them would transcend the powers committed to you by that venerable instrument which we are all bound to support ; let no consideration induce you to assume the exercise of powers not granted to you people. But if the power to exercise exclusive legislation, in all cases whatsoever, over the District of Columbia; if the power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States ; if the power to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes; to fix the standard of weights and measures; to establish post-offices and post-roads; to declare war; to raise and support armies; to provide and maintain a navy; to dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging to the United States; and to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying these powers into execution ; if these powers, and others enumerated in the constitution, may be effectually brought into action by laws promoting the improvement of agriculture, commerce and manufactures, the cultivation and encouragement of the mechanic and of the elegant arts, the advancement of literature, and the progress of the sciences, ornamental and profound; to refrain from exercising them for the benefit of the people themselves, would be to hide in the carth the talent committed to our charge-would be treachery to the most sacred of trusts.
The spirit of improvement is abroad upon the earth. It stimulates the hearts, and sharpens the faculties, not